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Terms of Reference: Consultancy services to assist the Swiss Cooperation Office in Moldova in mainstreaming gender equality and social inclusion in the new Swiss Cooperation Strategy for Moldova (2018-2021)

Deadline for applications: 9 January, 2017


The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is Switzerland’s international cooperation agency within the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). The mission of the Swiss international development cooperation is to reduce poverty worldwide. For the SDC, fighting structural inequalities and unequal power relations among different groups in society are both an aim and a prerequisite of development. Switzerland is committed to promoting human rights and gender equality and takes active part in supporting, through multilateral and bilateral cooperation, the implementation of such international conventions as the post-2015 agenda, CEDAW, Beijing Action Plan, SDGs and UN Resolution 1325 on Women and other. Both gender equality and social inclusion have gained new momentum at the SDC provided the Sustainable Development Goals (5, 1, 10) and the new Swiss international cooperation strategy (2017-2020) that stresses out specific objectives -- i) strengthening gender equality and the rights of women and girls, and ii) reducing disparities and poverty eradication.        

The overall goal of Switzerland’s technical and financial assistance to Moldova, under the current Swiss Cooperation Strategy (CS) for Moldova (2014-2017), is to support the country in the process of transition by ensuring equitable access to good quality public services and improved institutional capacities, with a special focus on the health and water sectors. In addition, the Swiss portfolio includes a non-core program on migration & development as well as support for culture projects and small action projects for civil society initiatives promoting human rights, diversity, social inclusion, good governance and gender equality. Across all ongoing SDC programs and projects in Moldova, good governance and gender equality are being mainstreamed as cross-cutting themes. 

In 2017, the Swiss Cooperation Office in Moldova (SCO-M) will start developing a new Cooperation Strategy for the period of 2018-2021. The planning process for the new CS involves background studies and consultations with country counterparts, partners and stakeholders. In this context, the SCO-M strives to improve the mainstreaming of gender equality (GE) and social inclusion (SI) across all domains, programs and projects. As stated in its Gender Policy, the SDC aim is to make sure that all its interventions increase women and men’s opportunities to exercise their rights equally and gain equal access to and control over the benefits of development. Social inclusion is regarded as the process of improving the ability, opportunity, and dignity of people, disadvantaged on the basis of their identity, to take part in society (World Bank 2013). For the integration of GE and SI, a threefold strategy is envisioned: i) integrating GE and SI as cross-cutting themes, ii) supporting targeted GE and SI specific interventions, where relevant; and iii) promoting higher awareness and understanding of GE and SI among SCO-M staff and partners. In order to build a solid foundation for enhanced performance in the GE and SI mainstreaming work in the frame of the new CS, the SCO-M is looking for a Consultant who will assist with thematic and technical expertise, research and capacity building. 

Consultancy objectives 

The purpose of this mandate is to assist the SCO-M in mainstreaming gender equality and social inclusion in the new Swiss Cooperation Strategy for Moldova (2018-2021). 

The mandate has the following objectives:

  1. GE and SI are strategically integrated across domains, programs and projects of the new CS as cross-cutting themes and, if relevant, dedicated interventions are suggested.

  2. Practical guidance is provided for the integration of GE and SI in the Project Cycle Management (PCM).

  3. The SCO-M staff and the SDC implementing partners’ capacity to systematically mainstream GE and SI is improved.  

Main tasks and timeframe 

The mandate is for 56 work days (1 work day = 8 hours), from the 16th of January 2017 to the 30th of November 2017. The tasks include the following: 


# of days


1.      Desk review:

1.1. Get acquainted with FDFA/SDC policy papers, strategies, guidelines and tools regarding GE and SI. 




Jan. ‘17

2.      Research & recommendations:

2.1. Make a general country context assessment with respect to GE and SI based on literature review;

2.2. Conduct baseline domain/sector analyses, including focus groups to obtain qualitative data.





March ‘17

3.      Technical assistance:

3.1. Assist the SCO-M in defining, for the new CS, strategic entry lines, domain/sector and/or specific objectives, results framework and indicators with regards to GE and SI;

3.2. Draft an Input Paper on GE and SI for the new CS;

3.3. Make presentations and facilitate discussions on GE and SI during the CS planning workshop.






March ‘17 




4.      Capacity building & coaching:

4.1   Provide thematic and methodological guidance in the areas of GE and SI to the SCO-M national program officers;

4.2   Assist SDC project implementing partners in integrating GE and SI in their PCM.





Oct. ‘17

The time included in the table is indicative. The consultancy can be prolonged or shortened, depending on the needs of the SCO-M.


  • Reports on general country context assessment and baseline domain/sector analyses; 

  • Presentations and written inputs on mainstreaming GE and SI into the new CS;

  • Work plan for coaching activities, workshop/training programs and materials. 

Requirements and qualifications: 

  • Advanced University Degree in Social Sciences;

  • At least 5 years of experience related to the field of expertise;

  • Demonstrated capacity to collect and analyse data, formulate recommendations;

  • Knowledge and experience in results-based management;

  • Good facilitation, communication and presentation skills;

  • Excellent writing skills;

  • Good command of English, both oral and written, and working knowledge of Russian;

  • Previous experience with similar tasks is an asset. 

Application process 

The interested candidates shall submit the following: 1) Letter of interest, 2) Technical offer, including the financial offer based on tasks described above (max. 2 pages) and 3) a CV. The package of documents shall be sent by email  with the reference “Consultancy on GE and SI” by the 9th of January 2017.

The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) regulary seeks qualified and motivated employees.

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