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Expert in Export Development, Paraguay

Date of Publication
Application Deadline
Cowater International
Brief Description

Expert in Export Development, Paraguay

Applications deadline: February 1, 2022, 5 pm (EST). 


Funded by Global Affairs Canada, the Expert Deployment Mechanism for Trade and Development (EDM provides technical assistance to Official Development Assistance (ODA)-eligible countries to maximize the development impacts of trade and investment. Over seven years (2018-2025), EDM will invest CAD 16.5 million to support Canada’s developing country trading partners to negotiate, implement and benefit from and adapt to trade and investment agreements with Canada.
EDM is a demand-driven project that will benefit potential partners – including governments, local private sector groups and civil society organizations – through capacity building and technical advisory support on policy reform issues that have a high potential to reduce poverty and gender inequalities and support progress in trade and investment agreement negotiations.
Paraguay has been identified by Global Affairs Canada as a priority country for trade technical assistance under the EDM, in the context of the ongoing Canada-MERCOSUR FTA negotiations. Assistance provided under the EDM is expected to strengthen Paraguay’s capacity to participate in the negotiations, implement the resulting agreement and benefit from the opportunities it creates.
Paraguay has achieved impressive economic growth in recent years, and poverty has been reduced by half over the past decade. Despite these achievements, roughly 20% of the population remains below the poverty line, and poverty reduction has slowed. Further economic growth and poverty reduction depend, in large measure, on increased trade and investment. The central trade challenges are: diversify production by strengthening the manufacturing and services sectors; move agricultural production higher up the value chain; and improve trade infrastructure, including strengthening border controls to increase tariff revenue and reduce re-exports. Barriers to foreign investment include an uncertain regulatory environment (principally gaps in the regulatory regime), perceived corruption and weakness in the judicial system.  
Within this broader trade and economic development context, the Paraguayan Institute of Handicrafts (IPA) has articulated a comprehensive strategy to promote the handicrafts sector – more than 40,000 producers, predominantly from rural regions, women and Indigenous Peoples. Intended to improve the quality of life of small producers while preserving traditional handicrafts as part of Paraguay’s national heritage, the strategy includes ongoing work to: build a statistical portrait of the sector to support evidence-based policymaking; support training in traditional crafts; and create marketing tools, events and awards programs.
As part of this strategy, the IPA plans to conduct a market analysis of the sector – including both the supply and demand sides – with development assistance support. As a first step, the request to EDM is to support the design of an export development training course, as well as policies and programs tailored to the needs of handicraft producers.

Linkage to EDM Performance Measurement Framework
This assistance is consistent with the approved EDM Country Needs Assessment Plan for Paraguay, Mandate 1, Trade Policy Capacity Building, and Mandate 2, Strengthening Trade Promotion. 
The assistance is also aligned with the EDM Performance Measurement Framework, Immediate Outcome 1220, increased capacity of partner country ministries, departments and agencies to expand access to export-oriented economic opportunities for SMEs, particularly those led by women, indigenous or other under-represented groups, and Immediate Outcome 1310, increased abilities among targeted private sector organizations (PSOs) to adapt to and benefit from trade and investment agreements with Canada.

Description of Technical Assistance Request

The consultant(s) will:

  • Design a gender-sensitive and inclusive training course, to be delivered by government and civil society trade support organizations/producer associations to handicraft producers, including women and Indigenous groups, to increase their understanding of export development strategies, including export market trends, the use of FTA preferences, participation in value chains, accessing financing, etc. The teaching materials should include a list of additional resources for self-directed learning, including bibliographies, online resources and related training courses. In view of COVID-19 travel restrictions, the delivery of the training session should be designed for virtual delivery but include learning tools and approaches to promote participant engagement (case studies, group and individual exercises, etc.).
  • Deliver the training, to an audience of government and non-governmental organizations and producer associations, as a “pilot” of the training course, but designed as a “train-the-trainer” workshop to prepare these organizations to deliver the training to producers, including those from underrepresented demographic groups. The train-the-trainer approach should include a component on engaging underrepresented groups such as women, Indigenous peoples, and other underrepresented agricultural producers in training and ensuring its accessibility.
  • Compile an inventory of export development support programs and services delivered by governments and civil society organizations, an assessment of best practices, and recommendations for the establishment of programs and services appropriate to the circumstances of Paraguay.
  • Provide advice, on a responsive basis and for a short period, to participants in the workshop and to the beneficiary organizations to answer additional or unresolved questions.

The EDM seeks to promote gender equality/social inclusion, with a focus on women, Indigenous Peoples and MSMEs, and environmental protection as cross-cutting objectives of all technical assistance.  Proposals should explain how these objectives – which are evaluated criteria - will be integrated into the content and delivery of the training.
Bidders should note that different technical assistance activities are currently being delivered in Paraguay, directly relating to the current project. A study of the barriers to the participation in the trade of women, Indigenous Peoples, minorities and other underrepresented groups is being undertaken for government and non-governmental organizations, led by the Ministry of Women. In addition, an assessment of Paraguay’s existing trade promotion policies and programs in support of these groups, and international best practices, is being completed. The successful bidders will need to consult closely with the experts conducting these other assistance activities to build on their work and avoid duplication of effort.
The direct beneficiaries of this assistance are the IPA and 20 participating trade support organizations/producer associations from four fine crafts sectors (filigree, lutherie, leather and textiles) and five rural centres Areguá, Luque, Atyrá, San Miguel and Carapegua). The indirect beneficiaries will be Paraguay’s handicraft producers, including the 13,975 women artisans and1,442 Indigenous currently registered with the IPA.
In the near term, the success of this assistance will be measured in the increased knowledge of officials and trade support organizations. In the longer term, its success will be measured in increased economic activity – including exports – by handicraft producers.  

Technical Expert Profile/Expertise Required
Bidders must have extensive knowledge and experience in:

  • Export development, including trade promotion policies and programs of government and civil society trade support organizations.
  • Export markets for handicraft products, including unique value propositions to access different markets.
  • Research methods.
  • Adult education, including methodologies for train-the-trainer programs
  • The delivery of technical assistance in developing countries.
  • The EDM includes a core focus on gender and social inclusion and environmental issues associated with trade activities. Successful applicants are required to research and integrate specific good and emerging practices in these areas and partner with other expert consultants if necessary. Any prior experience in the provision of TA on gender equality and social inclusion and the environment will be viewed as a strong asset.  

 Prior to starting activities, the successful consultant(s) will be required to complete the Government of Canada’s online Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) training (approximately 2 hours).   


  • Starting date: February 2022
  • Proposed duration: 6 months


  • A detailed work plan, work schedule and budget for the delivery of activities, taking into account COVID-19-related travel restrictions
  • Completed EDM Performance Measurement Framework template for the TA, including baseline data and targets against EDM indicators.
  • Both draft and final versions of all teaching materials and written reports (presentations, case studies, exercises, readings, etc.) and written reports.
  • An inventory of export development support programs and services delivered by governments and civil society organizations, an assessment of best practices, and recommendations for the establishment of programs and services appropriate to the circumstances of Paraguay
  • Final Narrative Report on Mandate: Due within 30 calendar days of completing all TA activities. The report shall describe activities delivered; results achieved (versus initial expected results and baseline); lessons learned of relevance to future EDM activities; expenses incurred by the Consultant in carrying out the TAA; gender equality and social inclusion outcomes, environment outcomes, document officials trained/participating in activities (name, gender, job title, institutional affiliation). This report will be reviewed and approved by EDM prior to being shared with Global Affairs Canada.
  • Contribute as necessary to the development of EDM communication materials and participate in an EDM roundtable highlighting key results achieved.

Proposal submission process

For your proposal to be considered, please name your document in the following format:
2.5 Paraguay, Consultants Last Name, First Name.
(Proposals can be submitted by a single consultant, firm, or a consortium of consultants).
Your proposal should contain the following sections:

  1. Cover letter 
  2. A proposal that includes the following:
  • Your approach to implementing this TA, taking into account COVID-related travel restrictions. Provide as much detail as possible.  (10 pages maximum)
  • Describe your approach to ensuring that gender equality and social inclusion are considered in all aspects of the TA, including approach, content, and delivery. (2 pages maximum)
  • Describe your approach to ensuring that environmental components are considered in all aspects of the TA, including approach, content, and delivery.  (1page maximum)
  • Outline your project management and monitoring strategy for the implementation of the activities. (3 pages maximum)
  • Indicate all experts proposed to implement this project, their roles and responsibilities. Include all CVs of proposed personnel/experts. (3 pages maximum per CV).

3. Provide an estimated level of effort (in days @ 7.5 hrs per day) and provide consulting rates (in CAD) for each proposed personnel and/or expert implementing the project. 

Please submit your proposal as a single PDF document through the Cowater Career Page (attach your PDF document under the Cover note, do not upload your resumes separately). Emailed proposals will not be accepted. If you have any questions, please email

About us
With more than 35 years of experience, Cowater International is Canada's global leader in management consulting services specializing in international development and has managed the implementation of over 800 projects in more than 80 countries around the globe. We work with governments, partner organizations, communities and civil society to design and implement sustainable solutions that generate lasting social, financial and environmental impacts. Our adaptive approach to management has led to our award-winning work and recognition as one of Canada's Best Managed Companies in 2017 and 2018. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, Cowater International also has corporate offices in Montreal, Quebec; London, United Kingdom; Nairobi, Kenya; and Brussels, Belgium; in addition to project offices in a wide variety of other locations across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. 
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