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International Market Research Consultant, Trade, Palestine

Date of Publication
Application Deadline
Cowater International
Brief Description
The Trade Facilitation and Customs Support programme (Tasdeer) is a three-year programme funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and implemented by a Cowater International-led Consortium, in close cooperation and coordination with the Ministry of National Economy (MoNE).  
The objective of the Tasdeer programme is to improve the competitiveness of the Palestinian private sector and the PA’s capacity in the fields of trade, customs and import policy regulation and administration. The Tasdeer programme aims to increase sustainable private sector-led economic growth and job creation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and the PA’s fiscal sustainability, while ensuring equitable access to increased trade and improved institutional capacity. Gender Equality and Social Inclusion are main tools and objectives for Tasdeer to ensure the benefits of the programme are equally accessed by the diverse groups of men and women in the supply chain. 
Tasdeer is designed to be flexible and adaptive, and will work politically and technically to make progress across four key interrelated Workstreams: 

  • Workstream 1: Support to expedite the movement of goods and reduce transaction costs. This workstream aims to develop systemic interventions that will expedite the movement of goods and contribute to impactful reductions in transaction costs for Palestinian imports and exports.  
  • Workstream 2: Support to improve Palestinian trade-related institutions and business enabling environment. This workstream aims to improve the Palestinian trade-related institutions and strengthen the trade operating environment.  
  • Workstream 3: Support to improve the private sector’s skills and innovation to export and create jobs. This workstream aims to support activities that will help Palestinian firms increase their exports through the application of a market-driven approach. This market-driven approach will identify potential buyers/markets while exploring the linkages between the buyer, the firms, and their suppliers.  
  • Workstream 4: Support to improve the PA’s Customs readiness to assume functions from Israel to collect revenues from trade-related taxes. This workstream aims to provide technical assistance to enhance the capacity of the PA Ministry of Finance Customs Department including the possible transfer of additional custom functions from Israel to the PA and to limit fiscal losses from inefficient clearance mechanism of trade-related taxes between the PA.  

The interventions implemented by each workstream are designed to take into consideration the roles and needs of women, youth, and people with disabilities, including those in marginalized areas (i.e., East Jerusalem, seam zone, area C and Gaza), ensuring that all interventions and activities are GESI responsive, as main principle to achieve their expected results. 
Palestine Trade Center (PalTrade) was established in 1998, as a non-profit, membership-based organization with a national mandate to lead the development of exports as a driving force for sustainable economic growth. PalTrade advocates for a competitive, business enabling environment and is dedicated to improving trade competitiveness. PalTrade provides a wide range of export support services in the areas of export development and market intelligence, export promotion, export policy and advocacy. 
PalTrade raises issues of concern through national and international public awareness campaigns. They cooperate and work with civil society, government, and businesses to address trade impediment issues through a multi-stakeholder approach; promote effective trade policies by connecting practitioners and policymakers. By advocating for the implementation of business-enabling laws, increasing public awareness, and supporting the sustainability of firm-level export capabilities, PalTrade contributes to the creation of a Palestinian businesses’ society where the potential for success is unlimited. 

Pal Trade provide services that help Palestinian companies assess their export readiness, build their capacity to export, and identify new export markets. Moreover, PalTrade provides support for businesses in terms of export promotion programs, trade missions, business-to-business meetings, and policy advocacy. 
Although those methods have helped many companies penetrate new markets within the region and internationally, the trade deficit between Palestine's imports and exports is still considered one of the World's highest. In 2019, Palestine exported approximately USD1.104 billion worth of goods, while imports reached approximately USD6.613 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of roughly USD5.510 billion. In 2020 Palestine exported USD 1.093 billion worth of goods, a drop of about 9.9%%. On the other hand, imports have reached approximately USD 5.021 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of USD 3.9 billion. According to the WTO (2016), lack of information about foreign distribution networks, border regulations and standards represent the main obstacles to trade for SMEs. The pandemic has significantly changed market dynamics such as purchasing patterns, behaviors, governing laws, and regulations, furthermore PalTrade has not been able to keep up with the required updates.
Palestine mainly exports cement, base metals, iron and steel, food and beverages, furniture, plastics, and dairy products. Palestine's leading export partner is Israel (over 80 percent of total exports). Other export partners include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Algeria, Egypt, the Netherlands, Germany, and Canada.  
Tasdeer will support PalTrade to build the research capacity of its Market Intelligence Unit (MIU) through utilising an international market research consultant (also covered by Tasdeer) to conduct market research on two priority markets while also laying the foundation to the MIU through creating the infrastructure and working manuals in addition to building the capacity of the unit through on-the-job training.  
Tasdeer will extend support to PalTrade to build its information intelligence gathering, analyses and dissemination and its database and make it available for members and potential exporters by strengthening the capacity of its MIU. Information to be provided by PalTrade to exporters may include, but not limited to the following:  

  1. In-depth market information.
  2. Potential FDI opportunities, including efficiency-seeking investments. 
  3. Export opportunities & markets linkages to regional and international traders including E-Commerce & Online Business opportunities. 

Scope of Work
The international market research consultant is expected to conduct market research on two priority markets while providing on-the-job coaching to staff at Pal Trade offices in the West Bank and Gaza. The market research will consider previous research done by PalTrade and other organizations. 
Roles and Responsibilities
The international market research consultant is expected to implement this assignment according to the following: 

  • Conduct two separate markets research on the United Kingdom (UK) and Saudi Arabia markets.  
  • Develop with the MIU the market research action plan for study. 
  • Conduct on the Job coaching sessions on topics such as data collection, analyses, and dissemination skills of the market information.   
  • Recommend specific sources of information. 
  • Assist PalTrade in conducting Information awareness workshops to the private sector on the outcome of the market research analyses reports. 
  • Provide continuous perspective and advice based on the expert own experiences in-country market research. 
  • Produce with the support of the MIU staff the market research reports. 
  • Provide all in-market information such as market trends, analysis of opportunities, market requirements, distribution channels.  
  • Prepare a list of potential buyers including contact details.  
  • Produce a summary document on how to penetrate the market.  
  • Evaluate the market intelligence unit at Paltrade and identify their future needs. 

Disclaimer:  Tasdeer encourage consultants to submit proposals for at least ONE market as dividing the assignments is a possibility to ensure best quality service is received.   
The deliverables for this assignment are the following: 

  1. An Inception Report containing a methodology, detailed work plan and schedule for completing the assignment--5 days
  2.  Market research action plan--2 days
  3. UK Market Research Report--22 days
  4. Saudi Arabia Market Research Report--22 days
  5. On-the-job coaching sessions--8 days     
  6. Presentation of market research during the private sector workshop--1 day

Total days: 60* 
*38 working days if two consultants were hired  
Geographic Coverage and Duty Station 
The International Market Research Expert will undertake the assessment from his/her own offices and the field (Palestine) and will be expected to maintain regular contact with Tasdeer, PalTrade, MoNE and relevant stakeholders including those representing the small-scale traders of women, youth and PWD, for the duration of the assignment. The International Market Research Expert will need to arrange visits to all priority economic sectors in the West Bank including Jerusalem and remote online meetings with the priority economic sectors in Gaza Furthermore, the consultant is expected to interview relevant authorities and private sector institutions including PFI and its specialized federations, BWF, Businessmen Association, specialized federations, chambers of commerce, gender units/focal points in these entities, Palestinian small and medium-size exporters or any other stakeholders as deemed necessary. 
Required Expertise, Competencies and Skills

  • University degree in one of the following: Marketing, Business Administration, Economics, developmental studies or any other related field. 
  • Strong and proven experience of at least 10-15 years in international market research analyses with focus on exports and FDI and familiarity with gender and inclusion analytical frameworks. 
  • Preferable experience in working with Palestinian private sector including MSMEs. 
  • Familiar with the trade ecosystem, its dynamics in Palestine and its influence on the MSMEs including that owned by women and the marginalized groups. 
  • Proven expertise in conducting market research analyses  
  • Preferred knowledge of Palestinian Diaspora trade and related investment opportunities. 
  • Proven competency in writing and speaking English. 
  • Advanced skills in quantitative and qualitative data collection. 
  • Strong leadership and planning skills. 
  • Good management experience and ability to work with different teams. 
  • Tasdeer is an equal opportunity programme, qualified women and men, Persons with Disability professionals are encouraged to apply individually or in coalitions. 

Type of Contract
Short Term Consultancy 
How to Apply
Interested applicants should email by Thursday, January 20th, with the following:

  1. TWO separate methodologies (one for each market) for conducting the assignment along with an implementation plan. 
  2. A CV with three references.
  3. A sample of previously conducted market research.

Please give your email the following subject: Title of the Position, Candidate Last Name, First Name.

We thank all applicants, however only those shortlisted will be contacted.

Duration of Contract and Level of Effort
The assignment is expected to be accomplished over a period of six months with 60 days Level of Effort (LoE). 
The expected start date is February 1st and ending by April 2022.

With more than 35 years’ 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, 2018 and 2019. 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.

We thank you for your interest in building a better tomorrow with Cowater International.