Market Systems Development Consultant Opportunity in Kenya

Position Title: Market Systems Development Consultant 

Practical Action is an international development organization putting ingenious ideas to work so that people in poverty can change their world.

We help people find solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems. Challenges made worse by catastrophic climate change and persistent gender inequality. We work with communities to develop ingenious, lasting and locally owned solutions for agriculture, water and waste management, climate resilience and clean energy. And we share what works with others, so answers that start small can grow big.

We’re a global change-making group. The group consists of a UK registered charity with community projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America, an independent development publishing company and a technical consulting service. We combine these specialisms to multiply our impact and help shape a world that works better for everyone.

Background and Purpose of the Assignment
Practical Action has commenced a five-year project implemented in the nine (9) counties of Kisumu, Homabay, Siaya, Migori, Nyamira, Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia and Vihiga. The project aims to make agriculture an attractive and resilient employer for young people by promoting agricultural livelihoods for the youth underpinned by agro-ecological principles and practices. The project goal is to make agriculture an attractive and resilient employer for young people.

Over the next 5 years, we will increase income, and job opportunities for 100,000 (age 18-35) young people in the nine counties through effecting systems change within the agriculture sector to make this an attractive work sector that offers dignified work. Additionally, the project will contribute towards poverty reduction within target counties as youth’s start earning or improve their income levels through skills development, enhanced access to market and finance. The main approaches being used by the project include:

• A Mentorship model to increase youth engagement in the agriculture sector.
• Regenerative agriculture to improve productivity, increase income and restore natural capital.
• Market Systems Development to stimulate long term sustainable change in which markets operate more effectively and critically and work better for young men and women.

Over the longer term the project intends to impact 100,000 young people by demonstrating the viability of agri-business as a viable career option

Markets System Development in the Program
Households use markets for acquiring food, essential everyday items such as charcoal and for selling products and labour to others. Markets have the potential to connect marginalized producers to valuable commercial and social relations, and also to a broad network of technologies, experiences and assets that can help them escape poverty. Market systems are therefore fundamental to delivering benefits to the poor, and are a vehicle for growth, but only if they are developed appropriately.

Practical Action’s market systems development work is designed to produce change between market actors and the systems in which they operate in a sustainable and replicable manner. Our responses are always designed with a good understanding of key market-systems, to ensure we do not inadvertently damage livelihoods, jobs and businesses. Practical Action implements projects that assist people at the bottom of the pyramid to increase their incomes by accessing technology, skills and knowledge to participate in and transform market systems.

Scope of work
A market systems development and resilience approach is at the core of Practical Action Kenya’s programming strategy and the market systems development (MSD) consultant will be tasked with supporting the projects managers in programming with a focus on market systems development approaches, ensuring that the programs are catalytic and build resilience of the targeted market systems and the program participants.

Main Deliverables
Under management of the Head of Programmes, the consultant will work on a day to day with the project managers to:

  1. Refine understanding of the theories of change, ensuring that project teams are aligned with intervention objectives
  2. Support in conducting deep-stick intervention assessments and surveys that best befit the needs of participants in the program areas to gain meaningful employment.
  3. Conduct lead market actor identification of specific markets in the project areas, develop shared value and sustainable partnerships
  4. Facilitate market actors’ consultation sessions
  5. Support key market actors to develop business models and scalable innovations that will be supported by the Practical Action in a catalytic manner support key market
  6. Support key market actors to develop strategic linkages with other system actors and stakeholders, and to identify capacity building needs that will be supported by Practical Action
  7. Conduct field level inquires of the project learning agenda.
  8. Engage with the MEL team to review monitoring systems, provide regular high-quality reports on program activities to demonstrate progress of activities and lessons learned
  9. Develop sector trackers for use by projects teams and market actors
  10. Conduct rapid trainings on MSD to Project teams.

Administrative and logistical support
• The Consultants will report to the Head of Programmes with technical oversight by the Project Managers in each thematic area.
• The project team will provide day to day support during the assignment to support the actualization within stipulated timelines.
• Practical Action will also provide the following:
o All necessary program documents required.
o Facilitate travel and accommodation for the lead & Co-lead consultant.
Profile of potential consultant
The MSD support to programmes should be undertaken by a senior consultant who has the range of skills and experience in order to deliver an insightful support to programmes. They should be experienced in gender sensitive approaches to MSD and can lead the projects teams to conduct market systems analysis to inform interventions. It is expected that the consultant will have the following qualifications and experience:
• Demonstrated familiarity with current trends in systems thinking as applied to market systems development – such as designing for systemic change, complexity-aware monitoring, analytical tools or consultation processes for getting to root causes, etc.
• Demonstrated experience in designing and implementing market-based programs including development of strategies for engaging the private sector, partnership analysis, management, and evaluation.
• Extensive and demonstrated experience in designing, facilitating, and coordinating baselines/evaluations in the development sector by non-governmental and donor (bi-lateral and multilateral agencies)
• Extensive experience in both designing and implementing market-based programs and conducting market systems analyses.
• Have a well-versed understanding and extensive knowledge of the Kenyan context in terms of terrain, local population, and other details necessary for market development, and has carried some related or similar work in the lake region.

This consultancy will run for a 12-month period, engaging for 5 days a month.

A detailed Terms of Reference can be accessed here-

How to apply

Interested consulting entities that have capacity to deliver this TOR are invited to submit a complete proposal to with subject line “Market Systems Development Consultant” to reach Practical Action on or before 31st August 2023.

Guidelines for Submission of Expression of Interest

A consulting entity or individual that meets the above requirements and is available within the time limit indicated above should submit the following:

  1. Proposal and capability statement with clear methodological approach (technical proposal)
  2. Detailed financial proposal in Kenyan Shillings: If the team consists of several members, the professional fees should not just be a daily rate, but it should be based on clearly shown time allocation by each member of the team to the various activities.
  3. Evidence of experience in similar work.
  4. Annexed to the proposal should be CVs of the evaluators outlining previous evaluation experiences and accomplishment.

Practical Action is an equal opportunities employer, and we encourage applications from under-represented groups. We stay committed to cultivating an inclusive and diverse working environment and believe that people from different backgrounds or cultures give us different perspectives, and the more perspectives we have, the more successful we will be. By building a culture where everyone feels heard, respected, and valued we give everyone working with us the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

We are committed to safeguarding and protecting children and vulnerable adults and as such candidates will be subject to pre-contracting checks.

The successful applicant must have the pre-existing right to both live and work in Kenya.