NRC Market Assessment Contractor Consultancy in Kakuma, Kenya

International Trade Centre (ITC) | Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)

Terms of Reference

Market Assessment Contractor, Digital Agents + Pilot

Duration: 2 months

Duty station: Kakuma, Kenya

Background: The purpose of this document is to set forth the Terms of Reference (TOR) for a Market Assessment Contractor (individuals or companies) for the Digital Agents for Energy+ pilot (Digital Agents pilot). It looks to specify the expected outputs, duties and responsibilities of the contractor and also put forth minimum requirements of the position.

About ITC: The International Trade Centre (ITC) is a joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, focusing in particular on developing the export capabilities of small and medium-sized businesses in developing and transition economies. ITC is 100% “Aid for Trade”, supporting trade that delivers inclusive and sustainable development results.

About NRC: The Norwegian Refugee Council is an independent humanitarian organization helping people forced to flee. The council works in crises in 31 countries to help save lives and rebuild futures by providing camp management, livelihood & food assistance, clean water, shelter, legal aid, and education. The Norwegian Refugee Council protects displaced people and supports them as they build a new future.

About the assignment: The Digital Agents pilot seeks to bring together different Smart Communities Coalition (SCC) partners together to launch a program that (initially) facilitates the sale of solar energy solutions in Turkana County (including Kakuma Camp, Kakuma Town, and Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement). The SCC seeks to improve the delivery of essential services to refugees and host community members through enhanced coordination between public and private entities and strategic implementation of technology.

Refugee and host community members (beginning with 20 members (15 refugees and 5 host), known as Digital Agents) will be trained to sell products in Turkana County that are provided through the pilot. Existing small businesses (e.g. shops, wholesalers, warehouses – ideally both host and refugee businesses) will function as intermediaries between the Digital Agents and the private sector suppliers (Total and BioLite). Private sector suppliers will provide and distribute products to Kakuma. Underlying the pilot operations will be Mastercard technology and executing and overseeing the program will be NRC and ITC.

Duties & Responsibilities

The Consultant will work under the overall supervision of the ITC Project Manager and the NRC Kakuma Head of Programme. The Consultant will conduct a comprehensive market assessment in the following areas:

  • Policy and regulatory environment
  • Potential client ecosystem
  • Potential sectors and value chains
  • Identification of opportunities
  • Business model recommendations

A written report, supported by qualitative and quantitative analysis, will be expected for each of the five sections of the market assessment.

Each section should be provided as it is completed for review by the project team and compiled into one full report at the close of the assignment.

The key objective of this assessment is to provide inputs for the development of the Digital Agents business model, as well as collect and analyze specific details relevant for tailoring the model to the context of the solar energy value chain in Kakuma, Kenya.


The contractor delivering the market assessment will be expected to carry out the research through engaging with secondary sources in comprehensive desk research, conducting key informant interviews and focus group discussions in Kakuma, and, when possible, collect and store data from respondents in the Kakuma area.

I. Assessment of Policy and Regulatory Environment

In coordination with local actors and partners and utilizing existing resources, carry out the following tasks:

  • Review the policy and regulatory environment in Kakuma camps I-IV, Kakuma Town and Kalobeyei, and identify implications for implementation
  • Assess the legal framework for business regulation, in particular in relation to the engagement of refugees in employment, business, and income generation activities. Identify any barriers or obstacles to employment and business activities.
  • Assess the existing regulatory institutions, norms and trends and identify specific challenges or opportunities for refugees to gain employment in these contexts, especially in regards to self-employment and entrepreneurship.

II. Assessment of Potential Client Ecosystem and Stakeholder Analysis

In coordination with local actors and partners and utilizing existing resources, carry out the following tasks:

  • Map the potential customer base of solar energy products in Kakuma I-IV, Kakuma Town and Kalobeyei. Gain an understanding of their current energy use, potential for future use, and basic demographic information.
  • Assess the frequency and type of use of technology by local businesses and customer base
  • Conduct stakeholder analysis by analyzing potential clients’ interest, need and understanding of energy products (including looking at gender, seasonal influences, etc.). As part of this, the assessment will identify the greatest selling points for solar energy products for potential customers and what types of marketing activities (e.g. events, pamphlets, radio spots) are most effective. These insights will be used to support the sale of the pilot’s products.
  • Based on findings, recommend whether and which solar energy products are a viable market opportunity. Additionally, pricing will be gathered on products within the target area and recommendations made on price for each product presented. Pricing recommendations for cash and PAYGO (including payment frequency) will be required.
  • Conduct a SWOT analysis for the potential of energy products in the contexts of Kakuma I-IV, Kakuma Town, and Kalobeyei.

III. Sector and Value Chain Assessment

  • Conduct a mapping of existing and potential value chains and sectors related to energy products. Identify products/services and current prices.
  • Based on mapping of current products and prices, recommend a competitive and profitable cost structure for new entries to the market.
  • Identify additional high potential sectors or markets, beyond energy products, that could be connected to broader value chains or further developed to become market ready.

IV. Identification of Opportunities

  • Identify scope within Kakuma for current and future potential economic or business opportunities for the Digital Agents model in additional sectors
  • Analyze potential risks project beneficiaries (refugees and host community members) may face in the market and suggest possible mitigation measures.
  • Explore financing institutions in the county, including microfinance institutions, banks, cooperatives, etc. and identify how to leverage these resources for self-employed people to purchase consumer products or services.
  • Explore potential for growth from the pilot locations of Kakuma and Kalobeyei to surrounding towns within and beyond the county.

VI. Business Model Recommendations

Recommendations on the best model to employ for the Digital Agents pilot will also be required.

These factors include:

  • The optimal flow of products from suppliers to wholesalers to agents to customers (credit, payments up-front, pre-orders, etc.)
  • Level of income required for each participant group (i.e. agent, wholesaler) to remain attractive and types of “incentives” (e.g. bonuses) that may be required to retain participants
  • Determination on the most effective path to handle missed payments by any participants involved
  • Mechanism/methodology for approving a customer for a PAYGO purchase

Qualifications, Competencies and experience required

  • In the case of an individual applicant, an advanced degree in Economics, Commerce, or Business Administration, or any other relevant area is required. In the case of an application from a company or organization, relevant company experience and credentials must be demonstrated (appropriate certifications, credentials of team members who would carry out the project, etc.)
  • Minimum 5 years’ experience with a proven track record
  • Past experience working on a project similar in scope and mission
  • High proficiency in computer skills particularly MS-Office
  • Strong research, analytical and reporting skills
  • Ability to work independently, with flexibility and deliver results under time pressure
  • Excellent verbal and written communication
  • Strong attention to detail


  • Written and spoken fluency in English and Swahili. Familiarity with other language a plus.
  • Ability to work with translators as needed also desirable.

Interested bidders to send their price proposals and CVs via

Deadline: 25th September 2019.

Business Administration, Economics and Statistics, NGO and UN
Updated: September 12, 2019 — 2:28 pm