Expert in Trade Support Programs and Services

Home Based & Colombia
Consultant, Short Term, Part-Time
Commensurate with Experience 
Job stage: Immediate Opportunity Wage: Commensurate with Experience
Position Type: Consultant, Short Term, Part-Time
Closing On: 11/26/2020
Posted: 11/05/2020
Country: Home Based & Colombia

Technical Expert - Terms of Reference Template

Technical Assistance (TA) Request: 4.2.1 Best practices of trade support organizations

Expertise Required: Expert in Trade Support Programs and Services

Deadline to Apply: November 26th, 2020


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 local 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.

After 50 years of internal conflict, relative peace has brought Colombia steady economic growth. Between 2000 and 2017, GDP grew at an average annual rate of 4.3% and nearly doubled in per capita terms.  This growth can be chiefly attributed to increased security, sound macroeconomic policy and strong global demand for commodities and raw materials.  However, the benefits of this growth have flowed disproportionately to the large urban centers.  The growing disparity between urban and rural socio-economic indicators has caused some observers to speak of “the two Colombians”.

To sustain economic growth and address inequality, Colombia has set out a National Development Plan, which includes commitments to: inclusive growth; a lasting peace by strengthening the regions; support for regional governance and industry associations to deliver services; entrepreneurship; formalization of the economy and labour; investment attraction; streamlining regulation; expanding tourism and trade in services (especially the “orange economy”), improve Colombia’s low productivity (31.5% of OECD average); modernize customs administration; improve logistics and further develop “single window” service to exporters.

The National Development Plan signals a shift in Colombia’s trade strategy from an outward-looking trade negotiations agenda to a more inward-looking focus on increasing domestic competitiveness and the export performance of firms. The Government’s priority on taking advantage of existing trade agreements, instead of negotiating new ones, is a response to the decades’ long decline in the competitiveness of the domestic manufacturing sector. The proposed solution in the NDP is the prioritization of domestic economic reforms, such as the reduction of the cost of doing business and increasing business growth through customs administration and other regulatory reforms, increased transparency in government processes, and helping SMEs increase their capacity to compete domestically and take advantage of existing opportunities in international markets.

A mission to Bogota in March 2020 confirmed Colombia’s priority interest in harvesting the benefits of existing trade agreements – including the 2011 Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) – before advancing further in its trade negotiations agenda, including the Canada-Pacific Alliance FTA.  The mission identified opportunities for technical assistance to more fully implement and benefit from the CCFTA and, in so doing, strengthen Colombia’s readiness for next generation trade agreements.  Among the issues raised was the need to strengthen the capacity of trade support organizations to deliver high quality services to Colombian businesses, especially small and medium-sized companies.

Linkage to EDM Performance Measurement Framework

This technical assistance is aligned with the approved Country Needs Assessment Plan – Colombia, Mandate 3: Benefiting from / adapting to trade and investment agreements.  The specific context for this assistance is the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement.

This assistance is also aligned with the EDM Performance Management Framework, Intermediate Outcome 1300 (Increased access by private sector organizations and civil society – particularly women, indigenous peoples and other under-represented groups – to the benefits of sustainable and inclusive trade and investment agreements with Canada, in EDM partner countries) and Immediate Outcome 1310 (Increased abilities among targeted private sector organizations to adapt to and benefit from trade and investment agreements with Canada).

The National Association of Foreign Trade (ANALDEX) has requested expert assistance to benchmark its programs and services to Colombian businesses against the best practices of trade support organizations in Canada and other countries.  The anticipated results of this assistance are increased use of ANDALEX programs and services, higher client satisfaction and increased trade between Canada and Colombia by ANDALEX members.

Description of Technical Assistance Request

The National Association of Foreign Trade (ANALDEX) has requested expert assistance to benchmark its programs and services to Colombian businesses against the best practices of trade support organizations in Canada and other countries.  The anticipated results of this assistance are increased use of ANDALEX programs and services, higher client satisfaction and increased trade between Canada and Colombia by ANDALEX members.

The technical expert(s) will:

  1. Conduct a detailed assessment of existing and planned ANDALEX programs and services to Colombian business clients;
  2. Prepare a written report on the best practices of Canadian and other trade support organizations, including both government, private sector and civil society agencies, including recommendations to strengthen ANDALEX services;
  3. Provide advice on how to identify barriers to the participation of women, Indigenous populations and other underrepresented groups in trade and measures that can be taken to overcome these barriers.

The direct beneficiary of this technical assistance is ANDALEX.  The indirect beneficiaries are the hundreds of Colombian businesses that will be trained and supported by ANDALEX.

Technical Expert Profile/Expertise Required

The technical expert(s) must demonstrate expert knowledge and extensive experience in the following areas:

  1. The design and delivery of trade support programs and services;
  2. The delivery of technical assistance in developing countries.

In view of the current travel restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty regarding the timing of their removal, it is expected that this project will be delivered by electronic means.  Bidders should describe their approach to remote delivery of the activities listed above.

The EDM includes a core focus on gender and social inclusion as well as on environmental issues associated with trade activities. Successful applicants are required to research and integrate specific good and emerging practices in these areas - partnering with other expert consultants if necessary. Any prior experience in the provision of TA on gender equality and social inclusion and environment will be viewed as a strong asset.


Starting date: December 2020

Proposed duration: 4 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;
  • Assessment report of existing and planned ANDALEX programs as noted above, under Description of Technical Assistance Request.
  • Report on best practices of Canadian and other trade support organizations
  • Final Narrative Report on Mandate: Due within 30 calendar days of completion of 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 activities; document officials trained/participating in activities (name, gender, job title, institutional affiliation); and, include a one-page Story of Change to illustrate the change that has happened, or change that is occurring, as a result of this TA against the Immediate Outcome noted above. This report will be reviewed and approved by EDM prior to being shared with Global Affairs Canada.


For your proposal to be considered, please name your document in the following format:

4.2.1 Colombia, Consultant’s Last Name, First Name

(Proposals can be submitted by a single consultant or a consortium of consultants).

Your proposal should contain the following sections:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Proposal that includes the following:
    1. Your approach to implementing this TA, taking into account COVID related travel restrictions. Provide as much detail as possible.  (10 pages maximum)
    2. 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)
    3. Describe your approach to ensuring that environmental impacts are considered in all aspects of the TA, including approach, content, and delivery.  (1 page maximum)
    4. Outline your project management and monitoring strategy for the implementation of the activities. (2 pages maximum)
    5. Indicate all personnel who are being proposed to implement this project, their roles and responsibilities. Include all CVs of proposed personnel/experts. (3 pages maximum per CV)
  3. Provide estimated level of effort (in days) and provide consulting rates (in CAD$) for each proposed personnel and/or expert who will be implementing the project.

Please submit your proposal as a single PDF file by email to: EDM will confirm receipt of your proposal. If you have any questions, please email  


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 and London, United Kingdom, Nairobi, Kenya in addition to project offices in a wide variety of other locations across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

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