Building a Community of Practice At International Labour Organization - GhanaRecruitment


Building a Community of Practice At International Labour Organization


the International Labour Organization (ILO)

The ILO is seeking an individual consultant with the capacity to coordinate and support the establishment and operationalization of a Community of Practice on improving access to digital skills, jobs and livelihoods for all in the digital economy in Kenya in line with the implementation of activities within the ILO PROPSECTS project in Kenya.



​​​​​The ILO is seeking an individual consultant with the capacity to coordinate and support the establishment and operationalization of a Community of Practice on improving access to digital skills, jobs and livelihoods for all in the digital economy in Kenya in line with the implementation of activities within the ILO PROPSECTS project in Kenya.

Duration of assignment: 9 months

1. Context

1.1 Technical context

Technological advancements and the growth of the digital economy are transforming the world of work across the globe providing windows of opportunity for emerging economies and developing countries to leapfrog in diversification, efficiency, and productivity. Digital technologies have promoted economic growth and boosted labor demand. Leapfrogging through digitalization has, however, required considerable investment in technology, including infrastructure and access, in addition to measures to close the digital divide and ensure that everyone enjoys the benefits of an inclusive digital transformation.

Kenya is embracing the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector as a key enabler for economic growth. In the last fifteen years, investment in expanding broadband connectivity, general ICT infrastructure, and IT-enabled services, has made the country a regional hub in East Africa. According to a 2019 report by the Communications Authority of Kenya[1], the ICT sector contributed approximately 1.3 per cent to Kenya’s GDP in 2018 generating almost USD 1 billion and employing over 100,000 across its subsectors including in mobile telecommunications, internet service providers, data centers, and software development. The number of internet users has also been growing rapidly, with an estimated 23.35 million internet users at the start of 2022, representing a penetration rate of around 42.0 percent.

New business models, such as digital labor platforms have emerged as a result of this advancement with the potential to generate decent work, when effectively and inclusively designed and backed by the necessary policy and regulatory frameworks and incentives. As of 2019, the total size of the Kenya online gig economy was USD 109 million employing a total of 36,573 gig workers. The online gig economy is expected to grow by 33 percent reaching a value of USD 345 million employing 93,875 gig workers by 2023[2]. Further the adoption of the Digital Economy Blueprint of 2019 has provided a framework to leverage digital government, digital business, infrastructure, innovation-driven entrepreneurship, and digital skills and values, in line with the goals set out in the Kenya Vision 2030. This development presents opportunities for improving the match between supply and demand of skills and qualifications in the digital economy.

Even so, not everyone in Kenya has equal access to the benefits of technological advancement, and not all areas and people in the country are equipped to harness the benefits of this digital transformation with rural and arid and semi-arid land (ASAL) areas often having poor internet connectivity. For example, the 2019 Census report indicates that there is a significant disparity in internet access between urban and rural areas in Kenya, with urban areas recording a penetration rate of 42.5 per cent, while rural areas recorded a rate of just 13.7 per cent. Further, a study conducted by GSMA (Global System for Mobile Communications Association)[3] showed a pronounced gender digital divide in Kenya, with women being 39 per cent less likely than men to have access to mobile internet and 23 per cent less likely to own a smartphone. Additionally, the study revealed that only 35 per cent of women in Kenya use advanced digital services, in contrast to 54 per cent of men. In displacement settings, refugees are particularly affected by specific layers of exclusion and marginalization in the digital economy.

These increasing inequalities and exacerbating digital divides can significantly slow down the expansion of new digital technologies. Factors such as affordability of broadband connectivity, digital devices, access to digital literacy and skills, and policy gaps cause challenges in the uptake of digital technology and the expansion of a digital economy in a way that generates equity in access to skills and decent work opportunities for all, specially workers experiencing declining working hours and income levels due to the COVID-19 crisis, such as women, young people, and traditionally unserved groups like migrants and the forcibly displaced population.

1.2 Operational context of the assignment

Increasingly, governments, social partners and other stakeholders are considering the creation of sectoral advisory bodies or similar mechanisms as an effective way to bridge skills development efforts and the existing and future demand for them in the digital economy. This is not necessarily a new concept, but in many countries, including Kenya, the idea has only recently taken hold. Investing in the creation of such mechanisms allows key stakeholders to map opportunities as well as challenges and to collectively develop solutions, allowing partnerships to be formed and enabling process of coordination, sharing, and joint efforts to address imbalances between labour supply and labour demand in the digital economy.[4]

Setting advisory body mechanisms requires some form of institutional set-up that facilitates their operation and sustainability. The establishment of a Community of Practice (CoP) can be a cost-effective way to start in countries not using these mechanisms at scale to improve access to digital skills, jobs and livelihoods in the digital economy.

Against this backdrop, the International Labour Organization (ILO) through the PROSPECTS project in Kenya and the Opportunity Fund project for the “Promotion, Inclusion and Protection of Refugees and Host Communities in the Gig Economy: Realizing rights at work and mitigating digital risk”, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is proposing to establish a Community of Practice (CoP) on improving access to digital skills, jobs and livelihoods for all in the digital economy in Kenya. A Community of Practice (CoP) will bring together a group of local stakeholders engaged in the promotion of digital skills and improved access to jobs and livelihoods in the digital economy. The CoP will discuss how to best wave ideas emerging from policy dialogue and influence into a single, comprehensive vision of an inclusive digital transformation through collaboration and sharing of learnings.

The ILO envisions that a Community of Practice will be a forum to:

  • Knowledge exchange and research relating to the digital economy
  • Policy dialogue and advocacy
  • Peer support and opportunities to partner
  • Analysis of recent advances, tools, and practices for bridging jobs and skills in the digital economy.

[1] Communications Authority of Kenya, 2018. Annual Report 2018-2019

[2] Mercy Corps, 2019. Towards a Digital Workforce: Understanding the Building Blocks of Kenya’s Gig Economy

[3] GSMA, 2019. The Mobile Gender Gap Report 

[4] ILO, 2021. A resource guide on sector skills bodies

2. Objective

The objective of the assignment is for the consultant to coordinate and support the establishment and operationalization of a Community of Practice on improving access to digital skills, jobs and livelihoods for all in the digital economy in Kenya in line with the implementation of activities within the ILO PROPSECTS project in Kenya. The consultant is expected to support the ILO in conducting the tasks through technical inputs, operational support, and organizational development of the Community of Practice, liaising with key actors promoting skills, jobs and livelihoods for all in the digital economy at the national and local level (including those in Turkana and Garissa).

3. Scope of the Assignment

The scope of the assignment comprises the following tasks and areas of work:

  1. Community of Practice Concept Note: ILO has developed a concept note on establishment of a Community of Practice on improving access to digital skills, jobs and livelihoods for all in the digital economy in Kenya. The Consultant will be tasked at reviewing this concept based on their experience and validation with potential members of CoP and ILO, for the execution and operationalization of the CoP in Kenya.
  2. Road mapping: ILO has mapped out a workplan for the establishment of the community of practice spanning from March to December 2023. Upon validation and finalizing of the concept note, the consultant is expected to review the workplan and come-up with a road map to build the CoP with concrete actions and timelines. The consultant will participate and have a 10-minute session in a social dialogue event that ILO is organizing with digital economy actors parallel to the formation of the CoP, to introduce the CoP concept to the participants.
  3. Mapping of stakeholders and develop a core group: In consultation with ILO, the consultant will identify, analyse, map and prioritize stakeholders engaged in digital jobs and skills initiatives in Kenya, also incorporating those working in Turkana and Garissa. Note: ILO will have organized a social dialogue event with digital economy actors in Kenya, and this can be a good outset for the mapping. Consequently, the consultant will develop a core group, composed of potential members with demonstratable strong commitment to improving access to digital skills, jobs and livelihoods for all in the digital economy in Kenya. The core group will participate in the visioning event.
  4. Pre-visioning Survey: The consultant will engage the core group and relevant stakeholders and conduct a rapid pre-visioning survey, consolidate and analyse the results to establish interest, and validate themes and objectives of the CoP. The result of the survey is also expected to contribute to the finalization of the roadmap of establishing the CoP. The survey questions should be informed by discussions during the Social Dialogue session on ‘creating demand-driven pathways into the internet economy’
  5. Organizational Development Services: With the support of ILO, the consultant will organize a visioning event with the core group members to have thematic discussion based on the results of the pre-visioning survey, introduce them to the mechanics of the CoP, and establish the CoP features, structures, and terms of reference. The structure will also include the participation of key representatives from line ministries (e.g, Ministry of Information, Communications and Digital Economy as well as the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection). During the visioning event and subsequent meetings of the CoP, the consultant will offer organizational development support through coaching and mentorship of the members. This consultant will guide in; i) establishing a thematic agenda, ii) shaping the discussions, iii) progressive recruitment of new members and in iv) pursuing actions emanating from the discussions.
  6. Develop a continuity strategic plan model and reporting: The consultant will be the main rapporteur for the CoP meetings to document the engagement process. ILO will require progressive reports/meeting notes from these engagements. At the phase-out stage, the consultant will elaborate a report that identifies lessons learned, including with regard to the mechanisms and good practice that improves the performance capabilities for the CoP to evolve into a local advisory body. In the report, the consultant is expected to provide a continuity strategic plan model and institutionalization of the CoP, including transition road map into the local advisory body (e.g., Digital Skills and Jobs Council). This report should also identify elements that contribute to the establishment of the CoP in the specific context of Kenya.

4. Deliverables, duration and fees

4.1 Key Deliverables

The main deliverables of this engagement are as below:

Deliverables

Deliverable 1: Validated concept note for the establishment and operationalization of a Community of Practice on improving access to digital skills, jobs and livelihoods for all in the digital economy in Kenya.

Deliverable 2: A work plan highlighting concrete actions and timelines for the establishment and operationalization of the Community of Practice. The consultant will prepare at least a 10-minute presentation to present during the Social Dialogue event.

Deliverable 3: Abridged stakeholder matrix with actors engaged in digital jobs and skills initiatives in Kenya, include those in Turkana and Garissa and proposed core-group members, highlighting key considerations for selection.

Deliverable 4: Pre-visioning survey report with established interest, and validated themes and objectives of the CoP.

Deliverable 5: A CoP with concrete structures, terms of reference, thematic agendas and a schedule of meetings is established.

Deliverable 6: A comprehensive report with continuity strategic plan model and a roadmap into a local advisory body is developed

Deviations from these deliverables can occur according to the evolution of the assignment; however, any changes observed or anticipated should be consulted with the focal person at the ILO.

5. Payment Terms

The ILO will only pay for services that have been performed and for deliverables that are completed to the satisfaction of the ILO. The payments will be made according to the following schedule: The payments will be made according to the following schedule:

  • The first payment of 30 per cent of the contract volume will be made upon signature and presentation of the invoice.
  • The second payment of 30 per cent of the contract volume will be made upon receipt of deliverables 1, 2 and 3 to the satisfaction of the ILO and presentation of the invoice.
  • The second and final payment of 40 per cent of the contract volume will be made upon receipt of deliverables 4, 5 and 6 to the satisfaction of the ILO and presentation of the invoice.

6. Staffing, Roles, and Reporting

The consultant will provide regular updates for the work carried out to the Chief Technical Advisor of ILO PROSPECTS in Kenya. The consultant is expected to collaborate closely with the technical team of the ILO PROSPECTS in Kenya, as well as with the Specialist on Employment Strategies in the Digital Economy of the ILO/EMPLAB, as well as other relevant technical specialist across the Africa region and at ILO Headquarters.

7. Specific Clauses

Throughout the course of this assignment, the implementing partner will report on a bi-weekly basis to the ILO for coordination and follow–up. All communication to other relevant stakeholders should be coordinated with the ILO. If it appears necessary to modify the tasks of work or exceed the time allocated, the consultant must discuss the circumstances with the ILO and obtain prior written approval. ILO may disclose the draft or final documents and/or any related information to any person and for any purpose the ILO may deem appropriate.

8. Required experience and qualifications

  • Post-graduate qualification in a relevant field (organizational development, social science, social policy, economics, development studies, Education, ICT labour, etc.).
  • At least 5 years of progressive experience in project design/development experience, multi-stakeholder engagement, strategic communication and awareness creating, partnership building, implementing events and activities with a focus on the digital economy, and leading webinars remotely through the use of interactive technologies or other digital workspaces to promote active engagements highly desirable.
  • Understanding of the operation of sectoral advisory bodies or similar mechanisms for the promotion of skills and jobs, whether national, local or sectoral.
  • Understanding of and experience working on future of work trends, in particular, around policies and practices in digitalization and the digital economy would be considered an asset
  • Specialized training in M&E, Knowledge Management and Capacity Development.
  • Understanding of forced displacement, crisis and refugee contexts would be considered an asset
  • Familiarity with ILO policies, technical programmes and procedures, including experience working with the United Nations, Ministries of Labour, Education, Trade or other government Ministries Departments and Agencies, would be an added advantage
  • Exceptional organizational and communication skills, ability to work independently as well as in teams to meet deadlines.
  • Excellent English communication and drafting skills.

How to apply

Interested service providers are invited to apply by sending a cover letter, a short workplan, a CV, and daily rate to E-mail: turcato@ilo.org with the Subject Quoting “PROSPECTS: Community of Practice”

The application deadline is 8th March 2023 23:59 PM (East African Time; GMT+3).

Note: The consultancy is home-based.