TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR CONSULTATION
Amending legal framework that regulates agricultural cooperatives in FYR of Macedonia
Within the project
Support to Development of Agricultural Cooperatives
CARE International is a federation of international non-government organizations implementing its programs for fighting poverty and social injustice in more than 90 countries throughout the world. CARE has been active in the Balkans region since 1993. Over the years, CARE’s program has expanded and developed to meet the changing needs of the region’s vulnerable population. Its aim in the Balkans today is to ensure social, economic and political rights of vulnerable and marginalized groups are recognized and fulfilled, contributing to sustainable peace in the region. CARE’s work in the Balkans revolves around the two programm strategies: social and economic inclusion and gender equality.
„Macedonian Enterprise Development Foundation“ (MEDF) is a non-governmental organization with a vision of decreased poverty, increased employment and established social cohesion. Its mission is to support the development of SMEs and it has 20 years of experience in promoting entrepreneurship, supporting businesses, in project management, capacity building, developing partnerships and providing financial services to SMEs (micro and small loans). Since 1998, through its financial intermediaries, MEDF has distributed 50.7 million EUR to 14,525 clients, most of whom were local farmers.
Together with the MEDF as a partner, CARE is currently implementing the project Support to Development of Agricultural Cooperatives, funded by the European Union and implemented throughout (FYR of) Macedonia. The project aims at contributing to higher productivity and competitiveness of agriculture sector. Namely, to improve the current situation in the segment of agricultural production of individual farmers, the project works on increasing market competitiveness and cooperation among farmers in the Country, through creating favorable conditions for the development of the existing and creation of new agricultural cooperatives. Project outputs – expected results are:
- Op 1: Legal framework regulating agricultural cooperatives is revised, through a joint work of the project team and associates, MAFWE and a cooperatives’ umbrella organization.
- Op 2: Capacity of a selected umbrella organization of agricultural cooperatives strengthened.
- Op 3.1: Increased awareness on benefits of cooperatives, among farmers, businesses and general public.
- Op 3.2: Data base created with information on existing agricultural cooperatives willing to expand and farmers’ groups willing to establish new cooperatives and receive support for development.
- Op 4: Technical and financial support provided for the development of 8 existing and creation of 12 new cooperatives
Aims and objectives
The current legal framework that regulates agricultural cooperatives in Macedonia contains a number of inconsistencies and obstacles for efficient development of cooperatives. The existing legislation framework requires a wide review of different sectorial legislation and the review of vertical legislation through a multi-stakeholder approach in order to remove legal and administrative obstacles for establishment and successful operation of agricultural cooperatives and other legal entities established by the farmers, especially in fiscal domain and access to financing.
To eliminate the legal and administrative obstacles for the establishment of agricultural cooperatives that presently exist in the legislature, the project is organizing and engaging all necessary technical expertise to review the current legal framework regulating agricultural cooperatives and note the existing inconsistencies, difficulties and inefficient measures, conflicts between the various current legislation that affect agricultural cooperatives and their members.
In this respect, the project has made two studies this far: a) in-depth analysis of legal framework that regulates establishment and functioning of agricultural cooperatives in the Country and b) comparative analysis and recommendations of best practice examples for agricultural cooperatives regulations from European Union/regional countries to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Both studies have managed to identify main obstacles and inconsistencies of the legal framework and to propose suitable recommendations for its amendment.
In addition to those studies, the project has created a high-level Working Group, consisting of 20 representatives from Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, National Extension Agency, Assembly of FYR of Macedonia, Agriculture associations in the country, EU and project team responsible to support process of amending the current legal framework that regulates agricultural cooperatives through discussion, provision of expertise and recommendations for its improvements.
Having said that, the project is looking to engage external legal expertise (individual/companies) to carry out the assignment with the following goals:
- Design (writing) of specific amendments (draft proposal and final law amendments) of all laws and bylaws which regulate or tackle the field of (agricultural) cooperative entrepreneurship, such as: laws on agriculture, Labor Law, fiscal laws, specific bylaws. Amendments will be based on the project studies mentioned above, inputs from various stakeholders (i.e. line ministries, representatives of agricultural cooperatives, assembly members and other Working Group members), inputs from working group meetings and project team.
- Regularly participate in Working Group meetings, to obtain better insight of discussions around the necessary amendments; provide legal advice to the project team and other stakeholders in this process.
- Organize additional consultations with various stakeholders involved in the process of amending the Law on Agriculture and additional research and analysis of inconsistencies within other various regulations/laws (if any).
In order to accomplish the requested consultancy, the Consultant will conduct the following tasks:
- Get fully acquainted with project documentation, including plans, studies made, minutes of Working Group meetings and any other relevant documents of importance for regarding this activity.
- In communication with the CARE Project Manager, prepare a detailed work plan for the named consultancy.
- Regularly consult with the CARE Project Manager during the entire consultancy and agree on the main points of work.
- Participate to the Working Group meetings, provide advisory to Working Group members and the project team regarding the formulation of amendments of regulations.
- Ensure regular consultations with relevant stakeholders, mainly members of the Working Group and other parties, as requested by project team.
- Prepare proposals for law amendments (draft and final versions) in highest quality written Macedonian language.
- Hand-over to CARE entire original quantitative and qualitative data documentation generated for the purposes of the consultancy, upon the acceptance of the final outputs of the consultancy by the CARE Project Manager and prior to the payment.
- Provide to the Consultant the documentation relevant for the consultancy – initial and upon Consultant’s request
- Coordinate with the Consultant throughout the consultancy period, on the finalization of draft the detailed consultancy plan, consultancy implementation and achievements. Steering the consultancy plan, in cooperation with the Consultants, to best suit the project purposes.
- Ensure linkages and coordination between the Consultant and all relevant stakeholders for said consultancy. Provide support to the Consultant in organizing interviews with key stakeholders.
- Review the project outputs, including the draft and final amendments of the law prepared by consultant.
The Consultant will base its work on the relevant documentation, provided by CARE (i.e. legal framework studies, project documents, working group meeting minutes etc.) as well as external documents relevant for the consultation (i.e. laws, strategies, bylaws etc.).
The consultancy will be carried out in constant communication with the CARE Project Manager. The Consultant has the obligation to coordinate with CARE prior to undertaking any activities regarding this consultation. The consultancy plan, draft and final amendments of the various laws will be the subject of CARE’s revision.
The consultant will base their work on recommendations of the Working Group and consultations with relevant stakeholders in Government institutions, on both quantitative and qualitative data: quantitative should be extracted from the project studies, various laws, bylaws, strategies, regulations; qualitative will be collected within the meetings/interviews with various stakeholders involved in/responsible for agro-cooperative entrepreneurship, legal frameworks etc.
It is strongly recommended to include a high ranking agriculture expert as part of the team, to better convey specific needs, requirements and constraints of agricultural cooperatives into the regulation amendments, which will all result from the recommendations of the Working Group sessions and consultations with relevant Ministries, governmental bodies and representatives of agricultural cooperatives.
All written documents should be written in Macedonian language. The Consultant will ensure excellent quality of the written language.
Schedule and logistics
The Consultant(s) will be engaged over the period December 2018 – April 2019 for a maximum of 30 working days. The exact start and end date of the consultation period will be agreed with the Consultant upon selection.
The payment for the work will be defined through a contract and will be made upon the work completion and after the final outputs of the consultation have been approved by the CARE Project Manager, with all necessary documentation attached, as per CARE’s administrative procedures (the consultants’ time sheets and other required documentation).
CARE will not provide logistical support to the Consultant for the named consultancy, nor will it accept any extra costs for it – organisation and costs for meals, accommodation, transportation and similar, that may occur will be entirely born by the Consultant. CARE will not pay any additional costs for stakeholder’s participation in the consultancy works, such as for an example participation in meetings, interviews etc.
The Consultant shall suggest a total fee for entire consultancy in MKD. The offered price/bid should include all costs including taxes and related costs of the bidder (travel, meetings etc.). The project is financed by the European Union and registered in the Central Donor Assistance Database of Republic of Macedonia (CDAD) with number of confirmation 07/01-18/3764 exempting the project from VAT, and the selected bidder should respect the procedure for tax exemption.
Management and organization
The Consultant will report to Mr. Dragan Perić, CARE’s Project Manager.
The Consultant (Key Short-Term Expert) must comply with the following criteria:
- MA University degree in law, with at least 5 years expertise in designing regulations.
- Additional consultant/expert with university degree in Agriculture or similar discipline (recommended)
- Excellent knowledge and skills in writing of legal documents, laws and bylaws.
- Excellent knowledge and previous documented consulting experience in analysis of legal frameworks in the fields of economy and/or agriculture. Previous documented work in analysis, lobbying and amending of the laws in the country.
- Knowledge about institutions/networks/organisations relevant for the issues of designing legislation in the country as well as those relevant for agriculture development.
- Excellent writing skills in Macedonian language. Knowledge of English language.
- Provide references on the related work (should be submitted with the consultancy bid).
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
Interested candidates are invited to apply and should submit:
- Current CV in EU format (kindly present only the relevant experience);
- Draft methodology and implementation plan for the consultancy;
- Bid (financial offer).
Via e-mail to email@example.com not later than 10th of December 2018, until 12 PM, titled:
Application for the position: Short-Term Expert for Provision of amendments of the legal framework
References need to be included in the application, or, in exceptional cases, available upon request. Only candidates with a suitable offer will receive a confirmation of receipt of their application. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.