Ethiopia is the second most populous country in sub-Saharan Africa and is a source, transit, and destination country for migrant workers. Available data estimates that Ethiopia has 1.3 million international migrant stock, population of 109.2 million with 2.6% population growth rate. Labour migration in Ethiopia has developed considerably in recent years, especially with the development of the corridors to the Middle East and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries for domestic workers. Ethiopia adopted the Overseas Employment proclamation in 2016, to ensure the protection of migrant workers and regulate private overseas employment agencies (PrEAs), which also contained no recruitment fee. In May 2021, the government amended the proclamation with the aim to create overseas employment opportunities in diversified sectors, countries, and skills. The amendment loosened the BLA and educational requirements, and introduced recruitment fee for skilled labour, which is against C181, which Ethiopia has ratified, and provides that to be compliant with ILS, it is prohibited to take recruitment fees from the worker.
Further to the above, Ethiopia has taken a series of measures to build functional labour migration governance to protect migrant workers in Ethiopia and abroad. Some of the noteworthy steps taken by the Government of Ethiopia, include, developing legal frameworks, establishing institutional structures, capacity building of relevant stakeholders, negotiating and signing of bilateral agreements with major destination countries. Stipulating the roles and responsibilities of key labour migration actors in the legal instruments is also an important milestone in Government efforts to improve labour migration governance. The roles and responsibilities of private employment agencies (PrEAs) clearly stipulated in the Overseas Employment Proclamation 923/2016 is one good example of such action.
Recognizing the critical role played by Overseas Private Employment Agencies (PrEAs) in labour migration governance, the Ethiopian Overseas Employment Proclamation 923/2016 in the past and recently in 1246/2021 clearly defined the roles and responsibilities of Overseas PrEAs. The PrEAs are instrumental in the recruitment of migrant workers, in the process of finding employment opportunities and in the protection of the rights, safety and dignity of migrant workers in all phases of migration. PrEAs have the responsibility of protecting and safeguarding the rights of migrant workers at all stages of the migration process, from country of origin to transit and destination.
Moreover, knowing the immense role played by PrEAs, the ILO country Office for Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia through the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development funded project “Improved labour migration governance to protect migrant workers and combat irregular migration in Ethiopia” further commissioned an assessment, (published by the UK FCDO funded BRMM project ) on the capacity and practices of overseas private employment agencies and also developed a self-assessment tool to assist PrEAs self-assess their capacity vis-à-vis relevant international conventions and legal framework. This tool help PrEAs to assess their capacity and operational set up to conduct their business in line with Proclamation 923/2016 and its amendment 1246/2021, PrEA’s Code of Conduct, as well as other relevant national legislations, ILO Private Employment Agencies Convention No, 181 (1997) and the ILO General principles and operational guidelines on fair recruitment and definition of recruitment fees and related costs.
The assessment identified capacity and awareness gap of the PrEA mainly on the legal frameworks governing overseas employment, such as Overseas Employment Proclamation 1246/2021. The assessment further provided concrete recommendations focused on awareness raising and capacity building measures, governance measures and policy measures to ensure that PrEAs can adapt their practices to comply with national legislation and international law and guidance; ensure that migrant workers are protected and have better access to quality/decent employment and inform policy level interventions in operationalization of the proclamation towards ensuring decent work.
The ILO is currently implementing a regional project entitled ‘Catalytic Actions for the AU/ILO/IOM/UNECA Joint Programme on Labour Migration Governance for Development and Integration in Africa’ (JLMP-ACTION) funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and “Better Regional Migration Management” (BRMM) funded by the United Kingdom Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office, with an overall objective of strengthening the capacities of countries in East Africa to govern labour migration by using evidence-based policies, enhancing migrant workers’ qualifications and skills, and actively engaging the social partners for improved development outcomes. One of the key activities of these projects are strengthening the capacity of the Public Employment Services (PES) as well as Private Employment Agencies (PrEAs) in Ethiopia, amongst other relevant institutions.
Against this background, in coordination with the Ministry of Labour and Skills and the Ethiopian Overseas Private Employment Agencies Federation (EOPEAF), the ILO is planning to conduct two-day training to build the capacity of member of PrEAs on fair recruitment, the code of conduct, the 1246/2021 amendment proclamation and the self-assessment tool. Furthermore, a key aspect of the training will involve technical sessions aimed at exploring possibilities for the elaboration of a viable and sustainable business model for PrEAs, with protection of migrants’ rights at its core.
To this end, the ILO is seeking the services of a qualified international consultant (with expertise on tasks of business models of companies, financial arrangement, and corporate taxation. Knowledge and expertise on international labour standards for the protection of the rights of migrant workers will be an asset) to develop a viable and sustainable business model for PrEAs and facilitate the sessions focused on the development of a Business Model for PrEAs in Ethiopia.
The overseas employment sector in Ethiopia has witnessed many difficulties since 2013 due to the 2013-2018 ban, mass deportation from 2013 to date, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Hundreds of agencies forced to close, and many pushed to financial ruin”. Challenges of financial capacity of PrEAs has also continued to impede their capacities to adequately provide the needed protection and support for migrant workers. The ILO’s General Principles and guidelines for fair recruitment and Definition of recruitment fees and related costs prohibits recruitment fees to be borne by workers. However, Sustainable economic activity of the PrEAs is at the core of the establishment of fair recruitment processes by PrEAs. Therefore, there is concern that some agencies practices might agree to lower commission fees which can also lead to concerns about their ability to ensure needed protection.
- Develop an outline on business module for private employment agencies in Ethiopia, to be finalized during the workshop with input from the agencies.
- Develop a group work methodology to conduct the session 8: work group: “develop a typical Business Model for overseas PrEAs activity” (cf. workshop concept note): Key questions:
- To what extent the current business model(s) for Overseas PrEAs comply with national legal and international framework and ILO fair recruitment principles? And to identify the gaps
- Identify cost centres and financing difficulties (with the scheme of the compliance with ILS, specifically no fees charged to worker)
- Check the opportunities/the needs of Overseas PrEAS to have specific business model as a tool to support economic viability of the activity of Overseas PrEAs that is compliant with ILO guidelines and framework on migrants’ rights and the modalities of its development
- How to avoid the race to the bottom by reduction of commission.
- Facilitate the group work (session 8).
4. Scope of Work
- Deskreview –
- the Consultant will undertake a comprehensive literature review of available relevant research on overseas PrEAs activity and sustainable business modules for its operations drawing from international and national literature. The literature review would include studies, reports and other research works linked to one or several of business models.
- In addition, the consultant will also provide case studies/global best practice business models of private employment agencies for the consideration of ILO partners.
- To develop parameters for consultation and information gathering to better understand the operational context, bottlenecks, expectations, and opportunities for a best suited Business Model for practitioners with protection of the rights of migrant workers at the core of the proposed model.
- Evaluate the existing operational practice/ business model being practiced by the PrEAs, assessing its compliance both in practice and policy with ILO’s international frameworks on protection of the rights of migrant workers as well as national legislations and the code of conduct of PrEAs.
- Design the presentation and delivery of the technical session titled ‘develop a typical Business Model for overseas PrEAs’ during the training on Strengtheningthe capacity of Ethiopian Overseas Private Employment Agencies to ensure Fair Recruitment Practicesin 30&31 January 2023.
- Solicit the opinion of ILO Social partners on the value or otherwise of supporting the PrEAs with an economically viable and sustainable business model for the benefit of the Federation of Ethiopian Private Overseas Employment Agencies.
- Based on the above, develop the PrEAs Business Model for the consideration of ILO Social Partners, PrEAs and the ILO.
- All deliverables in this assignment – The report/business model/training etc should make reference to the relevant ILS, the fair recruitment GPOG/Definition, and the relevant Ethiopian legislation.
5. Expected Tasks and Deliverables:
Outline of the Business model for PrEAs to be developed before the training workshop, to help and guide the consultation and to inform the session on “develop a typical Business Model for overseas PrEAs” to be submitted by 26 January 2023.
Group work methodology to conduct the session 8: group work on “developing a typical Business Model for overseas PrEAs”, including 7–10-page literature review to be submitted by 26 January 2023.
Delivery of the presentation & facilitation of the training to take place on 30-31 January.
Draft Business Model for consideration and input from partners to be submitted 10 February 2023.
6. Final business model for PrEAs and report which includes a resume of needs of PrEAs to run with sustainable business model and the opportunities to develop it & Practical recommendations to avoid the race to the bottom by reductions in commission to be submitted 28 February 2023.
Work starting date: 24 January 2023
Work completion date: 28 February 2023
8. Payment schedule:
40% of consultancy fees will be paid upon submission of deliverables a, b and c
60% of consultancy fees will be paid upon submission of deliverable d and e
9. Reporting: The Consultant will work under the supervision of the ILO team for the JLMP-action project led by Project Manager, Labour Migration Specialist, and Chief Technical Adviser.
10. Confidentiality: The consultant is required to respect strict confidentiality vis-à-vis third parties, for any information relating to the assignment or collected on its occasion (no reproduction / dissemination reports or documents is allowed). Failure to comply with this clause will result in immediate termination of the assignment. This strict confidentiality remains the rule, without limitation, after the end of the assignment.
11. Disclaimer: The Project reserves the right to independently verify submitted documents, listed clients and similar work. The Project is not obligated to give reasons for non-selection of an individual or company. The Project reserves the right to discontinue this process without notice or reference to any entity.
12. Qualification and experience
Consultant must possess a minimum university degree in Economics, Business Administration, Finance, or related course. Advanced degree will be an advantage.
Consultant with 5 years expertise/experience on developing business models for companies, financial arrangement, and corporate taxation.
Familiarity with the political, operational and economic environment of East Africa and Middle East, particularly Ethiopia.
Proven expertise in labour migration study and management, particularly on the centrality of protection of rights of migrant workers and fair recruitment.
Familiarity with business and human rights principles Excellent communication skills.
13. Evaluation Criteria.
University degree in Economics, Business Administration, Finance, or related course or a related discipline. (10 Points)
5 years expertise/experience on developing business models for companies, financial arrangement, and corporate taxation. (10 Points)
Familarity with the political, operational and economic environment of East Africa and Middle East, particularly Ethiopia. (10 Points)
Proven expertise in labour migration study and management, particularly on the centrality of protection of rights of migrant workers and fair recruitment. (10 Points)
Familiarity with business and human rights principles and excellent communication skills. (10 Points)
- Proposed approach to deliver the ToR’s scope of work
Applicant demonstrates (via submitted technical proposal) their expertise, understanding of scope, objectives, and deliverables. response. (30 Points)
Quality of the sample report suggests that the applicant(s) possess the required level of knowledge, analytical skill and ability to develop the business model. (20 Points)
Total for Both Section A (50 Points) and Section B (50 Points) is 100 Pt.
Minimum Acceptable Score for the Proposal to be considered for financial evaluation is 70 Pt
14. Recommended presentation of proposal:
Interested consultant must submit the following documents/information:
Technical Proposal, specifying the understanding of the assignment, methodology, approach, proposed work and management plan, key personnel qualifications and relevant experiences of the consultant; Sample(s) of accredited publication(s)/reports of similar work done previously. Personal CV, indicating all experience from similar assignments, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the candidate and at least three (3) professional references.
Financial proposal, the interested consultant is requested to provide a financial offer that is deliverable based AND includes separately professional fees related to the activity and costs for field mission dates and days, travel cost and daily allowance if needs be.
The ILO promotes equal opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive employment in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.
 “General Principles and guidelines for fair recruitment and Definition of recruitment fees and related costs.” ILO, 2019. https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/fair-recruitment/WCMS_536755/lang–en/index.htm
How to apply
Completed technical and financial proposals are to be submitted to ADDIS_PROCUREMENT@ilo.org by close of Business on 20 January 2023.
All interested individual/consultant can send questions if any to the ILO’s Procurement Unit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ADDIS_PROCUREMENT@ilo.org) until 15 January 2023. Questions will be answered and shared with the interested organizations by Close of Business on 16 January 2023.