ToR for Consultancy on the Access to Finance


Terms of Reference for Consultancy

Access to Finance

Within the Sustainable and Inclusive Rural Economic Development in Kosovo (SIRED)

General information

Job title:Consultancy on the Access to Finance in Kosovo

Project title: Sustainable and Inclusive Rural Economic Development, SIRED

Donor contract no.: 8191/00-2019

Donor:Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) and Municipality of Prishtina

Project country: Republic of Kosovo

About Caritas Switzerland in Kosovo

Caritas Switzerland is an independent Swiss NGO, engaged in Switzerland and in more than 20 countries worldwide, including Kosovo. Our mission is to prevent, combat and eradicate poverty in a sustainable manner. To achieve this goal, Caritas employs a policy of equity: we support inclusive communities with opportunities for everyone regardless of their ethnic background, group affiliation or gender. Caritas Switzerland has been working in Kosovo since 1999, focusing on social inclusion, rural development and rehabilitation. Based on the Strategy 2021-2025, our central themes are Income, Climate Change and Migration. Caritas Switzerland in Kosovo is implementing a highly regarded agricultural project which aims at contributing to socio-economic development of the country by supporting farmers and the sector in income generation and new employment opportunities, funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation and Prishtina municipality. In particular, the SIRED project contributes to more sustainable and inclusive market systems through increasing participations of producers and market actors and enhancing their income and productivity, thus contributing to poverty reduction for rural populations, particularly women and marginalized groups.

Overall Project Context and Background of the SIRED project

After 13 years of independence, Kosovo still faces many challenges, among them weak institutions, high unemployment - particularly amongst women and girls, migration, persisting gender inequality across different sectors and discrimination of minority groups. The agriculture sector is characterized by limited production and organizational capacity, lack of access to know-how & skills, environmental risks and access to finance. The project aims to promote more sustainable and inclusive market systems through increasing producers and market actors and enhancing their income and productivity, thus contributing to poverty reduction of rural populations, particularly women and marginalized social groups in the municipalities of Prishtinë/Priština, Graçanicë/Gračanica, Novobërdë/Novo Brdo, Kamenicë/a, Ranil(l)ug, Shtërpcë/Štrpce, Viti/Vitina, Dragash/Dragaš, Prizren and Suharekë/Suva Reka.

Based on the market requirements and upon thorough analysis, CaCH has identified three value chains / market systems that have enough potential for economic, ecological, gender-sensitive, pro-poor and inclusive growth

  • Non-Wood Forest Products (NWFPs) & Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs),
  • Berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries) and
  • Domestic processing of vegetables and fruits.

The SIRED project - through the Market System Development Approach (MSD) - enables market actors to develop solutions that respond to systemic constraints that impede the identified target groups to benefit from a functioning market system. One of the serious systemic market constraints identified is the access to finance, be it for subsidies, grants, insurance and loans.

Although the interest rate in Kosovo was falling during the last years, it is still relatively high and demand for SME loans especially in Agriculture has increased with the growing agricultural sector showing an increase in demand. Because micro-enterprises in agriculture are the least served segment among SMEs, they are the largest source of unmet demand for finance.1 Banks actively compete for the business of more established small and medium enterprises, encouraging their demand for loans through improving lending conditions. The EIB estimates the total demand for SME finance in Kosovo at EUR 730.9 million in 2017. This represents 13.2% of GDP and 36.2% of the loans in the banking system. In agriculture there is further untapped demand, as many very small farmers have not even registered their businesses and are not reached by the financial system.

In addition, the recent inspections by the government in the field of agriculture subsidies have not built additional trust on existing subsidy schemes, like of the Agriculture Development Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture or the Municipal Agriculture Directorate of the different municipalities.

Purpose and Objectives of the Assignment:

The main Objective/Purpose of this assignment is facilitating Access to Finance for approximately 40 agribusinesses to increase financial capital and sustainable investments and to coach smaller agribusinesses in financial literacy and help them for self-financing their businesses

In particular, the assignment comprises within the value chains of berries, non-timber forest products and medicinal and herbal plants:

  • To support and inform agribusinesses in financial service sector, obtaining loans, grants and strengthen skills on adequately investing their funds, savings and remittances in their own business.
  • To introduce and link agribusinesses with institutions and organizations that provide financial opportunities to businesses (nationally and by such as international donors, EU funds, IPA, etc.)
  • Provide advice on the benefit of agriculture insurance practices available to farmers and agribusinesses.
  • To analyze the functionality, sustainability (economic, social, environmental) and competitiveness of the existing in-country lending mechanisms for agriculture, including local banks and others.
  • To analyse the functionality, sustainability (economic, social, environmental) and competitiveness of the existing in-country subsidies mechanisms for agriculture.
  • To present the best options for sustainable financing of market actors and their partners in the target regions of the project;
  • To present successful examples and ideas of other countries access to finance, which do not exist in Kosovo yet;
  • To present the best options for sustainable access to finance for women in rural areas;
  •  To train approximately 40 market actors and their partners in access to finance, financial planning, management, including financial literacy for small farmers;
  • To present synergies with other international development actors and their instruments for loans and grants, like the World Bank, EIB, KfW, USAID, GIZ and others.
  •   To point out opportunities to blend grants and loans in the support of agricultural value chains.

1 (2016)

No equity analysis is needed.

Expected deliverables

  1. Inception report (approx. 20 pages) including the first mapping of existing lending and subsidy schemes, as well as international project support for access to finance.
  2. Training material on Access to Finance developed for market actors and smaller farmers in Albanian and Serbian languages.
  3. Training conducted in Access to Finance to approx. 40 market actors in above mentioned value chains, including the small farmers they are contract farming with.
  4. Individual consultancy sessions with approximately 40 market actors in Access to Finance.
  5. Final report including recommendations on above mentioned objectives.

All reports need to be written in English. The executive summary should summarize key findings and recommendations (three pages maximum) and needs to be submitted as part of the final draft report.

Design and Approach

The consultancy consists of the following phases:

  • Contract and Kick-off meeting: The contract is signed and clarification of the TOR and the assignment takes place. First documents including available data are provided to the team as well as eventual proposed changes to ToR and approaches have to proposed at this stage.
  • Financial market analysis: The team studies in-depth the financial market and how it interacts with the farmers and market actors. Also, existing data needs to be analyzed and interpreted.
  • Briefing with the team: An introduction meeting with the project team as well as individual meetings with project management and team members.
  • Inception-Phase: The inception report will serve as an overview and a roadmap for the assignment that will ensure shared understanding. Importantly, it will further outline the main training and research phase, approaches to be used.
  • Main Phase: Roll-out of the training and individual consultancy of market actors and small farmers, including women farmers. Writing of the main report including recommendations on best financial options and instruments.
  • Debriefing/Presentation: Presentation of key findings (Workshop).
  • Submission of the draft Final Report
  • After final comments submission of the Final Report.


76 working days are currently estimated for this assignment. The assignment is foreseen to start by in February 2022 earliest and to be completed by November 2022.


The written feedback from CaCH, partners and the donors is planned to be given within maximum of two weeks after submission of the reports.

Management Arrangements:

The team should consist of two consultants, an international finance specialist and a local specialist, who will work jointly to achieve the expected results. The international finance specialist is leading the team and is the lead for implementation. The consultant will work together with the local specialist under direct supervision of the SIRED Project Manager. The SIRED project team will provide administrative and logistical support as needed.

They both are expected to have the following skills:

  • Experience in working with agriculture financing
  • Experience in working with loans
  • Experience in working with grants and subsidies in agriculture
  • Experience in working with export support schemes
  • Excellent communication skills in English;
  • Fluency in at least one local language (Albanian, Serbian, other); Knowledge of a second local language desirable;
  • Sound presentation and training skills;

At least one of the experts should have a background / experience in gender mainstreaming and environmental protection. Particular attention will be paid to experience in climate financing, green funding and access of women to finance.

Additionally, the following skills are expected from:

Senior international Expert/Team Leader

General experience and skills

  • At least 7 years overall professional experience and Master degree in relevant field as in International Finance, Economics/Planning, Agriculture, Management and any other related university degree;
  • At least 5 years of experience in working with international development;
  • Experience in at least 3 countries with access to finance as team leader;
  • Working experience in the Balkans is preferred; Knowledge of Albanian or Serbian is a plus;
  • Profound technical expertise in the field of access to finance in the agriculture sector;
  • Ability to train in access to finance;
  • Fluency in English. Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
  • Knowledge on the MSD approach is considered an asset.

Senior local expert

General experience and skills

  • At least 7 years overall professional experience and Master degree in relevant field;
  • Fluent in written and spoken English and one local language, a second local language is desirable;
  • Technical expertise in the field of access to finance, agriculture sector development, private sector and business development;
  • Expertise of local and national financial market with a particular view on agricultural financing;
  • Knowledge on the MSD approach is considered an asset.

Specifications for the Submission of Offers Application process

Interested candidates/companies are requested to submit an electronic copy of their expression of interest/proposal by 20th January 2022 with the subject REF: “Access to Finance” to with in CC.

Applicants must submit:

  • Professional profile of the team/company (CVs of all individuals included in the consultancy team);
  • The consultants’ suitability for the assignment and match with previous work experience, qualifications etc.;
  • Composition and division of work between team members;
  • The methodology that shall be presented;
  • Draft work plan and suggested timetable;
  • Financial offer including budget broken down and individual daily fees;

The offer will be evaluated by using the best value for money approach (combined scoring method). Technical proposal will be evaluated with 80% weight, whereas the financial one will be evaluated with 20%.

*Note: The accommodation and transportation costs need to be included in the offer.


Annex 1 – Logical Framework of the SIRED Project






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