LEVEL OF EFFORT: 2-3 days per month
PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: 03/10/2014 TO 10/16/2016
LOCATION: Work from home
INTERNATIONAL EXECUTIVE CORPS: Throughout its fifty-year history, the International Executive Service Corps (IESC) has stayed faithful to our mission of linking stability and prosperity to private enterprise. We have brought practical, cutting-edge production and marketing expertise to small entrepreneurial clothing and consumer product firms, developed merchandising strategies for start-up consumer product firms in Former Soviet Union countries, helped private enterprises integrate new technologies and helped commodity suppliers in Africa reach international markets they never expected to access. We have set up stock markets in emerging countries and helped arrange investment capital opportunities for non-U.S. businesses venturing into new areas of opportunity.
IESC is a non-for-profit organization and, at its core, IESC is volunteer-centered organization. Our history began with the idea of deploying senior U.S. executives to situations where their decades of practical, hands-on operational expertise would work to complement the local expertise and experience of in-country managers.
BACKGROUND AND JUSTIFICATION:
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are a key driver of Afghanistan's economic development. They constitute approximately 75% of the labor force and generate over 50% of GDP. However, Afghan business owners struggle to obtain the capital, management advice, equipment and technologies they need to grow their businesses. Women and youth can make significant contributions to the labor force but have limited opportunities for economic participation, because of lack of skills or limited employment opportunities. As a result, Afghan-produced goods meet only a fraction of local demand and export trade is lackluster at best.
With these factors in mind, the Assistance in Building Afghanistan by Developing Enterprises (ABADE) Program (2012-2016) was designed to increase the productive and investment potential of SMEs in Afghanistan by helping them to grow their businesses. ABADE is USAID Afghanistan's flagship enterprise development program focused on creating jobs, encouraging investment and strengthening the productivity of SMEs. International Executive Service Corps (IESC) is the lead implementer of this $105 million program and is joined by Land O'Lakes and DAI under the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA). The ABADE program partners with Afghan businesses by providing matching sub-awards called Public Private Alliances (PPAs) to SMEs and consortia of SMEs and organizations engaging in economic development activities at the SME level.
GENERAL OBJECTIVE FOR THE VOLUNTEER ASSIGNMENT:
The general objective of engaging volunteer experts is to ensure that ABADE has access to professional expertise in specific industry sectors so as to ensure that the support being provided to partners and potential partners is relevant and based on industry best practice. Expertise will be sought in three distinct areas:
1) Equipment - reviewing equipment requests made by partners and potential partners through Concept Notes and Applications, and assessing the extent to which these requests are realistic and appropriate.
2) Training - advising on appropriate training necessary to support a potential partner or partner to achieve the goals and objectives outlined in their Concept Notes and Applications
3) Technical Assistance - general advice on the specific industry, markets, product development, health and safety, environmental concerns, etc.
ABADE receives numerous request for support through the submission of Concept Notes. Applicants come from a wide variety of industry sectors and apply for support through the provision of equipment, technical assistance or training. Although they may have broad objectives for expansion or growth, the fact they have operated in a market and knowledge vacuum, means that their experience is limited and they may not be aware of the appropriate equipment or best practices to meet their objectives. ABADE expatriate and local staff have knowledge to tap into for certain industry sectors, but for others the knowledge gap remains. This can be filled through the support of volunteer sector-specific experts.
ABADE's implementer, IESC, was founded on the principal of utilizing volunteer 'executives' to assist in the development of private industry in priority countries. As a result, IESC has a large pool of volunteers to draw from and the infrastructure to recruit new volunteers. Utilizing volunteer sector experts is a value added to ABADE's SME partners during the application development process.
Volunteer Sector-Specific Experts working with the ABADE Program will work from home in conjunction with the field team in Kabul and with the home office team in Washington, D.C. to accomplish some or all of the following tasks (depending on specific need):
Concept Note Review:
Application Development & Review:
OUPUTS AND DELIVERABLES:
Dependent upon specific requests made by ABADE team. Outputs and deliverables may include:
IESC encourages all interested applicants, volunteers, and consultants to register with the IESC Skills Bank. To register, please visit http:www.iesc.org/register-with iesc.aspx.