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Jordan Valley Links Project (JVL)
King Abdullah II Street, Building 367
Amman, Jordan
Tel +962 6 582 2335
Fax +962 6 581 2335
JVLsubmission@meda.org
www.meda.org

Date of Issuance: April 15, 2019

Submission Process and Requirements

  • First round of applications is open until April 30, 2019 and are then accepted on a rolling basis
  • Proposal (including technical and budget summary) should be submitted via email to JVLsubmission@meda.org
    • Word and/or Excel using proposal template at this link and budget at this link
    • Language: Applications should be submitted in English.
    • Currency: The budgeted costs must be represented in Jordanian Dinars (JOD) and total budget in Canadian Dollars (CAD).
    • Emailed submissions must contain the subject: “Jordan Valley Links Project (JVL) Food Processing”

Jordan Valley Links Project (JVL) Overview

Jordan Valley Links (JVL) is a five-year project (2016-2021) funded by MEDA and Global Affairs Canada. MEDA is a not-for profit organization whose mission is to create business solutions to poverty. It was founded in 1953 by a small group of business people who saw the need to invest with, and provide support to entrepreneurs and communities to help them take advantage of economic opportunities. MEDA’s work is founded on respectful interaction with communities, supporting women to rise above the social and cultural barriers that stand in the way of success and improved livelihood. MEDA’s projects cover over 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia-Pacific, and Europe.

The ultimate outcome of the project is to increase the contribution by women and youth to Jordan’s economic growth. JVL will seek to support women and youth in the Jordan Valley to seize new opportunities in targeted sectors and in turn become strong economic actors. JVL will use two main approaches to achieve this goal:

  • Improving women’s and youth’s entrepreneurial and business acumen through capacity building and market linkages;
  • Working with communities, families, and market actors to reduce barriers to entry for enterprise development for women and youth.

JVL will work in the Jordan Valley and surrounding areas to directly support 25,000 women and youth entrepreneurs (WYEs) in increasing their incomes and their contribution to Jordan’s economic growth. A further 25,000 individuals are expected to benefit indirectly from the project’s initiatives in three sectors: food processing, community based tourism and clean technology.

Background

According to the Department of Statistics CENSUS conducted in 2015, the Food Processing sector is made up of over 4,000 business establishments. Most of these businesses are small enterprises, and only 4% are substantial businesses with turnover in excess of JOD 500,000.

Food processing is one of the largest subsets of agricultural activities in the Jordan valley, and one where women contribute significantly. From small home-based businesses to cooperatives, to SMEs, women are engaged as food engineering experts, marketers, business-owners, and investors, to name a few. Even though some relatively well-established women-owned food processing businesses do exist (such as honey processing, olive oil pressing, etc.), the majority of women who are processing food products require significant amount of assistance in order to improve their business and incomes; and are therefore relatively small-scale.

An analysis of food processing in Jordan identified a series of issues that affect the capacity of women and youth in the Jordan valley and surrounding areas to own and operate successful food processing businesses.

Limited access to markets means that both women and youth must sell their products if and when they are able, often for low prices. In the worst case, they are unable to sell their products at all. Poor access to market information such as prices, selling/market events taking place; poor understanding of market demand; and poor access to reliable and affordable transport all contribute to challenges faced by women and youth food processors. There are many possible ways in which to address these challenges including mobilizing female and youth sales agents to provide market information while consolidating outputs at a single point of sale, which brings together higher volumes of products and therefore attracts larger buyers willing to pay premium prices. Limited access to a range of quality services also results in women and youth not knowing about the services available to them, including business registration, health and safety certifications and training for food products, and limited understanding of who to go to for what information.

Project Purpose and Expected Results

The project seeks to directly support 25,000 women and youth entrepreneurs (WYEs) in increasing their incomes and their contribution to Jordan’s economic growth. Specific results that the project and its partners are expected to contribute towards are:

  • Entrepreneurs: Increased capacity of WYEs to operate environmentally sustainable and gender equitable businesses
  • Business Development Services: Increased access for WYEs to environmentally sustainable and gender equitable, informal and formal business development services
  • Market Integration: Increased capacity of market actors to engage with WYEs in selected sectors in an environmentally sustainable and gender equitable manner
  • Access to Finance: Increased access to finance for WYEs.
  • Community/Social: Increased community support for WYEs

The Jordan Valley Links project is seeking to partner with Jordanian entities (private and not-for-profit or others) to implement interventions in the food processing sector. Proposed interventions should result in the following solutions:

  • Women and youth entrepreneurs start and operate successful businesses as a result of training\technical assistant support services and inputs accessed.
  • Women and youth have access to higher value and\or more consistent markets.
  • Women and youth have access to appropriate and high-quality business support services.

Approach and Scope of Work

The scope of work for this Call for Partnerships comes under two main areas:

1. Production Development
The need to increase both the quality and quantity of production in the food processing sector is essential for micro and small enterprises in the Jordan Valley in order to maintain competitiveness in the market. The need to increase both the quality and quantity of production in the food processing sector is essential for micro and small enterprises in the Jordan Valley in order to maintain competitiveness in the market.

Production development is about improving existing production systems and developing new ones. The proposed production system should be based on a market-driven strategy; and fully informed and integrated to market needs. Too often, products are developed before markets are assessed and understood with the result being non-profitable and unsustainable enterprises. Proposed solutions, but not limited to, should enable WYEs to reach higher profits by: training to meet market standards and requirements; supporting improved production and processing processes (possibly through aggregation or production hubs); or building the confidence of WYEs to engage with the end market and ensure competitiveness of their products.

2. Market Access
Market access refers to the ability of WYEs to sell goods and services at profitable and competitive prices. Market access can be at the local\domestic, regional or international levels. Proposed solutions under market access, but not limited to, should facilitate improved access for WYEs to end markets (consumer, local community, SMEs, etc.) based on solid market research by: promoting aggregated production through hubs or sales networks and agents; facilitating engagement between WYEs and new marketing channels and outlets through fairs, exhibitions or innovative IT platforms and applications; or facilitating linkages with market actors, including better supply solutions for raw ingredients.

Note: Applicants can apply to implement interventions in one or both above areas. A comprehensive approach that includes both production development and market access will be considered an advantage and is encouraged.

The Project intends to support multiple and diverse partners to address the challenges around production and market access for women and youth entrepreneurs in the Jordan Valley. Businesses that could play the role of a Lead Firms will be considered favorably. These can be processors, exporters, traders, input companies, or service providers – any dynamic private sector market actor that can help move other value chain participants forward. If an applicant is not a business, partnerships with businesses/SMEs in the food processing sector will be expected.

Targeted group and areas

The entire Jordan Valley is covered by the project, with a focus on women and youth entrepreneurs (males and females aged 18-30 years). Partners can select different geographic areas within the Jordan Valley, with no limitation on any specific food product.

Period of Performance

Proposed interventions should range between 12 to 18 months.

Tentative Budget

The budget range for each applicant is JOD 50,000 to 250,000 depending on their proposed initiatives.

Ineligible Cost Elements
Costs considered ineligible under the Project include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Entertainment expenses;
  2. Costs incurred before the effective date of the Agreement;
  3. Gifts;
  4. Travel insurance (health, cancellation, baggage, etc.), except as previously approved by MEDA;
  5. Carrying charges;
  6. Membership fees;
  7. Patents;
  8. Immunizations or medications;
  9. Interest expenses;
  10. Costs related to non-authorized accompanying family members.
  11. Costs related to building, construction, and any other physical infrastructure costs; and
  12. Costs related to procurement of any equipment or supplies for producers and/or processors not pre-approved by MEDA, including but not limited to land, seeds, processing machinery.

Cost Share: Each applicant will be required to show a cost share of the total budget. This cost share can be in the form of a cash contribution or in-kind contribution and may include such elements as proportionate shares of management and other employee time, equipment, office supplies, and other costs of program operations. Rates for employee services shall be consistent with those paid for similar work in the recipient’s organization. The value of equipment (e.g. computers) shall not exceed the fair market value of equipment and supplies shall be documented in the application. Organizational overhead is not an allowable cost share element.

Selection Criteria

Technical Evaluation and Scoring of Eligible Applications:

JVL will evaluate applications based upon the evaluation criteria listed below. An application can be categorized as unacceptable when it has many deficiencies or gross omissions or both and thereby: (1) demonstrates a failure to understand the scope of work necessary to perform the required tasks; or (2) fails to provide a reasonable, logical approach to fulfilling the requirements. An unacceptable rating in one technical area may result in the entire application being rated unacceptable.

Evaluation Criteria

Management and organizational capacity: Demonstrates technical and financial capability to carry out proposed activities.

  • Cost effectiveness: The cost-effective use of funds to ensure a strong social return on the project’s investment.
  • Cross-cutting: The degree to which environmental and gender equality considerations are incorporated into the venture.
  • Impact on WYE in the Jordan Valley: The degree to which the initiative delivers benefits to women and youth either in the business’ supply chain or through expanded their market, or enhanced delivery of services or products to women and youth entrepreneurs.
  • Involvement of private sector in the supply chain or as market actors serving WYEs in the food processing value chain, or as marketing channels