Individual Consultancy as Capacity Building Expert, MADE51 Project

  • Anywhere
Organization: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Closing date: 26 Apr 2022

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is offering an Individual Consultancy contract within the Livelihoods and Economic Inclusion Unit, in the Division of Resilience and Solutions.

UNHCR is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. Every year, millions of men, women and children are forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution. We are in over 125 countries, using our expertise to protect and care for millions.

Organizational context

MADE51 is a global collaborative initiative launched by UNHCR to offer market access to refugee artisans. Through MADE51, local social enterprises work directly with refugee artisans to design, market and produce a specific refugee-made collection. By modernizing traditional skills, building business acumen, partnering with social enterprises, and linking with retail brands and buyers, UNHCR and its MADE51 partners will be able to connect refugee artisans with international markets where their products are in demand.

The MADE51 model implementation is underway in 23 countries, in partnership with local social enterprises. Strategic Partners are able to provide key components of the MADE51 model, in line with their core competencies. As the convenor of MADE51, it is UNHCR’s responsibility to ensure field-based coordination and support, as well as to coordinate Strategic Partner input and fill in the gaps that may arise in certain countries or skill sets, to ensure that MADE51 moves forward, obtains orders for refugee artisans, can demonstrate success and is able to attract support from new Strategic Partners.

There is great potential for scalability and sustainable inclusion of refugees in global supply chains, based on the exponential growth of the artisan sector, the rise of local social enterprises, and the skills and talents of refugees. Market studies and initial marketing outreach has demonstrated that buyers and end customers are keenly interested in sourcing from refugees and, in the process, learning more about UNHCR’s work. In addition, there is strong support from UNHCR operations; many additional operations are requesting that the Livelihoods Team introduce MADE51 and ascertain whether MADE51 is appropriate and feasible for their context.

The position

The aim of the consultancy is to:

  1. support the inclusion of refugee artisans by engaging and supporting the local social enterprises (LSEs) as they begin to work together with refugee artisans;
  2. provide capacity building support towards artisan training, product design, and development of production systems;
  3. serve as design lead for MADE51 and engage external partners around design;
  4. lead on the coordination of specific large-scale bespoke orders from UNHCR partners;
  5. support in planning & coordinating of trade show participation and other associated marketing activities;
  6. contribute to MADE51’s overall planning, strategic thinking, and activities.

All activities should be undertaken in order to establish a structure and framework that can be replicable for future activities, including thorough attention to using templates and technology to streamline activities.

Duties and responsibilities

  1. Support and guide UNHCR field operations, LSEs, refugee artisan groups and other stakeholders in assigned countries (within Africa and Middle East/North Africa):

    a. In assigned countries, provide remote technical support and ongoing follow-up according to the UNHCR Pathway process and LSE engagement process, in order to establish and support the inclusion of refugees in the value chains of social enterprise partners. Develop and track action plans for new social enterprise partners;

    b. In assigned countries, provide technical guidance and training to LSE partners and refugee artisan groups so they co-develop a market-ready product line that has acceptable costing and realistic production capacities;

c. Provide technical guidance through missions and remote support to work out issues and bottlenecks in production so that LSEs and refugee artisans can effectively design, make and market MADE51 products and fulfill orders;

d. Guide the launch of the Sahel collection and provide capacity-building support to partners in Sahel region so they are able to meet orders according to specification.

  1. Coordinate design, product development and production orders for MADE51 main collection and advise on special collections:

a. Further optimize the product development process and oversee implementation of a design strategy for MADE51, including a Design & Product Development plan;

b. Oversee product submission and review process to ensure all products that carry the MADE51 brand and/or are promoted by MADE51 meet the appropriate MADE51 design criteria;

c. Coordinate engagement with external designers who can work across the collection or with individual LSEs; ensure their work meets MADE51 design criteria and aligns with MADE51 strategic directions;

d. Ensure timely production schedule such that products are available to B2B and B2C consumers according to targeted timelines.

  1. Organize product and coordination of large-scale bespoke orders from UNHCR partners:

a. Act as product development focal point for companies creating bespoke items, such as Fast Retailing and Chloé;

b. Liaise with LSEs to coordinate and provide technical guidance towards product development, product sampling, raw materials sourcing, and production organization in line with order requirements; flag and resolve issues as they emerge to ensure smooth collaboration and repeated engagements;

c. Work with MADE51 commercial partner to ensure Fair Trade practices are applied in product development and order production;

d. Develop lessons learned and factor these into future engagements with partners.

  1. Manage MADE51 visual presentation for MADE51 product collection and/or special collections:
    a. Manage MADE51 presentation at events and trade shows (virtual and in person) including the design, planning and implementation (e.g. profile registration, booth design, product selection, product display etc.), bringing in support from Strategic Partner;
    b. Coordinate other promotion and market access opportunities, according to workplan and emerging opportunities.

  2. Working within a team and with Strategic Partners, contribute to MADE51’s overall planning, strategic thinking and activities:
    a. Contribute to the strategic planning of MADE51;
    b. Advise on the development of more efficient distribution channels to supply potential retail partners (e.g. fulfilment partners etc).

The final product:

  1. Visual summary of 2022-2023 Design & Product Development Schedule

  2. Standard Operating Procedure for LSE product submission and review process for MADE51 Marketing Platform

  3. Summary report at the end of the contract period that covers:

• 1 page summary on Activity 1 (Support and guideance delivered to UNHCR field operations, LSEs, refugee artisan groups and other stakeholders in assigned countries (within Africa and Middle East/North Africa)

• 1 page summary on each order coordinated as part of Activity 2 (organization and coordination of bespoke orders from retail partners), including reporting on lessons learned and impact

• 1 page summary on Activity 3 (technical support for LSE product development delivered by consultant or external designers during the contract period (outside of the Activity 2 bespoke orders)

• 1 page summary on Activity 4 (events / exhibition participation and the visual display materials create)

Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required

  • University degree required, MA degree with design focus required
  • More than 15 years of experience working and training in small business development, specifically in the crafts sector in developing countries
  • More than 15 years of experience working as a product designer
  • Proven experience working with refugees in the handmade sector (5+ years)
  • Experience in providing technical support to crafts enterprises in Africa and the Middle East
  • Experience and networks within international trade shows for consumer goods and promotional activities
  • Proven product design knowledge and product development experience
  • Proven product display knowledge and experience
  • Sensitive to social / gender equity issues.
  • Graduate degree or in business, design or equivalent years of experience.
  • Excellent visual and verbal communication skills highly desirable.


The successful candidate will be working home-based with mission travels (anticipated to be MENA (Jordan), East Africa (Uganda) or Southern Africa (Zambia) – pending covid restrictions).


The consultancy contract is until 31 December 2022 with a starting date as soon as possible.

How to apply:

Interested applicants should submit their letter of motivation and Personal History Form (PHF) to indicating Vacancy No. DRS/2022/004; First name/Last name, and Capacity Building Expert, MADE51 Project in the subject of the email.

Applications without PHF Form will not be considered.

Personal History Forms are available at PHF Form / Supplementary Sheet.

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity



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