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Gender Advisor

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities


Background on FINCA:

FINCA Canada’s mission is to alleviate poverty through lasting solutions that help people—women in particular—build assets, create jobs, and raise their standard of living. FINCA Canada is part of the global FINCA network that operates microfinance banks in 20 countries in four regions, currently reaching over 1.9 million clients with business loans, savings and other financial services. Established in 1985, FINCA pioneered ‘Village Banking,’ which brings together groups of people in a community, mostly women, who mutually guarantee small loans for one another. This approach provides economic opportunities for clients to grow small businesses, empowering them through increased earnings and improved livelihoods, while maintaining high repayment rates on loans. Today, FINCA’s financial service offerings go beyond credit to include a suite of products and services designed to meet the needs of small-scale entrepreneurs and rural, unbanked populations in developing countries, including savings deposits, microinsurance, and remittances.


Project overview:

FINCA Canada was recently awarded a contribution from Global Affairs Canada to implement a 5-year financial inclusion project in Haiti and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to achieve increased economic prosperity for low-income individuals, women in particular.
The majority of FINCA’s customers around the world are women. Women are the ones who suffer the most from poverty, while it is precisely women who, with access to appropriate resources, can have a significant impact on the quality of life of their children and their communities. The objective of the project is to promote sustainable and equitable economic growth in Haiti and the DRC, targeting in particular vulnerable and low income women, by supporting FINCA Haiti and FINCA DRC in the following:


Improving access to financial services for women

        • Establish new branches and points of service in peri-urban and rural areas where women are mainly concentrated.
        • Target and support female banking agents, who, based on FINCA’s experiences in the DRC, are more likely to reach female clients.
        • Understand the impact of the use of mobile financial services on access and the benefits of proximity, as well as women’s ability to control their own financial resources (for example, a bank account accessible by women only versus a mobile account accessible by other members of the household).

Improving products for women

        • Expand financial education and training programs to incorporate more gender issues to help women exercise their rights, encourage greater autonomy, and share in their household decisions.
        • SME credit: Target SMEs controlled by women and those that create decent jobs for women.

        • Agricultural credit (in Haiti): Target sectors where there is a greater concentration of women (rice, vegetable crops).
        • Savings (in DRC): Deploy awareness-raising and marketing campaigns that target women.

Strengthening capacity for social performance management, including gender equality

        • Institutionalize client research: Establish research units and train local research teams, including an equality specialist to increase the capacity to collect and analyze client data, to better consult clients, and to understand the impact of interventions on clients and their homes.
        • Deploy training programs, targeting employees and managers, to educate and equip them to better respond to issues related to social performance, gender equality, and specific issues faced by women entrepreneurs, women managers, and employees.


Scope of work:

The purpose of the Gender Advisor is to work with FINCA Canada to support FINCA Haiti and FINCA DRC mainstream gender equality in all aspects of their operations—social performance and market research, staff and client trainings, product development, and delivery channels expansion. He/she will advise on strategies and practices that ensure women stakeholders in the project gain full and equal access to FINCA’s products and services. Working with the FINCA Canada Project Manager, and with FINCA staff in Haiti and DRC, the Gender Advisor will undertake the following activities:

  • Carry out a gender equality assessment of FINCA Haiti and FINCA DRC’s operations, to understand the products/services they offer, as well as their outreach strategy (branch locations).
  • Develop a gender strategy for the project with the FINCA Canada Project Manager, to help orient FINCA Haiti and FINCA DRC’s thinking around gender equality.
  • Create work plans for FINCA Haiti and FINCA DRC to integrate gender perspectives into training, research, and operational activities.
  • Develop job descriptions for new gender officer roles at FINCA Haiti and FINCA DRC and/or realign job descriptions to incorporate gender specific responsibilities for existing roles.
  • Train gender officers on their roles as the gender champions of their organizations.
  • Work with FINCA Development Academy to develop content for a gender training module for staff.
  • Contribute documentation on gender topics for donor reports and annual work plans.

    Expected travel: 3 visits each to Haiti and DRC, over the course of the contract.



The Gender Advisor will be responsible for the following deliverables:

  • Gender assessments for FINCA Haiti and FINCA DRC.
  • Gender strategies for FINCA Haiti and FINCA DRC.
  • Work plans for FINCA Haiti and FINCA DRC to implement their gender strategies.

  • Gender officer job descriptions at FINCA Haiti and FINCA DRC.
  • Gender training module for all staff at FINCA Haiti and FINCA DRC.
  • Input into annual work plans and donor reports.


Contract Duration:

Proposed start date: 1 December 2017.
Proposed end date: 30 April 2022.


Budget and cost (CAD):

Proposals should include detailed costing of all consultancy fees and taxes, as well as approaches to be used and examples of past work.

Budget for this engagement is approximately $100,000, based on 135 days of work (including 36 travel days) at a daily rate of $750. This budget excludes out of pocket and travel expenses, which will be billed separately. FINCA Canada will provide travel assistance within countries as required.



The Gender Advisor will report to the Project Manager at FINCA Canada, and work directly with the FINCA Haiti and FINCA DRC teams, as well as the Research and Training teams at FINCA International/FINCA Impact Finance in Washington, DC.


Required experience and education:

  • A minimum of 10 years’ experience in carrying out and advising on international development projects, with a track record of success in carrying out gender evaluations and developing gender focused programs and policies.
  • Gender mainstreaming into research, training, and product development an asset.
  • Strong awareness of, and sensitivity to, gender related cultural issues in Haiti and DRC, particularly as they relate to low income populations. Field work experience in developing countries.
  • Ability to operate effectively in foreign countries, and with a diverse set of stakeholders.
  • Fluency in French and English required.
  • Previous work in the microfinance/financial inclusion space an asset.

Please submit proposals to by Thursday, November 16, 2017. Questions concerning these terms of reference are welcome.


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