Call for Expression of Interest: Consultancy to Undertake a Study on Workers Representation in Zambia

Application deadline:

Hivos is an international non-governmental organization that seeks new solutions to persistent global issues. With smart projects in the right places, Hivos opposes discrimination, inequality, abuse of power and the unsustainable use of our planet’s resources. Hivos seeks to contribute to both a counterbalance in power as well as structural change. Thus, Hivos cooperates with innovative and progressive citizens, businesses, civil society organizations and governments in order to foster sustainable economies and inclusive societies. Hivos is a not-for-profit organization, registered in The Hague, The Netherlands, with 5 regional offices across the world.

The Women@Work Campaign

The Women@Work Campaign anchors most of Hivos’ substantive work on Corporate Accountability. Founded in 2012, the Women@Work Campaign aims to contribute to decent work for women who earn their living through global production chains, most notably: flowers, fruits and vegetables, grown for the export market. In Eastern Africa, the campaign involves Southern partners spread over Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania Ethiopia, and Rwanda, enlisting both local and international partnerships (CSOs; Businesses; Governments, certification bodies, trade unions, the media and citizens), working together to improve work-place conditions for women.

Hivos considers sustainable labour to be a valuable contributor to development. In this sector, women comprise at least 70 percent of the work force in Zambian horticultural value chains. Labour-based violations against women manifest in unique forms, often aggravated by deep-set social discrimination beyond and within the workplace – all affecting their livelihoods. In response, the Campaign has adopted a number of core strategies, including: promoting an effective social certification regime; contributing to law and policy reform; building the capacities of workers and workers’ representatives; and, promoting engendered Corporate Social Responsibility. It is supplemented by a consumer advocacy component in The Hague, aimed at promoting “ethical consumerism,” and proactive engagement with Northern governments.

Background to the assignment

In its different work areas, Hivos and partners’ work seeks to respond to identified gaps that workers’ representative bodies – unions – should ideally be responding to and which CSOs undertake as part of their watchdog role. Over time, key concerns and gaps have come to fore 1) Lack of capacity by trade unions (at national, branch and at shop-floor level) to offer adequate and quality representation of women workers and / or informal workers, and appropriate support hence, women workers and / or informal workers  are unaware of their rights. 2) Failure of trade unions to build positive benefits/image amongst workers hence low unionization of workers in some firms; 4) Gaps in institutional organizational capacities of the unions which affects union capacity to deliver effectively on their mandate; 5) Lack of engendered policies and practices by unions; and 6) Unharmonious working relationship between trade unions and other actors in the civil society movement in some countries, among others.

Some of the interventions or objectives of the different projects under the Women@Work Campaign  include: a) Strengthening the collective voice of women in trade union movement for decision making and influencing in farms ; b) Provision of legal aid for violation of labour rights / laws, legal representation, and psycho-social support; and c) sensitization forums on labour rights and sexual and gender based violence (SGBV), legal representation, learning and reflection forums for shop stewards and for employers

Hivos will be undertaking a study to interrogate the question of workers’ representation, especially women workers and/or informal workers by trade unions in Zambia, in light of the above. The findings of the study will be beneficial to the unions, workers’ representatives and ultimately, workers. The end objective is to contribute to decent work for all workers, well capacitated unions and harmonious collaborative relationship of the unions and CSOs as well as Unions and employers their main point of reference in their work. This is for the most desired situation – better realization of workers’ rights and welfare.

The Assignment

Hivos is, hence, seeking a consultant with the capacity to undertake an in-depth assessment of the status of workers’ representation by the trade union movement in Zambia with specific focus on the floriculture and horticulture sector.

The specific objectives of this study include:

  1. To analyse the organisational capacities and structures of trade unions (as a determinant of their effectiveness) for the purpose of achieving their mandates, goals and objectives;
  2. To analyse the nature of representation of women in different structures of the union and the effect of this in raising and responding to women workers strategic needs / concerns in union structure and at the shop-floor level, including during the negotiation processes. Specifically, the study will seek to analyse the structural barriers that affect the level of women’s representation in the trade unions;
  3. To assess extent to which trade unions as institutions mandated to regulate relations between employees and employers, are able to fight for better working conditions and remunerations for their members while advocating for sound relations through the promotion and protection of freedom of association, collective bargaining agreements and dispute resolution address these roles (Relevance and efficiency)
  4. To establish the degree of workers’ and other stakeholders’ satisfaction with the performance of their respective unions with particular reference on their mandate, operations and collaboration. This will ideally identify recommendations on how any challenges can be addressed. (legitimacy)
  5. Identify notable achievements and challenges facing the movement in facilitating decent work situations for workers – in light of their operations, accessibility and co-operation with other institutions;
  6. To document best practices and experiences of trade unions in organizing that can inspire others – including proposals for improvement of the TU Movement in Zambia with focus on efficiency, effectiveness, equality and legitimacy;
  7. To identify Capacity Development Needs of different individual trade unions or collectively – – including new emerging areas of engagement, knowledge base and inward looking needs.

Expected Deliverables:           

 The consultant will be expected to undertake the tasks below and deliver the outlined deliverables:

  1. Hold discussion with Hivos and map out key issues and targeted areas for the assignment
  2. Prepare an inception report capturing: concise but rich reviewed literature on the genesis, structure and the supportive legal framework of Trade Union Movement in Zambia. The report will also detail clear and appropriate methodology, tools to be used, stakeholders mapped in Zambia, and detailed work plan for the study;
  3. Undertake field data exercise, which will include an Organizational Capacity Assessment of select Zambian unions in the sector;
  4. Present a draft report informed by reviewed literature and field data exercises to a select stakeholder group for validation purpose;
  5. Submit a brief summary report (not more than 8 pages) that captures policy, law and practice recommendations and best practices that needs to be scaled and or replicated elsewhere by unions (at different levels) and other actors for strengthening access to decent work conditions for workers;
  6. A Main study report organized on basis of the study objectives presenting the main study findings.


The indicative planning period for the assignment to be agreed upon between the consultant and Hivos is a start date of Oct 1st 2018 and, with the final report expected on or before Dec 30th  2018.

Consultant is required to possess

  • A Post-graduate degree preferably in a relevant social science discipline.
  • Demonstrable experience in assignments of a similar nature, including interaction and understanding of the trade unionism, horticulture sector, its dynamics.
  • Professional experience in conducting research (data collection & analysis)
  • Good analytical skills
  • Familiarity with Organizational Capacity Assessment Tools will be an added advantage
  • Excellent documentation and writing skills, attested by past written papers;
  • Ability to meet project deadlines with no supervision.

Contents of the bid

The consultant should include the following information in the bid:

  • Detailed profile of the consultant (and her/his team) explaining why they are eligible and keen to take on this assignment
  • Proposed methodology for the study
  • Indicative timings/detailed work plan outlining key activities and the duration to deliver this assignment;
  • Expected number of consultancy days to deliver the task and the consultancy fee (in USD) per day. Include details like travel costs / other logistics costs incurred during execution of this task.
  • Reference for client (s) for previous similar assignment(s)
  • At least a copy of a completed similar assignment

Submission guidelines

Interested consultants (individuals and firms) with experience in executing similar assignments are invited to submit their expression of interest/bids via email by close of business on 10th October 2018 addressed to and with a copy to Your email subject line should read: Study on Workers Representation in Zambia. Only complete applications will be reviewed.