Consultancy of Urban Poverty Analysis- Timor Leste

Position Title: Consultant

Contract Duration: 20-25 days (excluding travel)

Reports to: Country Director

Location: Timor-Leste

Australian Aid Adviser Remuneration Framework Classification: C3/C4

The Market Development Facility (MDF) stimulates investment, business innovation and regulatory reform in order to create jobs for, and increase the income of, poor women and men in rural and urban areas in the Indo-Pacific region. MDF commenced operations in Fiji in 2011, expanded to Timor-Leste in 2012, to Pakistan in 2013, and to Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka in 2015. MDF is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and is implemented by The Palladium Group.

To achieve this goal, MDF implements a market systems development approach. This entails that MDF will enter into a wide variety of partnerships with strategic players in the private and public sector to enable them to undertake innovative activities, develop products and services, provide information, develop guidelines, regulations, or whatever is relevant yet currently absent for increasing competitiveness and growth. Partnerships will be based on the principles of sharing costs and responsibilities, with the clear understanding that MDF support will be short-lived and limited and that, from the start, it must be clear how the Partner will continue the activities after MDF support has come to an end.

In the first phase of the project in Timor-Leste, from inception till Aug-2017, MDF worked with 30 micro-, small-, and medium-enterprises (MSMEs) within the key economic drivers of the economy: agribusiness, tourism, manufacturing, and promoting investment and entrepreneurship. These partnerships have not only given us invaluable lessons on how to engage MSMEs effectively in Timor-Leste but also have given us leads on how to expand our implementation footprint in Timor-Leste in phase 2.


The overall objectives of the study are as follows:

  1. Define the poverty line for urban Timor using existing materials, and identify the kind of sectors/ occupations that may hit that line
  2. Identify the sectors which absorb majority of unskilled/ low-skilled and/or migrated population (such as hospitality, mechanics, drivers, self-employment, etc.), and for each describe the following:
  3. Assess qualifications, personal and professional motivations and entry points for the staffs in these sectors, particularly the ones entering at the base.
  4. Assess the upward mobility within the organisation; who is promoted, how fast and who is not and why? Also assess if and when staff branch out and start their own businesses.
  5. Compare the above two scenarios with the urban poverty line, and identify differences between people below and above the poverty line (Is it work experience, skills, education, etc.?).
  6. Assess the role of urban-rural remittance/ exchanges as part of social safety nets: their household situation, how income is used to support their families, their future plans.
  7. Evaluate the labour requirements of firms and the constraints they face in finding, training, promoting and retaining workers
  8. Evaluate the growth potential of these sectors, and estimate their ability to further absorb more labour


The research will be led by the consultant; the MDF team in Timor-Leste will assist and organize the fieldwork, and the study will be supported by the managers and country director. The consultant will provide oversight to the team to ensure that the interviews conducted provide as much insight as possible and, that the analysis conducted corrects or adds to the available secondary literature.

The assignment may follow the steps outlined below or a variation thereof whilst ensuring the purpose of the study is met.

  • The consultant(s)/firm will conduct extensive desk research to categorize the different kinds of firms, assess their current size and growth potential, using published and unpublished sources and MDF internal documents. This categorisation will be used as input into the fieldwork design. (2-3 days offsite)
  • The Consultant will coordinate with the MDF team to design the survey tools for the field-research based on the main research questions: determine skill levels within firms, workers per level, qualifications, motivation, education years, remuneration and labour turnover per level and reasons for the same. (2 days)
  • In-depth interviews will be used as the main research tool and the sampling will be based in urban locations, likely to include Dili and Baucau. The information should be gathered from firm management, newly joined staff and older staff who started from base and have been promoted.

The consultant will partake in primary data collection with identified stakeholders, fill out any gaps in the literature review, validate findings and correct any mismatches. The focus will be on executing high-quality qualitative research, to ensure very reliable data and insights for each household interviewed. (8 days)

  • The MDF team will work alongside the Consultant to analyze the findings from the primary research, discuss the findings, and draw conclusions to the research questions. A draft report will be prepared and discussed with MDF management. Any comments or additional analysis will be incorporated into a Final Report, which will be published by MDF (1 day in-country and 5 days off-site)


  1. Research plan and questionnaire based on firm categorisation, incorporated with suggestions from the MDF team
  2. Consultant is expected to assist the team in field interviews and data collection.
  3. Consultant is expected to have in-country discussion with MDF team on findings, conclusions and outline of draft report
  4. A draft report, in a format and outline agreed, answering the research questions raised with primary data compiled in annexes.
  5. A final report incorporating comments on the draft report from MDF within 20 working days after the in-country visit

All reports and presentations shall be written in English and submitted to MDF within the specified time frame. The consultant is also expected to submit timesheet during the assignment period. It is expected that the study will commence in August 2018 and be completed by October 2018.

Application Process

Apply here before 15th June’ 2018. For details see TORs.