Consultancy for Review and Update of The Gambia Cooperative Act

Shelter for Life

LIFFT-Cashew Project
Under USDA/FAS Food For Progress (FFPr) program, Shelter For Life International (SFL) is implementing an eight-year project called “Linking Infrastructure, Finance and Farms to Cashew” (LIFFT-Cashew) in Senegal, the Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau (SeGaBi) with the goal to develop and upgrade value chain linkages necessary to support an integrated, regional trade network for the cashew value chain.

The LIFFT-Cashew Project aims to achieve three main objectives:

Increase or maintain the quality of Raw Cashew Nuts (RCN)

Increase the processing of RCN within the SeGaBi region

Promote the collective sales of RCN

1. Context
USDA/LIFFT-Cashew Project in Collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture of The Gambia is cooperating to review and amend The Gambia Cooperative Act (Cap 50:02). This demand is triggered by a study commissioned by the World Bank to investigate the declining circle of Agricultural cooperatives in The Gambia and come up with plausible recommendations that will enable the revival of Cooperatives in The Gambia called: RoadMap for the Revitalization of Cooperatives. Among the key findings of the study were: (i) marketing constraints faced by farmers in accessing inputs and also the sale of their farm produce, leading to their demand for the revival of cooperatives; (ii) the absence of genuine farmer representation in the key decision-making process has also limited, if not isolated them from participating in decision- making processes affecting their livelihoods. The output of the study was a policy framework that outlined the roadmap for the revitalization process. The draft document was validated and finalized in August 2019 and was eventually approved by the Cabinet in January 2020.

The Government of the Gambia defined steps to implement the revitalization of the roadmap which culminated in the development of the comprehensive National Cooperative Policy 2021-2030 in May 2021. The National Cooperative Policy proposed to enhance the legal regulatory instrument that is geared towards expanding the scope and mandate of the cooperative law by reviewing The Cooperative Act of 1990 In The Gambia (Cap 50:02). The Act focuses exclusively on agricultural cooperatives, but neglects the critical domain of financial and credit unions.

Recognizing the evolving landscape of cooperative enterprises, the USDA/LIFFT Cashew Project implemented by SFL in Collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture of The Gambia, SFL is seeking a qualified consultant to undertake the task of revising and expanding the existing Cooperative Act to encompass all types of cooperatives, including but not limited to agricultural and financial/credit unions.

2. Objective
The General objective of the consultancy is to conduct a comprehensive review of the existing Cooperative Act 1990 by: (i) extending the scope and comprehensiveness of the Act; (ii) conducting stakeholder consultation; (iii) legal drafting of the Act: and (iv) capacity building for cooperatives, as well as promoting sustainability through sound business cooperative models.

3. Scope of Work
The consultant will do the following:
Review and Analyze: Conduct a comprehensive review of the existing Cooperative Act of 1990, identifying gaps and shortcomings, especially in relation to financial and credit unions. – Analyze international best practices in cooperative legislation, with a focus on models that successfully integrate various types of cooperatives as well as focusing on the cashew sector.

Stakeholder Consultation: Engage with key stakeholders, including representatives from agricultural cooperatives, financial institutions, credit unions, regulatory bodies, and other relevant organizations. Facilitate workshops and consultation sessions to gather input on the proposed revisions while ensuring inclusivity.

Legal Drafting: Draft a revised Cooperative Act that is clear, comprehensive, and reflective of the diverse nature of cooperatives in The Gambia. The document must extend the scope of cooperatives to include financial and credit unions and even cover future ones including industry, handicraft, housing, transport, consumer, and multi-purpose cooperatives. The document must align with international standards and best practices in cooperative legislation, integrate provisions for the establishment, governance, operation, and regulation of agricultural cooperatives, financial cooperatives, credit unions, and other cooperative entities. The Act document will provide and support incentives and mechanisms for self-financing of the cooperative organizations to reduce their reliance on government and donor financial support, and require cooperatives to adopt robust cooperative business strategies.

Capacity Building: Develop training materials and conduct workshops to build the capacity of relevant stakeholders in understanding and implementing the new Cooperative Act. – Provide guidance on compliance, reporting, and governance structures for different types of cooperatives.

Sustainability and Growth: Propose mechanisms within the new Act that promote the sustainability and institutional development and growth of cooperatives, fostering economic development and financial inclusion.

4. Deliverables
Desk Research: Review and analyze the The Gambia Cooperative Act 1990 to identify gaps in the ACT vis a vis the The Gambia National Cooperative Policy of 2021-2030 as well as international standards.

Stakeholder Consultations: Provide a report on stakeholder consultations by conducting workshops and providing proposed inputs from stakeholders on the new ACT.

Produce a Revised Cooperative Act: Produce a revised cooperative Act that clearly captures clearly the objectives of the national cooperative policy, extends the scope and comprehensiveness of the act and incorporates international standards of cooperatives that include user-benefit, user-owner and user-control principles. The Act must incorporate a business model that embeds economic participation and self-financing.

Capacity Building: Develop training materials and conduct workshops to build the capacity of relevant stakeholders so they understand and implement the new Cooperative Act, and provide guidance on compliance, reporting, and governance structure for different types of cooperatives.

5. Preferred Qualifications and Skills
The consultant is expected to meet the following requirements;

  • Minimum of master’s degree or other postgraduate degree in law, with specialization in policy including cooperative law, commercial law or related field.
  • Excellent communication ability with analytical and report writing skills.
  • Excellent team working skills.
  • Minimum of seven (7) years of relevant post-graduate professional experience on issues related to associations’ policies, cooperative management and governance.
  • Minimum of five (5) years of post-graduate experience in the field of cooperative development, cooperative legislative review and governance.
  • Experience in facilitating dialogue among key stakeholders at a high political level to formulate, validate, and adopt policies and policy statements.
  • Demonstrated experience and understanding of cooperative law, with the ability to identify gaps related to The Gambia context.
  • Experience in providing legal advice to improve legislative and regulatory frameworks consistent with international best practices to strengthen cooperative governance and development
  • Working experience in cooperative development in The Gambia is highly desired.
  • Given the duration of the consultancy, a team is highly preferred to an individual consultant.

6. Timeline
The consultancy will be for 30 days of field work.
SFL reserves the right to select any or none of the applications submitted. Proposals must be submitted by January 5th, 2023, at 17:00 (GMT). If SFL does not confirm receipt of your proposal, the applicant may follow up by email. SFL will notify the selected consultant in writing via email. Other applicants will be informed of the decision by email.

If you have questions about this RFP, you may direct them to Mr Kabba Baldeh, [email protected]

The final award is subject to the terms and conditions included in this solicitation, as well as successful final negotiations of all applicants affecting this work.

SFL will enter with the winning consultant into a fixed-price contract which will be payable on specific deliverables as outlined in this document, which will be attached to the contract.

Note: SFL will contact only shortlisted candidates.

About Shelter For Life International (SFL):
Shelter For Life International (SFL) is a Christian relief and development organization with over 30 years of history in providing humanitarian and developmental assistance to communities around the world. The SFL headquarters is located in Minnesota, USA. Our mission is to demonstrate God’s love by enabling people affected by poverty, conflict, and disaster to restore their lives and rebuild their communities. We strive to be socially and environmentally sustainable by employing cultural sensitivity, community participation, appropriate alternative technologies, and cost-effective methodologies in our programs, which are underpinned by human-centered design. Learn more at www.shelter.org

How to apply

To Apply:
Interested applicants should submit a proposal for the work described above to [email protected] Please include “Review and Amendment of The Gambia Cooperative Act” in the subject title. Proposals must be submitted electronically by email; paper or faxed applications will not be accepted. The proposal must be in English and should include the following:

  • Technical proposal (methodology, work plan)
  • CV including past performance of consultant work involved in the same type of assignments
  • Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price

Deadline: 5 Jan 2024