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About Misean Cara

Misean Cara is an international and Irish faith-based missionary movement working with some of the most marginalised and vulnerable communities in developing countries. We are working to realise their human rights through delivery of basic services in the areas of education, health, livelihoods and income generation, as well as advocacy, networking and community mobilisation. Our movement is made up of 89 member organisations working in over 50 countries.

Our current Strategy 2017-2021 sets out key goals in the four thematic areas of education, health (including clean water & sanitation), sustainable livelihoods, and human rights. A fifth goal focuses on enhancing and promoting the missionary approach to development. The overall funding to projects supported across these areas in 2019 is outlined in the table below:


In 2020 Misean Cara is commissioning an Effectiveness Review of six projects contributing in different ways to employment opportunities and income generation for youth in poor and marginalised communities.

Youth unemployment is one of the biggest challenges facing the African continent, despite improving literacy rates. This review will focus on development projects in Southern Africa where, in 2017, the youth unemployment rate was over 50%. Contributing factors include an education system that is unable to provide access to education for many, or is misaligned to the needs of the formal labour market, and the lack of integration of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the schooling system.

Though the sub-Saharan economy has been growing at an average of 4% for more than a decade, this has not translated into job creation for an ever-increasing population of young people. The African Development Bank (AfDB) estimates that of Africa’s nearly 420 million youth aged between 15 and 35, one-third are unemployed and discouraged, one-third are vulnerably employed, and only one in six are in wage employment.

The unemployment challenge is exacerbated by rural-urban migration of youth in search of better opportunities, driven by the lack of infrastructure and opportunities in the rural areas.

Unemployment or underemployment, and lack of social security, educational opportunities and inclusive governance can drive youth to informal or even criminal activities, making them susceptible to recruitment efforts of terrorist organisations, or leading them to attempt illegal migration. Policy makers warn that a youth population without opportunity can lead to political instability or even conflict. Large urban centres, the destination for many young people seeking opportunities, face increasing difficulties in managing large informal settlements that continue to grow.

Misean Cara members focus on empowering youth through income-generation and diversification initiatives (for men and women, together or separately as required for gender empowerment) that support poor or marginalised people who cannot access such assistance elsewhere, including through:

  • Micro-credits, grants, technical skills and vocational training, business skills and enterprise training, and support for farmers’ co-operatives that can viably link people to local markets for food, goods or services.
  • Job creation through TVET and the development or scaling up of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and the development of profit-based social enterprises that can stimulate the development of a domestic private sector and contribute to economic growth.
  • Supporting local economic development initiatives, particularly in informal settlements in urban areas and initiatives targeting isolated or marginal areas, as well as communities living at low subsistence levels in rural areas.

In 2019, Misean Cara allocated over €2.2 million to 48 livelihoods projects in 18 countries, implemented by 24 members, with a total target population of over 116,753 direct beneficiaries. Over the last two years, Misean Cara has supported 42 projects in South Africa and Zambia, to the total value of €2,148,334.

A common feature of the projects funded by Misean Cara is our members’ commitment to the Missionary Approach to Development Intervention (MADI), which is characterised by a long-term, commitment to working with the most marginalised, excluded and vulnerable communities, and groups within communities. Inherently a faith-based approach, it adopts a holistic view of development, and seeks sustainable long-term solutions. The proposed Evaluation will contribute to our understanding of how the distinctive features of the missionary approach contribute to employment opportunities and income generation for youth.

Tendering Procedure and Timeframe

Requests for the full invitation to tender document and additional information can be made via email to tender@miseancara.ie in advance of submitting a tender proposal. A log will be kept of such queries and any additional information provided will be shared with other prospective tenderers. Preliminary indication by email of an intention to submit a tender proposal will ensure you are on this communication list.

Tender proposals will not exceed 12 pages in length, excluding appendices, if relevant, and will form part of the Terms of Reference in addition to this invitation to tender document. It is envisaged that the preferred tenderer will be selected within 2-3 weeks of submission deadline and contracts signed immediately thereafter.

Tender proposals must be submitted by email to Seamus Collins, Learning & Development Manager, at tender@miseancara.ie with “Tender Proposal: Effectiveness review of projects supporting employment opportunities and income generation for youth” stated in the email subject line.

Submission deadline for tender proposals is 18:00, May 11th 2020.