Retainer Consultant(s)

Position: Retainer Consultant(s) – Non Farm Livelihood Project: NRLM
Reports to: Project Lead, TAU
Duration: 31st December 2022 (extendable)
Fees: To be Determined

Job Summary:

The Government of India, Ministry of Rural Development had launched the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) in June 2011 after restructuring its existing centrally sponsored flagship Scheme “Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana” (SGSY). The NRLM functions in a mission mode for target based time bound delivery of outcomes following a demand driven approach which would allow the states to formulate their own poverty alleviation plans on the basis of available allocation, resources and skills. The Project Development Objective for the National Rural Economic Transformation Project (NRETP) is: to establish efficient and effective institutional platforms of the rural poor that enable them to increase household income through sustainable livelihood enhancements and improved access to financial and selected public services.

Further details about NRLM can be accessed from

The position of a Retainer Consultant (Non Farm Livelihoods) has been envisaged at the National level to spearhead Non-farm Livelihoods Agenda of SRLMs in the National Mission Management Unit, NRLM and in the State Rural Livelihoods Missions (SRLMs). As part of its support to NRLM, IFMR LEAD is looking for dynamic individuals for the position of Retainer Consultant – (Non Farm Livelihoods), NRLM.

There are multiple positions to be filled as detailed in the coming sections.

Summary of Key Functions:

The Retainer Consultant, (Non Farm Livelihoods) will work under the guidance and supervision of the National Mission Manager (Enterprises Promotion and Development- Non Farm), NRLM

The incumbent will primarily be responsible for providing programme and thematic management support and technical assistance to the states, working in close coordination with the National Mission Management Unit (NMMU) – set up by NRLM to provide programme management support and technical assistance to NMMU.

S/he will undertake any other task assigned by the Mission Director, NRLM.


Thematic Anchor – Enterprise Technology and Monitoring

Duties and Responsibilities

Project Level
     •      Liaise with the service provider for developing / modifying existing enterprise software to suit the field context
     •      Analyze data and report on enterprises supported under NRLM
     •      Instate mechanisms to ensure timely data collection and entry in the NRLM system (MIS)
     •      Develop and update database of enterprises supported under NRLM
     •      Compile, analyze and report data on project status at the district and block level

Enterprise Level
     •      Develop sectoral benchmarks to enable CRPs compare and analyze enterprise performance on selected indicators
     •      Ensure baselining of enterprises
     •      Develop data collection tools and formats
     •      Ensure timely performance tracking of enterprises supported on the field

Thematic Anchor – Content Management and Capacity Building

Duties and Responsibilities

     •      Analyze available content within NRLM and standardize learning outcomes
     •      Conduct training needs analysis of CRPs and entrepreneurs and develop content to meet the needs
     •      Explore content providers to develop specific content by enterprise typology
     •      Explore digital platforms to develop / customize enterprise viability and business planning tools (by enterprise typology)
     •      Develop a pool of master trainers (from the community) for delivering training to CRPs and entrepreneurs
     •      Converge with other government ministries for certification of CRPs and trainers
     •      Scout and develop a pool of technical experts to support NRLM in development of content for growth-enterprises and sectoral enterprises

Thematic Anchor – Partnerships, Communications and Marketing

Duties and Responsibilities

     •      Explore private, non-governmental, governmental, incubators, CSR players, etc. working in the field of enterprise development and determine opportunities for convergence / partnership
     •      Develop proposals for convergence / partnership at central / state level
     •      Assist in standardizing partner processes to suit field context
     •      Conduct innovation forums / convene design labs in partnership with private sector and social enterprises to develop marketable products that can be produced by rural women entrepreneurs
     •      Document cases and best practices from the field
     •      Work with state-level team to compile and update a database of products, along with their specifications and descriptions
     •      Explore e-commerce and conventional avenues for retailing products produced by enterprises
     •      Explore partnerships for supply of raw material and services to SRLM enterprises at cheaper prices (eg: partner with FMCG companies to supply products at cheaper prices to retail shops in a particular area)
     •      Ensure participation of enterprises in fairs, exhibitions, etc.
     •      Analyze market trends and assist enterprises with pricing of goods and services
     •      Scout and develop a pool of technical experts to support SRLMs / enterprises with quality standardization (for various types of enterprises)

Thematic Anchor – Creative Clusters

Duties and Responsibilities

     •      Assist SRLMs in conducting scoping / diagnostic studies of suggested clusters
     •      Scout for technical service agencies to assist selected clusters
     •      Prepare / evaluate intervention plans for the clusters
     •      Instate mechanisms to institutionalize / organize the cluster
     •      Explore convergence opportunities with existing government schemes
     •      Explore opportunities to connect the cluster with suppliers of raw material and bulk and / or boutique buyers
     •      Scout and develop a pool of technical experts to support clusters in states
     •      Facilitate clusters to avail certifications (fair trade, craftsmark, GI etc.)
     •      Identify new natural/ induced clusters and understand the drivers, gaps and potential investments.


Corporate Competencies:

     •      Demonstrates integrity;
     •      Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of NRLM and IFMR LEAD;
     •      Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and
     •      Treats all people fairly without favoritism;
     •      Good leader and team player, strong ability to work with teams and with people with no reporting relationships.

Functional Competencies:
Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise

     •      Possesses understanding of issues pertaining to poverty reduction and rural livelihoods, specifically non farm livelihoods;
     •      Should have the ability to conceptualise programs and get the same implemented across the country.
     •      Data driven, good with numbers and numeracy skills, open to learning and adaptable, should be willing to adapt to ground realities. Basic qualitative and quantitative research skills.
     •      Has expertise in using Livelihoods Planning and micro-planning tools, methods and skills;
     •      Has expertise in value-chain analysis and subsector studies;
     •      Has hands-on supply chain management knowledge and expertise;
     •      Ability to build and sustain effective partnerships with Government Agencies and main constituents, advocate effectively, communicate sensitively across different constituencies;
     •      Possesses consultative and collaborative capacities;
     •      Capacity to gather comprehensive information on complex problems or situations, evaluate information accurately and identify key issues required to resolve problems;
     •      Builds strong relationships with the NMMU team and State Rural Livelihoods Missions, focusing on impact and result;
     •      Possesses basic knowledge of organizational policies and procedures relating to the position and applies them consistently in work tasks.
     •      Should have a strong training and development motivation;
     •      Has ability to work under supervision as well as with self-initiative and motivation and should be motivated by social change and impact at scale;
     •      Proven ability to coordinate the work of others and to work as part of a team and share knowledge with others;
     •      Leads teams effectively and shows conflict resolution skills;
     •      Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
     •      Strong facilitation and communication (written and oral) skills.

Required Skills and Experience:

Education: Master’s Degree or equivalent in Science, Engineering, Technology, Management, Agriculture, Economics, Social Sciences, Political Science, Development Studies or related fields.

Experience (as relevant): 7-10 years of work experience in general with:

Minimum of 5 years of relevant experience in the development sector at the state/national level in:
     •      Non-farm based livelihoods including micro-enterprises, collectives and producer companies;
     •      Livelihoods Planning, Value-chain Analysis and Subsector Studies;
     •      Business Planning in Enterprises;
     •      Backward and Forward Linkages, Supply Chain Management and Marketing of/for the Non-farm produce and services;
     •      Design and implementation of large livelihoods projects;
     •      Range of studies such as thematic studies, poverty studies, etc., and studies involving community based institutions;
     •      Coordination and facilitation of senior, complex teams;
     •      Providing management advisory services.

Language: Proficiency in spoken and written English and Hindi is required. Working knowledge of any of the NRETP state language/s is desirable but not essential.

Travel: The role will require traveling to NRETP states and working closely with SMMUs. The candidate must be willing to travel at short notice.

Please note the tenure of the position would be initially till 31st December 2022 and position will be a contractual basis and based on performance and requirement of NRLM, the contract may further be extended for 1-2 years. Interested candidates, who are meeting the desired qualification and skillset, may please apply by sending an updated CV along with a cover letter to notify position of interest and how their profile aligns with the requirements. The applications should be emailed to . The last date of submission of application along with the CV is 6th September, 2019, 1700 hrs (IST).