Careers Vacancy

Consultancy – Design and implement a strategy to strengthen the GUNAOBOB company and general Guna Congress, promoting entrepreneurship among the Gunayala communities from Panama


Organization description

In 2019, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) established the FSC Indigenous Foundation (FSC IF) as the operational office for the Permanent Indigenous Peoples’ Committee (PIPC).  FSC IF is a private interest foundation pursuant to Law No. 25 of June 12, 1995 of the Republic of Panama. The mission of the FSC IF is to unlock the enabling environment to secure Indigenous Peoples’ rights and promote sustainable forest-based solutions within 300 million hectares of Indigenous forests on the planet. The vision is that the global values of Indigenous Peoples, their rights, livelihoods, ecosystem services, natural capital, and territories are recognized and incorporated into forest governance, climate change governance, and market systems.

Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance for Rights and Development

FSC IF is the implementing partner of the USAID and FSC-funded five-year Global Development Alliance Program: Indigenous Peoples Alliance for Rights and Development (IPARD). IPARD is guided by three development objectives:

  • Objective 1: To organize and convene a Capacity Development Program for Indigenous Peoples’ organizations and stakeholders;
  • Objective 2: To foster an enabling environment for Indigenous Peoples’ recognition, effective participation, and joint decision-making in matters affecting them, and;
  • Objective 3: To promote Indigenous Peoples’ sustainable development based on sustainable economic models.

IPARD uses three interconnected approaches to support Indigenous Peoples to overcome their development challenges:

A.      Multi-Sectoral Approach (MSA): Under the strategic guidance of the IPARD Steering Committee (SC), IPARD convenes and leverages expertise from multi-sectoral. This approach ensures that IPARD considers the needs of Indigenous communities across a wide array of sectors. Based on the MSA, IPARD will bring diverse technical partners to support cross-sectoral projects that will achieve IPARD’s development objectives.

B.      Country-Focused Approach (CFA): the IPARD’s programmatic strategy is guided by a country-by-country focus driven by specific national contexts related to Indigenous Peoples. IPARD implements a structured process to identify, assess, and select countries to target its programs. FSC IF works jointly with the SC, and as guided by the MSA, in order to select countries and identify key priorities and strategies.

C.       Indigenous Project Management Approach (IPMA): Building on FSC IF’s network and relationships with Indigenous leaders and organizations around the world, IPARD pursues continuous dialogue, consultation, and feedback with Indigenous Peoples to inform the program. IPARD supports a forum through which FSC IF serves as a bridge between Indigenous Peoples, technical partners, national governments, and the private sector. IPARD invests in curating best practices and effective approaches and methodologies to ensure the strategic cohesion of multi-level partnerships.

Through these three approaches, IPARD aims to empower Indigenous Peoples’ organizations and catalyze an enabling environment where Indigenous Peoples can pursue their development.


IPARD is creating business linkages with the private, public, and civil society sectors and the appropriate conditions for institutional, technical, and financial sustainability of Indigenous Peoples’ businesses. According to the above, IPARD will implement the Center for Indigenous Innovation and Business Development (CIIBD). The CIIBD will serve as a space for activities oriented to delivering business services, engaging private partners, mobilizing funds, and strengthening business ideas, as well as providing guidance on licensing, market research, trade regulations, credit finance, management plans and other actions to strengthen Indigenous business models and their value chains. Based on the above, CIIBD will be constructed through a co-creative process to identify the demand for and supply of services for the development of Indigenous-Private Enterprises, as well as map the social, political, and economic constraints faced by Indigenous business organizations.

Considering that the CIIBD is in the design stage, IPARD has begun to partner with different organizations to identify the Indigenous Peoples’ business needs and opportunities in Panama, Guatemala and Africa, as well as the actions needed for their development. These actions will be connected to the CIIBD and will be an important input in its design considering the lessons learned, tools, partnerships and other achievements obtained during this process.

Within the activities identified for the design and implementation of the CIIBDs, IPARD has prioritized strengthening an association of the General Guna Congress of Panama. Through its Community Support Program, this Indigenous Peoples Organization (IPO) has been implementing actions to develop the productive systems of the Gunayala Comarca based on their traditional knowledge. These actions include ensuring food security and sovereignty, and the promotion of entrepreneurship.

Among the strategic actions prioritized by the General Guna Congress is the strengthening of the coconut value chain and its processing company Gunaogob. This company, located in the Mammidub community, is an association that links coconut producers from the Gunayala Comarca. The association offers the purchasing and processing service of coconut produced by indigenous communities from the region. The community has identified the following requirements for Gunaogob: 1) Updating/understanding of legal requirements to operate; 2) Operations Permit and 3) Certification in food handling. This company also requires strengthening its business model and building up more business capacities among its members. In the region there are also other endeavors led by young people and women that are related to the promotion and preservation of their traditional practices and that also require strengthening their business and sustainability capacities linked with the coconut value chain.

To address some of these challenges, the General Guna Congress has coordinated with the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA), the Institute of Agricultural Innovation (IDIAP) and the Ministry of Environment (MIAMBIENTE), the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MICI) and the Ministry of Health (MINSA) of Panama access to their technical assistance and business strengthening programs. However, the logistical requirements to access the area where the communities are located, the limitations of the government institutions to reach remote communities (financial resources, vehicles, number of extensionists), have limited the possibilities for this association to receive technical assistance from the government.


1. General Objective

Strengthen the Gunaogob business model and the General Guna Congress by promoting an entrepreneurial spirit in the Indigenous communities of the Gunayala Comarca in Panama.

2. Specific objectives

  1. Coordinating the training on good manufacturing practices of Gunaogob members
  2. Strengthening the business capacities of Gunaogob company and its members

Illustrative activities:

The consultant should coordinate and conduct all consultancy activities with the specialist of the Guna productive systems defined by the Guna General Congress (GGC). This specialist from the General Guna Congress will have experience in traditional agricultural production in Gunayala, will speak fluently Dulegaya and will support any methodological or tools adaption. The Consultancy should include at least the following activities:

  1. Design and validate with the General Guna Congress and IPARD a workplan to implement the consultancy activities. This workplan should include the methodology and logistic requirements related.
  2. Coordinate the execution of the training on good manufacturing practices to the members of Gunaogob in the Mammidub Community. To conduct this training, the consultancy will coordinate with the General Guna Congress and its partners (MIDA, IDIAP, MIAMBIENTE, MICI, MINSA and other pertinent). Training must be of minimum 16 hours and 10 participants.
  3. Assess the organizational capacities of Gunaogob and their needs through a participatory process
  4. Conduct a participatory understanding on Gunaogob’s business model. It is key to understand the viability of scaling their business model, which includes arranging a visit from the inspection of the health authority to check compliance with legal requirements
  5. Perform a market study and commercial plan for Gunaogob company based on the previous analysis and identifying market opportunities in the regional communities to strengthen the coconut value chain
  6. A plan should be designed and implemented to strengthen the business capacities required by the Gunaogob company. This strengthening process should include the following activities:
  7. Design a Gunaogob participatory action plan based on the diagnosis, the commercial plan, and the legal requirements to operate.
    1. Design and implement a training plan to strengthen Gunaogob based on the action plan. This training plan needs to be approved by Gunaogob and IPARD. Training must be of minimum 16 hours and 10 participants
    2. Mapping partnership opportunities with the private sector and encouraging encounters with Gunaogob.
  8. Prepare a lessons-learned report and feedback about the business-development process conducted by the consultancy, including contributions from participants of the activities (Guna Congress, entrepreneurs, partners and others).

Expected deliverables:

  1. Workplan and methodology to implement the consultancy.
  2. Memories of the training with the attendance list in good manufacturing practices and other entrepreneurship topics agreed upon with the General Guna Congress and entities of the government of Panama.
  3. Assessment report of Gunaogob organizational capacities and their needs through a participatory process under a gender lens.
  4. Diagnosis of Gunaogob’s business model including: viability of scaling the business model, level of development of key business areas: strategy, finance, environmental sustainability, sales, marketing, and business capacities of Gunaogob members
  5. Market study and commercial plan for Gunaogob company
  6. Participative Action Plan for the next year to be implemented by Gunaogob
  7. Report on training and other activities implemented to strengthen Gunaogob. The report must include results of the satisfaction survey delivered by IPARD, training materials used, and the evaluation of the knowledge improvement (pre and post-test designed by the consultant)
  8. Mapping report of identified private sector actors
  9. Documents of lessons learned and feedback about activities developed by the consultancy. In this report it is key to try to identify the particularities of working with Indigenous people’s businesses

Technical and Financial Proposal:

The proposal must include a technical proposal with the methodology that will be used to complete the consultancy. Additionally, a clear timeline must be presented. The methodology to use in the training and other building capacity process, data collection method, obstacles that might come up during the consultancy and ways to mitigate them.

The financial proposal should include a budget, explaining each line item (including the logistical expenses to develop the activities). All financial proposals should include taxes when applicable and explicitly note it in the budget.

The consultant must cover all the logistical expenses (transport, lodgings, and food of participants) to conduct the workshops and capacity development activities.

Profile of the consultant:

  1. Professional in economics, finance, marketing, business, agronomy, agriculture, agroecology, environmental, agribusiness, agroindustry or other related disciplines
  2. More than 5 years of experience working as a business consultant with a diverse set of business. Experience in agricultural value chains and specifically in the coconut value chain will be a plus.
  3. Demonstrated experience and knowledge of the proposed team on Indigenous Peoples’ rights and sustainable development
  4. Being able to provide a physical or electronic invoice that complies with Panamanian regulations and is up to date with its tax obligations
  5. Previous experience working with international organizations and donors desirable
  6. Demonstrated cultural awareness and sensitivity to the diversity of values, views, and approaches to issues relevant to the FSC IF
  7. Availability to travel to the Gunayala Comarca
  8. Strong oral and written communication of the team in Spanish, and English is desirable.

Applications need to include the following documents:

  • CV of the consultant including descriptions of relevant responsibilities (not just job title).
  • Technical proposal including the timeline.
  • Financial proposal including an explanation of the budget line items.

How to apply:

Submit your CV, technical proposal and financial proposal to the FSC IF e-mail address: no later than November 13, 2022, 5:00pm Panama time.