Careers Vacancy

Consultancy – Promote entrepreneurship on ecotourism with cultural identity led by Indigenous women in Panama as part of PEMIP


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. FSC IF is a global organization created by and for Indigenous Peoples that seeks to provide long-term solutions supporting Indigenous communities worldwide.

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 utilizes 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 enabling environments where Indigenous Peoples can pursue their development.


IPARD is promoting the strengthening of Indigenous value chains through sustainability standards and long-term partnerships with the private, public sectors, and civil society. According to the above, IPARD will support the Indigenous Peoples’ capacities for business development and financial inclusion, through partnerships with diverse actors aimed at empowering them. In this process, IPARD has begun to identify Indigenous Peoples’ business needs and opportunities, as well as the actions needed for their development. For the Panamanian context, one of the most promising sectors and where Indigenous People’s Organizations (IPOs) have been actively participating and aiming to strengthen is the tourism sector.

In Panama, IPARD has been working to support the design and implementation of the Indigenous Women Economic Empowerment Plan (PEMIP). The PEMIP is a comprehensive and pioneering initiative that articulates commitments from diverse actors to advance toward the full inclusion and socioeconomic rights of Panamanian Indigenous women, based on their leadership and self-determination. The PEMIP was co-created with leaders of the Advisory Committee of Indigenous Women of Panama (CAMIP), the national government, with the support of financial and technical support from the Inter-American Development Bank and IPARD, and the advisory of ENRED, a private consulting firm. The plan seeks to address the challenges that affect Indigenous women in Panama. The plan defines 10 axes around economic empowerment: coverage of basic needs, education and training, labor insertion, self-employment and entrepreneurship, financial inclusion, digital inclusion, care, knowledge and recognition, leadership, and governance.

So far, IPARD has supported PEMIP implementation through its Objective 2, first, on the development of a rescue of cultural references guide of Panamanian Indigenous Peoples, which was piloted with the Ipeti-Embera community. Second, elaborating CAMIP’s regulations, and third, designing a strategy and roadmap to strengthen Indigenous women’s engagement in incidences on public policies. IPARD can also support PEMIP through its Objective 3. Thirty-five percent of all the prioritized activities in the PEMIP are related to IPARD’s objective 3 in areas like entrepreneurship, employment and financial inclusion. Therefore, there is a clear need and opportunity to support the implementation of activities related to entrepreneurship and financial inclusion and capitalize on the positive results that Objective 2 has already achieved. Objective 3 will keep strengthening Indigenous Women through the implementation of some additional PEMIP’s activities including engaging in the tourism value chain, which looks to be the most promising for achieving impact.

To achieve IPARD’s goal of creating self-determined Indigenous Businesses and especially to strengthen the businesses of Indigenous women and the tourism value chains in the Panamanian context, specific expertise and connection to the communities and territories are required. IPARD is looking for a partner to support the economic development implementation of some PEMIP’s activities and to build a model to work with Indigenous women entrepreneurs with the following characteristics: First, a partner with experience not only in entrepreneurship but on women and on Indigenous women’s economic empowerment. Second, with knowledge of the Panama political context and the specific context of Indigenous women. Third, an organization that is trusted and has built strong relations with Indigenous women and their institutions or/and representatives. Finally, an organization with experience working in the tourism sector, ideally local/indigenous tourism.


1.  General Objective

Support the implementation of the Indigenous Women Economic Empowerment Plan (PEMIP 2025) by improving the existing Panamanian Indigenous Women’s business savviness in the tourism value chain under a cultural and gender lens.

2.  Specific objectives

  1. Improve managerial skills and business performance of the prioritized Indigenous Women-led tourism enterprises.
  2. Introduce and support Indigenous women-led business with market opportunities, access to finance and to other support programs at the national level
  3. Design a methodology to support Indigenous Women businesses in the tourism sector with a gender lens and cultural identity that could be replicable.

Illustrative activities:

The consulting firm will carry out the following activities assuring the Free, Prior, and Informed Prior Consultation (FPIC) protocols defined along the process in coordination with IPARD:

  1. Identification, selection, and assessment of three to four Indigenous women’s enterprises in Panama in the tourism sector.
  2. Based on the assessment, codesign with the business owners and IPARD a capacity strengthening plan.
  3. Design and implement a training plan to improve women’s skills and strengthen their businesses with cultural and gender lenses.
  4. Connect the Indigenous women entrepreneurs to other programs or opportunities at a national and/or international level, prioritizing access to finance and markets.
  5. Prepare a lessons-learned report with the main results and recommendations on how to support Indigenous women-led businesses.

Expected deliverables:

  1. Workplan to implement the consultancy and methodology to select the Indigenous women’s businesses in Panama.
  2. Assessment of each Indigenous women businesses and the corresponding strengthening plan
  3. Report on the training results and the links done with other programs and opportunities, especially with the financial and commercial sector. The report must include results on the following: 1) Satisfaction survey delivered by IPARD 2) knowledge improvement (pre and post-test designed by the consultant) 3) attendance list and, 4) tools and materials used.
  4. Final report with lessons learned and main outcomes of the project. This report should focus on identifying 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 financial proposal should include a budget, explaining each line item. All financial proposals should include taxes when applicable and explicitly note it in the budget.

Profile of the proponent firm:

  • Interdisciplinary team that includes professionals in social sciences, economics, gender, with at least 10 years of experience working on entrepreneurship, gender, women economic empowerment including projects with Indigenous Women.
  • Experience of at least 10 years implementing development projects in Panama
  • Proven record working with Indigenous women in Panama.
  • Knowledge of the Panamanian gender and social inclusion programs, ideally about the PEMIP.
  • Existing relations with Indigenous Peoples Organizations and national and international organizations with programs and projects in Panama supporting Indigenous Peoples.
  • Demonstrated cultural awareness and sensitivity to the diversity of values, views, and approaches to issues relevant to the FSC IF.
  • Being able to provide a physical or electronic invoice that complies with Panamanian regulations and is up to date with its tax obligations.
  • Availability to travel where Indigenous Women enterprises are working.
  • Previous experience working with international organizations and donors is desirable.
  • Strong oral and written communication of the team in Spanish, and desirable in English.

Duration of the assignment:

Ten months upon signing of the contract.

Applications need to include the following documents:

  1. CV/portfolio of the consultancy firm including information on clients, project location/country, main activities and objectives.
  2. Technical proposal including the timeline.
  3. Financial proposal including an explanation of the budget line items. This should include taxes when applicable

How to apply:

Submit your CV/portfolio, technical proposal, and financial proposal to the FSC IF e-mail address: by Monday, February 20th, 2023.