Consultancy – Call for Applications for Review of the literature on the economic impact of labour migration (Individual Contract) At International Labour Organization

Terms of Reference

Review of the literature on the economic impact of labour migration

(March 2023)

1. Background and context

The Southern African Migration Management (SAMM) project is designed to improve migration management in the Southern African and Indian Ocean region. The SAMM project is a model of a ONE-UN approach as a collaborative effort between 4 UN development and humanitarian agencies: the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The SAMM project forms part of the European Union Regional Indicative Programme (11th EDF RIP) for Eastern Africa, Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean (2014–2020) which includes among its objectives the facilitation of safe, orderly and regular migration and the prevention of irregular migration. It focuses on South-South migration flows and positive spill-over effects of international migration on regional integration and regional economic development. The European Union is supporting and funding the implementation of the project.

SAMM’s overall objective is to improve migration management in the Southern African and Indian Ocean region guided by, and contributing to the realisation of, the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda (goal 8 on decent work and economic growth and goal 10 on reducing inequalities).

The project is comprised of two main project components: 1. Labour Migration; and 2. Mixed Migration. The first component supports the implementation of the UN Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) and the second one the application of the UN Global Compact on Refugees (GCR), as well as of the GCM.

Regional Economic Communities (RECs) are key stakeholders in SAMM’s implementation.

One of SAMM’s key project priorities is to support the formulation and realisation of International Labour Migration and Mixed Migration Frameworks of: i) the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA); ii) the Southern African Development Community (SADC); and iii) the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC).

The project focuses on the Southern African Region, and targets the following 16 SADC countries: Angola, Botswana, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, the Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Work under this consultancy is linked to SAMM’s Workplan as follows:

One of the thematic areas under the SAMM project’s labour migration component is the formulation, consolidation and implementation of gender-responsive policies and/or strategies regulating labour migration at national and/or regional level (while ensuring policy coherence among labour migration, employment and education). In this context, research is also undertaken to inform policy development and implementation, as well as advocacy for a rights-based approach to labour migration.

Against this backdrop, these Terms of Reference define the background, purpose and outputs of this consultancy, which serves to support the planned empirical assessment of the contribution of migrant workers in SADC.

2. Technical context

The SADC Labour Migration Policy Framework (2014) seeks to promote sound management of intra-regional labour migration for the benefit of both countries of origin and countries of destination as well as migrant workers themselves. One of the specific objectives of this Framework is the development and implementation of national labour migration policies. In accordance with this Framework, Member States should have had national labour migration policies in place by 2020, but several countries are still in the process of developing such policies.

Adoption of SADC’s Labour Migration Policy Framework was followed by three Labour

Migration Action Plans (LMAPs) designed to implement it: the SADC Labour Migration Action Plan 2013-2015, the SADC Labour Migration Action Plan 2016-2019 and the SADC Labour Migration Action Plan 2020-2025. The first strategic objective of the current LMAP 2020-2025 is to strengthen labour migration policies and regulatory systems for better labour migration governance, while the second strategic objective is to protect migrant workers’ rights and improve advocacy and awareness of their contribution to development and regional integration. One of the outputs under the second objective is the production and dissemination of labour migration knowledge products, including statistical reports and research papers.

It is in this context, that several countries have expressed their interest to prepare an empirical assessment of the economic contribution of migrant workers. Such assessments have been made for several African countries, including South Africa in the SADC region, under the joint ILO/OECD Development Centre Project ‘Assessing the economic contribution of labour migration in developing countries as countries of destination (ECLM)’.[1] The ECLM project undertook a comparative analysis of the economic contribution of migrant workers in ten developing countries, using existing as well as new methodologies. The research project focused on three main dimensions of the economic contribution of migrant workers: 1. Impact of migrant workers on GDP and productivity; 2. Labour market impact of migrant workers; and 3. Contribution of migrant workers to public finance.

In line with the regional context on policy development, the aim of the current terms of reference is to update the review of the literature in the ECLM reports, in particular with regard to methodological developments and more recent empirical assessments especially in the African context. The review of the literature should cover all three areas listed above and serve to inform the current round of policy development and implementation in SADC. In addition, the review should prepare the ground for new empirical assessments in selected countries and notably South Africa as a major country of destination.

3. Objectives and tasks

The consultant will undertake a review of the literature on the economic contribution of migrant work, with a focus on empirical assessments in Africa. Furthermore, the consultant will conduct a series of interviews with recognized academics/experts, with a view to improving the methodologies detailed and used in the ECLM comparative report.

Accordingly, the consultant will undertake the following tasks:

  1. Prepare an inception report for the review of the literature, including an initial list of (1) sources of literature to be reviewed; and (2) experts to be interviewed.
  2. Review the literature in in accordance with the inception report
  3. Conduct the interviews in accordance with the inception report
  4. Prepare a draft report and presentation, including recommendations with regard to the methodologies to be employed
  5. Present the findings in an event (in collaboration with SAMM)
  6. Prepare the final report and presentation

4. Methodology and deliverables

The consultant will work closely with the SAMM staff, and in particular the Technical Officer (ILO SAMM/Lusaka), as well as the Senior Labour Migration Specialist (ILO Pretoria).

The methodology for the assignment includes the following elements:

  • Desk review of national and international documentation relevant to the analysis of the economic contribution of migrant work; sources should include international agencies as well as academic literature
  • Key informant interviews and/or consultations (virtual or face to face) with selected academics based on the literature and the ECLM reports (fifteen academics – about five per major topic) and stakeholders from international agencies and other institutions (five interviewees)

The expected deliverables are:

  1. Inception Report
  2. Reports from interviews of experts
  3. Main draft report on the survey of the literature on the economic contribution of migrant worker in the three areas (GDP, labour market and public finance)
  4. Recommendations with regard to the empirical assessment of the economic contribution of migrant work in SADC countries
  5. Presentation (powerpoint) on the main findings and the recommendations
  6. Final report

5. Qualifications and experience required

Education: Advanced university degree in Development Studies, Economics, Migration studies, or other relevant Social Sciences degree with a strong empirical component.

Experience: At least 7 years of demonstrated experience on empirical labour market analysis and/or empirical labour migration analysis. Experience with any of the methodologies in the ECLM report (labour market, public finance, GDP contribution) would be an asset. Languages: Excellent command of English.

6. Terms of contract for the consultant

The consultant will be responsible for all expected outputs mentioned in the terms of reference.

Daily fees will range between 300 to 600 USD.

Fees will be determined depending on the knowledge and experience of the consultant(s) and in SADC countries on the technical area under study: labour migration governance.

Payment schedule is as follows:

  • One third of fees to be paid upon delivery of the first two deliverables (see above) to the satisfaction of the ILO.
  • One third of fees to be paid upon delivery of items (3) and (4) of the deliverables (see above) to the satisfaction of the ILO.
  • One third of fees to be paid upon delivery of items (5) and (6) of the deliverables (see above) to the satisfaction of the ILO.

7. Timeline and payment breakdown

The consultant will work for a total of 30 non-consecutive working days*.*

Starting date: ____21/April/2023__________

End date: ______21/August/2023__________

8. Supervision and reporting

The consultant will report to the ILO Country Office for South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini (Labour Migration Specialist) and the SAMM project (CTA and Data Officer).


How to apply

9. Application

Interested candidates are invited to submit their applications by Midnight South African Standard Time (GMT+2) on 16th April 2023 to the International Labour Organization (

Applicants should include the following documentation:

  • CV/resumé;
  • A technical proposal (Expression of Interest) not exceeding 3 pages in length with a description of the proposed approach to carry out the required work;
  • 3 weblinks to latest labour migration articles/reports or attach 3 writing samples (only published material);
  • 3 references;
  • A half a page financial proposal expressed in daily professional fees in USD to achieve expected outputs and the total costs of the assignment.

Please consider that:

  • The ILO only engages individuals or companies in its Suppliers Database. Interested bidders should submit at their earliest convenience their filled in supplier’s forms (see attached forms).
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