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Regional (West Balkan) and Kosovo Challenge Funds: Consulting Services

StatusContest for participation
PositionInternational & National Experts
Origin of fundingKfW Development Bank, Frankfurt, Germany
Duration5 years

One of the central issues concerning the Western Balkans Six Economies (WB6) is a persistently high rate of unemployment despite recent economic developments. While the average unemployment rate in the region is approximately 20%, the rate of youth unemployment is estimated to be as high as 40-60%. At the same time, expanding businesses are hampered by a lack of suitably qualified labour impacting on their growth. The reason for this paradox lies in vocational education and training (VET) systems that is not sufficiently responding to the needs of the labour market.

The “Regional Challenge Fund” (RCF) and the “Kosovo Challenge Fund Project” (KCF) shall be designed as distinct facilities to strengthen the labour market relevance of vocational training particularly through support to VET projects that are jointly implemented by vocational training institutes and partner enterprises (cooperative training approach). Partnerships of VTIs and enterprises shall be further referred to as ‘VET-Consortia’. The cooperative train- ing approach shall be further quoted as ‘CT’ approach.

Reflecting the situation of the vocational training sectors and the enterprises in the WB6 region, the RCF shall follow a holistic approach through a combination of quality development in vocational training and promotion of employment. Ultimately cooperative training offers will show a high responsiveness to labour market requirements and a better match of theoretical and practical training. Through the practical training phases within the enterprises, a regular contact between employers and vocational learners will be established, which will facilitate employment of those VET graduates that have shown good performance.

The provided funds will be utilized to promote a competitive process (calls for proposals) to select innovative proposals for the improvement of vocational education and training. The proposals submitted by the VET-Consortia will be selected based on predefined criteria. Those consortia that are successful will subsequently be supported by a Fund Management Unit in the implementation process, to ensure the best possible outcome is achieved. Wherever possible, the Challenge Funds will make use of and build on existing structures, and work collaboratively with other development partners.


Experts' Profiles:

Fund Management Unit (FMU)

1. Team Leader (long-term)

  • Overall management and coordination, communication with governance bodies, representation etc.
  • MBA or similar, >10 years professional international experience in related tasks/similar projects;

2. Procurement (long-term)

  • Manage the procurement cycle for works, equipment and services procurement
  • MSc, Engineer or similar, >7 years of professional experience, experience with donor guidelines preferably of KfW and ESHS guidelines

3. Finance (long-term)

  • Fund management, Accounting, etc.
  • MBA or similar, >10 years of professional experience in financial management of similar amounts

4. M&E (long-term)

  • Assuring M&E requirements are followed, manage data bank and website reporting, lessons learned
  • MA, MBA or similar, >7 years of professional experience in M&E, including tracer studies

5. Project coordinators (long-term)

  • Management of the selection process, communication with beneficiaries etc.
  • MA, MBA or similar, >7 years of professional experience in project management

6. Support staff (long-term and short-term)

  • IT advisor, legal advisor and secretary, PR advisor


Selection Expert Pool (short-term provenance from outside the region / international)

Assessment of project applications and proposal definition of support needed for project preparation

1. VET Experts (2)

  • Engineers, senior VET experts, >10 years international professional experience in VET, VTI management, teacher training

2. Business / Labour market experts (2)

  • MBA or similar, >10 years experience in the field of labour market and business development

3. Project management (2)

  • Engineers, MBA, MSc, other, >10 years technical experience in project management, preferentially in the context of VET


Technical Expert Pool

Support to the selected VET-consortia  in detail planning (procurement plan costing) and advisory-supervision during implementation.

1. VET Experts (2) (short-term, from outside the region / int.)

  • Engineers, senior VET experts, >10 years international profes- sional experience in VET, VTI management, teacher training

2. Project / Business management Experts (2) (short-term, reg. or int.)

  • MBAs or similar, >10 years regional experience in project management, Business development, company relations etc.

3. Technical Experts (2) (short-term, reg. or int.)

  • Engineers, MSc, other, >10 years technical  experience in construction, technical equipment in the context of VET, and other technical professions that might be relevant in the projects



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