Terms of Reference for a Scoping Study of Options for Sustainable Livelihoods for Amerindian Peoples in Guyana




In 2016 the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) launched a project with the support of the Government of Norway and in alliance with the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) and the Rainforest Foundation US (RF-US). Project activities will seek to influence the climate and forest programs and policies in Guyana to ensure support for indigenous communities in rolling out sustainable livelihood programs and community-based initiatives. To that end, it seeks to promote and enable improved implementation of REDD+ safeguards and support for community driven solutions. It will produce, validate, and publicly disseminate updated information from the field, which can be used by government and international agencies in shaping policies on land and forests (including Low Carbon Development Strategy and REDD+ programs) in Guyana.

Part of that effort will focus on how Amerindian communities can best take advantage of both funding and technical support available (including investments in low carbon development and climate mitigation and adaptation finance) to build their infrastructure for sustainable development, meeting strategic and priority needs first to influence regional landscape planning for conservation and sustainable development objectives. Under this component, a number of studies are being commissioned, including this scoping study on low carbon and climate resilient investment opportunities for indigenous communities.

The project will promote increased dialogue on these issues between indigenous communities, organizations, and the government.  It will also produce maps of indigenous lands and forests, including specific maps showing customary tenure systems as well as overlaps with other land use types. These maps will facilitate constructive dialogue with the government on tenure and forest issues and inform decision-making on local and national levels.  The project will also support communities in identifying viable options for sustainable livelihoods including the development of adaptation measures by communities.  If the project is successful in promoting national policies and actions for the establishment of legally secure community forests and territories, it has the potential to make progress towards Guyana’s conservation of natural forests – the great majority of which are located on indigenous lands in the interior of the country.


Objectives of the study 

The objectives of this study are to lay the groundwork for development of community-led sustainable livelihood, appropriate technology and renewable energy projects through feasibility studies, which can contribute to community decision making, proposal development, and securing of funding for demonstration projects.  That groundwork consists of data gathering from multiple sources including government, the private sector and the communities. APA and its allies can gather needed information from the communities, but wish assistance with economic and market data gathering and processing that information into usable inputs for communities in their discussion and planning of possible investments. A project incubator will be established later to promote sustainable community livelihood programs, facilitating access to funds in Guyana and internationally. In sum, we are looking for not just a synthesis of literature/desk review and field interviews, but processing that information into usable inputs for regional spatial planning. Methodological and materials production support can be provided by APA, FPP and RF-US.  In short, we want a study that outlines:


  1. A set of options for community development initiatives – including feasibility assessment based on requirements for communities including costs, capacities, time and resources and markets both in Guyana and abroad and we want this explained in a way that is simple and adapted for communities in Guyana.
  2. A set of clear guidelines or recommendations for communities and support NGOS about how to take these projects forward – financing, technical skills, required resources and costs, etc.


Expected Products

Scoping study for sustainable livelihood options for indigenous communities in Guyana, current snapshot of economic activity at the national level, including:

  • levels of production for currently grown agricultural products (ginger, pineapple, pepper, tomato, etc.), cattle, fish, other
  • handicraft
  • eco-tourism
  • timber and non-timber forest products including processed goods (e.g. soap)
  • pricing information
  • issues surrounding storage, value added processing, transport networks and market outlets in Georgetown, and regional hubs [specify where],
  • Existing data sources and digital copies of databases of private investment in Guyana


As well as appropriate scale experiences and opportunities for community-driven development where experiences may be drawn from examples beyond Guyana, such as:

  • Alternative and renewable energy (solar, micro hydro, wind, biofuels from native palms), existing mini-grids
  • Water and sanitation
  • Responsible/Green mining
  • Tele-communications (satellite, cellular telephone, internet, radio, TV)
  • Construction, appropriate technology, water management, irrigation, agriculture
  • Education and training (particularly for women and youth)


Principal functions and responsibilities of the consultant

Consultant will be responsible for both desk review and field interviews with indigenous, government and private sector actors both in Guyana and beyond to gather information for a written report not more than 30 pages and a paper and electronic archive of documents gathered. Field interviews should be in both Georgetown and regional hubs, as well as visits to promising indigenous and non-indigenous projects and investments around the country. Report should include an electronic version of all documents, data, articles and information gathered.

Consultant will carry out phases 1 and 2 of the research with minimal support, although FPP, RF-US and APA will identify suggested projects both internationally and in Guyana for further investigation and will coordinate regular calls to discuss progress, identify obstacles and support information gathering.


Principal Activities

Phase 1: Literature and desk review

  • Literature/desk review of existing studies and materials/experiences on mining, forestry, agricultural, cattle production, indigenous crop production, pricing, transport and marketing as well as appropriate approaches for communities (e.g. markets for organic and certified products, cooperative production systems e.g. coffee and cacao)
  • Literature/desk review of existing studies and materials/experiences on alternative and small scale renewable energy projects for communities
  • Literature/desk review of existing studies and materials/experiences on small scale production and processing of NTFPS including handicrafts including relevant requirements for communities (costs/capacities/time/resources etc.)
  • Literature/desk review of existing studies and materials/experiences on community water and sanitation projects including relevant requirements (costs/capacities/time/resources etc.)
  • Literature/desk review of existing studies and materials/experiences on community eco-tourism projects including relevant requirements for communities (costs/capacities/time/resources etc.)
  • Summary of current and recent data available, data gaps, especially in project communities.
  • Inventory of enterprises, IFI projects, government programs to access finance, capacity building, and technical support for productive projects
  • Sources of finance from banks, companies and private investors and summary of current level of public and private investment in forestry, mining, energy, transport, telecommunications, agriculture sectors
  • Information on pricing and markets for crops and NTFPs
  • Summary information on government tax, customs regulation and clearance for import/export
  • Annotated bibliography of relevant laws, regulations, codes, etc.
  • Sources of technical assistance, loans and grants, public and NGO, civil society
  • Inventory (contact list) of potential organizations with who we can partner to move sustainable livelihood investments forward


Phase 2: Field Interviews

  • Visit government officials, private sector owners and investors, in both Georgetown, regional hubs and selected promising projects around the country, including 6-12 indigenous owned small businesses or other community-led initiatives.
  • Summary of field interviews
  • Summary of experiences and lessons learned from project/enterprises/initiatives in indigenous communities


Reporting and Timetable

This position will be full time from December 2016 through March 2017.


Consultant will report to a team at APA, FPP and RF-US, who will manage this consultancy.


Tentative (16 week) timeline:

  • 1 Week work plan and launch
  • 5 Weeks literature desk review
  • 3 Weeks field work for field interviews
  • 2 Weeks for gathering national level data
  • 2 Weeks data analysis and processing
  • 1 Week final report
  • 2 Weeks production of regional planning materials


Payment and Terms

A competitive salary for approximately 4 months, commensurate with experience, in addition to travel expense, will be available to support this short term consultancy.



Application Information 

To apply for this consultancy, please submit letter of interest summarizing relevant experience and curriculum vitae to Rupa Harisingh, Program Officer at the Amerindian Peoples Association at: rupa.harisingh@apaguyana.com copy to apaguy@networksgy.com ; Conrad Feather, Policy Advisor at the Forest Peoples Programme at conrad@forestpeoples.org  and/or Joshua Lichtenstein, Program Manager at the Rainforest Foundation US, at: jlichtenstein@rffny.org. Due to capacity constraints only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Indigenous researchers are encouraged to apply.