Impact Assessment of Accelerate Prosperity, An Initiative of AKDN
Request for Proposals
1. Background and Context

Accelerate Prosperity (AP) is an initiative of the AKDN in Central and South Asia, offering a formal structure to support and catalyze sustainable small and growing businesses. Started in 2016 as a joint initiative of the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) and the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development's Industrial Promotion Services (AKFED IPS), AP aims to inspire entrepreneurship, facilitate innovative business models, coach promising entrepreneurs, create networks and mentorship opportunities and accelerate business growth.

Accelerate Prosperity implements various projects across Central and South Asia from multiple donors. This study will focus on the following two projects which contributed majorly towards the achievements of AP over the years (2017-2022).

  • The Accelerate Prosperity in South and Central Asia (AP ASIA) is a 48-month project funded by European Union, and implemented by AKF, provides support to the development of startups and SGBs in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, to contribute toward enhancing equitable economic well-being of women and men in the rural settings to enable self-employment, especially for women and youth in supported enterprises.

  • Local Impact is a multi-year, multi-sector, and multi-country global partnership between AKF and USAID. It is a five-year Leader with Associates (LWA) cooperative agreement that allows USAID to work with AKF and its partners to design and implement projects that address development challenges across sectors. The project is implemented in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

Aga Khan Foundation would like to conduct the impact assessment of the program to independently study the performance of the program since its inception, gathering insights on results achieved to date, and facilitating internal reflection on how to strengthen the program going forward. The assessment will ideally take place in the first quarter of 2023.

2. Impact Assessment | Objectives and Scope

The purpose of the impact assessment is to study the entrepreneurship initiatives of AP over the period of 2017 to 2021, to gauge progress against the intended results, gather lessons learned from implementation, and draw a baseline to adjust the AP business model for 2022-2026. The assessment will provide: (a) in-progress feedback on how the initiative is being implemented to enable refinements/changes as soon as possible in achieving the AP higher-level results; (b) to share lessons learned by involving diverse stakeholders in the learning process; and (c) to provide a baseline for the AP business plan for 2022-2026.

The assessment will be guided by the AP PMF. Based on the results hierarchy, AP intends to review the achievements/failures and lessons learned at the following three levels:

Level 1: Extent to which the AP supported business/entrepreneurs have achieved success in starting, maintaining, and growing a profitable and innovative businesses

Level 2: Determine the extent to which AP has adequately and efficiently created indirect effects on the supported businesses/entrepreneurs and their employees to advance goals and objectives in entrepreneurship.

Level 3: Assess the contribution of AP's support to the entrepreneurship sector and the broader entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Detailed assessment questions will be finalized in consultation with the hired firm. A preliminary list of assessment questions is attached in the detailed ToRs.

Across all three levels, AP intends to determine the extent to which it will build on existing knowledge and evidence, and identify lessons learned that could inform future planning and programming. Additionally, AP aims to assess the extent to which the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) being integrated in the initiative.

The assessment will also measure the successes and impact of AP's implementation of the AP Asia and USAID Local Impact initiative 2020-Present, as guided by their respective PMF.

For further details on the background, objectives, and scope of the assessment, please refer to the detailed TORs: More information about the AP strategy and its components can also be found on AP's website:

3. Duration, Implementation Arrangements, and Work plan

The impact assessment will be carried out by a consultant during 44 working days, between 15th June 2023, and July 24th, 2023. The first draft of the report must be submitted to AP by June 24th, 2023, the exact schedule/plan of the consultancy will be agreed upon with the consultant before the signing of the contract.

4. Consultant(s)/Firms Experience and Qualification

The impact assessment is open to consulting firms only. The firms must meet the following eligibility criteria.

  • Over 10 years' experience in conducting Impact Assessments and Evaluations in Central and South Asia.

  • Proven Experience in Assessing Entrepreneurship programs in Central and South Asia.

  • Lead Subject Matter Expert with a postgraduate degree in business, research, or other relevant fields.

  • Extensive conceptual and methodological skills and experience in quantitative and qualitative assessment, including evaluation designs, participatory and theory-based approaches, and quantitative and qualitative methods.

  • Prior work experience in Central and South Asia with proven understanding of the entrepreneurship context in the region.

  • Should have excellent facilitation, coordination, negotiation, and English writing skills especially report writing.

  • Fluency in regional languages where AP is working will be an advantage (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan)

5. Selection Criteria
The proposal will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Conceptual framework and methodology proposed in the proposal and responsiveness of the proposal to the ToRs

  • Relevant professional experience of the consultant(s) demonstrated through CVs of the team

  • Organizational profile with 10 years or more of relevant experience

  • Quality and relevance of sample evaluation reports (at least two reports from the last five years)

  • Financial Quote

6. Budget and Payment

Firms are required to make a budget in their local currency, converted into Euro. AP is open to discussing with the consultants the tasks that could be completed within the given budget after initial selection. Payment to the consultant will be made based on the following schedule.

7. Proposal Submission
Applications should be forwarded to the Accelerate Prosperity at Friday, May 19th, 2023, before 5 PM PKT.

The application should comprise:

  1. A detailed technical proposal with proposed methodology

  2. A detailed budget

  3. An updated copy of the lead consultant's CV, including two references with contact details.

  4. Two examples of recently completed impact assessment reports, if publicly available.

For questions regarding the assignment please reach out to Ambareen Baig at