Employment Opportunities

Request for Proposals: Business Surveys on Economic Engagement with Canada in Asia

The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening ties between Canada and Asia. Our mission is to be Canada's catalyst for engagement with Asia and Asia's bridge to Canada with a focus on expanding economic relations through trade, investment, and innovation; promoting Canada's expertise in offering solutions to Asia's climate change, energy, food security, and natural resource management challenges; building Asia skills and competencies among Canadians, including young Canadians; and improving Canadians' general understanding of Asia and its growing global influence.

The Canadian government has moved towards greater economic engagement with Asia especially with the signing of Comprehensive Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and continuing talks with China, India and ASEAN countries. We have gained much insight into Canadian attitudes towards economic engagement with Asia through our National Opinion Polls. However, we have very little information about Asian counterparts' perceptions of and attitudes toward Canada and Canadians. This project serves to fill this knowledge gap and inform the development of an agenda to strengthen economic engagement with Asia. To that end, APF Canada now seeks to engage the services of research organizations, polling firms or other bodies to conduct business surveys and interviews in major Asian economies. We aim to gauge the attitudes of business leaders and policies experts towards deeper economic engagement with Canada.

Project Overview
The countries supported by this initiative include China, India, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Vietnam.
This project includes two components for each country: 1) a survey of 1,080 business leaders and 2) qualitative research (i.e., one-on-one interviews or focus groups) with 10-15 policy experts.

It focuses on nine industry sectors of bilateral interest and those which Canada has identified as having the greatest potential for growth, as specified below in the survey parameters. Information solicited will include respondents' general attitudes about deeper economic engagement with Canada, business relationships with Canada, perceived opportunities and barriers associated with economic engagement with Canada, and the perceived role of government in promoting economic engagement.

Scope of Work

The parameters of the survey and interviews are as follows:
Target countries – China, India, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Vietnam
Bidders are encouraged to apply for agreements for all six countries. But they have the options to submit proposals for:
o China and India only; OR:
o China and India, plus one or more of the remaining countries.
Survey
Target firms: domestic private and state-owned enterprises currently involved or interested in international trade or investment
Target firm sectors: agri-food, energy, environment, clean-tech, healthcare and life sciences, finances services, ICT, tourism and education
Target firm size: the size of sampled firms should represent the regional profile if possible
Target individuals: business owners or senior managerial personnel in the firm
Length of questionnaire: 10 minutes or 20 questions
Sampling: Quota sampling — each targeted sector will have a sample size of 120
Sample size: 1,080 per country
Interview
Interview subjects: Policy experts – university faculty and think tank researchers specializing in trade or international relations
Interview questions: in the focus areas outlined above
Format of interview: semi-structured one-on-one interview (40 min to 1 hour) or focus group
Sampling: APF Canada will help with identifying possible interview candidates based on position, background, and accessibility. The interview fieldwork will be carried by the contractor. APF Canada would also welcome suggestions from the contractor as to possible interview candidates.
Interview sample size: 10-15 policy experts per country

The successful bidder will be responsible for providing the following services to APF Canada:
Feedback on survey and interview questions. The design of survey and interview questions will be carried out mainly by APF Canada. The contractor will assist APF Canada with refining/improving the questions to ensure appropriate languages for the local contexts.
Questionnaire programming. The contractor will be responsible for the layout and programming of survey questions and translating the questions into a local language where necessary (e.g., Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese).
Sampling and data collection. The contractor will be responsible for data collection, including surveys and interviews/focus groups. The data collection strategy (including sampling) should satisfy the survey and interview parameters outlined above.

Deliverables

• Data tables/raw data file – APF Canada would like to receive, for each country, data tables summarizing the full set of survey questions broken out by age, gender and sector, and an individual-level data file (in Excel, SPSS, or STATA format) with data dictionary.
• Interview transcription – The contractors will provide transcription of qualitative interviews in English. Coding of interview data with content analysis is optional but preferred – the data should be coded under the themes outlined by APF Canada.
Note: No report is required for this project.

Timeline
The fieldwork for the proposed countries may occur concurrently or sequentially. Fieldwork in China and India should be carried out first. Implementation of surveys in the remaining countries will be decided on a later date.
APF Canada proposes the following timeline (Pacific Time) to conclude surveys in all six countries. The contractor may work with APF Canada to adjust the schedule if necessary.
o Request for Proposal sent out: April 18, 2018
o Deadline to receive proposals: May 30, 2018
o Selection of successful bidder: June 11, 2018
o Final questionnaire sent to contractor: June 29, 2018
o Data collection (including programming): July 2 – December 31, 2018
o Deadline to receive deliverables: February 25, 2019
o APF reviews tables, requests revisions: February 26 - March 1, 2019

Content of Proposal
The proposal must contain:
o An administrative and technical proposal of a maximum of 3 pages, which includes an introduction, a description of the qualifications of the firm and relevant experience (including project team), a description of the proposed methodology, a description of deliverables, and detailed information with respect to any use of subcontractors. It should also include a timeline for the research.
o A financial proposal of maximum 1 page, which presents a budget statement with estimates of costs (in Canadian dollars) to complete the requirements described in the above Scope of Work. This should include separate budget for each country proposed. It should also include a separate line item for each of the four components in the Scope of Work – feedback on question design, questionnaire programming, data collection/sampling, and deliverables.
Note: APF Canada is a non-profit research institute. It seeks to obtain the best value for the research services provided, and will select the successful bidder on this basis.

Instructions for Proposal Submissions
o Proposal must address the requirements listed in the Scope of Work section.
o Proposal may address additional services and/or considerations not specifically referenced in the RFP and may be of potential benefit to the project.
o Only electronic submissions will be accepted via email to Yushu Zhu, Program Manager for Surveys and Polling at Yushu.zhu@asiapacific.ca. Submission must contain the subject heading "RFP - Business Survey in Asia – Bid."
o Questions regarding the RFP should be sent to the same contact with "RFP - Business Survey in Asia - Question" in the subject line.
o Information shared with a vendor for the purpose of this proposal is confidential.

Evaluation Process
Upon reception of the proposal, APF Canada will confirm having received the proposal. The process of selecting the successful proposal will be done by a Selection Committee against a list of criteria that will include:
o Feasibility
o Appropriateness
o Clarity
o Organization credentials and
o Budget

Other Conditions
o APF Canada reserves the rights to negotiate with selected bidders.
o APF Canada reserves the right to waive irregularities and reject any or all bids.
o APF Canada reserves the right to make now award or announce the cancellation of the process at any times.
o All liabilities for the cost of the proposal preparation is the responsibility of the bidder.

The proposals are due on May 30 at 11:59pm (PDT).

Call for Applications: MSME Research Assistant – APEC-Canada Growing Business Partnership. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Development Research

The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada) is committed to fostering the next generation of Asia Pacific researchers and practitioners. To this end, it is offering a full-time, six-month Research Assistant position for applicants interested to work on the APEC-Canada Growing Business Partnership project focusing on micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) growth in developing APEC economies. Applicants should be legally able to work in Canada and completed a graduate level degree program. The successful applicant will be notified in July 2018.

The project is an initiative of APF Canada and funded by the Government of Canada. The objective of the Project is to build the potential of MSMEs in developing APEC economies to foster sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.

Successful applicants will have the following qualifications:
• Excellent quantitative and qualitative research skills;
• Ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing;
• Experience in research related to micro, small and medium enterprise development in Asia and South America;
• Knowledge of Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, or Peru an asset
• Knowledge of Spanish an asset
• Demonstrated interest in contemporary Canada-Asia relations, including policy, trade and entrepreneurial issues; and
• Proficiency in Microsoft Office software (including strong MS Excel skills) and social media.

Benefits to the Research Assistant
The Research Assistant will work under the mentorship of the APEC-Canada Growing Business Partnership Program Manager, and will engage in two types of activities:

• Working with the APF's Program Manager in conducting quantitative and qualitative research important to Canada's micro, small and medium enterprise APEC agenda;
• Other ad-hoc project tasks.

Eligibility
Applicants should be legally able to work in Canada and completed a graduate level degree. Recent graduates are encouraged to apply.

The applicant's degree does not have to be based in Canada.

The successful applicant will ideally work out of APF Canada's head office in downtown Vancouver during regular office hours (Monday to Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm); and, will be responsible for producing:

• Analysis of MSME resources in focus economies for toolkit creation,
• Quantitative analysis of currently available MSME data for research requests,
• Analysis of survey data and drafting of a survey reports,
• Creation of presentations for meetings, conference, and general outreach,
• Assist in reporting requirements for the project.

Start/End Dates
The position will run from approximately July 16th, 2018 to January 31, 2019, with the possibility of extension.

Application Procedures
Applications should include the following:
• Résumé detailing the applicant's academic background (degree, major(s), awards, etc.), research skills, software/computer skills and professional experience;
• 1-page cover letter detailing the applicant's research interests, career interests and goals and why they are interested in researching MSMEs;
• A short writing sample (no more than 5 pages double-spaced in English);
• Copy of applicant's university transcript (scanned or electronic copies are acceptable);
• Name, title and contact information (email and phone number) for one academic or professional reference. References will be contacted only if the applicant is short-listed for the fellowship.

Applications should be submitted by email to Amar Nijhawan - amar.nijhawan@asiapacific.ca and should reference "MSME Research Assistant position" in the subject line.

Applications are accepted in English and French. The deadline to submit an application is June 8th, 2018 at 11:59pm (PDT).

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

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