Securing livelihoods, conservation, sustainable use and restoration of high range Himalayan ecosystems (SECURE) is a project being implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) along with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The project aims to support the Government of India and Administration of Union Territory of Ladakh to promote sustainable land and forest management in alpine pastures and forests in High range Indian Himalayan Ecosystems that secure sustainable livelihoods and ensure conservation of globally significant biodiversity and threatened species. Improved and diversified livelihood strategies and improved capacities of community and government institutions for sustainable natural resource management is a major expected outcome of the project. Revival of sheep and yak wool based traditional handicrafts is important for strengthening livelihood in the Changthang landscape.
The landscape level study undertaken in the Changthang landscape in Ladakh realized that handicrafts could be one of the potential livelihood options in the project landscape given the existing levels of capacities and easy availability of resources including sheep and yak wool. The community members in Changthang are the producers of the raw material and, through crafts or value addition of their own produce, they can get a better return for their raw material. This implies that there is scope for capacity development of community members, introduce new and innovative designs, products, processes, functional upgradations and market level interventions. Handicraft development in the project villages is crucial from livelihood perspective since it is amongst the few livelihood options that can be pursued throughout the year, provide incremental financial support to the local community and reduce their dependency on other natural resources.
Duties and Responsibilities
Objectives and Overall Scope of work
Prepare an activity wise action plan with timelines for implementation of activities in the project landscape
An action plan for implementation of the proposed activities with activity wise budget breakdown and timeline must be prepared and approved by the State Project Director before initiating the actual field level implementation.
Establishing and demonstrating one community led handicraft development initiative through formation of village/cluster level handicraft groups
The designer is required to identify and mobilize interested craft persons and conduct trainings on various aspects of wool processing and development. This may be supplemented with trainings in design, usage of different kinds of colour and using locally available materials.
Community capacity enhancement
Train community members in various aspects of handicraft development including new designs and processes, usage of newly introduced technologies and equipment, accounts, administration, communications etc. The designer is expected to conduct a minimum of 10 trainings.
Supporting the infrastructure development and process upgradation
Incremental improvements to existing infrastructure and practices will help in increasing the efficiency and quality of products. The project is planning infrastructure development by assisting the District Industries and Commerce Department and other relevant departments by procuring the infrastructure requirements in convergence with ongoing schemes in the identified areas. Some of the immediate infrastructure requirement identified by the project are:
- Common carding centres
- Introduction of spinning technologies/equipment for improving efficiency
- Improvements in traditional looms and practices based on assessment undertaken
The designer is expected to consult the local communities on how to use design in each process from Shearing to the finished products, introduce them to look at sustainability in each process, help them to learn a design process that can help them plan a collection, introduce them to insights about their own material; it’s handling, limitations and strengths. Conduct exercises in visualisation, costing etc. identify different strengths among the cluster and assign different roles in making of the product
Branding and marketing
For exploring the potential of handicrafts beyond tourism markets, the designer would undertake initiatives that potentially create large impact on community livelihoods. The designer should undertake the following activities for branding and marketing, which should be conducted before/during product development:
- Identify events for community participation in national level art and craft festivals, prepare action plan for this purpose and implement. At least 4 events or meetings to be conducted with prospective buyers.
- Establishing online channels for branding, communication and sale of products
- Introducing innovative packaging and attractive label designs
- Identifying suitable channels for sales
- Build the work based on recommendations of the baseline report. The report has specific information pertaining to no. of craftpersons identified in each village, level of trainings conducted so far, list of machines and tools available locally.
- Liaise closely with the local partner agency for procurement of the materials and ensure the workshops are planned in a timely manner.
- Consult on the infrastructure required to successfully conduct the capacity building workshops.
- This may include list of new and innovative machines or techniques to reduce craft person workload, improve quality of products and reduce time taken to produce products.
- Support branding and marketing of handicraft products
- Support market linkages with prospective buyers and designers
Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise
- Good knowledge on successful community led initiatives in the sheep and yak wool sector
- Excellent documentation skills and prior experience in the relevant field will be useful
- Ability to work with minimal supervision.
- Good communication, interpersonal skills, with an ability to work in a multi-cultural environment.
- Demonstrates/safeguards ethics and integrity
- Works as a team member
Required Skills and Experience
- A Master’s degree or higher in the field of Design with specific focus on textiles.
- At least 15 years of experience of working on community led textile, handloom, handicraft development initiatives
- Minimum 10 years of relevant experience on strategy development for textile led initiatives
- Demonstrated understanding of the wool production sector in the Himalayas
- Demonstrated understanding of issues related to wool development and sensitivities related to the competing demands on women’s time, usage of locally available raw materials and basic-low cost-low maintenance machinery required to produce fine woollen products
The duration of the contract is 1 year
Schedule of Payment
Payments will be released on successful completion and submission of deliverables.
Project Location: The assignment will be home based with travel.
Kindly note: Only outstation travel with prior approval, boarding & lodging expense will be reimbursed as per actuals in line with UNDP rules.
Fluency in English and Hindi is essential.
The Consultant will report to the Head, Energy, environment, and Resilience Unit, UNDP India
To apply for this job please visit jobs.undp.org.