Consultant for Lead Researcher on Youth Job Market and Skills Demand for the Future



Three decades after ASEAN was established, ASEAN leaders recognised that: there remained inadequate shared prosperity, ASEAN awareness and contact among the people of ASEAN. It was of this concern that ASEAN leaders established ASEAN Foundation in Jakarta, Indonesia, at ASEAN’s 30th Anniversary Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 15 December 1997.

The ASEAN Foundation is an organisation from and for the people of ASEAN. The Foundation exists because of one vision: to build a cohesive and prosperous ASEAN Community. As an ASEAN body, the Foundation is tasked to support ASEAN mainly in promoting awareness, identity, interaction and development of the people of ASEAN.

To continue ASEAN Foundation’s commitment to ASEAN youth to be able to adapt with the life post COVID-19 recovery, the ASEAN Foundation is going to conduct research on Youth Job Market and Skills Demand for the Future.


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought severe disruptions to economies and labour markets worldwide. In April 2020, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) warned that the pandemic would threaten the employment of 68 million workers across Asia should the outbreak continues until the end of the year. As for young people who had faced a tough labour market even before the coronavirus pandemic began, the pandemic has had disproportionate impacts on their employment prospects.

On the youth side, the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the significant skills gap across the ASEAN region. Skills development is key to fostering young’s people resilience when facing rapid changes in prospects for employment and entrepreneurship in the sectors that are hit hardest by the crisis. While some industries will continue to suffer due to COVID- 19 for years to come, others will see a spike in recovery and growth (e.g., health, personal care and ICT). There is a timely and tremendous need to effectively identify and match labour market needs with proper skills development to address the skills gap challenge in the post- COVID era effectively.

This research will help the ASEAN Foundation and its partners understand the job market and skills demand for the future in the ASEAN region, especially life post-COVID-19 recovery. The research also will support the ASEAN Foundation’s partner in this programme in designing better vocational training for youth and increase job-matching conversion rates.


The research aims to assess the current state of the labour market in the midst of COVID-19, and skills demand for the future. Research will include data collection and analysis across 10 ASEAN member states: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam.


The Consultant will conduct deeper analysis and case studies on the employability market particularly for young people, ages 18-29, in all 10 ASEAN countries, prioritising the case studies in Indonesia and Viet Nam. The research will also identify barriers for vulnerable job seekers under and post COVID-19 situation, and will provide more specific findings and recommendations on the supply-demand needs to be incorporated into the upskilling and reskilling strategy as well as implementation.

Given the post-COVID work landscape and shifts toward the new digital economy, we would like to find out the possibility of changes in the labour market in some of the following ways in Indonesia and Viet Nam: A move toward contact-free services, e-commerce and e- learning. As stated by the World Bank, “This move toward a contact-free society is not new but has been accelerated by the combination of social distancing policies and the rapid development of digital technologies during the pandemic.”

Hence, we would explore questions specifically to test these assumptions and to help inform the skills-building for our proposed project and future interventions. Illustrative research questions revolve around three (3) focuses; labour market, undeserved youth assessment and youth employability services mapping.

The ASEAN Foundation expects this research to mainstream the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) in the research questions for the following

  • used as the basic analysis for the overall research,
  • meaning the research methods,
  • instruments, and
  • analyses will reflect opportunities and barriers for young women and other underserved youth groups in labour market and employability both at demand side (young people) and supply-side (employers and service providers).


The ASEAN Foundation expects the utilisation of mixed methods design in 10 ASEAN Member States. In general, data collection methods for the research include:

  • Desk-based review on the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, current labour market, human resources need in digital economy, digital literacy among youth, and relevant policies. Review will examine reports and analyses on these topics from the World Bank, ILO, OECD, ADB, ASEAN, McKinsey, National Statistics and other relevant research institutions.

  • Quantitative Survey to youth including undeserved youths

  • Key Informant Interviews with key ministries related to youth employment, inclusive economy and relevant economic sectors, management of local companies in relevant sectors, NGOs working in TVET projects or any employment-related projects, and vocational training providers in 10 ASEAN countries.

  • Focus group discussion with undeserved youth in 10 countries. Young women, men and people will be convened in separate focus group discussions. The criteria to select participants of FG are segregated in the FGD category as follow:
    • Young people from low-income household especially those unemployed high school or vocational school graduates and dropouts (from lower middle income and low income).
    • Persons with disabilities (most likely those with the difficulty to mobilise physically and the difficulty to see even if using glasses in order to reduce the complexity of data collection process).


The main outputs of the Lead Research Consultant will be:

  1. Initial Findings – The initial Research Result would capture the findings in the 10 ASEAN Member states and particularly help the programme team to incorporate the findings into the upskilling and reskilling strategy and implementation for Indonesia and Viet Nam. Initial findings reports in Indonesia and Viet Nam has been drafted, the Lead Researcher Consultant is expected to provide further insights, revisions and additions to the documents.

  2. Main Research Report – The main report should include, but not limited to: 1) Executive Summary (6 to 8 pages) where it would need to be extractable and be read as a standalone It will serve as an effective means of communication and will clearly answer the research questions. 2) Introduction (1 to 2 pages) providing details on background, purpose of the research, methodology and limitations.

  3. Specific Findings and Recommendations (analysis) on the supply-demand side that needs to be incorporated into the upskilling and reskilling strategy and implementation (10 to 20 pages). In addition, this section will provide in-depth analysis on the research result. 4) Key Success Factors (5 to 10 pages) detailing key factors that will help or hinder the project in the near future. 5) Annex. 10% of pages discretion to be noted.

The ASEAN Foundation expects the Lead Researcher Consultant to provide an analysis plan and a research outline for the initial findings and main report. The Lead Researcher will report to the ASEAN Foundation. However, the consultant also will attend to comments and inputs from its partner, Yayasan Plan International Indonesia (YPII). The ASEAN Foundation and its partner YPII will provide samples of analysis plan and outlines for the Lead Researcher Consultant to refer to and be informed of what is expected from both parties. The weekly or biweekly meeting between the ASEAN Foundation and the Lead Researcher Consultant may be held to report progress, obstacles, challenges and find particular solutions.

In carrying out the data collection process, the Lead Researcher Consultant will be responsible to oversee the progress of (quality checks and assurance) and advise the field researchers. However, prior to the deployment of field researchers, the ASEAN Foundation expects the Lead Researcher Consultant to train and standardise the quality of the field researchers to best support the work of the Lead Researcher.


The deliverables of the research are as follow:

No Deliverables Estimated Deadline
1 Updated Research Findings in Indonesia and Viet Nam Submitted 17 September 2021
2 Training of Field Research Assistants Conducted 20 – 21 September 2021
3 Adoption of Research Tools for Eight (8) other ASEAN Countries 27 September 2021
4 Research Implementation in Eight (8) other ASEAN Countries Conducted 4 October 2021
5 Preliminary/Initial Findings in Eight (8) other ASEAN Countries Submitted 26 November 2021
6 First (1st) Draft of Final Report Submitted 10 December 2021
7 Presentation of the Draft Final Report Conducted 13 December 2021
8 Final Report Submitted 14 January 2021



  • An advanced university degree in social sciences from a recognised university
  • At least 7 years of relevant professional work experience conducting impact assessment/evaluation
  • Experience of multi-stakeholder processes
  • Experience in conducting qualitative and quantitative research
  • Exception presentation and writing skills


All interested applicants whether individuals/organisations/institutions are required to submit their proposal and the following documents:

  • Organisation/Institution Profile and/or Individual Curriculum (if organisation, please share team description: composition, leadership and curriculum vitae of all members).
  • Detailed budget/quotation based on TOR and proposed activity
  • Sample of successful works in conducting similar research
  • Any applications that do not include a detailed budget will not be considered. The details will include, but not limited to, related cost of activities and income tax that will be

Applications should be submitted to [email protected] and CC [email protected] with the email subject, “Lead Researcher – ASEAN Foundation”.


6 September 2021.


Research proposal template:


All enquiries pertaining to this application is to be addressed to [email protected].

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