Lead Researcher for Skills Demand Study


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. Back in April, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) warned that the pandemic will threaten the employment of 68 million workers across Asia if the outbreak goes on until end of the year. As for young people who have faced a tough labour market even before the coronavirus crisis began, the pandemic has had disproportionate impacts on their employment prospects.

On the youth sides, the COVID-19 has further exposed the large skills gap among them across the ASEAN region. Skills development is key to fostering the resilience of young people when facing rapid changes in prospects for employment and entrepreneurship in the sectors that are hit hardest by the crisis. While some sectors 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 identify and match labor market needs with proper skills development to effectively address the skills gap challenge in the post-COVID era.

This research will help ASEAN Foundation to understand about job market and skills demand for the future in ASEAN region especially the life post COVID-19 recovery. The research also will support ASEAN Foundation in designing better vocational training for youth and increase jobmatching conversion rates.


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


The Consultant(s) 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 Vietnam first to help inform an immediate pilot programme rollout. The research will also identify current barriers for vulnerable job seekers, and will provide more specific findings and recommendations on supply-demand side needs to be incorporated into the upskilling and reskilling strategy and implementation.

Given the post-COVID work landscape and shifts toward the new digital economy, we expect the labor market to fundamentally change in some of the following ways in Vietnam and Indonesia: 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 strategies in both countries for our proposed project and future interventions. Illustrative research questions include: Which sectors and jobs will be hardest hit post-COVID? What does the new world of work look like? What hard and soft skills will be required? What are the easy-to-access jobs and what skills will be required? How will the transition to the post COVID19 economy impact the skills gap and what content/digital tools can address this?


Although the approach and methods to be used will be decided with the selected consultant(s), The ASEAN Foundation is expected the method of data collection can be mix methods (1) Quantitative: survey with consider of sample and population and (2) Qualitative: in depth interview and focus group discussion. The ASEAN Foundation also expects the proposals to demonstrate how the consultant(s) will take into account the following elements:

  • Consulting and Scoping: The consultant(s) should work with the ASEAN Foundation staffs, to define the overall specific objectives.

  • Desk Review: The ASEAN Foundation expects the consultant(s) need to do desk review both internal documents of ASEAN Foundation and external resources about job market and skills demand for the future in ASEAN region. Through the desk study the consultant(s) will seek to understand the details of the initiatives, the researches that have been done by other organisation, the lesson learnt from previous research and how our research with give value added to the current state of job market and skills demand in ASEAN region. The consultant(s) will prepare the Inception Report (output of the desk review) and present to designated staff for feedback. In a meeting with the ASEAN Foundation staff, the consultant(s) will test the research questions and get endorsement on the proposed approaches and methods.

  • Data Collecting: The consultant(s) will collect data from several stakeholders that involve in job markets for youth including but not limited to ASEAN policymakers, Private Sectors, non-profit organisation, youth representatives, and media. There are two steps for data collection:
    • Conducting data collection in Indonesia and Viet Nam as priority countries
    • Conducting data collection in other 8 ASEAN Countries


The main outputs of the research will be:

  • Inception Report - not exceeding 10 pages excluding annexes. The inception report should include: • A brief summary of the desk review • The detailed proposal on methodologies and the elaborated analytical framework for the research.
    The ASEAN Foundation’s Team will review/comment and endorse the inception report as appropriate before the consultant(s) to commence the next stage activities.

  • Initial Research Result – not exceeding 20 pages excluding annexes. This Initial Research Result would capture the finding in Indonesia and Viet Nam and help the programme team to incorporate the findings into the upskilling and reskilling strategy and implementation for Indonesia and Viet Nam.

  • Main Report – not exceeding 50 pages excluding annexes. The main report should include: • Executive Summary (6 to 8 pages): The summary would need to be extractable and read as a standalone report. It will serve as an effective means of communication and will clearly answer the questions. • Introduction (1 to 2 pages): The introduction will provide details on background, purpose of the research, methodology and limitations. • Specific findings and recommendations on supply demand side needs to be incorporated into the upskilling and reskilling strategy and Page 4 of 5 implementation (10 to 20 pages): This section will provide in-depth details on the result • Key success factors (5 to 10 pages): This section will detail the key factors that will help or hinder project in the near future • Annex


The preliminary work plan is as follows:


No Activity Schedule
1 First Meeting ASEAN Foundation and Consultant January 2021
2 Developing Inception Report February 2021
3 Developing Research tools February 2021
4 Research conducted in Indonesia and Viet Nam March – April 2021
5 Developing early findings report for Indonesia and Viet Nam March – Mei 2021
6 Adoption research tools for other 8 ASEAN Countries June 2021
7 Research in 8 ASEAN Countries July – August 2021
8 Developing Final Report September – October 2021
9 Consultation of Final Report with ASEAN Foundation October – November 2021
10 Final report submitted to ASEAN Foundation December 2021



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


All interested applicants whether individuals/organisations/institutions to send research proposal (template provided) and the following documents:

  • Organisation Profile and/or Individual Curriculum Vitae (If its organisation please share team description: composition, leadership and curriculum vitae of all members)
  • Detailed budget based on TOR and proposed activity
  • Timeline with clear details concerning the work to be executed, and specifying interim deliverables
  • Sample of successful works in conducting similar research
  • Any research proposals that do not include budget detail will not be considered. The budget details including other related cost of activities and income tax that will be deducted.


Research proposal and all documents should be submitted to [email protected] and [email protected] with "Lead Researcher – ASEAN Foundation" as the subject of your email.



10 January 2021


Template Research Proposal: bit.ly/ResearchProposalAF


All inquiries pertaining to this application is addressed to [email protected]

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