Needs Assessment on Weaving Community and Culture in Southwest Sumba

 Terms of Reference

Needs Assessment on Weaving Community and Culture in Southwest Sumba


Established in 2007, Southwest Sumba is one of the poorest districts in Eastern Indonesia with a population of 313.217 (SBD Dalam Angka, 2020) and poverty rate of 30% (Susenas, 2017), the highest of other districts on the island. Open unemployment in Southwest Sumba is relatively low, with labor participation rate of 82% and 63% for male and female, respectively. The women of Southwest Sumba actively participate in agriculture, horticulture, livestock, and estate crop services contributing to local economic activities while also occupying the traditional role of homemaker. Southwest Sumba also benefited from the contribution of handloom sector to its economy. Predominantly occupied by women, the handloom sector and weaving tradition in Southwest Sumba is rich and colorful while following the basic principles of using natural dyes and colors to recount stories. 

WLF is keen to have a better understanding of both the barriers and opportunities facing the handloom sector (weaving community and culture) in Southwest Sumba through a needs assessment. This assessment is expected to provide WLF with a portrait of women (individual and group) and their weaving activities in Southwest Sumba.

Results from the assessment will feed into WLF’s potential development of a capacity building or support program that focuses on empowering women through their weaving culture that focuses on improved welfare through building a sustainable weaving culture in Southwest Sumba.


About WLF

The William and Lily Foundation (WLF) is a Jakarta-based philanthropic organization established in 2009. Our mission is to empower vulnerable and marginalized communities by bridging learning with access to opportunities. As an active grant-making foundation, we work closely with local implementation partners on four focus areas: Education, Health, Economic Empowerment and Enabling Environment.



WLF seeks a Consultant (individual/team of individuals) to conduct a needs assessment of weaving community in Southwest Sumba focusing on socio-economic conditions of weavers, identification of skills and knowledge on weaving, access to materials and methods, financial performance, access to finance and market.

WLF is keen to learn of suitable entry points for future support program(s) based on results of the assessment, as well as in better understanding the prevailing cultural practices and barriers for a strategic support that can improve welfare and strengthen sustainable weaving culture in Southwest Sumba.

While it is not a direct link to weaving culture or activities, WLF believes in the important role of women in safeguarding the health of the family. Through this needs assessment, WLF would also like to collect information on the dietary profile of the weaving community (at individual and/or household) level. The data collected illustrate the role of women weavers as decision maker/provider of food and sufficient to provide a portrait of the nutritional intake of women weavers and children under five years old in the same household.



The assessment will collect data and information from weaving community in at least 3-5 (three to five) villages in Southwest Sumba. Selection of key respondents will be done following a discussion with WLF and gathering of input from WLF’s implementing partners.
WLF also hope that the assessment can provide insights to possible linkages between an economic empowerment support program and WLF’s health and education programs.



Prospective Consultant is expected to deliver a Needs Assessment on Weaving Community in Southwest Sumba. Both qualitative and/or quantitative data will be used to investigate and analyze the issues that informed the needs assessment. These included primary and secondary data collected from target respondents and key stakeholders. Emphasis will be placed on delivery of the following information and analysis:

  1. A map of weaving communities in Southwest Sumba (illustrative) differentiated by the numbers of weavers within a community, e.g., group A is 0-15 weavers, group B is 15 and more weavers;
  2. Socio-economy profile of weavers (including organized group vs. individual, motivation, financial literacy and performance, access to finance, access to market, etc.);
  3. Knowledge and skills of weavers (including access to tools, materials, methods, and potential for upskilling or product diversification);
  4. Dietary profile of weavers (household level);
  5. Linkages between weaving communities and beyond (including identification of supply and value chain and relations with other actors, i.e., with supplier, traders, etc.)
  6. Role of non-weavers (i.e., government, men, youth, community leaders, etc.) in the manufacturing, production, marketing of handloom products;
  7. Barriers to sustainable weaving culture;
  8. Lessons learned from capacity building programs in handloom sector from the region that are applicable to Southwest Sumba;
  9.  Local government strategy, program, policy, or support for the handloom sector.



The assessment is expected to start in June 2021 and prospective consultant will be expected to submit their final findings within 3 (three) months from the start of data collection activities in Southwest Sumba.


Selection Criteria

WLF is looking for experienced individual(s) with extensive knowledge and experience on weaving community and culture in vulnerable and marginalized communities of remote areas with challenging climate and geographical conditions. Prospective consultant is expected to have extensive experience in conducting needs assessment that focuses on community and participatory approach. Candidates should also possess the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in women’s studies, relevant social sciences, business management, or development studies. A master’s degree is preferred.
  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience in conducting social research or needs assessment for women’s empowerment programs in Eastern Indonesia, particularly on handloom sector or weaving culture and community. Knowledge of Sumba, particularly Southwest Sumba is ideal.
  • Strong qualitative and quantitative skills in research methodology.
  • Excellent report writing skills in English or Indonesian.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with experience in engaging local community, women’s group, local government, community leaders, and civil society.
  • Strong leadership and management skills, including ability to manage a small team.
  • Ability to handle tight timeline and prioritize.
  • Prior experience of working in multicultural setting and sensitive to different cultural practices and values.
  • Ability and willingness to travel.

Prospective consultants are expected to submit technical and financial proposals in English or Indonesian that includes the following:

  1. comprehensive proposal focusing on needs assessment of weaving community and culture in Southwest Sumba, including a detailed research methodology to be applied and proposed selection criteria for target respondents and key stakeholders; 
  2. Most recent Curriculum Vitae (for each member of the assessment team (with clear demonstration of previous experience in conducting needs assessment or study on handloom sector or weaving community and culture;
  3. Proposed work plan including timeline for key activities and deliverables (please include Covid-19 health protocol policy consideration for all activities);
  4. Proposed budget in Indonesian rupiah, including daily rate, budget allocation for activities (meetings, FGDs, interviews, etc.), travel and accommodation, incidentals and other expenses (including Covid-19 testing requirements for travels);
  5. writing sample of the consultant(s)’s previous research work on women-focused economic empowerment programs, particularly on weaving community.


Please send the technical and financial proposals in English or Indonesian to by 16  May 2021 at COB.

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