Blue Economy Roadmapping and Strategy Consultant for the Support for Economic Diversification in the Bahamas Project

Technical Support
1800000990 Requisition #
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Skills you’ll need:


Education: Minimum of an advanced university degree of master’s or its equivalent in Economics, Environment, or any other related field.

Experience: At least ten (10) years’ experience in developing and implementing national level strategies.

Languages: Fluency in oral and written English.


Core and Technical Competencies:

·         Relevant experience in diagnostics and implementation of Blue Economy Strategies in Small Island States

·         Deep knowledge of economic, environmental and private sector issues in the Bahamas

·         Relevant experience in building value chains and clusters. Experience in the Caribbean is preferred.

·         Highly developed communication and writing skills as evidenced by presentations and publicly available reports, blogs, articles, and/or academic pieces.

·         Strong inter-personal relations skills. Pro-active in seeking information, managing relationships with stakeholders, including building trust and promoting partnership.

·         Ability to manage client expectations, negotiate around project execution challenges, and identify possible solutions.

·         A working understanding of guidelines and procedures typically used by development banks

·         The ability to work independently and manage multiple tasks effectively. Excellent written and oral communication skills are required, including the ability to synthesize key issues and draw lessons learned.


Opportunity Summary: 

·        Type of contract and modality: Products and External Services Consultant, Lump Sum.

·         Length of contract: 4 months to 6 months

·         Location: Nassau, Bahamas. Mission trips will be needed within the Bahamas and the family islands.

·         Responsible person: The technical and administrative responsibilities of this consultancy will be coordinated by the Private Sector Development Lead Specialist of the IDB (IFD/CTI) and the Climate Change Senior Specialist (CSD/CCS).

·         Requirements: You must be a citizen of one of the IDB’s 48 member countries and have no family members currently working at the IDB Group.


Our culture: Working with us you will be surrounded by a diverse group of people who have years of experience in all types of development fields, including transportation, health, gender and diversity, communications and much more.

About us: At the Inter-American Development Bank, we’re devoted to improving lives. Since 1959, we’ve been a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social, and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. We do more than lending though. We partner with our 48 member countries to provide Latin America and the Caribbean with cutting-edge research about relevant development issues, policy advice to inform their decisions, and technical assistance to improve on the planning and execution of projects. For this, we need people who not only have the right skills, but also are passionate about improving lives.

Payment and Conditions: Compensation will be determined in accordance with Bank’s policies and procedures. The Bank, pursuant to applicable policies, may contribute toward travel and moving expenses. In addition, candidates must be citizens of an IDB member country.


Diversity: The Bank is committed to diversity and inclusion and to providing equal opportunities to all candidates. We embrace diversity on the basis of gender, age, education, national origin, ethnic origin, race, disability, sexual orientation, and religion. We encourage women, Afro-descendants and persons of indigenous origins to apply.



The productive structure of the Bahamas is concentrated, mainly in tourism and financial sectors, including tourism-related construction. Services (including tourism and financial services), represent 78.3% of GDP; manufacturing generates 19.8% of GDP, and agriculture 1.9%.[1],The contribution of tourism to GDP (including direct and indirect) accounts for approximately 45% of GDP and directly or indirectly employs half of the archipelago's labor force, approximately 102,500 persons[2]. Since 77% of tourists arrive from the U.S’ revenues from travel and tourism are largely dependent on the economic behavior of other countries, mainly the US[3]. In addition, the Bahamas has been losing market share in the Caribbean and the high operating costs combined with the absence of quality services affect the sector competitiveness[4]. Since 2012 economic growth has been stagnant, attributed partially to natural disasters and interruption in the completion of the mega resort Baha Mar.[5] Hurricane Mathew, which hit the Bahamas in 2016, significantly impacted tourism activity, while Hurricanes Irma and Maria also partially affected the Bahamas in September 2017, showing the countries’ vulnerability to natural disasters and external shocks.


Financial services constitute a relevant sector of the Bahamian economy due mainly to the offshore banking center, as the offshore sector represents around 20 per cent of the GDP. Financial system assets are concentrated in the offshore sector and face challenges due to the loss of correspondent banking relationships and the global efforts to strengthen global tax transparency standards [6].


Innovation and Productivity in Firms. The Bahamas is also characterized by a strong geographical concentration of economic activities, which results in very unequal income distribution. Production and services are concentrated in Nassau and the larger islands, while the numerous Family Islands have lagging entrepreneurship and are far from achieving a satisfactory level of agricultural production and exploiting the opportunities offered by the tourism and services industries[7] while having very fragile ecosystems.


In addition to a highly concentrated economy, the Bahamian firms face challenges for being competitive and innovative. Only 19.73% are large (over 100 employees), and  only 6.7% of large firms, 16% of medium-sized firms and 12.7% of small firms export.[8] They also face low productivity (17% lower than the Caribbean average, low complexity (existing industries are not closely connected and face challenges in upgrading goods or moving to other industries), low innovation (only 22% of the firms innovate and innovation is more prevalent in the manufacturing sector while 56% of Bahamian firms are potentially innovative )[9]. Firms in the Bahamas face high energy costs, low infrastructure availability, high crime, and financial limitations, as well as a business and innovation climate that needs to be modernized[10]. Digital technology offers the opportunity to small Bahamian businesses worldwide to use digital platforms to connect with suppliers and customers in other countries and reach new markets’ overcoming some of the natural constraints. Bahamian firms that incorporate digital technologies into their business strategy will be able to drive digital transformation and create new and innovative business models that lead to growth[11].


Potential for Diversification through Blue Economy. The “Blue Economy” concept was first used during the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development and is an evolving concept that recognizes the need to maximize the enormous economic potential presented by the ocean, while preserving it. In this regard, the Blue Economy can be broadly defined to include economic activity that directly or indirectly uses the sea as an input[12]. The concept of the Blue Economy, includes the simultaneous promoting of economic growth, environmental sustainability, social inclusion and strengthening of oceans ecosystems [13]..  For small such as the Bahamas, although traditional industries and sectors — fisheries, maritime transport and coastal tourism — represent a large of economic activity, pursuing the blue economy also enables diversification into many other new and emerging ocean-based activities and sectors, including marine aquaculture, seabed mining, carbon sequestration, marine biotechnology, , , ocean renewable energy and deep-sea oil and gas production.


Every year, the Bahamas loses 1.99% of its GDP due to climate change shocks, particularly from extreme weather events that cause floods and sea surges. Its high dependency on imports such as oil and food, impact not only the competitiveness of traditional sectors, but also its security as a nation. Bahamas’ sea zone (estimated to be 242,970 square miles[14]) represents a greater significant amount of development space in comparison to the country’s limited land area, yet the potential of oceans as a sustainable and viable avenue for creating more value and long term economic growth has not been fully explored. The harmonization of ocean-based economic activities with the long-term capacity of ocean ecosystems to support such activities whilst remaining resilient and healthy[15] could be the core of a Blue or sustainable ocean economy for the Bahamas[16].


The Bahamas has a big potential for Blue Economy activities, potential for the Bahamas with the significant amount of ocean space (242.790 square miles compared to 5.383 miles of land space), and the existence of unique marine biodiversity of marine fauna and flora and non-living natural resources. However, the opportunities to create more value out of existing and new resource-streams have not been exploited to their full potential both in traditional sectors and new sectors. The utilization of the ocean space requires an understanding of the resources available and an environmentally sustainable approach to their exploitation, as the need to conserve the fragile resources, even for the current economic maritime activities, is a crucial priority for this sector. The latter includes the need to have a detailed mapping of the marine territory and resources and the real economic value. This sector has been heavily impacted with climate change issues, and fishermen have experienced high losses in terms of gears and vessels because of the hurricanes of recent years. In addition, some of the species are in risk of being depleted due to overfishing (conch, lobster, grouper - restrictions are only in place for turtles and sharks.). New technological advances in the sector (Fisheries management system FISHMIS) can be used to further develop the sector. The potential activities identified include:

a.      Aragonite economic assessment. Including analysis of the value chain, market value and analysis, policy and regulatory framework governance, analysis of the current business and royalties model.

b.      Comprehensive eco-mapping of marine resources, and assessment of these resources.

c.       Sustainable fisheries: Including sustainable farming practices and conservation practices of current products (conch, lobster, etc.) and new potential products (sea cucumbers, sea moss, seaweed, finfish pelagic and demersal species).

d.      Potential for new technologies to trace and understand the ecosystem and to support supervision and enforcement of ocean regulation. The Bahamas is committed to expand its Marine Protected Areas from 10 to 20% in 2020, however enforcement needs to be strengthened using new technologies.

e.      Develop the sport fishing sector and improve enforcement at the same time.

f.        Managed aquaculture and mariculture of invertebrate species

g.      Strengthening of the institutional capacity in climate change research within the marine environment to fully take   advantage of the unique characteristics of the Bahamas vast ocean space.

h.      Support for the implementation of the National Maritime Policy


[1]     World Development Indicators, World Bank. Data corresponds to 2014.

[2]     World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC),

[3]     Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

[4]     Private Sector Note 2017.

[5]     The opening of the Baha Mar resort in April 2017 is expected to have a significant impact on investment and employment. Economist Intelligence Unit 2017. IMF Article IV Report 2017

[6]     IMF Article IV. The Structure and Trends in the Bahamas offshore Sector IMF. 2017

[7]     The Family Islands account for approximately 15% of total population. E Philippe Schneuwly BAHAMAS: A Road Map for Improving the Business Climate for SMEs Report (2007)

[8]     World Bank Group Enterprise Surveys: Bahamas (2010).

[9]     Bahamian firms state concerns about: (i) copyrights protection (44%); (ii) the relationship between remuneration and innovation (55%); (iii) difficulties in collaborating with other companies (39%); (iv) a perception that innovative products and services will not be successful in the market (48%); (v) time to market (42%); and (vi) funding (39%PROTEqIN Survey. Private Sector Competitiveness Note. 2017.

[10]   Private Sector Note 2017.

[11]   G. C. Kane, D. Palmer, A. N. Phillips, D. Kiron and N. Buckley, “Strategy, Not Technology, Drives Digital Transformation” MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte University Press, July 2015.

[12]   Commonwealth Secretaria. The Blue Economy and Small States

[13]   UnCTAD. The Oceans Economy: Opportunities and Challenges for Small Island Developing States

[14]   Commonwealth Secretariat. 2015. “The Blue Economy Offers Rich Rewards to Countries that Seize the Moment”. Available at

[15]   Adapted from The Economist, 2015. The Blue economy: Growth, opportunity and a sustainable ocean economy.  An Economist Intelligence Unit briefing paper for the World Ocean Summit 2015

[16]   The concept of the Blue Economy encourages the integration of nature inspired innovations that are restorative and regenerative by design

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