Consultant for Analysis and Strategic Review of ADS 225
Company Overview
Palladium is a global leader in the design, development and delivery of Positive Impact - the intentional creation of enduring social and economic value. We work with foundations, investors, governments, corporations, communities and civil society to formulate strategies and implement solutions that generate lasting social, environmental and financial benefits.

For the past 50 years, we have been making Positive Impact possible. With a team of more than 2,500 employees operating in 90 plus countries and a global network of more than 35,000 technical experts, Palladium has improved - and is committed to continuing to improve - economies, societies and most importantly, people's lives.

Palladium is a child-safe organisation, and screens applicants for suitability to work with children. We also provide equal employment to all participants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran or marital status.

Project Overview and Role

The USAID | Guatemala Creating Economic Opportunities Project ("the Project") is a 5-year, broad-reaching project designed to spur productive economic activity in and beyond Guatemala's capital city. With the overarching objectives of generating 50,000 new jobs, facilitating $75 million of foreign and domestic investment, and mobilizing more than $60 million in financing to SMEs, the Project is designed to harness drivers of economic growth, including domestic and international businesses in priority sectors and infrastructure developers. In addition to the department of Guatemala, the Project focuses on five departments in Guatemala's Altiplano region, including Quetzaltenango, Huehuetenango, Totonicapan, San Marcos, and Quiche.

A core objective of the CEO Project is to strengthen the private sector as an engine of growth to reduce poverty, improve living conditions, and create sustainable economic opportunity for Guatemalans, at home. By focusing on Guatemala's secondary cities as natural platforms for investment and growth, cultivating alliances between public, private, and civil society stakeholders, and emphasizing an enabling ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship, the CEO Project will play a key role in creating jobs, facilitating investment, and enabling prosperity beyond the capital. Among the many activities the Project is implanting to achieve these objectives is direct support to the Government of Guatemala to promote investment into sectors that will generate economic activity and create jobs.

As a foreign assistance activity funded by the US Government, the Project is subject to regulations that prohibit aiding or supporting alliances that would "provide financial incentives and other assistance for US companies to relocate operations abroad if it is likely to result in the loss of U.S. jobs." USAID issued operational policy ADS 225 to establish policies and procedures to ensure that USAID-funded trade and investment activities do not violate these restrictions. The policy includes descriptions of "Allowed" and "Prohibited" activities, which clearly define areas in which the Project can and cannot support. A third category, "Gray Area" activities describes activities that, while generally permitted, require an analytical review (described in ADS to ensure the Project does not support or evolve into prohibited activities.
Investment promotion falls under the definition of these gray area activities, and the Project has worked closely with USAID to design and plan interventions to remain well within the range of what's permitted under ADS 225. During the first year and a half of project operations, the Project has taken a relatively conservative approach, steering clear of industries that defy clear classification under ADS 225. Of these, the business process outsourcing (BPO) services industry, which is currently dominated in Guatemala by Spanish-language call centers, is both enormously promising as a potential source of investment and jobs and potentially problematic in the context of ADS 225.


The objective of this consultancy is to conduct a detailed analysis of the BPO services industry in the context of ADS 225 and, based on that analysis, to assist the Project to develop a strategy to permissibly support development of the industry in Guatemala. The analysis should include a detailed review not only of Guatemala's current activity in the BPO industry, which clearly presents challenges, but also potential activity based on Guatemala's comparative advantages and existing investment base. As a result of this consultancy, the Project will have data and a strategic understanding of the industry to A) determine whether there are permissible activities to promote investment in the BPO industry in Guatemala and, B) clearly define the parameters of those activities to remain compliant with ADS 225.

The consultant is expected to complete the following tasks:
  • Develop an updated profile of economic activity in the industry
  • Identify prevailing strategic objectives and trends within the BPO industry
  • Identify and define potential partnerships and areas of support
  • Identify areas of support to promote investment in new permissible activities under ADS 225
  • Develop evaluation and review criteria for ADS 225-compliant support activities and partnerships in the BPO services industry


Masters or equivalent experience in relevant field
Demonstrated understanding of US regulations related to foreign assistance and investment promotion

Intermediate Level
Remotely, United States
Closing date:
24 May 2019