The countries of Central Asia inherited quite comprehensive social protection systems, but ones which have had to be adapted to new realities and situations. However, it is now time to review the experience of countries in the sub-region in building up their social protection systems, while making sure that they are appropriate not only to the old challenges, but also to newly emerging ones.
The new challenges are linked in part to the changing global context and development thinking, in particular on how to strengthen the role of social protection in development practice. Moreover, it is generally recognized that globalization processes have been associated with growing inequalities and economic insecurity for vulnerable sections of the population. This has prompted several organizations within the UN system, led by the ILO, to introduce the concept of “social protection floors”. Defining minimum levels of social protection, and integrating social policy aims with economic and environment ones, is also part of discussion on the post-2015 development framework. Another challenge for the sub-region is that of strengthening the role of local government in the delivery of social protection benefits and services. The countries of the sub-region are still going through processes of building new institutions and budget planning mechanisms associated with decentralization. Local governments already have functions in the delivery of social protection schemes, but are often hampered in performing these by lack of capacity and lack of budget flexibility, or by the fact that they are given functions without appropriate funding - unfunded mandates. UNDP has long been active in the region at the local level (notably through its Community Programme in Tajikistan, and its Poverty Reduction Programme in Kyrgyzstan), and it is time to look more closely at how social protection initiatives can be more explicitly incorporated into sustainable development programmes at both the national and regional levels.
The old challenges facing the sub-region include the removal of remaining energy subsidies as part of much-needed energy sector reforms; protecting the poorer segments of the population from the impact of rising food and fuel prices; dealing with youth unemployment, and families with children left behind by migrant workers. A major challenge remains that of selecting, implementing and monitoring targeting mechanisms, to ensure that efficiency in reaching the needy. In particular, the pros and cons of targeted and universal social protection systems have to be revisited, as does the relevance of conditional cash transfers to countries in the sub-region. Efficient targeting requires a sound data base to provide regularly updated data on national and regional living standards, and also a well-funded and trained administration, with clearly defined and funded monitoring and evaluation functions. This is still lacking in most countries.
To summarise: there is a need to define how UNDP can play a role in addressing the new and old challenges in social protection in the sub-region, in partnership with governments and other development actors. To a large extent, determining its role in the broader new challenges will make it easier to determine its role and approach to addressing the old challenges.
UNDP’s Bratislava Regional Centre has been awarded PTTF funding for a regional project that would support country offices to formulate policy advice for shaping social protection systems and to share knowledge and experience during transition. As part of this project, it is planned to produce a report which will guide country offices in CA and provide recommendations for UNDP’s future focus in social protection. Although the focus will be on CA countries, the sub-region includes low and middle-income countries, all of which share a common institutional history and approach to social protection. It is therefore intended that the results of the report will have lessons for the larger EE-CIS region.
The consultant will undertake a review of existing literature on:
- New approaches (post 2008) to social protection in development thinking at the global level, differentiating between middle-income and low-income countries;
- Innovations in social protection which have been developed to address specific economic contexts such as highly mineral-rich or mineral-dependent economies;
- Social protection systems in the Central Asian sub-region, and approaches/ interventions of other donor organizations in the region including what has worked and what has not and lessons from transitions between universal and targeted systems.
The consultant will produce a report which includes:
- A summary of the new and old challenges and lessons learnt by Central Asian countries in the transition process in social protection;
- Summary of approaches of other donors in the sub-region;
- Summary of the actual and potential role of local governments in delivery of social protection;
- Recommendations on any possible roles for social protection in building resilience as countries face new challenges linked to the transition towards sustainable development and green growth;
- The possibilities of linking social protection and resource-poverty issues as part of building resilience and greening growth;
- Recommendations for UNDP’s future focus for policy work at the national and local government levels, and on how to incorporate social protection approaches/ interventions into future local development programmes, which take into account UNDP’s participation in the social protection floor initiative, and should therefore envisage social protection as part of well-designed welfare systems, including access to basic social services (education and health), integral social protection through the life cycle, access to housing and basic utilities, access to basic resources (water, energy and sanitation) and strong links to employment policies.
- Literature review (2 weeks after contract issued);
- Draft report (4 weeks after contract issued);
- Final report (incorporating comments received from UNDP Bratislava/Almaty; by 15 December 2012).
(The Final Report, if of satisfactory quality, will be disseminated by UNDP in hard copy and on-line).
Payment will be paid in two installments (50/50). The first installment will be made after satisfactory completion of task 1 above. The second installment will be paid after satisfactory completion of task 2 and task 3 above.
- Masters degree or higher in either social policy or economic fields, or in any other academic field related to sustainable development or environmental issues would be considered an asset.
- At least 10 years of experience working in social policy issues.
- Demonstrated, experience in analyzing social protection issues, and/or decentralization and local governance issues in the context of sustainable development or climate change would be an advantage.
- Excellent writing, editing, and oral communication skills in English
- Basic knowledge of Russian is an asset
Evaluation of Applicants:
Individual consultants will be evaluated based on a cumulative analysis taking into consideration the combination of the applicants’ qualifications and financial proposal.
The award of the contract should be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:
a) Responsive and
b) Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.
Only the highest ranked candidates who would be found qualified for the job will be considered for the Financial Evaluation.
Technical Criteria - 70% of total evaluation – max. 49 points:
- Masters degree or higher in social policy or economic fields: 5 points
Academic qualification related to the field of sustainable development or environmental issues: 2 points
- Language skills : 5 points
- At least 10 years of experience working in social policy issues : 10 points
- Proven experience in analyzing social protection issues, and/or decentralization and local governance issues in the context of sustainable development or climate change would be an advantage: 15 points
- Demonstrated relevant and expert knowledge on the topic through the writing samples: 12 points
Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation – max. 21 points
Qualified candidates are requested to apply online via this website. The application should contain:
- Cover letter explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for the advertised position and a brief methodology on how you will approach and conduct the work (if applicable). Please paste the letter into the "Resume and Motivation" section of the electronic application.
- Filled P11 form including past experience in similar projects and contact details of referees
(blank form can be downloaded from http://europeandcis.undp.org/files/hrforms/P11_modified_for_SCs_and_ICs.doc ); please upload the P11 instead of your CV.
- Please provide us with a link or send a sample relevant to this ToR and not longer than three pages (i.e. extracts) to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Financial Proposal* - specifying a total lump sum amount for the tasks specified in this announcement. The financial proposal shall include a breakdown of this lump sum amount (number of anticipated working days, and any other possible costs).
- Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials
*Please note that the financial proposal is all-inclusive and shall take into account various expenses incurred by the consultant/contractor during the contract period (e.g. fee, health insurance, vaccination and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services...).
Payments will be made only upon confirmation of UNDP on delivering on the contract obligations in a satisfactory manner.
Individual Consultants are responsible for ensuring they have vaccinations/inoculations when travelling to certain countries, as designated by the UN Medical Director. Consultants are also required to comply with the UN security directives set forth under dss.un.org
General Terms and conditions as well as other related documents can be found under: http://europeandcis.undp.org/home/jobs
Qualified women and members of minorities are encouraged to apply.
Due to large number of applications we receive, we are able to inform only the successful candidates about the outcome or status of the selection process.