International Consultant: Social Protection in the Asia Pacific region


Location : Home based, THAILAND
Application Deadline :31-Oct-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
01-Dec-2021
Duration of Initial Contract :1 December 2021 to 31 May 2022

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Background

COVID-19 started as a health crisis and quickly evolved into a development emergency that set off unprecedented ripple and multiplier effects, permeating all layers of society and countries. In the Asia Pacific region, COVID-19 continues to ravage and pose serious risk of resurgence.

The Asia Pacific region has tended to rebound and reclaim high post-crisis growth following 1999 Asian Financial Crisis, the 2002-2004 SARS outbreak, or the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004. However, it is projected that Asia Pacific region could constitute 14% of the global new poor due to COVID-10 pandemic and the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 in the region is exacerbated within mixed development legacy where past growth spurts and mass reductions in absolute poverty have gone hand-in-hand with the magnification of pre-existing inequalities and vulnerabilities. In a region that is home to 1.3 billion informal workers (accounting for approximately 68 per cent of all the workers in the region), the low-skilled workers shouldered the brunt of the impact. The pandemic has so far caused a loss of an estimated 81 million jobs in 2020 and about 6.5 million exited the labor force, significantly more than those who became unemployed. Women and youth were disproportionately affected by the loss of employment and decrease in working hours. The pandemic has slowed economic activities of SMEs, and hit service sectors of the economy such as tourism, manufacturing, agriculture and fisheries. Human development is an unfinished business and a continual quest in the Asia-Pacific region, with potential increases in moderate and acute malnutrition, school drop-outs and loses in the learning years.

Countries in the Asia Pacific region have stepped up and made tangible strides to expand social protection coverage amid the pandemic including through temporary basic income, cash assistance to vulnerable groups, unemployment benefits as well as employee retention schemes, stimulus packages and fee exemption on essential services. However, the protracted crisis has highlighted systemic weaknesses in social protection regimes across countries at different levels of income. Among the critical challenges in the Asia Pacific region’s social protection system are low expenditure, targeted policy design and adequacy of benefit that is often below the minimum living standards and complex administrative mechanism for beneficiary registration that inevitably lead to high out of pocket spending on essential services such as health and education.

UNDP is a knowledge frontier organization on sustainable development in the UN Development System and in the context of COVID-19 pandemic, has been designated as the global lead on socio-economic impact assessments, with social protection as among the key priorities in the UNDP Strategic Plan 2022-2025. Globally, UNDP is an active member of the joint UN cooperation on social protection and its corporate offer strives to position social protection as an investment in human development and seeks to strengthen gender and inclusive national social protection systems, fiscal sustainability, close the coverage gaps and digital solutions to support long-term inclusive, resilient, sustainable and green recovery and transition. UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub (BRH) released a seminal report in 2020, titled Addressing the COVID-19 Economic Crisis in Asia through Social Protection to take stock of the initiatives taken by the Government to strengthen social protection response in the early days of the pandemic. Subsequently in 2021, UNDP undertook a follow up study to analyze the links between social protection system and inequality.  


Duties and Responsibilities

Objectives of the Assignment

The BRH Inclusive Growth Working Paper Series seek to build knowledge base to address the most pressing and emerging structural issues that affect the Government’s policy options towards inclusive and sustainable recovery from COVID-19 pandemic and attainment of SDGs across several countries in the Asia Pacific region. The topics are closely aligned to the key theme and directions of 2022 Regional Human Development Report. These papers seek to take stock of the existing data and evidence in the Asia Pacific region and inform UNDP’s intellectual leadership, positioning and strategic dialogues with partners at regional & country levels with a view to bring transformational change to the policy narrative and direction. The paper will benefit from a light internal peer review by Regional Bureau for Asia Pacific (RBAP) Headquarters in New York, Bangkok Regional Hub (BRH) GPN staff, CO Economists, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) Inclusive Growth Team, as relevant to their portfolio and country contexts. The output paper will be a concise and strategic document of about 20 pages with an executive summary that could be detached and used as a policy brief. Among the audience envisaged are policy makers, academics, NGOs / CSOs, media, development partners, IFIs, UN agencies. The paper will inform UNDP officials’ (RRs, DRRs, Economist Network, RBAP Headquarters in New York, BPPS and others) strategic engagement in the policy dialogue and inform the work of the Economist Network.

Against the above backdrop, this working paper seeks to build on the UNDP’s preceding regional papers and map out its engagement in social protection in selected countries in the Asia Pacific region, in alignment with the corporate offer and identify emerging opportunities and entry points for strategic engagement at country and regional level, and as relevant, inform global work. The scope of the paper will entail:

  • Analysis of preliminary outcomes and lessons learnt from UNDP’s engagement in social protection at the country and regional level. This will be aligned to the key aspects of UNDP’s corporate offer including gender and inclusive national social protection systems, fiscal sustainability, close the coverage gaps, digital solutions and partnerships; and analyzed according to GDP per capita.

  • Analysis of evolving policy, vision and concept of social protection in the Asia Pacific region as well as challenges and priorities in strengthening social protection system towards a universal approach beyond COVID-19 recovery.

  • Strategies for UNDP’s future engagement on social protection in the Asia Pacific region.

The working paper will be commissioned by BRH Inclusive Growth and Prosperity Team. The consultant will work closely with the two teams as well as with other BRH GPN Teams, Regional Economists and Country Office-based economists.

 

Scope of Work

The consultant will undertake the following tasks:

  1. Desk review drawing on the latest evidence and cutting-edge research complemented by key informant interviews to address the below aspects:

  2. Brief analytical overview of key challenges and evolving policies on social protection in the Asia Pacific region.

  3. Analysis of UNDP CO’s strategic engagement and contribution towards strengthening national social protection systems and lessons learnt. These aspects will be analyzed along the corporate offer including gender and inclusive national social protection systems, fiscal sustainability, close the coverage gaps, digital solutions and partnerships. Present case studies of innovative and emerging practices that have informed systemic changes.

  4. Analysis of the evolving concept of social protection and UNDP’s future engagement on social protection in the Asia Pacific region including at the country and regional levels and through enhanced partnerships, including to address the specific challenges of LDCs / SIDS and LMIC.

  5. Draft a paper of approximately 20 pages with annexes, graphs, tables, boxes with case studies, abstract and presentation with key messages as well as practical policy level recommendations, incorporating inputs and feedback from the concerned parties.

  6. Presentation of the paper in the RBAP Economist Network webinar and as other strategic opportunities arise.


Competencies

  • Ability to effectively plan, organize, monitor tasks and deliver outputs;

  • Good inter-personal and skills;

  • Proactiveness, patience and attention to details;

  • Openness to change and ability to integrate feedback;

  • Cultural and gender sensitivity; ability to work with people from different backgrounds;

  • Ability to work independently and in a team; and to deliver high-quality work on time;

  • Ability to network and leverage collaboration from stakeholders and partners.

  • English proficiency is required.


Required Skills and Experience

Required Skills and Experience:

Education:

  • At least Master’s degree in development policies, development studies, economics or related fields.

Work Experience:

  • A minimum of 15 years of experience in socio-economic development policies in developing country

    contexts including provision of policy advisory support;

  • At least 5 Track record of authoring academic papers and current / recent affiliation with academic institutions.

  • Track record that demonstrates theoretical and specialized technical knowledge of social protection;

  • Track record that demonstrates the quantitative and qualitative analytical research skills using extensive references.

  • Experience in compiling theories, technical concepts and data as well as forward-looking and innovative practices on social protection into concise and strategic documents for use in high-level regional policy dialogue.

  • Familiarity with UN especially UNDP’s corporate priorities and offers on social protection as well as that of IFIs and other UN agencies;

  • Experience working in or related the Asia-Pacific region is highly desired.

 

Scope of Price Proposal and Schedule of Payments

Candidates must send a financial proposal based on Lumpsum Amount. They shall quote an all-inclusive Daily Fee for the contract period. The term “all-inclusive” implies that all costs (professional fees, communications, consumables, etc.) that could be incurred by the successful candidate in completing the assignment are already factored into the daily fee submitted in the proposal. Travel is not required.

 

Payments shall be done on a lumpsum basis, upon verification of satisfactory delivery and of completion of deliverables and approval by the supervisor.

                                     Deliverables/ Outputs

   Payment terms

Deliverable 1

  • Outline, concept, methodology, research tools (including for key informant interviews) as well as list of references, matrix of COs and datasets;
  • Draft working paper based on desk review and key informant interviews.

           40%

Deliverable 2

  • Presentation of the preliminary findings and policy recommendations to the peer review group;
  • Final paper (approximately 20 pages with annexes as relevant), 5-page abstract and PPT presentation incorporating feedback from and endorsed by the relevant parties in UNDP.

           60 %

In general, UNDP shall not accept travel costs exceeding those of an economy class ticket. Should the IC wish to travel on a higher class he/she should do so using their own resources.

In the event of unforeseeable travel not anticipated in this TOR, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon between the respective business unit and the consultant, prior to travel, and will be reimbursed. In general, UNDP shall not accept travel costs exceeding those of an economy class ticket. Should the consultant wish to travel on a higher class, they should do so using their own resources.

 

Criteria for Selection of the Best Offer.

Evaluation Method and Criteria

Candidates will be evaluated based on cumulative analysis. The award of the contract shall be made to the candidate whose offer has been evaluated and determined as a) responsive/compliant/ acceptable; and b) having received the highest score out of a set of weighted technical criteria (70%) and financial criteria (30%). The financial score shall be computed as a ratio of the proposal being evaluated and the lowest priced proposal received by UNDP for the assignment.

                      Evaluation criteria (aligning with qualifications required)

Max points

Criteria 1

Relevance of education

           10

Criteria 2

A minimum of 15 years of experience in socio-economic development policies in developing country

           20

Criteria 3

At least 5 Track record of authoring academic papers and current / recent affiliation with academic institutions

           15

Criteria 4

Track record that demonstrates theoretical and specialized technical knowledge of social protection

           20

Criteria 5

Track record that demonstrates the quantitative and qualitative analytical research skills using extensive references.

           15

Criteria 6

Experience in compiling theories, technical concepts and data as well as forward-looking and innovative practices on social protection into concise and strategic documents for use in high-level regional policy dialogue.

           10

Criteria 7

Familiarity with UN especially UNDP’s corporate priorities and offers on social protection as well as that of IFIs and other UN agencies

           5

Criteria 8

Experience working in or related the Asia-Pacific region is highly desired

           5

 

                                            Total points:

         100

**Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% or above in the Technical evaluation would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.

Personal interview may be required.

 

Financial Evaluation (30%)

Financial proposals from all technically qualified candidates will be scored out of 30 marks based on the formula provided below. The maximum marks (30) will be assigned to the lowest financial proposal.

All other proposals will receive points according to the following formula:

  • p = y (µ/z).

Where:

  • p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated;
  • y = maximum number of points for the financial proposal;
  • µ = price of the lowest priced proposal;
  • z = price of the proposal being evaluated.

 

Documentation required.

Instructions to Applicants: Click on the "Apply now" button. Input your information in the appropriate Sections: personal information, language proficiency, education, resume and motivation. Upon completion of the first page, please hit "submit application" tab at the end of the page then the uploading option for the required document will be available.

Please group all your document into one (1) single PDF document as the application system only allows to upload maximum one document.

Interested candidates must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications. Please group them into one (1) single PDF document:

1. Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability with Financial Proposal (in USD) using the template provided as Annex III

[Financial proposal: Consultant shall quote an all-inclusive fixed total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template provided for the entire assignment. The term “all-inclusive” implies that all costs (professional fees, communications, consumables, etc.) that could be incurred by the IC in completing the assignment are already factored into the proposed fee submitted in the proposal]

If an Offeror is employed by an organization/ company/ institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP under Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP.

2. P11 / Personal CV, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references.

3. Samples of unedited policy paper (5-8 pages) written by the candidate.

**Failure to submit the above-mentioned documents or Incomplete proposals shall result in disqualification

**Please group all your document into one (1) single PDF document as the application system only allows to upload maximum one document.

Incomplete proposals may not be considered. The short-listed candidates may be contacted, and the successful candidate will be notified

 

Annexes:

Annex I - TOR International Consultant Social Protection in the Asia
Annex II - General_Terms_and_Conditions_for_Individual_Consultant
Annex III - Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability and financial proposal
Annex IV - P11 Form_for_ICs_optional
Annex V - Procurement Notice

***All documents can be downloaded at: https://procurement-notices.undp.org/view_notice.cfm?notice_id=84432

For any clarification regarding this assignment please write to procurement.th@undp.org under Subject: JobAds 102588 - International Consultant: Social Protection in the Asia Pacific region



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