Policy Research: conduct baseline and needs assessment of youth participation in the Arab region


Location : Home-Based Assignment
Application Deadline :03-Nov-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 :73 working days over a period of (3.5) calendar months

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

An ESCWA study of civil society participation in public policymaking processes has shown?a number of?challenges facing civil society in Arab countries. Those challenges include lingering political instability and the absence of a conducive political environment for the active participation of civil society, dominant tribalism in some countries and conservative values of religious forces that hinder true participation, “weak political, legal, educational, socioeconomic and cultural reforms25?and the lack of civil freedoms. Some Arab countries do not have laws on the establishment of political associations or parties, rendering their formation illegal.?Compared to youth in the rest of the world, Arab youth participate more in protests and demonstrations and less in civic groups and in electoral voting.? ? 

Political participation is a key pillar of active citizenship. Participation entails taking part in mainstream politics, including voting, joining a party or pressure group, campaigning, or standing for election. Participation encompasses more than elections - it involves participating in the public discourse through organized channels, petitions, and other forms of expression. However,?young?people continue to demand equal access to politics and equal scope to participate in society. Despite the peak of youth activism in the wake of 2010s popular uprisings, it is evident that in the mid-2010s the large majority of young people do not engage in public life through formal?avenues of political participation such as voting, political parties, or civil society organizations.26?In particular,?women’s representation in legislative bodies in the Arab States region remains one of the lowest globally, with an average of 18 per cent in 2018, compared to a world average of 24 per cent27.?? 

Young people have, however, continuously mobilized in grass-roots movements to address political,?social?or environmental issues. In Morocco, the February 20th protest movement emerged into public life in 2011 and managed to promote legislative reforms that were approved in a national referendum. Algeria, too, witnessed sporadic protest movements and activities in the wake of the 2011 popular uprisings but the 1990s civil war between armed Islamists and the military provided a forceful reminder for many that social turbulence may easily lead to years of protracted violence. However, this has not translated into tangible change on the ground.??Recent findings from the Arab Barometer show youth have little trust in governments, which are widely viewed as being corrupt, leading to a potential crisis of legitimacy in the region20. Youth are strikingly absent in national parliaments in Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon,?Oman?and Qatar, and only four countries feature specialized youth-related legislative committees (Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia and Yemen). A World Bank study on political inclusion in Tunisia28?highlights youth’s perception that the revolution was initiated by the young but co-opted by the “old” and established politicians. Persistent unemployment, worsening social justice, and the continuing patronage and regionalism of the old order have dampened the optimism ignited by the revolution.? 

Despite growing interest in youth, most Arab countries lack a strategic vision for youth development. The region continues to address youth through unsustainable sectoral programs and projects, rather than by formulating national youth policies that would provide nationally-agreed-upon frameworks and realistic guidelines from which actions can be developed to enhance meaningful youth participation and development29. However, a small number of Arab governments devised national policies or strategies for youth including Bahrain16,Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon17,[Palestine 18, Yemen 19?and more recently Morocco. Despite these efforts, the institutional setting of policymaking for youth has usually been restricted to one ministry (for ex. Ministry of Youth and Sports) with no mechanism for coordination with other ministries (education, labor, health, etc.), civil society, or the respective youth population, making it challenging to address the issues most important to young people. Overall, Arab countries have adopted multiple approaches in responding to the developmental needs of youth, ranging from mainstreaming youth in national developmental policies, to designing and implementing national sectoral strategies focusing on a specific issue30.? 

With little room for independent civil society organizations, unconventional and volatile political and civic action has emerged?as a?way to?for young people to make their voices heard. Disenchantment?with politics has found a new outlet: Approximately four-in-ten Internet users across MENA say they use online channels and social media to obtain information about political events. Two-in-ten Internet users also state that they use the online channels to express their opinions about politics and society.31?The emergence of digital platforms and tools offer up new arenas for public discourse and pathways for increased participatory governance. Open digital tools such as the?Consul platform32?enable citizen driven participatory processes and has been deployed in the rebuilding of Garowe, empowering Somali communities to engage in initiating and hosting public debates on development issues, solution design, development of legislation, prioritization of development initiatives and (local) government planning arrangements, as well as enhanced participation in local government budgeting processes. These represent hopeful signals of how democracy can be re-imagined that would restore the social contract and enhance accountability and transparency in government.? 

Within this context, through its Regional Youth Project, the UNDP Regional Bureau for the Arab States seeks to foster the value of co-creation and inclusion in public policy processes that concern young people. Based on the assumption that creating better interfaces between the people and the government will lead to more responsive and relevant public policies and services and ultimately better development outcomes, it seeks to support UNDP Country Offices and partner governments in working towards: 

  • Youth engagement in public life and public policy design - by exploring and promoting innovative tools and frameworks for integrating a youth perspective in policy formulation and service design 
  • A whole of government approach on youth. Enhanced institutional capacities and ensured horizontal and vertical co-ordination across state institutions and non-governmental bodies, which is critical to ensure that all stakeholders are working in harmony towards a shared vision for youth 
  • Strengthened youth (serving) structures and networks (innovation hubs, national youth councils and centers, think tanks, incubators) to foster a generation of engaged and empowered citizens 

To this end, at the micro-level, UNDP is driving a two-pronged strategy in building youth’ agency: 

  • Broad based civic education with the aim of reaching as many young people as possible and creating a movement of cognitively sovereign young citizens 
  • Deep engagement with a select number of policy leaders /shapers, who want to lead on policy and systems change  


Duties and Responsibilities

The UNDP Regional Bureau for the Arab States is seeking to commission a researcher, which will provide a preliminary baseline assessment about civic and policy engagement of youth in the MENA that is necessary to inform a region-wide, up-to-date support program tailored to country-specific needs and constraints.

The research will provide actionable intelligence on:

  1.  the operating environment (legal, institutional, cultural, security frameworks and the risks and constraints young people face,
  2. current capacity and youth training and capacity building needs,
  3. a mapping of existing types of public and civic-led support systems (youth councils/centers and CBOs) and capacity gaps, with the ultimate goal of identifying suitable partners for capacity building activities

The researcher will help address questions around contextual challenges and needs, as well as feasibility of capacity building and policy incubation programs in each country. The UNDP is committed to safeguarding the safety and security of youth participating in programmatic interventions. Therefore, a risk assessment is a critical element of the research.

The following research aspects shall be investigated:

  • Specific risks and constraints in each country (as well as Identification of “red lines” = controversial topics in each country)
  • Identification and profiling of at least 3 potential local partners
  • Training needs and interests of youth
  • Policy areas of interests among youth
  • Obstacles to youth civic engagement and participation in governance
  • Identity
  • Trust in Institutions
  • Social Cohesion, participation, and engagement
  • Interpersonal trust and tolerance

Research methodology requirements:

  • The contracted consultant is expected to mainstream gender parity into its research methodology
  • Guided by the “leave no one behind” principle of the 2030 Agenda, the contracted consultant is expected to choose a sample representing youth from all socio-economic backgrounds, ensuring geographic representation (rural /urban) where possible

Target countries:

The UNDP Regional Bureau for the Arab States covers 17 countries. Given the complexity of challenges and constraints in a number of countries, 13 countries will be part of the initial research cohort so as to hedge against the risks of delaying the entire process, if the researcher encounters bottlenecks in one or more countries. A contingency plan shall be submitted as part of the technical proposal.

This research shall 13 countries:

  1. Algeria
  2. Egypt
  3. Iraq
  4. Jordan 
  5. Lebanon
  6. Libya
  7. Morocco
  8. Palestine
  9. Sudan
  10. Syria
  11. Somalia
  12. Tunisia
  13. Yemen

The second phase of the research – not part of the scope of this assignment -  will include the remaining countries, as well as the data analysis and report writing.

  1. Bahrain
  2. Kuwait
  3. Saudi Arabia
  4.  Djibouti

EXPECTED OUTPUTS AND DELIVERABLES

The contracted consultant is expected to achieve the below objectives within the mentioned time frame by working closely with the project team of UNDP. To meet the objectives of this assignment, the winning service provider has to apply the following:

  • Desk review for the relevant secondary data sources
  • Produce and develop the required tools to be used in the collection information phase, such as (questionnaires, surveys, templates, etc...)
  • Conduct surveys, interviews and meetings with relevant stakeholders
  • To provide database of survey and interview responses
  • To provide a situation analysis of the operating environment per country
  • Provide a risk assessment for youth capacity building initiatives per country
  • Overview of youth priorities, aspirations and capacity building needs per country
  • Identify the gaps and areas that need improvement in mapped youth support structures and capacity building programs
  • Produce preliminary recommendations for potential implementing partners
  • Expected Outputs and Deliverables

    Expected number of working days for each deliverable

    Targeted Due Dates

    Review and Approvals Required

    Deliverable (1):

     

    1 inception report (Detailed research design, and analysis of operating environment based on desk research)

    Up to (21) working days from contract signature date

    Within (01) calendar Month from contract signature date

     

     

     

     

     

    YEEP Strategic Advisor

    Deliverable (2):

     

    Data collection (surveys and interviews) completed in all 13 countries, 1 database of survey and interview data

     

    Up to (42) working days from satisfactory completion of deliverable (1)

     

    Within (3) calendar Months from contract signature date

    Deliverable (3):

     

    1 Progress report (can be a ppt slide deck) with initial analysis and results for each country (13) and main emerging patterns regionally

    Up to (10) working days from satisfactory completion of deliverable (2)

    Within (3.5) calendar Months from contract signature date


Competencies

Corporate

  • Demonstrates integrity and fairness, by modeling the UN/UNDP’s values and ethical standards;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.

Functional

  • Time management and organizational skills, with the ability to undertake multiple tasks and deliver under pressure;
  • Strong analytical and synthesis skills;
  • Ability to work independently and achieve quality results with limited supervision and within tight schedules;
  • Experience in reports production;
  • Ability to write in a clear and concise manner;
  • Good teamwork and interpersonal skills;
  • Flexibility and ability to handle multiple tasks and work under pressure;
  • Excellent computer skills especially Word, Excel and Power Point

Leadership

  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and to provide credible leadership;
  • Demonstrated flexibility in leadership by performing and/or overseeing the analysis/resolution of complex issues;
  • Ability to conceptualize and convey strategic vision from the spectrum of development experience.

Managing Relationships

  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain strategic partnerships;
  • Demonstrated well developed people management and organizational management skills;
  • Excellent negotiating and networking skills with strong partnerships in academia, technical organizations and as a recognized expert in the practice area.

Managing Complexity

  • Ability to address global development issues;
  • Demonstrated substantive leadership and ability to integrate knowledge with broader strategic, policy and operational objectives.

Knowledge Management and Learning

  • Ability to strongly promote and build knowledge products;
  • Promotes knowledge management in UNDP and a learning environment in the office through leadership and personal example;
  • Seeks and applies knowledge, information and best practices from within and outside of UNDP;
  • Demonstrates a strong capacity for innovation and creativity in providing strategic policy advice and direction.

Judgment/Decision-Making

  • Mature judgment and initiative;
  • Proven ability to provide strategic direction to the project implementation process;
  • Independent judgment and discretion in advising on handling major policy issues and challenges, uses diplomacy and tact to achieve result.


Required Skills and Experience

Education: master’s degree in development studies, human rights, gender, law, or any related field.

Work experience:

  • At least of 10 years of professional technical experience in research and capacity assessment of society organization, CSOs engagement, and governance at the national and/or international levels.
  • Proven record of previous publications/reports related to CSOs engagement and governance, Gender and women’s empowerment knowledge.
  • Demonstrated experience in working with local NGOs / INGOs / CBOs at the local level, of at least 7 years, is required.
  • Good experience in socio-cultural, geopolitical and economic regional context

INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENT

  • The individual is required to exhibit his or her full-time commitment with UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States (RBAS);
  • S/He shall perform tasks under the general guidance and direct supervision of  YEEP Strategic Advisor
  • The supervision will include approvals/acceptance of the outputs and deliverables as identified in the previous section;
  • The individual is expected to liaise and collaborate in the course of performing the work with other consultants, suppliers and UN colleagues;
  • The individual is required to provide periodical progress reports on regular and needed basis throughout the assignment to monitor progress;
  • The individual is required to maintain close communication with UNDP-RBAS on regular and needed basis at any period throughout the assignment in order to monitor progress. In the event of any delay, S/he will inform UNDP promptly so that decisions and remedial action may be taken accordingly;
  • Should UNDP deem it necessary, it reserves the right to commission additional inputs, reviews or revisions, as needed to ensure the quality and relevance of the work.

DURATION OF THE WORK

The expected duration of the assignment is expected to be up to (73) working days over a period of (3.5) calendar months from contract signature date.

DUTY STATION

Home-Based Assignment.

TRAVEL PLAN (OPTIONAL)

If any unforeseen travel outside the consultant home-based city is requested by UNDP and not required by the Terms of References (ToR), such travel shall be covered by UNDP in line with applicable rules and regulations and upon prior written agreement. In such cases, the consultant shall receive living allowances not exceeding the United Nations (UN) Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) rate for such other location(s).

SCOPE OF PRICE PROPOSAL AND SCHEDULE OF PAYMENTS

Interested candidates should provide lump sum fees for requested services with detailed breakdown.  This amount must be “all-inclusive”. Please note that the terms “all-inclusive” implies that all costs (professional fees, communications, consumables, etc.) that could possibly be incurred are already factored into the final amounts submitted in the proposal. Also, please note that the contract price will be Deliverables/Outputs based - not fixed - subject to change in the cost components.

The contractor will be paid an all-inclusive Deliverables/Outputs based lump sum amounts over the assignment period, subject to the submission of Certification of Payment (CoP) duly certified or an invoice and confirmation of satisfactory performance of achieved work (deliverables/outputs) in line with the schedule of payments table hereunder:

Expected Outputs and Deliverables

Expected number of working days for each deliverable

Targeted Due Dates

Payment

Schedule

Deliverable (1):

 

1 inception report (Detailed research design, and analysis of operating environment based on desk research)

Up to (21) working days from contract signature date

Within (01) calendar Month from contract signature date

After satisfactory completion of deliverable(s) one (01) and submission of duly certified Certification of Payment (CoP) up to 30% of total contract amount

Deliverable (2):

 

Data collection (surveys and interviews) completed in all 13 countries, 1 database of survey and interview data

 

Up to (42) working days from satisfactory completion of deliverable (1)

 

Within (3) calendar Months from contract signature date

After satisfactory completion of deliverable(s) two (02) and submission of duly certified Certification of Payment (CoP) up to 40% of total contract amount

Deliverable (3):

 

1 Progress report (can be a ppt slide deck) with initial analysis and results for each country (13) and main emerging patterns regionally

Up to (10) working days from satisfactory completion of deliverable (2)

Within (3.5) calendar Months from contract signature date

After satisfactory completion of deliverable(s) three (03) and submission of duly certified Certification of Payment (CoP) up to 30% of total contract amount

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECOMMENDED PRESENTATION OF OFFER

Interested individual consultants must submit documents under point 1, 2, 3 & 4 to demonstrate their qualifications. Candidates that fail to submit these documents, the application will not be considered.

  1. Personal CV or P11, 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;
  2. A brief methodology, approach and implementation plan (include a risk matrix and brief contingency plan in case research is stalled in one or more countries due to unforeseen political developments;
  3. Brief Description of why you consider yourself as the most suitable candidate for this assignment;
  4. One sample of work to demonstrate the individual’s competencies to undertake this assignment;
  5. Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive Deliverables/Outputs based total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template provided. The terms “all-inclusive” implies that all costs (professional fees, travel costs, living allowances, communications, consumables, etc.) that could possibly be incurred are already factored into the final amounts 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.

When the financial proposal is requested it should indicate the all-inclusive Deliverables/Outputs based total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template provided. The terms “all-inclusive” implies that all costs (professional fees, , communications, consumables, etc.) that could possibly be incurred are already factored into the final amounts 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.

Interested candidates shall submit required documents to Job Advertisement Website (https://jobs.undp.org/cj_view_jobs.cfm) as one document not later than 03 November 2021.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTION OF THE BEST OFFERS

This selection criteria will follow the Combined Scoring method – where the qualifications and methodology will be weighted a max. of 70%, and combined with the price offer which will be weighted a max of 30%; using the following evaluation criteria

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodologies:

Step I: Screening and desk review:

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology.

Applications will be first screened and only candidates meeting the following minimum requirements will progress to the pool for shortlisting:

  • Criteria A: Master’s degree in development studies, human rights, gender, law, or any related field.
  • Criteria B: At least of 10 years of professional technical experience in research and capacity assessment of society organization, CSOs engagement, and governance at the national and/or international levels.
  • Criteria E: Language proficiency in both written and oral English is required.

Technical evaluation Criteria max 100 points (Weighted 70):

  • Criteria A: Master’s degree in development studies, human rights, gender, law, or any related field.(20 points)
  • Criteria B:  At least of 10 years of professional technical experience in research and capacity assessment of society organization, CSOs engagement, and governance at the national and/or international level; (20 points)
  • Criteria C: Proven record of previous publications/reports related to CSOs engagement and governance. Gender and women’s empowerment knowledge (10 points)
  • Criteria D: One sample of work to demonstrate the individual’s competencies to undertake this assignment (20 points);
  • Criteria E: Demonstrated experience in working with the UN or local NGOs / INGOs / CBOs  at the local level(15 points);
  • Criteria F: Language proficiency in both written and oral English is required. Knowledge of any other UN language is a plus;. (15 points)

Shortlisted candidates will be assessed and scored against the following evaluation criteria:

Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation

For those offers considered in the financial evaluation, the lowest price offer will receive 30 points. The other offers will receive points in relation to the lowest offer, based on the following formula: (PI / Pn) * 30 where Pn is the financial offer being evaluated and Pl is the lowest financial offer received.

Step III: Final evaluation

The final evaluation will combine the scores of the desk review and the financial proposal with the following weights assigned to each:

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the cumulative analysis methodology (weighted scoring method), where the award of the contract will be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

Technical Criteria weight: [70%]

Financial Criteria weight: [30%]

Only Individual Consultants obtaining a minimum of 49 points (70%) on the Technical evaluation would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.



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