ETH3002-International Consultant for a Study on Innovative Financing for Social Protection in Africa

Location : Home based
Application Deadline :08-Nov-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :30 working days distributed over 2 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :30 working days distributed over 2 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.


The State’s obligation to deliver social protection to the poor and vulnerable populations is articulated in national policy documents and Constitutions of many African countries. However, the availability of social protection schemes is still very limited, with only 17.8 percent of Africans covered (ILO). Both formal and informal social protection mechanisms are overstretched by the harsh realities of economic challenges, inadequate resource commitment, disasters, conflicts, and most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 response measures have curtailed economic activities and placed a growing number of individual’s livelihoods at risk, with many slipping below the poverty line with narrow options for recovery. This vast sums of funding needed for the COVID-related spending needs coincide with a simultaneous constraint to all traditional sources of development finance: tax revenue, export earnings, migrant remittances, foreign direct investment and official development assistance (ODA).

With a lower level of domestic resource mobilisation compared to other world regions, African countries rely disproportionately on external financial flows, which have been overstretched by the pandemic. This puts a serious strain on the overall SDGs financing gap estimated at $200 billion annually for Africa. While social protection programs have been a crucial part of the COVID-19 response, the pandemic laid bare the inadequacy of the social protection systems in sub-Saharan Africa, including lack of sustainable domestic financing for this purpose. This context creates a need for new sources of finance for social assistance during the response and recovery efforts as well as institutionalization of integrated and sustainable social protection systems. To expand the current social protection systems, it is important to explore ways to improve the effectiveness of the current financing systems, as well as propose and adapt innovative finance schemes.

In low-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa, poor revenue mobilisation is an important barrier to the extension of social assistance. This is compounded by the debt load forecasted for sub-Saharan Africa at 56 percent of GDP for 2021 (IMF) with the interest payments reaching on average 20 percent of tax revenue for the region last year and exceeded one-third of revenue in some countries. Despite increase of expenditure on social assistance across Africa over the last decade, most of the countries are still spending less than 1 percent of Gross Domestic Expenditure on social assistance. Similarly, several African countries are spending less than US$10 on social assistance per poor person per year. The fiscal constraints are a reality that calls for innovating financing beyond the traditional means to ensure a wider coverage of the majority poor and better impact on poverty.

In this challenging financial context where traditional forms of development aid are under pressure, innovative finance – aligned with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda - has emerged as a complementary approach to generate sustainable sources of finance to support governments fight poverty and reach development goals. Innovative finance capacitates the State to transcend the limits of public finance. Creating the enabling environment to improve efficiency and coordination of current systems is needs, so are new or novel ways of raising funds from unconventional sources, including from private stakeholders and exploring the opportunities of digital finance.

This research explores innovative financing options and considers the benefits of partnerships which engage the private and public sectors, local and international actors (including both local and diaspora communities), as well as philanthropic and commercial players to strengthen social protection provision. It will also review real-life initiatives that highlight ways of working between government, private sector investors and individuals in reshaping the landscape of social protection into the future.


Follow the instruction given under below link

Should be submitted through: UNDP/ETH10/Event ID: ETH3002

Please advised to use Internet Explorer (Version 10 or above) to avoid any compatibility issues with the e-tendering system.

Duties and Responsibilities



In consultation with the Inclusive Growth at RSCA and the SDG Finance Sector Hub, the consultant is expected to conduct a desk review of the existing literature on innovative approaches to SDGs financing in general and to financing social protection in particular. The objective is to understand the existing and possible innovative approaches as well as their political feasibility across the continent of Africa. The following are the deliverables:

A. Mapping of African based innovative financing policies, tools and instruments, covering private and public finance on both revenue and expenditure sides:

  1. Mapping innovative finance mechanisms for development. This will include
    1. Identifying entries of collaboration and synergies connecting the INFF related work and recommendations coming out of the DFA (development finance assessment) related processes with the potential entries for collaboration with social protection.
    2. Identifying best practices being undertaken globally, that, through south-south cooperation, can be adopted and adapted in Africa
  2.  Mapping innovative finance for social protection
    1. The consultant is expected to identify innovative financing mechanisms for social protection and its extension to the informal sector from those discussed in the two deliverables above.
    2. Assessing and discussing the feasibility of the identified mechanisms, their risk profile (externalities, trade-offs, etc.) and constraints in the African context.

B. Mapping governance and monitoring mechanism of financing for social protection:

  1. Mapping good practices in terms of governance and coordination of financing policies, tools and instruments for social protection that could be adapted to the African context.
  2. Mapping good practices in terms of monitoring and review tools that would contribute towards more effective monitoring, transparency and accountability of financing policies, tools and instruments for social protection.

C. Comprehensive report on innovative financing

The consultant is expected to produce a background paper of 20-25 pages that maps development innovative financing and dovetails to possible mechanisms that can be explored to finance social policy and social protection. For each suggested policy, tools and instruments, the report will provide an overview of the risks/benefits, prerequisites, cost estimations and key stakeholders for their implementation.


Deliverables / Outputs

Estimated Duration to Complete

Review and Approvals Required


Annotated Outline

5 days

UNDP RSCA Social Protection and Inclusive Growth Specialist/UNDP Finance Sector Hub, SDG Finance and SSC Regional Advisor


Comprehensive background paper on innovative financing for social protection in Africa – outlining current state of play, gaps and new opportunities.

20 days

UNDP RSCA Social Protection and Inclusive Growth Specialist/UNDP Finance Sector Hub, SDG Finance and SSC Regional Advisor


Final version of the paper with comments from peer reviews incorporated.

5 days

UNDP RSCA Social Protection and Inclusive Growth Specialist/UNDP Finance Sector Hub, SDG Finance and SSC Regional Advisor



Technical Competencies

  1. Strong analytical, assessment and mapping capabilities
  2. Strong analytical aptitude, communication and presentation skills
  3. Strong project management skills
  4. Computer skills: Full command of Microsoft applications (word, excel, PowerPoint) and common internet applications

Personal Competencies

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards
  • Positive, constructive attitude and approaches work with energy
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to receive / integrate feedback
  • Good networking skills to engage with both internal and external partners
  • Capacity to communicate fluently with different stakeholders (civil society, government authorities, local communities, private sector, project staff)

Language and Other Skills

  • Excellent knowledge of English, including the ability to write reports clearly and concisely, and to set out a coherent argument in presentations and group interactions
  • Working knowledge of other local languages is an asset
  • French is an added advantage

Follow the instruction given under below link

Should be submitted through: UNDP/ETH10/Event ID: ETH3002

Please advised to use Internet Explorer (Version 10 or above) to avoid any compatibility issues with the e-tendering system.

Required Skills and Experience

Area of Corporate Specialization of the Individual Consultant

  1. has at least five year of relevant experience in conducting social science research in Africa, particularly qualitative studies
  2. prior experience in conducting qualitative studies in the field of social protection, social networks, informal/traditional coping mechanisms
  3. experience in using participatory methods for social science research
  4. Strong track record of quality data collection, report writing and project management
  5. Familiarity with UN systems and procedures, management and monitoring tools is desirable


Academic Qualifications:

  1. The consultant should be a holder of at least have a Master’s Degree in Development Economics, Development Finance, International Development, or a related field. A PhD will be an added advantage.


  1. A minimum of five years of progressive experience related to data collection, qualitative research and related fields
  2. Hands on work experience with qualitative research in financing social protection/social policy

Follow the instruction given under below link

Should be submitted through: UNDP/ETH10/Event ID: ETH3002

Please advised to use Internet Explorer (Version 10 or above) to avoid any compatibility issues with the e-tendering system.

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