The Support to Knowledge and Life-Long Learning Skills (SKILLS) Programme is a joint policy project running under the National Implementation Modality of UNDP following a bilateral agreement with the Government of Nepal, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST). This programme has been designed to suggest pragmatic policy reform initiatives, develop integrated National Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) management information system (MIS), enhance private sector engagement in TVET and come up with policy on entrepreneurship and keeping women in the workforce. It also aims to help increase quality assurance and knowledge networking and governance of TVET programmes and services of MoEST, which is also the implementing agency of the programme. The planned outcomes of the project are to: (a) develop an integrated TVET Policy and Contribute to policy design that can help bring about good governance in the entire TVET sector, (b) run Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes by consolidating all the resource under TVET Fund through SWAp, (c) link technical education and vocational training with higher education, (d) strengthen TVET-MIS, monitoring and evaluation system, and (e) support to carry out province-level skill mapping and develop local level TVET strategic plan.
The planned outcome expanded in 2020 with the aim of contributing to recovery process of COVID-19 pandemic by transforming Returnee Migrant Workers’ (RMWs) prior work-based skills and knowledge to increase production locally. Thus, as part of SKILLS’s COVID-19 response, SKILLS successfully implemented “Workplace-based Learning and Earning Programme” in partnership with National Youth Council (NYC) in four Local Levels of Sudurpaschim Province for creating self-employment opportunities for returnee migrants. Since this programme has proven to be very effective to address the needs of returnee migrants and transform their prior workplace-based knowledge and skills in their own communities. In view of the livelihood and job prospects of RMWs being affected by the pandemic, it has become essential to create opportunities for them related to relevant skills training and development. According to government estimates, over half a million Nepali citizens (as of September 30, 2021) have returned home from abroad after the pandemic began in early 2020, and a significant number of them (over 60 percent) are migrants who returned home after losing their jobs as a result of the ongoing Pandemic, primarily in Middle East, and Southeast Asia.
It is obvious that RMWs do already have certain kind of workplace-based skills, which could be the precious capital to diversify and trigger the potential local enterprises, forcing the development actors to think of new solutions to address the recovery process. However, a high proportion of RMWs, 81%, reported that the skills they had acquired abroad were not useful in Nepal, pointing to a mismatch between current skills and jobs available locally. Based on the evidence available, therefore, there is an urgent need to develop, explore and implement relevant, innovative, and timely Skills Development (SD) and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programs targeting RMWs specifically with a view to facilitating their entry or re-entry into the local economy and labour market.
The Government of Nepal through national budget of 2078/79 introduced a policy to provide returning migrants workers with collateral-free loans at a subsidized interest rate to incentivize them to become self-employed. Also, UNDP’s SKILLS, in collaboration with NYC and Returnee Migrant Nepal (RMN), is conducting mapping of skills (for creating skills profile) of RMWs with the aim to help certify their skills through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and connect them to labor market. In the past, SKILLS had introduced “Workplace Based Learning and Earning Program” which trained 87 RMWs of Sudurpaschim Province for engaging them in self-employment activities.
UNDP SKILLS has recently initiated a new project entitled “Enhancing returnee migrant workers-RMWs skills for employment” for the productive reintegration of RMWs into the labour market and the economy, particularly the women, historically disadvantaged, poor and marginalized groups. The objective of the project is to provide effective, relevant and efficient skills training to selected RMWs, and to link them with skills certification to create better employment/self-employment opportunities. This will be done through an integrated Public Private Partnership Approach in skills training in three key economic sectors: i) agriculture ii) construction, and iii) tourism. These three sectors offer the most employment/self-employment opportunities for promoting the transition to a greener, climate-resilient and low-emission economy in Nepal. The project will attempt to introduce an innovative bottom-up approach by initiating public-private dialogue forum at the federal, provincial and local levels. This endeavor will address the needs of labour market for skilled human resources and ensure increased access to sustainable livelihood and decent employment for RMWs. The specific expected result of this project is the linking of the RMWs skills training with the existing skills standards set by Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT) and conducting a skills certification programme.
The Communications and GESI Expert will work under the direct supervision of the National Project Manager (NPM) based on the overall guidance of the National Project Director and Portfolio Manager. S/he will also work in close collaboration with Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT), National Youth Council (NYC), Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), Returnee Migrant Nepal (RMN) and Province and Local Levels as necessary. S/he will also coordinate with relevant organizations for the effective implementation of the project’s targets of providing short-term customized training and skills certification to 1,500 RMWs to ensure their better access to the job market.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Communications and GESI Expert will be responsible for the development of communication/visibility and outreach strategies to sensitize policymakers, stakeholders, media and the general public on migrants’ current capabilities and aspects of TVET to respond them for reintegrating into the society. S/he will be responsible for the dissemination, publication, knowledge management of the project; S/he will also ensure gender equality and social inclusion issues in all stages of the project by providing:
- Technical support for the design, implementation, monitoring and quality assurance of the “Enhancing Returnee Migrant Workers (RMWs) skills for employment” and productive reintegration of RMWs into the labour market and the economy.
- Coordination and collaboration with relevant stakeholders for awareness creation and capacity building
- Support to develop and implement GESI related programmes for the productive reintegration of RMWs into the labour market.
The key Responsibilities of the assignment are:
The Communications and GESI Expert will work directly under the supervision of National Project Manager (NPM), and in close coordination with the National Project Director (NPD), CTEVT, and UNDP Portfolio Manager and UNDP communications for the programme. The Expert involved in this assignment will have to design appropriate method for achieving the assigned tasks. The key responsibilities of the Expert are as follows:
1. Technical support for the design, implementation, monitoring and quality assurance of the “Enhancing Returnee Migrant Workers (RMWs) skills for employment” and productive reintegration of RMWs into the labour market and the economy.
- Develop strategic plan for effective operationalization of media and communications plan, and GESI plan at all three levels of governments (federal, provincial, and local) by bringing together public and private actors for reintegration of RMWs in local economy;
- Provide technical support to develop monitoring, inspection & evaluation procedures by conducting monitoring visits, including monitoring project activities, expenditures, and progress towards achieving the project output by developing periodic reports;
- Assist NPM in the development of annual and quarterly work plan primarily focused on Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) and communication issues;
- Design, develop, and publish newsletters, infographics, factsheets, success/inspiration stories, lesson learnt report, in local and Nepali languages;
- Develop and mobilize media [print, electronic such as radio and TV programmes (advertorial, jingle, panel interview)] to disseminate achievements and knowledge products of the projects to wider audience through television and radio programs, documentaries, and panel discussions on the programmes of skills of RMWs;
- Lead to use social media and other print and digital platforms for the media campaign targeting RMWs, parents, social leaders, local/provincial federal Governments, NGO/INGO, development partners, journalists, local/provincial/federal professional associations; and
- Support to conduct meetings, consultations and workshops.
2. Coordination and collaboration with relevant stakeholders for awareness creation and capacity building.
- Lead the provincial and local level sensitization workshop for local governments, RMWs and training providers;
- Provide communication support to conduct rapid market appraisal to identify skills gaps and future needs of RMWs and market demand in three key economic sectors: Agriculture, Construction and Tourism;
- Develop an innovative bottom-up media campaign approach to initiate and establish public-private dialogue forum at the federal, provincial and local levels;
- Organize media campaign for identification of beneficiaries (1,500 RMWs) and provide them with pre-counselling for skill trainings, certification and post-training career counselling;
- Provide communications and media support to administer for all trained 1,500 RMWs through the technical support of National Skill Testing Board (NSTB) to meet the requirements of National Occupational Skill Standard (NOSS); and
- Document and disseminate success stories and lessons learned in Nepali and other local languages.
3. Support to develop and implement GESI related programmes for the productive reintegration of RMWs into the labour market
- Lead to develop strategic and policy issues to strengthen GESI initiatives in the programme plan and implementation strategy;
- Ensure the participation of women and people from disadvantaged group in designing and implementation of the programme activities;
- Assist NPM in preparing progress reports including monthly, quarterly and annual reports as per the demand of MoEST, UNDP, Funding Agency and other development partners;
- Provide technical support to track results in a quarterly/annual report, documentation of best practices and lessons learnt and help publish knowledge management products; and
- Provide support any other related tasks as assigned by the National Project Manager (NPM).
Impact of Results
Successful implementation of the project “Enhancing Returnee Migrant Workers (RMWs) Skills for Employment” to ensure productive reintegration of RMWs into the labour market in line with the project objective.
- Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards.
- Serves and promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP.
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
- Good inter-personal skills.
- Clear and upfront communication skills.
- Treats all people fairly without favouritism.
- Display cultural and gender sensitivity and adaptability.
- Collaborates effectively in a team environment.
- Organized and good with following-up on pending issues; meets deadlines.
- Promote learning and knowledge management/sharing.
- Focused on delivering results by taking calculated-risks and problem-solving approach.
- Fair and transparent decision making; regularly shares information with team members.
- Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development.
- Demonstrate ability to identify and anticipate bottlenecks, as well as seek guidance.
- Ability to maintain a high level of accuracy, confidentiality concerning financial and employee files; (for admin and finance, project management positions).
- Ability to organize and complete assignments within deadlines.
- Integrity and impartiality, ability to work with external partners e.g., supplier, vendors, service providers.
- Ability to convey difficult issues and positions to senior officials proactively seek guidance and make clear recommendations to line managers.
- Dynamic and results-oriented.
- Strong verbal and written skills; ability to draft short memos and conduct presentations.
- Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude.
- Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure.
- Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities; can multi task.
- Willing to work long hours.
- Responds positively to critical feedback and differing points of view.
- Solicits feedback from staff about the impact of his/her own behavior highest standards of integrity, discretion and loyalty.
- Effectively networks with partners seizing opportunities to build strategic alliances relevant to UNDP’s mandate and strategic agenda.
- Assesses project performance to identify success factors and incorporates best practices into project work.
- Monitors specific stages of projects/programme implementation.
- Researches linkages across programme activities to identify critical points of integration.
- Oversees and documents the process of strategy formulation for programmes at Project level.
Required Skills and Experience
Completion of at least Master’s degree in Mass Communication, Journalism, English, Social Sciences, or any other related area of study.
- At least 5 (five) years of professional experience in the national media, including strong ability in professional writing, communications and reporting related work in corporate houses, government, UNDP, and donor-funded projects.
- Relevant work experience in the area of TVET research, policy, strategy, including migration policy and programmes.
- Solid knowledge and understanding on TVET, migration, training & certification systems of Nepal.
- Ability to understand and analysis knowledge management & communication, including media house, quality communication tools.
- Ability of sharing knowledge and experience, and active in personal learning and development.
- Ability to go beyond established procedures, models, and propose new approaches in media campaign and communications.
- Good understanding of UNDP rules and procedures or experience of completing UN assignments would be an asset.
- Experience in working with returnee migrants, TVET including thorough understanding of RMWs issues and challenges will be an added advantage.
- Knowledge and experience of working with government ministries, provincial and local governments, United Nations, private sector, business & industries, and Development Partners would be an asset.
- Fluency in oral and written Nepali and English is essential.
- Knowledge of local languages will be considered as an advantage.
- Well versed in computer applications like Word, Excel, SPSS and Power point.
- Good report writing skill is highly preferable.