Social Protection Specialist


Location : Erbil, IRAQ
Application Deadline :22-Jan-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left :5d 5h 49m
Additional Category :Climate & Disaster Resilience
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
Arabic   English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
15-Feb-2019
Duration of Initial Contract :100 WDs Over 10 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :100 WDs Over 10 months


Background

KRG launched the Social Protection Strategic Framework (SPSF), on September 21, 2016, and developed it with support from the World Bank. The KRG SPSF covers three main pillars of social protection: Social Safety Nets, Pensions and Social Insurance, and Labor Market Policies and Programs. It was formally endorsed by the KRG Council of Ministers in October 2016. The KRG SPSF is integral to the Economic Reform Roadmap developed by KRG with support from the World Bank as well as the KRG Vision 2020 plan. KRG’s stated intention for the SPSF is “to improve living conditions of the poor, address the causes of poverty and foster upward mobility… [and] redesigning our programs so that by 2020, assistance is targeted to those in need and creates economic opportunities for all.”

 

However, the ambitions laid out in the SPSF require detailed technical assistance to move forward, as the current state of social programs in KRG requires improvements in efficiency and targeting the most needy. A primary concern is that currently, KRG Social Safety Nets (SSNs) provide cash transfers on the basis of broad social categories instead of more effective targeting mechanisms to determine eligibility. For example, these categories included Orphans, Widowed Women, and Married Students. Monthly transfers are made to those individuals beneficiaries registered with the KRG Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA) in these and other categories. However, this may sometimes allow certain beneficiaries to receive financial support from the government even if not in financial need. A recent study determined that only 25 percent of beneficiaries are actually in the lowest, poorest quintile of the KRG population, while 75 percent of beneficiaries are distributed in the four richer quintiles.

 

To better enable the poor to benefit from this program, a new targeting mechanism is required. The KRG economy is largely a cash-based system, which makes it difficult to effectively measure the income of households or to understand their means. Without an effective way to measure household means, it is difficult to verify the eligibility of households applying for SSN funds. A more effective targeting mechanism for the KRG region is Proxy-Means Testing (PMT), which focuses on expenditure rather than income by focusing on certain indicators that measure how much households are spending. Following a 2017 “Poverty Targeting” Pilot Program conducted by KRG, World Bank (WB) and UNDP FFER-KRG, the value of this approach was made clear. KRG has chosen to adopt WB recommendations to reform the Social Safety Net through the implementation of a Poverty Targeting mechanism, and verification of beneficiaries through PMT.

The next phase of work required is intended to follow through on the achievements and findings of the pilot program:

  • MOLSA SSN Regulations must be revised – MOLSA has a committee in place tasked with revising regulations pertinent to this issue. This committee will need technical support to accomplish this. Two key steps must be taken:
    • The KRG SSN Regulation issued by the KRG Ministry of Finance and Economy (Regulation 24 of 2011) must be revised to stipulate poverty as the criteria for eligibility for cash transfers, thus establishing Poverty Targeting as the mechanism to establish eligibility.
    • Adopt PMT mechanism to as the verification process for establishing applicant eligibility for SSN.
  • PMT indicators and approach needs to be refined – the indicators used for the PMT approach in the pilot program will need to be thoroughly reviewed and if necessary, other possible proxies for expenditures and means will be added. It is critical to have a reliable mechanism to better verify the means of household applicants, to ensure that only needy applicants (i.e. poor households) receive social support. A thorough PMT process and a relevant set of indicators must be created.
  • Social Safety Net (SSN) application materials/procedures needs overhaul – The pilot program revealed inefficiencies in the MOLSA database and recommended the creation of an all-new database to store information on SSN beneficiaries, screening process, PMT instrument and data analysis. It also recommended that KRG to reset SSN and asking all households to apply for the new poverty targeting program, including existing beneficiaries (those previously identified based on categorical targeting).
  • MOLSA Social Workers will require training – Most current MOLSA Social Workers (SWs) will require training on numerous areas. A program must be developed that can train them on poverty targeting, the PMT mechanism, and on the principles of targeting to ensure uniformity in the PMT testing approach; on use of the new questionnaires that will be developed and the new screening procedures for applications; on SW roles given the reformed SSN approach; and on the interpretation of knowledge and data.
  • Administrative and Communications follow-through – KRG will need to allocate budget to launch the new Social Safety Net, and it must also communicate throughout the KRG region the new SSN program, and its eligibility criteria (based on poverty targeting and PMT) and request households meeting those eligibility criteria to apply through submitting the new application and supporting documents.

 

To carry forward the recommendations from the WB Poverty Targeting pilot, KRG has approached UNDP FFER-KRG to provide them with necessary technical assistance, and UNDP FFER-KRG is therefore recruiting a Social Protection Specialist to provide technical assistance to KRG MOLSA on the above five areas of work.  


Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work

The specialist will work under the direction of the UNDP FFER-KRG Project manager and will work closely with KRG MOLSA Social Safety Net Department to provide technical assistance on the above five areas of work.

 

  1. Technical Support to MOLSA Regulation Revision
    1. Conduct desk review of existing Social Safety Net regulation and eligibility criteria and institutional setup – The specialist shall prepare an initial baseline report through a desk review of relevant documents including Social Safety Net Regulation ref 24 of 2011 issued by KRG Ministry of Finance, Draft Social Safety Net Regulation 2018 developed by KRG MOLSA, KRG Social Protection Strategic Framework 2016, and the World Bank Poverty Targeting Pilot Programme (2017) that will serve as the basis for more in-depth consultations with stakeholders. This report must include, but is not limited to:
      1. An outline of KRG strategy, regulations and eligibility criteria pertaining to the Social Safety Net program
      2. Recommendation on the best approach to implement poverty-based targeting moving forward
    2. Conduct consultation meetings with KRG MOLSA and Ministry of Planning officials – this will include detailed consultations with all stakeholders regarding Social Safety Net regulation, eligibility criteria, verification mechanism and institutional set up. This consultative exercise shall include but is not limited to the following results:
      1. Understanding on the current institutional set up of the KRG Social Safety Net program
      2. Shared understanding of current needs, key challenges and vulnerabilities
      3. Consensus on the reform actions to implement poverty based targeting
      4. Consensus on the verification mechanisms that can be introduced to verify applicant eligibility
    3. Provide MOLSA a set of final recommendations on effective setup of a new poverty targeting mechanism – this will include
      1. Recommendations on areas where the existing regulations need to be revised to implement the poverty targeting mechanism
      2. Recommendations on how to implement effective verification procedures for applicant eligibility (for example PMT, biometric identification, etc.), to ensure that only poor families receive SSN funds
      3. Recommendation on the best institutional setup to manage the SSN program.
      4. Formulate a new application form for SSN in consultation with MOLSA SSN Department

 

  1. Coordinate with World Bank for KRG PMT - World Bank Social Protection Team is supporting KRG with preparation of Survey of Well-Being via Instant, Frequent Tracking (SWIFT) Report and revising KRG PMT indicators if needed. The Specialist shall coordinate with KRG MOLSA Social Safety Net Department and World Bank Social Protection Team in this regard and provide necessary support.  

 

  1. Training to MOLSA Social Workers – Develop training models that covers all areas outlined below but not limited to and conduct training to MOLSA SWs and other relevant staff:
    1. The concept of Poverty Targeting
    2. The new eligibility criteria
    3. The PMT verification mechanism
    4. The new application form
    5. Completing, reviewing, and analyzing PMT questionnaires

 

 

3. Expected outputs and Deliverables

The Social Protection specialist is expected to produce the following deliverables, but shall not be limited to these alone:

 

 

 

#

Deliverables

Number of WDs

Payment %

1

A baseline report that includes, but is not limited to:

  1. An outline of KRG strategy, regulations and eligibility criteria pertaining to the Social Safety Net program
  2. Recommendation on the best approach to implement poverty-based targeting moving forward

10 WDs

25 %

2

A set of final recommendations to MOLSA that includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Recommendations on areas where the existing regulations need to be revised to implement the poverty targeting mechanism
  2. Recommendations on how to implement effective verification procedures for applicant eligibility (for example PMT, biometric identification, etc.), to ensure that only poor families receive SSN funds
  3. Recommendation on the best institutional setup and process to manage the SSN program.

20 WDs

4

New materials to support the SSN program, including but not limited to, a new application form for SSN (created in consultation with MOLSA SSN Department)

10 WDs

30%

5

Conduct training for KRG MOLSA Social Workers on:

  1. The concept of Poverty Targeting
  2. The new eligibility criteria
  3. The PMT verification mechanism
  4. The new application form
  5. Completing, reviewing, and analyzing PMT questionnaires

30 WDs

6

Support with the institutional arrangement at the KRG MOLSA (Regional and Local level) for the initiation of the new SSN.

30 WDs

45%

 

4. Time and Method of Payment

The price proposal should be an “all-inclusive” lump sum fixed rate.

  • The Daily fee must be “all-inclusive”
  • An IC Time Sheet must be submitted by the Specialist, duly approved by the FFER-KRG Project Manager, which shall serve as the basis for the payment of fees
  • The Specialist’s report and deliverables will be certified by the project manager. The Specialist will be paid based on the submitted deliverable as outlined in section 3 and submission of certification of payment.

 

5. Reporting

The Specialist will report to FFER-KRG project manager. The specialist will be working at MOLSA during those days on the field. The Specialist will be provided with office space.

 

  1. Travel Plan

This is on field assignment; the specialist is expected to work at the Ministry of Labor and Social affairs during the working days as per work requirements and agreement with FFER-KRG project manager.


7. Contract Duration

The assignment is for 100 WDs over 10 months period (100 WDs on the Field), starting from the date that work assigned to specialist official by FFER-KRG Project Manager.  


Competencies

  • Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting;
  • High analytical skills oriented towards problem-solve;
  • Leadership and self-management;
  • Focus on results and respond positively to feedback;
  • Consistently approach work with energy and a positive attitude;
  • Demonstrate openness for approaches to manage complexity;
  • Team spirit and excellent interpersonal skills;
  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN's values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP and the UN; and
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;


Required Skills and Experience

Qualifications and Requirements 

The Social Protection Specialist will require the following qualifications, experience, competencies and language skills. Only applicants who meet these criteria will be short-listed and will be contacted:

 

A. Education and Professional Qualifications Required:

  • Degree in Economics, Public Administration, Statistics or related field.
     

B. Experience Required:

  • A minimum of 5 years of relevant experience in Social Protection System (Poverty based Targeting) or related areas
  • Experience in the implementation of Poverty based Targeting;
  • Experience with international organizations;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to interact and communicate effectively and diplomatically with government staff; and
  • Ability to engage in substantive technical discussion with all stakeholders

C. Languages Required:

  • Fluent in English and Kurdish/Arabic, written and oral.

D. Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications in one single PDF document:

  • Duly accomplished Confirmation of Interest and Submission of Financial Proposal Template using the template provided by UNDP (Annex II); https://www.iq.undp.org/content/iraq/en/home/operations/jobs.html
  • 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.

 

Evaluation Criteria

The award of contract will be made to the individual whose offer has been evaluated and determined to be:

  1. Compliant and technically qualified;
  2. Achieving the highest combined score (financial and technical).

 

Criteria

Weight

Technical

Criteria A: relevance and responsiveness of candidate’s past experience, qualification as presented in the Offer:

  1. Degree in Economics, Public Administration, Statistics or related field. (15 Points)
  2. A minimum of 5 years of relevant experience (40 Points)
  3. Experience with international donors and organizations; (15 Points)
  4. Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Ability to interact and communicate effectively and diplomatically with government staff; and (15 Points)
  5. Fluent in English and Kurdish/Arabic, written and oral. (15 Points)

70%

Financial

Lowest Offer / Offer*100

30%

Total Score = (Technical Score * 0.7 + Financial Score * 0.3)

 

Weight Per Technical Competence

5 (outstanding): 96% - 100%

The individual consultant/contractor has demonstrated an OUTSTANDING capacity for the analyzed competence.

4 (Very good): 86% - 95%

The individual consultant/contractor has demonstrated a VERY GOOD capacity for the analyzed competence.

3 (Good): 76% - 85%

The individual consultant/contractor has demonstrated a GOOD capacity for the analyzed competence.

2 (Satisfactory): 70% - 75%

The individual consultant/contractor has demonstrated a SATISFACTORY capacity for the analyzed competence.

1 (Weak): Below 70%

The individual consultant/contractor has demonstrated a WEAK capacity for the analyzed competence.

 

 

 


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.


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