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Socio-Economic Report COVID-19: Social Cohesion and Community Resilience
|Application Deadline :||06-Jun-20 (Midnight New York, USA)|
|Type of Contract :||Individual Contract|
|Post Level :||National Consultant|
|Languages Required :||English|
|Starting Date :|
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
|Duration of Initial Contract :||40 working days|
|Expected Duration of Assignment :||6 months (1 June – 30 November 2020)|
The COVID-19 pandemic presents itself as a unique crisis in which a humanitarian crisis is evolving simultaneously with a global and local economic downturn and threatens to affect entire economies and livelihoods en masse. Communities will bear the brunt of the socio-economic impact of COVID-19. At the same time, just as that social capital—the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively—is at a premium, the pandemic also places considerable strains on social cohesion, magnifying existing fault lines and creating new ones. The urgency of responding to the current crisis needs should not sideline important, ongoing processes of social dialogue and democratic engagement that ensure the gains made on ethnic relations, gender equality in the past decades are not rolled back.
As the COVID-19 crisis evolved, there has been a rise in narratives that reflect increasing divisiveness within society. These include blame/fear of other groups: China/Chinese as the source of the virus, anti-Muslim/anti-religious narratives (the Tabligh gathering in Peninsular Malaysia and church gatherings in East Malaysia were major COVID-19 clusters), and migrant workers and refugees (perceived as being especially high-risk). Another set of divisive narratives surround the household financial relief efforts, including: the “deservingness” of aid-recipients, categories of persons that feel excluded/under-served, and alleged prioritisation of districts that voted for the current government.
On the other hand, we can also see social cohesion at work as an important factor in the success of COVID-19 response efforts (e.g. trust in and adherence to authorities, ability of communities to self-mobilise, etc.). Social cohesion may be observed through two dimensions; vertical and horizontal. The horizontal dimension can be seen in the wide range of “bottom up” responses to COVID19 including volunteerism, charity, the #kitajagakita movement, for instance; all of which are closely related to strengthening community resilience. Social cohesion’s vertical dimensions may present themselves through the interactions between the government officials or institutions and the public. There were criticisms of how the COVID-19 messaging and public communication caused confusion and hardships to the people, with some reversals in decisions or conflicting messages being relayed by different parts of the government
Objectives of the Assignment
The objective of this assignment is to provide informed recommendations to the Government of Malaysia (GoM) on policy choices and adopt appropriate measures that support social cohesion and community resilience. The impact assessment will help expose structural vulnerabilities and weaknesses that undermine a community’s cohesiveness and its ability to act collectively and indiscriminately. The resulting policy note will make recommendations on how to reverse the trend of negative civic space; institutionalize community led-response systems; rely on social dialogue; empower local governments; scale-up community and city level resilience; and enhance trust among different actors. While states have an obligation to control the pandemic, doing so should not be a pretext for discrimination, repression or censorship, including targeting women, refugees or migrants, the poor or civil society volunteers.
Given this objective, UNDP is recruiting a national consultant to develop an impact study leading to a policy note, guided by the following areas/principles:
The consultant is expected to apply both qualitative and quantitative textual analysis to provide in-depth case-oriented critical analysis. This will ensure what is gained in terms of depth will not be lost in terms of breadth when assessing the level of social cohesion within the society at this time, and especially on one that is as heterogeneous as Malaysia
Duties and Responsibilities
Scope of Work
The consultant will be under the direct supervision of the Senior Development Economist and the Governance Specialist – to provide expert advice and support to Government and UNDP Country Office with the guidance from the of the Deputy Resident Representative / Assistant Resident Representative of The consultant will work in close collaboration (as necessary) with Government officials at EPU, UN Agencies, development partners, technical advisors and experts, multilateral and bilateral donors and the private sector to strategically position UNDP's support in relation to building back better in meeting the Agenda 2030.
Based on initial review, develop an inception report that reflects the consultants’ understanding of the assignment, methodology to carry out the assessment for both vertical and horizontal social cohesion, tentative plan and schedule to carry out the tasks, and expected areas of recommendations.
2.Impact Assessment Report
Develop a SEI Assessment report mainly drawing on data sourced from media and applying Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) as an analytical tool. The consultant may be able to draw on narratives being collected by the UNDP but should also be capable of carrying out their own search.
3. Policy note focusing on top priorities for building social cohesion and community resilience
Based on the existing needs and priorities identified in the assessment report, develop a high-quality policy note based on lessons learnt from the COVID-19 experience. The policy note must contain recommendations for future crisis response and non-crisis points of improvements.
Deliverables of the consultant will be submitted to UNDP by email for review and approval. The contract is not expected to be a full-time contract but payment will be made according to the deliverables achieved.
Estimated timelines, payment and deliverables:
Contracts based on daily fee:
The fee will be paid on a monthly based on time sheet completed with description of tasks, certified by Programme Manager. UNDP makes payments based on the actual number of days worked.
The estimated maximum number of workdays for the duration of the consultancy is as follows:
Required Skills and Experience
Interested individuals must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:
How to Apply:
Forms and General terms & conditions to be downloaded:
Incomplete proposals may not be considered. The shortlisted candidates may be contacted, and the successful candidate will be notified.
UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, aboriginal groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.
The offers that will be received shall be evaluated based on the Combined Scoring method – where the qualifications and methodology will be weighted a maximum of 70% and combined with the price offer which will be weighted a maximum of 30%.
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.