Legal Expert to Provide Technical Support to the People’s Advocate for a Study on Calculating the Subsistence Minimum (Minimumi Jetik) in Albania


Location : Tirana, ALBANIA
Application Deadline :15-Jul-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Expected Duration of Assignment :July-October (maximum 20 working days)

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

Governance reforms are at the heart of the European Union (EU) accession process and have been prioritized as key to addressing Albania’s socio-economic challenges. Major investments have therefore been made by the Government of Albania (GoA) in reforming the public administration, the judiciary, and the social sector in efforts to reduce corruption, strengthen the rule of law, and enforce fundamental rights for social inclusion and protection. Delivery of quality and inclusive public services, including at local level, is one of the many important interventions the GoA is intensively working on to meet obligations that arise from international legal instruments as part of the EU accession Agenda.

Since the last study conducted on the subsistence minimum in 2016, organic laws that regulate service provision to citizens, including the law on social care services, social assistance and the free legal aid were reviewed and adopted. In particular, the Law No.121/2016 on Social Care Services and Law No.57/2019 on Social Assistance set out the foundations of a system of integrated social-care services significant for alleviation of poverty and social exclusion. Moreover, the Strategy on Social Protection of 2015-2020 sets out interventions and services aiming to improve the living standard and social inclusion in Albania. On the other hand, the Official Political Document on Social Inclusion (OPDSI)[1] 2016-2020 adopted by GoA with the support of UNDP in 2016 ensure a contemporary and accountable system for assessing social inclusion in various sectoral policies. The aim of OPDSI is to achieve a balanced and sustainable framework for ensuring that social inclusion is measured, monitored and reported in Albania through a robust set of indictors thereby improving ways in which social inclusion is linked to improving Government policies and Albania’s progress towards EU accession.

In the Albanian legislation “social assistance” is defined by the Law of Social Assistance as: "A payment given to vulnerable individuals and families specified in the law”. Despite adoption of the law on Social Assistance measuring social inclusion has proven to be somewhat challenging for the Albanian government as updated official regarding the subsistence minimum are lacking. In addition, periodic reporting of the People’s Advocate found the criteria for benefiting from social assistance conflicting with the needs of the vulnerable categories and not taking into account the poverty line, which has led to further exclusion of these categories from basic social support.

According to the 2016 Report Study[2] on Calculation of Subsistence Minimum in Albania, “subsistence minimum” or otherwise “official poverty line” is considered a state obligation for guarantying a fundamental right, to live with human dignity. The official poverty of a state is indicated by the number of individuals or households treated with social assistance. This Report was initiated and supported by the People’s Advocate and found that the subsistence minimum is dynamic and changeable depending on different socio-economic developments. Therefore, periodic indexing of subsistence minimum since the last report of 2016 report is considered crucial for having a real subsistence minimum and for moving from defining a subsistence minimum to a reasonable standard of living that complies with human dignity and human rights.

In its 2019 periodic report the PA highlights that failure to calculate the subsistence minimum as per latest socio-economic developments is a threat to human dignity and the right to life for vulnerable individuals and household beneficiaries of state social welfare schemes.

On the positive side, the Government is committed to effectively implement the recent Law on Social Assistance and the commitments articulated in OPDSI for 2016-2020.

To support the Albanian human rights bodies in their mission and role to influence policy change based on accurate and timely data, UNDP will support the PA to upgrade the Report Study conducted in 2016 for the Calculation of Subsistence Minimum in Albania or otherwise the poverty line, considering that its calculation is a prerequisite to future, interventions and measures for developing effective social inclusion policies and enabling legal framework to protect human rights, dignity and legal interests of individuals. Improving the quality and effectiveness of social inclusion measurement will enhance the administration’s capacity to appraise policy and to carry out broader sector reviews.

UNDP Albania in close collaboration with the PA and all relevant stakeholders, will be providing support in development of this study report in the frame of UNDP initiatives (EFLAS and Institutional capacity building for the National Human Rights Institutions & support Government to improve access to justice for vulnerable and marginalized groups) that aim at providing support to equality bodies like People’s Advocate in upholding human rights standards, strengthening rule of law and access to justice of the most vulnerable populations. Discussion will be held with a range of stakeholders on how to enrich the annual reviews of social exclusion measures and how to hold government more accountable for the policies and programmes for which they are responsible.

Considering all the above, UNDP will need the services of a team of 3 experts from the legal and social and economic sectors to provide support to PA as per the below duties, responsibilities and deliverables.  

[1] https://www.al.undp.org/content/albania/en/home/library/poverty/the-social-inclusion-policy-paper-2016-2020-/

[2] https://www.avokatipopullit.gov.al/media/manager/website/reports/LLOGARITJA%20E%20MINIMUMIT%20JETIK%20N%C3%8B%20SHQIP%C3%8BRI.pdf


Duties and Responsibilities

Main duties and responsibilities

Legal expert together with two other experts from social and economic area will provide the following:

  • In close cooperation with the PA working group established for this task develop the methodology for upgrading the 2016 PA study on "Subsistence Minimum";
  • Gather and process data pursuant to the agreed methodology and develop the draft study report;
  • Produce the Study Report for Calculation of the Subsistence Minimum in Albania documenting practices in the Western Balkans and countries recently joining EU, and including a policy paper with recommendations based on generated data to inform social policies and legal framework on subsistence minimum or poverty line;
  • In close cooperation with the PA working group conduct consultation rounds with a wide range of stakeholders, as agreed with PA, to validate and finalize the draft research study;
  • Support PA in preparing a presentation of the research to all necessary legislative, executive bodies, CSOs and development partners;  
  • Support PA in developing an advocacy plan for adequate follow-up actions to the legislative, executive bodies, CSOs and development partners;
  • Other tasks related to the project as requested.

The list of final deliverables:

  • Draft Report Study on the Calculation of Subsistence Minimum;
  • Statistical data provided as per the need and requirements of PA and UNDP to inform social policies and legal framework on subsistence minimum or poverty line and national development agenda;
  • A presentation prepared with key data and findings from the Report Study;
  • Handouts necessary for the consultation rounds of the draft study report;
  • A policy paper developed with recommendations based on generated data to inform social policies and legal framework on subsistence minimum or poverty line;
  • Advocacy plan developed for PA for adequate follow-up actions to the legislative, executive bodies, CSOs and development partners;
  • Final Study Report for Calculation of the Subsistence Minimum in Albania documenting practices in the Western Balkans and countries recently joining EU and including a policy paper with recommendations to inform policy decisions in social inclusion and social justice sector.


Competencies

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favouritism.

Functional Competencies:

  • Analytical skills, initiative, sound judgment, results-oriented and efficiency in a multi-tasking environment
  • Good inter-personal and teamwork skills, networking attitude, ability to work in multi-cultural environment
  • Ability to work under pressure in complex situations
  • Ability to work in an independent manner, set priorities and organize the workflow efficiently
  • Willingness to travel around the country to coordinate, attend and monitor project activities
  • Full working knowledge of English, including excellent writing and presentation skills
  • Fluency in Albanian
  • Very good computer skills and ability to use information technology as a tool and resource.


Required Skills and Experience

The experts are expected to have the following qualifications to complete the task successfully:

Academic qualification/Education

  • Master’s degree in law. Postgraduate degrees are an asset.
  • Certified trainings in the area of rule of law, social inclusion and especially in human rights.

Work experience:

  • Minimum 10 years of relevant professional experience working in the rule of law and/or human rights issues, in particular;
  • Proven professional experience in providing technical support to government and/or independent human rights state institutions in drafting research, policy briefs and advocacy plans;
  • Excellent knowledge of the institutional and political landscape in Albania, in particular sound knowledge of justice and social inclusion system.
  • Sound experience working with a wide range of stakeholders including government institutions and civil society organizations, focused mainly on the rule of law, social inclusion and human rights area;
  • Proven professional experience in conducting evidence- based reports and/ or assessments/monitoring work in the related areas;
  • Sound experience in legal and human rights sector on coordinating group work of inter– institutional actors;
  • Excellent analytical, writing and reporting skills;
  • Availability and willingness and personal initiative to travel and engage in field work with the project’s partners;
  • Prior experience with UN or international organizations devoted in the field of rule of law and human rights is an asset.

Language skills:

  • Excellent writing, editing and oral communication skills in English and Albanian is required.

 

Evaluation of Applicants

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on a cumulative analysis taking into consideration the combination of the applicants’ qualifications and financial proposal.

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

a) responsive/compliant/acceptable, and

b) Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

Only the highest ranked candidates who would be found qualified for the job will be considered for the Financial Evaluation.

Technical Criteria - 70% of total evaluation – max. 70 points:

  • Criteria A: Compliant educational background - max points: 15
  • Criteria B: Demonstrated research experience - max points: 20
  • Criteria C: Experience in working with stakeholders with different stakeholders including government, human rights bodies, civil society and international organizations especially in the justice and human rights sector - max points: 35

Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation – max. 30 points.

 

Application Procedure

The application should contain:

  • Cover letter explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for the advertised position. Please paste the letter into the "Resume and Motivation" section of the electronic application.
  • Latest personal Curriculum Vitae (CV) including past experience in similar projects and contact details of referees, including past experience from similar projects or completed and signed UN Personal History Form (P11) for Service Contracts (SC) and Individual Contracts (IC) – Blank form Download here.
  • Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability-please fill in the attached form...  www.un.org.al/sites/default/files/IC_Offerors%20Letter%20to%20UNDP%20Confirming%20Interest%20and%20Availability.docx
  • Financial Proposal in ALL - specifying a total lump sum in Albanian Lek
    http://www.un.org.al/doc/Financial%20Offer%20template.doc (The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount, and payment terms around specific and measurable -qualitative and quantitative- deliverables . Payments are based upon output, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR.  In order to assist the requesting unit in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal will include a breakdown of this lump sum amount-including travel, per diems, and number of anticipated working days).- Please note that with regard to travel component you may provide an average estimated travel cost for one circuit with and without accommodation.
  • Copy of Diplomas and copy of Passport. 

* Kindly note that Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability and Financial Proposal are two separate documents and should both be part of your application. 

How to Submit the Application:

To submit your application online, please follow the steps below:

  • Merge your CV or P11, Financial Proposal Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability and cover letter into a single file. The system does not allow for more than one attachment to be uploaded;
  • Click on the Job Title (job vacancy announcement);
  • Click “Apply Now” button, fill in necessary information on the first page, and then click “Submit Application;”
  • Upload your application/single file as indicated above with the merged documents (underlined above);
  • You will receive an automatic response to your email confirming receipt of your application by the system.

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.

Due to a large number of applications we receive, we are able to inform only the successful candidates about the outcome or status of the selection process.



If you are experiencing difficulties with online job applications, please contact erecruit.helpdesk@undp.org.

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