Expert for elaborating the guidelines on Accessible information and Communications Technologies


Location : Home based with up to two visits to Tbilisi (epidemiological situation permitting), GEORGIA
Application Deadline :20-Aug-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Expected Duration of Assignment :up 20 consultancy days during 1 August – 30 November 2020, with two missions (five and three days)

Background

The Joint Programme “Transforming Social Protection for Persons with Disabilities in Georgia” is a joint initiative of six UN agencies - United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Office of High Commissionaire on Human Rights (OHCHR), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and World Health Organization (WHO).

This project is funded by the Joint SDG Fund.

This Joint Programme (JP) aims to address one of the largest gaps in Georgia’s social protection system in order to transform the situation of persons with disabilities (PwDs) in the country. The overall strategy of the project is to address one of the key factors leading to social exclusion of people with disabilities in the society, i.e. the societal and institutional medical approach to people with disabilities, which considers disability as individual deficiency. Introduction of the social model of disability will be supported by addressing the data, legal and institutional framework and definition of disability and related social protection, while simultaneously increasing societal awareness and stimulating change of social norms, providing support for empowering organizations of people with disabilities as important change agents and expanding employment opportunities for PwD.

The JP will deliver the following results:

  1. Legislative framework and evidence-based policy environment are strengthened and non-discriminatory social norms promoted to enable all PwDs to effectively enjoy their rights; 
  2. Existing pilot of disability status assessment system based on the social model of disability is expanded to at least one more region of Georgia;
  3. Capacities for data collection, monitoring and advocacy improved for the implementation of Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD, International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (ICPD PoA), Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Beijing Platform for Action (BFPA), Universal Periodic Review (UPR), Commission on the Status of Women (CSW);
  4. Equal employment opportunities promoted and expanded for all PwDs regardless of age and sex.
  5. Gender-sensitive disability assessment and status determination system transformed based on social model;
  6. Systems strengthened to enable quality integrated services for PwDs, including revised social system entitlements, especially for children, women and young people.

To accomplish the above activities, the project will partner with the following institutions: Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories of Georgia, Labor, Health and Social Affairs, Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, Public Defender’s Office, National Center for Disease Control and Public Health, National Statistics Office of Georgia (GEOSTAT), Inter-Agency Commission on Gender Equality, Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, Human Rights Secretariat, Government’s Administration and local self-government.


Duties and Responsibilities

One of the objectives of the project is to support the Government of Georgia in upgrading national policy documents and legislation on disability to comply with the CRPD standards, with special emphasis on accessibility, including access to information.

The UN convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) without its Optional Protocol, was ratified by the Parliament of Georgia on December 26, 2013 by the Decree N1888-RS. Convention entered into force on April 12, 2014.

The CRPD recognizes the critical role that information and communication technologies (ICTs) play in enabling and empowering persons with disabilities and in ensuring that they fully enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms. Article 9 and 21 of the Convention stresses the importance of accessibility to information and communication and call on States Parties to provide equitable access and remove barriers in accessing ICTs.

Moreover, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development positioned science, technology and innovation as key means of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 9, target C, commits to significantly increasing access to ICTs and to providing universal and affordable access to the Internet in the least developed countries by 2020. This represents a crucial target in the development of digital inclusion for persons with disabilities.

Persons with disabilities face challenges in accessing ICTs and assistive technology in Georgia. The state has not established ICTs accessibility policies and regulations yet. Public Defender’s annual report 2019 emphasizes that despite some positive changes in terms of accessibility, ICTs accessibility remains a challenge for persons with disabilities, which also requires adoption of detailed regulations at the normative level.   

Since the CRPD is new treaty for Georgia, it is crucial to support the Government in its implementation process, including to setting up the national standards and regulations on access to information and communication technologies. For this purpose, it was decided to hire an international expert to support the Georgian Government to elaborate the guidelines on developing national standards on Accessible Information and Communications Technologies. At this stage international expert will develop general recommendations how to carry out national ICT accessibility standards developing process based on the CRPD, other international standards and best practices. An expert will also offer recommendations on how to ensure inclusive and participatory process of elaboration the national standards. Based on his/her recommendations the government will be able to develop rules and regulations on ICT accessibility in compliance with international standards.

The Consultant will be expected to:

  • Undertake study on international standards and principles on accessible information and communications technologies and provide best practices in this regard;
  • Study the Georgian legal, policy and institutional framework related to the rights of persons with disabilities, with special emphasis on accessibility;
  • Get familiar with challenges in accessing ICTs persons with disabilities face in Georgia;
  • Closely cooperate with the Parliament of Georgia, Governmental agencies, local municipalities, persons with disabilities and their representative organisations and other relevant stakeholders throughout the consultancy to obtain their input and feedback;
  • Elaborate the draft guidelines with recommendations on the development of national standards on accessible information and communications technologies;
  • Hold 2 two-day workshops on the proposed guidelines on the development of national standards on accessible ICTs;
  • Based on the workshops take a final review and finalize the guidelines on developing of national standards on accessible ICTs;
  • Develop the final activity report.

All documents shall be developed in English.

Management arrangements:

The international Expert will work under the overall supervision of the Project Manager. The expert will have close working relations with the Parliament of Georgia and other relevant governmental institutions during the implementation of the assignment under this ToR. The expert will be directly responsible for, reporting to, seeking approval from, and obtaining a certificate of acceptance of outputs from the Project Manager. In addition, the respective project team will be responsible to share relevant documents, contact details and other necessary information with the expert. UNDP will cover the costs for accommodation, venue and interpretation of the workshops. The relevant institutions will ensure participation of the staff/workshop participants.

Payment modality and deliverables:

Payments shall be made in up to two instalments in line with the contract. Instalment shall be paid upon submission of all deliveries, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR approved by the Project Manager:

  • Desk research on international standards and best practices on accessible ICTs and Visit to Georgia to get familiar with challenges in accessing ICTs persons with disabilities face in Georgia - 35 % of the consultancy fee
  • Guidelines on the development of national standards on accessible ICTs, 2 two-days workshop and the final activity report  - 65 % of the consultancy fee


Competencies

Core Competencies

  • Demonstrated commitment to UNDP’s mission, vision and values;
  • Sensitivity and adaptability to cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age;
  • Highest standards of integrity, discretion and loyalty.

Functional Competencies

  • Excellent communication skills (spoken, written and presentational);
  • Good interpersonal skills and ability to work in and with teams;
  • Ability to set priorities and manage time effectively.


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Master’s degree in social sciences, ICT, law, human rights and/or international law or other related fields (minimum qualification requirement: 15 points).

Experience:

  • At least 7 years of professional experience in working on rights of persons with disabilities (minimum qualification requirement: 7years - 5 points, more than 7 years – additional 5 points;
  • 3 years of experience in working for international organizations on consultancy assignments related to the access to information (5 points);
  • At least 3 years of experience in research and analysis (minimum qualification requirement: 3 years - 5 points, more than 3 years of experience – additional 5 points)
  • Experience in developing guidelines and/or recommendations on ICTs accessibility standards - at least three guidelines drafted (alone or in cooperation with other authors) should be presented upon request by the Project team (minimum qualification requirement: 10 points);
  • Experience in working in the region (Eastern Europe and South Caucasus) will be a strong asset.

Language Requirements:

  • Excellent written and verbal English skills.

Evaluation:

Individual Expert will be evaluated based on cumulative analysis method: Offerors will be evaluated against combination of technical and financial criteria. Maximum obtainable score is 100, out of which the total score for technical criteria equals to 70 (desk review: 50 points and interview: 20 points) and for financial criteria – to 30.Offerors not meeting any of minimum qualification requirements will be automatically disqualified. Only offerors obtaining minimum 35 points as a result of the desk review will be considered as qualified offerors and invited for the interview. Those offerors passing 70% threshold of maximum obtainable scores as a result of interview, i.e. obtain minimum 14 points, will be shortlisted and requested to provide financial proposal.

Financial proposal:

The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount, and payment terms around specific and measurable (qualitative and quantitative) deliverables (i.e. whether payments fall in instalments or upon completion of the entire contract). Payments are made based on delivery. The delivery has to be accepted and approved by the Project team prior to any payment. 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 based on deliverables.  Maximum 30 points will be assigned to the lowest price offer. All other price offers will be scored using the formula (inverse proportion): Financial score X = 30* the lowest price offer/suggested price offer x.


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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