BBRSO123462:Consultancy to undertake a Gender Responsive Social Protection Assessment in response to COVID-19 (Saint Lucia)

Location : UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, SAINT LUCIA
Application Deadline :20-Jan-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :3 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :3 months

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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The Joint Programme “Universal Adaptive Social Protection to Enhance Resilience and Accelerate the SDGs” is the first UN joint initiative to be implemented in the Eastern Caribbean under the Joint SDG Fund “Leave no one behind and Social Protection” window to accelerate the implementation of the SDGs. The Joint Programme (JP) aims to strengthen people’s resilience through predictable access to adaptive and universal social protection in Saint Lucia, Barbados, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) from January 2020 to January 2022.  It is being implemented by five UN participating Agencies: UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP) as co-leads, in cooperation with the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Women. Through UN inter-agency collaboration, the Joint Programme addresses existing bottlenecks in social protection at three levels: the community level, the national level with governments and key institutions, and at the regional level with other OECS countries through the OECS Commission. Ultimately, the JP supports vulnerable communities to have increased access to social protection programmes that are gender-sensitive and risk-informed and, at national level, and supports governments to better assess the needs of the population and better use social protection systems to reduce poverty and to minimize the impact of shocks on vulnerable populations.

UNDP’s expertise and experience directly relevant to the Joint Programme includes its support to poverty and inequality reduction and integrating gender equality and climate change considerations into programmes. The agency has led the development of institutional policies for national and sector-level climate change adaptation, through the formulation of National Adaptation Plans in Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Guyana and Suriname. Working with International Financial Institutions (IFI), regional institutions such as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), national and local governments, UNDP has supported the design of preparedness policies and systems, including Early Warning Systems (EWS) in Barbados, Dominica, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and worked directly with communities in Dominica to undertake emergency response training. UNDP as a Participating UN Agency (PUNO) contributes five activities under two outputs in the joint programme for Saint Lucia and Barbados related to strengthening institutional capacities for integrated service delivery and supporting innovative finance for sustainable and adaptive social protection systems and programmes.

Following the design of the JP, the COVID-19 pandemic was identified in the Caribbean in March and, in response, the  Saint Lucian Government implemented a state of emergency, closed its borders and instituted a partial evening curfew until April 1st when it implemented a 24-hour curfew for 1 week. This was followed by the reintroduction of a partial curfew. It launched its economic relief programme on April 29th. This quick response, coupled with contact tracing, contained the spread of the virus to just 27 cases, with no fatalities. Prior to the pandemic, t

Tourism directly and indirectly comprised 42 percent of GDP and accounted for 50 percent of employment. As a result of the months long border closure and subdued tourism sector globally, the loss of jobs and economic activity is expected to increase the rate of indigence from 1.3 percent to 18.3 percent.[1] Even after the restart of the crucial tourism sector, it is likely that deep recessions across the island’s main trading partners, consumer uncertainty, and more specifically uncertainty about air travel, will strongly suppress new demand for tourism services. A UNDP/UN Women/UNICEF Human and Economic Impact Assessment (HEAT) of the COVID-19 pandemic projected that in 2020, 2 in every 5 individuals of working age would be unemployed as a result of a double-digit decline in GDP. These impacts will be compounded exponentially in the event of a second wave of the disease, the probability of which has increased since May, with the OECD projecting that this would reduce global output by a further 1.5%. The UN Agency joint report concluded that these factors would lead to a significant increase in the levels of poverty, particularly among women and children.

In addition to the responses of the existing social protection system, the Government of Saint Lucia has responded to the increased social protection needs through a series of policy measures including shoring up the National Insurance Corporation (NIC) and extending benefits to non-contributing workers who have become unemployed to ensure continued basic services for those who are affected, particularly the most vulnerable. Nonetheless, it is unclear whether the scale and scope of these measures were and are enough to cover the needs of the most vulnerable and, more specifically, whether the measures responded to the differential needs of men, women and children who were disproportionality represented among those living in poverty before COVID. This analysis will be crucial in improving the targeting of these social protection interventions and ensuring that the systems do not reinforce existing structural inequalities.

[1] UNICEF (2020) The socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on children and young people in the Eastern Caribbean Area, p.13.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Individual Contractor is responsible for supporting the implementation of activities towards the achievement of the Enhancing Resilience and Acceleration of the SDGs in the Eastern Caribbean: Universal adaptive social protection modeled at the community, national and sub-regional levels as follows:

The Government of Saint Lucia has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic through a series of social policy interventions, including leveraging bi-lateral and development agency grant resources for vertical expansion of the existing social protection programmes (including the vertical expansion of the Child Disability Grant and the Foster Care Programmes, Income Support for non NIC contributors, the Electricity Assistance Programme and the Educational Assistance Programme, among others) and well as the horizontal expansion of the Public Assistance Programme.

While these measures will broadly target vulnerable groups, particularly those who have lost their formal sources of income, the extent to which these policies will reach the most vulnerable (i.e. those identified by government and those who have lost their source of income) and, equally importantly, whether they respond to the differential needs of women, men, girls and boys is less certain. In the absence of a systemic approach to meet all populations’ needs and scale up of these social protection interventions to respond to and adapt to differential needs, many of those most affected may not receive the support they need in the form it is needed.

Main Objective:

UNDP will therefore support a gender-responsive rapid gap assessment of the social protection system in Saint Lucia, with a specific focus on the response to COVID-19, and develop and provide an implementation plan to strengthen the gender-responsiveness and adaptiveness of Saint Lucia’s social protection system - in general, to include considerations for the pandemic’s persisting or even worsening effects and possible subsequent waves.

Assignment overview:

  1. Following initial meetings with the UNDP and relevant Joint Programme Technical Team members, the consultant will submit a detailed workplan outlining the activities and timeline for completion of the work discussed. This will include meetings with relevant technical persons working with other UN agencies in the Joint Programme.

  2. The consultant will review the available information on the macro-economic and social impacts of the pandemic, including from relevant national, regional and international sources and identify the social protection needs that are likely to persist beyond 2020, with an emphasis on the differential impacts across various groups, including women, men, girls and boys as well as formal and informal workers.

  3. Meet (virtually) with relevant stakeholders (including those specified in the project document), undertaking surveys where practical and the data does not exist, and collect and review relevant documentation to map out the extent of social protection prior to the pandemic and the full COVID-19 social protection response, analysing its scale and scope, identifying critical gaps and assessing its efficiency and effectiveness to-date. This should include a lesson learnt component, focusing also on what could be done better should there be subsequent waves of the COVID-19 pandemic or other shocks/hazard impacts.

  4. Use the information from 2 and 3 to develop a costed, gender-responsive plan to enhance the targeting of the COVID-19 social protection response measures to include additional measures which may be needed to help ensure that resources reach the most vulnerable and the allocation of resources reflects the differential needs of various groups

  5. Use the information from the assessment to host a knowledge sharing session with relevant actors to discuss the role of social protection as part of the larger response to COVID19

  6. Expected results:

  7. A review of social protection programmes prior to COVID-19, to include level of coverage, adequacy and comprehensiveness

  8. A gender-responsive gap analysis of the Social Protection COVID-19 response in Saint Lucia based on intelligence gathered regarding gender and COVID-19 needs and impacts, and an action plan for supporting populations in poverty and those who are vulnerable over the medium term (to 2022). The analysis should include:

  9. A review of social protection programmes in response to COVID19, to include level of coverage, adequacy of support provided, comprehensiveness, timeliness and cost-effectiveness of the response; accountability to affected populations; performance of the delivery system and how coordinated the approach is in complementing the broader COVID-19 response in providing support to vulnerable populations; as well as ownership and sustainability.

  10. The gender responsive gap analysis and implementation plan will be fully costed and will reflect on the financial requirements necessary to enhance the social protection response over a range of coverage and delivery scenarios, as well as considerations for possible future waves of the COVID-19 pandemic or other shocks/hazard impacts

  11. Both qualitative and quantitative data should be collected to inform the gap analysis and recommended implementation plan

  12. The Analysis should include a review that reflects both the current and medium-term needs for social protection

The individual contractor engaged for this assignment is expected to work collaboratively with other teams conducting work on behalf of UNDP as directed, as well as in close collaboration with other participating agencies in the Joint Programme, especially focusing on technical collaboration with UN Women, WFP and relevant Government counterparts.

Institutional Arrangements

The consultant will report directly to the Head of UNDP's Poverty, Governance and Monitoring and Evaluation Cluster and under the direction of the UNDP Resident Representative a.i., in consultation with other relevant participating UN Agencies.

Reporting Requirements

Deliverables must be submitted in an easily editable/accessible format e.g. MS Word, Excel etc. and as agreed is necessary for the type of deliverable and method of distribution

The consultant will provide monthly briefings on the progress of work, any challenges being encountered, or risks foreseen, proposed or taken mitigation measures, and where UNDP/national support may be required.


The consultant must have their own office equipment including a reliable working laptop, running up to date software, and must submit deliverables using Microsoft applications no older than Windows 7.


  • Proven ability in gender responsive policy and programme analysis on shock responsive and or adaptive social protection at a national level

  • Previous research experience in gender responsive quantitative and qualitative data collection design, implementation and analysis for informing gender responsive shock response/adaptive social protection programmes

  • Previous experience in gender responsive monitoring and evaluation of social protection programmes

  • Strong analytical skills as demonstrated by past work experience and references

  • Demonstrated inter-personal, negotiation and liaison skills as applied to multi-sectoral interventions

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English are required

  • Ability to work independently and respond to feedback in a timely and professional manner

  • Excellent organizational skills, attention to detail and ability to contribute to a team

  • Proven experience working within the Eastern Caribbean specifically, or the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) generally is an asset

Required Skills and Experience

A Master's Degree with at least 7 years' experience or a PhD in a field related to Social Protection Systems Development, Implementation and Analysis in one or more of the following areas: Economics, Social Sciences including Gender Studies, Climate Finance, Public Policy and/or International Development Policy, Monitoring and Evaluation

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