Consultancy to improve the shock responsiveness and adaptiveness of the social protection system in Sri Lanka

UN Children's Fund, Sri Lanka

Skill Required: Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
1 to 3 Years
Apply By: 
30th September, 2017


Job Description

If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world's leading children's rights organization would like to hear from you.

For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children's survival, protection and development. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

Background

Globally, across the humanitarian sector, there is growing recognition that cash and voucher transfers can support people affected by disasters in ways that maintain human dignity, provide access to food and shelter, and help rebuild and protect livelihoods. The question is no longer whether cash is an appropriate way to meet the needs of people engulfed in crisis, but rather on how we can use cash transfers to effectively meet the needs of the most vulnerable and marginalized children and families.

Lessons learnt from the 2015 Nepal earthquake response, and around the world, demonstrates that using existing government social security programmes to deliver emergency cash transfers in a low and middle -income countries, is a viable and sustainable emergency response mechanism. Sri Lanka has a wealth of national capacity to lead an emergency response with the existing disaster management structures, institutions and human resources at national and sub-national levels. Similarly, there are many social protection schemes being implemented by the Government of Sri Lanka to uplift the living standards of the most vulnerable and marginalized families. These existing social protection schemes can be an effective mechanism to support vulnerable people during emergencies, to rapidly recover from repeated crisis.

To this end, a workshop was held on 15 February 2017, to bring together government, UN and non-governmental actors involved in disaster management, humanitarian assistance and social protection in order to share regional and global experience and to initiate a discussion on how to establish a more permanent disaster response mechanism for vulnerable groups by building on the existing social protection system. The workshop was organised jointly by the National Child Protection Authority and UNICEF Sri Lanka. Other participating organisations included the Ministry of Disaster Management, Ministry of Women and Child Affairs, Ministry of Social Empowerment and Welfare, Department of National Budgets, National Planning Department, Department of External Resources, UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, UN Habitat, UNDP, IOM, WFP, Sarvodaya, LEADS, World Vision, Oxfam, Save the Children. The workshop concluded with a discussion on way forward to enable Sri Lanka’s existing social safety nets more shock responsive.

In order to follow up and fully implement the identified and prioritized actions to enable a more shock responsive social protection system for Sri Lanka, UNICEF plans to recruit two consultants, one international and one national, to support the Government of Sri Lanka. The consultancy would result in establishing an inter-governmental coordinating mechanism for pursuing the agenda of establishing an emergency response mechanism through the social protection system; undertake an assessment of the shock-responsiveness of the existing social protection system and its potential as a mechanism for future disaster response and produce a concrete proposal for establishing an emergency cash transfer response mechanism using existing social protection system together with the relevant Government counterparts.

It is expected that this assignment will be performed through the teamwork of an international and national consultnats (to be recruited separately; the latter with the participation of the international consultant). The current TOR specifies the tasks for the national consultancy to achieve the below objectives.

Purpose of the Assignment

Tosupportform an inter-governmental coordination mechanism for pursuing the agenda for establishing an emergency response mechanism through the social protection system, supported by evidence generated through an assessment of the shock-responsiveness of the existing social protection systems.

Specific objectives:

  • Assessment of the potential of the social protection system to respond to shocks and recommend options for development of a response mechanism focused on vulnerable groups (the reference group for oversight of the assessment should be in line with the proposed intra-governmental coordination mechanism); Specifically, the consultant will ideally be able to address at least some of the following questions: what are the existing social protection systems in Sri Lanka? What do they deliver, and what mechanisms do they use to transfer these benefits? what are their key strengths and weaknesses? how stable and reliable are these systems in reaching the poor? What is the geographic coverage of the social protection system and its network size and does the system reach the grass-root level of the society? Can the design of these social protection systems accommodate delivery of cash transfers in case of disasters? can the existing capacities handle any extensions to its current mandate, if not what changes to the existing system can be suggested to accommodate service delivery in case of disasters, in terms of infrastructure, administrative and human capacities needed?
  • Facilitate a workshop with government and others to review the report findings and agree on the priority for development of a response mechanism;
  • Based on the recommendations, work with government to develop a detailed proposal for the response mechanism;
  • Actively foster stronger coordination between development partners for the advancement of social protection systems strengthening in general, and shock-responsive social protection in particular

Assignment activities and tasks

Preparatory stage

  • Provide support to the international consultant in conducting a desk review and development of a detailed time-bound plan for the assignment as per the above objectives, including the TOR for the oversight group;
  • Agree on deliverables contributing to the objectives of this assignment; indicatively outlined below, subject to agreement between the national consultant, international consultant, and supervisor of the contract;

Assessment of the social protection system

  • Support the international consultant and provide quality inputs to development of a methodology and outline for the assessment of the social protection system in Sri Lanka;
  • Support the international consultant in conducting the assessment resulting in a report with recommendations on response mechanism;
  • Support the international consultant in conducting a workshop to present/validate the findings and agree on development of a response mechanism;
  • Coordination mechanism to establish emergency response through social protection system
  • Support the international consultant in establishment of a coordination mechanism, including development of a TOR, draft plan/roadmap etc;
  • Support the international consultant in facilitation of the first meeting of the coordination group;
  • Support the international consultant and provide quality inputs to development of a concrete proposal for establishing an emergency cash transfer response mechanism using existing social protection system together with the relevant government and non-government counterparts Ministries and Departments;

Finalization

  • Support the international consultant and provide quality inputs to development of a final report highlighting recommendations and way forward to GoSL and UNICEF in supporting the continuation of the established coordination mechanism and the implementation of the proposal developed under this assignment (up to 30 pgs);
  • Support the international consultant in facilitation of 1-day dissemination/validation workshop: presentation of the final assessment report and the proposal to key Government Ministries, UN agencies, CSOs, I/NGOs and development partners; agreement on the roadmap.

Expected Deliverables

  • Monthly report specifying the contribution to the Finalized and agreed upon work plan (1 month)
  • Monthly report specifying the contribution to the Inception report defining outline and methodology of the assessment (1 month)
  • Monthly report specifying the contribution to the Assessment report; workshop report (1 month)
  • Monthly report specifying the contribution to the Coordination group TOR; Proposal for emergency cash transfer mechanism; coordination meeting report (1 month)
  • Monthly report specifying the contribution to the Final report; agreed roadmap (1 month)

Qualifications of Successful Candidate

Education: Advanced university degree (Masters) in Economics, Social Science, Public Administration/Public Policy, Development Policy, or a related technical field.

Specialist skills/Training: Proven ability to conceptualize, plan and execute complex processes across a wide range of stakeholders, advanced ability to work quickly and under pressure; proven ability to work both independently and as part of a team; prior experiences working in social protection systems including cash transfers in emergencies.

Years of relevant experience: Minimum five (5) years of professional work experience in policy, technical assistance related to social policy and/or social protection. Experience in emergency cash programming would be a strong asset.

Competencies of Successful Candidate: In-depth knowledge on the social protection systems in Sri Lanka and emergency cash transfer programmes; access to networks of professionals in related fields; ability to work cordially in an environment with persons of different backgrounds and opinions; ability to navigate challenges in completing tasks and ability ensure deliverables in a timely manner; Excellent organization skills, attention to detail and ability to contribute to a team.

Languages required: Excellent written and oral communication skills in English; strong interpersonal and presentation as well as facilitation skills; a good command of Sinhalese and/or Tamil is a must.

Conditions

  • The selected candidate will be governed by and subject to UNICEF’s General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants / Individual Contractors.
  • The consultant/individual contractor is required to certify that they are covered by medical/health insurance.
  • The consultant/individual contractor serves in their individual capacity and not as representatives of a government or of any other authority including UNICEF.
  • Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local laws.
  • UNICEF does not provide or arrange life or health insurance coverage for consultants and individual contractors

Source:https://www.unicef.org/about/employ/?job=507139


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