Consultancy: National facilitator for Mid-Term Review (Formative assessment) of the Social Protection Programme for Iraq: leveraging effective response and accelerating reform (National consultancy)

negotiable / YEAR Expired 2 months ago
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Purpose of Activity/Assignment:

As the Joint Programme (JP) Social Protection Programme for Iraq started its third year of implementation, the three agencies are commissioning a mid-term-review (MTR) of this programme. These terms of references (ToR) outline the purpose & objectives, the scope, and the methodological framework of the MTR, as well as the operational modalities for the consultant who will conduct the MTR.

The purpose of the mid-term review (MTR) is to assess the Joint Programme in meeting its objectives, as well as to establish adjustment needs and recommendations to optimize its implementation and improve sustainability.

The MTR has a 3-fold objectives:
– generate insights useful to the Steering Group for taking informed decisions to achieve the current specific objectives.
– support institutional learning by all actors involved leading to an improved understanding of how to address challenges and gaps in the next phase of the programme: how to best collaborate amongst partners and stakeholders.
– to gain insights on the overall performance of the programme.

Introduction and Background:
The social protection system in Iraq remains fragmented and ineffective in addressing the needs of the poor, especially children and women, and the economically vulnerable. The establishment of an effective social protection system has been recognized as a strategic priority in the 2018-2022 Poverty Reduction Strategy by the Government of Iraq and development partners. Important milestones included reforming the Social Protection Law and the Social Safety Net (SSN). Social protection spending in Iraq is around twice the regional average. However, much of the expenditures (including the public pension system and Public Distribution System) are poorly targeted and fiscally unsustainable, crowding out what could be more pro-poor and efficient spending.

Within this context, in 2021, the Government of Iraq engaged in an ambitious Social Protection Reform, with the support of the European Union. Implemented by the 3 UN agencies ILO, UNICEF and WFP, the 4-year Joint Programme (JP) Social Protection Programme for Iraq: leveraging effective response and accelerating reform aims to support the expansion of social protection, and to reinforce capacities of federal and regional authorities to deliver quality child, age, and disability sensitive, and gender responsive social protection programmes and services.

The programme focuses on four objectives:
– The social protection reform is evidence-based and supported by policy coherence, effective coordination and enhanced institutional capacities to address growing social exclusion and equity gaps including during shocks.
– Pregnant women, children under-five and school-age children from poor households benefit from equitable access to integrated social protection programmes and services.
– Young people, workers, and their families – including those in the informal economy – have enhanced access to comprehensive employment-based social protection schemes and active labour market programmes; and the income security of older-persons and persons with disabilities is improved.
– Vulnerable people will benefit from coordinated management of information systems and strengthened capacities of national and subnational institutions for improved design and targeting of social protection interventions.

Scope of Work:
This section presents the assessment framework, describing the assessment guiding questions:
– How can we optimise synergies within the team, between the UN agencies and the EU to reach goals?
– Is the Action addressing the right elements to support the national social protection reform in Iraq? The extent to which the Action’s objectives and design respond to beneficiaries’ country and partner/institution needs, policies and priorities, and continue to do so if circumstances change.
– Which institutional capacity shortcomings in areas of institutional and legal structures, leadership, knowledge, and public accountability (e.g., political interference) need to be addressed most urgently to better enable delivery of the programme….?
– To what extent the joint programme is aligned to the government programme priority areas and needs of target population.
– Do the assumptions of the joint programme still hold true and correspond to the overarching Log-Frame?
– What progress has the joint programme made towards achieving the overall objective?
– What are the prospects for the benefits of the project being sustained after the implementation is completed?
– Were there any significant gaps in the project design or/and significant changes the project context? What were the reasons for these, and can any useful lessons be learned from this for application elsewhere?
– Targeted recommendations for improvements based on observations during the MTR process (e.g., inform the management decision for the remaining implementation period, connecting with the second phase of the joint programme, sustainability, future project design and management)
– Integrating lessons learnt, how can partners and key stakeholder best collaborate to achieve expected outputs and outcomes.

Geographic scope: Federal and Regional Iraq
Time: since the start of the programme until now

The methodology described in this section is indicative and the consultant(s) is expected to adapt and integrate the approach and propose adjustments needed to accomplish the initiative. These can include additions to the assessment design; approach; data collection and analysis methods; and an assessment framework. The proposals should also refer to methodological limitations and mitigation measures. Methodological rigor will be given significant consideration.
It is expected that the assessment will employ a mixed-methods approach drawing on key project documents and the monitoring framework for guidance, combining qualitative and quantitative components to ensure complementary strengths and non-overlapping weaknesses. The analysis is expected to build on information collected from variety of sources through different methods including review of administrative data, primary data collection from government representatives, stakeholders involved in the programme.
– The assessment considers throughout issues of equity, gender equality and human rights.
– At minimum, the assessment will draw on the following methods:
(a) Comprehensive desk review of project documents and other relevant data;
(b) Review and analysis of secondary quantitative data;
(c) Stakeholders’ consultations, including Key Informant Interviews (KIIs), with actors involved in the implementation; Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), with representatives from the EU, UN, government officials, beneficiaries.

Data will be provided based on the survey conducted for the selected beneficiaries. Additionally, secondary data sources such as project monitoring reports will be used.

The duration of the consultancy is 1 April to 30 June 2024 for a total of 45 working days. The consultancy will report to the Social Policy Manager.

Deliverables: Inception, document review and analysis (Work Assignments Overview, Deliverables/Outputs, Delivery deadline)

1. Support is provided to the international consultant to conduct meetings with relevant stakeholders and provide relevant documents from government and non-government entities for the desk review and drafting of the inception report: – Minutes and action points from meetings with partners and stakeholders; – Relevant documents to be provided and made available for the inception report; – Facilitation and organisation of meetings and communication with # of stakeholders/partners (agendas) – 10 days by end of April (3 weeks after signing the contract)
2. Support is provided for the development of data collection tools; and field-based data collection: – Visit to stakeholders to follow up on collection of data (reports from visits); – Review of methodologies for the assessment – 10 days by mid-May (6 weeks after signing the contract)
3. Work directly with the international consultant on the preparation for the initial assessment report and presentation to the stakeholders for pre-validation: – Draft initial findings assessment; – Selected input to the draft report; – Agenda and minutes of the pre-validation meetings – 15 days by mid-June (10 weeks after signing the contract)
4. Support the finalization of the assessment report, briefing note and three-page executive summary + presentation of the results: – Agenda and minutes of the validation meeting, – Selected input into the final assessment report, – List of all stakeholders met and meetings held including time, venue, stakeholders and main outcomes of the meeting – 10 days by end June (12 weeks after signing the contract)

Travel requirements:
Domestic travel within Iraq, with applicable DSA provided as applicable.

Minimum Qualifications required
– Bachelor’s in social studies and Research, M&E, Public Policy and/or Administration, Social Sciences or other relevant disciplines
– At least 3 years’ progressively responsible experience in the design and implementation of similar assessments, including mixed-method research.
– Established networks with government officials.
– Excellent spoken and written Arabic/ Kurdish
– Excellent knowledge of the Iraqi context, especially in Social protection


UNICEF’s values are Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS).

Payment of professional fees will be based on submission of agreed deliverables. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold payment in case the deliverables submitted are not up to the required standard or in case of delays in submitting the deliverables on the part of the consultant. Candidates must submit an all-inclusive fee for the assignment. UNICEF will provide travel for the assignment and in-country travel if required.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. 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 or other applicable laws.

The selected consultant is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected consultant are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. The vaccine mandate, does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment.

Baghdad, Iraq
This job has expired.