International Consultant-Social Protection Advisor-Evidence Generation 3 and half months, Accra, At Unicef


For every child, a calling.

UNICEF Ghana Country Office (GCO) engages in strategic and high-level advocacy to achieve results for children and their families in Ghana, especially the most vulnerable. The new 5-year country programme (2023 – 2027) has been developed and will help to achieve these high-level results, among others: Decrease the percentage of children living in multidimensional poverty and to increase the proportion of Ghana’s child population covered by social protection systems.

Social protection instruments are critical for governments of both high- and low-income countries to ensure that citizens are holistically protected from shocks across the lifecycle that might cause them or their families to enter multidimensional poverty. In recent decades, implementation of social protection programmes across Africa and around the world has helped to produce evidence that demonstrates that, far from being a charity or an ad hoc support system, is very much an integral part of any nation’s long-term social and economic development strategy, with a high return on investment.

Social protection plays a vital role in strengthening the resilience of children, families and communities, achieving greater equity, and supporting national human and economic development. Its relevance is heightened in the face of persistent inequalities and recent trends. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ghana Living Standard Survey report indicated that 2.4 million Ghanaians were extremely poor. According to the 7th Ghana Economic Update by the World Bank (June 2023), Inflation in 2022 is estimated to have pushed 850,000 individuals into poverty, while contributing to putting nearly a quarter of all household at stressed levels of food insecurity and roughly 823,000 people at crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity. These Ghanaians have little ability to withstand temporary economic losses. It is likely that households will have to respond with a reduction in their food consumption, which will have significant impacts on children’s nutrition. There is therefore the need to expand the LEAP coverage to cater for the increasing number of households moving into extreme poverty.

LEAP Eligibility has been based on extreme poverty and having a household member in at least one of four demographic categories; (i) aged sixty-five years (65) and above without any form of support, (ii) severely disabled without productive capacity, (iii) orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC) and (iv) extremely poor or vulnerable households with pregnant women and mothers with infants. There have been discussions to drop the demographic eligibility and focus only on extreme poverty as eligibility criteria. What are the possible impacts of this on poverty alleviation, basis for determining the value of grant per household.

The Government has shown its commitment to protect the poor and the vulnerable through enhancement of existing social protection programmes. Against this backdrop, government continues to prioritize social protection programmes and is committed to be on track in meeting the social spending floor. Government doubled the LEAP benefits amount, effective January 2023. In addition, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection collaborated with Ministry of Finance and developed an inflation-based indexation mechanism that is expected to adjust the LEAP benefits on an annual basis to ensure that the real value of the benefits are not eroded by inflation. The LEAP grant is budgeted to be doubled in 2024 from the 2023 target. This is the first time the LEAP grant has been doubled in two consecutive years (2023 and 2024). The goal is to cover 20 percent of household consumption over the next few years. This is to be achieved through periodic benefits adjustments, reassessments, monitoring and evaluation of the LEAP programme.

UNICEF Ghana, in partnership with the Government of Ghana, is seeking the services of a senior social protection advisor to undertake an analysis of the LEAP programme and highlight its impact on poor households for a better calibration of the programme, and based on best practice, facilitate engagements with strategic partners on effective mechanisms for implementing the LEAP reassessment and graduation of beneficiaries and support in designing the next phase of LEAP enrolment. It is increasingly important for having evidence and data on the impact of LEAP on poverty reduction, increasing disparity and covariate shocks; grasp the important national-level implications of social protection being a human right; recognize the value of and create a culture around social protection as an investment and lever to achieve the socio-economic goals of the country

How can you make a difference?

The objective of this consultancy is to provide technical support for evidence generation/simulations on LEAP, Profiling of Extremely Poor/Poor Households for Eligibility for New Interventions.

Specifically, the consultancy seeks to do the following: a) Provide background information about the situation of poverty, vulnerability, deprivation calibrating that with the latest GLSS and other related data from GSS.

c) Generate robust evidence and support UNICEF offer more tailored support to government partners in social protection financing, targeting and eligibility criteria, PMT review, reassessment with focus on the LEAP programme.

d) Develop policy brief (max 5 pages) for advocacy and stakeholder engagement.

Estimated Duration of the contract:

The contract duration is 53 working days within 3.5 months.

Official travel involved: The consultancy is generally home based with a requirement to travel to Ghana for a week to facilitate engagement with key stakeholders (Government, DPs).

Deliverables

  •  Final inception report after engagement with UNICEF GCO
  •  Report on secondary analysis conducted on poverty and vulnerability calibrating with the GSS data to guide engagement on LEAP reassessment and determination of eligibility
  •  Meetings on LEAP targeting, reassessment, PMT review (draw backs and areas for adaptations) and financing plan with the government and DPs.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  •  Post graduate degree in social sciences, especially economics, demography, public finance, public policy, or other related fields. eIWNyXv BIpnb
  •  15 years of experience in conducting impact evaluations on large scale cash transfer programmes and other assessments relating to social protection, poverty, social exclusion, and vulnerability.
  •  Extensive experience in the use of quantitative methods of research and excellent analysis and report writing skills.
  •  Extensive experience conducting simulations for programme projections and analysis.
  •  Experience working in a country with similar socio-economic context in assessing national policies and social protection interventions.
  •  Experience in facilitating engagement with high level policy makers for advocacy on policy changes and social protection programme adaptions.
  •  Excellent knowledge management and people skills.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

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

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors 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.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

Remarks:

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 candidate 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 candidates 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. It 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.

Application close: Apr 04 2024 Greenwich Standard Time

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April 2024
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