Social Protection Diagnosis in Albania
UNICEF Albania is looking for an international consultant to conduct a diagnostic study of social protection in Albania.
The main purpose of the consultancy as explained in the terms of reference is to conduct a diagnostic study of the various social protection transfers and subsidies in Albania and assess their effectiveness on children.
The study, will address four key issues of interest:
a) Mapping and review of various social protection transfers, benefits and subsidies reaching poor and vulnerable households with children in Albania. The review will include poverty targeted social assistance, disability grants and pensions, and other government subsidies (i.e. water, energy, transport, etc.). The review will also include other related policies/programmes such as financial support for childcare through parental leave, child related allowances including birth grants, and emergency and resilience mechanisms (if any).
b) Impact and effectiveness of social protection. Based on availability of data on poverty and vulnerability, assess the extent to which social protection transfers might be adequate to provide any impact on the well-being of children and reduce barriers to access the necessary social services . The analysis will also assess how social assistance / cash transfers and care services interact and are coordinated both at policy and implementation level. The calculation of social protection benefits versus actual measurement and monitoring poverty should be also addressed - the study will also examine conceptual, data and measurement issues of the EU SILC methodology in relation to analyses of income, poverty, and eligibility to social protection benefits in Albania.
c) Policy options and costing. The study will identify and assess potential policy options to improve the scope and coordination of social protection transfers and programmes to ensure greater equity and sharpen targeting efforts to meet the needs of poor and vulnerable children. The policy options will also assess ways to better harmonize different household subsidies with the social assistance transfers – to ensure that all social protection transfers effectively reach children and households most in need. The study will also include cost simulations (e.g. in terms of scaling up coverage or increasing benefit levels) and fiscal implications of the policy options.
The international consultant/s tasked with the assigned will conduct the desk review, refine the study questions, and develop a detailed framework and methodology, will perform data analyses, and develop and finalize the study document.
1. Desk review of all policy and legal documents governing social protection and the institutional arrangements for the delivery of social assistance and transfers individuals, households, and families with children in Albania. The desk review will also include documents shared by UNICEF Albania, and other key documents reports and studies related to social protection and its impact in children in Albania and the CEECIS region. The desk review is expected to serve two purposes: help to refine the study questions and methodology; and provide insights into how national laws/policies/regulations are in line with the international standards based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and international frameworks on rights to social protection. Desk review will also include legislation and policies that address structural causes of discrimination and exclusion, including gender issues.
2. Quantitative analysis of the national datasets. The consultant will examine the feasibility of using the Household Budget Survey (HBS) which is regularly conducted in the country, the Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) 2012, or the data collected from the European Union Statistics on income and living conditions (EU-SILC) piloting exercise. The international expert may also assess the possibility of other appropriate (supplementary) data sources.
UNICEF will ensure that the process of this study is participatory and the various steps are validated by national partners. A reference group with the participation of key relevant government bodies will be established with facilitation from UNICEF to help validate the methodology, information sources and endorse the final study report.