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Consultancy - Mapping and Tools for UN Social Protection Support in the Europe and Central Asia Region (home-based)

Geneva (Switzerland)

The Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (ECARO) is seeking a qualified consultant who will provide support to UNCTs and governments. The consultant will provide coordinated and aligned technical support to governments by providing knowledge resources on the technical support available within the UN system, and on the approaches towards social protection followed by UNCTs within the region.

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, Social Protection


The Issue Based Coalition on Social Protection in Europe and Central Asia (IBC-SP) is a thematic regional coalition of UN agencies that represents a new way of working together to improve policy and programming coherence among UN agencies active on social protection, and to implement social protection components of the 2030 Development Agenda in a more integrated way.  The group has two objectives: to support coordinated country work; and to contribute to UN reform and SDG implementation; and three types of activities: development of joint policy positions and advocacy messages; provision of technical support to country initiatives; and knowledge development and sharing.  Initially formed in 2015 as a Working group of UN agencies, it is planning to transition to an Issue Based Coalition composed of UN, partner agencies and external bodies during the course of 2017 and 2018. 

Regional UN Issue Based Coalition on Social Protection Floor in Europe and Central Asia focuses on regionalizing and nationalizing the United Nations (UN) Social Protection Floor Initiative (SPF-I) which was launched by the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (UN CEB) in 2009 as one of the nine concrete measures to address the global economic crisis and accelerate recovery. The renewed interest in comprehensive and rights-based protection was given a boost in June 2012 with the adoption by world governments, employers’, and workers’ organizations of the International Labour Organization’s Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No. 202)[1].  The approach has also been endorsed by, amongst many others, the African Union, the G20, and the United Nations.

Social protection floors are nationally defined sets of at least four basic social security guarantees that ensure:

  1. access to essential health care, including maternity care;
  2. basic income security for children providing access to nutrition, education, care and any other necessary goods and services;
  3. basic income security for persons in active age who are not able to earn sufficient income, in particular in case of sickness, unemployment, maternity and disability;
  4. and basic income security for older persons.

Social protection including floors contributes to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. In September 2015, UN Member States committed to achieve 17 sustainable development goals by 2030. Social protection, including floors, are among and contribute to five of these goals, namely SDG 1 on ending poverty, SDG 3 on ensuring healthy lives, SDG 5 on achieving gender equality, SDG 8 on promoting decent work, and SDG 10 on reducing inequality. SDG 1.3 specifically aims at implementing nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all including floors.  Social protection floors are also the basis for the progressive achievement of higher levels of protection within comprehensive social security systems.  Within the Europe and Central Asia region a more ambitious and adapted approach is merited consistent with relevant provisions in the ILO Recommendation, and related initiatives - such as WHO’s work on universal health coverage and existing national development priorities and strategies, in particular ongoing reform efforts in the field of social protection.  This is the subject of a forthcoming advocacy paper from the regional UN System[2].   

Increased collaboration between UN Agencies, development partners and national government in the area of social protection has been called for consistently and is further reinforced by tighter alignment within UN Common system joining forces to implement Sustainable Development Goals Agenda, including through the Common Chapter commitments of UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDP and WFP.

Since inception in 2015 the UN Regional Issue Based Coalition on Social Protection has completed the following activities: nomination of representation at regional and country level by agencies and UNCTs; first virtual meeting and sharing of tools and methods for social protection coordination; drafting and publication of social protection section of UNDG Regional Advocacy Brief; first face to face meeting, discussion of regional policy advocacy document and sharing of lessons on UN coordination; completed drafting of the regional policy advocacy document for publication during June/July 2018.  From early  2018 the IBC-SP has also been called to participate in several of the ongoing UNDG “MAPS” (Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support) missions to countries throughout the region. 

A number of UN agencies are working on social protection and related fields within the region, including ILO, UNDP, UNICEF, UN-Women, UNFPA, WHO, UNHCR, WFP, FAO and IOM.  Social protection is also a core area of UN support to countries in the region as featured in UNDAFs and UNPAFs, and is coordinated through existing platforms for exchange at country level such as UN Thematic Working Groups on Social Protection and wider groupings such as Development Cooperation Councils.  As part of its 2018 workplan, the Co-Chairs of the IBC (ILO, UNDP, UNICEF) agreed to prepare materials and tools for support for UNCTs on social protection, to facilitate greater coordination and alignment between agencies and to offer more streamlined support to countries in work on social protection. 

UNICEF/IBC would like to engage a consultant to support implementation of its work-plan for 2018 in the following segments:

  • mapping approaches to social protection in UNDAFs and SDG related work in the region[3]
  • mapping of technical capacity available within UNCTs
  • development support resources[4].

How can you make a difference?

Purpose of the assignment

The assignment will support UNCTs and governments to provide coordinated and aligned technical support to governments by providing knowledge resources on the technical support available within the UN system, and on the approaches towards social protection followed by UNCTs within the region. 

Scope of Assignment

The assignment will develop knowledge resources and tools to support improved coordination and alignment of UN agencies’ support on social protection within the region.   There are four elements to the assignment:

Component 1

Mapping of UN work on social protection in the region, including approaches within UNDAFs / UNPAFs and, where appropriate, SDG MAPS reports around the region, identifying the priority areas of social protection work, the roles of different agencies, institutional coordination mechanisms (with an indication of sustainability), and the results the UN is contributing to, and existing knowledge resources on social protection[5] produced by UN agencies including in collaboration with partners.

Component 2

Mapping of technical support (staff numbers and location and areas they cover) on different aspects of social protection available to UNCTs and governments

Component 3

Completing a regional checklist of issues and support resources on social protection to be used for MAPS missions and other SDG-related work on social protection, and in the preparation of UNDAFs/UNPAFs

Component 4

Making recommendations concerning the possible introduction of the UN Social Protection Floor Initiative (SPF-I) in the region, at either the regional or national levels

Methodology and Main Tasks

Under the supervision of the Co-Chairs of the IBC-SP, the consultant(s) will be responsible for the following tasks:


  • Consult with the Co-Chairs IBC and members of the IBC via face to face and virtual communications to clarify expectations, deliverables, and methodology for the work
  • Consult with a sample of UNCTs/RCOs to establish what would be most useful for them
  • Consult with other IBCs to identify what approaches they are using to provide guidance and tools for the region
  • Consult with UN Development Operations Coordinating Office (DOCO) regarding its views on the substance and coordination of social protection issues in the region

Literature Review

  • Review UNDAFS/UNPAFs from the region, map UN social protection results, and summarize the priority areas of UN engagement on social protection on a country by country basis
  • Review SDG-related work that addresses social protection (for example MAPS mission reports), and summarize social protection related accelerators and policy support needs
  • Compile and review existing literature on UN work on social protection in the region (studies, evaluations, policy briefs, conference presentations etc).
  • Compile the key existing tools and guidance materials related to social protection (global and regional)

Mapping of UN Social Protection Work

  • Based on the literature review and data gathered from UNCTs, produce a summary of UN work in support of social protection in the region, indicating priority areas of work, existing examples of UN collaboration, and potential areas for strengthened collaboration

Mapping of Technical Capacity

  • Prepare a data gathering tool to obtain information on technical capacity for policy support on social protection among UN agencies in the region and pre-test via the Co-Chairs
  • Gather data on technical capacity for policy support from UN agencies and compile
  • Produce a database of technical support available within the regional UN system on social protection

Checklist for Social Protection in the region, for use with UNDAFs and SDG-related processes including MAPS missions

  • Review the draft Social Protection MAPS checklist, and propose additions and refinements to make this suitable for use with UNDAFs and for SDG-related processes (eg: MAPS missions; social protection accelerators)
  • Revise and finalise the checklist based on discussions with the Co-Chairs and views of the IBC members

Prospective introduction of SPF-I in the region

  • Describe other regions’ experience in introducing the SPF-I and consider their relevance in light of ECA region specifics
  • Propose concrete recommendations concerning the feasibility, desirability, and concrete steps (if advisable) for the SPF-I’s prospective introduction

Duration, Deliverables and Payment of Schedules

The consultancy is to be carried out between September and December 2018.  Consultant may propose suitable inputs and level of effort to deliver the outputs. It is expected that the assignment will involve approximately 30 working days. 

  • Inception report (maximum 5 pages) clarifying objectives and scope, outlining methodology and schedule for the assignment
  • Literature Review
  • Mapping of UN Social protection work within the Region
  • Mapping of UN technical support within the Region
  • Final Social Protection checklist for the Region
  • SPF-I recommendations for the Region

The exact dates of deliverables will be defined in consultation with the consultant(s). The fee structure is:

First payment on agreement of inception report and literature review

Second payment on satisfactory completion of all deliverables

Management and Supervision

The consultants’ work will supervised by the Co-Chairs of the IBC, coordinated through the UNICEF Regional Social Policy Advisor.   

Conditions of Work

  • The assignment will be home based with one possible travel to Geneva or Istanbul. 
  • The consultant will organize his/her own travel and transportation when required.  The consultant will provide his/her own computer and communications equipment (laptop, telephones, etc).
  • No work or travel may commence unless the contract is signed by both UNICEF and the consultant

Performance Indicators for Evaluation of Results

  • Timely delivery of outputs according to agreed schedule
  • Satisfactory feedback from IBC Co-Chairs on conduct of the assignment
  • Satisfactory quality of final products

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

  • An advanced university degree in the Social Policy, Economics, International Development or related discipline;
  • A minimum of 5 years relevant professional experience, in social protection.  Experience in Europe and Central Asia is considered an asset;
  • Proven experience and knowledge on UN social protection floor, and existing UN guidance materials
  • Demonstrated experience of developing tools and guidance, capacity building and mentoring of professional staff
  • Excellent analytical, writing, communication and facilitation skills;
  • Fluency in verbal and written English; Knowledge of Russian and languages of Western Balkans  of the region an advantage 

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.


Please include a full CV and Financial Proposal in your application. Additionally, indicate your availability and daily rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference above. Applications submitted without a daily rate will not be considered. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

[1] See ILO Social Protection Floors Recommendation 202 (2012)

[2] “Regional UN System Issue Based Coalition on Social Protection, Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region: Joint Advocacy Messages” (forthcoming)

[3] A useful starting point is the SDG mapping of UNDAFs available at

[4] Support resources may refer to, for example, existing tools such as the inter-agency tools on social protection (

[5] Knowledge resources may include those produced in Russian and in other regional languages, as well as in English

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Social Affairs
    • Protection Officer (Refugee)
    • Civil Society and Local governance
  • Closing Date: 2018-08-17

What does it mean?

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