National Consultant to update of costing of the Minimum Package of Services and of the scale up options (3 months)
UNICEF Romania is looking for a National Consultant to update the costing of the minimum package of services (MPS).
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UNICEF Romania tested during 2015 – 2018, the minimum package of services (MPS) for children that delivers coordinated cross-sectoral preventive services covering social and child protection, health and education at local and county levels. This initiative emerged from evidence generated from prior UNICEF interventions that focused on prevention of child separation by ensuring early identification and access to social assistance and community healthcare of most vulnerable children and their families. The evidence from these interventions showed that the integrated delivery of basic social services improves their effectiveness and efficiency and leads to better take-up and coverage by vulnerable families. One of the assumptions was that the preventive approach of the model will result into financial savings by reducing the number of children and families that require more specialized and expensive services (hospitalization, institutionalization or foster care, second chance education etc.).
In 2015 – 2016, UNICEF Romania has undertaken a costing exercise and a financial impact analysis of the MPS. The purpose of the report was to present an estimation of the costs required for scaling up the MPS, nationwide, particularly:
- costs of MPS per se - calculations by package components (social assistance services/social worker, health care services/community health assistant, education services/school counsellor) and
costs of scaling up the MPS at national level, in various scenarios (basic - with one component, extended - with two components, and optimal – all three components; incremental implementation) and per several primary and secondary indicators (rural/urban community, share of children in the population, mean unemployment rate, etc.)
calculated on the basis of: i) actual costs incurred in the modelling project, specifically the MPS, ii) costs modelled for social worker and community health nurse and estimated for school counsellor - new methodology for workload rate per social worker and community health nurse, and existing legislative provisions for school counsellor and iii) cost modelling for national coverage.
The cost of the rollout at national level, which is expected to cover all 2,861 rural and 325 urban communes, has been estimated at €125 million, the equivalent of less than 0.7% of GDP. However, these calculations do not consider that some of these costs are already included in the existing budget, so they do not represent an additional cost but rather the total cost. On the other hand, this exercise did not include the cost of scaling up Aurora, as well as other initial investment costs. These latter costs would have though a marginal impact to the total cost for scaling up, as of scaling up the model involves thousands of employees at national level and their salaries are the most important component of the calculated budgetary impact.
As such, for continued advocacy efforts, a separate costing and financial exercise that needs to be undertaken by UNICEF Romania in support to the scale-up strategies, irrespective of future top-down or bottom up approaches for these strategies.
A recent independent evaluation of the MPS assessed if the underlying assumptions and objectives formulated for the modelling project were validated and achieved, as well as to ascertain whether the MPS brings value as regards improving the social inclusion of children and their families, especially of the most vulnerable. From a sustainability point of view, the evaluation shows that MPS generated significant impact at the level of national policies, strategies, operational programs, etc. and that the current context could support the continuation of the MPS implementation and progressive scale up at national level. Nonetheless, advocacy efforts need to continue to pursue the ultimate objective of ensuring to all children quality, universal, community-based, child- and family-centered services. As such, advocacy for influencing appropriate allocation of resources to finance scale up and replication is a prerequisite.
The 2016 report on the costing and financial impact analysis for the MPS scale-up, highlighted the bottlenecks and facilitating factors within the current budgeting process at national and local level with regards to attraction and allocation of financial resources for MPS country wide implementation. Recommendations included scenarios describing the budget allocation at central level from the VAT and income tax deducted amounts, allotted to local public institutions for balancing off local budgets related to specific social services provision (for the social assistance and educational components), the health insurance special fund (for the health care component) and the consolidated budget with the specific social and cultural related expenses (for all components). Additionally, to the State and local budget, several financing options were suggested to be employed to support the scaling up of the MPS such as EU or World Bank funding, Norway Grants, EEA Grants and Swiss Grants, etc.
Considering the conclusions of the study and as well the current and future funding opportunities for securing the initial investment costs from other sources than national budget, UNICEF Romania is committed to follow-up the recommendations of the study and resume work in the area costing of the MPS and financing scale up for all children and their families.
Purpose of the Consultancy
The purpose of the current consultancy is to update the costing of the MPS following the methodology used in the 2016 report on the financial impact analysis but taking into consideration additional amendments of various normative acts that were considered for the initial costing and as well provision of the new law on salaries, including updates made in 2019, regarding the remuneration of paid staff from public funds.
The consultancy should also include an update of further development of costing scale-up strategies given the country’s current economic context and the constraints related to the national budget but as well extra-budgetary funding opportunities. Several scenarios should be considered including a progressive implementation plan over 3 to 5 years, as well as the use of a mix of funding sources, both national and external (e.g. EU, World Bank funding, Norway Grants, EEA Grants and Swiss Grants, etc.). Among possible scenarios to be considered, the progressive scaling up gradually may include but not being limited to, starting (a) with the most vulnerable communities in the country, (b) with the most vulnerable counties, (c) with selected regions, (d) only in rural communities, (f) in rural and small urban communities.
Timeframe of consultancy and deliverables:
Update of costing of the MPS based on the new legal provisions within first 2 months.
Update and further development of costing scale-up strategies, including also initial investments costs, by the end of the third month.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
- Advanced university degree in economics or university degree in social sciences, law, political science, public policy with advance knowledge and experience in costing, budgeting and public financing;
- Knowledge in Public Finance Management, covering budget preparation and budgetary processes, prioritization and costing and closer linkages between budget and policy, costing and standard costs for social services, etc.;
- Understanding of child rights, social protection, social policies and systems designs and reforms;
- Strong analytical and conceptual thinking and proven experience in report writing;
- Romanian language - native; Good speaking and writing skills in English;
- Availability for work within the proposed time frame.
For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.
View our competency framework at
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.
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, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.
Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
The application must include:
- an updated CV focused on the skills and experience requested by the current consultancy;
a financial offer Financial template_total fee.docx, specifying the requested GROSS TOTAL fee in RON taking into consideration that the consultant will be responsible for paying all his/her due income taxes as per Romanian fiscal legislation.
Application deadline: 9 December 2019.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Applications which do not include the financial offer will not be considered.
The contract will be awarded based on the best combination of expertise and fee.