Local Consultant (Lao Nationality only) Needs Assessment for the Enhancing Social and Economic Opportunities for Youth in the Lao PDR Project
vientiane with travel to provinces
Lao PDR has one of the youngest populations in the region. Close to 60 per cent are estimated to be less than 25 years of age. Projections show a rapid increase in the working-age population and a falling dependency ratio. Thus, in the medium-term, Lao PDR is set to benefit from the “demographic dividend” to the economy. However, the full benefits of the demographic dividend will be realised only if new jobs allow to keep pace with the working-age population's growth and only if young women and men are better equipped with the appropriate skills and knowledge. This issue is all the more critical for the disadvantaged youth groups, including ethnic groups and female, in rural and most remote areas.The project, with support from the Russian Federation, is an attempt to comprehensively and systematically address the inter-related barriers to youth empowerment. Which establishes an enabling environment for youth (nationally defined aged for youth – 15 to 35 years old) to realise their potential and undertake an important role in the socio-economic development of the country through enhanced social and economic opportunities, with a special focus on youth employability and social participation.To achieve these objectives, three inter-related outputs have been conceived:• Output 1: Youth Action Plan is developed in the selected provinces in line with the Youth Policy creating an enabling environment where youths can develop and realize their potentials and promoting inclusive youth social and economic engagement. It will contribute to the improvement of the national and sectoral policies related social and economic empowerment of youth in Lao PDR.• Output 2: Increased economic empowerment of the rural and disadvantaged youth through inclusive and equitable quality Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and enhanced income-generating opportunities in the selected provinces.• Output 3: Strengthened engagement and participation of youth in planning and decision-making processes and platforms at local and national levels – through the UNDP community radio and Youth Innovation Challenge to ensure youth’s voice are seriously considered.
Duties and Responsibilities
The main purpose of this consultancy is to assess and analyse needs in order to map out the nature of the industrial structure in Khammouan Province. The assessment will also review local regulations to identify threats and opportunities for youth social and economic engagement in Lao PDR. It is expected to capture youth experience and voice and use a systematic lens to analyse the barriers youth face. The result of the assessment will inform the project, as well as local authorities about the challenges and opportunities in the area, with particular focus on youth empowerment. It is also expected to inform local regulations and development planning.Several important elements relating to youth employment will be explored and analysed across various sectors. Such issues include (but are not limited to):(i) market and industrial analysis in Khammouan Province(ii) vocational education and other skills-building measures to prepare youth for employment(iii) career prospect of youth(iv) policies for an innovative environment to foster young entrepreneurs(v) rights, laws and policies relevant to youthThe assessment will underscore the importance of inclusion of disadvantaged youth groups, such as ethnic youth and young women at the local level, to ensure that the concept of social inclusion can move beyond a theoretical level.In the course of analysis, the research team will conduct Focus Group Interview (FGI) and individual interviews with various stakeholders, including businesses, youth and youth-led organisations, ensuring that the analysis captures youth experience using a user-centred approach. The assessment is expected to produce appropriate policy responses and a proposed action plan will be provided to operationalise the recommendations emanating from this analysis.The national consultant will support the Team Leader in coordination of meetings and consultation with all stakeholders including Government counterparts and the Development Partners as well as reference findings. When needed, a national consultant will provide a translation of Lao into English documents (vice versa) or to interpret communications. S/he will also provide information in terms of local and cultural context and background as relevant, especially in dealing and liaising with government. The consultant will work under the supervision of the team leader (International Consultant) in close collaboration with the Head of Poverty Reduction Unit as per work needs.The primary responsibilities of the selected consultant include:• Provide inputs to the workplan & inception report;• Arrange meetings and consultations with relevant stakeholders;• Coordinate field visits to the identified project sites and collect data; and• Provide substantive inputs to the final research report and Action PlanTo fulfil the primary functions above, the consultant shall:• Contribute to the whole process substantively;• Collect all relevant documents and reports;• Translate into English documents provided by the team leader and that are only available in Lao• Be responsible for the analysis of documents for which no English translation exists as assigned by the team leader;• Be co-responsible for the quality of the final assessment report and Action Plan• Recommend the most appropriate ways to adopt a culturally sensitive and ethical approach;• Facilitate access to data sources;• Liaise with national partners and follow up on requests from the team leader;• Organize schedule of the team;• Field visit in Khammouane province to conduct the rapid need assessment;• Interpret discussions and/or communications into English/Lao as necessary to support the review process;• Prepare and presents findings in Lao language;• Further support the team leader as necessary and within the framework of his/her qualifications to work towards the most effective conduct of the review
Knowledge:• Strong knowledge of youth development, public policy and governance in development would be an asset;• Familiarity with the UN(DP) norms and standards; and• Knowledge in the use of computers and office software packagesLanguage:• Excellent knowledge of written and spoken English and Lao.• Knowledge about Russian is desirableCompetencies:• A sound knowledge of research software, data processing and analysis tools (Excel proficient).• Excellent interpersonal, communications and facilitation skills.• Sound knowledge and familiarity with the key local and national development issues in Lao PDR.• Cultural and gender sensitivity and ability to work with people from different backgrounds
Required Skills and Experience
Education:• University degree in public policy and management, international development studies, political science, social science or other relevant fieldsWork Experience:• At least 5 years of increasingly responsible professional experience in the field of researching, training and project management including a track record of conducting industrial analysis/ youth policy and social inclusion study, development activities and projects related to social inclusion and/or gender, preferably in the South-East Asia region• Recognized expertise in research or training preferably in industrial analysis/ youth empowerment and/or public policy combined with a solid understanding on the use of rubrics analysis;• Strong track record of innovative leadership in managing researches, and proven ability to produce demonstrable results;
Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualification:
- Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template provided in Annex.
- Personal CV or P11, indicating all experience from similar projects as well as personal information including age. Note: If the consultant is beyond age 62, s/he should submit a medical certificate indicating her/his medical condition during the contract.
- Technical proposal (maximum 3 pages), including a) a brief description of why the individual considers her/himself as the most suitable for the assignment; and b) methodology on how s/he will approach and complete the assignment.
- Financial proposal that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template provided, as per template provided in Annex. (Note: National consultants must quote prices in US Dollar.)
Incomplete proposals may not be considered.
Criteria for Selection of the Best Offer
Applicants will be evaluated based on the following methodology:
Combined Scoring method: The award of the contract shall be made to the applicant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as a) responsive/compliant/acceptable; and b) having received the highest score out of set of weighted technical criteria (70%) and combined with the financial offer which will be weighted a max of 30%.
- Relevance of education: Max 10 point
- Direct work experience in youth development/ public policy research at a local level: 30 point
- Expertise and knowledge of youth development/ public policy: 30 points
Only candidates obtaining a minimum 49 points (70% of the total technical points) would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.
Annexes to the TOR
Annex 1 – Terms of Reference
Annex 4 – The Enhancing Social and Economic Opportunities for Youth in the Lao PDR Project Document available here