Individual Consultant for the Review of Universal Service Funds in South Asia
Most of the information on the state and utilization of Universal Service Funds (USFs) or Universal Service Obligation Funds (USFs/USOFs) is dated and is captured in the reports published by the ITU or GSMA , , based on surveys and findings dating to 2013 or 2014. More recent publications (eg. published in 2016) only provide partial information, either focusing on a very specific utilization of the USFs/USOFs or on selected countries in South Asia. The purpose of this consultancy will be to research and gather most up to date information on the USFs/USOFs or, where these do not exist, on alternative government schemes in the eight countries in South Asia intended to fund wider deployment of telecommunication, Internet and associated services. The eight countries in South Asia to be covered in the research are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
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, a Champion
How can you make a difference?
The consultant will conduct research of publicly available resources to compile a report on the USFs/USOFs or, where there is no government USF/USOF, on a comparable government scheme in the eight countries in South Asia. The consultant will compile gathered research into a report and prepare a PowerPoint presentation summarizing the findings in the report. The report will cover the following on a country by country basis:
- The existence in the country of a USF/USOF or a comparable scheme;
Applicable legislative arrangements and their provisions for:
- Establishing the USF/USOF and any associated statutory bodies;
- Applicable governance framework and its structures;
- Applicable levying mechanism to raise funds for the USF/USOF and to what entities do these apply, eg. Mobile network operators, Internet service providers and/or any other commercial entities;
- Scope and range of services, projects, initiatives and other schemes permitted to be funded/supported by the USF/USOF under the governing legislation and the USF/USOF mandate;
Limitations and/or constraints imposed on rollout and deployment of services such as:
- Stationary and mobile voice services;
- Broadband and mobile internet services to the communities;
- Broadband internet services to educational, health and other facilities; and
- Capacity development, skills development and training, eg. for girls and women.
- Applicable methods of disbursement of funds and/or funding projects, eg. through government tenders.
- Current state of the USF/USOF, including the overview of its operation, level of independence/autonomy, current balance of unspent funds and, subject to the availability of the information, funds collected and expended over the last 5 years (2014 to 2019 or 2015 to 2020);
- Summary of most recent projects or initiatives supported and funded by the USF/USOF (eg. in the last 3-5 years), including project scope and type of services rolled out, budget/allocated funds and entity implementing the project/initiative;
- Overview of any alternative incentives provided to telecommunication service providers and similar entities by the USF / USOF, eg. for deployment of services, innovation, capacity development or community training; and
- Any other points or issues relevant to advocacy for utilization of USF/USOF resources to address deprivations such as digital divide, accessibility of online resources and similar.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
A post-graduate degree (eg. Master’s) in IT, engineering, economics, international development or closely related field. A Bachelor’s degree with additional work experience may be accepted in lieu.
A minimum of 10 years’ experience at a mid- or senior management level, working in telecommunication sector or researching government/private sector policy issues, preferably in relation to government telecommunication policies.
Proven ability to conduct research and prepare research reports.
Proven ability to work under tight deadlines and driving for results.
Familiarity with the telecommunication environment and government policies in South Asia region preferred.
Strong written and communication skills.
Fluency in English is required.
For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with
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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 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.
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.