National Project Associate - Youth Empowerment Program
The Kingdom of Eswatini has been negatively impacted by COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Due to a severe second wave, the government was forced to implement stringent lockdowns in early 2021, which entailed travel restrictions, a ban on most gatherings except for funerals and restriction on business operating times, which has cause disruptions to many income generating sectors of the economy. Additionally, poverty continues to persist despite the country’s lower-middle-income status. 58.9% of Emaswati lived below the national poverty line in 2017, and this has been further exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic. The greatest impact of this has been on the youth (10-24yrs) of Eswatini. The number of youth in Eswatini is currently 33.4% of the population, amounting to approximately 400,000 youth country-wide.
At the heart of the country’s recovery plans is the revitalization of youth employment and empowerment and the MSME development. Youth unemployment is high with 46% of youth between the ages of 15-24 being unemployed; with slightly lower levels of unemployment for male youths (44%) in comparison to female youths (50%). Greater employment and access to capital for the youth, and for women, would therefore reduce the country’s high GINI co-efficient rating (currently at 51.5) and contribute to greater inclusive growth outcomes for eSwatini.
What the population census shows is that Eswatini has a young population, which could be a great resource for innovation and industrialisation if this significant working age population is properly channelled to productive economic activities. However, many of Eswatini youth are failing to find economic opportunities such that many of the university graduates are unemployed. Eswatini’s Labour Force Survey (2016) indicates that almost 1 in 2 young people in Eswatini are unemployed. Even though they are the majority of the population, young people and women still face a plethora of development challenges, including lack of access to productive economic resources such as land and finance.
It is anticipated that by 2030 Africa’s population below the age of 18 will be more than 170 million, and by 2050 the continent will be home to 1.25 billion people of working age. To absorb these new entrants into the labour market and create productive opportunities for employment or self-employment, it is important to instil a culture of entrepreneurship and cultivate a mind-set of successful and sustainable business development among our youth today. From a sustainable development point of view, it is important to highlight that the importance of youth empowerment has gained particular relevance with
the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Along with other partners, young people, by participating in consultation and negotiation processes at all levels, informed and helped shape the 2030 Agenda, which now reflects their concerns. The 2030 Agenda, which specifically names young people as “critical agents of change,” integrates the economic, environmental and social dimensions of development with young people represented as a priority across its 17 goals. 65 out of the 169 SDG targets reference young people explicitly or implicitly, with a focus on their empowerment, participation and well-being. Young people’s involvement, energy, networks and solutions are indispensable for the effective implementation and monitoring of the SDGs. There are more than 20 youth-inclusive targets spread over nine key SDGs: Goal 1 (poverty), Goal 2 (hunger), Goal 4 (education), Goal 5 (gender equality), Goal 8 (decent work), Goal 10 (inequality), Goal 11 (sustainable cities and communities), Goal 13 (climate change), and Goal 16 (peaceful and inclusive societies). Goal 16, which calls to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels” is a pivotal component of the 2030 Agenda and provides a key opportunity to foster young people’s empowerment for development, not least by contributing to SDG monitoring and accountability.
Therefore, to ensure that Eswatini is on track with the vision of youth empowerment and sustainable development agenda, at the same time, takes advantage of the dynamism of the youth and the opportunities of industrial development, regional integration and globalisation, Eswatini can position its youth enterprises for success. One of the emerging opportunities is through the implementation of the Continental Free Trade Agreement, which opens the door for further industrial development, supportive regional policies for infrastructure development, Information Communication Technology and the establishment of industrial development policies have all focused on creating opportunities for local MSMEs to participate at the regional, continental and global scale.
Against this backdrop, UNDP is seeking Project Associate to conduct a baseline assessment and ecosystems mapping of the key programmes and projects on youth and empowerment and identify gaps and challenges in order to support with UNDP Eswatini’s long term vision for creating a Youth Empowerment Program (YEP). Key outputs of this program would be for UNDP to contribute to specific outputs such as the strengthening of the national policy in relation to youth welfare, strategy and coordination frameworks for youth employment, as well as to establish, on a national basis, basic support services for youth including business development support and youth career advice all geared towards increasing the employability of youth.
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the direct supervision of the Programme Specialist and overall supervision of the Deputy Resident Representative, the Project Associate , as per UNDP requirements will be expected to:
- Conduct an ecosystem mapping of existing youth programs in Eswatini, targeting youth empowerment, youth innovation and youth entrepreneurship to formulate a working document of best practices and to identify gaps that exist in program delivery targeting the youth population.
- Conduct a desk review of sub-regional and regional youth programmes and identify opportunities for Eswatini.
- Assess existing national policies and provide feedback on opportunities for growth or change
- Create networks with established Youth Organizations in Eswatini, to determine where there are opportunities for collaboration on existing programs.
- Conduct a mapping of existing graduate entrepreneurship programmes focusing on reducing youth unemployment and identify areas for collaboration.
- Identify empowerment programmes that are targeted at including the marginalised youth (e.g people living with disabilities) into income generating activities.
- Identify Pilot project for support of Youth Innovation and Hubs
- Propose innovative solutions that would support and strengthen youth skills development/empowerment programmes, including areas of professional development.
- In partnership with other local youth agencies, develop dialogue platforms that will capacitate and enable the youth to be actively involved in the country’s development especially on SDGs.
- Support the establishment of the business knowledge platform initiated through UNDP support with ESEPARC that will support youth-led business in a holistic manner leveraging the institutions that government has already established for MSME development.
- Develop community educational recreational activities that focus on encouraging clean and productive fun as means to address issues of idleness amongst the youth. At the same time, ensure synergies with othe UN agencies.
- Develop a nationwide volunteer programme concept to provide a platform for unemployed youth to engage in community service as a way of making an impactful contribution to community development, as the same time obtaining skills and expertise.
- Establish partnership with UNV to encourage Eswatini youth to take advantage of UNV opportunities.
- Develop a Youth Empowerment project concept note for resource mobilisation.
- Carry out additional responsibilities as requested by the supervisor.
The expected deliverables of the assignment include
- Clear and detailed Youth Employment and Empowerment program framework developed for implementation by UNDP CO.
- Completed Eco system Mapping on youth Programmes.
- Delivery of a pilot project intervention on Youth Innovation Hubs and service centers.
- Establish one Youth Business Platform.
- Developed Project Concept note on Youth Empowerment and Entrepreneurial Programme for resource mobilization purposes.
- Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
- Strong project management skills;
- Positive, constructive attitude and consistently approaches work with energy;
- Demonstrates openness to change and ability to receive / integrate feedback.
Technical and Functional Competencies:
- Practical knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to youth empowerment and development issues
- Practical Research and analysis skills
- Strong analytical, communication and presentation skills;
- Outstanding ability with report writing and communication especially digital tools is required
- Creativity and innovation: Ability to demonstrate new and creative ideas
- Teamwork: Good interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity, including gender balance.
Required Skills and Experience
- Advanced university degree in economics, social sciences and business administration or equivalent combination of education and experience in a related area.
- At least 2 years progressively responsible in the specific programme area associated with this post, in design, monitoring & evaluation of programmes, project planning or related fields.
Other skills: Strong analytical and management skills applied to managing and reviewing programmes/projects, including human and financial resources, ability to work under pressure and meet strict deadlines, knowledge of current national development policies and activities, ability to organize work and collaborate effectively with a wide range of teams and work with individuals of different national and cultural backgrounds, including networking across professional, thematic and organizational boundaries. Working experience in developing countries. Basic knowledge of relevant institutional mandates, policies, guidelines. Knowledge of the institutions of the UN system.
- Proficiency in written and spoken English and SiSwati.
How to Apply:
Interested individuals must submit the following documents /information to demonstrate their qualification, experience and suitability to undertake the assignment. All supporting documents must be part of the detailed CV and uploaded as one document.
- Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template provided by UNDP; OFFEROR’S LETTER TO UNDP
- Personal CV or P11, indicating all experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references; Link for the P11 form: https://un.org.sz/p11/P11.docx
- Brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment; and a methodology on how they 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. If an Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP under Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP.
Incomplete proposals may not be considered. All applications must be made on-line.
Note: Please note you can upload only one document to this application (scan all documents in one single PDF file to attach).
Criteria for Selection of the Best Offer
Using a weighted scoring method, the award of the contract will be made to an individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined to be responsive/compliant/acceptable, and having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation. A combined scoring method – where the qualifications and methodology will be weighted at 70% and combined with the price offer which will be weighted at 30%.