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National Consultant on countering disinformation

Kyiv (Ukraine)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Kyiv (Ukraine)
  • Grade: National Consultant - Locally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
  • Closing Date: 2021-09-24

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Background

Millions of people continue experiencing untold misery and suffering, as the COVID-19 pandemic overwhelms health, education, and economic systems and takes human development gains back, for the first time since 1990. While the summer of 2020 brought some relief, and the international pharmaceutical scientific community has worked miracles by offering first COVID-19 vaccines in less than a year for (uneven) rollout worldwide, the pandemic is very far from over. As such, humanity is experiencing only the pandemic's initial impacts, since the consequences of the measures we are taking in response will be far-reaching for years to come. Economies and social ties will face aftershocks for decades, as the world only begins to return to "normalcy" in 2021. The trajectory of that return is obscure, shadowed by slower-than-anticipated vaccine rollout, new virus strains, economic troubles and political turmoil worldwide.

Against this backdrop, Ukraine has benefitted from a holistic UN assistance package from spring to fall of 2020. Yet, with the numbers growing drastically in the autumn-winter season of 2020 – 2021, on some days registering over 16 000 new cases, absence of robust forecasting, the growing threat of new COVID-19 strains (variants), widespread societal fatigue over quarantine measures, uncertainty over vaccination rollout plans, continued macroeconomic challenges and lack of significant progress with resolving the conflict in the east of the country or regaining control over the occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Ukraine is still far from being on the trajectory for surfacing from the country-wide epidemic or stabilizing the environment in which the country's governance machinery currently operates.

The RESURFACE Project is a mix of rapid response to the highly volatile situation and a longer-term resilience-driven transformation of Ukraine's crisis decision-making and adaptation to extraordinary circumstances. The project will be implemented for 12 months starting from March 2021 and has incorporated lessons learned from its predecessor Crisis Coordination and Management in Ukraine (CCMU) Project. Apart from practical results achieved between April and October 2020 under the small-scale and agile CCMU intervention, UNDP has taken note of ideas and proposals mentioned throughout the high-level policy dialogue meeting between the UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner, and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba. As the CCMU initiative drew to a close, Ukrainian government counterparts reiterated to UNDP Ukraine their satisfaction with results of the smaller engagement and contributed to the design of the RESURFACE Project by proposing activities, areas for collaboration and making sure that the submission is fully aligned with national priorities and needs including those, based on Ukraine's Socio-Economic Impact of COVID-19 Assessment (SEIA) and the resulting national COVID-recovery plans. Given the above, the proposed RESURFACE Project takes catalytic assistance to Ukraine's government authorities to a new level than CCMU by deploying a mechanism that aims at not only delivering on the urgent needs of today but programming for more resilient Ukraine's governance systems in two aspects (1) coordination and (2) institutional adaptability, as the country starts to emerge from the COVID-related crisis.

Enhancing Governmental institutions in terms building proper internal sustainable structure to provide proper response on fake news and disinformation is crucial for building proper crisis coordination and management system in Ukraine. In order to build proper mechanism on disinformation Ministry of Culture and Information Policy established Centre for Strategic Communications and Information Security (Centre) aiming to counter disinformation and address concerns for those working to build informed and inclusive societies, increase society’s resistance to hybrid negative influences.

In this context, UNDP is recruiting a professional with relevant experience and track record for the position of a National Consultant on disinformation for the Centre. The incumbent will promote UNDP’s mandate as a gender-responsive organization with zero tolerance to any kind of discriminatory and abusive behaviour, including sexual harassment, sexual exploitation and abuse.

Duties and Responsibilities

Main Objectives of the Assignment

  • Support the development of the training program to strengthen government’s resilience to disinformation
  • Develop positive narratives strategy
  • Support of the strategic sessions with representatives of CSOs, Government to identify coordinated approach to strategic communications and countering disinformation
  • Provide support to the Centre with public opinion research

Deliverables

The timeframe and deliverables of the assignment are as follows:

Deliverable #

Task description

Deadline

Deliverable #1

In close cooperation with the Centre develop training program to strengthen government’s resilience to disinformation and promote strategic communications

 

Expected results:

1.1.      Training concept is developed and agreed with the Centre

1.2.      Draft detailed agenda for a training on countering disinformation is developed

1.3. At least four meetings with government communicators are conducted, extended agenda for each training is developed, an agenda and feedback form are developed

By October 10, 2021

Deliverable #2

Develop positive narratives strategy

 

Expected results:

2.1.      Narratives for positive narratives strategy are finalized and agreed with the Centre

2.2.      Draft of the promotion of the positive narratives strategy is prepared.

By November 10, 2021

Deliverable #3

Facilitate a strategy session with CSOs and the government to identify coordinated approach to strategic communications and countering disinformation.

 

Expected results:

3.1. Concept note of the strategy session is developed

3.2. Expanded internal agenda for the session is developed

3.3. Conclusions of the session are summarized and presented in the document

By December 20, 2021

Deliverable #4

Provide support to the Centre with public opinion research

 

Expected results:

4.1.  Questionnaire for the survey to identify opinion leaders is developed

4.2. information received as the results of the surveyreviewed

By January 31, 2022

 

Proposed payment schedule:

UNDP will provide payments upon provision of deliverables duly certified by UNDP in accordance with the table above. UNDP will be the ultimate authority to control the quality of work results and assess the Contractor’s performance during the assignment. The satisfactory completion of each of the deliverables shall be subject to the endorsement of the UNDP Project Manager.  Payments are made in three tranches as per the Schedule of payments indicated in the table above.

In particular, the payment schedule will be as follows:

Deliverable 1   25%

Deliverable 2   30%

Deliverable 3   30%

Deliverable 4   15%

           Monitoring/Reporting Requirements

The consultant will work under overall guidance of UNDP Project Manager of the Democratic Governance team, and in close day-to-day coordination with the other project consultants. Work-progress reporting/monitoring meetings will be held with the Project Manager on a regular basis. UNDP will be the final authority to control the quality and evaluate the work. No reports or documents should be published or distributed to third parties without approval of UNDP.

The Consultant will duly inform UNDP of any problems, issues or delays arising in the course of implementation of assignment and take necessary steps to address them.

All reports and results are to be submitted to the UNDP in electronic form (*.docx, *.xlsx, *.pptx, and *.pdf or other formats accepted by UNDP). All reports and presentations shall be submitted in English. 

Competencies

Skills to be evaluated during validation interview stage with technically compliant candidates:

  • Strong managerial and leadership skills, notably planning, organizing, coordinating and controlling, problem-solving and decision-making;
  • Mature judgment combined with a proactive, energetic approach to problem-solving; excellent interpersonal skills;
  • Integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Strong organizational and time management skills;
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines;
  • Excellent analytical skills;
  • Excellent writing, proficient communication and organization skills.

Corporate competencies

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favouritism;
  • Fulfils all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment.

Required Skills and Experience

  1. Experience and qualification requirements

Education

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in media relations, journalism, international relations, social sciences or related field;

Experience

  • Minimum five (5) years of relevant experience at the national or international level in the media sphere, public relations, communications or advocacy;
  • At least two (2) years of relevant experience in cooperation with the state institution, NGOs or national media organisations;
  • Previous experience with a multilateral or international organization/foundation would be considered as an asset;
  • Previous experience in developing communications strategies and action plans;
  • Previous experience in conducting trainings, preferably in the area of and countering disinformation will be considered as a strong asset.

Languages

  • Fluency in Ukrainian and working English languages are required
  1. Documents to be included when submitting the proposals

Applicants shall submit the following documents:

Required

 

 x

Letter of interest/proposal, explaining why the applicant considers him or herself the most suitable for the position; description of specific professional experience at the national or international level in the media sphere, public relations, communications or advocacy; description of specific professional experience with a multilateral or international organization/foundation.

 x

Personal CV or P11, including information about past experience in similar projects / assignments and contact details for referees, including clearly stated information about previous projects

 x

Financial proposal

 

Financial proposal

 Lump sum contract

The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount, and payment terms around specific and measurable (qualitative and quantitative) deliverables (i.e. whether payments fall in instalments or upon completion of the entire contract). Payments are based upon output, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR. In order to assist the requesting unit in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal will include a breakdown of this lump sum amount (including travel, per diems, and a number of anticipated working days).

Travel costs

The travel is not envisaged for this assignment. In the case of unforeseeable travel, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon, between the respective business unit and Individual Consultant, prior to travel and will be reimbursed. BSAFE course must be successfully completed before the commencement of travel. Individual Consultant is responsible for ensuring he/she has vaccinations/inoculations when travelling to certain countries, as designated by the UN Medical Director. A consultant is required to comply with the UN security directives set forth under https://dss.un.org/dssweb/

 

Evaluation criteria

Criteria A: Education - 6 points max

At least Master’s degree or equivalent in media relations, journalism, international relations, social sciences or related field –6 points max

{6 pts – PhD degree in the relevant field or higher; 5 pts –Master’s degree in the relevant field};

Criteria B: Work Experience – 44 points max

1. At least five (5) years of relevant experience at the national or international level in the media sphere, public relations, communications or advocacy- 16 points max

{16 pts – 8 years and more; 14 pts – 6-7 years; 12 pts – 5 years);

2. At least two (2) years of relevant experience in cooperation with the state institution, NGOs or national media organisations – 13 points max

{13 pts – 6 years and more; 11 pts – 4-5 years; 10 pts – 2-3 years};

3. Previous experience in developing communications strategies and action plans- 10 points max

{10 pts – more than 5 years, 8 pts – 4-3 years, 7 pts – 2-1 years};

4. Experience with a multilateral or international organization/foundation is considered as an asset - 2 points max

{2 pts – existing proven experience, 0 pts – no experience};

5. Previous experience in conducting trainings, preferably in the area of and countering disinformation - 3 points max

{3 pts – existing proven experience, 0 pts – no experience};

Criteria C: Technical Skills – 5 points max

Language Skills 5 points max:

Fluency in Ukrainian and English

{5 pts – Fluency in English and Ukrainian, 4 pts – fluence in Ukrainian, working knowledge of English}

Criteria D: Interview – 15 points max (only those obtaining minimum 38 points for Criteria A-C will be invited to the interview. The applicant should provide relevant practical and well-elaborated examples to prove the following:

{4 pts - experience in conducting trainings, preferably in the area of and countering disinformation;

5 pts - experience at the national or international level in the media sphere, public relations, communications or advocacy;

6 pts - experience in developing communications strategies and action plans}

 

Maximum available technical score - 70 points.

 

Evaluation method

Cumulative analysis

Contract award shall be made to the incumbent whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

a) responsive/compliant/acceptable, and

b) having received the cumulative highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

* Technical Criteria weight: 70%

* Financial Criteria weight: 30%

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% from the maximum available technical score (49 points) would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.

The maximum number of points assigned to the financial proposal is allocated to the lowest price proposal and will equal to 30. All other price proposals will be evaluated and assigned points, as per below formula:

30 points [max points available for financial part] x [lowest of all evaluated offered prices among responsive offers] / [evaluated price].

The proposal obtaining the overall cumulatively highest score after adding the score of the technical proposal and the financial proposal will be considered as the most compliant offer.

 

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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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