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National Expert: Assessment of existing social protection framework with options to extend coverage with selected schemes to persons engaged in agriculture

Tbilisi

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Tbilisi
  • Grade: Consultancy - National Consultant - Locally recruited Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Social Affairs
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Civil Society and Local governance
  • Closing Date: 2023-02-08

Background

The Georgian social security system consists of a mix of lifecycle and non-lifecycle benefits, including: essentially universal provision of key lifecycle benefits (e.g. old age and disability benefits); a dependence on employers to provide certain others (e.g. sickness benefits employment injury protection); and a reliance on poverty targeting to attempt to reach those who are considered poor (e.g. through the Targeted Social Assistance or TSA programme and the Child Benefit Programme or CBP). The system also lacks key lifecycle provisions such as unemployment insurance, survivors benefits for adults, and weak frameworks and low coverage for sickness and maternity benefits.

The Government of Georgia already has a solid policy and administrative architecture for delivering key lifecycle benefits on a universal basis. However, a number of administrative blind spots exist, especially as it relates to disability, sickness and maternity benefits, creating challenges for the overall governance of the system and the fulfilment of the right to social security. Notably, the biggest complaints from citizens centre on the delivery of the poverty targeted TSA, despite the programme being well administered. This is most likely a reflection of the programme’s design rather than administrative failings, where even the most accurate proxy means test will have large exclusion errors. The design of TSA eligibility criteria may result in exclusion of persons owning land, small-holders, seasonal/casual/part-time workers (many of whom are in agriculture), family contributing workers and others. Likewise, its potential to address covariate shocks has not been explored,

In addition, diverse covariate shocks at the level of communities, such as droughts, floods, food and energy crisis as the ensuing crisis reflecting the impact of Russia -Ukraine conflict can and threaten livelihoods of persons engaged in agriculture. Agricultural work also presents diversity with respect to wage employment or self-employment. The most common denominator of agricultural work is its pervasive informality, which is one of the major barriers against accessing social protection for workers who are above strict poverty targeted eligibility criteria. Very often, agricultural workers or producers who are not poor are part of the so-called missing or invisible middle, who are not covered by any type of social protection and therefore vulnerable to the devastating impact of any kind of shock. Women who work in the agricultural sector are particularly vulnerable. Their work is often unremunerated or undervalued and they have limited access to productive resources, in particular land. All these factors limit or undermine their ability to access social protection, while at the same time exacerbating their coverage needs.

In conjunction with post-COVID global inflation and global supply chain disruptions, rising inflation on food/energy commodities is further exacerbated by Russia-Ukraine crisis. Households, especially those in rural areas and vulnerable, have been experiencing pressures mainly from higher food and fuel prices. For example, price index for food and beverage category rose by 21 percent y-o-y when 47% of Georgian household’s monthly expenses are spent on food.  Given protracted nature of impact of crisis on inflation and food/energy prices it can be expected that those engaged in agricultural activities will experience falling incomes and increased risk of falling (deeper) into poverty.

It is against this background that the ILO is partnering with UNDP, FAO and UNECE to support the Government of Georgia and social partners to develop a set of options to mitigate the adverse supply shock of uncertain duration and magnitude from higher food and fuel prices on vulnerable population, including those engaged in agriculture economy. One option to mitigate the impact of crisis is the access to social protection benefits and ensure income security in times of external shocks.

Duties and Responsibilities

The overall objectives of the assessment:

  • analyse all Georgian laws and by-laws regulating access to existing social protection schemes from the perspective of people engaged in agricultural sector and their diverse employment and wage status
  • present gaps in coverage, by assessing eligibility criteria for specific social protection guarantees: Targeted Social Assistance, child benefit, maternity benefits and pensions. Establish which criteria in design of these schemes result in exclusion of selected class of people engaged in agriculture
  • indicate possible options to close the gaps and extend coverage with selected social protection schemes

Duties and Responsibilities:

The national consultant is expected to deliver the following outputs:

  1.  Contribute to the development of assessment methodology by:
  • providing the most recent information, data and studies about revision of national social protection system, in particular pertaining to Targeted Social Assistance, Maternity Benefits, Child benefits and Pension system
  • reviewing national definitions of employment in agriculture (classes of people engaged, disaggregated by age and sex, if possible) in national statistical framework and key policies (agriculture, employment and social protection)
  1. Final report:
  • Collect and review Georgian laws and by-laws regulating access to existing social protection schemes from the perspective of people engaged in agricultural sector and their diverse employment and wage status
  • Organise and conduct interviews with Key Informants – representatives of a national social protection agencies, agriculture bodies, statistical office, social partners, other identified stakeholders including UN Agencies. The protocol for interviews and set of questions will be developed with the lead expert and the project team. Information collected will be used to test the initial hypothesis and to support development of recommendations.  
  • Support the data collection and analysis from national sources as per guidance provided by the Lead Expert and the Project team.
  • Participate in the presentation of the final report.

Management arrangements:

The National Expert will work under the guidance of the ILO Social Protection Specialist of the Decent Work Technical Support Team, in collaboration with Chief Technical Advisor in Georgia, and in close collaboration with Lead Expert on this task.

Competencies

Core competencies

  • Demonstrated commitment to ILO’s mission, vision and values.
  •  Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Highest standards of integrity, discretion and loyalty.

Functional competencies

Knowledge Management and Learning:

  • Shares knowledge and experience.

Development and Operational Effectiveness:

  • Ability to undertake analytical work and prepare narrative parts of working papers, reports and studies.
  • Strong communication skills.
  •  Advanced computer skills including Microsoft Office and web-based applications.
  • Proven ability to deliver quality output working under tight deadlines.
  • Excellent communication and facilitation skills.
  • Strong and proven research and analytical skills.

Leadership and Self-Management:

  •  Focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback.
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude.
  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Builds strong relationships with clients and external actors.
  • Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure.
  •  Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities

Required qualifications and experience:

  • Good knowledge about international social protection standards and practice within ILO
  • Good knowledge about strategies to extend social protection to workers in agriculture
  • Extensive knowledge about and experience with analysis of social protection system in Georgia, evidenced by at least three years of engagement in research/consultative/legal services to constituents
  • Strong ability to collect and analyse legal, policy and statistical information from different national  data sources,
  • Ability to present qualitative and quantitative data in a succinct manner, accessible for diverse audience (including those who are not well versed in international labour standards and social protection issues
  • Excellent writing and spoken skills in English and Georgian language.
  • University degree - at least MA in economy, social policy or law

Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Master’s degree in the field of environmental management, environmental science, soil management, environmental engineering, biology, and/or any related field (minimum requirement)  7 points. P.H.D degree – additional 3 points.

Experience: 

  • At least five years of proven working experience in support of institution-building actions related to environmental management (minimum requirement) 5 years – 7 points; more than 5 years – additional 3 points.
  • At least two years of proven working experience on soil quality monitoring systems and existing EU practices (minimum requirement) 2 years – 8 Points,  more than 2 years – additional 2 points.

  • At least five years of hands-on working experience on soil management-related environmental issues; (minimum requirement) 5 years – 8 Points ; more than 5 years – additional 2 points.

  • At least two years of proven working experience with government agencies and/or international organizations in supporting the elaboration process of environmental policy and strategic documents and the development of action plans (minimum requirement) 2 years – 5 Points; more than 2 years – additional 5 points.

Evaluation:

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the cumulative analysis method. Offerors will be evaluated against a combination of technical and financial criteria. The maximum obtainable score is 100, out of which the total score for technical criteria equals to 70 and for financial criteria – to 30.  

Offerors that do not meet Minimum Qualification Criteria will be automatically rejected, while the rest will form up the long list. The offerors who obtain minimum 35 points as a result of the desk review will be invited for the interview. Offerors who pass 70% threshold, i.e. obtain minimum 14 points, as a result of the interview will be requested the financial proposal.

Financial Proposal:

The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount. The full amount will be paid upon receipt and approval of deliverables by ILO.

Application procedure:

Qualified and interested candidates are requested to send their application package to ILO DWT/CO to Ms. Marina Kharchenko kharchenko@ilo.org . Deadline for submission of application is 30 January 2023, COB.

The application should contain:

  1. Cover letter (in English, max. 300 words) stating the expertise and qualification for the position;
  2. CV (in English)

Qualified women and members of social minorities are particularly encouraged to apply. Due to the large number of applications ILO regrets that it is unable to inform unsuccessful candidates about the outcome and the status of the process.

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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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