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Call for research for baseline study

Post Title:                           Researcher for a Baseline Survey on the level of municipal social services (cash and care), social housing, education, VET, employment’ delivery and receipt by vulnerable population, in four municipalities Tirana, Durrës, Lushnjë and Divjakë.

Project Title:                      “Integrated Social Services for the sustainable social and economic development of vulnerable communities” – Phase II, as an integral part of the LNB Programme

Duty Station:                     Tirana, Albania

Duration:                             By mid-April 2022, with a maximum of 10 days

Type of Contract:             Individual Contract (IC)

Post Level:                          National Consultant

Expected starting date: 20 March 2022  

Background

“Leave No One Behind” Phase 2 (2021-2025) is a United Nations Joint Programme that aims (development goal) to bring about system change in the field of social protection and social inclusion in Albania via the provision of quality integrated social services (social protection, social care, health, education, employment, vocational training, and housing), with a particular emphasis on social services reaching vulnerable persons and disadvantaged groups, which progressively ensures the realization of their basic human rights, legal entitlements, well-being, dignity and livelihoods for all persons and thus social inclusion.

The LNB – phase 2 will build on the achievements of the first phase, and it will be guided by the medium and long-term priorities of the Albanian government and local partners.

The programme’s implementation is the responsibility of the four UN agencies UNDP, UNICEF, UN Women and UNFPA, and funded by Swiss for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

It contributes to achievement of the “Government of Albania United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2022-2026: Outcome A – “By 2026 there is increased and more equitable investment in people, removing barriers and creating opportunities for those at risk of exclusion”.

Help for Children Foundation

The project “Integrated Social Services for the sustainable social and economic development of vulnerable communities” – Phase II, is an integral part of the LNB Programme.

It is implemented by “Help for Children” Foundation (NPF) under the overall management and supervision of the UNDP.

In each of the municipalities, Tirana, Durrës, Lushnjë and Divjakë the project will set up the family based integrated social services model which aims at empowering families for breaking the vicious cycle of poverty. The municipal social workers will engage in service delivery by targeting the needs of the family as a whole and by considering and addressing the specific, complex, and long-term needs of each of the family members. Municipalities will establish the new model of integrated social services delivery within the municipality and will strengthen their capacities and expertise to deliver, sustain and expand this model.

NPF seeks to contract a qualified professional to conduct and complete a baseline survey study,

through collecting and analysing information for measuring the quantitative and qualitative level of

delivery of municipal social services (cash and care), social housing, education, VET, employment’

delivery and receipt by vulnerable population, in four municipalities.

The baseline study data, information and findings, will serve the project in short, medium and long term, as a basis for: 1) establishing baseline information and better monitoring the NPF project’s intervention in support to the four municipalities, 2) informing NPF’s internal planning and implementation of project activities 3) serve as the basis for measuring the midline and endline project results 4) feed the LNB program monitoring system.

The information will be collected by using instruments/techniques of social research comprising primarily desk research, structured and/or semi-structured questionnaires and, only, if necessary, individual or focus group interviews. The vulnerable groups targeted by NPF are located in 4 selected municipalities: Tirana, Durrës, Lushnjë and Divjakë.

Besides collating the information collected in accordance to agreed criteria, the contracted professional should also provide a descriptive analysis of data indicators and present correlations whenever present. The analysis should be supported with graphs, tables, maps, and other illustrations.

The selected professional should provide a high-quality, well-written draft by analysing the processed data as well as identify important issues, trace trends whenever they are reported by respondents, and provide findings, conclusions and recommendations that would help the NPF project and the four municipalities to further  tailor their short or mid-term interventions for the benefit of vulnerable groups and contribute to LNB for further precisely shaping the NPF project monitoring indicators and results.   

In particular, the study should provide information about:

  1. The current social services delivered by 4 municipalities including social services (cash and care), social housing (being at the focus) and education, VET, employment services delivery and receipt, as the main public mechanisms for ensuring overall inclusion and socio-economic integration of the vulnerable population.
  • Percentage of vulnerable population in the 4 municipalities, more specifically in Administrative Units nr. 4 and 8 in Tirana, Administrative Unit Sukth in Durres, Administrative Units Terbuf and Grabjan in Divjaka and in Lushnja: including families with complex and long-term needs: Roma and Egyptian communities, rural and vulnerable youth, families in the dire economic situation, women head of families, families within the economic assistance scheme, informal workers, returned migrants etc.) in four municipalities.
  • The percentage of need for integrated social services of vulnerable groups and marginalized communities including education, VET, employment, social housing etc;
  • The per centage of annual budget committed and spent for social care services by targeted municipalities in the last three years.
  • Number of VG individuals and No. CSOs actively engaged in LGU consultation events for social services and budgeting for social services (issues raised and addressed)

The methodology to be used in conducting the Survey would be:

  • Survey type: Mixed (qualitative and quantitative) data collection, with qualitative discourse analysis;
  • Technique: Questionnaire (with limited face-to-face individual and/or focus group interviews if/when needed)
  • Questionnaire: (semi) structured questionnaire, up to 20 minutes, standard questions
  • Fieldwork period: March 2022.
  • Territory and target group: Vulnerable population with complex and long-term needs: Roma and Egyptian communities, rural and vulnerable youth, families in the dire economic situation, women head of families, families within the economic assistance scheme, informal workers, and returned migrants in four municipalities.
  • Sample size: Random representative sampling with respondents in all 4 selected municipalities, with an average of 8-10 respondents from each vulnerable group and an average respondent from local and central service providers at local level. A total of 100 respondents in all 4 municipalities.
  • Ethical considerations:

The lead researcher will make sure the interviewers are well acquainted with the sensitivities of questions and that they remain unbiased.

 The consultant will work under the guidance of the NPF Executive Director and will undertake the following functions:

  1. Preparing the assessment methodology – It should consist primarily of desk reviews of existing data and information, with limited travel when necessary;
  2. Provide guidance and oversight to NPF field team in collecting data at the 4 LGUs and from other sources as specified in the assessment methodology – field data collection will be carried out primarily by NPF staff;
  3. Perform in-depth analyses (for selected LGUs) – this entails in-depth analyses of the information and data collected;
  4. Producing the baseline report – this include preparing a draft e report based on the findings, present the findings, reflect changes and submit a final report.

Expected Outputs and Deliverables:

  • Outline of the Methodology and Work-plan completed and submitted – 2 working days (after the assignment);
  • Oversight of data collection provided, data collated and analysed, draft findings presented – 3 working days;
  • First draft of baseline report in English language, not exceeding 15 pages, including analysis, findings, conclusions and recommendations based upon descriptive and analytic statistics, including graphs, tables and charts generated from the data collected in the survey – 3 working days;
  • Reflect changes and submit a final baseline report – 2 working days.

Institutional Arrangements

The Consultant will work under the Executive Director of NPF’s direct supervision, who will communicate and work closely with the Consultant to ensure timely delivery of expected outputs.

Duration of the Work

The duration of this assignment is for a maximum of 10 days over the period of March – April 2022. The target start date is March 20th 2022.

Competencies

Corporate:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UNDP/NPF values and ethical standards;
  • Commitment to UNDP/NPF’s mission, vision and values; 
  • Sensitivity to cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age differences. 

Functional competencies:

  • Proven capacity to conduct surveys and data analyses on social issues at local level in Albania; surveys with vulnerable population (as prescribed above) in all 4 selected municipalities is considered an asset;
  • Proven experience in data-collection and data management and analysis and preparation of reports;
  • Proven capacity to absorb, analyse and synthesize complex information within tight deadlines;
  • Proven track record of cooperation with international organizations operating in Albania; direct experience with UN/UNDP/NPF is considered an asset
  • Strong analytical, writing and communication skills in both Albanian and English.

Required skills and experience

Academic qualifications:

Postgraduate degree in Statistics, Social Sciences, Management, Economics or a Development related discipline is required.

Relevant experience

  • At least 10 years of proven track record of social surveys in Albania (list of performed field research for the last 5 years)
  • Very good knowledge of Social Services policies and programmes.
  • Previous experience/familiarity with UNDP or NPF is an asset.

Payment modality

Payments for the deliverables will be made in one instalment following the successful completion of the Survey, upon billing by the consultant and subject to quality review, clearance and acceptance by the NPF Executive Director.

Submission of application

The interested applicants should send via e-mail

  1. Updated CV
  2. A letter of interest
  3. A list of studies/publications authored by the applicant in the last 5 years)

by 15 March 2022, at 24.00 hrs at: eldabnpf@gmail.com. Applications received after that time will not be considered.

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