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UNICEF Zimbabwe is inviting proposals from individual international consultants for Technical Support in Harmonisation of Social Protection Programmes under the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare

Apply now Job no: 503019
Work type: Consultancy
Location: Zimbabwe
Categories: Child Protection, Consultancy

If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world's leading children's rights organization would like to hear from you.

For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children's survival, protection and development. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.


Social protection is considered a basic human and socio-economic right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966). It helps to reduce the risks of socio-economic insecurities resulting from unemployment and poverty to individuals and society. It also helps households to better manage risks such as economic crisis and natural disasters that affect large segments of the population or idiosyncratic shocks such as retirement or illness that affect individual households. Social protection instruments generally rests on three pillars: (i) social assistance (social safety nets), such as cash transfers, public works programs, or fee waivers for basic services; (ii) social insurance, including old-age and disability pensions, health insurance and unemployment insurance; and (iii) labor market programs, such as skills-building programs, job-search and matching programs and improved labor regulations.

Having a strong social protection system is important for a number of reasons. It improves resilience by helping people insure against different types of shocks as well as promoting equity by reducing poverty and destitution and promoting equality of opportunity. Well-designed social protection systems can promote opportunity by building human capital and assets, by promoting access to jobs, and by allowing households to make productive investment. Social protection also helps to cushion vulnerable groups against the effects of growth-promoting reforms

 Zimbabwe has most of the elements of a sound social protection system derived from a range of social protection instruments under each social protection pillar mentioned above. The effectiveness of these instruments has however been weak due to a number of reasons that include:

  • Fragmented application of the instruments without a proper guiding structure;
  • Inadequacy and exclusionary nature of available systems;
  • Lack of predictability, consistency, transparency and durability in most of the instruments;
  • Lack of proper centralized coordination leading to incoherent and sectoralization of social protection under and within various ministries such as Ministry of Labour and Social Services, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Ministry of Health and Child Care, etc.;
  • Lack of mutually supportive and clear policy objectives leading to disjointed approaches; and
  • Governance by various pieces of Zimbabwean laws and policy statements that may not be mutually supportive of each other, among others.

 The ad hoc implementation of social protection highlighted above led to the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare (MoPSLSW) with financial and technical support from UNICEF leading the process of national dialogue based development of a National Social Protection Policy Framework (NSPPF). The draft NSPPF is under cabinet consideration and has since passed a working party of Permanent Secretaries stage and is scheduled to be tabled before a committee of Ministers. The framework provides for coherent delivery of social protection programs with mechanisms for a coordinated approach to delivery. While the policy framework is being finalized, programs still remain uncoordinated and sometimes competing for scarce fiscal resources when more could be done to harmonize them and achieve greater impact through capitalizing on greater economies of scale.


The NSPPF clearly identifies social protection instruments and pillars that constitute Zimbabwe's social protection system. One of the key pillars is social assistance under which there are various programmes including the Harmonized Social Cash Transfers (HSCT), Public Assistance (PA), the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM), health insurance through the Assisted Medical Treatment Order (AMTO), Drought Relief programmes and others implemented by civil society organizations.

 Globally available lessons learned and best practices show that single, unitary programme delivery achieves far less impacts compared to programmes that are implemented in complementarity. Thus UNICEF, under the Child Protection Fund II (2016-2020), aims to support the government to realize harmonization of various social assistance instruments and re-establish Zimbabwe's national social protection system under the National Social Protection Policy Framework.

 Such harmonization will not only improve effectiveness of the country's social protection system but also efficiency and value for money which is great plus considering the worsening resource-scarce programming environment. With a harmonized approach, there will be potential to achieve more sustained results both in the short and long-term, including savings on administrative costs.

UNICEF in partnership with the MoPSLSW is therefore seeking a motivated qualified and experienced consultant to lead processes for the economic analysis of harmonization of existing social assistance programmes and propose a technical approach to their harmonization.

 Objective (s)

The main objective is to carry out business process analysis of various social protection programmes managed by the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare (MoPSLSW), followed by economic analysis of harmonization of the Ministry's social protection programmes with a particular focus on the Harmonized Social Cash Transfers, Public Assistance and the Basic Education Assistance Module. Analysis should also include harmonization options with comprehensive assessment of opportunities and potential/feasibility for harmonization as well as a roadmap for operationalizing harmonization.

The consultant is therefore required to prepare a technical paper on harmonization of the social protection programmes (with focus on HSCT, BEAM, AMTO, PA) looking at both financing and programme delivery/operational parameters.


Methodology & Expected Output

The consultant is expected to undertake a desk review of MoPSLSW social protection programme (with focus on HSCT, BEAM, AMTO, PA) documents, process reviews and impact evaluations in order to gain deeper understanding of the programmes and programming context. The consultant should also review the draft NSPPF and its implementation plan to be able to "position" harmonization within the NSPPF context. At the same time, such harmonization effort should ensure full alignment with the recent initiative being taken by MoPSLSW to establish an integrated and scalable social protection MIS platform. For this, the consultant is expected to have discussion/interaction with the UNICEF MIS Specialist tasked to develop an integrated MIS design framework.


Further, the consultant is expected to interview key personnel from the MoPSLSW, Ministry of Finance and other key government departments, agencies and relevant donor agencies.


The key deliverable is an economic analysis of MoPSLSW-run social protection programmes (with focus on HSCT, BEAM, AMTO, PA) and a technical paper on programmatic and financial harmonization with a roadmap for operationalizing harmonization.


Major Tasks


Task: Submit an inception report outlining the methodological approach and initial literature review

Deliverable: Inception Report and workplan


Task: Thorough desk review & key informant interviews of the government social protection programmes (with focus on HSCT, BEAM, AMTO, PA) and their business processes.

Deliverable: Detailed analysis of the existing management structures and business processes of the MoPSLSW's social protection programmes (with focus on HSCT, BEAM, AMTO, PA) – and analysis of compatibility and "harmonization-ability".


Task: Consultations with government social protection focal persons, Ministry of Finance, UN agencies and the World Bank and any other relevant actors.

Deliverable: Consultation report highlighting stakeholders views on harmonization and recommendations


Task: Prepare economic analysis of harmonization and its options

Deliverables: Report on economic analysis of harmonization


Task: Consolidate all information for analysis and develop a strategy note/technical paper on harmonization of existing social protection programmes (with focus on HSCT, BEAM, AMTO, PA) – including Economic Analysis of proposed options.

Deliverable: Social Protection Programmes Harmonization Strategy Note/ technical paper with economic analysis of proposed harmonization options


Task: A consultation workshop with stakeholders to develop a roadmap for operationalizing Harmonization

Deliverable: A roadmap to Harmonization – phased plan with timeline


Task: Present the Social Protection Programmes Harmonization Strategy Note and Roadmap to the Child Protection Fund Steering Committee for validation

Deliverable: Finalized Social Protection Harmonization Strategy Note + Roadmap (incorporating feedback from stakeholders)




The consultancy will begin 15 March 2016 and end by 31 October 2017.


Consultancy Requirements


  • Advanced University Degree in Economics, Social Sciences, Development Studies, or other Social Sciences or related field. Other qualifications/training related to social transfers will be an added advantage

 Work Experience

  • At least 10 years of work experience at international level in social sciences, sociology, public policy, development studies, public administration, and/or business administration at both theoretical and practical level in the field;
  • Strong understanding of social protection, social security, social care, social safety nets both as theoretical concepts and in practice a must;
  • Previous professional experience in providing policy advice in the area related to Social Protection, Social Security, Welfare;
  • Substantial experience in working on complex policy-based research related to social protection, poverty reduction, analyzing poverty and vulnerability, etc.;
  • Demonstrate ability to communicate effectively with various partners including the government, civil society, private sector, UN and other development donors and high quality liaison and representation at local and national levels;
  • Experience working and engaging with senior government officials, donor representatives and civil society on policy and strategic issues;
  • Ability to work under pressure, effectively coordinate diverse stakeholders and meet tight deadlines without supervision and compromising quality of work;
  • Strong analytical and critical thinking skills;
  • Good facilitation and presentation skills;
  • Computer literacy and knowledge of standard PC software packages (MS. Excel, PowerPoint, Word, etc.) is essential.

  Application Procedure

If interested and available, please submit your application letter, CV, Technical proposal and an all-inclusive financial proposal detailing professional fees and any other costs by 01 March 2017. Please quote "Harmonisation of Social Protection Programmes" as the application subject heading.


Only shortlisted consultants will be contacted. UNICEF does not charge a fee during the recruitment process.




UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organisation.

Advertised: Jordan Standard Time
Applications close: Jordan Standard Time

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