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Consultancy assignment - Review and adaptation of SCTP operational manual to support the bank based e-payment system (International Consultancy)

Apply now Job no: 528227
Work type: Consultancy
Location: Malawi
Categories: Social and Economic Policy

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, social protection

UNICEF is implementing a 3- year project Strengthening Social Cash Transfers for the Poorest Families in Malawi with funding from the Government of Ireland to strengthen systems for the effective implementation of the MNSSP II and the SCTP. The aim of this project is to provide technical support to the Government of Malawi for the effective implementation, management and evidence building in the scope of the SCTP and the broader social protection systems through strengthened institutional capacity for social protection at national and district  levels, development of harmonized systems for effective and efficient delivery of social support, resilience building for social protection beneficiaries and promotion of quality research and learning to inform policy and practice.

In 2014 the MoGCDSW, with the support of UNICEF and other partners, finalized the SCTP operations manuals and standard operating procedures (SoPs) in the form of independent annexes which guide programme implementation. Six SoPs  are being used for the programme and follow the implementation life cycle namely: 1) targeting 2) payment of transfers, 3) case management 4) monitoring and evaluation 5) school enrollment and compliance monitoring 6) financial management.

Since the finalization of the first version of the operational manuals and SoPs, the SCTP has undergone substantial changes in both scope, design and implementation approach. Apart from scaling the programme nation-wide, the programme is now using a single registry – the Unified Beneficiary Registry (UBR) to target beneficiaries of the programme as part of strengthening  and harmonization of social protection  systems in line with the Malawi National Social Support Programme (MNSSP II). Furthermore, the Government has made a decision to pay cash based intervention through innovative electronic payment mechanisms ( e-payment) such that over 21,000 SCTP households in Balaka and Ntcheu districts receive transfers through a bank led e-payment mechanism. Consequently, these  fundamental design changes  have necessitated the need to review and update the operational manuals and SoPs for the SCTP to take into account these developments and make the manuals fit for purpose in order to effectively support programme implementation.

How can you make a difference?

The purpose of this consultancy is to facilitate the review and adaptation of manuals for the Social Cash Transfer Programme to align them to the current developments and support the bank-based e-payment system in Balaka and Ntcheu districts. For example, the current manuals were designed based on programme specific households targeting approach (as opposed to using a single registry - UBR). In addition, the transfer payments were based on manual system (a system where cash disbursement is conducted manually by district council accountants rather than by a third-party service provider).  Similarly, the other case management, M&E and financial management modules were designing to meet the requirement for a manual payment system.

To structure the assignment and determine its magnitude, UNICEF supported the MoGCDSW to conduct a rapid gap analysis on the current operational manuals and SoPs to determine their fit for purpose. It was established that the MSCTP operational manual and all the 6 SoPs need revision with 3 requiring substantial revision and adaptation namely; the case management, transfers payment and monitoring and evaluation manuals.   

The consultant is expected to extensively review the operations manual, data collection tools, SoPs and updated them to take into account the design and process changes including making them compliant with the bank-based e-payment system. The revised manuals and SoPs should describe in detail the principles, procedure, roles and responsibilities for all stakeholders at national and district levels involved in the MSCTP including beneficiaries. In additional the revised manuals and SoPs should clearly illustrate in details the step by step process flows and related service level agreement (SLAs) for all stakeholders including payment service providers.  This will be achieved through a comprehensive assessment and review of the current manuals, data collection tools and SoPs to identify gaps and opportunities at national, district and community levels including beneficiaries  of the programme . The scope of work and related suggested methodology can be articulated as follows:

  1. Process mapping: Desk review of existing processes, procedures and documents including operational  manuals, SoPs, UBR operational guidelines, formal and informal guidelines, payment service providers operational guidelines, contracts, process evaluation reports and programme documents on the bank based e-payment model relevant in updating the manuals, SOPs and related data collecting tools.
  2. Needs assessment analysis: In-depth interviews, observational assessment, consultation and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with key stakeholders at national, district and community levels to assess gaps, needs, challenges and opportunities.
  3. To review the current processes and procedures to meet the needs of the implementers and  beneficiaries of a bank-based e-payment system focusing on how to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of existing payments process, case management and programme monitoring and evaluation protocols.
  4. Facilitate the  review  and adaptation  of manuals ,data collection tools and SoPs based on the need’s assessment and process mapping review to comply with new targeting approach, bank-based e-payment etc  and where these are unavailable / inadequate  facilitate  design and development.
  5. Develop a comprehensive training package for the national and district teams, frontline workers and payment service providers (PSP) on the revised data collection tools and SoPs.
  6. Facilitate targeted orientations meetings  on the revised data collection tools and SoPs  for  national and district officers and support cascading  meetings for frontline workers.

Expected Deliverables

The following deliverables must be completed prior to contract end: 

a)      Inception report containing desk analysis, assignment approach and methodology with related tools and workplans.

b)      Comprehensive needs assessment report detailing the key gaps and recommendations based on in-depth interviews, observational assessments, consultation and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with key stakeholders.

c)     Revised manual, data collection tools and related SoPs covering all 6 programme processes fully aligned to the bank-based payment model.

d)     Training package and orientation plan on the revised SoPs and data collection tools for national, district and community level.

e)     Orientation and evaluation report on the revised SoPs and data collection tools for national and district level officers.

f)      Final assignment report.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • Advanced University degree in one of the following disciplines: Social Work, Economics, Business Administration, Social Sciences or another related relevant field
  • 5 years continuous experience of research, analytics and reporting skills.
  • Proven experience around cash transfer programming, e-payment systems, case management, Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRMs) for social protection programmes in the region.
  • Relevant experience in developing and delivering training curricula, modules, on cash-based intervention.
  • Experience in development of social protection programs operations manuals.
  • Previous experience in Malawi or other countries in the region will be an added advantage.
  • Good knowledge of and experience of Government structures and hierarchies.
  • Understanding of social protection sector and specifically social cash transfers in Malawi is highly desirable.
  • Relevant UN or international NGO experience would be an asset.
  • Excellent written and spoken English.  Knowledge of Chichewa and any other local languages would be an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

View our competency framework at


UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Download File SCTP Manual Adaptation Review for E-payment ToR Nov 2019 ss1.docx

Advertised: South Africa Standard Time
Applications close: South Africa Standard Time

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