International Consultancy: The National Plan of Action for Nutrition (NPAN) Costing Review and Nutrition Budget Brief

Job
from UN Children's Fund
Closing date: 20 Jan 2020

Vacancy Announcement:

International Consultancy: The National Plan of Action for Nutrition (NPAN) Costing Review and Nutrition Budget Brief

UNICEF is a UN organization mandated by the UN General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. In Lao PDR, UNICEF is working with its partners to support the Government to realize children's rights on survival, development, protection and participation.

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,support

Advertisement Text:

In Lao PDR, the EU and UNICEF jointly support the nutrition and education sectors, through the Partnership for Improved Nutrition in Lao PDR (PIN) and the Partnership to Strengthen the Education System (PSES) programmes. Amongst others, the programmes address governance of the nutrition and education sectors, including technical support in the preparation of a series of studies and/or policy briefs related to cost-effective interventions for increased nutrition and education outcomes. One key intervention includes the implementation of the National Nutrition Strategy and Plan of Action (NPAN), through strengthening multisectoral nutrition governance at all levels national, provincial and district as a way of influencing nutrition outcomes. PIN has addressed provincial and district multi sector annual work plans and budgets inclusive of regular monitoring and reporting to these multi sector coordination mechanisms when required. It will make alignment with a future National Nutrition Advocacy and Communication Strategy and Plan of Action, or any similar Strategy and Plan of Action.

During the current programme cycle, UNICEF Lao PDR has engaged in key public finance for children activities to support the Government in the generation of evidence and advocate with decision makers, including the national assembly, for increased allocation and monitoring of budget expenditure for social sectors through development of budget briefs for the health, nutrition and education sectors. Moreover, UNICEF has been supporting the Government in strengthening coordination mechanism among key social sectors in delivering results for children in integrated manners and using evidence for decision making. For example, UNICEF supported the Government in carrying out a mid-term review of the 2016-2020 National Plan of Action for Nutrition (NPAN) in 2018. However, a review of the NPAN costing is still pending.

In this context, the regional EU-UNICEF Public Finance Facility, closely aligned to the ongoing EU-UNICEF collaboration in the Lao PDR, will focus on the nutrition sector to produce evidence on the status of the public spending on nutrition and status of the implementation of the NPAN to provide insights to meaningful discussions towards adequate, efficient, effective and equitable public spending on nutrition.

An annual brief will be produced through the facility timeframe ready for annual policy and budgetary discussions in line with the annual planning and budgeting calendar. Particularly the briefs will be used to inform the Government, national assembly, development actors and general public for better public finance management and oversight and leverage public resources for addressing child related issues. This will strengthen the capacity of Government counterparts as well as other partners involved to regularly collect and analyse public expenditure data for better policy and budgetary outcomes for nutrition, including formulation of the NPAN 2021-2025.

The purpose of this assignment is to review the costed action plan of the National Plan of Action for Nutrition (NPAN) and to elaborate a policy / budget brief serving as key planning and advocacy tool for the sector.

Two consultants, an international and a national consultant, will be hired for this assignment. This vacancy is developed for an international consultant for the National Plan of Action for Nutrition (NPAN) Costing Review and Nutrition Budget Brief who will work in close collaboration with the national consultant to produce the deliverables under the overall assignment.

The assignment expects to take an estimated of 60 working days during the period of 1 February to 31 July 2020. The assignment will be based in Vientiane, Lao PDR; with field travels to provinces; and teleworking.

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

The consultant team is expected to provide technical support in reviewing the costed action plan of the NPAN and nutrition budget brief. The international consultant is expected to provide a leading role in the following:

  • Analysis of the methodology of the NPAN estimated budget / costed action plan development, including analysis of identified baselines, projected number of beneficiaries, programme outputs and projected outcomes, and stakeholder involvement / participation of relevant partners. Assessment of the budget estimates against revenue and expenditure capacity of the Government;
  • Analysis of the trends of the actual budget and public expenditure in nutrition from 2016; annual analysis of NPAN financial commitments / planning against realization;
  • Elaboration of policy recommendations based on the results of the review, including implications for MTEF and required studies to fill the gaps identified in the context of equity and child rights focused budgeting and budget execution;
  • Elaboration of a ‘Budget Brief’ on Nutrition based on trends and results identified above in an agreed format through a stakeholder consultation process;
  • Elaboration of key advocacy tools to be used by UNICEF and the EU to facilitate further policy dialogue and advocacy with the Government and relevant stakeholders on the demand for improved, equity based and increase public investment in nutrition in the country.
  • Literature and Desk Review

    The assignment will involve desk reviews of key documents (8th NSEDP, Strategy 2025, Vision 2030, National Nutrition Strategy (NNS) 2025 and National Nutrition Plan of Action 2016-2020 (NPAN), Budget Law, other related laws and regulations, existing government regulations, social sectors strategies and plans), collect data and analysis to document the planning and budgetary processes for nutrition from 2016 to present. Based on the desk review, an inception report will be developed including a specific methodology and timeframe.

    Consultation with Key Stakeholders

    Based on an agreed methodology, intensive national level consultation will be conducted to collect necessary information and data. The consultation will include line ministries and departments of above-mentioned ministries and their provincial and district offices as well as UNICEF Lao and other relevant partners for conducting this assignment.

    The data collection will be conducted at both national level and in a selected province, including seeking data from official accounting books/ Official Gazettes, NPAN, sector plans and strategies and other related documents. The information/data will be considered for the period of 2016 to the most recent years.

    The analysis will also require conducting interviews with key informants from selected line ministries at both national and provincial levels to fill data gaps particularly on budgeting and planning processes. These include:

  • Government: Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Sports and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry;
  • The National Assembly: Social and Cultural Affairs Committee, Planning, Finance and Audit Committee;
  • Provincial Assembly, Provincial Health, Education, and Labour Social Welfare Offices;
  • Development partners: the EU, World Bank, ADB, IMF, etc.
  • There will be several consultation meetings throughout the analysis process, including several key sectors considering that cross-sectoral nature of nutrition and public finance issues. The Government may appoint designated members for a steering and technical committee to review findings, results and policy recommendations.

    It is proposed to have at least 2 workshops:

  • 1st workshop: Presentation of concept note and objectives of the costing review and budget analysis; formation of the analysis team and presentation of the analysis plan; and development of the methodology and questionnaires (in-country support);
  • 2nd workshop: Presentation of findings; integration of comments/suggestions to the final product; and development of policy briefs/recommendations (in-country support).
  • To conduct the assignment, the international consultant is expected to carry out the below tasks:

    (i) Review of costing of the NPAN:

  • Analysis of the methodology of the NPAN estimated budget / costed action plan development, including analysis of identified baselines, projected number of beneficiaries, programme outputs and projected outcomes, and stakeholder involvement / participation of relevant partners. Assessment of the budget estimates against revenue and expenditure capacity of the Government;
  • Analysis of the trends of the actual budget and public expenditure in nutrition from 2016; annual analysis of NPAN financial commitments / planning against realization;
  • Elaboration of policy recommendations based on the results of the review, including implications for MTEF and required studies to fill the gaps identified in the context of equity and child rights focused budgeting and budget execution;
  • Elaboration of a Budget Brief on Nutrition based on trends and results identified above in an agreed format through a stakeholder consultation process;
  • Elaboration of key advocacy tools to be used by UNICEF and the EU to facilitate further policy dialogue and advocacy with the Government and relevant stakeholders on the demand for improved, equity based and increase public investment in nutrition in the country.
  • (ii) Analysis of public expenditure on Nutrition

  • Assessment of current and trends of budgetary structure and allocations / expenditure to nutrition (at least 3 years from 2016);
  • Identification of the existing budget lines associated with nutrition interventions, across the NPAN (e.g. in the 4 key Ministries, MoH, MoES, MoAF and MPI), consulting with relevant Ministries and national stakeholders as needed;
  • Collection and organization of all the different types of financial data, related to the lines above, over a period of (at least) 3 fiscal years;
  • Elaboration of a budget analysis, informed through the consultation process with development partners and line ministries.
  • To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have:

    To achieve this assignment's objectives, UNICEF is looking for an individual with the following experience and qualifications:

    International Consultant/ Team Leader

    Qualifications and Experience

    Post-graduate degree in public finance, economics or equivalent field with at least 10 years of experience in public finance management;

    Knowledge and Skills:

  • Expertise in undertaking economic research and advising the Government on public financial management;
  • A solid knowledge of PFM instruments, and proven experience in analysis of budgetary allocation and execution, with focus on child-centred analysis of the social sectors around the world, preferably in the South-East Asia Region;
  • Excellent analytical skills;
  • Good knowledge of computer management and application;
  • Strong analytical and writing skills, and the ability to present the results in a simple language, making use of interesting visual aid (maps, graphs and other visual tools);
  • Consolidated knowledge and foundation on crosscutting themes such as equity and sectoral decentralization;
  • Track record of successful delivery of high-level expert advice to governments and international organizations; previous work with the UN an asset;
  • Familiarity with and experience in the socio-economic and political environment of the Southeast Asian Region and Lao PDR is an asset;
  • Experience of providing technical assistance to government for sector development and capacity building;
  • Experience in similar assignment and in Lao PDR is preferable.
  • Competencies

    (I) Core Values (Required)

    Commitment, Diversity and Inclusion, Integrity

    (ii) Core Competencies (Required)

    Communication [ III ], Working with People [ III ], Drive for Results [ III ]

    (ii) Functional Competencies (Required)

    Leading and Supervising [ III ]Formulating Strategies and Concepts [ III ]

    Analysing [ III ] Relating and Networking [ III ]

    Persuading and Influencing [ III ] Creating and Innovating [ II ]

    Planning & Organizing [ III ]

    Languages:

  • Fluency in English;
  • Good English language skills both in oral and written communication.
  • Submission of applications:

    Interested candidates are kindly requested to apply and upload the following documents to: http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/

  • Letter of Interest (cover letter)
  • CV or Resume
  • Performance evaluation reports or references of similar consultancy assignments (if available)
  • Financial proposal: All-inclusive lump-sum cost including travel and accommodation cost for this assignment as per work assignment.
  • The deadline for applications is 20 January 2020.

  • Assessment Criteria
  • A two-stage procedure shall be utilized in evaluating proposals, with evaluation of the technical proposal being completed prior to any price proposal being compared.

    Applications shall therefore contain the following required documentation:

  • Technical Proposal, including a cover letter, updated CV, and copies of 2 relevant evaluations performed earlier by the consultant.
  • Financial Proposal: Lump-sum offer with the cost breakdown: Consultancy fee, travel costs (economy class), per-diem to cover lodging, meals, and any other cost related to the Consultant's stay in Vientiane, including transportation inside the city and other costs. The travel (if involved) shall be based on the most direct and economy fare.
  • No financial information should be contained in the technical proposal.

    For evaluation and selection method, the Cumulative Analysis Method (weight combined score method) shall be used for this recruitment:

    Assessment Criteria for International Consultant

    I) Technical Qualification (max. 100 points) weight 70 %

  • Education Degree will have a maximum of (10 points)

  • Post-graduate degree in public finance, economics or equivalent field with at least 10 years of experience in public finance management.
  • Knowledge of the below will have a maximum of (30 points)

  • PFM instruments, and proven experience in analysis of budgetary allocation and execution, with focus on child-centred analysis of the social sectors around the world, preferably in the South-East Asia Region;
  • Excellent analytical skills;
  • Good knowledge of computer management and application;
  • Strong analytical and writing skills, and the ability to present the results in a simple language, making use of interesting visual aid (maps, graphs and other visual tools).
  • Experience in the below will have a maximum of (30 points)
  • Undertaking economic research and advising the Government on public financial management; Consolidated knowledge and foundation on crosscutting themes such as equity and sectoral decentralization;
  • Track record of successful delivery of high-level expert advice to governments and international organizations; previous work with the UN an asset;
  • Familiarity with and experience in the socio-economic and political environment of the Southeast Asian Region and Lao PDR is an asset;
  • Experience of providing technical assistance to government for sector development and capacity building.
  • Quality of past work (e.g. understanding, methodology) in the below will have a maximum of (30 points)
  • Track record of successful delivery of high-level expert advice to governments and international organizations; previous work with the UN an asset;
  • Familiarity with and experience in the socio-economic and political environment of the Southeast Asian Region and Lao PDR is an asset;
  • Experience of providing technical assistance to government for sector development and capacity building;
  • Experience in similar assignment and in Lao PDR is preferable.
  • II) Financial Proposal (max. 100 points) weight 30 %

    The maximum number of points shall be allotted to the lowest Financial Proposal that is opened / evaluated and compared among those technical qualified candidates who have attained a minimum 70 points score in the technical evaluation. Other Financial Proposals will receive points in inverse proportion to the lowest price.

    The Contract shall be awarded to candidate obtaining the highest combined technical and financial scores, subject to the satisfactory result of the verification interview.

    For every Child, you demonstrate...

    UNICEF's core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

    View our competency framework at:

    http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/files/UNICEF_Competencies.pdf

    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.

    Remarks:

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

    How to apply:

    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 organization. To apply, click on the following link http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/?job=529141