Lebanon

Consultant - Micro-Credit Community Support Programme - Beirut (Local - ISP)

Organization
Posted
Closing date

CONSULTANCY - TERMS OF REFERENCE

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5.5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance. UNRWA is the largest UN operation in the Middle East with more than 30,000 staff. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.**

Consultant - Micro-Credit Community Support Programme - Beirut

(Local - ISP)

BACKGROUND

The United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution No. 302 (IV) on 8 December 1949 creating the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in response to the plight of nearly three quarters of a million Palestinians who became refugees in the aftermath of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

UNRWA provides basic education, health services, relief and social services and microfinance and microenterprise services and carries out infrastructure and camp improvement projects for 5.7 million Palestine refugees in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

For almost 25 years UNRWA Lebanon Field Office (LFO) promoted the economic development of Palestine refugees, in particular, entrepreneurs through extending credit facilities under its Microcredit Community Support program (MCSP). Since 1995, the program invested $19,593,895 in 4,186 clients for starting or expanding micro and small enterprises; and to-date the program created and/or saved around 6,487 job opportunities for Palestinian women and men inside and outside camps.

For the past few years the program has reached a standstill in its outreach and impact. The recent political, economic and financial crisis the country has been facing together with the impact of COVID-19 on businesses did not help and added more challenges. The program had to freeze its lending activities in March 2020 and to change the repayment currency from USD to Lebanese Pounds at the UN exchange rate of 1,500, in January 2020, due to the scarcity and high value of the US Dollar in the market. Even this action did not lead to improvement of the repayment rate, which reached 36% in November 2020 compared to 89% before June 2019.

Despite the fact that the program was operational throughout these years, however it failed to evolve as proper MFI in terms of its outreach, products, impact and sustainability. Recent evaluations and audits conducted have concluded that the program should undergo a total redesign if it were to achieve its goals.

UNRWA now intends to carry out a total review of the MCSP guidelines, operational processes, lending products and MIS and design a reformed program that aligns with Agency’s Microfinance Program (MP). For more information about UNRWA’s operations, please visit the following website: http://www.un.org/unrwa/english.html

Description of Duties and Responsibilities

SCOPE OF WORK

The consultant will be hired for the following tasks:

  • Conduct a comprehensive review of MCSP based in part on an initial review carried-out by MD in 2020. The review will cover the guidelines, operational manual, loan applications, loan products, business processes, guarantees/collateral arrangements, follow-up and notification system with clients, loan products, repayments monitoring/loan tracking system, arrangements with the current financial service provider, MIS and staffing structure. In addition, the Consultant must identify gaps and areas for further analysis from the original MD review, and must conduct any necessary analysis required to produce a more detailed review

  • Prepare a detailed comprehensive report on the review results on all program aspects, including a summary report of key findings and ppt presentation(s) to share recommendations with key stakeholders. The Consultant will also discuss all findings and recommendations with concerned at UNRWA in LFO, West bank and Headquarters

  • Recommend action points to address all issues identified in the review and discuss with concerned departments at UNRWA in LFO, West Bank and Headquarters

DELIVERABLES AND TARGET COMPLETION

The Consultant will submit the following to UNRWA:

(a) Detailed report on MCSP review

(b) Detailed recommendations to reform MCSP with clear time frame

(c) Final report on achievements and issues for follow up

REPORTING

The Consultant shall report to the Chief Field Relief and Social Services Program during the period of consultancy.

CLIENT SUPPORT

UNRWA shall provide the support to the consultant through coordinating meetings with concerned stakeholders internally and externally and sharing of all relevant information.

CONSTRAINTS

Nothing is foreseen that might hinder or interfere in the work of the consultant other than potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

minimum Qualifications and Experience

  • Advanced university degree from an accredited educational institution in Social Sciences, Economics, Finance or other related field

  • At least 8 years’ experience in micro finance development, social development programs, or related fields;

  • Excellent command of spoken and written English.

CONDITIONS OF SERVICE

· The duration of the consultancy is 4 months with the expected start date as soon as possible.

· Remuneration for this consultancy has a total contract value of USD 7,333.

· Payment will be disbursed upon satisfactory receipt of deliverables according to the following schedule:

Deliverables

Payment %

(a) Above

30

(b) Above

30

(c) Above

40

· The incumbent may perform major parts of the contract remotely but must be at the Lebanon duty station for the period of at least eight weeks, to familiarize with the team and context and to review program documents.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Applicants should submit a cover letter and CV or UN Personal History Form demonstrating clearly the knowledge and experience required to meet the consultancy requirements via consultancyLebanon@unrwa.org indicating the title of this consultancy “**Micro-Credit Community Support Programme**” in the subject line of the message. The deadline for the submission of applications is 23 June 2021.**

UNRWA is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications from both women and men. UNRWA encourages applications from qualified women. Only those applicants shortlisted for interview will be contacted. UNRWA is a non-smoking environment.

10 June 2021

How to apply

APPLICATION PROCESS

Applicants should submit a cover letter and CV or UN Personal History Form demonstrating clearly the knowledge and experience required to meet the consultancy requirements via consultancyLebanon@unrwa.org indicating the title of this consultancy “**Micro-Credit Community Support Programme**” in the subject line of the message. The deadline for the submission of applications is 23 June 2021.**