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The Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) is Ghana’s national cash transfer Programme and key part of the Social Protection (SP) system that is recognized under the SP policy.
The overall objective of the Programme is to reduce poverty by increasing consumption and promoting access to social services among the extremely poor and vulnerable. Rigorous evidence shows the impressive impacts of LEAP on improving the lives of very poor households and their communities.
LEAP households have increased their consumption by 67 percent, using the transfer to improve quantity and quality of food. In addition to food security and diversity, LEAP supports households to better access social services and make investments in their children.
The research also shows that LEAP households are better able to invest in productive activities –livestock, fertilizer, improved seeds and small businesses.
LEAP paid cash grants to 326,985 households out of the 407647 enrolled in the LEAP MIS in April 2019. Households eligible for LEAP currently must both 1) meet the poverty eligibility criteria, assessed through a proxy means test; and 2) have household members that fall into at least one of the following categories of persons: Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC); Elderly 65 years and above without support; Persons with Severe Disability without a productive capacity; and Pregnant/women with children under a year.
In 2018, the Government of Ghana reviewed some key elements of the design of LEAP to enhance the impact of the programme as part of the new phase of LEAP.
Some of these include broadening of the eligibility criteria for the programme to include all extremely poor households in the country, institutionalizing a system for determining benefit levels, linking members of LEAP households to complementary services and improving the communication with beneficiaries to increase understanding and accountability for service delivery.
The LEAP programme is preparing to implement the new phase of and requires UNICEF support for this important exercise due to UNICEF significant contribution to the design of the new phase and experience in working across multiple sectors in the country. UNICEF is currently providing technical assistance to develop a strategy to reassess eligible households within the programme and implement a suitable beneficiary communication approach.
UNICEF has also initiated discussions between the LEAP secretariat, Ghana Health Services, and the Department of Social Welfare to put in place a system for case management, linkages and referral to services for LEAP household members. For a successful transition, the programme needs to plan and sequence implementation of the new features across the country to maintain the credibility of the programme.
Since the inception of the LEAP Programme in 2008, beneficiary households have not been reassessed to confirm their continued eligibility and the programme therefore has no prior experience for this exercise. Additionally, there is a change in the eligibility requirements of the LEAP programme, which imposes an additional complexity on the approach to use for the exercise to ensure fairness for households that are eligible for the programme. Since this is the first a reassessment will be undertaken for LEAP beneficiaries, it is necessary to carefully analyze the approach, plan the process and aftermath of the exercise with the relevant stakeholder, communicate and implement in manner to maintain the integrity of the programme.
Additionally, linking LEAP families to complementary services and improving programme communication with beneficiaries are key features of the new phase of LEAP that has the potential to enhance multisectoral impacts of the programme. Though LEAP has linked some households to access free health insurance cards from the National Health Insurance Scheme, these linkages need to be expanded and institutionalized. It will be critical to test and select the most suitable delivery models of linking and communicating with beneficiaries for scale up by the programme.
Purpose of the Assignment
The purpose of the assignment is to support the LEAP Management Secretariat(LMS) during these programmatic and staffing transitions in a manner that maintains the impact and credibility of the programme. This includes technical support to LMS to develop a strategy and implementation plan for the reassessment of the programme beneficiaries. It also includes implementation support to the heads of relevant units and focal persons who are leading in the implementation of linkages, beneficiary communications, dissemination of the updated LEAP operations manual and implementing the recommendations of the operational assessment of the LEAP e-payment system.
Specifically, the consultancy aims at achieving the following:
- Support the LEAP management to plan key activities for implementing reassessment for the LEAP programme.
- Support the LMS to implement activities to disseminate the LEAP operations manual and improve e-payment processes.
- Support the LEAP operations unit to facilitate linkages to identified social services and interventions.
- Support the LEAP programme to pilot modalities for effectively communicating with beneficiaries and integrate lessons to programme communications strategy.
Specific Tasks to be completed
- Develop a detailed operational plan on the reassessment of LEAP based on the strategy in consultation with LEAP management and UNICEF
- Support the LMS implement activities to disseminate the revised LEAP Operations Manual & improve LEAP e-payment processes
- Facilitate the linkage of LEAP families to Social Services in collaboration with the relevant government agencies
- Support the LMS to implement the LEAP beneficiary and community communication activities in collaboration with selected CSOs.
- Agreed operational plan for the roll out of the reassessment exercise across the country
- Agreed Workplan with UNICEF and LMS with timelines for the submission of the intermediary deliverables for all identified deliverables
- Three power point presentations (maximum 20 slides each) based on relevant sections of the revised Operations manual for national, regional and district level stakeholders
- A training package for a 5-day training of trainers for district level implementors of the LEAP programme (including slides with pictures, activities, materials etc) based on the revised Operations manual and guidelines
- A report on number of districts modeling the linkage of LEAP households to NHIS, case management and other social services
- A report on the lessons from pilot of beneficiary communication modalities with specific recommendations for scale up.
Expected Qualifications, Experience, specialised knowledge/skills and competencies
- Advanced Degree is required, in Business Studies, Management, Finance, Social Studies, Economics, Development Studies, or other relevant disciplines.
- Experience of minimum of 8 years in managing complex projects.
- Five years of this experience should be managing or supporting the operations and implementation of large scale cash transfer programmes.
- Experience in managing or supporting the transition phases of cash transfer programmes.
- Experience working with national social cash transfer programmes is required.
- Demonstrated experience working closely with government partners and systems is required.
- Excellent analytical, communication, facilitation and capacity building skills are required.
- Excellent ability to work well with diverse people and manage and supervise a team.
- Strong drive for result and coordination skills.
- Ability to facilitate trainings and train people.
- Experience working in the Social Protection sector in Ghana is a plus.
Interested candidates should submit application to the on-line source as directed:
Also submit a brief write up (2 pages max) describing how you will execute this assignment within the specified timeframe and an indication of the daily fees for the services is required. Interested candidates should also submit a copy of the CV.
Incomplete application will not be considered
NOTE: Detailed TOR is attached. ToR LEAP Operations Support Consultant.pdf
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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.