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National Expert to Design the Concept of Alternative Social Support Schemes

Company: UNDP Armenia Office
Location: Yerevan, Armenia
Duration: 2 months ( 20 consultancy days)
Deadline: 28 May 2020

JOB DESCRIPTION: 

This assignment will be focusing on the creation of a new system/ scheme of social assistants, which will ensure targeted and innovative methods of social and support service planning and delivery. In the framework of this initiative, system and criteria for coordinating and amplifying the work of social workers in communities will be established, which will be piloted as a rapid measure for COVID-19 response with a long-term perspective of strengthening this new institute in the overall social assistance system. The concept of the pilot project has already been developed and included in the 2021 state budget bid with the aim of further institutionalization. For this purpose, UNDP Armenia Country Office is seeking for a National Expert to design the concept for set-up of Social Assistance and Social Taxi Service Schemes. Short initial description of the alternative support schemes:
Social Assistant
Beneficiaries of the Social Assistance Service are people with disabilities over 18 years of age who have a 3rd degree disability or people with limited mobility. The social assistant will help a person with disability or limited mobility to access public services. Unlike a personal assistant, a social assistant is not always with the beneficiary, the service is provided for a short period of time, usually on ad-hoc basis or pre-agreed schedule.
The social assistant can support maximum to 8 people a day. It is planned to implement a pilot program as a quick alternative measure for social support schemes for COVID-19 rapid response to be scaled-up in 2021. In 2021-2024, it is planned to provide services to about 280 beneficiaries with the services of 35 social assistants each year. In 2024, the total number of social assistant is planned to be 170, and the number of beneficiaries will be 1120.
Social Taxi
The idea of social taxis is to support people with severe health conditions and persons/ children with disabilities, who have mobility issues and limited access to services due to mobility issues. The social taxis should support mobility of these people taking them to the places of service provision - healthcare, social, etc. The scope of work, the technical arrangements and all other related organizational processes to be designed based on the initial assessment of needs in selected pilot communities, as part of this ToR.

RESPONSIBILITIES: 

The Expert will work under overall guidance of UNDP CO ROLJHR and Social cluster focal point and in close coordination with the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and in collaboration with other relevant UN agencies involved in similar activities. The Expert will:
- Study and assess the current social support schemes and the social worker mechanism, the issues that people with limited mobility face, their needs for support - types of support needed, timing, frequency, etc.;
- Prepare and outline report with key findings of issues, gaps and needs;
- Present the outline report for validation to the MLSA, UNDP and other relevant stakeholders, and finalize the report based on the feedback;
- Based on the validated report design concept and action plan for pilot implementation of social assistance and social taxi support schemes, including
detailed description of social assistant support mechanism (purpose, objectives, results, etc.);
- Description of the service of social taxi (purpose, objectives, results, etc.): which communities are selected for pilot and on what criteria; beneficiaries (who are the beneficiaries? what kind of problems do people have); for social assistants: professional requirements of a social assistant: who can be an assistant, what profession should he/ she have; for social taxi: criteria for social taxi; at what frequency (or in kilometers) can one beneficiary receive a service; how to order a taxi; what requirements must the service provider meet; control mechanisms (taxi movement, mileage, etc.); how the work of both social assistant and social taxi is supervised; how the work schedule is made.
- In addition, study the need for mobile primary healthcare or other service needs (including mobile drug store) and this can be combined with the planning of social taxis or social assistants;
- Monitor and evaluate mechanisms, indicators, how feedback mechanism will work; costing of the pilot and possible costing for scale-up; database for automatic data registration.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS: 

- University degree in Political, Social Sciences, or another related field; specialized human rights education is an asset;
- At least 3 years of professional experience in the social sector with particular focus social protection and social support mechanisms;
- At least 2 years of experience in design and development of concept notes, project documents, implementation plans and other related material for programming;
- Experience of work with or good knowledge of social work mechanisms and tools;
- Experience of working in rural areas and understanding of the infrastructural issues in rural areas is an asset;
- Fluency in written and spoken Armenian language; very good knowledge of English language; knowledge of Russian language is an asset.

Competencies:
- Very good knowledge of the UN International Human Rights Framework and the CRPD in particular;
- Demonstration of initiative, tact and high sense of responsibility and discretion;
- Ability to meet deadlines, prioritize and maintain a flexible schedule;
- Personal responsibility, accuracy and punctuality;
- Respect to gender and cultural diversity;
- Ability to work in the team, and also take lead as necessary.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES: 

Please follow the link for application procedures: https://jobs.undp.org/cj_view_job.cfm?cur_job_id=91789 .

Please clearly mention in your application letter that you learned of this job opportunity through Career Center and mention the URL of its website - www.careercenter.am, Thanks.

ABOUT: 

On 31 December 2019, the Government of China reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan, the Capital City of Hubei Province. Since then, the coronavirus disease now known as COVID-19 has spread worldwide at an exponential rate and was labelled a pandemic by the World Health Organisation on 11 March 2020. In Armenia, the first imported COVID-19 case was registered on 1 March 2020 and local transmission has been registered since 11 March 2020. All regions are currently affected, with more than 2,000 confirmed cases in the nation as a whole[1].
The Government of Armenia has taken decisive steps to contain and suppress the epidemic, declaring a state of emergency on 16 March, followed by a full lock-down between 24 March and 14 May[2]. All land borders have also been closed and all, but a handful of flights have ceased. However, the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to increase. This is putting pressure both on the health care system as well as the availability and quality of social services – both in urban and rural areas. COVID-19 is already having far-reaching impact on global, national and local socio-economic systems. Like elsewhere in the world, Armenian businesses are being shuttered and people are losing their jobs, causing additional stress on already vulnerable persons, communities and business.
In order to contain the further spread of COVID-19 in the country, the Armenian Government has declared state of emergency situation. Currently, the Government is undertaking large-scale measures to protect the population against infection and to prevent the virus spreading. In the framework of these measures, the authorities are putting utmost efforts to meet the needs of the population by, inter alia, improving the quality of provided support services and tailoring them accordingly. In this regard, the Ministry, in terms of these newly emerged circumstances, is trying to obtain as accurate information and evidence as possible of the actual needs of the population, particularly its vulnerable groups and in remote communities. However, it shall be stated that, like many countries, Armenia as well is facing some difficulties in this direction.
With a view of addressing the above mentioned and the other standing issues the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs aims to design alternative schemes of social assistance ensuring better services for population and upgrading the current mechanisms of data collection and forecast for the needs of vulnerable groups, not only during current challenging period of time, but even beyond - with a view of their further institutionalization.