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Terms of Reference (TOR) for MIS and Operations Consultant

By Calvin Mcdonald,2014-12-29 13:33
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Terms of Reference (TOR) for MIS and Operations Consultant

    ToR National Consultant

    Terms of Reference (TOR) for MIS and Operations Consultant

    (Local Individual Consultant) for

    Evaluation of major MLD cash transfer and Food/Cash for works programs in Nepal

1. Background

There is a large section among Nepals population that lives in poverty. Several vulnerable groups

    are being assisted by various social assistance programs by the Government of Nepal (GoN). Major cash transfer programs being implemented by the Government are Elderly Allowance (Old Age Pension), Single woman’s Allowance, and Disability Allowance. The Ministry of Local

    Development (MLD) plays a leading role in management and administration of the cash transfer programs. The GoN is considering a number of options for expanding existing social assistance schemes. The plans include introduction of new targeted allowances to special groups, differentiation of disability benefit, etc.

    It is critical therefore to assess effectiveness of the existing cash transfer programs and public works program (including their institutional setup, operational arrangements, and delivery mechanisms) before plans for coverage expansion could be further detailed and finalized. As part of the Nepal Food Crisis Response Program (NFCRP) supported by the World Bank, the Government of Nepal is planning to sponsor a study of qualitative evaluation of the existing major cash transfer programs and Food/Cash for works programs implemented by the Ministry of Local Development in Nepal.

2. Objectives and tasks

    The main objectives of this study are to better understand effectiveness of the existing cash transfer programs and public works programs with specific focus on benefit delivery mechanisms, and provide recommendations with a view of strengthening and modernizing existing MLD systems and mechanisms. More specifically, the objectives of the study are to:

    1) Policy review. Document policy and legal reforms that are directly relevant to cash transfer

    programs, since the programs origin. This should include a review of all additional

    guidelines and directives that are related to cash transfers and public works programs. This

    should also provide a policy story of the genesis and transformations of the cash transfer

    program in Nepal, to its present stage.

    2) Institutional survey. Evaluate and analyze current organizational structure, HR policies,

    administrative costs, financial management, budgeting, planning, and monitoring

    mechanisms of the programs operated by the MDL. This should include scoping of issues

    involved in the division of labor between the Central (in MLD as well as other ministries)

    and local governments, including allocations and time sequencing in the release of funds

    from the Centre to the district and on to VDCs and municipalities, and potential problems

    encountered in the utilization of funds at the village level.

    3) Operational survey. Review existing administrative systems, including: (i) targeting and

    eligibility verification mechanisms, (ii) beneficiary identification and registration, (iii) claim

    processing mechanisms, (iv) payment and delivery systems including impact of security

    situation, (v) central and local record-keeping practices and systems, (vi) appeal processes,

    (vii) inspection, audit and control mechanisms, (viii) reforms/changes to the administrative

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    ToR National Consultant

    system to adjust for additional beneficiary groups and/or specific locations. The study would

    also focus on MIS aspects of the program administration. It will seek to: (a) identify gaps in

    the administration and delivery of programs, (b) attempt an improved design of program

    administration (including recommendations on the relevant IT innovations in benefit

    delivery) and (c) develop MIS Software for VDC and DDC which will be the property of

    MLD.

    4) Reform recommendations. Based on the above, develop a consolidated overview of the

    key cash transfer programs in operation through MDL in Nepal and propose:

    (a) a model of optimal organizational structure of the system of benefit delivery, including

    basic roles and functions of the units involved along with a strategy of modernization of

    record-keeping and monitoring systems that would support the administration.

    (b) a map of program operational effectiveness reflecting especially on gaps and overlaps in

    administration, and identify, from operational perspective, the key issues that constrain

    the ability of programs to meet their poverty alleviation and risk reduction objectives.

    (c) a strategy of establishing linkages with the vital and death registration systems as well as

    coordinating with the government initiatives and plans in modernizing the national

    system of individual identification.

    This study is expected to throw light in particular on how decisions regarding selection of beneficiaries for enrolling into programs are made; what factors enable one to enter (participate) in a program, or fail to enter the program, or exit from the program; what institutional and operational arrangements are better suited to proper targeting; what role the DDCs, VDCs and municipalities play in the implementation of programs is; and how their functioning can be modified to improve the administration of programs. It will inform decisions on the potential scope for the new programs (components) to fill the gaps in the overall social protection system and appropriate institutional arrangements at the local level to reduce transaction costs and enhance the quality of service delivery.

    The study is also expected to reflect global practices and experiences, adapted to the local context that would help Nepal achieve its goals on the way to modernizing its social protection provisions. Furthermore, it should provide recommendations in the context of the on-going discussions by the Government on establishing a new specialized agency tasked with formulation and implementation of various government benefit programs in the social protection area.

3. Methodology

    The study will be based primarily on administrative data, including information available at the central level as well as at the DDC, VDC and municipality offices. It will require a team of international Program Operations Adviser and a regional/local MIS/Operations Consultant.

    The MIS/Operations consultant will be required to provide timely input to the international Program Operations Adviser and the team of the Ministry, across all the tasks under this assignment.

    In addition, under a second phase, information obtained from the administrative survey conducted by two individual experts could be cross-checked and verified at the village level by interviewing village level functionaries and households in focus group interviews (FGIs) with a qualitative

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    ToR National Consultant

    The MIS and Operations Consultant should have a minimum qualification of Master degree in Demography / Social Science or related field. S/he should have at least 10 years of general

    experience and at least 4 years specific experience in the similar job. Preference shall be given to the candidate experienced in similar type of works. He/she will be responsible for producing a comprehensive report covering institutional setup, operational issues, and recommendations. He/she will also be responsible for maintaining constant liaison with key stakeholders and will undertake additional tasks as required by NPSU and the Project.

6. Input

    The Consultant's input will be for four (6) Months

7. Reporting relationship

    The Consultant will report to the Program Manager, NFCRP or his/her designate as well as to Program Operations Adviser. He/she will work as a team member with the project team.

8. Reporting Requirements

    The MIS and Operations Consultant should prepare all required reports in the prescribed format and numbers. The reports should be clear and concise with all relevant data. Standard reporting shall include, but not be limited to:

    (i) Inception Report

    (ii) Monthly Progress Reports of consultant's assignment

    (iii) Draft final report of evaluation of MLD cash transfer programs including Reform

    and new MIS model recommendations

    (iv) Final report of evaluation of MLD cash transfer programs including Reform and

    new MIS model recommendations

    (v) All data of Focus Group Interviews

    (vi) Any other report required by NPSU and the program.

9. Logistics

     Office space with necessary logistics will be provided by the client.

10. Agreement

    The Consultant will be required to enter into an agreement after negotiation with the Food Crisis Response Program, NPSU. An agreement shall be signed by both parties before the commencement of the work.

11. Evaluation of EOI

    The Consultant will be evaluated on the basis of general qualification (education and work-related training(s)) and work-related experiences including general and regional experience.

12. Taxation

    The consultant is fully responsible for all taxes imposed by the relevant laws of GoN.

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