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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
There is a large section among Nepal’s 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 program’s 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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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
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.
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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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.
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.
Office space with necessary logistics will be provided by the client.
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.
The consultant is fully responsible for all taxes imposed by the relevant laws of GoN.