Terms of reference for Experts for Local Social Plans Vatra NGO

TERMS OF REFERENCE

CONSULTANCY SERVICES TO SUPPORT VATRA WITH ASSISTANCE RELATED TO DEVELOPMENT OF LOCAL SOCIA PLAN FOR VLORA MUNICIPALITY

Project: “Strengthening capacities and policy engagement of community service providers’’

“Participatory engagement to strengthen policies and services in Vlora Municipality –

IRIS PROGRESS”

Reference: EuropeAid/174154/DH/ACT/Multi and the Contract No: 2022/441-183

 

ANNEX II: TERMS OF REFERENCE

1….. BACKGROUND INFORMATION…………………………………. 2

1.1.     Partner country………………………………………………. 2

1.2.     Contracting authority……………………………………… 2

1.3.     Country background……………………………………….. 2

1.4.     Current situation in the sector…………………………. 3

1.5.     Related programmes and other donor activities… 3

2….. OBJECTIVES & EXPECTED OUTPUTS………………………….. 3

2.1.     Overall objective…………………………………………….. 3

2.2      Specific objective(s)………………………………………… 3

2.3      Expected outputs to be achieved by the contractor…………………………………………………………………….. 3

3….. ASSUMPTIONS & RISKS……………………………………………. 4

3.1.     Assumptions underlying the project…………………. 4

3.2.     Risks……………………………………………………………… 4

4….. SCOPE OF THE WORK………………………………………………. 4

4.1.     General…………………………………………………………. 4

4.2.     Specific work………………………………………………….. 6

4.3.     Project management………………………………………. 7

5….. LOGISTICS AND TIMING…………………………………………… 7

5.1.     Location………………………………………………………… 7

5.2.     Start date & period of implementation……………… 7

6….. REQUIREMENTS……………………………………………………… 7

6.1.     Personnel………………………………………………………. 7

6.2.     Office accommodation……………………………………. 8

6.3.     Facilities to be provided by the contractor………… 8

6.4.     Equipment…………………………………………………….. 8

6.5.     Incidental expenditure…………………………………….. 8

6.6.     Lump sums…………………………………………………….. 8

6.7.     Expenditure verification………………………………….. 9

7….. REPORTS………………………………………………………………… 9

7.1.     Reporting requirements………………………………….. 9

7.2.     Submission & approval of reports…………………….. 9

8….. MONITORING AND EVALUATION……………………………… 9

8.1.     Definition of indicators……………………………………. 9

8.2.     Special requirements…………………………………….. 10

 

1.          BACKGROUND INFORMATION
1.1.       Partner country
Albania

1.2.       Contracting authority
Vatra Psycho-Social Center
Address: Qendra Psiko – Sociale “Vatra”

L. Isa Boletini, Rr. Nermin Vlora Falaski,

Pall. 13, Hyrja I, Kati III, Vlore, Albania

+355 33 2 24078

+355 68 690 6974

Email: info@qendravatra.org.al

 

1.3.       Country background
Albania is implementing important structural reforms that will support equitable growth, raise productivity and competitiveness in the economy, create more jobs, and improve governance and public service delivery. Main developments at country level include as following:

–       Economic Reform program 2023 – 2025 – outlines the main macroeconomic and fiscal policies aiming to establish the clear balance between the internal strengths and external threats, with a view to enable sustainable growth, increased employment and reduced public debt.

–       National Strategy for Decentralization and Local Governance 2023 – 2030 clearly foresee that the local social care services will be transferred to the competence of municipalities. In connection with this Strategy the “basket of basic services” is expected to be established at the local level based on the identified needs.

–       EU accession and screening process – EU negotiations provide the opportunity to reinforce the complementarity between EU acquis and UN standards particularly for social protection, children’s right and accessibility to justice.

–       Development of the new Social Protection Strategy 2024 – 2030. It prioritizes the establishment of an integrated social care service system at the municipal and national level including through development of regulatory instruments, integration of services with support programmes in health, education, employment, and training in line with social care plans.

–       Development of the Local Social Plans for all 61 Municipalities, where poverty is integrated as a specific area of priority.

Building stronger, sustainable links between the different aspects of social inclusion (social protection, employment, and education) in Albania to help the socio-economic recovery of the country has never been as important as it is today, particularly given the fact that negotiations have begun for the accession of Albania to the European Union.

In terms of social protection, the MoHSP is currently finalising the new NSSP for the 2024-2030 period, with a strengthened focus on improving the Ndhime Ekonomike scheme as well as social care services. However, for the strategy to be successful, particularly in relation to the decentralisation of social care services and the financing mechanisms in place, the MoHSP will require further support in moving forward social protection reform as well as being invested in the improvement of labour market policies for welfare recipients.

 

1.4.       Current situation in the sector
The Municipality of Vlora is composed of five administrative units. Covering an area of 616.85 km², this municipality accommodates around 196,547 residents, with a population distribution of 71% in Vlora, 18% in Novosele and Qender, and 11% in Orikum and Shushice. Based on Law no. 139/2015, “On Local Self-Government,” the provision and functioning of social services for categories in need are the responsibility of the local self-government units.

The Social Plan of the Municipality of Vlora has been approved for the first time in December 2020, following Law no. 121/2016, “On Social Care Services in the Republic of Albania.” According to this law, municipalities are tasked with preparing these plans based on identified needs for social care services in their territory (data from the Municipality of Vlora). Since 2022, the Municipality of Vlora has not drafted and approved the Local Social Plan, and during 2022-2023, it has been working on adapting the previous plan from 2020-2022. Over the two years that the Social Plan has not been approved, civil society organizations and the groups they represent have not been consulted for the funding of service.

 

In a context where recent legislation and policies have seen changes and improvements, including the National Social Protection Strategy (2020-2023), the Gender Equality Strategy 2021-2030, the Social Housing Strategy 2016-2025, the Local Action Plan for Youth 2020-2023, etc., it becomes necessary for the Municipality of Vlora to approve and implement the New 3-year Local Social Plan 2024-2026, incorporating these changes into legislation and policies.

1.5.       Related programmes and other donor activities

2.          OBJECTIVES & EXPECTED OUTPUTS
2.1.       Overall objective
Overall objective: To contribute to improving local social policies and access to quality services for the citizens of the Municipality of Vlora who come from needy and socially excluded groups.

2.2  Specific objective(s)
Specific Objective 1 (SO1): To contribute to creating conditions for access to sufficient and quality services for needy and marginalized groups through the approval and implementation of the Local Social Plan 2024-2026 of the Municipality of Vlora.

 

Specific Objective 2 (SO2): To contribute to improving the accountability and involvement in decision-making of marginalized and socially excluded groups, as well as CSOs, through democratic participation and service monitoring.

2.3  Expected outputs to be achieved by the contractor
The expected outputs of this contract are as follows:

Result 1: Need assessment of groups in need and need for services, as well as the situation of service delivery in Vlora Municipality, studied and explored

 

Result 2: The Local Social Plan of Municipality of Vlora 2024-2026 and Monitoring Strategy, with the contribution and inclusion of groups of interest is finalized.

 

Result 3: The Local Social Plan of Vlora Municipality is approved by the Municipal Council and Mayor of Vlora Municipality, by May 2023.

 

3.          ASSUMPTIONS & RISKS
3.1.       Assumptions underlying the project

3.2.       Risks
1.      Lack of monitoring reports from previous plans or the absence of a systematic and transparent reporting system from various institutions and organizations regarding the implementation of social services: To address this risk, Vatra will conduct a baseline study at the beginning of the project to qualitatively and quantitatively analyze the state of service provision in the Municipality and the needs of vulnerable groups. Additionally, to increase accountability and transparency in plan implementation, Monitoring Reports will be generated annually, which will be made public for the stakeholder groups.

2.      Tight schedule for the drafting and implementation of the plan. The Local Social Plan Social should have been drafted and approved by the end of 2023 in order for its implementation to start in 2024. However, upon the project’s start, the project staff will engage NGOs, local institutions and stakeholders in order to give their contributions timely and efficiently.

3.      The possibility of incomplete funding of the Plan by the Municipality: Vatra and other CSOs will advocate with the Municipality to ensure that the costs specified in the plan are fully met, and at the end of each year of plan implementation, a cost report will be prepared as part of the Monitoring Report.

4.          SCOPE OF THE WORK
4.1.       General
4.1.1. Project description
The project, which will be implemented by Vatra Psycho-Social Center in response to this call, aims to influence the improvement of democratic and inclusive conditions for CSOs and the groups they represent, as well as the individual activists from these groups, to have access, sufficiency, and quality of services in the Municipality of Vlore (including urban and rural administrative units). The project aligns with the call’s objectives and is fully in line with the main and specific objective.

The project aims to intervene in the Municipality of Vlore, including its 5 administrative units (Vlore, Novosele, Orikum, Qender, and Shushice), creating the premises for the continuity and improvement of the provision of sufficient and quality services for groups in need, such as individuals with economic needs, persons with disabilities, victims of gender-based violence and human trafficking, children in need of protection, groups belonging to Roma and Egyptian minorities, marginalized and discriminated groups due to their sexual orientation, etc.

The intervention will be carried out in two directions:

1)   Drafting and finalizing the Local Social Plan of the Municipality of Vlore for the medium-term period 2024-2026. Through the approval of this plan, state agencies that provide services, as well as civil society organizations that offer services for various categories in need in the Municipality of Vlore, will be able to orient and mobilize toward the ultimate goal of improving the lives of groups and individuals in need. Through this well-studied plan, financially supported and with defined duties and responsibilities, the groups in need and the organizations supporting them will not only have the opportunity to be involved in planning but also to advocate for the fulfillment of their rights.

2)      The monitored implementation of the Local Social Plan of the Municipality of Vlore, involving Civil Society and activists from stakeholders. Through the project, the establishment of a monitoring and evaluation plan for the social plan, which is well-studied and feasible, will be made possible. This plan will include a monitoring group with representatives from Civil Society organizations, activists, and direct representatives from the groups in need, etc. Advocacy will be carried out for the funding of the monitoring and evaluation process, just like the entire Social Plan of the Municipality of Vlore.

To implement the intervention, the project team, composed of experts renowned in the field, will collaborate with the Municipality, institutions, beneficiary organizations, and groups to draft and finalize the plan, as well as to monitor its implementation. The methodological approach will involve participatory engagement of the stakeholder, as well as the promotion of their rights. Participation will aim for proportional gender representation.

The project is in full alignment with both the general and specific objectives. Thus, the project aims to “establish effective mechanisms for the protection of human rights” and influence the improvement of services for the supported categories in need by the local authorities. This mechanism is the Local Social Plan, which will include specific measures supported with services and funds to promote the rights of the groups in need. Furthermore, the project aims to achieve two expected results from the call:

Improved protection of human rights and anti-discrimination policies;

Improved quality of social services for the vulnerable population;

The project aims to address one of the main priorities of the call, which is the “Implementation of a human rights-based approach in vulnerable population integration.” Through the development, approval, and implementation of the Social Plan, the groups in need will be treated in accordance with a human rights-based approach, with the goal of their social integration. Regarding the types of activities, the project, in line with the call, aims to involve CSOs and vulnerable groups in the democratic consultation process for the fulfillment of their rights and services. Furthermore, through the activities, CSOs will not only be involved but also engaged in the process and monitoring of the implementation of the Social Plan of the Municipality of Vlora.

 

4.1.2. Geographical area to be covered
Vlora Municipality

4.1.3. Target groups
b.      Vlora Municipality is the main beneficiary that will benefit from the drafting and finalization of the Local Social Plan.

c.       At least 25 members of local organizations (80% women and 20% men) will engage directly in consultations and inputs for drafting the Local Social Plan. They will make a contribution and will increase their level of participation in decision-making and advocacy.

d.      At least 30 representatives of local authorities (70% women and 30% men) will engage directly in consultations and inputs for drafting the Local Social Plan. They will contribute with inputs and increase their knowledge regarding the needs of the community members, and will increase their awareness and sensitive approach to the target population.

e.      At least 50 members of the community from groups in need (consultations) (70% women and 30% men) will engage directly in consultations and inputs for drafting the Local Social Plan.

f.        Final beneficiaries – 2000 persons approximately (from a baseline reported from the Municipality there are at least 1700 persons in need from different groups that are possible beneficiaries of services) will benefit from services in the framework of the Local Social Plan.

g.       Final beneficiaries – at least 700 families from vulnerable communities will benefit from the support and services in the framework of the Local Social Plan.

h.      At least 500 community members will benefit from the activities of Balkan Caravan

i.        At least 5000 community members, that follow Vatra’s social media will increase their level of information regarding the Social Plan and services.

4.2.       Specific work
The specific work expected to be performed in the frame of this contract include as following:

 

Activity 2.1 Drafting of the Local Social Plan

 

Based on the findings of the baseline analysis related to the context, resources, and service processes, the needs of vulnerable groups, as well as considering the current policies and legislation in the field of social services, project experts will draft a Local Municipal Plan for the period 2024-26. This plan will include the vision, goals, activities, inputs, and expected results, as well as timelines. The Plan will be realistic, measurable, and achievable.

 

Activity 2.2 Meeting of the group of interests for collecting inputs regarding the Plan

 

To draft and finalize the plan, project experts will collaborate and consult with local agencies providing state services and CSOs, as well as members of community representative groups and stakeholders. The project staff will implement a consultation approach with at least five groups: Agencies and organizations providing services, as well as community members:

1.      From Roma and Egyptian groups

2.      From victims of gender-based violence and trafficking, as well as their children

3.      From children in need of protection

4.      From persons with disabilities and members of these groups

5.      From economically disadvantaged groups

This list is not exhaustive, and at the end of the consultations, it is expected that these groups will be informed about the study results and will provide input and recommendations regarding the necessary services, which will be reflected in the finalization of the Social Plan.

 

Activity 2.3 Finalization of the Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy and Matrix for the Plan

 

The social plan will also have an accompanying matrix for the Monitoring and Evaluation process. Project experts will collaborate with the Social Services Directorate in the Municipality to develop the monitoring strategy, measurement indicators, responsible persons/groups, process collaborators, financial inputs, reporting periods, etc.

 

Activity 2.4 Finalization of the Social Local Plan 2024-2026 of Vlora Municipality

 

After completing the entire process, the drafters, consultants, and the finalization of the Monitoring Plan, project experts will finalize the Social Plan of Vlora Municipality. This plan will be presented to the Mayor of Vlora Municipality, and then it will be consulted with the Municipal Council members for approval and later be approved by the Chairman of the Municipal Council.

 

4.3.       Project management
4.3.1. Responsible body
Vatra Psycho – Social Centre

Project Coordinator

E-mail: info@qendravatra.org.al

4.3.2. Management structure

 

4.3.3. Facilities to be provided by the contracting authority and/or other parties
The project team will support the external experts throughout the process of the development of Local Social Plans.

5.          LOGISTICS AND TIMING
5.1.       Location
Vlora Municipality

5.2.       Start date & period of implementation
The intended start date is 29th of January 2024 and the period of implementation of the contract will be 4 months from this date. The contract is expected to be concluded by 30th May 2024.

6.          REQUIREMENTS
6.1.       Personnel
Note that civil servants and other staff of the public administration, of the partner country or of international/regional organisations based in the country, shall only be approved to work as experts if well justified. The justification should be submitted with the tender and shall include information on the added value the expert will bring as well as proof that the expert is seconded or on personal leave.

6.1.1. Key experts
A key expert is planned to be engaged for the development of the Local Social Plan for Vlora Municipality, as following:

Key expert 1: External Expert for Development of Local Social Plan

Qualifications and skills

–       Advanced degree in social sciences (PhD’s level) preferably with specialization in Social Protection/Social Care area;

–       More than 10 years’ experience in social protection focused on social care services area;

–       Previous experience on social plans development/need assessments/M&E Plans

–       Excellent analytical skills and ability to interpret rules and guidelines;

–       Excellent communications skills, oral and written;

–       Excellent results orientation with ability to meet deadlines;

–       Excellent command of oral and written English;

–       Ability to work under time constraints;

–       Very Good planning and time management skills;

6.1.2. Non-key experts
2 (two) non-key experts are planned to be contracted in the frame of this contract. The profiles of the non-key experts for this contract are as follows:

–       Advanced degree in social sciences (master’s level) preferably;

–       More than 5 years’ experience in social services area;

–       Previous experience on need assessments and/or research in social area.

–       Excellent analytical skills and ability to interpret rules and guidelines;

–       Excellent communications skills, oral and written;

–       Excellent results orientation with ability to meet deadlines;

–       Very Good planning and time management skills;

 

6.1.3. Support staff & backstopping
The contractor will provide support facilities to their team of experts (back-stopping) during the implementation of the contract.

 

6.2.       Office accommodation

6.3.       Facilities to be provided by the contractor
The contractor will ensure that experts are adequately supported and equipped. In particular it will ensure that there is sufficient administrative, secretarial and interpreting provision to enable experts to concentrate on their primary responsibilities.

6.4.       Equipment
No equipment is to be purchased on behalf of the contractor as part of this service contract or transferred to the contractor at the end of this contract..

6.5.       Incidental expenditure

6.6.       Lump sums
A fee-based contract for development of the Local Social Plan for Vlora municipality is planned in the frame of this contract. More specifically:

–       24 working days in total for the Key expert 1

–       24 working days in total for non-key experts ( 12 working days for one expert * 2 experts)

6.7.       Expenditure verification

 

1.          REPORTS
1.1.       Reporting requirements
First draft of the Local Social Plan
Development of the Local Social Plan in line with the UNDP guideline on the Local Social Plans Development
First draft to be submitted by March 31st, 2024
Final draft of the Local Social Plan
Final draft which reflect s the comments received from the working group assigned for the development of the Local Social Plans as well as comments received from other involved parties.
Final Draft to be submitted by April 15th, 2024.
Draft final report
Short description of the achievement of the results as spelled out in the contract, The draft final report should include a description of the problems encountered and recommendations.
No later than 1 month before the end of the implementation period.
Final report
Short description of the achievement of the results as spelled out in the contract, The final report should include a description of the problems encountered and recommendations; a final invoice and the financial report accompanied by the expenditure verification report.
Within 1 month of receiving comments on the draft final report from the project manager identified in the contract.

1.2.       Submission & approval of reports
One copy of the reports referred to above must be submitted to the project coordinator identified in the contract. The reports must be written in English. The project coordinator is responsible for approving the reports.

2.          MONITORING AND EVALUATION
2.1.       Definition of indicators
Indicator for the result 1:

A database study on the needs for services and the situation of service delivery in the Municipality of Vlora- context, inputs, products, completed by March 2023)

 

Indicator for the result 2:

A draft document of the Local Social Plan of Municipality of Vlora 2024 – 2026 and its Monitoring Strategy it is finalized by April 2024.

At least 120 participants from the groups of interests are engaged in consultation process for the finalization of the Social Local Plan, by April 2024.

The Monitoring Plan matrix of the Local Social Plan has been finalized by April 2024.

 

Indicator for the result 3:

Approval and signing of the Plan by the Responsible Authorities by May 2024

 

2.2.       Special requirements
* * *

‘This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of “Vatra” Psycho -Social Center and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union’

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