The recent UNICEF-ECLAC report2 provides an excellent overview of both the rationale for social protection for children and youth with disabilities, and the cash transfer programmes –partially or solely– targeting them and their families in the LAC region. It highlights the progress made in the last 15 years with a significant increase in countries providing such schemes. Most of those them, however, are poverty-reduction programs that include disability as one of the eligibility criteria, and few of them address disability-related costs. Combining exclusion errors inherent to poverty targeting and challenges related to disability certification, they often have low coverage of people with disabilities. In the context of COVID-19, the responses largely replicated inclusion/exclusion patterns, as well as pre-pandemic access barriers faced by persons with disabilities.
Social protection systems and schemes are disability-inclusive when they take into account and address in the design and implementation of policies and programmes the different vulnerabilities and obstacles that persons with disabilities encounter in their lives and when they are seeking to access services. Different approaches can be employed to reach persons with disabilities such as disability-targeted schemes under which disability is the main eligibility criteria. In the case of children with disabilities these targeted schemes are often framed as caregiver allowances. Some mainstream schemes target households based on limited/no labour capacity which may cover households with persons with disabilities. Though this method can have negative consequences such as reinforcing stigma, dependency and undermining economic participation rather than promoting inclusion and empowerment. Other mainstream schemes may not directly or indirectly target persons with disabilities but may provide a higher level of benefits to households with persons with disabilities.
2. States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to social protection and to the enjoyment of that right without discrimination on the basis of disability, and shall take appropriate steps to safeguard and promote the realization of this right, including measures:a) To ensure equal access by persons with disabilities to clean water services, and to ensure access to appropriate and affordable services, devices and other assistance for disability-related needs;b) To ensure access by persons with disabilities, in particular women and girls with disabilities and older persons with disabilities, to social protection programmes and poverty reduction programmes;c) To ensure access by persons with disabilities and their families living in situations of poverty to assistance from the State with disability-related expenses, including adequate training, counselling, financial assistance and respite care; d) To ensure access by persons with disabilities to public housing programmes;e) To ensure equal access by persons with disabilities to retirement benefits and programmes.
Households with persons with disabilities are more likely to live in poverty due to lost wages due to challenges in finding work or caretaking responsibilities. Households with a person with disability may also enjoy a lower standard of living, compared to households with similar incomes, owing to higher spending on certain items and services (including assistive devices, transport, medical and rehabilitation services). For children living in households with a disabled parent or grandparent the lower standard living may result in less investment in their health, nutrition, or education. For children with disabilities, physical, informational and attitudinal barriers as well as lack of support hinder their participation in social, economic and public life. They have less access to education, poorer health and lower future participation in the labour market than those without disabilities and, thus, are at considerable risk of poverty later in life. The link between disability and poverty can disproportionally impact girls and women, particularly those from indigenous minorities, who often suffer a double discrimination in terms of gender and disability bias. Ensuring that social protection is accessible for children with disabilities as early as possible is essential given the importance of early intervention for supporting children and families to improve functioning and enabling children to develop to their full potential and facilitate their inclusion in education and community.
Approaches to disability-inclusive social protection vary by country. In 2018, of the transfer programmes in the region that provided cash support to families with children with disabilities, 29 programmes targeted impoverished and vulnerable families, and 15 programmes focused only on persons with disabilities. Within them, nine programmes focused exclusively on children and adolescents and prioritized those with disabilities (in Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Chile, Trinidad and Tobago, Guadeloupe, French Guyana and Martinique)3. It is understood that the effectiveness of programmes to administer adequate social protection to persons with disabilities remains low due to several factors. Coverage of disability benefits is contingent on the definition of disability, determination method and level severity which limits the reach of benefits. In general, benefits under social protection programmes typically are not adjusted to account for disability related cost. Linking social assistance with complementary services and information can improve standard of living, increase wellbeing and inclusion of children with disabilities and disrupting the cycle of poverty. However, fragmented and poorly coordinated social protection systems means that partnerships and referrals with services providers (if and where they exist) are lacking. In addition, differing definitions and eligibility criteria adopted by different programmes can hinder referring children with disabilities to complementary services.
Building on the efforts to institutionalize and strengthen disability-inclusive social protection system in the region, UNICEF Latin America and Caribbean Regional Office has established social protection as an strategic programme for the 2022-2025 period and has made disability-inclusive social protection a focus of its upcoming strategic plan. However, the lack of consolidated evidence regarding the social protection support children with disabilities are entitled to and receive in LAC constrains reforms and hinders the ability to track progress. By developing the case study on social protection to support children with disabilities and their families in Peru, this consultancy aims to close the information gap and contribute with new evidence to engage in meaningful dialogue on improving access and quality of social protection for children with disabilities and their families.
The UNICEF Latin America and Caribbean Regional Office is based in in Panama, operating in 36 territories, including 24 country offices. UNICEF works to put the rights and well-being of the most disadvantaged children at the heart of the social, political, and economic agenda, in line with our equity focus, working across our organization and with our partners in government, civil society and the private sector to support shifts in public policy, fuel social engagement, and increase investment for children. For more information about UNICEF and its work. (www.unicef.org/lac).
For every child, protection
Purpose of the Assignment:
UNICEF Latin America and Caribbean Regional Office is supporting Country Offices on reforms to the national social protection system and programmes to ensure that they can include and adequately address the needs of children and their families. UNICEF Latin America and Caribbean Regional Office has established social protection as strategic programme for the period 2022-2025 and has made disability-inclusive social protection a focus of its upcoming strategic plan. However, the lack of consolidated evidence regarding the social protection support children with disabilities are entitled to and receive in LAC constrains the reconfiguration of social protection systems. As part of UNICEF commitment to leave no one behind, UNICEF is promoting a multi-country study, that alongside with the cases of Brazil and Colombia, the case study on disability-inclusive social protection in Peru will contribute to provide evidence on emerging issues such as the inclusion of children with disabilities in social assistance programmes and the construction of disability sensitive social protection systems.
Under the overall guidance of the regional social policy adviser and in close coordination with the social policy section of Peru country office, the consultancy has the objective to provide an overview and analysis of the current state of child-sensitive and disability-inclusive social protection in Peru, according with CRPC (article 28) to better understand the extent to which children with disabilities and their families are covered by existing social protection4 programmes.
Specifically, the case study may include an evidence-based and comprehensive overview of the current support of the national social protection system to children with disabilities and their families across their life cycle, with special focus on the operational bottlenecks that are preventing them from accessing to the main national cash transfer programs. Based on the previous analysis, the consultancy is expected to provide specific recommendations, actions or measures would be necessary to ensure that the social protection and assistance programs to achieve inclusiveness of children with disability in line with the CRPD, SDG and the recent national childhood policy in Peru5.
4 Social protection systems refer to the regulatory framework, set of established institutional arrangements and common tools or mechanisms progressively developed by countries to ensure coherence, coordination, efficient and equitable use of resources across sectors and administrative level of implementations.
How can you make a difference?
The selected contractor will be expected to carry out the following activities:
1. An evidence-based review and analysis of the current support of the national social protection system to children with disabilities and their families in Peru to inform both the regional strategic work on disability inclusive social protection in LAC, the recently approved national childhood policy and the draft of the national policy on social inclusion and development in Peru. It entails a detailed examination of the operational models of the main social protection programs (such as Juntos, Pension 65, Contigo, Cuna Mas, Qaliwarma, among others) and their linkages with the main basic services for children with disabilities and their families (including health, early childhood development, assistance devices, education, economic empowerment, productive and financial inclusion for their families, etc.). It requires to address, but not limited to, the following bottlenecks: law/policy; programme objectives; eligibility and targeting; adequacy of benefits considering special needs; human resources and institutional capacities to assure inclusiveness; accessibility of infrastructure, communication and information in each programme/ assistance measures; linkages and referrals; data/information management (gaps in data availability, reliability, production data, disaggregation) for planning, design and targeting.
2. Conduct an overview of the national social protection system in Peru, including the COVID-19 response, to assess the extent to which social protection address the needs and promote the inclusion of children with disabilities according with CRCPD and SDG goals. The consultancy should consider the following aspects:
- Mapping and analysis of the main national cash transfer programmes, which directly and indirectly cover children with disabilities and their families (e.g.: Juntos, Contigo, Pension 65, etc.). This analysis should help to discuss how to make the access and the benefits of these programmes more inclusive by reviewing aspects associated with coverage of children with disabilities, targeting mechanisms/eligibility criteria, benefit levels, links to other services (health, education, early childhood development services, child protection services, etc.)
- An analysis of the disability assessment and disability determination (certification) as part of the requirements to access the main social protection programs. It should discuss the following aspects: different steps through which a child with disabilities must go through (including length of the process, identification of problems/barriers), type of disability assessment done and information collected, costs, age-appropriate, availability, accessibility, reliability, whether or not facilitates national planning, costing and budgeting of social programs, compliance with the CRPD.
- Main strengths and weaknesses of the social protection system by addressing, at the very least, barriers in access, availability of data, level of coverage, and adequacy of benefits, links to other services in providing basic income security and coverage of health care and disability-related costs of children with disabilities and their families across the life cycle, in ways that and promote socio-economic inclusion and participation.
- An overview of the public spending on disability-specific programmes including a review of the resultsbased-budget programs associated to the main social protection programs.
- Overview of the social protection measures taken in the response to COVID-19 to specifically support children with disabilities, considering the identification of missing elements, if any, for the social protection system to provide better support for children and adults with disabilities during this period.
- Based on the analysis, the case study should offer specific recommendations for actions in three levels: strategic, programmatic and operational aspects (e.g. possible combination of cash transfers, concessions and services, possible combination of mainstream and disability programmes, changes in disability assessment and determination, national disability registry with data on support needs, role of disability card, participation of DPOs, etc.) for the development and articulation of new public policies and renewal of schemes to assure child-sensitive, disability-inclusive social protection in Peru in line with CRPD and SDS commitments.
3. Develop a one-pager based on the analysis and recommendations of the case study in English and Spanish.
4. Prepare and present a PowerPoint presentation with an overview of findings and recommendations to advocate and participate in webinar(s) to present and discuss the findings of the case study.
5. Advocacy recommendation including stakeholder and policy-dialogue spaces to promote child sensitive and disability-inclusive social protection.
6. All the products(main report, power point presentation and one-pager)should be edited, translated and layout.
Expected Results (measurable)
- Publishable document of the case study
- Technical note with recommendations and findings (one pager)
- Executive presentations
- Document with internal recommendations for UNICEF to strengthen its advocacy and technical assistance at the national and regional levels.
Duration [in days]
Working plan and proposed and commented outline of the case study
10 days after signing the contract
10 September, 2021
Evidence-based review of data and documents regarding the current support of the national social protection system to children with disabilities and their families in Peru
30 days after signing the contract
30 September, 2021
First draft of the case study based on the evidence-based review and an overview of the recommendations
45 days after signing the contract
15 October, 2021
Case study report (max 100 pages, including annexes)
90 days after signing the contract
29 November, 2021
Presentation of power point and one-pager
110 days after signing the contract
19 December, 2021
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
Relevant advanced academic degree (Social Sciences, Development Studies, Economics, Public Policy, Public Health, or related fields).
- Minimum 10 years of experience in a relevant role and proven experience leading teams.
- Substantive experience in Latin America, preferable in the Peruvian context.
- Demonstrated experience leading the design, targeting, implementation and assessments of social protection / social assistance systems, policy, and programming.
- Demonstrated ability to elaborate policy and technical notes to advocate and support policy makers decisions.
- Experience in disability inclusive social protection will be considered an asset.
- Experience working in Government will be considered an asset.
Fluency in Spanish is required. Knowledge of English will be considered an asset.
- Professional technical knowledge and expertise in analysis of social assistance programmes including design, targeting and implementation in developing countries, especially in Peru.
- Demonstrated experience in disability-inclusive social protection.
- Demonstrated experience in child-sensitive social protection, experience with UNICEF is an asset.
- Demonstrated track record of high-quality publications, including assessments and guidance notes
- Excellent analytical skills and strong track record of producing high-quality publications.
- Excellent writing and oral skills in Spanish (fluency required).
- Demonstrated ability to: (i) handle multiple tasks under pressure with short deadlines; (ii) work independently, seeking guidance on complex issues; and (iii) excellent interpersonal skills, proven team leader.
- Able to work effectively in a multicultural environment.
The consultant / individual contractor will work under the direct supervision of the regional social policy adviser and in close collaboration with the social policy section at Peru country office.
Approximately 4 months.
How to Apply:
Application should be submitted online and should include: Complete online application, Resume, Cover Letter, University Degree and Financial proposal. Qualified candidates are requested to submit daily and monthly fees in their financial proposal.
For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results. 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 be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process. Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.
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