International Consultant to support the development of an Outline of National Social Protection Registry, Bissau, Guinea-Bissau

  • Level: Consultant
  • Contract Type: Consultancy
  • Closing date: 04 Jun 2023 05:00 PM (America/New_York)
  • Duty station:

Purpose of  consultancy

To design and facilitate assessment to determine the need and structure that will form the basis for the design and establishment of a Guinea Bissau Social Registry. The international consultant will be supported by a national consultant. This exercise will complement the ongoing formulation of the National Social Protection Policy and the National Social Protection Strategy.

Background and Rationale

Underlying poverty and vulnerability to repeated shocks are severely affecting the lives and economic prospects of thousands of Bissau-Guineans. The 2020 Human Development Report ranked Guinea-Bissau 175 among 189 countries on the human development index, and its gross domestic product per capita was $733.   Based on the secondary analysis of MICS- 4 and MICS-5 data (INE, 2015), the study showed that 58 per cent of the population could be considered multi-dimensionally poor due to a combination of deprivations in living conditions (housing and sanitation), health and education.

As such, Agenda 2030 and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are severely constrained with approximately 67% of the population living in absolute poverty (below two US dollars per day) and 33% in extreme poverty (below one US dollar per day). Significant regional and urban-rural disparities exist in the prevalence of monetary poverty. Whereas in Bissau just half (51%) of the population lives on less than US$ 2 per day and 13 per cent on less than US$ 1 per day, outside Bissau three quarters (76%) of the population live on less than US$ 2 per day and 40 per cent lived on less than US$ 1 per day.  Widespread poverty has a direct and visible impact on children.  Worsening poverty affects all households, although it affected those led by women more in Bissau and by men more in the regions. Households headed by women are poorer in the regions than in Bissau.

The country’s institutional fragility was exposed and amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic that started on March 24, 2020 paralyzed the already fragile domestic economy which contracted by 1.5 percent in 2020 after eight years of growth at an average rate of 4.2 percent, negatively impacted access to essential social services and had a significant negative impact on people’s livelihoods, including from the informal economy. As a result of containment measures, the country also witnessed a significant deterioration of the food security situation.

In spite of the above situation, social protection policies to address income insecurity, poverty and widespread social deprivations are limited and disparate at best.  Less than 5% of public and private sector workers have access to social insurance, with limited coverage. This leaves everyone else behind.

Further to the worsened socio-economic situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, household incomes have been negatively impacted by the fast-rising costs of fuel and basic necessities following the worldwide crisis triggered by the Ukraine War. Prices of products of first necessity, which depend largely on imports have sharply increased in Guinea-Bissau.

In addition, Guinea-Bissau faces a silent emergency due to the adverse effects of climate change, which is increasing floods and drought which in turn affect food security and expose the poorest quintiles to climate-related economic, social, and environmental shocks and disasters.


It is in this context of precarity, fragility and vulnerability that three UN agencies, UNFPA, WFP, UNICEF, in support of the government of Guinea Bissau are coming together to support the government to develop a comprehensive social protection system that will respond to the population’s right to access social protection and support progress towards the achievement of development outcomes for the most vulnerable populations, with seed financing from the Sustainable Development Goal Fund. This joint effort will enable: (i) the development of a social protection policy and strategy (ii) design of a financing framework and the outline of a registry system (iii) testing delivery mechanisms through the implementation of a pilot shock-responsive social protection program, including cash transfers to vulnerable households.

Social registry provides a single source of households' information, helping harmonize targeting processes for social support programmes in Guinea-Bissau. The social registry should be a main source of data for targeting Social Cash Transfer Programme to beneficiaries, and should also be used under the annual Lean Season food insecurity response and other shocks,

Within the overall process of establishing a social protection system, UNICEF will focus on the development of the National Social Protection Policy and Strategy taking the “life cycle approach”, as an over-arching framework to provide dignified support the most vulnerable, as well as to suggest inclusive approaches to ensure no one is left behind. Women, girls, youth and persons with disabilities in rural and peri-urban areas will be of primary consideration in the National Social Protection Policy and Strategy.  The leaving-no-one-behind analysis from UNFPA/GB (2020), which shows the multiple contexts of Guinea-Bissau and identifies who is extremely vulnerable or excluded within the known vulnerable groups (who is the poorest and most marginalized among women, children, youth and persons with disabilities), will be used as a basis for the exercise.  

This term of reference is herewith drawn up for the recruitment of an international consultant to develop the outline of a Social Registry to support the country to mainstream systematic approach to Social Protection that is evidence based.

Scope of the Consultancy


  • Objective of the assignment/Output of the Consultancy

The International consultant will undertake to: 

  1. undertake a desk review and stakeholder consultations to examine existing social registry initiatives, including those of a shock-responsive nature in Guinea-Bissau and explore the possibility of building upon current institutional and programmatic efforts whilst pushing for a more comprehensive, yet incremental overarching Social Registry framework, that can form the basis to support the government in thinking and identifying potential alternatives to establish a National Social Registry as part of a national Social Protection.
  2. explores regional and global best practices in the development and implementation of Social registry, making ample use of UNFPA regional and global resources on data production and management as well as those of other notable organizations in the field, including exploiting models from other countries sharing similar characteristics with Guinea Bissau including in Language, culture and demographics.
  3. identifies and undertake consultations with relevant stakeholders either potential repositories, users and beneficiaries of a Social Registry as well as those who have been implementing initiatives within the Registry Scope as well as those to benefit from their existence including national authorities from various sectors, CSOs, international organizations, beneficiary populations, experts in the field and financing organizations.
  4. formulate policy provisions, underpinned by principles: equity and inclusion, leaving no-one behind, transparency, accountability.  On the basis of the work undertaken as outlined above, outline the nature of social registry including shock-responsive options (cash transfers, and safety nets, food transfers), access to complimentary essential services in education, health, food security and nutrition, case management, disability payments, cash for work programmes, etc..), coverage, targeting modalities  (including vulnerable population groups to prioritize, geographical targeting, and other registration procedures), allowing an integrated fashion to the National Social Policy and Strategy of the country.  The Registry approach and framework should include provisions for social assistance linked with other essential services (cash+), possibilities to support households to reach a threshold to exit a given social protection scheme, M& E systems to support quality data collection/analysis mechanisms which provide opportunities for learning and feedback loops, grievance and complaints mechanisms, in an effort to ensure accountability to affected populations.
  5. Draft a single Social Registry document, for the implementation of the Social policy and the strategy, identifying the following:
    1. Governance and Coordination;
    2. Staffing and capacity requirements;
    3. Standard Operating Procedures adapted to Guinea-Bissau’s needs, with particular focus on tools, protocols, and manuals to be utilized for social protection;
    4. Technologies and Data Management Requirements
  6. Ensure that the Registry to be developed are in compliance with the requirements of the constitution of Guinea-Bissau and in accordance with the Labour Act, 14/86, Social Protection Law (Law nº 4/2007, Social Protection Framework Law) and law nº 3/2012, Official Bulletin of the National Social Security Institute, the National Social Protection Policy and Strategy  (to be developed under this project with the lead Support from UNICEF)and the National Law that Establish the National Statistics System (enacted law nº 6/2007 of 10 of September). 

  7. Deliver the draft assessment report comprising alternatives to design and mainstream a Social Registry in Guinea Bissau for validation in a workshop-style setting. Integrate feedback and revise the document for adoption by National authorities and UN /International stakeholders supporting Guinea-Bissau Social Protection mechanisms enhancements; 
  8. Organize training sessions on social protection for key stakeholders to sensitize and build capacities for decision-makers and technical experts likely to take forward the Registry. Leverage trainings to highlight strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to social inclusion and social protection service delivery through key social sectors, including the required enabling environment (legal and administrative framework, financial, human, technological and physical/infrastructure resources etc.). 

Duration and working schedule

The indicative start date will be 22May – November, 2023. The national consultant shall work for a period of six months (6) months. The effort of developing the Framework for Social Registry will occur concomitantly. At four six months of intense consultation and collaboration with stakeholders within the country must be conducted.

Place where services are to be delivered:

The consultant will be based in the capital of the country, Bissau and may be required to conduct field visits as requested by the necessity of data collection, national consultation/dialogue as well as the validation process. Part of the consultancy can be home-based for about 2 months during the periods of document preparation, notably at the beginning of the consultancy and towards the end.

Delivery dates and how work will be delivered

  • Inception report validated:        10% payment (estimated # of days: 15);
  • Draft report and presentation: 25% payment (estimated # of days: 60);
    • Providing a Draft Report and PowerPoint presentation, including a detailed overview of relevant regional and international evidence, based on political economy factors;
  • Social Registry Document: 25% payment (estimated # of days: 30);
  • Final report, presentation and briefing: 40% payment (estimated # of days: 15);
    • Delivering a Final presentation and document, related PowerPoint presentation and policy brief;

Payment schedule as per deliverables.

All payments, without exception, will be made upon certification from the supervisor of the contract, of the satisfactory and quality completion of deliverables and upon receipt of the respective and approved invoice.

The fee is based on an all-inclusive basis.

Supervisory arrangements

The consultant will work under the overall leadership of the of UNFPA Resident Representative, direct supervision of Assistant Representative and close collaboration with UNFPA Programme Officers and with coordination leads from the Ministry of Women, Family and Social Solidarity as well as counterparts in UNICEF, WFP and UNDP.

Required expertise, qualifications and competencies, including language requirements:

Academic qualification:

Advanced degree in Social Science, Economics, Development or related disciplines.

Work experience:

  • A minimum of 10 years’ professional experience in social protection, better if applied to areas related to social registries and beneficiary databases or Management Information Systems (MIS).
  • Have recent experience in developing Single Social Registry, national policies or strategies for social protection.
  • Experience in developing countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Technical skills and knowledge: Advanced knowledge and understanding of social protection and humanitarian affairs. In depth understanding of the concept of social registries and the challenges for its operational implementation in developing countries, with at least 8 years of experience related to social registries in Sub-Saharan Africa. A minimum of 8 years of experience in assignments related to the design and/or operations of management information systems for the provision of social support and/or humanitarian aid. Proven ability to work in collaboration with Government institutions and UN AFPs.


  • Demonstrated work in Social Policy and Development Studies.
  • Knowledge of procedures, protocols, and policies.
  • Good written and oral communication skills.
  • Open, willing, and able to interact with different stakeholders.

Languages: Excellent written and spoken English or French is required. Good ability to communicate in Portuguese is an advantage.

Evaluation process and methods


First, the Technical Proposals will be evaluated. The Technical Proposal was allocated a total possible score of 60/70 points (pt) using following criteria. Technical Proposals receiving 70% of obtainable points (60/70 pt) or higher, will be considered

technically responsive and the Price Proposal will be opened. Proposals which are considered not technically compliant and non-responsive, will not be given further consideration.

Please send your application by 04 June 2023 at



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