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Consultant - Develop PROMISE Programme Brief (Request for Proposal)

Open to External Applicants

 

Services Title              :           Consultant - Develop PROMISE Programme Brief

                                                (Request for Proposal)

Duty Station                :           Home-based

Classification               :           Consultancy

Type of Appointment   :           Consultancy Contract, 1 months
            (For a maximum of 10 working days)

Desired Start Date      :           As soon as possible

Closing Date               :           10 July 2020

Reference Code          :           CFCV014/2020

 

Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants.

 

  1. Rationale

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected people, societies and economies worldwide. While the dynamics of the pandemic vary from country to country, it will most likely increase poverty and inequalities at a global scale, making achievements of the Sustainable Development Goals even more urgent as stated by the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) assessment on Social and Economic Impact of COVID-19.1 According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), nearly half of the global workforce is at immediate risk of losing their livelihoods as a result of reduced working hours, workplace and business closures, and lockdown measures.

 

Migrant workers are significant contributors to productivity and economic growth in Thailand, while labour migration offers workers from neighbouring Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Myanmar (CLM) the opportunity to generate income through employment, and gain new skills and experiences. As of 2018, there were an estimated 3.9 million migrant workers from CLM and Viet Nam employed in Thailand, making up an estimated 10% of the Thai labour force and contributing up to 6.6% of GDP.

 

Migrant workers are among the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic, due to pre-existing risks of exploitation, stigma and xenophobia, and because of limited access to information and support mechanisms. IOM estimates that more than 200,000 migrant workers returned from Thailand to countries of origin shortly before border closures were introduced in March 2020. A recent IOM Thailand rapid assessment identified loss of livelihoods as the single biggest challenge facing non-Thai people in Thailand. The same survey confirmed that migrants were experiencing both job losses, and loss of income resulting in reduced working hours, stemming from both the economic downturn and lockdown measures.

 

The impact on businesses is also likely to be substantial, with border closures and restrictions impacting significantly on services, hospitality and tourism sectors; while a global economic slowdown has reduced demand for commodities produced via Thailand’s manufacturing sector. Thailand’s long-term, structural reliance on migrant

 

 

 

workers in many of its key export and growth sectors means that migrant workers will play an essential role in its economic resilience and recovery from the pandemic.

 

In Thailand, the Government has introduced some flexible measures to assist in retaining the migrant workforce and extending some health, employment and social protection measures to migrant workers; although many of these measures are limited to a certain sub-section of regular migrant workers. These measures include:

 

  • Extension of stay for non-Thai nationals with temporary stay status, including migrants not yet registered on Name Lists, until 31 July
  • Extension of stay for seasonal work permit holders, and for MOU workers who have completed four years of employment, until 31 July (while seasonal work permit holders are required to leave the country within seven days, should border points re-open)
  • Extension of stay for registered migrants on Name Lists until 30 November, along with registered dependents (who can stay but not work)
  • Compensation related to COVID-19 for workers whose jobs are affected and who have contributed to the Social Security Fund for no less than 6 months within the past 18 months
  • Postponing approvals of new MOU workers from Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam until further notice
  • Guarantee of free COVID-19 testing as well as free treatment for COVID-19 patients regardless of nationality.

 

However, many migrants are excluded from many of these schemes due to their sector of employment, their migration and/or employment status; and due to a lack of information and support around accessing protections and benefits. For those migrants who are now unemployed or underemployed, border closures combined with a lack of social protection means that they have very limited access to basic needs including food and housing.

 

In countries of origin, migrants returned in large numbers prior to border closures in late March. Since this time Governments in CLM have been working to put measures in place – ranging from quarantine facilities to job referrals and social protection – in preparation for borders reopening and jobless migrants returning from countries of destination including Thailand. At the same time, there are existing labour force gaps in Thailand with an estimated 1.7 million workers needed in sectors where demand has increased.5 While some of these jobs may be filled by Thai workers, recruiters and businesses in both Thailand and CLM report that several thousand migrant workers remain on the waiting list to migrate to Thailand for employment, with plans to deploy 2,500 workers per day from Myanmar alone once travel between the two countries resumes.

 

These changes in the lives of migrants and their families are having a significant impact on their livelihoods and wellbeing, while also shifting attention away from efforts to address the longer-term and more structural barriers and challenges that migrant workers regularly face. A 2017 Baseline Study6 conducted jointly by IOM and the International Labour Organization (ILO) found that:

  • The average recruitment cost is USD 251 in Thailand, paid off over 8 months
  • 1 in 5 migrants who took out loans (19%) provided collateral to secure finances
  • The most common form of collateral was land (10%) followed by homes (5%)
  • On average only 42% of migrants surveyed were receiving minimum wage
  • Women on average earned 14% less than men.

 

The combination of these factors results in a significant lack of economic resilience due to a lack of savings. As shown in the figure below, less than half (45%) of the 1,808 migrants surveyed reported an increase in savings after migration, with almost half (49%) of all Myanmar migrants reporting a decrease in savings after migration:

 

 

These pre-existing issues for migrant workers at all stages of the migration cycle are likely to have been significantly exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. For example the figure below considers the impact of lost jobs on migrant workers’ ability to service migration-related costs and debts:

 

 

As the above model shows, while the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly exacerbated the vulnerability of migrants to economic shock, the structural factors that contribute to this existed already prior to the onset of the crisis. Longer-term efforts to increase the employability, skills and wages of migrants are essential to strengthening the economic resilience of migrants and therefore reducing their risks during future crises.

 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), has been leading efforts to address these issues through the Poverty Reduction through Safe Migration, Skills Development and Enhanced Job Placement in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Thailand (PROMISE). PROMISE is a four year (2017-2021) regional programme led by IOM in partnership with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), and funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). PROMISE seeks to define a clear pathway to promote better employment opportunities and working conditions for migrants, especially women from Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Myanmar (CLM), through safe migration and skills development in collaboration with the private sector in the construction, hospitality, manufacturing and domestic work sectors, training institutes, civil society and governments.

 

 

 

 

The four-year PROMISE program is designed with the following four components:

  • Private sector engagement
  • Migrant worker participation in skills development
  • Return and reintegration
  • Protection of CLM migrant workers

 

Since 2017 the PROMISE programme has developed practical approaches across these four workstreams to assist migrants in CLM and Thailand including through safe labour migration, skills development and recognition, and direct information and services to migrants and related stakeholders.

 

In Thailand, key ongoing activities under PROMISE, and specific COVID-19 responses, include:

  • Establishing a Public-Private Steering Committee on Migrant Employment (PSC), comprised of government agencies and employers’ associations/networks and focused on (1) strengthening protection for migrant workers, (2) implementing ethical recruitment principles, and (3) promoting employability and skills development.
  • Capacity building of employers and recruiters through the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS). 
  • Developing Good Practice Guidelines on Skills Development to guide employers of migrant workers on how to provide skills development opportunities to upskill their migrant workforce.
  • On-the-job training for migrant workers both online and offline, including vocational skills training.
  • Facilitating access to information on labour rights and protections including among migrant domestic workers in Thailand in partnership with HomeNet, and through digital technology.
  • Provision of verified information to migrants and businesses, including regular updates on policy announcements for businesses; practical advice for employers of migrant domestic workers; and information on rights and services available to migrants whose jobs have been affected.

 

In Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Myanmar, IOM’s key ongoing activities under PROMISE, and specific COVID-19 responses, include:

  • Institutionalizing safe migration and relevant soft skills training into existing skills development programmes in migration-prone provinces through capacity building for technical and vocational education and training providers.
  • Facilitating national, bilateral and regional policy dialogues on skills development and recognition in key migrant employment sectors and supports cross-border training and placement models between CLM skills providers and Thailand.
  • Supporting return and reintegration including through Migrant Resource Center services, dissemination of COVID-related information, providing skills development opportunities and job referrals.
  • Working with recruitment agencies and government counterparts to promote ethical recruitment, including adaptation to anticipated new requirements during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Providing assistance to returning migrant workers through livelihoods support, such as business skills development and startup grants for returned migrants in partnership with CSOs.

 

As the COVID-19 infection curve flattens in CLMT, the attention is now shifting away from immediate health concerns to medium and longer-term economic resilience and recovery. As it is designed to realize the promise of migration as a viable poverty reduction strategy, the PROMISE programme is well positioned to implement and scale-up its interventions and leverage its networks to address both new and emerging needs of migrants, as well as to mitigate the impacts of the challenges which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

During this recovery stage, critical needs and considerations will include among others:

  • Increased monitoring and capacity development related to ethical recruitment;
  • Engaging employers and recruitment agencies to ensure the rights of migrants are upheld at all stages of the migration cycle, including with regards to any new recruitment and employment requirements introduced in response to COVID-19;
  • Ensuring migrants have access to reliable information and quality services and social protection, including in migrant languages;
  • Further investing in skills development and employability to ensure existing, returned and aspiring migrants maintain their incomes and economic participation;
  • Provide social and economic return and reintegration support including recognition of skills and prior learning, access to training opportunities and jobs in countries of origin on return, safe pathways for re-migration and re-employment overseas, and increasing capacity of migrants to invest their skills and savings into viable businesses;
  • Support governments to implement recruitment, migration and employment policies which promote decent work and livelihoods for aspiring, existing and returned migrant workers.

 

Given that PROMISE is built on the premise that investing in skills, employability and protections including safe migration and ethical recruitment for migrants, it provides a foundational framework for responding to both existing needs and exacerbated challenges being experienced by migrants in CLMT.

 

To document and highlight these links, IOM Thailand is recruiting an experienced international consultant to develop a brief which will highlight good practices and existing interventions under the PROMISE project, and their existing or potential contribution to socio-economic recovery and resilience in both Thailand as the country of destination, and CLM as countries of origin. In doing so, the brief will actively link economic recovery (for both CLMT economies and businesses, and for individual migrants) with the PROMISE programme’s overall impact objective of poverty reduction through safe migration.

 

The brief itself will be a starting point for different audiences to better understand the work of IOM, particularly under the PROMISE programme, corresponding with current and anticipated future circumstances. As such it will serve both as a basis for dialogue with IOM’s partners seeking support in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic issues, and to assist IOM staff to better understand these links and therefore to inform scale-up and adaptation of PROMISE’s ongoing interventions.

 

The process of developing the brief will inform the PROMISE programme’s adaptation to ongoing, and emerging needs of the programme’s target population, particularly related to socio-economic recovery from COVID-19.

 

  1. Object of the Assignment

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to scale up PROMISE’s ongoing work to promote employment, skills development and safe migration information for migrants in CLMT, through greater engagement and collaboration with all stakeholders throughout the labour migration process to ensure positive impacts upon the lives of migrant workers and their families.

The objective of the assignment is to inform the PROMISE programme’s response to socio-economic recovery needs of migrants in CLMT, by producing a programme brief that:

  • Analyses and summarises the links between PROMISE’s objectives and outcomes, and ongoing and emerging needs of migrant workers in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Documents the ways in which PROMISE is equipped to respond to the needs of aspiring, existing and returned migrant workers in CLMT;
  • Highlights successful interventions and promising practices under the PROMISE programme that may support economic resilience and recovery both for individual migrants, and for businesses and economies in CLMT;
  • Makes recommendations on interventions that require adaptation, further investment and scale-up given new and emerging needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic issues.

The primary audience for the brief is PROMISE’s existing government and existing and potential business partners, along with UN agencies, tertiary institutions and NGOs.

  1. Task under the Assignment
  • Review relevant PROMISE programme documents, and available literature and guidelines on socio-economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, to identify linkages between programme objectives and outcomes, and COVID-19 socio-economic responses
  • Consult with IOM and UN Women PROMISE focal points in Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Thailand to identify on-the-ground needs related to COVID-19 socio-economic recovery; as well as to further assess links between PROMISE’s activities and migrants’ needs
  • Develop a draft PROMISE programme brief targeting key governments, businesses, UN agencies, CSOs and migrants to enhance programme visibility, and invite collaboration and support for the IOM’s ongoing initiatives and activities on labour mobility and human development in light of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Prepare PowerPoint to support dissemination of findings for IOM staff
  • Develop a final PROMISE programme brief based on final inputs and discussion with IOM.

 

  1. Tangible and Measurable Outputs

 

  • Draft PROMISE programme brief presented to IOM
  • PowerPoint with preliminary findings
  • Final PROMISE programme brief approved by IOM.

 

  1. Performance Indicators for Evaluation of Results
  • Timely submission of the aforementioned outputs of the work assignment
  • Satisfactory production of the final version of the PROMISE programme brief

 

 

Other:

 

Any offer made to the candidate in relation to this vacancy notice is subject to funding confirmation.

 

Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment and verification of residency, visa and authorizations by the concerned Government, where applicable.

 

Only candidates residing in either the country of the duty station or from a location in a neighboring country that is within commuting distance of the duty station will be considered. In all cases, a prerequisite for taking up the position is legal residency in the country of the duty station, or in the neighboring country located within commuting distance, and work permit, as applicable.

 

 

How to apply:

Interested candidates are invited to submit their applications, the proposals along with the following documents to the IOM Bangkok Human Resources Unit at e-mail bkkrecruitment@iom.int no later than 5.00 pm on Friday, 10 July 2020. No late proposal shall be accepted.

 

  • A duly completed IOM Personal History Form The form can be downloaded from http://thailand.iom.int/sites/default/files/Recruitment/IOM%20Personal%20History%20Form%20with%20Declaration.xls and Consultant’s CV
  • Cover letter with samples of previous work similar to this consultancy;

 

Kindly indicate the reference code CFCV014/2020 followed by your name or organization name in the subject line.

 

IOM shall notify the successful candidate via e-mail fourteen (14) working days of the application unfolding.

 

Proposals submitted after the above deadline will not be considered. IOM reserves the right to reject the whole or part of any or all applications based on the fulfilment of the provisions described in the requirement. Applicants who do not receive notification before 24 July 2020 can consider their offers unsuccessful.

 

Only shortlisted organization will be contacted.

 

Posting period:

From 26.06.2020 to 10.07.2020

Contact : bkkrecruitment@iom.int


ที่ปรึกษา / Consultant

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