Digital Economy Consultant at International Labour Organization

Duration of assignment (TBC): 1 July to 31 October 2022

Level of effort: 50 working days

The ILO is seeking to recruit an individual Digital Economy Consultant to support the implementation of activities of the ILO PROPSECTS project in Kenya with a focus on promoting decent job creation of young refugees and host community members in the digital economy.

Note: The consultancy is home-based. For applicants outside of Kenya, availability to travel to Kenya for up to two weeks technical advisory missions are expected. In this case travel costs (flight tickets and per diem) would be included in the contract in addition to the fees specified in Section 3.

1. Context

Technical context

The African Union estimates that there are over 400 million people between the ages of 15 and 35 living in Africa. These young people are bright, full of ideas and potential. As the continent’s most important source of human capital, they are the future and deserve decent jobs. The growing digital economy across the continent offers opportunities for young people to fulfil their potential.

Kenya’s young population continues to face socio-economic pressures as economic growth has not led to the creation of a sufficient number of (decent) jobs. Consequently, a major challenge currently facing young people in Kenya is youth unemployment, which stood at 38 per cent in 2019 according to the most recent Kenya Population and Housing Census report. Almost one in seven (13.7 per cent) young people in Kenya were Neither in Employment, Education or Training (NEET, SDG Indicator 8.6.1) as of 2016, with young women finding themselves around twice as often (18.2 per cent) in this group than young men (9.2 per cent).

A further key constraint in the Kenyan youth labour market is a misalignment between labour supply (skills) and demand (jobs). The Kenyan education system, particularly at the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) level, faces a number of challenges including with regard to access, quality and infrastructure, while young people continue having limited opportunities to learn on the job, for instance through apprenticeships or internships.

At the same time, the world is witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record. In recent years, forced displacement has increased in scale and complexity. While forcibly displaced persons face specific vulnerabilities, including psychological trauma, lack of opportunity and protection risks, host communities struggle to pursue their own development efforts in an environment that has been transformed by a large influx of newcomers. The responses to these challenges are becoming more focused on durable solutions to support more dignified, inclusive and comprehensive programmes for refugees and the communities that host them.

The digital economy continues to emerge as a key driver for the creation of decent jobs especially for Kenya’s youth. The country has adopted the Digital Economy Blue Print of 2019 providing a framework to leverage digital government, digital business, infrastructure, innovation-driven entrepreneurship and digital skills and values. This also presents opportunities for refugees and host community members to access jobs in the digital labour market. Fully harnessing these opportunities requires to improve access to quality education and skills development as well as stimulating labour demand and access to digital labour markets within and beyond refugee camps. For young refugees to benefit from the transformative power of information and communication technologies (ICTs), they must be equipped with a range of digital skills and have affordable access to connectivity.

Operational context of the assignment

In response to the challenges facing both host communities and refugees, a new partnership initiative titled: PROSPECTS Partnership for improving Prospects for host communities and forcibly displaced persons’, has been launched by the Government of the Netherlands that brings together the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Bank. The Partnership has a four-year initial time horizon (2019-2023) where partners will join their efforts to develop a new paradigm in responding to forced displacement crises in eight countries (Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Sudan, and Uganda).

The overall objective of PROSPECTS in Kenya is to improve the living standards and inclusiveness of refugees, asylum-seekers and vulnerable host communities, by contributing to the expansion of socio-economic opportunities through better education and mainstreamed protection interventions.

With a geographical focus on Turkana and Garissa Counties, PROSPECTS Kenya is working under three main pillars. The first pillar, Education and Learning focuses on increasing the number of forcibly displaced persons and host communities with quality education and training. The second pillar on Employment with Dignity seeks to increase the number of forcibly displaced persons and host communities with enhanced livelihoods and/or employment in decent work through improvements in labour market governance supporting transition to and entry into employment and formalisation. The third pillar on Protection and Inclusion aims at increasing protection, social protection and inclusion for forcibly displaced persons and host communities through strengthening of legal, policy and enabling environment for protection, social protection and inclusion.

As part of PROSPECTS Kenya, the ILO and UNHCR are also working towards a digital revolution for refugee and host community youth in Kenya underpinned by three interrelated outcomes: (i) boosting market-oriented digital skills, (ii) easing youth transitions to jobs in the digital economy through enhanced labour market intermediation services and (iii) supporting digitally skilled youth to access quality jobs in the digital economy. These outcomes also support the ILO’s efforts to more broadly strengthen knowledge, action and impact for youth employment in the digital economy in Africa.

2. Objective and scope of work

The objective of the assignment is for the consultant to coordinate, and support the implementation of selected activities of the ILO under the PROSPECTS project in Kenya, linked to skills development and job creation for refugees in the digital economy. The consultant is expected to support the ILO Kenya PROSPECTS country team in preparing activities through technical inputs and operational support, liaising with partner organisations, and following up with implementing partners as required.

This includes the following tasks:

1. Preparatory work: The consultant will become familiar with the structure and workplans of PROSPECTS Kenya in general and ILO’s role within it in particular. The consultant is expected to review and familiarise themselves with technical reports and operational guidance.

2. Digital skills supply and demand assessment:

· The consultant will coordinate and lead organising a validation workshop for an ongoing assessment that is expected to be concluded in July 2022. This includes support in drafting concept notes for the validation workshop, summarising and commenting on key findings and following up with the research team to ensure comments received during the validation workshop are incorporated into the final version of the report

· Expected outputs: Validation workshop report.

3. Development of market driven digital curriculum in TVETs and other TVET Trainers:

· Support organising of a consultative workshop that bring together key stakeholders to discuss how to best support TVET institutions in Turkana and Garissa in integrating digital skills trainings into their curricula

· Develop TORs for a training of training (TOT) approach based digital skills curriculum. In close collaboration with ILO staff, the consultant will develop the TORs and support the selection of a service provider to develop the digital skills curriculum and conduct the TOT.

· Expected outputs: (i) Consultation workshop report; (ii) published TORs and follow-up support to service provider

4. Digitalization or/and digitization of TVET Institutions:

· Support ILO collaboration with the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA). This includes providing inputs to a concept on how ILO can support digitalisation/digitization processes of NITA, developing a workplan based on consultations with ILO and NITA and developing Terms of References that will be the basis of implementing arrangements or service contracts to operationalise ILO’s support.

· Expected outputs: (i) TORs and follow-up support to service provider

5. Establishment of labour market intermediation service (e.g. digital job search clubs)- workshop / facilitation of career counsellors:

· The consultant will be supporting the implementation of “Job Search Clubs (JSC)” as part of ILO PROSPECTS. This includes reviewing technical training material from JSCs from other PROSPECTS countries, engaging and following-up with selected implementing partners and stakeholders in Turkana and Garissa. The consultant will coordinate the training of JSC facilitators in close collaboration with ILO.

· Expected outputs: (i) Reviewed training material; ii) Identify and contract an implementing partner (ii) facilitators training conducted (iii) Pilot of JSC model

6. Facilitating digital solutions to identified value chain problems through hackathons or similar innovative implementation formats:

· The consultant will develop a concept for running hackathons (or other similar innovative implementation formats such as innovation challenges) including through strong youth participation and engagement. This includes consultations with partner organizations on past experiences and best practices as well as drawing on materials of ILO innovation challenges. The concept will include a detailed description of the implementation mechanisms, including follow-up support to the successful participants of the hackathon.

· Expected outputs: (i) draft hackathon concept; (ii) revised and validated hackathon concept. (iii) Identification and contracting of Hackathon Implementing partner

7. Maintaining close contact with the ILO: Throughout the assignment, the consultant is expected to work closely with the ILO Kenya PROSPECTS team and thematic specialist in coordinating delivery on the aforementioned tasks.

3. Timeline, deliverables and fees

The consultancy goes from 01 July 2022 to 31 October.

Timeline – Deliverables – Days – Costs/day in USD – Total in USD

31 July 2022 – Digital skills supply and demand assessment: validation workshop report – 5 days

31 August 2022 – Support and coordinate the development of market driven digital curriculum in TVETs and other TVET Trainers : (i) Consultation workshop report; (ii) published TORs and follow-up support to service provider – 15 days

31 August 2022 – Digitalization of TVET Institutions: (i) TORs and follow-up support to service provider – 5 days

30 September 2022 – Establishment of labour market intermediation service (e.g. digital job search clubs)- workshop / facilitation of career counsellors: (i) Identify the developer of digital JSC and (ii) reviewed training material; (ii) facilitators training conducted -12 days

30 September 2022 – Facilitating digital solutions to identified value chain problems through hackathons: (i) draft hackathon concept; (ii) revised and validates hackathon concept. 13 days

Total: 50 days

Deviations from these deliverables can occur according to the evolution of the assignment; however, any changes observed or anticipated should be consulted with the focal person at the ILO.

4. Payment Terms

The ILO will only pay for services that have been performed and for deliverables that are successfully completed to the satisfaction of the ILO. The payments will be made according to the following schedule:

  • The first payment of 30 per cent of the contract volume will be made upon signature and presentation of the invoice
  • The second payment of 30 per cent of the contract volume will be made upon receipt of deliverables 1, 2 and 3 to the satisfaction of the ILO and presentation of the invoice. The second and final payment of 40 per cent of the contract volume will be made upon receipt of deliverables 4 and 5 to the satisfaction of the ILO and presentation of the invoice.

5. Staffing, Roles, and Reporting

The consultant will provide regular updates for the work carried out to the Chief Technical Advisor of ILO PROSPECTS in Kenya. The consultant is expected to collaborate closely with the technical team of the ILO PROSPECTS in Kenya, as well as with the Youth Employment Officer and the Regional Forced Displacement Skills & Employability Specialist of the ILO Regional Office for Africa, as well as other relevant technical specialist across the Africa region and at ILO Headquarters.

6. Specific Clauses

Throughout the course of this assignment, the consultant will report on at least a weekly basis to the ILO for coordination and follow–up. All communication to other relevant stakeholders should be coordinated with the ILO. If it appears necessary to modify the tasks of work or exceed the time allocated, the consultant must discuss the circumstances with the ILO and obtain prior written approval. ILO may disclose the draft or final documents and/or any related information to any person and for any purpose the ILO may deem appropriate.

Kindly note that for the tasks mentioned in this TORs, the consultant is expected to work closely with the ILO PROSPECTS team in Kenya which includes supporting the preparation of contractual arrangements between the ILO and third parties (such as external collaborators or implementing partners). The consultant is not expected to enter into any legal arrangements with third parties or finance those as part of their assignment with the ILO.

7. Required experience and qualifications

  • Post-graduate qualification in a relevant field (social science, social policy, economics, development studies, Education, ICT labour , etc.).
  • At least 5 years of progressive experience in the area of design, management and implementation of youth employment projects or programmes with a focus on digitalisation of services or the digital economy
  • Understanding of and experience working on future of work trends in particular around digitalisation and the digital economy would be considered an asset
  • Understanding of and experience working in forced displacement, crisis and refugee contexts would be considered an asset
  • Familiarity with ILO policies, technical programmes and procedures, including experience working with the United Nations, Ministries of Labour, Education, Trade or other government Ministries Departments and Agencies, would be an added advantage
  • Exceptional organizational and communication skills, ability to work independently as well as in teams in order to meet deadlines.
  • Excellent English communication and drafting skills.
Interested service providers are invited to apply by sending a cover letter, a short workplan, a CV, and daily rate to E-mail: nboprocurement@ilo.orgSubject Quoting**” PROSPECTS: Digital Economy”**

The application deadline is 24 June 2022 23:59 PM (East African Time; GMT+3).


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