Terms of Reference (ToR) for a consultant on Contribution Subsidy review survey and Learning Product

Tasks related to supporting the ILO and ISSA Comparative study and identification of global best practices on contribution subsidies

May – November 2024


Comparative study and global best practices on contribution subsidies

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is conducting a study on contribution subsidies around the world. The purpose of the assignment is to develop the global evidence base for contribution subsidy mechanisms, highlighting the design choices, contextual factors, and overall impact. In doing so, the assignment will develop a typology of mechanisms that can inform design choices within national social security offices considering the use of this policy tool to extend coverage of social security to more vulnerable segments of the population. The study is financed and managed from the ILO Jordan Field Office, with the immediate requirement to inform discussions with the Jordan Social Security Corporation on the design of its contribution subsidy mechanism. However, the overall paper will be positioned to serve the wider interest in the social protection community as a global knowledge product.

The exercise is envisaged to take place over the course of 10 months, from November 2023 to August 2024. The exercise began with identifying and developing 6-8 case studies of contribution subsidy mechanisms to illustrate the breadth of existing designs. A more comprehensive mapping of existing mechanisms study will take place subsequently and require a more extensive survey-based mapping exercise and desk review. The mapping exercise will be led by ISSA, leveraging their outreach channels with national social security offices. The desk review should complement mapping efforts and focus on assessing the impact of contribution subsidy mechanisms on social security participation and reduction in informality. Based on the findings, the exercise should define a typology of different contribution subsidy schemes and structure the learnings from identified design features. The review can include high-income countries for the purposes of defining the typology, however, the main recommendations and learnings should be targeted towards lower- and middle-income contexts that may seek to adopt this intervention as a strategy for extension of coverage and formalization. Case studies and recommendations will prioritise learnings from contexts with high rates of labour informality and more limited institutional capacity. The report will conclude by highlighting key design considerations relevant for Jordan and other contexts of high worker informality.

Research activities under the Project

Research activities

The full list of activities for the project are as follows, shared between ILO and ISSA –

  • Define contribution subsidy mechanism criteria. With ILO and ISSA, devise working definition of contribution subsidies for the purpose of scoping this study and designing survey questionnaire.
  • Develop 6-8 country case studies. The exercise will begin with an internal brainstorm and development of 6-8 core case studies, highlighting the design choices, enabling factors and impact of select contribution subsidy mechanisms. The case studies should serve to provide the SSC and other key stakeholders in Jordan with reference points in the contribution subsidy literature and evidence base.
  • Conduct a mapping exercise of contribution subsidy models. The mapping exercise will be led by ISSA and will leverage their country network to collect information on existing models of subsidy models. Given anticipated gaps in the literature, the mapping is intended to be expansive in surfacing less researched examples to facilitate structuring of possible typologies. Information collected should include a brief description of the challenge being addressed by the mechanism, type of mechanism, value, target population, duration, financing, and complementary design frameworks or benefits (such as embedding within a monotax regime with benefits of simplified administration and reductions in taxes).
  • Conduct a desk review of studies and assessments covering contribution subsidies. In parallel with the above mapping exercise, a desk review should be conducted on all research relevant to contribution subsidy mechanisms. The review will focus on assessing the impacts of contribution subsidy mechanisms on social security participation and entry into formal employment, encompassing relevant indicators on registration, contribution density, gender equality etc. The review should also document elements of design (worker or employer-targeted, target group, delivery mechanism, subsidy value, phase out period, financing modality), administration (efficiency, effectiveness, including of targeting), and impact on participation.
  • Identify draft framework of contribution subsidy mechanism typologies and case studies. After the mapping exercise and desk review, conduct a technical meeting with ILO to discuss possible frameworks of categorising different contribution subsidy mechanisms and identify case studies illustrating the key design features.
  • Prepare report framing typology of different contribution subsidy mechanisms, case studies, key findings, lessons learned and recommendations. The final product is intended to present the evidence base for the use of contribution subsidy mechanisms and benefits in achieving goals of extension of coverage and formalization. The report should cater for an audience that understands social insurance concepts, whilst remaining accessible and easy-to-read. The completed version will be submitted in English. The report should include a one-page infographic conceptualising the typology, to ensure that findings can be translated to a wider audience.
  • Presenting findings to key stakeholders. In Jordan, findings will be presented to the SSC and other stakeholders including the workers’ and employers’ organizations, civil society, development partners and Government Institutions. The paper should also serve a wider interest in the social protection community as a global knowledge product, with dissemination via webinars reaching ISSA members and the broader international social protection audience.
  • Prepare learning materials based on the findings of the study. The global scope and relevance of the study present an opportunity to capture the knowledge produced in a user-friendly, learning-oriented product available to wider audiences beyond the life of the project. To this end, one additional product will be the design and development of materials that can be easily converted to regional or global training materials available to both the ILO and ISSA to incorporate into relevant training programmes for their respective knowledge and practitioner communities.

This project will be produced as a collaboration between ISSA and ILO, recognising the importance of this research area to both agencies, and recognising the anticipated advantages of each agency for different requirements of the research.

The research study will leverage ISSA’s country office network and outreach channels to social security offices to collect Country Profile information and other administrative data. Given this infrastructure, ISSA will lead on the mapping exercise, utilising a survey design to reach out to a subset of countries that are assessed to be target countries (50-60 countries). ISSA will be responsible for building the respondent list, sending out the surveys, follow-up, compilation of responses, and oversight of the development of learning materials.

  1. Key Tasks and Responsibilities for the External Collaborator

The external collaborator for this assignment will support the implementation of an ISSA member survey and the development of learning materials based on the project’s findings. The responsibilities of the external collaborator consist of performing the following tasks within an established schedule.

  • Task 1. Support with the implementation of survey (follow up and compilation of responses). The external collaborator will play a key role in the implementation of the online survey aimed at ISSA members. The target list will be defined in collaboration with the ISSA, and the survey will be implemented using the ISSA’s tools for engaging with members. The external collaborator will provide support with follow-up, ensuring adequate quality and quantity of responses.
    • Final responses: 30 May 2024
      • Task 2: Compilation of survey responses, including the design and preparation of short country profiles based on the responses.
  • The external collaborator will design and prepare short country profiles based on the responses and compile the survey responses with a view to presenting summary statistics corresponding to the key dimensions of interrogation of the study and identifying potential cases for further in-depth examination. The compilation will be done in consultation with the ISSA, ILO and the ILO external collaborator separately contracted to lead the main global study.
  • Design of country profile: 15 May 2024
  • Preparation of country profiles: 30 June 2024
  • Descriptive statistics of survey responses: 05 July 2024
  • Task 3: Development of a learning materials package, including a summary of key lessons, highlights of at least 6 short illustrative country case profiles, a resources kit and any other supporting materials.
  • The external collaborator will base the materials on the outputs developed by a separately contracted ILO external collaborator (short report, detailed report, recommendations, and infographic of typology)
    • Outline for learning package contents and structure: 31 August 2024
    • Learning package: 30 September 2024
    • Short article 1: 31 October 2024
    • Short article 2: 30 November 2024
  • Task 4. Development of two short articles to disseminate the findings via the ISSA and ILO websites.
    • Each article will be approximately 3,000 words in length. The specific focus of the short articles will be determined in collaboration with the ISSA and ILO.

(Check attached TOR for further details on vacancy)

How to apply

How to Apply

Interested consultants are invited to submit the below via email to nashawati@ilo.org, and copying sirisena@ilo.org, under the email subject “Contribution Subsidies Global Review and Learning Product”. The deadline for submission is 20 April 2024. The position is open to both international and national consultants. No travel is anticipated for this assignment.

The application shall include:

  1. A Curriculum Vitae (CV), including at least two professional references that are relevant to the assignment.
  2. A financial proposal detailing the daily rate, number of working days required for each deliverable, and implied fee for each deliverable.
  3. One or more work samples demonstrating experience on a similar assignment, if any.

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