for engagement of CSO’s to support the effective socio-economic integration of returnees in the local community

February 9, 2024


  1. PROJECT TITLE:         “Strengthen national and local systems to support the effective socio-economic integration of returnees in the Western Balkans”



Contract start date:      20th of February 2024

Contract end date:        30th of June 2024

Duty station:                  Shtip



UNDP is the development arm of the United Nations system, with offices in 180 countries. Globally, the organization employs 17,000 people and manages a budget of USD 5 billion each year. The UNDP office in Skopje employs a team of around 70 and currently manages a portfolio of projects in environmental protection, democratic governance, and inclusive prosperity worth USD 15 million per year. 

UNDP with EU support has developed the project Strengthen national and local systems to support the effective socio-economic integration of returnees in the Western Balkans that initially was developed to respond to the challenges of implementation of the strategies for migration and reintegration of returnees especially at local level. The project is part of the IPA II Multi-Country Action Programme of the EU support to fundamental rights of Roma community, and reintegration of returnees, which has been entrusted to the WB, UNDP and the CoE. Some of the challenges that were identified during the inception phase of this project are: ineffectual governance structures and mechanisms which fail to ensure horizontal (inter-institutional) and vertical (central-local level) coordination, weak institutional capacities, and insufficient financial resources to provide accessible and quality public services. These challenges become even more profound at local level where the exclusion is most perceptible and where institutional response can deliver a change in people’s wellbeing.

The Project aims to enhance the ability of Western Balkan authorities at central and local level to implement comprehensive models for reintegration of returnees. The project addresses the broader social inclusion agenda promoting the socio-economic well-being and tackling the root causes and negative drivers of migration of Roma and vulnerable populations.

As the project is starting with its implementation phase as part of the two-track approach defined in the Project Document, North Macedonia is one of the WB countries that has to implement local-level programmes and test innovative solutions for sustainable socio-economic reintegration of returnees for which the project envisages close cooperation with civil society organizations (CSOs) as implementing partners at local level.  The community outreach and established trust, in many instances makes the local NGOs first point of contact for the vulnerable returnees. The role of local NGOs active in supporting the reintegration of returnees and socio-economic inclusion of Roma is instrumental for ensuring that the voice and the needs of returnees are adequately reflected in the local priorities. This is crucial to avoid the eventual risk of elite capture and asymmetrical access to information regarding the available economic empowerment programmes and public services. Local NGOs are playing an important role in building coalitions and voicing the concerns and needs of the vulnerable returnees. They play an essential role in the outreach and in the delivery of social services to vulnerable returnees.

To achieve the above objective, the Project is expected to deliver tangible results in the following three areas.

Output 1.        Local returnee integration strategies are developed with selected municipalities. 

Output 2.        Elements of local returnee integration strategies are implemented in selected municipalities, including innovative activities on livelihoods, skills building, etc. 

Regarding Output 2 that aim to demonstrate new approaches to economic empowerment programmes and social cohesion, which will form the main pillars of the local reintegration strategies, is the expected to deliver results by implementing the following activities:

Activity 2.1. Integrated support to improve employability of returnees;

Activity 2.2. Implement innovative programmes in supporting business start-ups and productive partnerships with local businesses;

Activity 2.3. Promoting social cohesion by organizing community-based programmes will support implementation of the community cohesion component of local reintegration strategies;

Output 3.        Significant number of urgent administrative issues faced by returnees are addressed.

Regarding output 3 seek to identify and develop approaches for improved governance in public service provision, which can be institutionalized at the end of the Action implementation.

Activity 3.1. Improve access to social and administrative services by returnees including by use of digital tools.



The objective of this Request for Proposal is to engage up to two local CSOs/NGOs in Shtip, which will implement effective programmes for supporting returnees in partnership with UNDP to achieve the following goals: 

  1. Increase capacities of NGO’s representatives through training with a previous established methodology for activation of returnees on labor market, that will enable NGOs to establish effective partnerships with public service providers and local businesses.
  2. Provide support in activating unemployed returnees in the labor market through engaged two individuals who will be trained to promote socio-economic inclusion of Roma returnees.
  3. Implement activation and employment methodology in Shtip, methodology that will be transferred by an NGO engaged to build their capacities.
  4. In addition to socio-economic inclusion of the target groups, provide psychosocial support, social cohesion, access to education, and documentation provision for returnees.
  5. Increase the outreach and support the delivery of social services to vulnerable returnees; and
  6. Increase the outreach and participation of Roma returnees in the employment support activities and/or services leading to employability enhancement and labour market activation.

The above-mentioned project goals will be achieved by: 

  • Involvement of the engaged individuals in various types of training sessions that will be organized within the project framework;
  • Execution of an action plan for implementing activities at a local level aimed at activating unemployed returnees in the labor market and facilitating their socio-economic inclusion;
  • Provision of services that returnees usually need as administrative procedure in obtaining certain documentation from the countries they return or other type of administrative procedure (effective programmes for supporting returnees on issues pertaining personal IDs, school certificates, recognition of informal education, access to health care and social services, information dissemination etc); 
  • Provision of services for outreach of employability services to returnees, coaching and mentoring of unemployed returnees and improve collaboration with public service providers; 
  • Sharing information to the business sector regarding their needs for employment of returnees and enhancing collaboration with the private sector;
  • Provision of services for outreach and delivery of social services to returnees and their representation and mediation

Furthermore, NGOs will be involved in provision of insights/mapping of administrative bottlenecks for accessing services by the returnees as well as for outsourcing service provision to NGOs; and conducting field surveys among the target group about social needs at local level.

Interested local NGOs will work jointly with UNDP in strengthening their capacities to become an effective partners of public service providers and local businesses. In addition, models for engagement of NGOs in the service delivery will be developed and proposed for its institutionalization to the policy and decision makers.

It is important to emphasize that during the inception phase it is noted that in Shtip, one or more CSOs/NGOs will be engaged in order to achieve the expected results. The selected CSOs/NGOs are expected to include in their proposal the following activities: 

  1. Selection and engagement of individuals with appropriate qualifications who will be employed within the organization;
  2. Collaboration with the service provider for transferring the methodology to provide support in activating unemployed returnees in the labor market and facilitating their socio-economic inclusion;
  3. Development of a strategy and tools for the identification and mapping of returnees
  4. Field research and identification returnees at local level and develop data and providing reports for identified returnees from each field worker and submitting reports to the UNDP.
  5. Field research and identification of companies that require new employment;
  6. Formation of a coordination team comprising an individual for working within the community and a mediator for the employment of returnees in the private sector;
  7. Implementation of trainings for engaged persons for improving their skills for identification and mapping of returnees; and
  8. Representation of the returnee and mediation for access to local institutions and different services. 

Note: In the LVG proposal, the entities can propose activities only for one municipality and it is recommended that CSOs/NGOs are located in the same municipality or have implemented activities in the municipality for which they are submitting the proposal. 


The minimum targets that all selected CSOs/NGOs are expected to achieve in terms of returnee’s involvement in the Project, are the following:

NoDescription of deliverables

Total targets

(3 municipalities)

Targets per municipality 
Outreach and delivery of social services to returnees including representation and mediation of the returnee before the institutions
1Number of returnees informed about the possibilities for their inclusion at the local level300100
2Collecting statements for returnee status10033
3Prepared assessment of capacity of unemployment persons for activation on labor market and registration of an unemployed person in employment center6020
4Provision of social services and psychosocial support for returnees3010
5Conducting surveys among the target group about social needs at local level.300100
Outreach to employment support activities and/or services leading to employability enhancement and labour market activation and intermediation in finding work
1Assist for completion of soft skills trainings6020
2Assist for completion of digital trainings4214
3Assist for completion of vocational trainings (3.2 A & 3.2 B)4013
4Assist for registration of legal entities/ companies from Self-employment programme (start-ups) 207
5Mediation for direct employments in private companies (30 direct employments in companies and 30 employments as a result of the implementation of measures 3.2 A & 3.2 B).5017
6Number of Roma and other vulnerable groups activated on the labour market (number of prepared assessments via Questionnaires)300100
Logistics support
1Organizing trainings for soft skills, digital skills and start-up businesses93


V.         REPORTING

The selected CSOs/NGOs shall report to UNDP on the implementation of the activities and achievement of the expected results under this assignment. For this purpose, grantees will be requested to submit:

  • Quarterly progress reports
  • Final report not later than 30th of June 2024

Note: Template of the report including necessary reporting elements will be additionally provided by UNDP.


The duration of the assignment is envisaged to be 4 months, starting from 20th of February 2024 till 30th of June 2024.

The total budget will be realized in three tranches:

1.         First instalment 40 % after contract signing.

2.         Second instalment 30 % after acceptance of Q1’24 Progress Report

3.         Third instalment 30 % after acceptance of Final Report.



The assignment will include field work at local level in Shtip in North Macedonia.



Interested local CSOs/NGOs must meet the following mandatory criteria:

  1. To be registered (legal entity registration) minimum 2 years.
  2. To prove that the applicant has the organizational capacity to implement projects or activities with a team of at least 3 members.
  3. At least 1 year of experience in providing any administrative or similar advisory/mentoring services to vulnerable groups of people (such as: Roma, returnees, youth, women at social risk), with the aim to facilitate their socio-economic inclusion in the community. Applicants that have experience in provision of services for Roma returnees’ access to administrative procedure for obtaining personal and other documentation from the home country would be considered as an asset. 
  4. The applicant should include in the project proposal a management structure that includes a team of two members: a) Employment advisor and b) Employment mediator. The qualification requirements and experience of the proposed team members are presented below.
  5. To prove that the applicant has experience in financial management with at least 450,000 MKD turnover over the period of 2 years.

*** If any of the above listed minimum requirement are not met, the evaluation grid (Annex A) of the organization shall not be scored and will lead towards disqualification of the applicant.


In addition to the mandatory criteria the interesting local CSOs/NGOs will be evaluated against the following criteria for which they will have to provide evidence of required experience. The experiences of the interested applicants beyond above-mentioned mandatory experience will be considered as an asset: 

  1. At least 1 year of experience in provision of support activities and/or services that have to do with labour market activation and integration of unemployed persons, preferably hard-to-employ persons. Priority will be given to CSOs/NGOs that have operated in Shtip and its surroundings.
  2. Experience in establishing effective partnerships with the local (municipal) authorities and the private sector, preferably on issues related to Roma inclusion or more specifically Roma returnees’ inclusion will be considered as a strong asset.


Qualification requirements and experience for the Employment advisor


  • At least High School Diploma: BA will be considered as a strong asset.


  • At least 1 year of cumulative professional experience in activities related to socio-economic inclusion of Roma and/or other groups at risk of social exclusion in the country.
  • At least 3 months of Experience in providing career orientation / guidance and/or in improving employability and/or getting employment will be considered as a strong asset.
  • At least 6 months of cumulative professional fieldwork experience in activities related to socio-economic inclusion of vulnerable group in/with the municipality where the applicant shall work.


Qualification requirements and experience for the Employment mediator


  • At least High School Diploma: BA will be considered as a strong asset.


  • At least 2 years of cumulative professional experience in activities related to socio-economic inclusion of Roma and/or other groups at risk of social exclusion in the country.
  • At least 1 years’ Experience of development cooperation with local business sector. 


Required documents for submission:

  1. Registration of the CSOs/NGOs (Current Condition from the Central Registry); 
  2. Balance Sheet for the last 2 years - (Izvestaj za bilanost na sostojba i podatoci od Bilanost na Uspehot”, izdaden od Centralen register);
  3. Low Value Grant Proposal containing budget for proposed activities, work plan and performance targets as per Annex 1
  4. Profile of the NGO referring to previous experience and reference list of relevant projects/activities to this assignment. The profile information of the NGO should prove that the applicant meets the mandatory criteria and those additional ones that will be considered as an asset. (Annex 2)
  5. CVs of the proposed team members against the qualification requirements and experience. The CV should include (Annex 3) a List of evidence of professional experience
  6. Signed Self-Certification (Annex 4)


The application deadline for submission of all relevant documents including the request for proposal should be not later than Wednesday 14th of February 2024 by 10:00.

Applications should be sent by email to:


Additional information and related annexes can be found on the following links: 

Annex 1 Low Value Grant Proposal_2024 

Annex 2 – Reference list of similar projects 

Annex 3 e-advisor  

Annex 3 medijator  

Annex 4  Self-Certification