Call for participation in the competition “Online resource centre for employment and MSME development to support economic resilience of citizens of Ukraine”
This Call for Proposals (CfP) is administered by UNDP DIA Support project which is an integral part of the UNDP Democratic Governance portfolio. Through this portfolio UNDP assists the Government, civil society and the people of Ukraine in advancing democratic policies and practices needed to accelerate progress on sustainable human development. This includes advocating for human rights and gender equality, supporting anti-corruption efforts, promoting the digital transformation agenda, ensuring that all Ukrainian citizens can protect their rights, strengthening parliament, and empowering civil society and youth activists.
Digital, Inclusive, Accessible: Support to Digitalisation of Public Services in Ukraine (DIA Support) Project is implemented with funding provided by the Government of Sweden and in close cooperation with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine (MDT). Within this three-year intervention, UNDP assists its government counterparts to select a comprehensive set of services that representatives of vulnerable groups require in their life situations, and ensures that these services can be delivered in a digitalized or digitally-enhanced, mobile-based form. MDT gains an in-depth understanding of the Human Rights Based Approach in crafting public services for citizen-clients. The Project also works proactively with citizen-clients to enhance their digital skills and their willingness to adopt the solutions offered by new technology.
The DIA Support Project aims to achieve the following objectives:
- Government institutions have the knowledge and skills to design and implement policies to digitalise citizen-oriented services in line with principles of the Human Rights Based Approach and gender mainstreaming;
- Client-centred digital service packages are built around life situations in a participatory and gender-responsive manner;
- Ukrainian women and men know more about the digital and mobile-based services available to them and use these services more to meet their needs.
Through this CfP, UNDP plans to engage a civil society organisation to create a dedicated online resource centre, which would comprise a hotline and call centre capabilities to support on issues of employment and MSME development. This would enable the Government of Ukraine to effectively identify and address the needs of unemployed Ukrainians, with specific focus on unemployed displaced (refugees and IDPs) and other vulnerable groups affected by the war. The Centre will aim at providing free-of-charge consultations for those willing to search for a job in Ukraine or abroad, and will extend support to businesses, particularly to those who were relocated from conflict-affected regions to western Ukraine, including to other countries. Additionally, the Centre’s consultants will provide information on opportunities and procedures of official employment or issues of MSME development, both inside Ukraine and in the European Union countries and ways of establishment / relocation of local business to the EU. The resource centre initiated by the Ministry of Digital Transformation and founded with the support of UNDP will have a purpose to rapidly tackle such challenges as:
· Assist the Ukrainian authorities at all levels in dealing with the humanitarian crisis and enhance support to unemployed citizens affected by the war in searching for a job or implementing their entrepreneurial initiatives and thus making inputs to the local economic growth;
· Contribute to all sorts of humanitarian initiatives directed to support MSMEs among Ukrainians who have to relocate within Ukraine or even move abroad due to the war. It will include providing legal expertise and familiarising citizens of Ukraine with options on remote jobs either in Ukraine or from abroad to sustain the economy of Ukraine;
· Support prospective Ukrainian entrepreneurs that are seeking to implement their business/start-up projects in Ukraine or the EU countries, which are geographically close to Ukraine. These entrepreneurs may include those representing the most vulnerable groups, by whom such support may be taken as a means of response to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
· Provide information and consultations to Ukrainians heading abroad on obtaining a status of asylum seekers or refugees in different countries, social and economic support granted by EU countries, as well as variants for a temporary place of residence.
The centre will operate in a similar way as Diia Business centres in Ukraine, although all the consultations will be provided via hotline, online chat and other remote options to ensure safety of its personnel and clients. A range of European countries whose legal regulations and policies may constitute the subject of hotline consultations should include but are not limited to: Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Georgia, Greece, Germany and Turkey.
2. OBJECTIVES OF THE COMPETITION
The primary focus of this CfP is to support the joint efforts of the national government (Ministry of Digital Transformation), UNDP and CSOs to establish and administer a unified online resource centre for unemployed individuals and MSMEs as a response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine. This open call is aimed at ensuring further progress towards achieving the initiative goals, namely:
· Organize an operational, properly functioning virtual resource centre with a hotline and coordinated system offering professional consultations on employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in Ukraine, as well as the temporary registration in the EU countries to the war-affected Ukrainian population including the most vulnerable groups;
· Provide free-of-charge remote consultations for Ukrainians willing to find accommodation and job, start their own business, extend/relocate the existing one, launch a start-up project in Ukraine or neighbouring EU countries; the consultations may be provided via dedicated hotline freely available both in Ukraine and abroad;
· Develop clear algorithms, operational procedures (roadmap) for the consulting process which should comprise the best EU practices and regulations regarding the business launch and support, taxes, simplified registration, etc.
· Compile and disseminate information on any kind of opportunities offered for Ukrainians who are searching for jobs or planning to start a business in Ukraine; in addition, to collect, verify and freely share descriptions on all types of permissive documents that are required for registering a business or being officially employed in EU countries;
· Cooperate with various actors including Ukrainian and EU authorities at all levels, international organisations, charitable funds and CSOs for purpose of information exchange related to safe employment, accommodation and MSME development opportunities for Ukrainian citizens who have temporarily relocated within Ukraine or moved to other countries.
3. PARTICIPANTS OF THE COMPETITION
Non-profit organizations, particularly charitable organizations, and public associations (including civil society organizations and unions) are officially registered in Ukraine. The contest does not provide grants to profit organizations, political parties, state authorities, local governments, religious communities and private (physical) individuals and entrepreneurs.
3.1. Eligible organizations
The parameters that will determine whether a CSO is eligible to be considered for UNDP funding will be assessed on the Capacity Assessment Checklist (CACHE) presented in Annex 5. In case of a coalition-based application, only the core applicant will be verified against CACHE.
3.2. Geographic location
UNDP will accept applications from all regions of Ukraine.
4. BUDGET AND ALLOWED EXPENSES
Eligible costs must:
· be necessary for caring out project activities;
· comply with the principles of sound financial management, in particular, value for and cost-effectiveness;
· be properly recorded, identifiable and verifiable, and backed by original supporting documents.
UNDP grant may only be used to cover the following costs:
· Staff salaries and expert fees
· Purchase of consultative services provided that these are essential for project goals and objectives;
· Consumables and supplies, including minor personal protective equipment;
· Printing and copying;
· Utility services;
· Renting, catering and other services envisaged by the project activities;
· Travel costs (provided that travel complies with internal UNDP regulations).
The following costs are ineligible:
· Costs of project proposal preparation;
· Debts reconciliation;
· International travel;
· Reimbursement of expenses related to exchange rate fluctuations;
· Creation and registration of the organization;
· Direct fiscal support to state authorities;
· Political activity;
· Religious propaganda;
· Activities leading to direct or indirect discrimination of any social strata;
· Projects aimed at gaining profit from activities;
· Construction or repair work;
· Purchase of vehicles and/or luxury goods and related services;
· Purchase of goods for distribution in the form of humanitarian aid, gifts.
5. SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
All applications must be received by UNDP no later than 28 March 2022 by 23:59. Applications arriving after the indicated deadline shall not be considered. Please, do not send attachments exceeding 10 Mb. If the application attachments exceed this size, break the archive up into several parts of under 10 Mb each and indicate accordingly in the e-mail subject (e.g. “Application part 1 of X”).
Please note that UNDP does not send automated replies to your submission (including automated “read receipts” or “delivery receipts”) and does not control what e-mail server responses are sent to the applicants, should they request such automated receipts.
Please expect to receive a human-generated written confirmation from the DIA Support Project. If you receive no such confirmation by 29 March 2022, please contact Oksana Grechko, DIA Support Digitalization Policy Specialist, at email@example.com.
All applications and supporting materials should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, specifying in the subject line “Online Resource Centre for Employment and MSME Development to Support Economic Resilience of Сitizens of Ukraine”.
Comments on the quality of the proposal are not provided. By submitting materials to UNDP for the competition, the applicant grants UNDP the permission to process personal data contained in resumes/CVs or other parts of the application form for the purposes of the grant competition and potential reference checks.
The winner of the competition will be chosen based on the evaluation results of the project proposals by the Grant Selection Committee. UNDP will conclude a grant agreement with a finalist that will be recommended for funding.
6. FINANCIAL CONDITIONS AND TERMS OF IMPLEMENTATION
The maximum budget of the project proposal should not exceed 100 000 USD.
The maximum timeframe for the project implementation is 6 months.
The contribution from the implementing organization or other sources will be considered and regarded as an advantage for the applicant. This contribution could be made both financially and in non-financial form (for example, remuneration of the personnel of the organization, provision of its office or equipment for project tasks, etc.).
7. SELECTION PROCESS
To ensure full transparency and equity of the process, UNDP forms a Grant Selection Committee (SC) that will appraise the proposals. SC is a temporary authorized body that is responsible for considering, selecting and recommending a proposal for funding. The Selection Committee may decide to request additional independent expert opinion during the selection process.
The proposals shall be assessed by the GSC in accordance to the following criteria:
· Quality and responsiveness of the project proposal to the envisaged activities highlighted in item 2 of this CFP;
· Demonstrated ability of the proposed team to cope with the scope of works described in the project proposal;
· Demonstrated human rights and gender considerations of the project;
· Quality of the proposed networks (including the scope of partners proposed for implementation and already existing networks linked to the lead applicant);
· Proven capacity to cooperate with the Diia Business centres.
8. REPORTING, MONITORING AND EVALUATION
8.1. Monitoring and evaluation, frameworks for project implementation
The Grantee is responsible for monitoring project implementation and evaluating its results. UNDP will monitor the project through Grantee reports, online consultations, site visits, meetings with project personnel and stakeholders, and participation in project events.
The Grantee shall submit the following reports according to UNDP format:
· Brief reports on demand occasionally requested by UNDP in cases when information on Programme implementation is required in between reporting periods;
· A Completion report, including a summary of activities and results as well as financial report for total duration of an agreement.