Consultant – National Social Safety Net Programme at Save the Children Nigeria

Save the Children is a leading international organization helping children in need around the world. First established in the UK in 1919, separate national organizations have been set up in more than twenty-eight countries, sharing the aim of improving the lives of children through education, health care and economic opportunities, as well as emergency aid in cases of natural disasters, war and conflict.

In Nigeria, Save the Children has been working since 2001. The early focus was on getting children actively involved in shaping the decisions that affect their lives. Today, Save the Children is working in seven federal states – Zamfara, Yobe, Jigawa, Katsina, Kano, Bauchi and Kaduna – focusing on providing basic healthcare and protecting children.

We are recruiting suitably qualified candidates to fill the position below:

Job Title: 
Consultant – National Social Safety Net Programme: Political Economy Analysis (PEA)

Location: Abuja


  • The Federal Government of Nigeria has committed to implementing Social Protection (SP) initiatives as an instrument for poverty reduction.  One major intervention is the World Bank supported National Social Safety Net Programme (NASSP), a flagship programme under the Social Investment Programme.
  • This programme will receive $1.3 billion from the Government of Nigeria as well as $500 million support from the World Bank. The programme is intended to benefit 1,000,000 poor and vulnerable households per year across all the 36 states starting with 30% of poorest LGAs, then 50% and the last 20%.
  • Additionally, the Federal Government is embarking on a process to build a comprehensive social protection system through inclusion of $2.5 billion per year in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the development of social investment programmes.
  • In addition, a Social Protection Policy was passed recently in July 2017 to strengthen the delivery and impact of interventions on poverty reduction.
  • At the same time, over the last five years Save the Children in partnership with DFID and Action Against Hunger have been implementing the Child Development Grant Programme (CDGP)- a large-scale nutrition-sensitive cash transfer programme targeting 90,000 beneficiaries in the North-Western Zone.
  • The programme has been implemented in Jigawa and Zamfara states with a vision to support the local state governments to maintain it and to support the development of a nutrition-sensitive national-level social protection system that, amongst other interventions, provides regular cash transfers accompanied by nutrition interventions to vulnerable women and children in the first 1000 days of their life.
  • In order to support the development of an effective and sustainable social protection system in Nigeria, NASSCO (the implementing body of NASSP) and CDGP are jointly commissioning a political economy analysis to better understand the contextual and institutional dynamics around social protection system development at the national and state levels in Nigeria and how best to contribute to positive change in the sector, including integrating local and global best practices and ensuring a nutrition-sensitive approach.  Additional key stakeholders supporting this objective include DFID, the World Bank, and UNICEF.

The main objective of this analysis is to:

  • Investigate the political dynamics and institutional factors (national and state level) that influence the establishment of a high quality, sustainable, and well targeted cash transfer programme in Nigeria as well as the development of stable and capable institutions to carry this out;
  • Findings and recommendations should focus on how to influence the development of a national strategy to support a multi-stakeholder SP programme delivered by the government with maximum impact. This should include a clear approach to develop state-level champions for the programme.
  • An additional objective of this exercise is to increase the familiarity and capacity of key stakeholders including CDGP and NASCCO to manage and conduct this type of analysis going forward. It is therefore expected that the consultant(s) will work collaboratively with personnel as may be assigned in a manner to be agreed and reflected in the inception report in order to support this objective.

The following key deliverables are anticipated:

  • An inception report, to be submitted 1-2 weeks after the commencement of the assignment, including but not limited to: preliminary summary observations/analysis; detailed methodology, report outline and timeline; planned questions to be covered; planned stakeholders to engage and ways of working. This should be followed up with a workshop/ seminar with Client/ key stakeholders.
  • A draft PEA report for comment
  • A final PEA report, including specific recommendations (maximum 60 pages plus annexes inclusive of a 15 page Executive Summary).
  • A PowerPoint presentation for key stakeholders effectively communicating the key observations and recommendations for future reference
  • A brief list of key issues/questions that may require further analysis/investigation or that merit continued future tracking
  • Some options and supporting material that can be used to support NASSCO and its allies to regularly update the PEA analysis going forward, such as: contact list of stakeholders interviewed; questionnaire/reporting format used; and other relevant tools or frameworks used.

Overall, it is expected that the work will be implemented in five phases:

  • Phase 1: Develop an agreed approach and analytical framework
  • Phase 2: Conduct a literature review with recommendations to guide the field based research
  • Phase 3: Carry out the analysis, develop recommendations, and draft the PEA
  • Phase 4: Feedback, reporting and finalising
  • Phase 5: Dissemination to key stakeholders

The PEA Consultant(s) will work closely with a Steering Committee. An agreed approach with consultants will outline mode and frequency of engagement from agreeing a contract to presentation of a final report to client.

Scope of Work

  • You will conduct a PEA on NASSP in the context of social protection delivery in Nigeria. For instance, how can NASSP be most effective and be sustained beyond a specific political period? What should NASSP focus on in the roll out to the states?  How could NASSP be nutrition-sensitive? Etc.
  • The main focus of analysis will combine an analysis at the national level and case studies from at least two states across all six geopolitical regions.

The PEA should include:

  • Foundational factors: literature review of long-term structural and contextual factors (factors that are unlikely to change or may only do so very slowly) that might affect the sustainable implementation of NASSP as a vehicle for poverty reduction in Nigeria. These may include geography, demography, gender norms and inequalities, political system (including gendered divisions of political power and influence), natural resource endowment, economic integration, sources of revenue, historical legacies and influences, etc.
  • Institutional factors: Dynamics of institutions relevant to the management and delivering of social protection, including formal laws and regulations and informal social, political, and cultural norms and values that shape power and economic relations. These may specifically include the political dynamics and influence of partisan politics on the sustainability of the programme; buy-in and leadership at the senatorial level; state ownership, incentives, and constraints; dynamics related to the roll-out of a centrally driven programme at state level; functionality of the current institutional set up at the national, state, and LGA level for effective delivery; and assessing the current political space for influence.
  • Current issues: Including the upcoming elections in 2019, the position of political parties on social protection especially on the implementation of NASSP ahead of the general elections, and any other relevant current events or trends.
  • Stakeholder Analysis: Analysis of specific stakeholders influencing the development and implementation of NASSP at both national and state levels. Some of the issues will include:
  • What are the formal and informal roles and mandates of key government apparatus (national and state executive, legislature, LGAs) in shaping and influencing the sustainability of the programme? What is the balance of power? How do the existing power dynamics support or inhibit change?
  • Interests and incentives that shape behaviour towards a strong and grounded social protection programme targeted at the poor and excluded. What/who are the blockers? Where are the opportunities and risks to the change envisaged?
  • Identify the most influential actors, what are their specific interests and incentives, how do these shape the overall delivery of NASSP, and how could they be harnessed to support or inhibit sustainability and progress in the sector.
  • Issue Analysis: Analysis of potential support for nutrition-sensitive cash transfer programmes targeted at pregnant women and children in their first 1000 days of life.

How Change could Happen:

  • Given the political and implementation constraints and opportunities identified from the analysis, what are the critical and realistic pathways of change to influence national and state ownership of the NASSP? 
  • How do we mitigate and/or leverage the risks and opportunities to bolster the implementation and sustainability of the programme?
  • Are there any reforms – sector, institutional structure or legal frameworks that will reinforce impact and sustainability? Which interest groups may support or oppose reform? 
  • Are there any specific considerations that could impact different groups’ ability to embrace reform and change at different levels? What opportunities are there to strengthen effective targeting of the most excluded and marginalised in the poverty bracket?


  • The PEA will provide recommendations relevant to NASSCO, key stakeholders and development partners and stakeholders committed to contributing to a robust social protection system that delivers relevant and impactful programmes towards poverty reduction. In particular, recommendations should be developed to give guidance to NASSCO, CDGP, and partners on how to influence a political and policy environment that supports the development of an effective and sustainable social protection system, especially for children, marginalised and excluded in line with the leave no one behind principle of the SDGs, and that effectively addresses the pressing concerns of malnutrition and stunting.
  • Additionally, how can the NASSP be improved to increase the quality of programme delivery for high impact. Recommendations should:
    • Provide an in-depth analysis on the relevant contextual and institutional factors including likely future changes or developments.
    • Identify pathways of change and entry points to better inform strategic programming through the identification of feasible, realistic recommendations
    • Identify key interest groups and stakeholders who have an incentive to support continued positive reforms for the implementation of  NASSP and other social protection interventions and could form a coalition/interest group
    • Identify critical factors that are likely to support or impede significant change in the future
    • Lay out a nuanced approach to increasing access and dialogue with government and stakeholders with the hope to stimulate desired change
    • Provide a menu of specific political challenges and opportunities that could help influence uptake and delivery at all levels.


  • The PEA at national level and the 6 geopolitical zones may be carried out by a consultant bearing in mind the approach to ensure that the timeliness of the end product is assured. 
  • Proposals may also be submitted by a network, or a consortium. It is critical that where it is several individual consultants delivering on this, there would be a synchronised approach to delivery to ensure coherence and a consolidated analysis where applicable.
  • The detailed methodology will be defined by the consultant(s) and should be spelled out clearly in the inception report, but is expected to make use of a problem-driven political economy analysis framework. 
  • The analysis should include a combination of desk based research and field work, making full use of existing literature sources on PEA, existing relevant programme documents (programme appraisal documents, evaluation documents).

Key Activities:

  • Develop tools for data and evidence generation including approaches and techniques to be employed for both quantitative and qualitative analysis.
  • Desk review of available literature related to the political economy of social protection with specific emphasis on cash transfer programmes in Nigeria both at national and state levels. This should also scan the existing analysis on the governance of social protection programmes at both the national and state levels.
  • Interviews/engagement with (individually and/or in groups) a range of actors including but not limited to:
  • Government officials (state and national level)
  • Government institutions (state and national level)
  • legislators (national and state)
  • Civil society groups
  • Donors and other development partners
  • Political parties
  • Experts on institutional /political reform
  • Private sector stakeholders
  • Regular coordination and updates with the Steering Group to jointly shape the focus and outcome of the exercise.
  • Workshops at the inception phase and validation phase
  • Other, as needed or articulated at the inception phase.


  • Inception report: within 1-2 weeks of commencement
  • Final report: End March 2018
  • Completion of all responsibilities: End April 2018
  • Total work days: x (approximately) across national and state level delivery.

Key Relationships:

  • The Consultant will work within a construct that includes the following for effective delivery of a fit for purpose product.
  • The NASSP Steering Committee
  • International lead consultant
  • CDGP

Required Skill and Experience

  • University Degree (Master’s preferred) in International Relations, Development, Political Science Or Economics
  • Experience completing political economy analyses in Nigeria (preferable) or developing country contexts
  • Experience working on social protection programming or other relevant sectors
  • Proven ability to work in a collaborative manner and to facilitate constructive dialogue, and willingness to support the capacity building objective of the PEA
  • Knowledge of and experience working in Nigeria with excellent understanding of the federal system
  • Strong writing and communication skills

Application Closing Date
8th December, 2017.

How to Apply

Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

Application Specifications

  • Details on understanding of the ToR, scope of work, draft methodology to be used and key selection criteria
  • Understanding of the subject area and the recent development on the topic in Nigeria
  • Demonstrating your approach to delivering the study that has national representation and credibility with details on how you propose to effectively execute this at national and state levels.
  • Timeline, with specific dates from commencement to final submission of deliverable
  • Detailed budget breakdown with workplan based on expected daily rates and all likely expenses with clear distinction on cost of delivery at the national and state level.
  • CV of the lead researcher and other contributing individuals (if planning to work in a team)
  • Cover Letter
  • Names, Organisations, and Contact details of three Referees whom we may contact
  • Sample of at least 2 political economy analysis (or similar piece of writing) produced by Consultant / Company
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