Social Protection Consultant, Brasilia, Brazil

Job no: 571365
Position type: Consultant
Location: Brazil
Division/Equivalent: Latin America and Caribbean Regional Off
School/Unit: Brazil
Department/Office: Brasilia, Brazil
Categories: Social Policy, Research, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation

UNICEF and the Ministry of Social Development and Assistance, Family, and Fight Against Hunger (MDS) have been working together for a long time to improve social protection and children’s well-being. As part of this collaboration, we are conducting a research piece on the “Minimum and Ideal Costs of the Social Protection System (Basic Social Protection)”, which is based on municipalities’ information on their social spending to the National Social Assistance Fund (FNAS).

The Unified Social Assistance System (SUAS) requires adequate funding for securing people’s rights. SUAS achieves greater homogeneity in the system through federal co-financing, improving local capabilities, and bringing about technical improvements. However, understanding the actual cost of SUAS, especially expenses for maintaining Social Assistance Reference Centers (CRAS), has been a challenge. There have been no attempts to produce data with real use value and timely information on the costs of SUAS in Brazil, but the current moment is ideal for conducting research to estimate current costs, unit costs, and ideal costs for the operation of basic social protection, particularly CRAS. Such research will also be valuable in agreeing on federal co-financing and providing better information on municipalities’ accountability.


The research aims to determine basic social protection’s minimum and ideal cost. The information will be gathered from municipalities’ financial reports to the National Social Assistance Fund (FNAS). To achieve this goal, the study will examine the main cost items of municipalities that were paid in 2022 using federal, state, and municipal resources. The details of federal resources have been included in the accounts provided to the FNAS since 2012. However, municipal information will be collected for the first time in the 2022 accounts closed in March 2024.

In view of this and the possible lower quality of municipal data, exploratory and sampling research work may be necessary, based on the databases provided by the FNAS, which seeks to identify examples in which such information was provided with higher quality. The details on the state’s resources transferred to municipalities are unavailable, but the overall amount is. Even though states’ financial resources are, historically, the smallest of SUAS transfers to municipalities, the research may use estimates or additional data from the states, contributing to achieving a more complete perception of reality at the end of the study.

With the municipal financial statements at hand, it will be necessary to analyze them in relation to the cost items on which the resources were spent, such as human resources, general costs, and facilities, so that, even if approximately, be able to estimate average cost values per unit, in order to allow the calculation of minimum costs and ideal costs for the full functioning of basic social protection in municipalities. Such information is available in databases such as the “Censo SUAS”, the Registro Mensal de Atendimento (RMA), and CadSUAS.

Based on this operationalization logic, sufficient analyses are expected to be made to provide evidence for the research objectives. However, a series of other questions may be secondary focuses of the work, namely:

  • To what extent do municipalities’ spending profiles follow regional patterns? Are there cost differences between regions? In which cost items? Are there differences in the execution rate of federal resources? Is there any regional standard for this?
  • Is there a pattern of spending federal resources compared to municipal resources, or when the resource is federal, do municipalities tend to spend it on certain cost items compared to their own resources? Are there variations in this behavior by region, municipality size, or other relevant information (e.g., source of financing for occasional benefits)?
  • What is the most appropriate indicator to carry out the agreement on federal transfers (number of services per active typified service, size of the municipality, referenced families, or other alternative measures)?


1. Workplan

1.1. Deliverables/Outputs: detailed work plan of the consultancy, with a detailed timetable, list of necessary data, and feasibility analysis.

1.2. Deadline: 10 days from contract beginning.

1.3. Estimate Budget: 0%

2. Initial research report

2.1. Deliverables/Outputs: Research report with the exploratory results and a finalized proposal for the study, including the needs for further data collection.

2.2. Deadline: 40 days from contract beginning.

2.3. Estimate Budget: 20%

3. Intermediate research report

3.1. Deliverables/Outputs: Intermediate research report of the Federal Transfers, municipal spending and proposed parameters to estimate unit costs.

3.2. Deadline: 80 days from contract beginning.

3.3. Estimate Budget: 30%

4. Final research report

4.1. Deliverables/Outputs: final research report containing minimum and ideal costs of basic social protection in Brazil.

4.2. Deadline: 140 days from contract beginning.

4.3. Estimate Budget: 40%

5. Executive Summary and complementary content

5.1. Deliverables/Outputs: Report’s Executive summary, presentation material, data bases and codes developed and annotated next steps.

5.2. Deadline: 150 days from contract beginning.

5.3. Estimate Budget: 10%


TRAVEL PLANNot applicable


  • Advanced degree in data science, economics, statistics, social sciences, or other related fields.
  • At least five years of proven experience in data analysis, especially related to costing/budgeting social services, social protection, child poverty, and/or poverty in Brazil. Extra years of experience are considered an asset.
  • Fluency in computer languages used for statistical analysis (such as R or Stata).



Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS)

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


  • Consultant will work from home using own equipment and stationery. UNICEF will provide office space for consultative meetings when needed.
  • Consultant’s, travel costs should be included in the consultant’s fee.
  • No contract may commence unless the contract is signed by both UNICEF and the consultant and mandatory courses are completed.
  • Consultants will not have any representative, certifying, or approving authority, or supervisory responsibilities or authority on UNICEF budget.
  • The consultant will work remotely on a delivery basis.


  • Costs indicated are estimated. Final rate shall follow “best value for money” principle, i.e., achieving the desired outcome at the lowest possible fee.
  • A financial proposal including the fee for the assignment based on the deliverables and number of days must be submitted. Consultants are asked to stipulate all-inclusive fees, including lump sum, administrative cost, travel cost and subsistence costs, as applicable.
  • The payment will be based on submission of agreed deliverables. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold payment in case the deliverables submitted are not up to the required standard or in case of delays in submitting the deliverables on the part of the consultant.


  • The contractor is fully responsible for arranging, at his or her own expenses, such life, health, and other forms of insurance covering the term of the contract as he or she considers appropriate.
  • The contractor is not eligible to participate in the life or health insurance schemes available to UNICEF and United Nations staff members.


  • Consultants may not receive training at the expense of UNICEF.  Notwithstanding, consultants must complete the applicable mandatory trainings before the signature of the contract. 
  • In case of government officials, the contract cannot be issued without prior written clearance by the Government​, or unless on leave without pay.


Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process. 

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws. 

The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts. 

Advertised: Apr 24 2024 E. South America Standard Time
Application close: May 07 2024 E. South America Standard Time

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