GESI and Decent Work Specialist
Palladium is a global leader in the design, development and delivery of Positive Impact - the intentional creation of enduring social and economic value. We work with foundations, investors, governments, corporations, communities and civil society to formulate strategies and implement solutions that generate lasting social, environmental and financial benefits.
For the past 50 years, we have been making Positive Impact possible. With a team of more than 2,500 employees operating in 90 plus countries and a global network of more than 35,000 technical experts, Palladium has improved - and is committed to continuing to improve - economies, societies and most importantly, people's lives.
Palladium is a child-safe organisation, and screens applicants for suitability to work with children. We also provide equal employment to all participants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran or marital status.
Project Overview and Role
Palladium develops and delivers solutions that create positive impact for communities, businesses, societies, and economies. We transform lives and create enduring value by working with governments, corporations, and non-profit organizations. We create positive impact through more than 100 current projects with more than 2,000 employees operating in over 90 counties.
The DFID-funded Lebanon Enterprise and Employment Programme (LEEP) in Lebanon supports SMEs to grow their business and create sustained jobs for low-skilled Lebanese workers as well as temporary jobs for Syrian workers. This will be done through the provision of matching grants and business advisory services to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to increase their capacity to create jobs. LEEP works closely with financial institutions and business development service (BDS) providers to enhance access to finance, stimulate growth-oriented financing, and provide quality Business Development Services for SMEs.
The GESI and Decent Work Specialist is a mid-level technical management position. She/he will develop the work plan and lead the cross-cutting activities related to Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) focusing on benefitting women and people with disabilities (PWDs). He/she will be responsible for ensuring that LEEP takes an inclusive and decent work approach for designing and delivering all interventions. Additionally, the GESI and Decent Work Specialist will provide inputs on the design and lead delivery of LEEP's second main intervention of wage subsidies provided to SMEs. This responsibility will be based on a hands-on approach and require active coordination with implementing partners and interface with beneficiary SMEs as well as workers.
The GESI and Decent Work Specialist will coordinate with all relevant partners including but not limited to safeguarding organisations, humanitarian agencies (local and international), Business Development Service Providers and financial institutions which can be brought onboard for the development and delivery of wage subsidies. He/she will contribute to the success of the programme by ensuring all the operations and day-to-day responsibilities related to the social inclusion and decent work agenda are undertaken. In addition, the Specialist will also be responsible for managing a job referral mechanism that will enable livelihood organisations to refer jobseekers to LEEP SMEs.
The key responsibilities of the GESI and Decent Work Specialist are outlined below. It is to be noted that these are not exhaustive and may evolve with the delivery of the programme. Specific performance metrics and targets will be discussed with the line manager.
- Coordination and Operationalisation of Programme GESI Strategy
- Work closely with the Programme Design and Evaluation Manager, the Technical Manager and GESI Experts to review and update the GESI Strategy and Action Plan for LEEP.
- Coordinate the implementation of the GESI Strategy and Action Plan with other members of technical and grants delivery team. The implementation should include a strong social protection and decent work approach to ensure the programme benefits vulnerable workers.
- Provide input relating to the GESI strategy into the pertinent grants management tools and templates for the programme in coordination with the members of Technical and Grants Teams.
- Coordinate with the Grants Team to ensure the necessary gender, decent work and social inclusion metrics are built into the grants management system to track the performance of SME grantees.
- Work in collaboration with LEEP's Grants Delivery Team to orient and train the relevant team members on GESI Action Plan, policies, tools and templates and business processes to ensure that the entire programmatic areas - Financial Institutional Partners, SME grantees and BDS Providers - are inclusive to female jobseekers and People with Disabilities according to the programme's GESI strategy guidelines.
- Develop and deliver GESI and decent work trainings for partners' staff (e.g. loan officers from financial institutions and BDS providers) based on the GESI strategy and social inclusion guidelines.
- Work closely with the Programme Design and Evaluation Manager to track the qualitative results from the implementation of the GESI strategy. Work with the Deputy Team Leader and Programme Design and Evaluation Manager to capture lessons learned on the implementation of GESI Strategy.
- Lead on initiating changes to the GESI action plan to improve the inclusion results, as needed.
- Coordination with Grants Design and Delivery Team
- Review SME applications for matching grants and SME field assessments from LEEP's field team and consider social inclusion and Decent Work benefits and risks (for example, potential for the creation of jobs for vulnerable women or PWDs, or risks related to working conditions). Provide a risk assessment for applications to ensure safeguarding. Where required, provide specific recommendations for improvement required at the SME to meet safeguarding requirements and coordinate with LEEP's field team for monitoring of implementation of these recommendations.
- In case of high-risk SME grantees, coordinate LEEP's safeguarding expert consultant and relevant field team personnel for the development and delivery of an improvement plan.
- Provide input for revisions and additions to the LEEP Handbook (which outlines LEEP's operational mechanisms) to support compliance with gender, social inclusion and decent work criteria, and improvement of programme policies and procedures.
- Coordinate with the programme team, financial partners and partners to conduct ongoing monitoring and spot-checks on SME grantees, to ensure compliance with the gender, social inclusion and decent work standards defined by the programme.
- Lead Delivery of Wage Subsidy intervention
- Coordinate partners to deliver a wage subsidy to SMEs for inclusive job creation, ensuring effective division of roles and responsibilities, and delivery of the intervention on time and in quality as per the design. This will include field visits and spot-checks to SME beneficiaries.
- Ensure lessons are captured and adaptations are made to tackle challenges and improve the effectiveness of the intervention.
- Initiate and review agreements and contracts with the partners, negotiating the terms of involvement for an effective delivery and monitoring the results of the relationships. Follow-up on contract terms, expiry dates and ensure appropriate reporting from partners.
- Provide inputs for periodic financial forecast for wage subsidies.
- Develop and Manage Job Referral Mechanism
- Develop the job referral mechanism for LEEP to receive jobseeker referrals from livelihood organisations that could be linked to jobs created by LEEP SME grantees, in collaboration with the Design and Evaluation Manager.
- Work closely with Senior Grants Manager and LEEP's field team to ensure that the job tracker is regularly updated and the data is shared with the partner agencies.
- Coordinate with partner and livelihood agencies to disseminate information about the job opportunities created.
- Programme Management
- Provide inputs on appropriate communications materials for informational and promotional purposes targeted to SMEs, in particular ensuring GESI and decent work considerations are part of LEEP's communications.
- Support the Programme Leadership and Technical Leads in creating synergies between different programme interventions.
- Provide inputs for monthly portfolio review which will monitor progress of programme delivery, grants disbursement, BDS delivery, decent work issues, risk profile and operational challenges.
- Develop a detailed risk mitigation plan and approach which addresses key stakeholder concerns and potential issues such as social and data protection issues.
- Provide inputs for periodic reports on the Value for Money (VfM) results of the programme.
- Any other duties as required by the Team Leader or Deputy Team Leader, including in relation to support of the smooth running of the Programme and the good reputation of Palladium as the service provider.
- Significant experience managing partners and field teams to deliver interventions directly to beneficiaries
- Previous experience of working with, and knowledge of, the livelihoods and humanitarian sector and priorities in Lebanon
- Good knowledge of international decent work standards and guidelines (ILO, IFC), women's economic empowerment and social inclusion approaches
- Previous experience of conducting labour assessments, social inclusion, due diligence and safeguarding risk analysis or similar assessments with employers and employees in Lebanon
- Demonstrated ability to recommend practical measures to improve conditions for workers in Lebanon, e.g. establishing codes of conduct with employers, facilitating workers' organisation and participation, improvements in workplace conditions, etc.
- Ability to work independently, manage own work plan and take initiative to develop own tools and methods to deliver the roles' responsibilities effectively
- Fluent in Arabic and English