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Invitation to Quote for the delivery of facilitating participatory research for creating a policy brief on promoting informal workers’ access to the Lao National Social Security Fund.

1.1.  Background

​In Laos, poverty rates have decreased over the last ten years, while inequality has increased. A joint study by the ADB and the ILO expects that the number of vulnerable workers will continue to rise without adequate policies, as much of the population works in the informal economy. Particularly vulnerable groups include informal workers and women including self-employed workers, small-scale farmers, daily wage earners, migrant workers, homebased workers, as well those that are unemployed, or underemployed in the formal sectors. These groups often have limited capacity to access basic needs such healthcare, education, and social security.


Oxfam in Laos and partners are seeking to promote the expansion of social protection coverage to the most vulnerable and marginalized groups in Laos, according to ILO’s recommendation on the social protection floor (R202) and the ASEAN Declaration on Strengthening Social Protection on the 9th of October 2013 in Brunei Darussalam during the 23rd ASEAN Summit. The Lao government has issued a corresponding strategy to promote national social protection, with the expectation that all Lao citizens will have access to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) by 2030. However, The research on informal workers access to the national social security fund found that a very small number of informal workers currently access the NSSF due to a variety of reasons such as low awareness on the NSSF, insufficient services at local levels and limited financial ability of workers to actually contribute funds due to low wages.


To move forward on promoting all Lao citizens to have access to NSSF, the Lao government has included expanding the NSSF coverage to both formal and informal workers in the National Social Protection Strategy (NSPS) endorsed on 1 April 2020. The universal NSSF will create adequate social protection for all and ensure sustainable growth, thus significantly contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, Goal 1, specific target 1.3, Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable.


To advance the dialogue on promoting informal workers’ access to NSSF, Oxfam and partners (Lao Federation of Trade Unions -LFTU, Environment and Community Development Association-ECCDA, Home Net Lao-HNL, and Community Association for Mobilizing Knowledge in Development-CAMKID) are collaborating with the NSSF department, Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (MoLSW). Oxfam is seeking an external consultant to facilitate the process of developing a policy brief based on participatory research on the needs of informal workers and their ability to access the NSSF.


1.2.  Specific Objective

  •  Develop a policy brief through desk review on relevance policy and research

  • Conduct a participatory research on the needs and practical capability of informal workers to contribute to the NSSF.

  • Lead the process of dissemination on the findings with multi stakeholders that include national and local levels to gather additional inputs to the policy brief paper on promoting informal worker access to NSSF.


1.3.  Deliverables/Expected Outputs:

  • A desk review on relevant policies, laws, existing research, recommendations as well as the case studies both national and international to formulate a summary paper or policy brief for further discussion on promoting informal workers’ access to NSSF.

  • Design a participatory research methodology, approaches, and tools.

  • Provide capacity building on participatory research methodologies to the local partners to ensure quality inputs during field research.

  • Supervise and provide coaching to partners to conduct the participatory research in their target communities in 4 provinces.

  • Develop a practical paper on NSSF policy brief with concrete recommendation based on the participatory research findings and desk review.

  • Facilitate two dissemination workshops at the Provincial and National level on the research findings and collect and consolidate the views of stakeholder for additional inputs to the policy brief on promoting informal workers’ access to NSSF.


1.4.  Timeline

Year 2020

Expected outputs

# Days


Desk review on relevant policies, laws, or conventions on promoting informal workers’ assess to NSSF – identify the needs, gaps and opportunities on these policy



Participatory research design / tool / methodology by closely working with partners and OXFAM



Conduct a participatory research training for partners and stakeholders



Supervise and coach partners for field-based data collection in 4 provinces, including in-depth interviews with key informants



Draft research report based on data collected and present findings to the national research committee (LFTU, NSSF and relevant stakeholders)



Oct- Nov

Draft policy brief paper (with input from the national committee)


Early Dec

Organize one seminars with multi stakeholders’ participants at provincial level



Organize one seminars with multi stakeholders’ participants at national level


End Dec

Finalize participatory research and the policy brief paper



1.5.  Requirement and qualifications

The consultant or team of consultants should have:

  • Relevant experience in the field of social protection, social and economic policies, worker rights. If there are research experience on the NSSF, social insurance, social welfare, labour rights, and maternity protection will be an advantage.

  • A robust methodological background in a range of policy brief and participatory research tools;

  • Proven track record in carrying out and publishing research in the areas of social protection, labour rights, and/or gender;

  • Solid understanding of international standards on social protection, labour, gender equality and women empowerment.

  • Experience in carrying out desk reviews of laws and policies.

  • Demonstrated facilitation skills in the context of multi-cultural and multi-partner/stakeholders setting.

  • Demonstrated high awareness working in multi-cultural environment or development sector


IQ_SP NSSF_Extension.pdf
IQ_SP NSSF_Extension.pdf (179.3 KB)
Jul 8th 2020

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