CONSULTANT TO DEVELOP STUDY ON FREEDOM OF INFORMATION LAWS FOR REDD+
|Application Deadline :||17-Jun-12|
|Type of Contract :||Individual Contract|
|Post Level :||International Consultant|
|Languages Required :||
|Starting Date :|
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
|Duration of Initial Contract :||2 months|
|Expected Duration of Assignment :||2 months|
Climate change and REDD+:
The forestry sector, mainly through deforestation and forest degradation, accounts for about 17% of global greenhouse gas emissions, larger than the entire global transport sector. Tropical developing countries, home to much of the world’s forests, cannot currently benefit under the Kyoto Protocol for most actions to reduce emissions from deforestation or forest degradation. The need to address these challenges by establishing an international REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) finance mechanism as part of a post-2012 global climate change framework was first reflected in the Bali Action Plan and UNFCCC COP13 Decision 2/CP.13, and was recently agreed upon at COP16 in Cancun in December 2010.
FAO, UNDP, and UNEP are partners in the UN Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (the UN-REDD Programme). The UN-REDD Programme consists of two sets of activities: i) National Programmes which assist developing countries prepare and implement national REDD+ strategies and mechanisms; ii) Support to National REDD+ Actions through technical backstopping, policy advice, targeted funding support, guidance, tools and knowledge products.
As per the Programme Strategy of the UN-REDD Programme for 2011–2015 and its “Support to National REDD+ Actions- Global Programme Framework Document” , UNDP is the lead agency for the work streams on engagement of stakeholders, governance and supporting transparent, equitable and accountable management of REDD+ payments. This includes a body of work on supporting the development of national capacities and systems to prevent corruption in REDD+. This stems from the fact that the success of REDD+ will be predicated on transparent and accountable governance systems that foster trust and participation, without which current forest resource users will not forgo their existing revenues.
Freedom of information and REDD+: Reflecting on good pratice anti-corruption approaches in other sectors and national contexts, including in UNDP’s own work in this area, access to information has been identified as a key mechanism for promoting transparency and accountability and exposing corruption risks. Implementing the right to information could significantly contribute to achieving the goals of REDD+, particularly when supported by specific Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation. Notably, FOI laws are already under development and/or in place in a number of REDD+ countries . Empirical studies suggests that FOI, when instituted through legislation, also advances equity and access to basic social services and protection. Strong FOI legislation could be crucial in supporting indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities to understand and claim the benefits they are entitled to related to forest carbon stocks and flows, as well as in helping them exercise their rights and accessing the recourse mechanisms at their disposal.
Being a new and developing mechanism, REDD+ poses many challenges in information asymmetry. These are compounded by the inherent marginalization of indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities (for historical, structural or systemic reasons). By guaranteeing citizens’ right to access to information, FOI laws can play a critical role in advancing the rights of communities within the context of REDD+. FOI also reinforces the rights to consultation, participation and consent. The provision of information constitutes one of the defining pillars of the right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) as mandated by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and as described in the UN-REDD Programme draft Guidelines on FPIC . The effective use of FOI laws in the context of REDD+ could also ensure that REDD+ remained underpinned by a ‘rights-based’ approach. Furthermore, when forest-dependent communities and indigenous peoples are empowered and given the necessary mechanisms to participate and engage, their traditional knoweldge (including biophysical information and knoweldge related to the local environment) can be better captured and shared to inform the design, managment and monitoring of REDD+ phases.
Duties and Responsibilities
This consultancy aims to produce an action-oriented report to:
- Identify how the right to information has and can be implemented (including through FOI laws) to achieve the primary goal of promoting transparency and accountability and curb corruption risks in REDD+ activities, while improving the full and effective participation and contribute towards promoting the rights of indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities;
- Identify current gaps and needs that currently prevent the achievement of these goals;
- Identify and examine practical ways to fill these gaps and ensure that local communities and indigenous peoples have the means and abilities to effectively utilize their right to information, including through FOI legislation, when engaging in national REDD+ processes; and
- Make strategic and policy recommendations for different actors (e.g. government, UNDP, civil society) to implement the right to information and make REDD+ information available.
Scope of the study:
The report shall include, among other elements:
- A summary of lessons learned and good pratice in terms of developing, enacting and implementing effective freedom of information laws and regimes, with a special focus on how FOI can promote transparency and accountability and curb corruption;
- An analysis of what political, institutional and socio-economic conditions have enabled FOI to be most effectivey utilised (from both the supply and demand sides);(c) Summarizing existing literature, an analysis of the existence and strength of freedom of information laws in the 42 UN-REDD partner countries and the extent to which existing FOI laws can be applied/extended to REDD+ by REDD+ stakeholders;
- An analysis of the extent to which REDD+-related laws and decrees (including environmental and forest laws or decrees that incorporate REDD+ provisions) could integrate specific provisions regarding access to information, including proposed model clauses that could be considered;
- Undertake case studies of different REDD+ countries , contrasting countries that are at the very beginning of their REDD+ process with those that are more advanced in their REDD+ readiness; and those that have strong FOI laws with those with partial/weak FOI laws or no FOI laws. From the case studies, derive legal and policy recommendations on: (i) how to most effectively increase access to information for all stakeholders, including reflecting on the use of FOI coupled with information and communications technology and community media; (ii) what capacities are needed to empower REDD+ stakeholders - in particular civil society organizations, indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities - to make use of FOI laws or regulations in order to curb corruption while promoting their rights and engaging more effectively with REDD+;
- Annexes referencing FOI laws in UN-REDD partner countries.
- The study is a desk study that will be based on literature reviews and phone/skype interviews with a limited number of key informants. The consultant will be guided by an Advisory Group composed of UN-REDD agencies experts and relevant external partners.
- The study will be written in English.
- Special attention should be made to draw from relevant work undertaken by UNDP, FAO and/or UNEP.
Timeline and deliverable
25 June Start date. Interviews conducted. Advisory Group sends relevant documents to consultant.
16 July 1st rough draft, identified case studies and salient questions are shared and discussed with Advisor Group.
23 July Advisory group sends written comments
6 August 2nd draft of report and executive summary shared with Advisory Group
13 August Advisory group sends back comments
20 August Final report and executive summary delivered
- Demonstrate excellent and effective written skills;
- Ability to manage multiple tasks, set deadlines and plan work independently;
- Ability to work in a dynamic, multi-disciplinary environment;
- Set clear priorities and be able to meet key deadlines under pressure;
- Ability to synthesize and summarize complex information from various primary and secondary sources;
- Be a team player and support other UNDP colleagues in their work; and
- Display cultural, gender and political sensitivity in the workplace.
Required Skills and Experience
- Masters degree in development, environment, or related field required;
- At least 8 years of experience in governance and development;
- Knowledge of the challenges of access to information ;
- Knowledge of anti-corruption frameworks;
- Familiarity with climate change mitigation and REDD+;
- Familiarity with the UN-REDD Programme’s work on REDD+, governance and anti-corruption;
- Experience drafting reports for the UN or other multilateral organization an asset.
- Fluency in English;
- Ability to read in French and Spanish an asset.
APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED VIA THIS WEBSITE WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED
Please submit your application online on the following link: https://gprs.unops.org/pages/viewvacancy/VADetails.aspx?id=589
- Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time (CET);
- Applications received after the closing date will not be considered;
- Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notifie;
- Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply;
- UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level below the advertised level of the post;
- The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.
UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.