Testing and Review of the Development of Tagging Methodology to link budget revenues and expenditures accounts to SDG financing in Lao PDR



Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Home-based with possible travel to Lao PDR
Application Deadline :06-Aug-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
25-Aug-2021
Duration of Initial Contract :August to December 2021, for approximately 40 days
Expected Duration of Assignment :August to December 2021

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.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Background

The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 47 least developed countries. With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.

UNCDF’s financing models work through three channels: inclusive digital economies, connecting individuals, households, and small businesses with financial eco-systems that catalyse participation in the local economy, and provide tools to climb out of poverty and manage financial lives; local development finance, that capacitates localities through fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance, and structured project finance to drive local economic expansion and sustainable development; and investment finance, that provides catalytic financial structuring, de-risking, and capital deployment to drive SDG impact and domestic resource mobilization. By strengthening how finance works for poor people at the household, small enterprise, and local infrastructure levels, UNCDF contributes to Sustainable Development Goal-SDG 1 on eradicating poverty and SDG 17 on the means of implementation. By identifying those market segments where innovative financing models can have transformational impact in helping to reach the last mile and address exclusion and inequalities of access, UNCDF contributes to a broad diversity of SDGs.

UNCDF is currently implementing a project that is developing financing solutions for supply side capital to enable the Government of Laos to efficiently deliver on their SDG commitments. This project is funded by the UN Secretary General Sustainable Development Goals Fund (UN-SDGF) providing focus financing for SDG implementation, acceleration, and attainment of SDG targets.

The government of Lao PDR is embarked on a far-reaching Public Financial Management Reform (PFMR) programme in partnership with the World Bank (WB) and IMF. Included within the PFMR is the update of the current Chart of Accounts in terms of its structure, nomenclatures, encoding and tagging and the procurement and operationalizing of a Public Sector Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS). Currently the Government of Lao PDR have approved the new COA structure that will support the reconfiguration of the current COA to IPSAS standards and reassignment of expenditure and revenue code nomenclatures to meet such requirements. The new COA structure allows for tags to be incorporated that can assign public sector budget contributions to the SDGs.   

The consultancy opportunity aims at completing a peer review, testing and fine tuning the designed SDG tagging system for the COAs for both revenues and expenditures using the newly agreed COA structure. In addition, the consultancy will provide the necessary advocacy and training for the MEF Chart of Accounts Committee, MEF, and The SDG Secretariat (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) to, (i) introduce and reaffirm the need for SDG expenditure and revenue classification of the budget, transfer the methodology and process to the COA committee and MoF, and to engage a broader stakeholder dialogue to raise awareness of the proposed tagging system. It is anticipated that at least 60% of the input will be dedicated to transfer technology actions as highlighted under as advocacy and training.

Historically UNCDF has been engaged extensively in the government’s decentralization process through the National Governance and Public Administration Reform Programme (NGPAR). The NGPAR process has supported the enhancement of inclusive service delivery and local development via the strengthening public administrations, fostering of inclusive dialogue, and facilitating dialogue between citizens and state for more effective, transparent, accountable and responsive service delivery.

UNCDF is currently working directly with the Ministry of Finance (MoF) within the sphere of the Public Finance Management Reform initiative that is following on from the 2019 National Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) assessment. UNCDF are working in partnership with the World Bank, IMF and the European Union and other Development Partners with the introduction of an IPSAS compliant CoA and a robust IFMIS that is under procurement.

Leveraging this position and work, UNCDF, in partnership with UNDP and UNFPA are implementing the SDG Fund project “Efficiency and optimization of Lao PDR’s public budget to finance the SDGs through the National Plan”.

This joint programme will work to strengthen the national architecture for managing and allocating development finance to support more efficient and effective use of available resources at this critical moment. This will be done by drawing on the strengths of UN agencies to: support development of a practical financing strategy to support implementation of the plan; develop a context appropriate methodology to cost commitments made under the plan to support improved prioritization;  develop an evidence-based approach to supporting budget allocations through a pilot in the health sector; and implement an innovative budget tagging methodology that will allow actual spending to be tracked against priorities.

Within the framework of the UNJP, UNCDF is developing and testing an innovative budget tagging methodology that will allow optimized public sector budget formulation with revenues and expenditures being tracked against SDG priorities.


Duties and Responsibilities

Objective of the Assignment: 

The main objective of the assignment is to complete the fine-tuning of the methodology that has been developed by UNCDF by applying it to the 2019 budget plan, offering a professional peer review and testing of the methodology to develop and deliver a training and awareness raising package to support the transfer of the tagging methodology to the Government of Lao PDR. The tagging system training package will compliment any training related to the PFMR strategy and especially the COA updating process and specifically work with IMF and World Bank.

Duties and Responsibilities

The consultant will specifically work with the Fiscal Policy and Law Department, (Ministry of Finance), and the MoF COA committee in coordination with UNDP, IMF and the World Bank to provide the following TA support:

 Peer review of the developed budget tagging methodology, and development of four-page budgeting tagging methodology note for government consumption

  1. Testing and fine-tuning of the protype applying it to the 2019 budget plan of Lao PDR, producing a quantitative and qualitive report of appropriateness.
  2. Development of training package including; (i) annotated (with speaker notes) PPT presentations, test / working papers of application of the method using the 2019 budget plan, a series of awareness raising materials to foster technical transfer to government
  3. Delivery of training package through a two day retreat styled workshop that uses working groups to test and adapt where needed the methodology, the event will be duly designed to use group work practices and not as a fora
  4. Mission Completion Report (3-5 pages)

Deliverables

The consultant will deliver the following within the framework of the mission:

  1. Submission of work plan indicating timebound milestone deliverables and list of required meetings and consultation to enable the work to be completed.
  2. Peer review of the budget tagging methodology (amendments narrative paper (as required) and basic principles paper for government dissemination – 4 pages).
  3. Methodology using the 2019 budget plan, SDG finance budget flow report to formulate (21 pages, inc. 1 page per SDG), tested and fine tuned
  4. Suitable training package for government officials to support technology transfer for the tagging methodology (minimum requirements being PPTs with speakers notes, test exercises, workshop design and concept note, pre and post workshop “temp checks”)
  5. Delivery of workshop, including workshop report

Monitoring and Progress Control 

The consultant will work under the supervision of the UNCDF Regional Technical Advisor and will work closely with the National Programme Specialist, MoF’s Budget Department and Fiscal Policy & Law Department.  

The Regional Technical Advisor will provide overall direction and guidance of the consultancy and approve key outputs and deliverables, with the National Programme Specialist providing all in country support as needed and who will organize and manage all aspects the workshop event associated with this consultancy and act as an interlocker between the consultant and the government. In addition, the consultant will also work closely with the national consultant in coordination and collaboration with UNCDF National Programme Specialist in Lao Country Office for all necessary programming, operations and logistics.

Consultancy fees will be paid upon: (i) submission of Certificate of Payment form (ii) review, approval, acceptance of output for each deliverable by the Regional Technical Advisor in collaboration with the UNCDF National Programme Specialist (iii) authorization of payment disbursement from Regional Technical Advisor based in Bangkok.

Payment Terms 

The following terms of payment based upon the above-mentioned deliverables will be applicable for this Terms of Reference and associated mission. Payments will be based upon a percentile of the contracted lump sum for each area as tabulated. The payment will only be made up on satisfactory completion and submission of the assignment and deliverables.

Deliverable 1:  Requirements for Mission Planning (10%)

  • Work plan (Inception report) for mission and setting of agreed delivery milestones
  • Organize a Lao PDR based kick-off meeting for the mission for key leading counterparts and selected relevant stakeholders

Deliverable 2: Technical review and tagging system (Total: 40%)

  • 2.1 - Peer review and amendment (if required) report related to the developed UNCDF budget tagging methodology and a separate basic principles paper for government consumption (4 pages) - 15%
  •  2.2(a) - Budget Tagging Methodology fully tested against the Lao PDR 2019 budget plan (excel workbook with worksheets) - min worksheet requirements being (i) overall performance indicators (ii) sector expenditure (iii) national and sub national division (iii) capital and recurrent expenditure. The actual format to be agreed with the UNCDF team, MoF and MoFA during the mission inception phase)
  • 2.2(b) - Budget tagging performance report (21 pages, inc. 1 page per SDG) - [25% for both 2.2(a) and 2.2(b)]

Deliverable 3.1: Training and awareness for SDG tagging (30%)

  • Design of Training package for budget tagging methodology concept note
  • Training package comprising of (i) attendee information sheet (s) PPTs with speaker notes, (ii) exercises and tests applying the methodology to the budget plan (use 2020 budget and the last full budget report issued by GoL) and (iii) training evaluation – hot and cold response sheets

Deliverable 3.2: Training and awareness for SDG tagging (20%)

  • Delivery of training package through the facilitation and delivery of a 2-day workshop
  • Workshop report applying feedback from training evaluation forms, attendee comments providing attendee registers disaggregated by gender and position 

Payment will be made 2 weeks after the submission of the entire reports for each deliverable as tabulated; and will be subject to approval and acceptance by UNCDF. 

Any travel required under the assignment, subject to the travel restriction measures and compliance due to COVID-19, needs to be agreed and pre-approved by UNCDF regional technical advisor and UNCDF’s senior management. If local travels to provinces and districts are required, the travel cost will be borne by UNCDF according to UNCDF rules and regulations.

The consultant is expected to use her or his own equipment during the assignment.


Competencies

  • Owns a comprehensive knowledge of Public Finance and / or Aid Effectiveness;
  • Owns the ability to develop and formulate methodologies and associated algorithms for financial distributions;
  • Has detailed knowledge of public sector Chart of Accounts inclusive of structure and nomenclature;
  • Detailed understanding of global and localized SDGs and SDG Targets and Indicators;
  • Able to develop standardised policy advisory papers (short version);
  • Able to design and deliver training for ministry based senior and junior civil servants.


Required Skills and Experience

Education, Skills, and Experience

  • Minimum Master’s Degree in public finance / public sector accounting
  • 10 years of professional experience with at least 5 years working within either PFM reform projects, Public Sector Finance or Aid Effectiveness;
  • Proven track record related to the development of formula based inter-government fiscal transfer systems;
  • Proven track record working with national government Ministries of Finance related to the introduction or upgrade of the national accounting system to SNA 2008 or IMF-GFMS;
  • Able to work with senior government officials, stakeholders and relevant partners;   
  • Proven capacity to work with sensitivities to a wide range of Lao nationals, civil servants and gender;
  • Good communication skills: sensitivity and willingness/flexibility to respond to client’s needs;
  • Experience within the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS) considered as an asset.

Evaluation method

Applications will be rated on both technical and financial submissions.  The following selection method will be used:  Highest rated proposal using the combined scoring method, which assigns the weight distribution between the technical and financial proposals.  The weight distribution shall be 70% technical and 30% financial. 

Step I: Longlisting

Applications will be screened and only applicants meeting the following minimum criteria will be shortlisted:

  • Minimum Master’s Degree in public finance / public sector accounting
  • 10 years of professional experience with at least 5 years working within Public Financial Management Reform programmes, public sector finance or Aid Effectiveness

Step II: Shortlisting - Technical Review of CVs by Desk Review

UNCDF will conduct a desk review to produce a shortlist of candidates by evaluating the following criteria with the corresponding points (100 points)

  • 10 years of professional experience with at least 5 years working within Public Financial Management Reform programmes public sector finance or Aid Effectiveness (30 points)
  • Proven track record related to the development of formula based inter-government fiscal transfer systems (35 points)
  • Proven track record working with national government Ministries of Finance related to the introduction or upgrade of the national accounting system to SNA 2008 or IMF-GFMS (35 points)

Only the applicants achieving 70% of the points will be considered as technically qualified and will be reviewed further for financial evaluation.

Step III: Financial Evaluation

The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal: Lowest priced proposal/price of the proposal being evaluated x 30%.

APPLICATION PROCESS 

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications. 

  • Summary statement of competencies in relation to the TOR
  • Curriculum Vitae or Completed P11 Personal History Form with names and current contacts of 3 referees
  • When applying for this consultancy position, please apply with your official name as shown in the government issued identification document (e.g. passport and/or driver license). Contract award is subject to this verification.
  • Information on Earliest Availability
  • Confirmation of interest and Financial proposal: 

For this requirement, the following document is to be sent by email to financial.proposal@uncdf.org:

  • Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability duly filled. This include a signed all-inclusive financial offer (professional fees, housing, transportation insurance, taxes, different types of cost, if applicable, etc…). This should be emailed separately to financial.proposal@uncdf.org with the subject line: VA 100674 - Testing and Review of the Development of Tagging Methodology to link budget revenues and expenditures accounts to SDG financing in Lao PDR 

Individual Consultants are responsible for ensuring they have vaccinations/inoculations when traveling to certain countries, as designated by the UN Medical Director. Consultants are also required to comply with the UN security directives set forth under dss.un.org   If the consultant is over 65 years old, UNCDF reserves the right to require full medical certification and clearance from the consultant’s physician prior to commencing the travel.

Both individual consultants and individuals employed by a company or institution are welcome to apply. Any individual employed by a company or institution who would like to submit an offer in response to a Procurement Notice for IC must do so in their individual capacity (providing a CV so that their qualifications may be judged accordingly).  If the company or institution that employs them will charge a management fee, the said amount must be incorporated in the financial proposal that the individual will submit.  No further changes to reflect additional costs shall be accommodated by UNCDF at the point of awarding the LTA.

Women candidates or women-owned businesses are strongly encouraged to apply. UNCDF 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.

Please include all documents into one file while submitting your application.

References

UNDP’s Individual Consultant’s General Terms and Conditions are provided here:
http://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/documents/procurement/documents/IC%20-%20General%20Conditions.pdf

 

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