National Consultant - Researcher – Improving Active Participation of Women in Local Government (Uva Province) - for Sri Lankans only - Reference No. IC/CDLG/2021/57

Location : Colombo with Travel to Uva Province, SRI LANKA
Application Deadline :17-Sep-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :6 Months

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.


The Capacity Development of Local Governments (CDLG) Project of UNDP Sri Lanka is part of larger efforts by the Government of Sri Lanka to strengthen the local governance system in the country. These efforts are supported by the European Union, and the World Bank. The Government of Sri Lanka implements the Local Development Support Project (LDSP) in four provinces – North, North Central, Eastern, and Uva – to strengthen local service delivery and local economic infrastructure and enhance bottom-up approaches to support public engagement in local decision-making processes, including through participatory planning and feedback mechanisms for service delivery.


The overall objective of the CDLG project, implemented by UNDP, is to strengthen the capacities of local authorities (LAs) to be inclusive, responsive, and accountable and be able to plan, enhance resilience, and deliver better services. The capacity development support, coupled with the fiscal support (through Basic Transfers and Performance Transfers provided through LDSP project) for inclusive service delivery and economic investment, is aimed at strengthening the role of elected representatives at the local level. It is about improving local governance systems and making local governments “fit for future”, as well as increase downward accountability of elected officials and local governments. The project also aims to strengthening mechanisms for public engagement in local decision-making processes.


CDLG has carried out a Survey of Gender Responsiveness of Local Authorities (herein after the Survey) in the local authorities in the four CDLG provinces – North, East, North Central and Uva  with the support of the Asia Foundation to support LAs in fulfilling their gender equality commitments by developing their capacities to mainstream gender in local program planning and budgeting processes. Further, CDLG is in the process of developing provincial capacity development plans for local government authorities  in target provinces. Gender mainstreaming and building of capacity of women elected officials, non-elected officials and community are included into these plans.


To increase the quality of women’s active engagement in decision making processes, CDLG project is providing targeted capacity development support to women elected officials and administrative officials to fulfil their roles and encourage women’s community leadership. “Learning trajectory” initiatives are also specifically designed for women elected officials and administrative officials as well as potential women leaders (with focus on young women) to learn from each other and provide mentorship and advisory support as required. CDLG is building on the findings from the mapping and capacity building programmes implemented for elected women officials.  Sensitizing male officials (elected and administrative) to provide space for and encourage the ‘active voice of women’ including taking forward recommendations by women and recognizing them as ‘equal players’ in the development process is an important aspect of this project.


To this end, CDLG Project under UNDP is looking to hire a Researcher to conduct a study on improving active participation of women in local government in the Uva Province. According to the Survey of Gender Responsiveness of Local Authorities in CDLG Provinces, Uva Province scored the lowest amongst CDLG provinces on gender responsiveness. Across the seven main assessment domains, namely, female staff participation (ratio of female to male employees), women in decision making positions, gender equality focus (special mechanisms to identify gender needs and practices of conducting gender and vulnerability assessments), capacity for gender and social diversity mainstreaming (staff with training in gender/social sensitivity, history, and practice of conducting orientation programs on gender and social sensitivity and diversity etc.), and inclusive grievance mechanisms recorded low scores.


The Researcher is to work closely with and in consultation with the Local Governance Specialist, the Gender Consultant, and the Research, Reporting and Communication Specialist of CDLG Project in this exercise.


Scope and Objectives

The scope of services associated with this assignment can be broadly categorized as follows.

  1. Literature review;
  2. Data gathering and validation;
  3. Report with recommendations;
  4. Brief summary of the key findings and recommendations .


The main objectives of this assignment are to identify the barriers to effective participation of women at local level decision making, to understand their level of participation and to identify possible action points to improve status quo. The study will cover women in elected and non-elected positions at local authority and provincial council level, and women in community. The study will be conducted in the Uva Province as a pilot. The findings of the study will inform the capacity development efforts targeting local authorities, Provincial Council, and the community under the CDLG Project. The findings of the research will also enlighten the policy level discussions on this subject matter and will be utilized for advocacy around strengthening participation of women at local level.

The consultant is expected to closely engage with the State Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government affairs (SMPCLGA), Uva Provincial Council, Department of Local Government, local authorities in the Uva Province and the CDLG field unit set up in Uva Province. The consultant is expected to undertake tasks under three major components as described below.


Component 1: Literature review

As noted above, the objectives of this study are to identify the barriers to effective participation of women at local level decision making, to understand their level of participation and to identify possible action points to improve status quo.  And this study is expected to cover women in elected and non-elected positions at local authority and provincial council level, and women in community. Therefore, the Consultant is expected to map out existing literature in this area. It could include, among others, recently published research reports, surveys, assessments, legislations, policies, and other national and international documents. The literature review is expected to set the context for this study.

The Consultant needs to conduct this assessment in order to understand the status quo of women participation at local level, i.e., women in elected and non-elected roles at local authorities and the Provincial Council, and women in the community. He or she also needs to map out the key stakeholders who could and/are contributing to the status quo and who are able to impact positively for improvement of the situation. The consultant is required to conduct this analysis in line with the mandate, and powers, granted through laws, regulations, and by-laws to local authorities and Provincial Councils.

The baseline studies (including the survey) and information gathered on local authorities by CDLG in identifying the capacity gaps in the Uva province will be shared with the consultant as information to support this review.

The draft literature review needs to be submitted for comments to CDLG before finalizing.


Component 2: Data gathering and validation

The Consultant is required to identify the following through key informant interviews, ward level consultations, focused group discussions, and validation workshops to;

  • Barriers to effective participation of women at local level;
  • Women members’ level  of participation and;
  • Possible action points to improve the status quo.


In selection of the geographical areas, the Survey could provide some degree of guidance.

The following are proposed to the Consultant in determining the nature of the data gathering tools and their quantity:

  • At least 24 key informant interviews (8 interviews with elected officials, 8 interviews with non- elected officials, 8 interviews with community groups/individuals);
  • Conduct at least 15 ward level consultations (to obtain community views);
  • Conduct at least 15 focused group discussions with elected, non- elected officials, and community per province – 5 meetings with elected officials, 5 meetings with non -elected officials and 5 meetings with community groups including CBOs, community centres etc;  
  • Conduct a provincial level validation workshop involving elected, non-elected officials and community representatives to validate the findings of the ward level consultations and the focus group discussions.


The Consultant is also free to utilise questionnaires in addition to the above.  In the event that the restrictions related to COVID continue, the Consultant should continue with the research employing alternative methods (as opposed to face to face meetings ) of gathering these data. These alternative means are required to be detailed in the methodology submitted with the application. These alternative methods also need to be factored in the financial proposal.


The Consultant must gather data from males and females to avoid any sample bias.


Component 3: The report with recommendations

The final report needs to contain:

  • Introduction/Background to the study;
  • The Study Design/Methodology;
  • The literature review;
  • The findings of the data gathering exercise;
  • Mapping of the stakeholders with impact and the level of their contribution;
  • Conclusion;
  • The recommendations (short, medium, and long term) that can be implemented at local level and national level to improve participation of women in local governance (elected, non-elected and community level). This needs to include legal and/or policy level changes required for improving women participation.

The draft report needs to be submitted for comments to CDLG and these need to be addressed at the final report. The Consultant is expected to do a presentation to the CDLG team and local government authorities showcasing the findings of the study.


Component 4: Summarized report on the findings and recommendations

The Consultant is expected to prepare a brief (5-10 page long) summary of the report for easy reference. A draft need to be shared for comments with CDLG. 

Duties and Responsibilities

Expected Output/Deliverables & Milestones

  1. Inception report with details on the methodological approach including survey questionnaire templates, Key Informant Interviews and Focused Group Discussion Protocols - 20% - 05/10/2021;
  2. Literature review - 30% - 15/12/2021;
  3. a.Final report incorporating the findings and recommendations b.Technical report containing raw and clean data - 30% - 15/02/2022;
  4. Summary of the report and the presentations to CDLG and local authorities on the findings - 20% - 31/02/2022.



The assignment should be completed within six months. CDLG field team will assist in making the introductions to the relevant authorities and liaising with the respective officials to facilitate this assignment.


The data collected is required to be shared with CDLG so that any cross references can be made if required.



The prospective Consultant should have the following competencies and qualifications:


A. Technical competency;

  • Competence: Consultant should possess the abilities, skills, and experience appropriate to undertake the tasks proposed;
  • Respect for people: Consultant respect the security, dignity and self-worth of respondents, program participants. Consultant has the responsibility to be sensitive to and respect differences amongst participants in culture, religion, gender, disability, age, and ethnicity;
  • Language : Oral and written language skills in Sinhala/Tamil and English .


B. Behavioural Competencies;

  • Ability to be flexible and respond to changes to text/layout as part of the review and feedback process;
  • Strong interpersonal skills, able to communicate and work with diverse people;
  • Participate effectively in team-based, information-sharing environment, collaborating and cooperating with others.


C. Results;

  • Proven delivery of high-quality results, in a timely manner;
  • Ability to plan own work and use time efficiently, manage conflicting priorities and work under pressure of tight and conflicting deadlines.

Required Skills and Experience

Following are the minimum qualifications required for the selected consultant.

a) Academic Qualifications;

  • Master’s degree or above in the relevant field (examples - Governance, Development Studies, Regional Development & Planning, Public Administration/Public Management, etc.) obtained from a recognized University (150 Max. Points)

b) Experience;

  • Minimum five years professional experience working in local government or sub national government (150 Max. Points);
  • Demonstrated experience in working on gender issues and/or gender mainstreaming (150 Max. Points);
  • Demonstrated experience in working with government partners and other stakeholders in public sector development programs (100 Max. Points);
  • Strong experience in conducting evidence-based research studies and report writing (150 Max. Points).



The application should contain:

  • Cover letter explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for the advertised position and a brief methodology on how you will approach and conduct the work;
  • Updated CV to include qualifications/competencies and relevant experience in similar projects and contact details of 3 professional referees who can certify your competencies, professionalism, quality of writing, presentation, and overall suitability to this TOR;
  • Individual consultants will be evaluated based on a combination of factors including cover letter, the credentials on offer and brief interview (optional) and the offer which gives the best value for money for the UNDP;
  • Please send the Financial Proposal separately to the following e-mail address:  stating the vacancy number/position in the subject line.  Failing to provide correct vacancy number & Position would be a disqualification.



All Inclusive Lump Sum Fee: LKR (_______________________________________)

Amount in words: (Rs._____________________________________________________)


Please refer the below link to access the template


Note: Payments will be based on invoices on achievement of agreed milestones i.e., upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR and certification of acceptance by the UNDP. The applicant must factor in all possible costs in his/her “All Inclusive Lump Sum Fee” including his/her consultancy and professional fee, travel (economy class flights is required to and from the Duty Station) board and lodging, and any other foreseeable costs in this exercise. No costs other than what has been indicated in the financial proposal will be paid or reimbursed to the consultant. UNDP will only pay for any unplanned travel outside of this TOR and Duty Station on actual basis and on submission of original bills/invoices, and on prior agreement with UNDP officials. Daily per diem and costs for accommodation/meals/incidental expenses for such travel shall not exceed established local UNDP DSA rates.


For an Individual Contractor who is 65 years of age or older, and on an assignment requiring travel, be it for the purpose of arriving at the duty station or as an integral duty required travel under the TOR, a full medical examination and statement of fitness to work must be provided.  Such medical examination costs must be factored into the financial proposal above. Medical examination is not a requirement for individuals on RLA contracts. 




Payments will be based on the submission of written reports specifying the tasks accomplished towards achieving the deliverables outlined above.


Applications will be first screened and only candidates meeting the minimum criteria will progress to the pool for short listing. Shortlisted Candidates will be then assessed and scored against the following evaluation criteria noting that an interview will be conducted to the shortlisted candidates, if required.

1. Technical Criteria weight: [70%]
2. Financial Criteria weight: [30%]

Only Individual Consultants obtaining a minimum of 49 points (70%) on the Technical Evaluation would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.


UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workplace, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence

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