International Consultant to Design a Comprehensive DIM to NIM Transition Strategy, Contextualized Implementation Guidelines and Capacity Development Framework for UNDP in Montenegro


Location : Homebased and Podgorica, MONTENEGRO
Application Deadline :19-Sep-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)
01-Oct-2021
Duration of Initial Contract :1 October 2021 - 25 December 2021
Expected Duration of Assignment :25 consultancy days

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

UNDP in Montenegro is about to launch the implementation of two new projects with Global Environment Facility (GEF) 7 Programming Cycle funding allocation for Montenegro - namely, the projects “Strengthening Montenegro’s Nationally Determined Contribution and Adaptation Activities Transparency Framework” and “Biodiversity Mainstreaming into Sectoral Policies and Practices and Strengthened Protection of Biodiversity Hot-Spots in Montenegro”, with total value exceeding $4 million.

For the first time, both projects will be implemented within the framework of UNDP’s National Implementation Modality (NIM), with the Ministry of Ecology, Spatial planning and Urbanism acting as an Implementing Partner (IP).

UNDP has a focus on developing national systems and capacities and utilizing them for the implementation of GEF - UNDP supported projects while the guiding principles of the process is determined by UNDP Programme and Operations Policies and Procedures.

Considering the above-mentioned context, UNDP Montenegro is seeking services of international expert who would develop a draft of a comprehensive implementation modality transition strategy, including a contextualized implementation guidelines and capacity development framework that will guide the Montenegro CO and the Implementing Partner in transition of the above projects’ implementation modality from a direct implementation (DIM) by UNDP to a national implementation (NIM) by the Implementing Partner.

Key premises:

  • What is the precise intention for developing this transition strategy and related implementation and capacity development framework?

The main aim of developing the transition strategy is to allow for a phased approach to introducing the NIM modality which is informed by the identified risks and gradual increase in the capacity and understanding of all IPs, National project director, GEF operational focal point, project and UNDP CO staff on their roles, responsibilities and accountability regarding the project implementation. The transition strategy and related implementation and capacity development framework should be fully aligned with Vertical Funds’ policies and are not meant to substitute for any official legal and regulatory framework either on UNDP or IP side. On the contrary, they are expected to build and where needed further clarify principles and standards for how the respective legal and regulatory frameworks are to be satisfied/implemented in the context of these two projects. At the same time, it is expected to provide key officials, programme and project management staff with a quick and accessible reference to the underlying principles and standards to ensure that UNDP-GEF supported projects are implemented in an efficient, effective and risk-informed manner. 

  • For whom is the framework being developed?

The main end users of the framework are project management teams, with appropriate considerations given to the rules distinguishing UNDP oversight role and IP implementation role, UNDP and IP procurement personnel and senior management (National Project Director and GEF Operational Focal Point) directly involved in project implementation. The framework is envisioned as a guidance tool to help meet the expected levels of transparency and accountability as well as evidence of impacts that arise from overall outcome and objectives as outlined in the project documents. The framework should serve as a guide, provide tools, methodologies and approaches to legal and regulatory framework, transparency standards and sound project and risk management requirements. 

  • At what point in time the framework will be applicable?

The framework should provide guidance for all stages of projects lifecycle with the emphasis on providing IP with the guidance in inception phase resulting in applicable work plans, governance and management arrangements necessary for project implementation.  Consequently, deliverables under this assignment will serve as inputs towards the overall CO transition strategy from DIM to NIM and adjustments in the UNDP’s internal accountability framework and risk management strategy to be adopted in the inception phase.


Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of work: 

The consultant will develop and draft a comprehensive implementation modality transition strategy, which will include a contextualized implementation guideline and a capacity development framework that will guide the Montenegro CO and the Implementing Partner (IP) in transition of the above-mentioned projects’ implementation modality from direct implementation by UNDP to national implementation by the Implementing Partner. 

The developed documents shall be based on UNDP rules and regulations and must be fully aligned with the GEF guidelines and requirements. They shall provide guidance and reference to the UNDP’s rules and regulations, and their respective procedures to be observed by UNDP and national counterparts for the national implementation of the GEF projects where UNDP is assigned with the oversight role.   

Expected deliverables of the assignment:
The consultant, taking into consideration content of approved projects and building on preparatory phases of both projects, already prepared Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfers (HACT) micro-assessments, Partner Capacity Assessment Tool (PCAT), capacity assessments and consultations is expected to provide following results: 

 

Expected deliverable

Timeline

Deliverable description with milestones

1.

Transition Strategy – building on HACT, PCAT, relevant inputs and data processed during the stocktaking exercise formulate the implementation modality transition strategy.

Second half of September –

end of October

  • Undertake the stocktaking and capacity gap assessment exercise relying on consultations with IP, National project director, GEF operational focal point, UNDP personnel, recruited project management teams, and any other relevant partners
  • review of approved project documents planned work plans, procurement plans and budgets, legislative and regulatory review relevant and applicable for projects implementation, roles and responsibilities within IP and UNDP in the context of the implementation, available HACT and PCAT assessments and other relevant capacity assessments.

Milestone: latest end of the first week of October

Deliverable: initial/inception report, approved and agreed format and the content of the follow up deliverables

  • Stocktaking report - report summarizing stocktaking process, capacity gap assessment, input for project implementation framework and capacity building activities.

Milestone: latest the 3rd week of October

Deliverable: Stocktaking report

  • Final report - Transition Strategy

Clear process-oriented recommendations highlighting areas and issues to be addressed during the inception but also beyond in terms of the risks and overall capacity development and transitioning.

Milestone: by 1st week of November                                                     

Deliverable: Transition Strategy and its presentation to the CO

First payment upon UNDP acceptance of the report

2.

The projects implementation guidelines

End of October – 10th December

Draft the comprehensive projects implementation framework that will provide detailed reporting guidelines, reporting templates as needed and applicable, information exchange and reporting periodicity, reconciliation procedures as needed and applicable, etc. The resulting document will provide key IP officials, CO programme and project management staff with a quick and accessible reference to ensure that UNDP-GEF supported projects are implemented in an efficient and agreed manner. The document should focus, but not be limited to:

  • Implementation: overall governance and accountability framework, consisting of channeling and disbursing the funds through designated mechanism in line with the HACT framework, as well as projects grant administration, the main principles in the procurement process, processes for revision and changes to the project document, and others matters, including official field trips, procurement of services and goods,
  • Reporting, monitoring & evaluation, and audit; include the reporting mechanism, monitoring, evaluation, and audit requirements on projects funded by UNDP-GEF grants, related templates and standard operating procedures as applicable.
  • Mechanisms for Project Closure; include the process for substantive closure and the relevant financial and administrative procedures, as well as arrangements for the transfer of assets.

Milestone: mid November

Deliverable: develop a draft of implementation guidelines

Final projects implementation guidelines

Milestone: mid December

Deliverable: develop final implementation guidelines

3.

Capacity development for project management team, relevant CO program/operations staff and IP staff

End of October – 10th December

During the initial stocktaking exercise and communication with IP, National project director, GEF operational focal point, UNDP personnel, recruited project management teams, and any other relevant partners, the consultant will identify priority areas for capacity improvements

Milestone: mid October

Deliverable: draft - capacity development programe for project management team, relevant CO program/operations and IP staff.

At least 3 workshops organized, training material designed.

Milestone: mid December

Deliverable: capacity development programe for project management team, relevant CO program/operations and IP staff implemented, training material delivered

Inputs and services which will be provided to the consultant by UNDP and Implementing partner:

The work of selected consultant will be supervised by Team leader responsible for Democratic Governance and Economy and Environment and facilitated by the UNDP team through access to rules and regulations relevant and applicable for project implementation. In addition, the consultant will be supported by a local expert to support legal and procurement aspects of design of a comprehensive implementation DIM to NIM transition strategy, contextualized implementation guidelines and capacity development framework.

UNDP team will help the consultant to receive information regarding applicable legislation, operating procedures and decision-making processes. The NCE/BPPS team can be consulted on the alignment with Vertical Funds’ policies.

Duration of the assignment:

The assignment should be implemented during the period from 1 October 2021 until 25 December 2021, for 25 consultancy days.

During the duration of the contract and in accordance with the Order for temporary measures to prevent the introduction into the country, to contain and to prevent the transmission of the novel coronavirus issued by Ministry of Health upon recommendation of the Institute of Public Health of Montenegro, one visit is planned for a period not exceeding 5 working days.


Competencies

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Ability to lead and design strategic planning, results-based management and reporting exercises and documents;
  • Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Demonstrates good oral and written communication skills;
  • Demonstrates ability to manage complexities and work under pressure, as well as conflict resolution skills.

 


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • At least a Master’s degree in either public administration, social, political, economic or environmental science;  

Experience:

  • At least 5 years of professional experience with UNDP project implementation, project management, risk analysis, monitoring, evaluation and program and operational rules and procedures;
  • Prior experience in managing, overseeing or implementation of GEF projects would be an asset;
  • Demonstrated experience in working with government partners and other stakeholders on capacity development and training initiatives, including their design and delivery; 
  • Demonstrated experience in development of organizational systems for results-based project management, quality assurance and risk management; 

Language:

  • Excellent written and oral knowledge of English; 
  • Knowledge of Montenegrin language would be considered as asset;  

Other:

  • Excellent social, communication skills and writing skills; 

Combined Scoring method will be used. When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract should be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as: (i) responsive, compliant, acceptable, and (ii) having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

Technical criteria weight - 70% - max. 700 points

Criteria A Background and Education – max. points: 100
Criteria B Practical Previous Experience – max. points: 200
Criteria C Technical Expertise and Required Competences – mx. Points: 350 
Criteria D Required Language/Other Skills: max. points - 50

Financial criteria weight - 30%. – max. points: 300 

Only offerors obtaining minimum 490 points for technical criteria will be considered for the financial evaluation. For more information on procurement methodology for Individual Contractors, please refer to Procurement Notice.

Application procedure:

Interested applicants are requested to submit their applications by September 19, 2021 by using the Apply now button. The application should contain CV or P11 that can be downloaded at https://www.me.undp.org/content/montenegro/en/home/jobs.html. Please note that UNDP jobsite system allows only one uploading of application document, so please make sure that you merge all your documents into a single file.

Only the short-listed applicants will be contacted and requested to submit a letter of interest including a price quotation indicating the lump sum (in EUR) requested for the work envisaged in the section "Description of Responsibilities".



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