Lao People’s Democratic Republic is an ethnically diverse country with 49 different ethnic groups and more than 9000 sub-groups, classified into four ethnolinguistic categories: 1) Lao-Tai; 2) Hmong-Mien; 3) Mon-Khmer; 4) China-Tibet. Ethnic groups constitute half of the population in Lao PDR and differences in living standards are prevalent due to; 1) Geographical location (remoteness and limited access to infrastructure and public services); 2) Linguistic and cultural norms; and 3) Inadequate policy interventions.

As mandated under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), the Ethnic Department facilitates the development of good governance systems and aims to strengthen policies that enable greater access to public services. Currently in Lao PDR, there lacks disaggregated data on current public service usage and the factors that affect service access.


UNDP Governance Unit, Participation & Inclusion Portfolio: In the area of Public Administration Reform, UNDP Governance Unit, inter alia, collaborates with the Lao PDR Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) to strengthen the capacity of One Door Service Centers (ODSCs) across the country. To further support in strengthening public service delivery, UNDP is working to enhance the accessibility, transparency, and sustainability of 55 ODSCs across Lao PDR. To facilitate greater access and utilization of public services and evaluate the current efficacy of ODSC operations, UNDP is fully funding research to collect disaggregated data on current public service usage. The research is intended to examine the factors that affect public service access and utilization, and to inform on policy interventions to improve accessibility and service uptake, with a focus on remote, rural populations.

Duties and Responsibilities

The National Consultant will work under the supervision of Governance Team Leader and UNDP Disability Inclusion Specialist to coordinate, guide and implement activities pursuant to the following scope of work:

Task 1: Produce an outline, methodology, and research plan:

  • Following the co-ordination of the International Consultant, support in developing a research methodology and plan specific activities under the assignment, including the selection of the target Provinces and identification of potential interviewees.
  • Submit research methodology and plan, including research questions to UNDP and the Ethnic Department of MOHA for review.

Task 2: Conduct preliminary desk research to identify available data and existing analysis:

  • In collaboration with the International Consultant, develop a literature review of the current factors that influence public service access, with reference to the language, attitudinal, and geographical factors that affect service availability and awareness.

Task 3: Conduct primary data collection in the selected Provinces (Field Mission):

  • Lead, organize and co-ordinate the field visits to 3 Provinces to interview 24 persons from ethnic groups regarding: 1) Knowledge of public services; 2) Access to public services; 3) Personal experiences of services; and; 4) Feedback on improving service delivery. Work in collaboration with the International Consultant to achieve this.
  • The National Consultant will produce a database of interview notes (English and Lao) and update UNDP on progress.
  • With the International Consultant, present the preliminary findings to the Ethnic Department in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) for endorsement.


Task 4: Develop Final Report:

  • Assist the International Consultant to develop a Report on “Factors affecting ethnic groups' access to public services.” The structure should be as followed:
    • first section on the background, rationale, and approach to the research;
    • second section detailing the findings of the research, an analysis of the factors affecting service access, delivery and priorities should be detailed in this section.
    • final section outlining recommendations to improve service delivery, specifying strategies and measures to be implemented by local authorities. International best practices should be presented, and recommendations contextualized to Lao PDR.

Task 5: Finalize and present the Report:

  • Address the feedback provided by UNDP and finalize the Report.
  • Present findings and recommendations at a dissemination event with key stakeholders.


  • Skilled usage of computers and office software packages. 

Required Skills and Experience

  • Master’s Degree on Sociology, Economics, Anthropology, Law, International Development, Public Administration, Political Science or equivalent. 
  • Minimum 3 years of relevant experience at the national or international level in development research and analysis.
  • Experience in undertaking qualitative and quantitative research, managing information and data and working with stakeholders from government, research institutions and civil society organizations.

Language : Fluency in English and Lao is required.


Please find the TOR details here  RPS_046_2023


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