National Consultant - Assessment of Informal Governance Systems in Yemen

Location : Sana'a, YEMEN
Application Deadline :14-Dec-12 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Crisis Response
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
Arabic   English  
Duration of Initial Contract :Not to exceed eight 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.


With the signing of the peace initiative and its implementation mechanism sponsored by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and facilitated by the United Nations in November 2011, Yemen has embarked on the implementation of its transition agenda. The transition period will pose a great challenge to the Government of Yemen (GoY) and the international community, requiring the GoY to address multiple competing issues, including state reform, within a short time frame.

Many recent academic studies as well as UN reports, have highlighted the importance of Yemen’s vibrant informal governance systems in the statebuilding and peacebuilding process. Furthermore, there is a broad consensus within the literature that the relationship between formal and informal structures of governance has been deterministic of development outcomes, and influences access to basic services, economic opportunity and security in Yemen. In 2009, a major whole of government study of Yemen conducted by the EU, concluded that “a mapping of the parallel state, with a better understanding of the shifting balance of key players, their interests and rivalries as well as of the tribal dynamics underlying the political settlement” was central to developing a strategy of support to transition in the country.

In Yemen, as in many other countries, such informal systems have been an important valve for regulating relations and conflicts for centuries. With an estimated 75% of the population living in rural areas and the rapid contraction of the economy during 2011, the prospects of extending service delivery to the majority of the population through formal channels is receding. In many parts of the country, local authorities have yet to take fully charge of local affairs as foreseen by the law, and an estimate of over 70-80% of all disputes are being resolved outside of the formal justice system. Even with consistent investment from 2005, World Bank and UN estimates indicate that meeting MDG targets by 2015 would be impossible, whilst poverty rates have risen from 35% in 2006, to 42% in 2011, and 54.4% in 2012. As the country prepares to renegotiate the historical political settlement through a national dialogue, relation-based systems could allow leveraging large constituencies at a time where broad based support is needed by formal structures in redefining a rule-based national social contract.

For this to be done, development partners need to understand in greater detail the stakeholders, roles and perceptions of informal governance systems. This requires moving beyond anecdotal descriptions, to develop a disaggregated evidence base and analysis of how informal systems are working and influencing formal decision making and service delivery across the country.

Drawing upon UNDP’s comparative advantage and the lessons learned on supporting governance in fragile states, both globally and in Yemen, UNDP is recruiting a national lead researcher to undertake a nation-wide qualitative and quantitative assessment of the perceptions, stakeholders and structure of Yemen’s informal governance systems. This baseline will be used to inform national policy formulation and planning as well as to assist development partners in the design of a program of support for governance extension and reform in Yemen.

The objectives of the assessment are to develop a comprehensive baseline of Yemen’s informal governance systems. This assessment will include

  • a desk review of the legal and institutional framework for informal governance in Yemen; including a review of the constitution, basic laws, institutional arrangements and capacity;
  • a stakeholder and influence analysis identifying all actors contributing to informal governance systems at national, governorate and district levels;
  • a nation-wide survey of citizens on the roles, value and impact of informal governance systems in the provision of basic, justice and security services and democratic representation;

Based on the findings of this assessment, UNDP will develop a program of governance support that will facilitate the links between formal and informal local governance structures over the short and medium term. The assessment will inform strategy development, as well as provide guidance on priority institutional and capacity issues to be addressed, define an action plan for policy development and identify immediate activities to be started in 2013.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Informal Governance Assessment will draw upon the capacity and experience of the Government of Yemen and partners, with leadership from UNDP. The core assessment team will be constituted by 1 senior international consultant and 1 senior national consultant with complementary skills in law, political science, sociology and/or anthropology. The lead researchers will work with 2 researchers at national level, and 30 field data collectors, formed into 5 teams of 6.

The lead researchers will maintain overall responsibility for the final report, including but not restricted to:

  • finalization of research methodology including all research tools (incl. surveys);
  • identification and recruitment of national researchers and data collection teams;
  • outreach and engagement with national partners;
  • comprehensive literature review in Arabic;
  • supervision of national researchers and field research teams;
  • consolidation of data and analysis;
  • drafting, editing and finalization of the final report;
  • support to outreach, dissemination and consultation of final report.

The research team will report jointly to the international and the national lead researchers, who will take the lead in liaising with and collaborating with all national partners and reporting to the project board throughout the assessment process.

The project board will be responsible for ensuring the strategic orientation of the project, approve its work plan, ensure the overall supervision of accomplished results, and resolve any major challenge which might impede on obtaining the expected results. The project board will provide policy guidance, as well as provide direction and decisions when required by the lead researchers. The lead consultants will provide information, status updates, or other briefings to UNDP and other partners upon request.

The lead consultants will provide information, status updates, or other briefings to UNDP and other partners upon request. 

Detailed description of tasks:

The Lead Researcher will contribute her/his knowledge, expertise and experience on post- conflict governance policy, to this end she/he will perform the following deliverables:

Design of methodology and finalization of research tools

  • Review and finalisation of methodology
  • Design of research tools (focus groups, survey and key informant interview guide)
  • Testing and validation of research tools
  • Review and Finalisation of tools
Completion of Institutional Baseline
  • Recruitment of national consultants
  • Literature review
  • Conduct of Key informant interviews
Preparation for Field Data Collection 
  • Recruitment of field data collectors
  • Training of data collectors
Field Data Collection
  • Supervision of research teams
  • Conduct of focus groups
  • Consolidation of data
Drafting and Consultations
  • Preparation of preliminary results
  • Consultations on preliminary results
  • Drafting of report
  • Validation of results
  • Review and finalisation of report


  • Publications and demonstrable research on the actors, processes and dynamics of informal governance in Yemen;
  • Familiarity with working with an international organization, preferably UNDP, and familiarity with Crisis Prevention and Recovery issues is desirable
  • Knowledge of UNDP/UN regulations, rules, policies, procedures and practices is an advantage.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Advanced university degree in political science, law, sociology, ethnology, public administration or development studies;
  • At least 10 years of relevant professional work experience at the national and/or international level in conflict prevention and recovery, as well as governance in crisis situations;
  • Experience in using qualitative and quantitative methodologies (political economy, surveys, focus groups and key informant interviews) and other relevant tools to conduct assessments in crisis affected and fragile environments;
  • Experience in assessment and research design, implementation and management, including field research at governorate and district level in Yemen;
  • Publications and demonstrable research on the actors, processes and dynamics of informal governance in Yemen;
  • Familiarity with working with an international organization, preferably UNDP, and familiarity with Crisis Prevention and Recovery issues is desirable;
  • Knowledge of UNDP/UN regulations, rules, policies, procedures and practices is an advantage.
Language Requirements:
  • Fluency in Arabic, both oral and written, is essential as are excellent writing skills, writing, reading and speaking skills in English are also required. 

Fees and terms of payment:

Payments will be made monthly against submission of completed deliverables according to a work plan identified and agreed on.


  • The selection shall be made on a combined scoring method, based on a 70%-30% distribution on the technical and financial offers, respectively;
  • Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% of the technical score weight on technical evaluation only would be considered for the financial evaluation and further selection process.

Evaluation shall based on the following criteria:

A. Technical assessment: 70% (maximum 100 points)

  • Education
  • Relevant work Experience
  • Prior Knowledge and experience in Yemen
  • Prior experience of working with UNDP/UN Agencies

B. Financial: 30%

Interested individuals must upload the following documents/information in a single Document to demonstrate their qualifications, in the next page:

1. A one page proposal explaining why they are the most suitable for the work

2. Personal CV including past experience in similar projects including at least 3 references (email and phone of referees to be provided)

3. Financial Proposal - specifying a total Lump Sum Amount for the tasks specified in this announcement. The financial proposal shall include a breakdown of this lump sum amount:

  • Personnel Cost (professional fees, life insurance, Medical Insurance, Communications, Land transportation,…)
  • Duty Travel (air ticket in most direct economy class, living allowances, travel insurance, terminals,…)

Note: Shortlisted candidates would be required to complete and submit a UNDP P.11 form (template to be provided by UNDP at a later date)

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