Consultant for Inclusive Governance Dimensions for Regional Human Development Report (RHDR) on Inequalities


Location : Home-based, with at minimum 3 missions to Istanbul
Application Deadline :11-Jun-15 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Duration of Initial Contract :estimated June 2015 – January 2016
Expected Duration of Assignment :Approximately 52 days

Background

UNDP Regional Human Development Reports (RHDRs) are flagship publications that offer human development perspectives on important regional issues in ways that can support regional and national programming. They provide empirically grounded analysis of development issues, trends and policies to help advance human development in the most critical development issue for the region.

UNDP’s RHDR for Europe and Central Asia, focusing on inequalities, is built on the Regional Dialogue on Inequalities that calls for deeper understanding of the causes, trends and nature of inequalities and for the design and implementation of appropriate policies, in particular in the context of the emerging post-2015 development agenda. 

In this context, UNDP will commission background research papers by expert researchers for the chapters on various dimension of inequalities in Europe and Central Asia. 

UNDP envisages that this RHDR will serve as a vehicle for generating human development perspectives on various dimensions of inequality as well as a platform for partnerships with the policy and advocacy community and the public. As such, UNDP will use different means of communication for outreach to various audiences as part of the preparations of the report. 

Regional Human Development Report on Inequalities

The previous Regional Human Development Report for the Europe and CIS region, Beyond Transition: Towards Better Societies, was produced in 2011 and looked at the vicious cycle of poverty from the perspective of those who experience it first-hand. The report presented findings from surveys in six countries and provided an overview of social exclusion in the region and recommended actions. The report also introduced a way to measure the extent to which people are excluded from economic life, social services, and social networks and civic participation. The 2015 RHDR will build upon the findings of this report as well as others from other regions. The full library of HDRs (Global, Regional and National) is available here. The RHDR will also draw upon the findings of the Humanity Divided: Confront Inequality in Developing Countries report from 2013. 

Inequalities, most commonly with reference to income, have become a central theme of development and political discourse on the global level. Inequality was a key theme for the 2015 meeting of the World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland, and recent statistics from Oxfam on the extent of the global wealth gap, as well as significant recent academic contributions to the discourse, have ignited debate on the issue. However, in the case of the Europe and CIS region, the rationale for looking at the trends and lessons is specific. This is partly because of its post-socialist heritage, which left relatively (compared to other developing countries) equal distributions of income, relatively broad access to social services, and relatively small gender disparities. Unfortunately, there are worrying signs that these advantages are being lost—and that problems of inequality and vulnerability are growing and converging with those of other regions. It is these worrying developments that have marked inequalities out as the theme for the RHDR. 

Inclusive Governance Dimensions

At the Dialog on Inequalities, it was noted by many participants that governance institutions, both formal and informal would have a key role to play in addressing the challenge of growing inequalities in the region. As such, a chapter of the RHDR will focus on inclusive governance. It will look at how and which institutions of governance impact on inequalities in the varied political environments that make up the Europe and CIS region, including in conflict affected situations. Inequalities, as will be explored in the RHDR’s earlier chapters, will be understood not only in terms of income, but also in terms of participation, access to health, education, justice and services, human rights protections, employment, pensions and other measures. 

The chapter will take proposed Sustainable Development Goal 16 as a framework to assess the links between inequalities and its targets (and indicators). It will also explore the application of those targets and indicators to the Europe and CIS contexts and look at what the targets mean practically in terms of action, monitoring and implementation. This framework will be used to identify the institutions and capacities that are most essential to strengthen as part of a comprehensive, sustainable approach to addressing inequalities. It will also seek to identify, with some reference to comparisons within the region, some of the factors which increase the impact of governance institutions on inequalities. Integral to this will be an analysis of how inequalities influence the delivery of public services particularly at the local level, and its impact on vulnerable groups. Critically, it will present an evidence-base for the relationships of the Chapter’s central focuses with inequalities, and will detail approaches taken by UNDP and the broader UN to the issues identified and draw out key lessons.       

The chapter will focus on three main barriers of particular importance to inclusive governance in the Europe and CIS region. The first of these is corruption and its relationship with societal resilience in ECIS. Corruption’s impact on governance systems can reinforce the mechanisms which create and perpetuate income and other inequalities and pose a barrier to economic policies to address inequalities. The chapter will articulate the impact of petty corrupt practices on local governance and access to basic services and the effect of mechanisms of exclusion on participation, gender, equality, environmental protection and other factors, while exploring efforts to embed transparency and accountability in governance. The second focus is multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination against particular vulnerable groups, such as gender, minorities, the elderly, and persons with disabilities, and the impact of gender-sensitive and human rights-based policy measures on the reduction of inequalities. As a third focus, the chapter will elaborate on the ways in which identified mechanisms for perpetuating inequalities are exacerbated in zones of conflict or disputed sovereignty and how this may be addressed. The research will address gender dimensions as relevant.  

Working as part of the Governance and Peacebuilding Cluster, the Consultant will work with its specialists in thematic areas to formulate the Inclusive Governance aspects of the Report and the cluster’s initiatives, while also collaborating with other staff and consultants working on the other chapters of the RHDR. The content, design and presentation of the chapter and related products will be led by the Consultant with the support of the Governance and Peacebuilding Team, but will likely include: contributions from leading regional thinkers (in “boxes” or otherwise); summaries of materials from case studies and UNDP experiences; and statistical appendices.


Duties and Responsibilities


The main functions of the RHDR Inclusive Governance Consultant are as follows:

Plan, research, analyse and draft a comprehensive paper and other products on Inclusive Governance and inequalities as part of the Governance and Peacebuilding Cluster to be developed into a Chapter of the Regional Human Development Report for Europe and CIS 2015 on Inequalities; ensuring that:

  • Relevant theories of linkages between governance and inequality are reflected;
  • A representative sample of approaches taken to the issues in question is reflected, through research of UN/UNDP and non-UN work in the area in recent years;
  • A breadth of experiences across the region is explored, in part with comparative approach;
  • Sustainable Development Goal 16 is used as the framework for assessing governance institutions in the ECIS region;
  • The research is guided by outcomes of UNDP’s Dialog on Inequalities, Strategic Plan, previous major reports and policy instruments.

Facilitate a broad consultative process with relevant actors in the region for a comprehensive research phase and gathering of extensive relevant data, including in support of SDG 16; consult also with the RHDR team, IRH GPB Team, and UNDP Country Offices on approaches and innovations on inclusive governance and inequalities and explore the use of innovative data collection measures to ensure a comprehensive, evidence-based reflection of the issues, responses, and solutions; ensuring that:

  • Varied viewpoints and experiences on the approaches taken to governance and inequalities are reflected with reference to specific projects, research and innovations within and outside of the UN system;
  • Key NGOs and other actors are consulted for sections on corruption, contested sovereignty, people living with disabilities and anti-discrimination, and public services delivery, so that the most specific and up-to-date expertise in those areas is included;
  • The use of innovative approaches to data collection and evidence are explored and implemented where possible; data should be sought related in particular to the indicators of Sustainable Development Goal 16;
  • Opinions and experiences are attributed to the persons or organisations of their origin to the extent possible, in order that further research can be undertaken easily by readers.

Undertake a participatory drafting process involving key IRH staff and review by other selected partners; produce a final draft of the chapter and, if necessary, attend the launch of the RHDR in 2016.  

  • The IRH team leading the overall production of the RHDR has adequate oversight of the process of writing the Inclusive Governance Chapter and is able to coordinate its contents and focus in alignment with other chapters;
  • At least two short articles/blogs are generated on findings to stimulate debate and dialogue;
  • The consultant is actively engaged in the meetings and consultations of the RHDR task team;
  • The Governance and Peacebuilding team in particular, and other IRH and UNDP experts, have time and opportunity to contribute comments and feedback on drafts and other products prior to finalisation;
  • Political sensitivities around naming issues and denotation of historical events are discussed with the Governance and Peacebuilding Team Leader should they emerge as issues, and dealt with in a manner in alignment with UN guidance;
  • Overviews of trends and research in the various specific areas of work identified are shared in full with the Governance and Peacebuilding Team so that all findings of the research undertaken are captured and not limited to the specific content of the written RHDR chapter.

Deliverables

The following deliverables will be required before disbursement of first 34% of the contract amount after two months:

  • Initial detailed research plan produced and presented for discussion with Governance and Peacebuilding Team and approval by Team Leader and RHDR Coordinator – approximately three weeks after contract start-date;
  • Two 700 word blog posts on highlighting data and stories of particular interest that have emerged during the research process;
  • One short issue brief and contribution to other related products in collaboration with other Governance and Peacebuilding Team members;
  • Engagement in working level meetings and consultations with the GPB team, UNDP Country Offices and others.

Second 33% of contract amount after four months:

  • Two further blog posts/articles on progressing research findings;
  • Two further short Issue Briefs at approximately two-month intervals and contribute to other related products in collaboration with other Governance and Peacebuilding Team members;
  • Draft paper capturing all results of research relevant to scope of Inclusive Governance Chapter for review and feedback by GPB Team and RHDR Coordinator;
  • Continued engagement as for first set of deliverables.

Third 33% of contract amount after six months:

  • Final draft of Inclusive Governance Chapter (around 30 pages) and presentation at 2016 Regional Dialog on Inequalities;
  • Presentation of Inclusive Governance Chapter at Dialog on Inequalities 2016.


Competencies

Functional Competencies:

  • Demonstrates extensive research planning and implementation skills;
  • Demonstrates commitment to human development principles and values;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Shares knowledge and experience;
  • Provides helpful feedback and advice;
  • Displays strong analytical skills;
  • Plans and produces quality results to meet established goals in a timely manner;
  • Generates innovative, practical solutions to challenging situations;
  • Conceptualizes and analyzes problems to identify key issues, underlying problems, and how they relate;
  • Demonstrates substantive and technical knowledge to meet responsibilities and post requirements with excellence;
  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills;
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities;
  • Responds positively to critical feedback and differing points of view.


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in social sciences or a related field.

Experience:

  • At least 7 years of experience in research on inclusive governance institutions and political economy. (15 years required in absence of Master’s degree);
  • A demonstrable body of written workon issues relating to governance, preferably in the ECIS region;
  • Demonstrable experience collaborating with a wide-spectrum of actors in collaborative research;
  • Experience with the UN or UNDP in the area of governance desirable.

Language:

  • Excellent command of English.

Evaluation of Applicants

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on a cumulative analysis taking into consideration the combination of the applicants’ qualifications and financial proposal.

The award of the contract should be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • responsive/compliant/acceptable, and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical (P11 desk reviews and interviews) and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

Technical Criteria - 70% of total evaluation – max. 35 points:

  • Criteria A – Quality and clarity of proposed initial research plan – max points - 8;
  • Criteria B – Previous experience with UN/UNDP – max points - 3;
  • Criteria C – Extent of previous experience in collaborative research - max points - 4;
  • Criteria D – Evident experience with RHDR chapter focuses - max points - 8;
  • Criteria E - Interviews – max points - 12.

Only candidates scoring at least 70% in criteria A-D will be invited for interview. 
Only the highest ranked candidates who would be found qualified for the job will be considered for the Financial Evaluation.

Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation – max. 15 points.

Application procedures

Qualified candidates are requested to apply online via this website. The application should contain:

  • Cover letter detailing a proposed initial research scheme in line with the above requirements – including methodology for collaborative research, suggested partners for specific focuses, and possible innovative approaches to data gathering and interpretation. Please paste the letter of no more than 700 words into the "Resume and Motivation" section of the electronic application.
  • Filled P11 form including past experience in similar projects and contact details of referees (blank form can be downloaded from http://europeandcis.undp.org/files/hrforms/P11_modified_for_SCs_and_ICs.doc); please upload the P11 instead of your CV. Please, include reference/links to a demonstrable body of written work on issues relating to governance, preferably in the ECIS region.
  • Financial Proposal - specifying a total lump sum amount in USD for the tasks specified in this announcement.The financial proposal shall include a breakdown of this lump sum amount (number of anticipated working days and any other relevant expenses) with the exception of travel expenses related to missions. Travel costs related to missions, if any, will be paid by UNDP in accordance to UNDP rules and regulations.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials. Please combine all your documents into one (1) single PDF document as the system only allows to upload maximum one document.

Please note that the financial proposal is all-inclusive and shall take into account various expenses incurred by the consultant/contractor during the contract period (e.g. fee, health insurance, vaccination and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services. Travel costs will be covered separately according to UNDP rules and regulations.

Payments will be made only upon confirmation of UNDP on delivering on the contract obligations in a satisfactory manner. 

Individual Consultants are responsible for ensuring they have vaccinations/inoculations when travelling 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
General Terms and conditions as well as other related documents can be found under:  http://on.undp.org/t7fJs.

Qualified women and members of minorities are encouraged to apply.
Due to large number of applications we receive, we are able to inform only the successful candidates about the outcome or status of the selection process.


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.


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