Consultant: Review of the Singapore Policy Centre on Public Service Excellence

Location : Home-based
Application Deadline :20-Feb-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :26 February 2018 - 6 April 2018 (22 working days)
Expected Duration of Assignment :26 February 2018 - 6 April 2018 (22 working days)


In September 2012, UNDP and the Government of Singapore signed an MOU, and agreed on a project document establishing the Global Centre for Public Service Excellence (  2013-2015 was the first period of operations of the Centre, at the end of which, a second three-year phase of the project was agreed (September 2015 to August 2018, which is the current project end-date).

The Global Centre for Public Service Excellence (GCPSE) aspires to be UNDP’s catalyst for new thinking, strategy and action on building effective, accountable and transparent public institutions [SDG Target 16.6]. GCPSE does this by bringing officials, policy-makers and expert-practitioners together to facilitate continuous learning, stronger evidence, and South-South Cooperation.

Over the years, the Center has managed to carve out a niche by focusing on four major areas of work which are considered the cornerstones of the GCPSE evidence building and convening agenda:

  • Effective cooperation at the interface of political and administrative leadership.
  • Motivation of public service officials (changes to effectively reform the public service need to build on a better understanding of the intrinsic motivation of public officials.
  • Strategic foresight as a vehicle for adaptive governance in an increasingly complex environment. Activities have been implemented in collaboration with a wide range of partners and funding sources (incl. UNDP/BPPS Innovation Facility).
  • Innovation in Public Service, testing and promoting novel approaches, such as design thinking, social innovation and disruptive technologies.

In response to internal and external demand it formulated a suite of services (see which GCPSE offers to UNDP Country Offices and partner Governments. These services leverage internal capacities and the body evidence and expertise that GCPSE has created over the years. Services also include the delivery of training programmes for which the Government of Singapore has provided additional funding for during the Centre’s second phase.

The Centre, in partnership with the OECD-DAC, is also the Joint Secretariat for the Effective Institutions Platform, a partnership of more than 65 countries and organisations (multilateral and bilateral development agencies, civil society, think tanks) which aims to support countries in strengthening their public sector institutions through initiatives such as Peer-to-Peer Learning.

The Center is part of the Democratic Governance and Peacebuilding Cluster in UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) with a research link also to the Director of the Strategic Policy Unit in BPPS. The Center’s Director reports twice a year to the Project Board, co-chaired by the BPPS director and the DG International Organisations of the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Other members of the board are: the RC Malaysia, a senior official of the Prime Minister’s Office in Singapore, as well as one independent board member (Prof. Shyaka, CEO of the Rwanda Governance Board). The Centre has no operations unit and is supported by the Malaysia Country Office and UNDP HQ.

The second phase of the project is ending in August 2018 and UNDP project management regulations require an end of project evaluation. The evaluation will also feed into the discussion between UNDP and the GoS on the prospects of and if so, the focus of, a third phase of the project.  

Purpose and Objectives of the Evaluation

In line with UNDP regulations the project needs to be subject to an independent evaluation. The project document stipulated that a joint evaluation would be carried out in the final six months of the project. That did not happen in the first phase of the project, but is now warranted in light of the review of UNDP’s business processes and the role of the Global Policy centres, and in light of the ongoing discussions with the Government of Singapore on the relevance, direction and sustainability of the Centre.

The evaluation will examine not only to what extend the centre, given its funding and staffing, has been able to position UNDP as a thought leader in the area of public service excellence and its role in achieving major development objectives, but also whether the centre has been able to identify and sustain its potential position for the future, financially with the support of the host government and intellectually, as the go-to think tank for UNDP’s guidance on public service excellence. 

The evaluation will therefore need to examine the following areas:

  • Strategic direction taken by the Centre;
  • An assessment of whether the GCPSE is on track to achieve its objectives at project end, and its longer-term potential under the new Strategic Plan;
  • Appropriateness of the partnerships developed;
  • Continued relevance for UNDP of the thematic focus and breadth of mandate and value of the Centre as perceived by UNDP Regional Bureaus and Country offices as well as external partners (e.g. development partners and partner Governments);
  • Value for money and financial sustainability of the Centre (compared to other Global Policy Centres and taking into account UNDP’s current financial situation);   
  • Staffing capacity, operations and other delivery issues.
  • Relations with the host country and expectations on future UNDP collaboration in a High Income City State. 

The final evaluation of the project will cover the period project from the start of Phase 1 (September 2012) until now (with a projection of results and accomplishments until the end of Phase 2 in August 2018).

The evaluation will be undertaken by an independent evaluator selected by UNDP/BPPS. 

Duties and Responsibilities

Approach and Methods

The review will be based on relevant documentation, including the project document, annual work plans, project board meetings, workshop reports, face-to-face or telephone/video interviews with government officials in Singapore, GCPSE staff, UNDP staff at HQ and in regional centres and regional bureaus and country offices, the UNRC Office in Kuala Lumpur (for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei), key partners such as the OECD, USAID, NSGI/DFID, UNOSSC, the Astana Civil Service Hub (ACSH) in Kazakhstan, the EIP Co-Chairs, Singaporean government officials, and other key stakeholders in the research and public administration community.

Key Duties and Output/Deliverables

The key output of this consultancy will be an independent evaluation presented in a 20-25-page report, reflecting on the key issues outlined in this ToR.


A first draft of the report will be presented to BPPS by 16 March 2018. The report will be shared by the BPPS director with the Singapore Government and Board members by 23 March. The consultant will receive feedback from UNDP, the GoS and the Project Board by 30 March.

A final version of the report will be submitted by 6 April 2018.

Activities and  Outputs over 22 working days

  • Interviews (remotely and in Singapore and New York) gathering of information and review of documents (15 days);
  • Finalising draft report (20-25 pages excluding annexes  - TOR, list of  people interviewed,  list of documents reviewed (4 days);
  • Presentation of draft report (remotely ½ day)
  • Revision of draft report based on comments received from UNDP, GoS, Board members  (2 ½ days)

Institutional Arrangements and Reporting

The consultant will report to the Director/Chief of Profession, Governance and Peacebuilding, BPPS (NY). 


The assignment would include a full three-day mission to Singapore to conduct interviews with the GCPSE staff and government officials, and a full three-day mission to UNDP HQ in New York. All other work on this assignment is desk-based. 


Functional Competencies

  • Knowledge and understanding of key research and policy issues in governance and peacebuilding, especially in the focus area of public administration covered by the GCPSE (see above);
  • Knowledge and understanding of UNDP’s work in governance and peacebuilding, including the role of global policy centres in supporting that work;
  • Demonstrated ability to organise and structure information, and to write and communicate in a clear and concise manner;
  • Proven ability to perform tasks in a timely manner and produce a high-quality final product.

Corporate Competencies

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling 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;
  • Treats all people fairly without favouritism;
  • Fulfill all obligations to gender sensitivity;


Required Skills and Experience


Master’s degree in public administration, law, political science, finance, economics, international relations, development studies, or related field, or equivalent experience.

Professional Experience

  • At least 10 years work experience in development programming, policy or research;
  • A prior record of conducting organizational assessments or programme reviews/evaluations
  • Experience of working in a research or policy centre, or think-tank environment is an advantage
  • Experience in monitoring and evaluation;


Strong communication and writing skills in English

Application Procedure

The application is a two-step process. Failing to comply with the submission process may result in disqualifying the applications.

Step 1: Submission of technical proposal. That will include providing application via UNDP Job-shop ( )

Interested candidates should provide the following documents and information:

Uploading a CV/P11 and a statement of interest indicating all past experience for similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the candidate and at least three (3) professional references (the template can be downloaded from this link:;

A mandatory, brief description and justification (approx. 300-500 words) of the approach proposed to conduct the tasks required for this assignment, demonstrating how the applicant’s qualifications and experience will enable him/her to successfully deliver against the requirements of this assignment.

 Step 2: Submission of Financial Proposals:

Applicants are required to submit their financial proposals in US Dollars for this consultancy, using the financial proposal template available here:

The financial proposals should be sent via email to with the following subject heading: “Financial Proposal GCPSE Review” by the application deadline. Proposals received after the deadline may be rejected. In order to assist the requesting unit in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal should be all-inclusive professional daily fee, and include a detailed breakdown of the cost. The term ‘all-inclusive’ implies that all costs (professional fees, assignment- and mission- related travel expenses as provided above, communications, utilities, consumables, insurance, etc.) that could possibly be incurred by the Contractor are already factored into the financial proposal. The cost of the assignment shall be linked to the deliverables specified above and reflected in the Section B. of the Financial Proposal template.

Criteria for selection:

Only those candidates who meet the minimum level of education and relevant years of experience requirements will be considered for the technical evaluation. The technical evaluation will include a desk review, and may also include interviews with shortlisted candidates.

Combined scoring method – where the qualifications and methodology will be weighted a max of 70%, and combined with the price offer which will be weighted a max of 30%.

Method: cumulative analysis method will be used to evaluate proposals.

When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract will 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 and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

Technical criteria weight: 70 (70% of total obtainable scores):

  • Knowledge and understanding of key research and policy issues in governance and peacebuilding, especially in GCPSE focus areas (see above) (20%);
  • Experience in conducting organizational assessments or programme reviews/evaluations and in monitoring and evaluation (20%)
  • Knowledge and understanding of UNDP’s work in governance and peacebuilding, including the role of global policy centres in supporting that work (10%);
  • Demonstrated ability to organise and structure information, and to write and communicate in a clear and concise manner (10%);
  • Proven ability to perform tasks in a timely manner and produce a high-quality final product (10%).

Financial criteria weight: 30 (30% of total obtainable scores).

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of (70%) points on the technical part will be considered for the financial evaluation.

Criteria for financial evaluation (30 points maximum):

The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal:

p = y (µ/z), where

p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated

y = maximum number of points for the financial proposal:
µ=price of the lowest priced proposal:
z = price of the proposal being evaluated:

The award of contract will be made to the individual consultant who receives the highest combined score out of the weighted technical and financial criteria as specified above.


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.

If you are experiencing difficulties with online job applications, please contact

© 2016 United Nations Development Programme