Access to Justice Support-Project Document Development


Location : Honiara, SOLOMON ISLANDS
Application Deadline :04-Mar-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Management
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
11-Mar-2019
Duration of Initial Contract :20 Working days
Expected Duration of Assignment :20 Working days

Background

In the post Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) period, maintaining peace and stability is a top priority for the country. Ensuring effective systems for justice dispensation is critical for this peace and stability agenda, as confirmed in recent provincial and national peace dialogues.

The Solomon Islands Government Justice Sector Strategic Framework (2014-2020) established the objective that “all people in Solomon Islands have timely and relevant access to a robust and independent justice system which they have confidence will support a safe and peaceful society.” Despite significant improvements in the justice system, challenges remain and there are many parts of the Solomon Islands with limited access to formal justice services.

An exert from the World Bank’s Justice Delivered Locally Report (August 2013) elucidates some of these complexities:

“Today, there are various overlapping systems relevant to dispute management. These are the state institutions, such as the courts and the police, and the locally based, nonstate systems, which include the “kastom system” and the various Christian church denominations found throughout Solomon Islands. The composition, effectiveness, and legitimacy of these institutions vary significantly across the country, such that it is not possible to talk of a uniform system of local justice.”

Most formal services are limited to Honiara and the urban centres of the provinces, despite the substantial dispersed, rural population. Recent justice sector analysis, including by Professor David McQuoid-Mason’s on justice and police services for women and girls subject to violence, recommended a comprehensive study of the access to justice needs and demands across the country before further investments are made.

In 2018, a Mapping of Justice Sector Service Provision in the Solomon Islands was undertaken. The Report, available online and annexed below, charts the delivery of government, non-government and development partner programmes in this space across all provinces. The Report recommended inter alia, the comprehensive survey undertaken in late 2018 and early 2019.

Under the Access to Justice in Solomon Islands (A2J) Initiation Plan Project (“the Project”) a joint SIG-UNDP baseline study on Access to Justice was undertaken across all provinces of the Solomon Islands. It is anticipated that the Study Recommendations will be completed by Q2 2019.

The Study has employed a mixed-method approach combining quantitative and qualitative methodologies for data collection and analysis. It has employed a seven part methodology:

  1. KAP (knowledge, attitude, perception) legal needs survey questionnaire of approximately 2500 respondents (2/3 rural, 1/3 urban across 10 provinces)
  2. Justice pathways questionnaire exploring the interrelation between formal and customary legal systems
  3. Profiles of communities surveyed
  4. Individual costing questionnaire for justice sector users with a particular focus on land disputes, remandees, GBV victims and criminal defendants (across 10 provinces)
  5. Institutional justice statistics and cost and administrative data (including JIMS data)
  6. Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) of justice sector leaders and users – legal needs and costs
  7. Emblematic case studies – “justice stories”

 

The study has been spearheaded by the A2J Technical Working Group, a body established in 2018 and chaired by the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs with the aim of to coordinate and guide policy and programming decisions on access to justice services in the country. The Technical Working Group, consisting of justice sector and development partner stakeholders served as the reference group for the A2J Study providing inputs to frame the research questions, overseeing the study process, and participating in the analysis of data and formulation of system wide Policy Options in the aftermath of the Solomon Islands Government-UNDP Access to Justice Study.

A key focus of the fully fledged Project Document to be developed is the strengthening of the Public Solicitor’s Office (‘PSO’). The PSO is an independent public office established under the Constitution of the Solomon Islands to provide legal aid, advice and assistance to people in need. The PSO has a staff of 17 lawyers with offices in Honiara, Gizo, Auki and Kirakira with circuits undertaken to more remote regions. Owing to budget restraints, the majority of PSO’s caseload is criminal but it also provides services in civil, family and land related legal issues.

A Concept Note to be shared with the successful candidate has been developed in collaboration with government and justice sector partners. The Concept Notes outlines a dual approach to extending the reach and capacity of the PSO through a programme of:

  1. “community legal advocates” (community paralegals) based in their respective communities; and

  2. “criminal justice paralegals” (traditional paralegals) based within existing and newly opened PSO offices to support and enhance the capacity of solicitors.

This approach will be elaborated upon and validated with partners in view of the emerging recommendations of the A2J Study as they become available.  Further, with the arrival of the Coral Sea Cable System expected by late 2019/early 2020, it is expected there will be opportunities for innovative solutions to Access to Justice.

In the post Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) period, maintaining peace and stability is a top priority for the country. Ensuring effective systems for justice dispensation is critical for this peace and stability agenda, as confirmed in recent provincial and national peace dialogues.

The Solomon Islands Government Justice Sector Strategic Framework (2014-2020) established the objective that “all people in Solomon Islands have timely and relevant access to a robust and independent justice system which they have confidence will support a safe and peaceful society.” Despite significant improvements in the justice system, challenges remain and there are many parts of the Solomon Islands with limited access to formal justice services.

An exert from the World Bank’s Justice Delivered Locally Report (August 2013) elucidates some of these complexities:

“Today, there are various overlapping systems relevant to dispute management. These are the state institutions, such as the courts and the police, and the locally based, nonstate systems, which include the “kastom system” and the various Christian church denominations found throughout Solomon Islands. The composition, effectiveness, and legitimacy of these institutions vary significantly across the country, such that it is not possible to talk of a uniform system of local justice.”

Most formal services are limited to Honiara and the urban centres of the provinces, despite the substantial dispersed, rural population. Recent justice sector analysis, including by Professor David McQuoid-Mason’s on justice and police services for women and girls subject to violence, recommended a comprehensive study of the access to justice needs and demands across the country before further investments are made.

In 2018, a Mapping of Justice Sector Service Provision in the Solomon Islands was undertaken. The Report, available online and annexed below, charts the delivery of government, non-government and development partner programmes in this space across all provinces. The Report recommended inter alia, the comprehensive survey undertaken in late 2018 and early 2019.

Under the Access to Justice in Solomon Islands (A2J) Initiation Plan Project (“the Project”) a joint SIG-UNDP baseline study on Access to Justice was undertaken across all provinces of the Solomon Islands. It is anticipated that the Study Recommendations will be completed by Q2 2019.

The Study has employed a mixed-method approach combining quantitative and qualitative methodologies for data collection and analysis. It has employed a seven part methodology:

  1. KAP (knowledge, attitude, perception) legal needs survey questionnaire of approximately 2500 respondents (2/3 rural, 1/3 urban across 10 provinces)
  2. Justice pathways questionnaire exploring the interrelation between formal and customary legal systems
  3. Profiles of communities surveyed
  4. Individual costing questionnaire for justice sector users with a particular focus on land disputes, remandees, GBV victims and criminal defendants (across 10 provinces)
  5. Institutional justice statistics and cost and administrative data (including JIMS data)
  6. Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) of justice sector leaders and users – legal needs and costs
  7. Emblematic case studies – “justice stories”

 

The study has been spearheaded by the A2J Technical Working Group, a body established in 2018 and chaired by the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs with the aim of to coordinate and guide policy and programming decisions on access to justice services in the country. The Technical Working Group, consisting of justice sector and development partner stakeholders served as the reference group for the A2J Study providing inputs to frame the research questions, overseeing the study process, and participating in the analysis of data and formulation of system wide Policy Options in the aftermath of the Solomon Islands Government-UNDP Access to Justice Study.

A key focus of the fully fledged Project Document to be developed is the strengthening of the Public Solicitor’s Office (‘PSO’). The PSO is an independent public office established under the Constitution of the Solomon Islands to provide legal aid, advice and assistance to people in need. The PSO has a staff of 17 lawyers with offices in Honiara, Gizo, Auki and Kirakira with circuits undertaken to more remote regions. Owing to budget restraints, the majority of PSO’s caseload is criminal but it also provides services in civil, family and land related legal issues.

A Concept Note to be shared with the successful candidate has been developed in collaboration with government and justice sector partners. The Concept Notes outlines a dual approach to extending the reach and capacity of the PSO through a programme of:

  1. “community legal advocates” (community paralegals) based in their respective communities; and

  2. “criminal justice paralegals” (traditional paralegals) based within existing and newly opened PSO offices to support and enhance the capacity of solicitors.

This approach will be elaborated upon and validated with partners in view of the emerging recommendations of the A2J Study as they become available.  Further, with the arrival of the Coral Sea Cable System expected by late 2019/early 2020, it is expected there will be opportunities for innovative solutions to Access to Justice.


Duties and Responsibilities

The consultant will in close consultation with the A2J Technical Working Group (and at later stages the Justice Sector Coordination Committee), formulate a multi-year Project Document based upon the Concept Note described above noting also the emerging recommendations of the A2J Study.

The consultant will be expected to undertake the following:

  • Desk review of the Mapping, A2J Study Report and relevant documents including laws, policies, strategies and reports relevant to the functioning of the legal sector in the Solomon Islands as well as current and previous development partner access to justice programmes, including lessons learnt;

  • Conduct consultations with relevant partners and stakeholders to designate roles and responsibilities for implementing partners, including existing development partner work (e.g. World Bank, RRRT) in this space to ensure synergies and avoid duplication

  • < > the relevance, efficiency and cost effectiveness of the paralegal approach outlined the Concept Note;

    Working closely with Government Partners and other relevant stakeholders, develop an effective and explicit Sustainability Strategy, (including a post donor transition plan) and incentives structure for the Project to ensure long-term viability of the Project outcomes;

  • Ensure synergies and complementarity between project document and Pacific Strategy 2018-2022 and other relevant UN Frameworks as appropriate;

  • Ensure that a detailed budget, workplan and M&E framework are created in compliance with UNDP project financial requirements including a methodology and project timeline for deliverables. This should include where possible baselines and indicators that draw upon research undertaken through the A2J Study and Mapping;

  • Lead in conjunction with UNDP Staff the Quality Assurance process ensuring that issues of gender, disability and those affecting other vulnerable groups are mainstreamed into the programmatic approach;

  • Develop a Draft Project Document inclusive of Powerpoint to be presented to A2J Technical Working Group and Local Project Appraisal Committee (‘LPAC’)

  • Produce Final Project Document incorporating recommendations from LPAC and UNDP which is endorsed by the LPAC.


Competencies

Corporate Competencies 

  • Demonstrates commitment to UNDP’s mission, vision and values

  • Ability to function effectively under pressure and tight timelines

  • Self-motivated and able to work independently

  • Creative thinking and emotional intelligence

  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity as well as adaptability

Functional Competencies

  • Strong interpersonal and written and oral communications skills

  • Ability to work both independently and synthesize competing views to deliver high quality work to tight timelines

  • Ability to meet deadlines

  • Ability to build consensus and garner support in complex settings


Required Skills and Experience

Education

  • Advanced University Degree (Masters or equivalent) in Law or closely related relevant field

Experience

  • At least 10 years’ experience in designing and formulation of development project documents using UNDP format and guidelines.

  • Professional experience in analyzing and addressing issues related to strengthening the capacity of justice sector for service delivery.

  • Demonstrated expertise in formulation/implementation of access to justice projects particularly in resource poor settings

  • Experience mainstreaming gender and inclusivity into project design

  • Demonstrated experience in designing and/or implementing paralegal related projects in resource poor settings

  • Familiarity and experience in the Pacific region, particularly Solomon Islands or Melanesia would be an advantage

 

 


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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