Consultant to support strategic RD programming and setting up a managing authority under the MEPA


Location : Home based consultancy with four missions to Georgia, GEORGIA
Application Deadline :10-May-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Expected Duration of Assignment :120 days during May 2019 – May 2020 (80 days in Georgia and 40 days home-based )

Background

The signing of the Association Agreement (AA) with EU in June 2014 (http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-14-430_en.htm) earmarked a new stage of cooperation between EU and Georgia. The AA aims to deepen political and economic relations between the EU and Georgia and to gradually integrate Georgia into the EU’s internal market. This entails, as one element, creating a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area between the EU and Georgia.

Article 333 of the Association Agreement (Cooperation between the Parties in the field of agriculture and rural development) provides with the clauses on ‘facilitating the mutual understanding of agricultural and rural development policies’. Article 332 of the Association Agreement states that the “Parties shall cooperate to promote agricultural and rural development, in particular through progressive convergence of policies and legislation”. A National Rural Development Strategy elaboration process has been supported by FAO and UNDP and with UNDP’s support to Ajara Autonomous Republic of Georgia within the framework of EU supported ENPARD. Government of Georgia approved the first ever National Rural Development Strategy (Programme) in December 20016, which provided country’s vision for the coming years (2017-2020) in key areas of rural development – growth and diversification of local economies, improvement of social and public services, increase of employment and sustainable use of national resources.

The strategy represents a new approach to rural development in Georgia grounded on the European Union practice and the EU Member State (MS) knowledge and experience in this field.

The goal of the Rural Development Strategy for Georgia 2017-2020 is to support Georgia’s sustainable economic development through enhanced social-economic activities in rural areas and improved living condition of rural population. It provides the country’s vision for 2017-2020 in key areas of rural development – growth and diversification of local economies, improvement of social and public services, sustainable use of national resources and local engagement in the development process.

With the objective to support multi-stakeholder dialogue and cooperation among government and non-government actors, there is formal consultation process that seeks to take broad stakeholder voices in the delivery of Rural Development Strategy. It is expected that participatory planning will continue to be used as a mechanism for civic activation and inclusive decision-making.

The adoption of the national strategy was followed by the establishment of an Inter-Agency Coordination Council (hereinafter referred to as IACC) for Rural Development which is led by the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia. The Ajara Rural Development Strategy approved by the Government of Autonomous Republic (A.R.) was followed by the establishment of the Rural Development Council of Ajara (hereinafter referred to as RDC) which is chaired by the head of A.R. Government.

Both Councils coordinate the implementation of rural development policies and promote cooperation and coordination between and among its members. The membership of IACC and RDC involves representatives from various state agencies/line ministries, grouped under the 3 pillars of the Rural Development Strategy: economic, environment and social. Thematic Working Groups were established to contribute to advances in knowledge about rural development and enable the Strategy and respective Action Plans to become more effective in terms of delivering sustainable rural development outcomes.

Due to structural and functional reorganization of the Government of Georgia, announced in November 2017 and implemented in December 2017, followed by the second wave of Government reshuffle announced by the newly-appointed Prime-Minister in June 2018 and finalized in September 2018 (changes in the Law of Georgia on the Structure, Authority and Rules of Operation of the Government of Georgia), the composition of the Inter-Agency Coordination Council (IACC) changed. Also, the counterpart Ministry was affected. The environment component of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Recourses Protection has been merged with the Ministry of Agriculture to form the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture (MEPA). This change resulted in challenges in terms of reconstituting institutional arrangements and functional distribution, but the change also facilitates the cooperation with MEPA kin relation to the implementation of the environmental component of the project Improving Rural Development in Georgia (IRDG) under the EU ENPARD III programme.

UNDP project “Improving Rural Development in Georgia” under EU-funded ENPARD III has at its core a cross-cutting capacity development component for public sector agencies and officials involved in laying down the general policy framework of the rural development of Georgia as well as for all structural units involved in formulating and implementing rural development actions (measures);  the successful implementation of the rural development policy in Georgia requires technical support to national agencies and relevant frontline departments in increasing effectiveness, efficiency and performance of the RD policy/strengthening the strategic approach; ensuring better coordination and complementarity with other policy areas; enhancing RD policy potential to better address specific development needs of rural areas; making RD intervention logic more user friendly  and supportive for beneficiaries; and facilitating the movement of labour out of agriculture to sectors with higher productivity.


Duties and Responsibilities

The primary objective of the consultancy is (1) to provide technical support to the Government of Georgia in institutional set up of a Managing Authority of the Rural Development Policy Framework and (2) to provide on-job support to the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia in finalization of Agriculture and Rural Development Strategy of Georgia.

The consultant will work under the direct supervision of the National Project Manager and the Project Technical Leader of “Improving Rural Development in Georgia” Project in close collaboration with the Department of Policy and Analytics and the Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Rural Development of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia

The UNDP in Georgia will make arrangements for meetings and travel within Georgia and facilitate liaison with government, other national stakeholders.

The major tasks of the incumbent shall include, but not be limited to:

a. Institutional set up of a Managing Authority in MEPA

  1. Provision of advice to the Lead Ministry and the Inter-Agency Coordination Council for Rural Development of Georgia concerning institutional set up of the Managing Authority within MEPA;
  2. Support in the development of organisational and functional structure of the Managing Authority;
  3. Based on organisational and functional structure, support in the development of staffing plan and work procedures for assigned tasks. To carry out the function in most efficient way the organisational structure has to display task like:
    • Programming of Agriculture and Rural Development Strategy (SWOT, strategy, measures, financial plan, consultation chapter, implementation arrangements chapter of the strategy) and strategy modifications;
    • Monitoring and reporting on annual progress of strategy (programme) implementation;
    • Ongoing evaluation of a strategy (programme);
    • Setting up of a monitoring mechanism, including relevant stakeholders ensuring continuous improvement in a participatory manner;
    • Coordination (inter- and intra-ministerial).
    • Based on assigned function and tasks for the MA provide support in developing Job descriptions for staff of the Managing Authority.
  4. Support in development of the statute of MA and work procedures regarding the implementation of assigned tasks.

b. On-job support in designing Agriculture and Rural Development Strategy 2021-2027 of Georgia.

  1. In close coordination with FAO, conduct a desk research of existing agricultural and rural development policy framework and current distribution of roles and responsibilities among the various government institutions involved in the work of IACC;
  2. Based on the desk research of existing agricultural and rural development policy framework and current distribution of roles and responsibilities among the various government institutions involved in the work of IACC conduct consultations with relevant government stakeholders to understand the justification and choices for existing interventions/RD measures identified at the national level and distributed across the different line ministries with respect to priorities and focus areas of the current rural development strategy and action plan;
  3. Based on the desk research, consultations and discussions, provide a holistic picture of the whole RD programming area in Georgia and provide support in finalization of ex-ante evaluation enabling analysis of anticipated impacts of the ARD Strategy, structure and the sequence of priorities as well as the external and internal coherence of the programme (strategy);
  4. Provision of support to MEPA in finalizing and agreeing the new concept for Agriculture and Rural Development Strategy (Programme) of Georgia;
  5. Based on relevant EU MS experience and successful practice, provide recommendations/methodological guidance to MEPA on identifying relevant and practical approaches as well as specific requirements (such as target setting, financial allocation to measures/operations and appropriate indicators, outcome-oriented approach, specific reporting, delivery mechanisms) to carry out ARD action planning /identification of relevant RD measures;
  6. Elaborate and provide concrete recommendations to MEPA on their principal functions and duties concerning impact monitoring, evidence-based analysis, elaboration and continuous upgrading of RD measures, taking into consideration international experience/examples;
  7. Provide substantive analysis, insight and advice to MEPA and its partners on the ARD strategy, ARD measures for implementing the strategy, financial plan, implementation arrangement, monitoring and evaluation activities regarding ongoing evaluation throughout strategy implementation-overview and results of consultation process of strategic planning (programming) work;
  8. Provide support to MEPA in finalization of a strategic development process of ARD based on:
    • socio economic analysis built around agriculture and rural development;
    • SWOT;
    • needs assessment;
    • strategy: rural development component.
  9. Provide feedback and shape the inputs of the line experts and key contributors to produce a coherent draft ARD Strategy
  10. Design and moderate a verification workshop with the core team, UNDP and representatives of relevant ministries as required;
  11. Build capacity of relevant staff in rural development strategic programming through on-job support;
  12. Prepare all material for major events related to policy framework, including presentation slides, info-graphics, core messages and findings as well as presenting it during the release, dissemination and promotion of the draft ARD Strategy;
  13. Combine efforts with UNDP consultants to make clear separation of functions between design / programming and implementation of support schemes (managing authority will be in charge of the development of post 2020 agriculture and rural development strategy/programme of Georgia while the paying agency will be in charge of the implementation of the measures in terms of administrative and physical controls, payments authorization, execution and accounting).

Approach to be taken:

  • new strategy 2021-2027 is covering a 7 years period;
  • is developed as strategic document including agriculture and rural development;
  • the strategy is developed in line with strategic programming approach with a strong linkage between SWOT analysis and strategic directions and measure design;
  • setting up and implementing of partnership approach at various stages of programme development;
  • close coordination with FAO responsible for agricultural part of programme development is required as well as with measure design activities;
  • supporting MEPA in ensuring a voice of regions in the elaboration of strategies.

Deliverables:

  • Deliverable 1: Draft Report with relevant annexes covering all aspects described in the tasks from a.1. to a.2. and from b.1. to b.3.; due by June 2019
  • Deliverable 2: Final Report with relevant annexes covering all aspects described in the tasks from a.1. to a.3. and from b.1. to b.4. and the first draft on a.4. and b.5.; due by August 2019
  • Deliverable 3: Final Report with relevant annexes covering all aspects described in the tasks from a.4. to a.5. and b.5.; due by October 2019
  • Deliverable 4: Draft Report with relevant annexes covering all aspects described in the tasks b.6. and b.9.; due by December 2019
  • Deliverable 5: Final Report with relevant annexes covering all aspects described in the tasks b.9. and b.13.; due by May 2020

The Consultant will be requested to provide Mission Reports on the tasks accomplished and deliverables elaborated. She/he will also be requested to elaborate inputs to the Project Progress Reports.

Payment modality:

  • 1st Mission Report on the tasks accomplished and deliverable 1 (June 2019) – 20%;
  • 2nd Mission Reports on the tasks accomplished and deliverable 2 (August 2019) – 20%;
  • 3rd Mission Report on the tasks accomplished and deliverable 3 (October 2019) – 20%;
  • Report on the tasks accomplished and deliverable 4 (December 2019) – 20%;
  • 4th Mission Report on the tasks accomplished and deliverable 5 (May 2020) – 20%.

The consultant will report to the Manager of the “Improving Rural Development in Georgia” Project and will work in close cooperation with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia and the Ministry of Agriculture of Ajara AR of Georgia, and in consultation with the UNDP Economic Development Team Leader. The payments will be produced upon the confirmation by UNDP of high-quality performance. A total assignment will be up to 120 days during the period of May 2019 – May 2020.

Arrangements: While on duty, the Consultant shall work at the office based in Tbilisi (80 days in total during the period of May 2019 – May 2020); a number of days (65) will be allocated for the period of May 2019 – December 2019. A number of days (40 in total) will be allocated for work from home during the period of May 2019 – May 2020 (including 30 days home-based during the period of May 2019 – December 2019). UNDP will provide the venue, transportation, technical set-up and other logistical arrangements needed within Georgia.


Competencies

Corporate competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling 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 favoritism.

Functional competencies:

Knowledge management and learning:

  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development in one or more Practice Areas, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills.

Development and operational effectiveness:

  • Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting;
  • Ability to lead formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes and projects, mobilize resources;
  • Strong IT skills, particularly with MS Office;
  • Excellent written and oral presentation skills.

Management and leadership:

  • Focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
  • Leads teams effectively and shows conflict resolution skills;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills;
  • Builds strong relationships with clients and external actors;
  • Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure;
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Master’s Degree in rural development, agricultural economics, business or a related area (minimum requirement: 5 points).

Experience: 

  • 7 years of hands-on experience in RD strategic programming and/or planning thematic sub-programmes in EU-member state or accession country (minimum requirement: 15 points);
  • 10 years of experience in providing advisory functions to the government and/or non-government organizations on rural development programming (minimum requirement: 8 points, relevant experience in providing advisory services in rural development policy in Georgia: additional 6 points);
  • Deep understanding of the current rural development policy context in Georgia (6 points).

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English.

Evaluation: Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the cumulative analysis against combination of technical and financial criteria. Technical evaluation stage encompasses desk review and interview of applications. Experts not meeting any of minimum technical qualification requirements will be automatically excluded from the list of candidates for further technical evaluation. Maximum obtainable score is 100, out of which the total score for technical criteria equals to 70 points (70%) and for financial criteria 30 (30%). Technical criteria composed of desk review (40 points) and interview (30 points). Offerors who pass 70% of maximum obtainable scores of the desk review (i.e. 40 x 70% = 28 points as a result of a desk review of applications will be invited for the interview. Those offerors who pass 70% of maximum obtainable scores for interviews (i.e. 30 x 70% = 21 points) will be considered as short-listed offerors and included in the roster of qualified consultants. 

Financial Proposal: The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum. Payments are based upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR.  All envisaged travel costs must be included in the financial proposal. This includes all travel to join duty station/repatriation travel.  In general, UNDP does not accept travel costs exceeding those of an economy class ticket. Should the IC wish to travel on a higher class he/she should do so using their own resources. In order, to assist the requesting unit in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal will include a breakdown of this lump sum amount. 


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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