Expert in Development of Business-Friendly Certification (BFC) for Municipalities


Location : Home based with one up to 14-day mission to Georgia, GEORGIA
Application Deadline :30-Sep-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Expected Duration of Assignment :up to 30 working days, November 2019 -March 2020

Background

The assignment is part of the UNDP Georgia’s “Improving Rural Development in Georgia” (ENPARD III) project for the period of January 2018 - November 2022. The project is part of the EU supported regional programme “European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development”  (ENPARD) and will contribute to the main purpose of ENPARD III, which is to promote inclusive and sustainable growth and development, creating employment and livelihoods for the poor and excluded, and improving the institutional capacities for the implementation of the Rural Development Strategy; enhancing of rural economic diversification, employment and services; and improving of environment, sustainable management of natural resources and climate action. ENPARD III is expected to deliver the following outcomes:

  • Outcome 1 - Improved governance for effective implementation of the National Rural Development Strategy, Rural Development Action Plan and related programmes
  • Outcome 2 - Improved rural economic diversification, employment and services
  • Outcome 3 - Improved environment, sustainable management of natural resources and climate action
  • Outcome 4 - Improved rural development governance; economic diversification; environment, natural resources and climate action in Adjara AR.

As part of Outcome 2, the assignment seeks to enable 8 target municipalities to become active facilitators for economic growth and job creation by developing their capacities and technical skills, to which the proposed activity would contribute.

One of the key challenges in rural development is the sustainability of project actions. Once the project phases out from the target municipalities, it is important that local governments in cooperation with national agencies continue to deliver business friendly policies and programs aimed for deeper local economic diversification and growth. Businesses seek for a set of local factors when considering the possibility of investing in one municipality compared to another: access to markets; infrastructure; collaborative local government and quality of their services; quality human resources; etc. A significant number of these elements are created or impacted by local governments.

To this end, this assignment aims to create a system of Business-Friendly Certification (BFC) for municipalities, which will encourage competition among municipalities to attract new investments, strengthen economic relations inside the region itself, but also contribute to the creation of recognizable common standard for business quality assessment at local level. BFC will provide municipalities with a clear roadmap for creating a favourable business environment and improving efficiency and transparency of local administration, thus leading to improved quality of life, and higher levels of human development.

This project is implemented within the framework of the Czech-UNDP Partnership for Sustainable Development Goals (CUP) through which Czechia provides financial assistance for transferring transformation experience. The project will leverage this positive experience and wide-ranging benefits of the process of certification in Czechia and other EU member countries should be used to disseminate and replicate the business-friendly standard and certification process for municipalities in Georgia. The potential to introduce the process of BFC within the scope of the ENPARD III Project has been identified. The ENPARD III Project Document is available here:  https://info.undp.org/docs/pdc/Documents/GEO/prodoc-ENPARD3-signed.pdf.

To enable municipal Business-Friendly Certification system in Georgian context, the expert will (i) assess feasibility of the implementation of the BFC instrument within the legal and institutional framework, (ii) develop standard criteria and sub-criteria for BFC, and (iii) elaborate a concept and structure for the certification scheme. By creating and applying municipal Business-Friendly Certification system, the UNDP Project envisions to develop clear guidelines for municipalities on how to encourage a business friendly environment, carry out evaluation and upgrade service quality and information required for continuous local economic development and growth. Rural business community and those interested to invest in rural areas will have: the possibility to influence strategic priorities; the opportunity for streamlined selection of investment location and understanding of business environment; reduced risks and higher predictability for doing business; familiarity with development projects may be used in business planning; improved administrative procedures and programs aimed to local entrepreneurship development; increased availability and quality of business-related services etc. Through the list of criteria of BFC to which municipalities should later comply with, every municipality should reach the set level of quality of the administrative procedures, information and services they are offering to their companies, enterprises and citizens.


Duties and Responsibilities

The main objective of the assignment is to assess the possibilities of developing and applying a standard for business-friendly municipalities within Georgia’s system of Local Self Governments and their competences for local economic development in the light of the on-going decentralization reform process. The assessment is to be performed considering the objectives and scope of work of the ENPARD III Project. The expert will work together with the Economic Diversification Coordinator under the direct supervision of Project Technical Leader of the “Improving Rural Development in Georgia” project and in consultation with the UNDP Economic Development Team Leader.

Specifically, the expert will be expected to:

Conduct Preparatory work and Desk research.

In the inception stage, the expert should review relevant documents including documents shaping the wider strategy/policy framework. Expert should analyze the relevant documents in order to be able to initially asses the following:

  1. Territorial organization system in Georgia
  2. Competences of Local Self-Government Units in Georgia in terms of Local Economic Development
  3. Legal framework for LED
  4. Institutional framework for support to LED in Georgia
  5. Practices and Tools in use in Georgian LSGs for each of the potential BFC groups of criteria

On the basis of the information collected expert should be able to pre-assess the applicability of the BFC standard in the legal, institutional and socio-economic context and to identify the issues to be covered and assumptions still to be confirmed. At the end of the desk phase, the expert should prepare a work plan for the field mission indicating the methodology to be applied in the field phase, an indicative list of organizations/institutions/persons to be interviewed in order to solicit the information that will help answer the open questions and confirm the assumptions defined in the desk phase, surveys to be undertaken and the itinerary. This plan is to be developed in a flexible manner so as to accommodate for any last-minute changes in the field.

ENPARD III Project team will provide support in terms of collection of relevant laws, by-laws, relevant analyses and studies to be reviewed in the desk research phase. When necessary, video conferences with responsible team members should be organized within this phase.

Conduct Field Mission.

The field mission should begin upon approval of deliverables of Activity 1. The mission should last for up to two weeks and will be conducted by the expert with ENPARD III Project team support. During the field mission, the following activities/events/interviews should be organized:

  • Inception meeting/workshop with the ENPARD III Project Team

The field mission should start with a detailed presentation of the potential Business-Friendly Certification Process and Standard to the ENAPRD III team. The main assumptions defined within the desk research will be also discussed. The final outcome of the workshop will be familiarization of ENPARD III Project team with the BFC instruments and expert will get additional inputs for the assessment and first feedback on the defined assumptions.

  • Meeting with line Ministries and governmental officials (approx. 10)

The field mission should continue with the meeting with at least one or potentially several ministries in charge of business environment on local level. On these meetings expert should interview the governmental officials to have better understanding on how BFC can be introduced in the country. The meetings should be also used to raise the awareness of national level decision makers on the benefits of the standard and the certification process for the local government units in Georgia as well as for the increase of the competitiveness in terms of economic development and attraction of investments.

  • Meetings and Interviews with organizations involved in institutional support to LED (approx. 15)

Within the desk research, main institutions in charge of support to local economic development with potential for acting as national certification bodies should be identified. Their potential future roles as well as interest will be assessed by the expert. These institutions or organizations can be part of public or civil sector organizations such as investment promotion agencies, chambers of commerce, associations of municipalities and development agencies or similar. The interviews with above mention organizations should provide enough information to the expert to assess their competences, practices and propose appropriate roles in potential certification structure.

  • Visits to selected ENPARD III target municipalities (approx. 4)

Within the visit, interviews with a selected number of municipalities should be carried out. In the process of selection several criteria will be considered, e.g. size and population of municipality, region and experience in application of different local economic development tools. During the visits, the applicability of criteria and sub-criteria should be assessed in detail, considering the differences among LGs in size, position and level of capacity for LED.

  • Meeting with representatives of the Czech Embassy (1 meeting)

Prior to conducting the field mission, the expert should liaise with the Czech Embassy in Tbilisi, initiate and conduct at least one official visit at the Embassy as part of the mission.

  • Wrap up workshop with the ENPARD III Project Team

The mission should be completed with a wrap up workshop with the ENAPRD III Project team. The occasion will be used to present the preliminary outcomes and findings of the mission with results and impressions from the interviews, meetings and visits to municipalities. Open questions, if any, should be discussed. Final conclusions and possible conflicts should be identified and the follow up steps and action plan should be agreed between the expert and the ENPARD III Project representatives.

Elaborate the Final Reports

  • Based on the desk research and mission outcomes and findings, the expert will compile two documents: Final Assessment Report and Project Proposal. The assignment should be concluded with a video-conference presentation of both documents to the ENAPARD III Project Team for better understanding and deliberation.

Deliverables and payment modality: 

  • Results of the desk research, field mission workplan: due by 01 December 2019, 30% of consultancy fee
  • Field mission report: due by 25 February 2020, 20% of consultancy fee
  • Final report (English version) adjusting upon the comments from the UNDP that includes: Final Assessment Report and Project Proposal. The report should also include description of the methodology, results from field mission and lessons learned: due by 20 March 2020, 50% of consultancy fee

The timely and high quality submission of the deliverables is a pre-condition of the payments. The official language of communication for the present contract is English. The consultant will also be responsible of informing the managers of the Czech-UNDP Partnership for SDGs about the implementation of the project.


Competencies

Core competencies

  • Demonstrated commitment to UNDP’s mission, vision and values.
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Highest standards of integrity, discretion and loyalty.

Functional competencies

Knowledge Management and Learning:

  • Shares knowledge and experience.

Development and Operational Effectiveness:

  • Ability to undertake analytical work and prepare narrative parts of working papers, reports and studies.
  • Outstanding communications and facilitation skills, for a range of different audiences.
  • Advanced computer skills including Microsoft Office and web-based applications.
  • Proven ability to deliver quality output working under tight deadlines.
  • Strong and proven research and analytical skills.

Leadership and Self-Management:

  • Focuses on result for the client and responses positively to feedback.


Required Skills and Experience

Education        

  • Advanced university degree in business administration, economics, public policy or other related discipline (minimum requirement: Master's degree - 8 points, PhD - additional 2 points).

Experience and skills:

  • At least 5 years of experience of working on local economic development issues, specifically on advancement of municipal business/investment climate and/or municipal Business Friendly Certification: standardization and certification process (including but not limited to: the legal and policy framework, standardization, local administration and local economic development) (minimum requirement: 5 years - 8 points, more than 5 years - additional 2 points);
  • At least 3 years of experience in two or more areas of: (1) Defining single and standardized municipal approach both to new and existing companies/investors; (2) Ensuring stable and measurable local business environment; (3) Identifying specific solutions for improved business environment; (4) Introducing innovations in promotion of local potentials; (5) Improving cooperation between all stakeholders involved in the economic development process (minimum requirement: 3 years - 6 points, more than 3 years - additional 4 points).
  • Prior experience of working in multi-stakeholder environment and formats.
  • Experience of working with Government and/or international organizations or NGOs will be a strong asset.
  • Ability and willingness to work as part of a team to meet tight deadlines and produce high quality work.
  • Direct experience from the Czech Republic in Local Economic Development, M&E or business/investment climate improvement (minimum requirement: 6 points; Proven experience of working in the ECA region - additional 4 points. 

Language requirements:

  • Fluency in English and Czech (both written and oral).
  • Knowledge of a regional language is an asset.

Evaluation:

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the cumulative analysis: Individual consultants will be evaluated 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%). 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 as a result of the interview (i.e. 30 x 70% = 21 points) will be considered as short-listed offerors and requested to provide financial proposals.

Financial Proposal:

The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount, and payment terms around specific and measurable (qualitative and quantitative) deliverables (i.e. whether payments fall in installments or upon completion of the entire contract). Payments are based upon output, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the ToR.  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. Maximum 30 points will be assigned to the lowest price offer. All other price offers will be scored using the formula (inverse proportion):  Financial score X = 30* the lowest price offer/suggested price offer. All envisaged travel costs must be included in the financial proposal as well.


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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