International Consultant to Support Development of Local Self-Government and Municipal Sectoral Service Cluster


Location : Yerevan, ARMENIA
Application Deadline :20-Aug-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
01-Sep-2020
Duration of Initial Contract :4 months (35 workdays)

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.


Background

On 31 December 2019, the Government of China reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan, the Capital City of Hubei Province. Since then, the coronavirus disease now known as COVID-19 has spread worldwide at an exponential rate and was labelled a pandemic by the World Health Organisation on 11 March 2020.  In Armenia, the first imported COVID-19 case was registered on 1 March 2020 and local transmission has been registered since 11 March 2020.

The Government of Armenia has taken decisive steps to contain and suppress the epidemic, declaring a state of emergency on 16 March, followed by a full lock-down between 24 March and 14 May[1]. The lockdown was lifted on 14 May, but the state of emergency with certain limitations and requirements for carrying masks and keeping social distancing was extended till mid-July. All land borders have also been closed and all, but a handful of flights have ceased. However, the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to increase, reaching 17,064 by June 15. This is putting pressure both on the health care system as well as the availability and quality of social services, municipal sectoral services – both in urban and rural areas. Some of the public services also become COVID-19 is already having far-reaching impact on global, national and local socio-economic systems.  Like elsewhere in the world, Armenian businesses are being shuttered and people are losing their jobs, causing additional stress on already vulnerable persons, communities and businesses.

In order to contain the further spread of COVID-19 in the country, the Armenian Government has declared state of emergency situation. The Government undertook measures to both protect the population against infection and to prevent the virus spreading, as well as came up with 22 social-economic support packages to different groups of population and to the businesses[2]. In the framework of these measures, the authorities are putting utmost efforts to meet the needs of the population by, inter alia, improving the quality of provided support services and tailoring them accordingly. To meet these needs, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MLSA), in view of the newly emerged circumstances, was trying to obtain as accurate information and evidence as possible of the actual needs of the population, particularly its vulnerable groups and in remote communities. However, it shall be noted that, like many countries, Armenia as well is facing certain difficulties in this regard. The initial observations show that  the Government was facing a batch of issues with timely data collection from various data bases and data sources, timely cross-check of collected data, manual data checking processes, absence of data to allow timely design of certain support packages and their distribution, and many others related issues. The system was not fully prepared for shock-response in rapid and needs-tailored modus.

While the consequences of the COVID-19 socio-economic crisis are still to be expected in the next couple of months and years ahead, the specialists forecast the second and most-probably a more severe wave of pandemic.  Social protection, including cash transfers, universal health coverage and access to other basic services, will be central to uprooting the inequalities that permeated societies before COVID-19, and that are starkly visible today globally and in Armenia as well. Government systems should be well prepared for a potential shock-response based on the experience and lessons learnt from the first wave. With this, like other governments, the Government of Armenia is as well planning both the COVID-19 response and recovery plan, which will include Social protection, including cash transfers, access to other basic services, and others. Public-private solidarity and partnerships will be critical to build resilient social protection systems that can weather shocks, create strategies for informal sector workers, and design a new generation of resilient, green jobs. The search for alternative services, including digital and mobile services, delivering critical governments services, including health and social care, remotely become a priority to look into already today.

The Government of Armenia, including the Deputy Prime Ministers’ Offices and their teams, the line Ministries of Labor and Social Affairs, Health, Economy, Education, Science, Culture and Sport, Territorial Administration and Infrastructure are already putting together the strategic frameworks for COVID-19 long-term response and recovery. UNDP supports the Government in these efforts with a particular strong emphasis on service sectors, given that the basic services and the basic support schemes were so necessary during the first days of pandemic and beyond, and were so limited and non-accessible to the public.

UNDP Socio-Economic Impact Assessment showed that the local self-government (LSG) being the closest institution to the residents is in fourth place among the most trusted institution for seeking support during the emergency situation. The emergency situation created by COVID-19 showed that the role and place of LSGs in the emergency situation is unclear. On top of this, the LSGs have a scarcity of human and material resources and well as insufficient knowledge and capacity to provide rapid response,  “transform” the services and tailor to the emerging needs/challenges and ensure non-stop service delivery to the residents.

This ToR will be focusing on providing assistance to UNDP Armenia Country Office in developing and expanding UNDP’s support strategy to clarify the role and place of LSGs in emergency situations and to improve municipal sectoral service delivery, with particular focus on COVID-19 response and recovery. While the proposed solutions aim to ensure effective crisis management, contingency planning and continuity in the provision of basic services, UNDP intends to develop novel solutions with end-users to improve the accessibility, diversify the available service and models of service provision at a local level, and improve data generation and analysis for forecasting and long-term planning. Besides, given UNDP’s long-standing support to Government in its Territorial and Administrative Reform and decentralization efforts and local democracy strengthening process this will contribute to the development of UNDP’s expanded portfolio framework on local self -government and municipal sectoral services by strengthening UNDP positioning in the sector.

For this purpose, UNDP Armenia Country Office is seeking an International Consultant to work with the UNDP Armenia Country team on the development of a full-fledged Programme on local self-government and municipal sectoral services

 

[1] People were only allowed to leave their homes to buy food, receive medical care or exercise. However, the Government is considering a further gradual opening of considering a further gradual opening of economic sectors

[2] https://www.gov.am/am/covid-19-cragrer./


Duties and Responsibilities

Consultant will work under the overall guidance of UNDP Socio-economic portfolio manager, close consultation with UNDP Women and Youth for Innovative Local Development project Technical Task Leader and, in close communication with all portfolios in the Country Office and collaboration with other relevant UN agencies involved in similar activities, and in close coordination with the Government respective agencies

The Consultant will:

  • Study national legal documents related to the LSG, municipal sectoral service delivery, and decentralization roadmap (CoE), including COVID-19 response related ones.
  • Study/map the support provided by 1) local and international organizations to the communities and 2) donors and development partners to the Government to support the LSGs in service delivery as COVID-19 response.
  • Together with the municipalities and relevant ministries to clarify the role, responsibility, and place of LSGs in emergency situations.
  • Develop concrete/practical service “transformation” scenarios for services which were worsened during the emergency situation created by COVID-19 (digitalization of some services, mobile services, extra/emergency specific services, adding elements to the existing ones to ensure the service is safe, etc.) including management, needed capacity and cost.
  • Suggest services that can be outsourced to NGOs, business or other institutions during the emergency situation
  • Suggest set of preconditions to operationalize scenarios as well as service outsourcing
  • Review UNDP activities related to services on local and national levels and Develop programmatic (portfolio) vision for UNDP in the area of LSG and municipal sectoral services sectors with clear entry points based on identified gaps
  • Develop project proposals and concepts for resource mobilization, support the UNDP team in partnership building, network expansion, and resource mobilization with global and regional service providers, donors, and development partners in the area.
  • Supporting the team on an ad-hoc basis in ongoing research and design of potential rapid support initiatives.
  • Support the team in the implementation of the ongoing service sector projects and initiatives through consultations and provision of short analytical/position papers, as need be.

 

Deliverables:

  1. Rapid and sharp mapping of COVID-19 response in the municipal sectoral service sector, including the successes, the shortcomings, bottlenecks, and limitations in timely service provision. Look into critical governance bottlenecks that constrain the delivery of municipal sectoral services and to preventing and/or responding to breakdowns in security or livelihoods degradation.
  2. 15 “transformed” municipal sectoral service scenarios including the preconditions (capacity, legislative amendments, outsourcing, etc.) and potential challenges.
  3. Preconditions developed on the operationalization of scenarios
  4. A recommendation for the structure of a Programme on LSG and Municipal Sectoral Service delivery with concrete proposals/concepts developed and identified potential donors/partners. 
  5. Support presentation, discussion, and validation of each of the developed support schemes and its finalization and submission to UNDP CO. 

Note: As a matter of principle, ensure that in all areas transparency and accountability, and access to information and participation are observed in all public process of service and support schemes designed.

 

Payment terms:

Payment will be conducted in the following instalments upon completion of the tasks under each output and approval of deliverables by UNDP MAP and ICT Expert:   

  • Deliverable     1   – 20%
  • Deliverables 3,4 – 40%
  • Deliverables 5,6 – 40%

In case of the country mission (if required), UNDP will purchase economy class round-trip tickets on the most direct routes and pay Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) in accordance with itineraries and UN DSA rates including terminal expenses.


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;
  • Fulfills all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment;

Functional Competencies:

  • Knowledge of and extensive experience working with UN international human rights       instruments;
  • Excellent training, facilitation and communication skills;
  • Results driven, ability to work under pressure and to meet required deadlines;
  • Good understanding and practice of capacity development;
  • Cultural sensitivity and diplomatic skills;


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Advanced university degree in social sciences, public administration, public policy, sociology or another related field.

Experience:

  • A minimum of 10 years of professional experience in working for services, including    public, municipal, social, healthcare, developmental, and other.
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience in design and development of concept notes, project   documents, implementation plans and other related material for programming.
  • Experience of working in rural areas and understanding of the infrastructural issues in rural, small urban and amalgamated communities is an asset.
  • Experience in crisis response and recovery mechanisms and tools. 
  • Experience of work on benefit packages and understanding of vulnerability issues.
  • Proven experience in public services digitalization mechanisms and platforms.
  • Proven experience in data analysis and analytical report development.
  • Proven experience in innovative solutions to services diversification, digitalization, alternative service delivery schemes, to data management.
  • Excellent understanding and knowledge of public services, municipal sectoral services (local level) and support mechanisms and the system as a whole
  • Knowledge and UN human rights framework and SDGs, with strong understanding of global development agenda.
  • Familiarity with forecasting and foresight tools based on data is an asset.

Language Skills:

  • Fluency in written and spoken English, knowledge of Russian is an asset. 

Computer skills:

  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.) and strong knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages, experience in handling of web-based management systems. 

     

NDIVIDUAL CANDIDATES WILL BE EVALUATED BASED ON THE FOLLOWING METHODOLOGY:

Candidates will be evaluated using a cumulative analysis method taking into consideration the combination of the applicants' technical qualifications, experience and financial proposal.The contract will be awarded to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as technically responsive/compliant/acceptable to the requirements of the ToR and received the highest cumulative (technical and financial) score out of below defined technical and financial criteria.

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49 points in the technical evaluation would be considered for financial evaluation.

Technical Criteria - 70% of total evaluation - max. 70 points

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

 

DOCUMENTS TO BE INCLUDED WHEN SUBMITTING THE APPLICATION.

  • Financial Proposal and Availability form: OFFEROR’S LETTER TO UNDP 
  • CV shall include Education/Qualification, Processional Certification, Employment Records /Experience
  • List of qualitative researches designed and conducted (or contributed to), samples of assessment surveys and/or monitoring and evaluation systems developed during the last three years
  • Brief outline of the proposed scope of work and methodology (no more than 1-2 pages)

General Conditions of Contract is available here: GENERAL CONDITIONS OF CONTRACT

Note: Please note you can upload only one document to this application (scan all documents in one single PDF file to attach).



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