International Consultant to support the Government of Turkmenistan in development of the second National Human Rights Action Plan of Turkmenistan (2021-2025)


Location : Ashgabat, TURKMENISTAN
Application Deadline :12-Oct-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Democratic Governance and Peacebuilding
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English   Russian  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
01-Oct-2020
Duration of Initial Contract :24 working days
Expected Duration of Assignment :24 working days

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

Turkmenistan adopted the first National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP) on January 15, 2016.  The Plan is based on the recommendations Turkmenistan received from the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review held in 2013. Turkmenistan received 183 recommendations from the Human Rights Council, out of which 166 were accepted. NHRAP was developed based on the 166 accepted recommendations. The Action Plan is comprehensive five-year (2016-2020) document, which is owned by the Government of Turkmenistan[1].

The main objective the Plan is to protect, promote and enforce human rights and freedoms of people of Turkmenistan. The root principle of the Plan is to further improve mechanisms on promoting and protection of human rights. The Plan emphasizes the importance of Turkmenistan's commitment to international, regional and national standards in the area of human rights and serves as a specific guide to action.

The development of the NHRAP was led by the Interagency Commission (IC) on Turkmenistan’s international obligations on human rights and humanitarian law with technical support of the UNDP in Turkmenistan. The mandate of the IC, that includes the representatives of 20 national ministries and agencies, is to coordinate the Government’s efforts aimed at implementing international legal obligations of Turkmenistan in the area of human rights, including implementation, monitoring and reporting under any international human rights instrument signed by Turkmenistan. Institute of Law, State and Democracy is the coordinating agency for the implementation of the National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP). The Institute chairs the Working Group of the Interdepartmental Commission for Interagency Commission on International Obligations of Turkmenistan.

Since 2016, Institute of Law, State and Democracy and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are implementing joint project “Assistance in implementation of the National Human Rights Action Plan for 2016-2020”.  The project is focused on engaging the Government of Turkmenistan on its duty and capacity to comply with its international human rights obligations and implementing recommendations of human rights treaty bodies, including the recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

In 2019, the Institute of Law, State and Democracy jointly with UNDP assessed the NHRAP to determine relevance, effectiveness of the actions taken for implementation of the UPR recommendations received during the second cycle. The Assessment represents a critical importance both showing evidence on achievements and obstacles and gaps in design and implantation of the first National Human Rights Action Plan.

One of the major accomplishments was that the Plan put a strong emphasis on improvements of national legislation for its further alignment with international standards of human rights. Improvement of legislation and its alignment with international human rights standards is indicative of a great potential to benefit the lives of people living in Turkmenistan. The NHRAP boosted a number of critical actions by the Government of Turkmenistan to advance the human rights policy including Constitution (2016), Law on Ombudsman of Turkmenistan (2016), Law on refugees (2017), Law on charity (2017), Law on legal acts (2017) and revision of  the Social Protection Code (2018) and nationalization of the SDGs including the SDG16. One of the milestones of the NRHAP was setting up the Office of the Ombudsperson in 2017, though it is yet to be fully aligned with the Paris Principles.

The key recommendations and lessons-learned as a result of the assessment are that the new NHRAP should place the greatest priority on 1) improving the legal protection of individuals, 2) on building a culture of respect for human rights and 3) promoting the principles of national consent and reducing the risk of conflict-enabling environment; 4) expanding role of the civil society and of the public during the process of development and implementation of the Plan; 5) establishing a M&E framework to follow up and monitor the implementation of the Plan; 6) Resource mobilization and clear funding source for implementation of the Plan.

The Government of Turkmenistan initiated a process of the development of the second NHRAP for 2021-2022.  

The Institute of Democracy has requested support for the development of a National Action Plan on human rights under the auspices of the joint UNDP Project. UNDP is to provide technical support to ensure consultative, inclusive and participatory process during the development of the second Action Plan in line with UN human-rights based approach.

A consultant is therefore required develop to facilitate the development of National Human Rights Action Plan for the implementation of UPR and  treaty body recommendations based on thematic human rights and development areas, with a clear timeline and corresponding human rights indicators through a consultative, participatory and inclusive process.

[1] https://www.tm.undp.org/content/turkmenistan/en/home/library/governance-economic-diversification-and-inclusive-growth/national-human-rights-action-plan-2016.html


Duties and Responsibilities

In accordance with the above-mentioned objective of the assignment and under the supervision of the Project Manager, the International Consultant (IC) will have the objective to produce the following:

  1. Deskwork:
    1. Review and analyze Turkmenistan’s UN Treaty body reports and concluding observations. Review and compare the NHRAP vis-a-vis the OHCHR Handbook on National Human Rights Plans of Action;
    2. Review and analyze existing National thematic human rights related plans, National SDG Framework, The United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework with the Government of Turkmenistan for 2021-2025, National VNR 2019, etc.
    3. Review and analyze the Roadmap on implementation of UPR, CEDAW and CESCR developed by the Government in 2018;
    4. Review and analyze Assessment report of the NHRAP (2016-2020) conducted by UNDP in July 2020;
  1. Technical consultations via online:
  1. Conduct a comprehensive, consultative including capacity-building process with the key stakeholders, Institute of State Law and Democracy, Ombudsperson’s Office, Working Group of the Inter-agency Commission on human rights, civil society, and UN agencies;
  2. Develop a matrix containing recommendations of human rights mechanisms based on clusters, the agencies and stakeholders involved in the implementation of the recommendations and mapping of the recommendations vis-à-vis the SDG goals, targets and indicators and relevant national programmes. The Matrix should include specific objectives and activities based on SMART principles: specific, measurable, realistic, relevant and timely and indicators to benchmark the implementation of respective human rights recommendations.
  3. Develop a draft NHRAP (2021– 2025) which will be subjected to technical reviews and stakeholder’s consideration.

II. Provide key recommendations to key stakeholders, particular UNDP to be involved in implementation of the NHRAP (2021-2025).

The IC is expected to work closely with the Institute of Law, State and Democracy and UNDP Human Rights Project Team.

Outputs and Deliverables:

  1. Inception report detailing the consultant understanding of the task and the methodology to be employed to complete the task;
  2.  Held online consultations, focus-groups, interviews with key stakeholders mentioned in the Scope of Work chapter;
  3. Two-day technical online workshop with the members of the Working Group of the IC on development of the key actions and human rights indicators, M&E of human rights indicators.
  4. Draft of the matrix containing recommendations of human rights mechanisms based on clusters, the agencies and stakeholders involved in the implementation of the recommendations and mapping of the recommendations vis-à-vis the SDG goals, targets and indicators.
  5. Two-day online validation workshop to present the Matrix to the national partners.
  6. Based on feedback received from the partners submit a draft NHRAP with the Matrix with indicators, description of the proposed M&E framework.

 Deliverables and timeframe:

Deliverable 1

  • Inception report detailing the consultant understanding of the task and the detailed strategy to be employed to complete the task;
  • Conducting consultations, focus-groups, interviews, consultations with different stakeholders such as but not limited to Ombudsperson’s Office, Institute of State and Democracy, civil society organizations, members of the UNCT Human Rights, Gender, Youth Thematic Group;
  • Two-day technical online workshop on development of key actions and human rights indicators.
  • Draft of the matrix containing recommendations of human rights mechanisms based on clusters, the agencies and stakeholders involved in the implementation of the recommendations and mapping of the recommendations vis-à-vis the SDG goals, targets and suitable human rights indicators.

Location: deskwork Number of days: 10 days.

Deliverable 2

  • Two-day online validation workshop to review draft of the Matrix with the national partners.
  • Based on feedback received from the partners submit a draft narrative of the Action Plan with the revised Matrix with indicators and description of the proposed M&E framework.

Location: Home based.

Number of days: 7 days.

Deliverable 3

  • Finalized draft of the Action Plan;
  • A presentation of the final draft of the Action Plan to UNCT Human Rights, Gender, Youth Thematic Group.
  • Summary consultancy report with recommendations for UNDP strategic interventions on implementation of the NHRAP and follow-up monitoring mechanisms.

Location: Home based.

Number of days: 7 days.

  1. Payment Conditions

This is an installment-based contract that should cover the costs of consultancy required to produce the above deliverables. The final schedule of payments will be agreed upon in the beginning of consultancy.

Payment will be released in two installments: 1st installment: 50% (for deliverable 1 and Deliverable 2), 2nd installment: 50% (for Deliverable 3) upon timely submission of respective deliverables and their acceptance by UNDP Turkmenistan.


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;
  • Fulfills all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment.
  • Knowledge of and extensive experience working with UN human rights mechanisms;
  • Demonstrates excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • proven interpersonal skills and ability to work in a multi-cultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity;


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Minimum Master’s degree or equivalent, in law, human rights, public policy, social science with a specialization in human rights or a closely related discipline required.

Experience:

  • Minimum 10 years’ experience working on human rights issues at the strategic level with government and civil society preferably in developing / middle income country contexts;
  • Demonstrated experience in drafting Human Rights Strategies and Action Plans or Roadmaps;
  • Demonstrated experience conducting comparative research, data collection and analysis and contextualize to the local context and conditions;
  • Experience and knowledge of human rights situation in CIS region; Familiarity with the    CA, and/or Turkmenistan context will be an asset.
  • Demonstrated experience and skills in facilitating stakeholder/working group consultations;
  • Demonstrated ability to work with diverse groups to facilitate dialogue and inclusive and participatory processes to build consensus on complex and sensitive issues;

Language requirements:

  • Fluency in Russian and English. The workshops with the national partners are expected to be conducted in Russian, draft of the NHRAP will be produced in Russian as well.

Submission of applications:

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:

All experts applying for this position are required to provide:

  • Brief (1-2 pages) description of the methodology for the assignment.
  • Cover Letter which contains a brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment; (maximum 1 page);
  • Financial Proposal with the references to (1) deliverables within the timing scale indicated in the present TOR, and (2) any other expenses (including transportation costs, accommodation costs and etc.). Template of the form can be found at   http://www.tm.undp.org/content/turkmenistan/en/home/procurement.html. The UNDP will enter into an Individual Contract based on a lump sum amount. The financial proposal shall represent a detailed, justified and “all inclusive” amount.  In order to assist UNDP in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal shall include a breakdown of this lump sum amount, including: a daily fee for the tasks and an estimated duration as specified in this announcement, travel (to and from the missions), per diems, any other possible costs (including vaccinations, dwelling, communication etc.);
  • Personal CV form including experience in similar projects and contact details of referees.

 Evaluation of proposals:

Individual Consultants will be evaluated based on the combined scoring methodology. When using this method, the award of the contract should be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

Responsive/compliant and having received the highest score – out of 100 points

Out of the maximum score, the score for technical criteria equals 70% - maximum 70 points, and for financial criteria 30%.

The technical evaluation will consider the following as per the scoring provided:

  • Minimum Master’s degree or equivalent, in law, human rights, public policy, social science with a specialization in human rights or a closely related discipline required- 15 pts;
  • Minimum 10 years’ experience working on human rights issues at the strategic level with government and civil society preferably in developing / middle income country contexts – 15 pts;
  • Demonstrated experience in drafting Human Rights Strategies and Action Plans or Roadmaps for implementation -15 pts;
  • Interview – 20 pt;
  • Methodology – 15 pts;
  • Fluency in English – 10 pts
  • Fluency in Russian – 10 pts;

Financial proposal – 30% of total evaluation.

Additional requirements for recommended contractor:

Recommended contractors aged 65 and older, and if the travel is required, shall undergo a full medical examination including x-ray, and obtain medical clearance from the UN-approved doctor prior to taking up their assignment. The medical examination is to be cleared by the UN physicians, and shall be paid by the consultant.



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