Consultant for the Evaluation of the Project “Support to the Creation of a More Transparent, Efficient and Service-Oriented Public Administration”


Location : Home-based and throughout Montenegro, MONTENEGRO
Application Deadline :27-Jun-21 (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)
14-Jul-2021
Duration of Initial Contract :14 July 2021 - 15 September 2021
Expected Duration of Assignment :20 consultancy 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

The EU funded project “Support to the creation of a more transparent, efficient and service-oriented public administration” supports the implementation of the Public Administration Reform Strategy 2016-2020, specifically contributing to the strategy objectives related to the provision of services and civil service system and human resources management. The project is implemented in the framework of the Sector Budget Support “EU Support to Public Administration Reform in Montenegro” and it has two specific objectives:  

1) Support the implementation of the national optimisation plan at local level and  

2) Upgrade the Single Information System for the exchange of data among state registers. 

One of the main pillars and centre of the efficient public administration are human resources. Civil servants are key to the successful service delivery, as well as fulfilling all the public administration functions, PAR Strategy objectives and EU Integration requirements. Inadequate employment policy, resulted in a surplus employee situation, which burdens both the efficiency of the service delivery and public finance management. The optimization of human resources reflects the need to better respond to the needs of citizens and business, to reduce the financial burdens on local units of self-government, and to unloose more financial resources for economic growth and competitiveness. In order to address the issue, MPA has established a Working Group for optimization of the number of employees in public sector in order to develop the Optimisation Plan. The implementation of this plan will ensure reaching PAR Strategy targets of downsizing public administration employees by 3% on national level and 5% on local level, by the end of 2018, i.e. 5% and 10% respectively by the end of 2019.  

Another interlinking aspect of the efficient public administration is the quality and accessibility of public services and introducing opportunities to reduce or simplify administrative procedures of routine tasks for citizens and business operators. Specifically, the new Law on General Administrative Procedures introduces the principle of encouraging data exchange between authorities. Despite this Law being in place many rules, specific to individual authorities are still in place. Special efforts are required to align different rules in separate regulations. This is necessary in order to build a system of safe and reliable data exchange between authorities and to implement the principle of data exchange.  

The focus of effort is the establishment of interoperability between key electronic state registers, and this interoperability providing a basis for further improvement in the provision of services. Interoperability is ensured through the establishment of a Single Information System for electronic data exchange (SISEDE).  The aim of SISEDE is to ensure communication among existing systems and faster exchange of information between citizens and officials, enabling the provision of services electronically and the automated exchange and use of large amounts of data stored in the state registers. The basic function of a central, interoperable system is to provide the institutions with a single communication platform for data exchange and thus provide the basis for the quality and fast delivery of services. In order to simplify public administrative procedures and to boost electronic data exchange among state institutions, the upgrade of SISEDE envisages creating the preconditions to improve the quality of data for statistical purposes of 7 key electronic registers, enhancing the use of SISEDE by connecting additional electronic registers through implementation of selected e-services and capacity building for their effective use.

The project implementation started on May 23, 2018 and it will end on October 23, 2021. The total budget of the project is 905,250 USD (750,000 EUR as per May 2018 Info Euro Rate). An independent, external evaluation is planned to take place in the final phase of the project. The evaluation will be based on the original Project document and its amendments. It will analyse the progress of the project towards its results and purpose, and identify areas for further development assistance. The objective of the evaluation is to draw the lessons learned, while assessing the overall project performance and impact, as well as to assess the scope for continuation and/or replication of the action or specific activities in the area of the public administration reform. 


Duties and Responsibilities

Objectives of the assignment:  

The objective of this assignment is to conduct the evaluation of the EU funded project “Support to the creation of a more transparent, efficient and service-oriented public administration” in line with the UNDP Evaluation Guidelines. The evaluation will specifically aim at the following:

  • Assess project results achieved against planned objectives, targets and indicators, including the aspects of effectiveness and efficiency of the intervention and sustainability of project benefits beyond the lifetime of the project, based on the analysis of the documents produced by the project (reports, analysis, papers, etc.) and interviews with major stakeholders including project partners;
  • Provide reflections on the state of play now and capacities of the main actors as compared to the beginning of the project implementation and in relation to that, provide recommendations and guidance for future programming in the public administration reform area;
  • Identify and consolidate good practices, lessons learned and make recommendations on processes, management, partnerships and other aspects of project implementation that would benefit future engagement of UNDP in this area.

Job content:  

The evaluation will be undertaken in close consultation with the UNDP Project Team throughout the process to ensure the principles of national ownership, transparency and mutual accountabilities are followed. 

The evaluation will comprise of the following key stages/ processes: 

Desk review: The consultant will review all available documents related to the project, such as projects documents, amendments to the Delegation Agreement, project progress reports, relevant evaluation reports, relevant national and international surveys, knowledge products, as well as policy and legal documents.

Finalization of evaluation methodology and work plan: In consultation with the UNDP Project Team, the consultant will finalize the appropriate methodology to address the three key objectives of this evaluation. The methodology will entail a participatory process for data collection, generating an evidence base to substantiate all findings while ensuring that the data collection methods and data analysis is of high quality and that stakeholders are involved in data collection processes and debriefed on regular basis to address any unforeseen challenges requiring support or clarification.

Field visit:  The consultant will conduct field visit supported by UNDP to collect data using a mix of qualitative and quantitative approaches. Depending on COVID-19 related travel restrictions, the meetings can be held online. In consultation with UNDP, the consultant will formulate questionnaires and identify key stakeholders to be interviewed during the evaluation so that their engagement and involvement in the evaluation process can be arranged in a timely manner. Key stakeholders include representatives of the institutions from the national and local level (Ministry of Public Administration, Digital Society and Media, local self-governments, Human Resource Management Authority, Union of Municipalities of Montenegro, Tax Administration, Ministry of Education, Science, Culture, and Sports, Ministry of Interior) and relevant Delegation of European Union in Montenegro and UNDP staff.

Preparation of the draft evaluation report and finalization of the report: The consultant will prepare the draft evaluation report, submit it to the Programme Manager, which will gather comments from the Project Board members. Upon receiving the comments, the consultant will finalize the report.

Debriefing session: The consultant will debrief the Project Board members about the findings including key observations and recommendations based on verifiable facts and figures. 
 
The expected results:  

Under the supervision of the UNDP Project Team, the international consultant is expected to deliver the following results:

  • The final evaluation report, taking into account feedback given by partners, stakeholders and submit it to the Programme Manager (the final evaluation report should include executive summary, evaluation methodology, analysis and findings, good practices & lessons learnt and recommendations).

Timing and reporting: 

International consultant is expected to work in Montenegro and home-based during the assignment duration (July 14 – September 15, 2021). The international consultant will be responsible for written regular reporting to the UNDP Programme Manager. 

Time duration and travel:  

The international consultant will be engaged under individual contract, for total of 20 consultancy days, in the period from July 14 – September 15, 2021. The consultant is expected to work from home in duration of approximately 15 working days, and undertake one field visit in Montenegro (Podgorica and elsewhere) in duration of approximately 5 working days. International and local travel costs and daily subsistence allowance costs should be included in the lump sum figure.

Proposed evaluation schedule includes the following:

Desk Review – 4 days;
Evaluation design, methodology and detailed work plan – 2 days;
Field visits, interviews, consultations – 5 days;
Preparation of draft evaluation report for debriefing – 6 days;
Finalization of evaluation report – 2 days; 
Debriefing at the meeting of the Project Board – 1 day.


Competencies

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission and strategic goals of UN/UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting;
  • Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Demonstrates good oral and written communication skills;
  • Demonstrates ability to manage complexities and work under pressure, as well as conflict resolution skills.

 


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Advanced Degree in Economics, Law, Management, Public Administration or other relevant field and 10  years of professional experience is required, longer professional experience is advantage;

Experience:

  • At least 10 years of relevant professional experience in the area of public administration reform, electronic exchange of data, local governance; 
  • Proven expertise and experience in the UNDP project evaluation; 
  • Modern approach to delivery of policy/technical advice, and experience of working with central and local self-governments senior officials in a process of public finances reform; 

Language:

  • Excellent knowledge of written and spoken English, whereas knowledge of the local language would be an asset; 

Other:

  • Excellent communication and presentation skills, demonstrated ability to facilitate/conduct trainings, workshops, etc;
  • Excellent IT skills, including word-processing, presentation software, etc.

Criteria for selection:

Combined Scoring method will be used. When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract should be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as: (i) responsive, compliant, acceptable, and (ii) having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

  • Technical criteria weight - 70% (Background and education 10%; Relevant previous experience 20%; Substantial knowledge/Required competencies 30%; Required language 10%);
  • Financial criteria weight - 30%.

Only offerors obtaining a minimum 490 points for technical criteria will be considered for the financial evaluation. For more information on procurement methodology for Individual Contractors, please refer to Procurement Notice.

Application procedure:

Interested applicants are requested to submit their applications by June 27, 2021 by using the Apply now button. The application should contain CV or P11 that can be downloaded at https://www.me.undp.org/content/montenegro/en/home/jobs.html. Please note that UNDP jobsite system allows only one uploading of application document, so please make sure that you merge all your documents into a single file.

Only the short-listed applicants will be contacted and requested to submit a letter of interest including a price quotation indicating the lump sum (in EUR) requested for the work envisaged in the section "Description of Responsibilities".



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