United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

International Consultant (Strategic Planning Consultant - Bilateral Donor Group/Dp Forum)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Job Description

  Sri Lanka finds itself at a particularly important juncture, following the August Parliamentary elections. The incumbent Sri Lanka People's Freedom Alliance (Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna) coalition claimed a landslide victory, while the previous main party in power, the United National Party (UNP) was defeated following a split over party leadership, finishing with only one seat secured out of the 225. With the support of some independent MPs, the winning SLPP is to reach a two-thirds majority, allowing to effect promised constitutional reforms aimed at restoring executive power which was curtailed through the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Sri Lanka has managed the Covid-19 pandemic well and is considered as a success story compared to most other countries in terms of low case incidence, treatment, contact tracing and isolation/quarantining. As far back as February 2020, acting proactively, the Government of Sri Lanka conducted intensive preparedness and tracing processes while suspending overseas flights and imposing a strict lock down for nearly two months thereby significantly reducing transmission of the virus in Sri Lanka. As of late-August less than 3000 cases were confirmed, with only 12 deaths. With the formation of the new Government by President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in August 2020, GoSL is expected to follow a new strategic direction in terms of development. The Election Manifesto of the President : Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour has now been presented as the key national Development Policy document. This National Policy Framework of the government constitutes of key policies aimed at achieving the fourfold outcome of a productive citizenry, a contented family, a disciplined and just society and a prosperous nation. It is in the above context that Development Assistance providers in Sri Lanka are preparing themselves for the new policy setting as well as transition of Senior Leadership in government, with a new President, new Government, new developmental vision, plus, in terms of the Covid-19 pandemic, a new “normal”. It is in this context that development partners are re-positioning their aid strategies, , not only individually but also collectively, for which support is sought. SCOPE AND OBJECTIVES The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) has the primary responsibility towards the Coordination of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in the country. The Department of National Planning and the External Resources Department (ERD) of the Ministry of Finance, are the key contact points in terms of development aid coordination In order to collectively engage with the Government and enhance aid effectiveness, a large number of development partners have come together to set-up and maintain informal information-sharing and coordination mechanisms, inspired by global Aid Effectiveness commitments. The Development Partners (DP) Forum is an informal, broad and inclusive mechanism towards information and experience-sharing within the development partners community. It is open to any mission providing assistance to Sri Lanka. It provides an opportunity for the DPs to discuss topics of common interest and areas that may require further dialogue with the GoSL authorities. The DP Forum also allows missions to brief each other on their aid strategies, programs and initiatives. The Bilateral Donor Group (BDG) is a donor-organized group of Bilateral Foreign Aid Missions which aim to promote and develop common bilateral approaches towards supporting Sri Lanka’s development challenges. All BDG mission members are also participants of the larger Development Partners Forum. The Development Partner (DP) Secretariat reports to and takes direction from Development Partners, namely Chair of the DP Forum and Co-Chairs of the Bilateral Donor Group. In response to the need for renewed coordination between DPs and the new GoSL , especially in areas of new policy dialogue, and within the foreign aid community, an enhanced DP Secretariat function is proposed that will undertake a range of activities under guidance from Development Partners. CURRENT DP MISSIONS/AGENCIES PARTICIPATING IN THE DP FORUM MULTILATERAL / INTERNATIONAL DPs ADB, IMF, World Bank IBRD/IFC, FAO, ILO, IOM, UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNFPA, UN-HABITAT, UNOPS, UNRCO, UNESCO, WFP, WHO, IFRC, IWMI BILATERAL DPs Embassies or High Commissions in Sri Lanka of: Australia/DFAT, Canada/DFATD, Delegation of the European Union, France /AFD, Germany /GIZ, India, Japan/JICA, Korea/KOICA/Korea Exim Bank, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom, US State Department/ USAID The overarching goals of the Development Partners framework include the following:
  • National ownership and alignment towards GoSL Development Strategies.

  • Sharing of information about aid strategies and programs.

  • Collaborative work, division of labour and setting of harmonization processes and procedures.

In line with the above goals, the support of the DP Strategic Planning Consultant is expected to allow reaching the following objectives:
  • For the DP Forum and the Bilateral Donor Group, by mid-December, to have identified the key areas of possible collective engagement with the new GoSL authorities for 2021.

  • To have devised an updated DP communication strategy both internal and with the GoSL authorities.

Duties and Responsibilities
In response to the above engagement of the DP Forum and the Bilateral Donor Group with the new government authorites, the DPs Strategic Planning Consultant will undertake the following: 1. Advise and support the DP Forum and the Bilateral Donor Group (BDG) towards developing coherent collective plans of action in terms of their joint interaction with the new GoSL. Strategically reposition the Development Partner Secretariat to adapt to the new political and Covid-19 environment. This includes (a) Facilitating ongoing exchange of information amongst DPs on existing and planned programs, projects and technical assistance; (b) Support DPs joint analysisand coordination in key strategic developmental areas and (c) Convene meetings of the DP Forum , Bilateral Donor Group and DP Working Groups, as required, to achieve the above objectives. 2. As per collective request from the DP Forum and/or BDG, engage with the Ministry of Finance ‘s Departments of National Planning and External Resources Department. The consultant is expected to obtain, review, analyse and share with the development assistance providers the GoSL new policies, strategies and development statements; 3. Assist the DP Forum and the Bilateral Donor Group towards establishing a regular interaction with the new authorities, with the aim of establishing a joint GoSL / DP Forum; 4. Review the new GoSL Budget and the likely implications for the development partner community in Sri Lanka; 5. Support the established DP Secretariat towards the preparation of a DP Communication strategy in the new normal following the context of the Covid-19 pandemic; 6. The Consultant reports to and takes direction from the Development Partners, namely the DP Forum Chairpersons and the Bilateral Donor Group Co-Chairs"; Expected Output/Deliverables - Production of Advisory notes, info briefs. - Organisation and facilitation of specific DP fora, joint DPs/GoSL meetings. - Production of a communication strategy - Monthly activity reports. The envisaged overall time frame of the consultancy is 39 work days, based in the UN Sri Lanka compound (Colombo), during a 3 month period; starting from 15 September to 15 December 2020.
A senior Development Professional with multi-year strategic, programmatic and operational development experience.
  1. Demonstrated diplomatic and tactful negotiation skills and ability to communicate effectively with high level GoSL and foreign aid stakeholders alike.

  2. Good working knowledge of multiple areas of work of the DPs in Sri Lanka.

  3. Ability to produce concise and action oriented briefs and advisory notes.

  4. Demonstrated ability to organize successfulyl high-level meetings and events.

a Technical competencies
  • Track record successful interaction with GoSL at senior level.

  • Track record in coordination and/or management of complex tasks requiring participation of multiple stakeholders.

  • In-depth understanding of the role of development partners in Sri Lanka

b. Partnerships
  • Proven experience of successful partnership and collaboration with a wide range of development stakeholders, including GoSL, Multilateral and Bilateral missions, INGOs, NGOs and Civil Society for a.

c. Results
  • Positive feedback received from senior DPs and GoSL officials alike.

  • Briefs, notes etc. produced and well received.

  • Key areas of DPs collective engagement for 2021 defined.

Required Skills and Experience
  • At least 10 years of experience in development fields.

  • Experience in working in close collaboration with foreign aid missions and GoSL at high seniority levels.

  • Experience in international assignments would be desirable.

  • Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in social sciences, economics, political science, law, international relations, development studies, or a related field.

  • To apply please access UNDP Jobs site http://jobs.undp.org.

The application should contain:
  • Cover letter explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for the advertised position and a brief methodology on how you will approach and conduct the work.

  • Updated CV to include qualifications/competencies and relevant past experience in similar projects and contact details of 3 professional referees who can certify your competencies, professionalism, quality of writing, presentation and overall suitability to this TOR

  • Individual consultants will be evaluated based on a combimation of factors including cover letter, the credentials on offer and brief interview (optional) and the offer which gives the best value for money for the UNDP.

  • Please send the Financial Proposal separately to the following e-mail address: consultants.lk@undp.org stating the vacancy number/position in the subject line.

FINANCIAL PROPOSAL   Note: Payments will be based on the submission on written reports specifying tasks accomplished and corresponding number of working days put in towards achieving the deliverables outlined above on invoices on achievement of agreed milestones i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR and certification of acceptance by the UNDP. The applicant must factor in all possible costs in his/her “All Inclusive Daily Fee” including his/her consultancy and professional fee, travel (economy class flights is required to and from the Duty Station) honorarium, board and lodging, and any other foreseeable costs in this exercise. No costs other than what has been indicated in the financial proposal will be paid or reimbursed to the consultant. UNDP will only pay for any unplanned travel outside of this TOR and Duty Station on actual basis and on submission of original bills/invoices and on prior agreement with UNDP officials. Daily perdiums and costs for accommodation/meals/incidental expenses for such travel shall not exceed established local UNDP DSA rates. For an Individual Contractor who is 65 years of age or older, and on an assignment requiring travel, be it for the purpose of arriving at the duty station or as an integral duty required travel under the TOR, a full medical examination and statement of fitness to work must be provided. Such medical examination costs must be factored in to the financial proposal above. Medical examination is not a requirement for individuals on RLA contracts. PAYMENT FOR SERVICES Payments will be based on the submission on written reports specifying tasks accomplished and corresponding number of working days put in towards achieving the deliverables outlined above. UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workplace, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence. 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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