The Strengthening the Role of Local Communities (Mjesne Zajednice/MZs) project is a joint project of the Government of Switzerland and the Government of Sweden, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The overall goal of the second Project phase is to improve the quality of life of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina through empowered, gender responsive local communities (MZs) that facilitate active citizen engagement in public life, stand for people-centred performance of local governments and catalyse democratic transformation at the local level. The Project focuses on encouraging community led local development and revitalising community governance through mjesne zajednice in order to achieve this goal. Mjesne zajednice is the smallest administrative unit for direct government engagement with citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The goal of the first phase of the Project has been achieved with significant and measurable progress made toward achieving the three original Project outcomes and their related outputs. With a budget of 10 million USD, it is geared towards working with over 40-50 local governments and 200 mjesne zajednice in the country, with the hopes of extending practices to at least additional 10 local governments and their adjoining MZs. This is over 30% of local governments in the country in total. It aims to reach over 400,000 beneficiaries.
Outcomes: The focus of the Project phase 2 will shift towards wide horizontal upscaling and replication of successful legislative and institutional approaches, as well as maintaining the policy dialogue that help empower MZs at the local level. Hence, efforts will be channelled along the following three outcomes:
- Outcome 1: Local governments create a conducive environment that enables pro-active engagement of MZs in decision-making and community-led local development.
- Outcome 2: MZs as legitimate and sustainable community spaces translate citizens’ voice into quality, gender-responsive and inclusive services and use MZ networks for replication of successful MZ models countrywide.
- Outcome 3: Higher government authorities take responsibility and act in response to increased citizens demand for an improved MZ regulatory framework, moving forward broader local governance reforms at country level.
The project's implementing strategy will be to support and drive forward change from bottom-up by engaging citizens and communities and giving them a voice in local governance processes, and by revitalising MZs as spaces where citizens come together to interact and involve, to identify and solve problems, to transmit their concerns to the local government and participate in the ways it makes its plans, spends their money and takes decisions that affect people’s lives. In doing so, the project places MZs and their communities at the center of its work, while also relying on a broad range of relevant stakeholders to sustain and expand project results and increase democratic accountability. This approach will be capitalised upon to address the current flaws in the system, and to build momentum and drive forward the process of local governance reform to produce long term and sustainable change. To reach this goal, the project will build on successes from Phase 1, utilize existing legitimate local governance structures and processes to implement planned interventions, thus ensuring that improvements related to capacity of MZs and LGs, quality of service outcomes, enabling MZ-related regulatory environment and accountability of municipal decision-making processes are embedded and sustained within the system. The project will work with app. Over 40 Local governments and 200 MZs MZs country-wide and local governments (municipalities). The project will seek to develop partnership with Civil Society Organizations as strategic partners and potential owners of the future actions.
Additionally, the MZ project has become a platform for many additional initiatives. The local governments and their MZs have proven their legitimacy and importance during the Covid-19 crises. The incumbent will utilize this opportunity to ensure other complementary projects/actions are achieved for the purposes of greater community resilience and development.
This position combines the project management and chief technical Advisor roles in the policy domain as elaborated in the Functions/Key Results section of these terms of reference. The employee will be based in the UNDP BiH office in Sarajevo with frequent field travel.
The incumbent’s duties are outlined below and are to be undertaken with due respect to UNDP regulations and rules and in accordance with UNDP internal control framework, in line with the guidance of the Project Board:
Lead the strategic directions of the projects with focus on sustainable solutions, including women empowerment and gender mainstreaming
- Thorough Analysis of the political, social and economic situation in the region and contribution to the preparation/revision of Country Programme Action Plan, Multi Year Financial Framework and other documents;
- High level representative functions with senior government officials and ambassadors and donor representatives;
- Identification, including through citizens participatory process and intensive consultation with local authorities and representatives of the public sector, NGO sector of actions, which UNDP could undertake as a part of the programme to address relevant needs, building on the existing project’s first phase and experience
- Participate in country office Senior Programme’s meetings;
- Responsibility for UNDP activities in taking a lead and active role negotiations at the local authority levels for the purposes of integration of the community resilience through MZ methodology;
- Business processes Mapping and establishment of internal standard operating procedures in Results-based Management (RBM) and business development and control of the workflows for the community resilience projects – the MZ and COVID 19 actions primarily.
- Ensure that gender equality and women empowerment is not only mainstreamed but intentionally designed and implemented throughout team, consultants and staff management activities
- Ensure knowledge on gender equality/women empowerment is incorporated in Project Knowledge management activities and products;
Manage the projects' implementation in a cost-effective manner and through technical advice with focus on result-based management
- Ensure that all the individual projects components are implemented in a coherent and integrated manner, in line with UNDP procedures and PRINCE II;
- Plan and manage available financial and other resources;
- Ensure high quality reporting on progress and financial expenditures to the project’s donors;
- Ensure full accountability, transparency and the principle of competition in the allocation of resources, procurement of services, works and goods and selection of recipients;
- Ensure high quality financial and substantive monitoring and evaluation of the projects, including identification of operational and financial risks and issues and development of solutions;
- Ensure on a monthly basis the following inputs for review and discussion of the Senior Management Team: list of the activities, expenditures and results achieved during the previous month as compared to the work plan for each project within the Regional Office;
- Organize evaluation and consultancy missions;
- Perform projects’ management in ATLAS
- Manage large portfolio od 40 local governments, 200 MZs and over 20 civil society organizations for the purposes of creating an impacts and ensuring sustainability of action;
- Lead strategic direction of Association of Municipalities and Cities and local cities/municipalities for creation of long-term solutions for the MZs/community resilience/development action.
- Manage and monitor the identified project risks and issues; submit new risks and issues to the Project Board for consideration and decision if required; update the status of project risks and issues by maintaining the logs;
- Oversee and ensure timely submission of the Project Progress/Annual Narrative and Financial Reports and other reports as may be required by the UNDP, the Project Board or the Governments of Sweden and Switzerland for review and approval;
- Monitor and analyse the project environment and progress, using applicable monitoring and evaluation and risk management tools where relevant, and advice on timely readjustment of project strategies and corrective actions as necessary;
- Carry regular, announced and unannounced performance monitoring of the project team, as well as conduct field visits and quality checks of project events, sites and activities;
- Prepare analytical reviews and systematically capture lessons learnt from the project implementation; identify follow-up actions and submit them for consideration to the Project Board.
Mobilize new resources for the local community development/resilience projects
- Assists and advise UNDP on issues of further programme development, including, proposal writing and project document writing;
- Establish close working relationships with all relevant partners.
Manage and motivate the human resources of the MZ Project team
- Manage a team of local staff of the programme and local/international consultants;
- Build a strong team which can understand and carry out the diverse range of programme activities;
- Appraise staff as per UNDP guidelines and in line with allocated tasks
- Recruitment of employees as needed;
- Work on the relationships of the project with the local authorities and other stakeholders, ensuring full understanding, cooperation and a perfect fit of the project activities with the biggest needs of the beneficiaries;
- Ensure full understanding, cooperation and, wherever possible, synergy of the project activities with other efforts of the International Community’s in the area;
- Enhance, whenever possible, the capacity building focus of the local community development projects.
Management and Advocacy of/with various external strategic partnerships for the success and sustainability of the project
- Select strategic partners to co-share responsibilities of the local community development projects in consultations with donor representatives;
- Liaise with relevant government agencies and all project partners, including donor organizations and NGOs for effective coordination of all project activities;
- Animate effective dialogue with partners and among stakeholders and engage with relevant donors and contribute to the CO resource mobilization efforts;
- Identify and support the realisation of synergetic initiatives and/or contribution from various stakeholders, which would add value and maximise the project results;
- Ensure regular communication and coordination with project counterparts and develop and maintain effective mechanisms for integrating and responding to their feedback and insights;
- Encourage active participation of all stakeholders in order to promote empowerment and ownership of national counterparts and stakeholders;
- Advocate with highest levels of government in the country for legislative changes, including Home of People, House of Parliament, National Assembly and relevant Ministries.
Coordinate activities with other UNDP governance and local community development initiatives in the area
- Take a lead in liaising with relevant actors at highest levels for legislative and regulatory changes
- Assert the projects’ position nationally and if applicable in the region as a source of accurate and detailed information and of expertise in local governance and rural development, including through tasks forces;
- Coordinate activities with other international organizations active nationally and in the region.
Effective knowledge building and management
- Identification and synthesis of best practices and lessons learned;
- Sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice;
- Promote training for the project’s staff in substantive areas like decentralization, rural development and economies in transition and in business development like in PRINCE 2 and ATLAS;
- Corporate best practices in business development and in Decentralised Governance for Development disseminated;
- Ensure knowledge management and continuous learning within the projects
- Strong input from the programme in national policy discussions and debates regarding rural development, and local governance, especially in the working group for the establishment of State Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees, Entity RS Ministry for Administration and Local Self-Governance, FBiH Ministry for Justice.
Advocacy/Advancing A Policy-Oriented Agenda/Preparing information for advocacy:
- Identifies and communicates relevant information for a variety of audiences for advocating UNDP’s mandate.
Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise/Fundamental knowledge of own discipline
- Understands more advanced aspects of primary area of specialization as well as the fundamental concepts of related disciplines;
- Possesses basic knowledge of organizational policies and procedures relating to the position and applies them consistently in work tasks;
- Keeps abreast of new developments in area of professional discipline and job knowledge and seeks to develop him/herself professionally;
- Demonstrates good knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments;
- Demonstrates in-depth understanding and knowledge of the current guidelines and Project management tools and utilizes these regularly in work assignments.
Results-Based Programme: Development and Management/Contributing to results through provision of information
- Assesses Project performance to identify success factors and incorporates best practices into Project work;
- Provides information for linkages across project activities to help identify critical points of integration;
- Provides information and documentation on specific stages of projects implementation;
- Analyses country situation and provides background information to identify opportunities for project development and helps drafting project proposals.
Building Strategic Partnerships/ Identifying and building partnerships
- Effectively networks with partners seizing opportunities to build strategic alliances relevant to UNDP’s mandate and strategic agenda;
- Identifies needs and interventions for capacity building of counterparts, clients and potential partners.
Client Orientation/Contributing to positive outcomes for the client
- Researches potential solutions to internal and external client needs and reports back in a timely, succinct and appropriate fashion;
- Works towards creating an enabling environment for a smooth relationship between the clients and service provider;
- Demonstrates understanding of client’s perspective;
- Anticipates client needs and addresses them promptly;
- Solicits feedback on service provision and quality.
Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing/Basic research and analysis
- Generates new ideas and approaches, researches best practices and proposes new, more effective ways of doing things;
- Documents and analyses innovative strategies and new approaches.
- Promoting ethics and integrity, creating organizational precedents;
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, disabilities, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
- Treats all people and partners fairly without favouritism;
- Self-development, initiative-taking
- Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude and strong ability to continuously self-motivate;
- Plans, prioritizes, and delivers tasks on time
- Excellent diplomatic and interpersonal skills and ability to liaise effectively with government and stakeholders at the highest levels;
- Sound judgment and problem-solving skills;
- Excellent conceptualisation and analytical skills;
- Excellent communication skills with excellent drafting and presentation skills;
- Building staff competence, creating an environment of creativity and innovation;
- Building and promoting effective project team;
- Creating and promoting enabling environment for open communication;
- Creating an emotionally intelligent project team;
- Managing conflict;
- Sharing knowledge across the organization and building a culture of knowledge sharing and learning;
- Fair and transparent decision making.
- Master’s degree in public administration, development studies, economics, political sciences, social sciences, or other related areas;
- BA degree with additional two years of experience could be accepted in lieu of MA.
- Minimum seven years of proven professional experience in the field of local governance, local development and community development in BiH;
- Experience in working with civil society organizations and the national, regional and local levels;
- Rich previous experience in partnering and interaction with governmental institutions at state/entity/local levels, as well as with civil society organisations;
- Previous practical work at the MZ level is a distinct asset.
- Excellent writing, editing and verbal communication skills in English and local languages.
- Strong proven experience in one of the following UNDP’s pillars: Disaster Risk Reduction, Local Regional Development, Local Governance, Social Inclusion and Democratic Governance;
- Excellent knowledge of local community development/resilience trends, issues and policies in BiH and EU;
- Excellent and proven experience in dealing with local government, NGOs and donors
- Good understanding of post-war and post-socialist transition contexts, poverty and local development support strategies;
- Proven knowledge and expertise in design and support to policy-making processes, with focus on local governance;
- Excellent understanding of the overall political, administrative and institutional set-up of local governance in BiH;
- Familiarity with key public documents, strategies and trends related to local governance in BiH.
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