The Sustainable Development Agenda has set an innovative and ambitious target that by 2030, the world will have built effective, accountable and transparent institutions that enable peace, justice and inclusion across societies (Goal 16). This aspiration is relevant for all development contexts, but it is particularly important in post-conflict environments, where capacities tend to be the lowest. Through smart public sector reforms – civil service reforms in particular – this Goal will materialize.
Post-conflict societies demand higher levels of accessibility and quality of public services. While basic public service delivery is thought of as universal (i.e. health, education, administrative), the processes by which governments deliver key public services are context dependent. As such, the sequencing of policy implementation and integration must be reconsidered in these environments. To this end, the need to invest efforts on core government functions has emerged as fundamental, while focusing on processes and political dynamics in a sequenced approach. This means supporting the processes through which the state manages security, integrates various actors, and collects and manages its fiscal (taxes, investment, aid, resource rents) and human (civil service, job creation) resources – both internal at first and external later, in order to ensure strong performance.
In March 2013, the Secretary General’s Policy Committee called upon the United Nations, World Bank and International Monetary Fund to develop an approach and methodology for a “rapid needs assessment of Core Government Functions (possibly within the Post-Conflict Needs Assessment) in order to improve the provision of fast, flexible and appropriate support to restoring the basic functionality of core systems in the immediate aftermath of conflict.” The decision followed from the Secretary-General’s Report on Peacebuilding in the Immediate Aftermath of Conflict, the independent report of the Senior Advisory Group on Civilian Capacity in the Aftermath of Conflict (“CivCap Review”) and a review of the UN system’s country experiences in post-conflict public administration and capacity development, the Lessons Learned Review on UN Support to Core Government Functions (UNDP, 2014)
In 2014, a joint UN/WB team began work on “Rebuilding Core Government Functions in the Immediate Aftermath of Conflict” with the objective of producing a set of recommendations for improving UN-WB collaboration in these contexts. The team produced a draft version of a UN/WB Diagnostic Framework on Core Government Functions in 2014.
In terms of civil service reform the tool recognizes the importance of government employment and public administration processes, and in particular the following eight components of civil service in post-conflict settings:
The tool highlights that the main objective of any public administration reform process in the immediate aftermath of conflict is to put in place basic governmental capacity to define and administer regulations and provide public services. This, of course, has to be done in a manner that accommodates the need to restore stability and support the political settlement without jeopardizing the longer-term goal of an accountable, efficient and affordable public administration structure. The main priority should be the implementation of the key provisions in the peace settlement or political agreement and avoid a relapse into conflict.
Nevertheless, post-conflict situations vary greatly in terms of the capacity within the public administration, as well as the immediate challenges to address. In some circumstances, where the underlying structure and capacity existed but the bureaucracy had historically been narrow and exclusive, the challenge is eliminating discrimination and achieving a more representative civil service. In other contexts, while the overall capacity of the public sector degraded during the conflict, selected institutions or functions can still perform, at least some basic level administrative functions. In still other countries, a virtual administrative vacuum may exist.
In post-conflict countries where income is comparatively high and administrative capacity adequate, the challenge is mainly to identify specific areas severely damaged by the conflict (especially in personnel, with the exit of many highly-educated professional and technical staff) and to act rapidly and selectively to rebuild the capacity. In post-conflict countries where per capita income is low and administrative capacity is severely limited or virtually nil in extreme cases, the challenge of constructing a minimally adequate public management capacity is far more daunting.
In these low-capacity countries, the new government is likely to be confronted with a variety of special challenges. On the employment side, there is either an acute need for rebuilding a shrunken and degraded public service or a strong pressure to expand civilian government employment beyond the appropriate size. The latter is more frequent, and is often aggravated by a push to recruit military and security personnel (typically associated with the need to reintegrate former combatants and conflict victims), and by demands from powerful groups for preferential employment or for rule waivers and exemptions. There is also a need to redress the legacies of discrimination and exclusion that gave rise to the conflict, albeit in ways that do not compromise the chances of eventually establishing merit-based human resource policies and personnel management. On the compensation side, the salary structure is often too compressed, making it difficult to attract and retain staff with the required skills. Finally, donors generate distortions in compensation and administrative structures – often with the active connivance of local groups that are very agile in playing to different interests in how to “talk the donor talk”.
Efforts to address these various challenges are heavily influenced by the nature of the political settlement and the imperative of consolidating security, as well as the social and cultural environment, prior institutional arrangements and administrative traditions. As in other core government areas, donor assistance for strengthening public administration in the immediate aftermath of conflict therefore needs to be highly responsive to local circumstances, carefully tailored to the prevailing realities, and avoid attempts at major structural reforms. The accumulated international experience suggests the major diagnostic issues and the measures that are likely to be urgent in low-capacity post-conflict situations.
Objective of the Consultancy
Based on experience in comprehensive crisis recovery and civil service, as well as the trust established between Country Offices and governments through collaboration before a conflict, UNDP can be a strong partner for strengthening national crisis-response capacities in a post-conflict environment. To this end, UNDP is developing a Crisis Response Package on the Restoration of Core Government Functions – an integrated set of tools to deliver faster and more consistently in the aftermath of a crisis. The Core Government Functions package includes three pillars: Aid Management, Civil Service Restoration and Local Governance.
In addition to how-to-guidance developed for each of the three pillars of the Crisis Response Package, a number of programmatic and operational tools need to be sourced and consolidated. These tools will provide UNDP staff members with practical advice, ideas, insights and options in relation to how UNDP can support the restoration of the civil service in the aftermath of conflict.
The objective of this consultancy is to support the development of the Civil Service components of the Crisis Response Package on the Restoration of Core Government Functions by (i) assessing and selecting examples of strong TORs, project documents, assessment forms, management arrangements, implementation, budget and monitoring tools; and (ii) organizing the tools to incorporate into the Crisis Response Package.
Duties and Responsibilities
The consultant will produce two outputs:
The consultant will work with focal points in UNDP’s Responsive and Accountable Institutions Team and the Crisis Response Unit on a continual basis to ensure a diverse selection of programmatic and operational tools
Expected Output; Indicative Days; Date of Submission:
Required Skills and Experience
Minimum Requirements and Qualifications of Independent Consultant
Evaluation of Applicants
In accordance with the procedures set out in UNDP’s Procurement Guidelines and Financial Rules and Regulations, a technical evaluation of all applications will be conducted, based on a balanced assessment of candidates’ qualifications and competencies as specified above, and a financial proposal (daily rate in USD).
Relevant Experience, including minimum 5 years relevant professional experience. 700 points maximum
• Relevant experience with governance issues in crisis countries and/or core functions of government, particularly proven experience with civil service restoration in conflict-affected environments. 200 points
• Demonstrated knowledge of UNDP’s architecture, strategies, approaches, policy products and/or programming activities. 200 points
• Strong research background and proven analytical, research and synthesizing skills. 100 points
• Experience developing case studies. 100 points
• Relevant educational background. 100 points
The expert for this assignment will be selected based on the weighted ‘Best value for money’ approach assigning a maximum of 70% of the score to technical responsiveness of the candidate, and assigning a maximum 30% of the score to the candidate’s financial bid.
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