The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the prominent role of Civil Servants in supporting governments to respond to the crisis: from nurses to teachers and clerks, civil servants are indeed essential to keep public offices running and providing people with essential services. The pandemic has also showed the importance of strengthening coordination and cooperation among countries to prevent the virus spreading further and to learn from effective responses to the health and economic crisis triggered by it. To develop inclusive and effective solutions to prevent, respond and recover from the COVID-19 crisis, new abilities and skills in the civil service are needed as much as strong technical response coordination bodies. While the initial stage of the pandemic required a reactive approach with civil servants having to adapt to the new normal, the following stages will need to take stock of lessons learned to build a more pro-active approach for tackling the impact of the pandemic on the ability of institutions to fulfill their missions and effectively deliver the public services that are needed in this moment.
UNDP Myanmar Leadership, Effectiveness, Adaptability and Professionalism in Myanmar’s Civil Service (LEAP) has supported the government of Myanmar regional integration and sharing of civil service management best practices together with the Myanmar Union Civil Service Board, as member of the ASEAN Committee for Civil Service Matters (ACCSM). In 2019, two ASEAN level workshop were conducted under the thematic area of public service motivation to foster the sharing of knowledge and best practices among civil service bodies in South-East Asia.
Leveraging on the partnership established with the Myanmar Union Civil Service Board and other ministries, LEAP project aims to establish a new dialogue on civil service response to COVID-19 to gather lessons learned from Myanmar and ASEAN countries and establish a network of practitioners sharing timely information around civil service management, public service delivery and risk prevention during the pandemic. The Community of Practice will be formed to enhance civil service cooperation for better crisis management and will include a virtual Lab where Myanmar civil servants as well as officials and practitioners from ASEAN countries can work together on selected thematic areas to find common solutions and innovations that will enable the civil service to respond to the COVID-19 short and long- term impacts.
Duties and Responsibilities
B. Objective of the Assignment
The Coordinator of the Virtual Lab on Myanmar and ASEAN Civil Service responses to COVID- 19 will be responsible for providing capacity development support and technical assistance on
development and strengthening the community of practice on enhancing civil service cooperation for better crisis management. The incumbent will also assist UNDP with establishing the community of practice in Myanmar and in ASEAN via substantive engagement within and across the countries, supporting and providing substantive advice and feedback.
The assignment will include introducing emerging innovative practices in Myanmar and ASEAN civil service, in support of modern human resources management practices and learning opportunities for civil servants at all levels and use data as a strategic asset to foster more open, innovative, connected and efficient public sector.
C. Expected Deliverable
Under the supervision of UNDP LEAP project manager and in close coordination with the Public Administration and Innovation advisor, the Consultant is expected to undertake the following activities:
- Review the CoP concept note and background documents provided by UNDP to obtain a better understanding of the goals and context. The Consultant will receive from the project team and Public Administration and Innovation advisor the performance Indicators for evaluation of results for each Community of Practice at the beginning of assignment. Design the logic and maintain an organized agile-team collaboration environment (i.e. cloud solution for team working documents, use of sharepoint, Chat, task tracker, etc).
- Facilitate mobilization and engagement of the expert community:
- Map potential experts (policy makers, civil servants, activists, academic community, scholars, students, practitioners and other in Myanmar and in ASEAN countries) in civil service management, response and prevention of C-19 with a focus on public service delivery and people-centered approach as related and agreed with the project.
- Reach out to relevant stakeholders and initiate development of thematic expert clusters.
- Actively engage thematic experts to keep them active.
- Facilitate timely, focused, targeted and crosscutting discussions and on/offline events.
- Support the development and implementation of relevant webinars and in person events. Create schedule continuously update it, as well as proactively suggest content of the webinars to be offered for participating communities.
- Ensure sustainability of the expert clusters through identification and training of community leaders, who can continue to drive action after completion of the project (or through other actions, as relevant).
3. Facilitate creation of the Communities of Practice (CoP) and foster engagement among members:
- Map potential partners/members across the civil service in Myanmar and ASEAN, reach out to them and build active communities of knowledge sharing and engagement related to civil service management, response and prevention of C-19 with a focus on public service delivery and people-centered approach as related and agreed with the project.
- Facilitate timely, focused, targeted and crosscutting discussions and on/offline events.
- Work closely with UNDP project team and experts to develop a learningstrategy for CoP which will allow to document experiences and learnings for future reference in an organized and cohesive manner.
- Engage in continual “behind the scenes” work of connecting with thematic expert clusters, flagging experts to come in where necessary, and supporting development of queries and discussion topics for CoP members.
- Scan the internal and external environment for relevant content and materials for the CoP members. Stay on top of industry trends and keep the CoP updated on the latest news, thinking and findings on the topic.
- Detect and capture any relevant issues from one or more CoPs that could be elevated as an inter-practice discussion.
- Actively engage with developed CoPs to keep them active and on a bi-weekly basis, reach out to all CoP members with targeted updates (by email, messenger or in social media groups) to bring the most pertinent news and opportunities for engagement to the attention of the CoP members, including, relevant discussions, queries, cross- cutting consultations, workshops, webinars, other materials and events.
- Support the creation of an online platform to support cooperation and experience exchange.
- Ensure sustainability of the CoPs through identification and training of community leaders, who can continue to drive action after completion of the project (or through other actions, as relevant).
- Identify existing initiatives and engage them to join the network. Constantly scan the horizon for new learning opportunities for the teams to strengthen their capabilities.
- Lead the development and implementation of educational webinars and in person events, including those for sharing the best practices from expert clusters to CoP.
4. Produce knowledge products related to community engagement:
- Synthesis of lessons learned and best practices in community engagement practices.
- Prepare relevant knowledge products pulling from the CoP members’ knowledge, experience and engagements including e-discussion summaries, FAQs, lessons learned overviews, guidance documents and case studies, for reference and use by the community members and beyond.
- Connect the members of CoPs to community activities, such as capacity mapping exercises, individual and group learning opportunities, and lessons learned capture and reuse, in order to identify competency centers and ensure the CoPs are a source of learning and knowledge exchange among members.
- Assist, design and lead CoPs in the process of creating knowledge products, recommendations, toolkits etc.
- Preparing data sets in formats for ease of understanding and communicating. Prepare summaries of available data for reporting purposes and other documentation needed.
- Support in design and organization of trainings, workshops/meetings for different level of stakeholders in the selected target areas
- Conduct general and tailored consultation meetings for CoPs members and expert clusters.
5. Support monitoring and reporting:
- Capture and synthesize the knowledge of participating communities applying collective intelligence approach;
- Conduct community surveys and other types of research to identify and regularly update the baseline and progress indicators of CoPs and local action teams development.
- Develop and implement regular monthly assessments of quantitative and/or qualitative indicators to measure the effectiveness of CoPs and expert clusters work. These may include (but not limited to): number of CoP and local action team members (disaggregated by location, gender), number of local communities in the network and population they cover (disaggregated by location, gender), member retention rate, number of active experts (disaggregated by location, gender), CoPs satisfaction with experts’ advice and other. The list of indicators is to be agreed with UNDP.
- Contribute to the preparation of the progress reports, other monitoring documents and related monitoring meetings.
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