Consultant – Oversight of Debt in the Pacific

Background

Debt levels were always a concern for Pacific Islands States. COVID-19 combined with the impact of multiple strong cyclones have raised the level of debt in the Pacific and increased questions on their sustainability. At the global level, tools and debates have been multiplying on the need and frameworks for more transparency and accountability of debt in light of the current pandemic. Some examples includes the World Bank Parliamentary Network meeting on Debt Management and IDI publication on audit of public debt management. In the Pacific, UNDP and the IMF’s Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Center have hosted a regional discussion between Ministries of Finance and Parliaments on Fiscal Policy and Budget Documentation to facilitate a dialogue on those issues.

 

The UNDP in the Pacific works with parliaments to address constraints to the effectiveness and capacities of national parliaments in Pacific Island Countries (PICs) in order to engage with key development issues, contribute to the development of participatory and transparent national planning processes, expand parliamentary outreach and citizen engagement to include traditionally excluded groups such as women and youth, and increase the political participation of women. Through two regional parliamentary development projects (Pacific Parliamentary Effectiveness Initiative Phase 2 funded by New Zealand; Strengthening Legislatures’ Capacity in the Pacific Island Countries funded by Japan) and one national project (Fiji Parliament Support Project Phase 2 funded by New Zealand, Japan and Australia), the UNDP Pacific Office provides assistance to the legislatures of 15 Pacific Islands countries and territories.

 

Strengthening of public Finance Management and Governance in the Pacific Project (hereafter PFM) aims to strengthen oversight over public financial management in the Pacific region, though improving the budgetary scrutiny, public financial oversight and accountability capacities of parliaments, supreme audit institutions and civil society within the region, aligning with international public financial oversight and accountability standards, and fostering citizen engagement and oversight. Strengthening of Public Finance Management project is funded by the European Union (EU) and Implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

 

The portfolio of projects described above would like to support a more in-depth role of oversight institutions in monitoring COVID-19 recovery and long-term impacts. The proposed approach is a review of the current frameworks and level of practices in debt oversight in the Pacific and identify gaps in the transparency and accountability of current practices. This consultancy will provide strategic insights and compile existing data to guide the development of potential activities in jurisdictions that will express interest.

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work

Under the general guidance and supervision of the Portfolio lead – parliamentary development specialist and reporting to the PFM Project Manager, the Consultant will be responsible for the following activities:

  • Produce a mapping of the existing institutional framework for parliamentary engagement and oversight of loans and debt (whole-of-government) in the Pacific including a comparative analysis of loan approval mechanisms (with a focus on oversight, accountability and transparency);
  • Produce a mapping of Pacific region frameworks and current practices in terms of transparency, accountability and oversight of debt management. Mapping should notably include a review of the mandates of Parliament as a whole and of parliamentary committees in particular covering debt management, the type of information and level of details currently available to parliaments willing to review debt levels including in the fiscal policy and annual budget documentation and financial statements; the existing legal/procedural framework for parliaments to contribute to debt review, summon witnesses and evidence and/or question the Executive in its policy choices;
  • Research any prior engagement of Pacific Supreme Audit Institutions and civil society in this sector (ei. Debt management audit) and document current best practices globally (transparency, accountability, audit);
  • Draft at least 2 case studies of Pacific Parliaments exerting their oversight power on debt/loan.
  • Draft a final report based on the research described above and including recommendations on potential UNDP interventions.

 

For all of the above, the scope of the research will be the 15 countries and territories in which the UNDP Parliamentary portfolio is active in the Pacific, however based on the initial desk-based research up to 5 countries will be selected for in-depth mapping through interviews and detailed analysis of budget documents.

 

This consultancy might be extended to include in-country missions might the context allow it later in the year.

 

Expected Outputs and Deliverables

Deliverables

No. of days

1

Develop workplan and methodology after receiving guidance from UNDP project teams. (2pager including skeleton of proposed paper)

2

2

Conduct desk-review on existing frameworks in the Pacific, existing level of information available publicly and to oversight institutions, current best practices for debt management oversight from Parliament, SAI and civil society (as described above) and produce one consolidated report of a series of mappings (less than 5pages each)

10

3

Based on above research, select in coordination with UNDP team up to 5 countries for in-depth research and documentation of case studies and produce a series of 5 short case studies (less than 5 pages)

10

4

Produce final draft report for publication (15 pages max) summarizing the research above and providing regional level analysis and recommendation for UNDP intervention

5

5

Refine and finalise report based on feedback by UNDP and partners and disseminate results through participation at 1-2webinars/events

3

 

Institutional Arrangement

The Consultant will report to the Project Manager, Public Finance Management Project, Effective Governance. Reporting is to be undertaken as per Deliverables and Activities outlined above.

 

The Consultant to provide their own IT (computer).  

 

Duration of the Work

The consultant will be required to work for a period of up to 30 days between March – November 2021.

Duty Station

This consultancy is home-based. Online presentations and exchanges will be taking place on the Pacific time-zone.

Competencies

Corporate competencies:                                                                  

  • Demonstrates integrity and fairness by modelling UN values and ethical standards;
  • Demonstrates professional competence and is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results;
  • Display cultural, gender, nationality, religion and age sensitivity and adaptability.

 

Functional Competencies:

  • Demonstrated ability to work harmoniously in a multi-cultural environment;
  • Ability to work on own initiative as well as a member of a team and to work under pressure;
  • Excellent relationship management;
  • Excellent communication, facilitation, presentation and reporting skills;

Required Skills and Experience

Education

  • Masters in Social Science, Economics or related, PhD in related field focusing on Pacific a strong advantage

Experience

  • At least 10 years of relevant professional experience as a researcher or practitioner on governance, Parliamentary oversight, PFM, debt management or related;
  • Proven in-depth technical knowledge of institutional PFM oversight and/or debt management governance and accountability;
  • Previous experience drafting academic or grey literature publications in English;
  • Preference will be given to candidates with direct experience of work with Parliaments or SAIs in the Pacific region.

 

Language requirements

  • Fluency of English language is required;

 

 

Price Proposal and Schedule of Payments

Lump Sum Amount. The total amount quoted shall be all-inclusive and include all costs components required to perform the deliverables identified in the TOR, including professional fee, travel costs, living allowance (if any work is to be done outside the IC´s duty station) and any other applicable cost to be incurred by the IC in completing the assignment. The contract price will fixed output-based price regardless of extension of the herein specified duration. Payments will be done upon completion of the deliverables/outputs and as per below percentages:

  • Deliverable 1 Inception and methodology: 15% of total contract amount
  • Deliverable 2-4 Report Drafting: 70% of total contract amount
  • Deliverable 5 Dissemination: 15% of total contract amount

 

 

Evaluation Method and Criteria

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology Cumulative analysis

The award of the contract shall be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as a) responsive/compliant/acceptable; and b) having received the highest score out of set of weighted technical criteria (70%). and financial criteria (30%). Financial score shall be computed as a ratio of the proposal being evaluated and the lowest priced proposal received by UNDP for the assignment.

 

Technical Criteria for Evaluation (Maximum 70 points) [Please add/adjust the below criteria and points awarded to each as necessary]

  • Criteria 1 – Relevance of Education – Max 10 points
  • Criteria 2 – Relevance of work experience – Max 20 Points
  • Criteria 3 – Specific experience of technical knowledge –  Max 20 points
  • Criteria 4 – Experience on drafting publications – Max 10 points
  • Criteria 5 – Experience of Pacific governance – Max 10 points

 

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49 points (70% of the total technical points) would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.

 

 

Documentation required

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information (in one (1) single document as the application supports only one upload) to demonstrate their qualifications:

  • Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability and Financial Proposal Form using the template provided in Annex II.
  • CV indicating all experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references.
  • Technical proposal (1page max), describing methodology and approach to complete the assignmen

 

Note: Successful individual will be required to provide proof of medical insurance coverage before commencement of contract for the duration of the assignment.

 

Incomplete, joint proposals and proposals sent to the wrong mailing address will not be accepted and only candidates for whom there is further interest will be contacted.

Individuals interested in this consultancy should apply and will be reviewed based on their own individual capacity. The successful individual may sign an Individual Contract with UNDP or request his/her employer to sign a Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA) on their behalf by indicating this in the Offerors letter to Confirming Interest and Availability using Annex II.

 

Annexes

  • Annex I – Individual IC General Terms and Conditions
  • Annex II – Offeror’s Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability for the Individual IC, including Financial Proposal Templa

 

Proposal Submission

  • All applications must be clearly marked with the title of the consultancy (Consultant – Oversight of Debt in the Pacific) with reference (PN/FJI/016/21) and submitted via UN Job shop by 13 March 2021.
  • Note: UNDP Jobs only supports single document upload hence ensure that the proposal consolidated and submitted as one single document.
  • For further information concerning this Terms of Reference, please contact UNDP Pacific Office by email: [email protected].  

 

Women applicants are encouraged to apply

To help us with our recruitment effort, please indicate in your cover/motivation letter where (ngotenders.net) you saw this job posting.

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