Expert to evaluate engagement to strengthen local governance

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OSCE Mission in Kosovo
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22/04/2021
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International Expert to evaluate Mission engagement to strengthen local governance in Kosovo

ISSUED BY OSCE Mission in Kosovo
VACANCY NUMBER VNKOSC02347
VACANCY TYPE Experts/Consultants
NUMBER OF POSTS 1
DUTY STATION Prishtine / Pristina
DATE OF ISSUE 19 April 2021
DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION 2 May 2021 - 23:59 Central European Time (CET/CEST)

Background

In order to ensure that the democratic development of institutions, governments are consensus-oriented, transparent, responsive, efficient and inclusive, the Mission, through its Governance Section (GS), has been supporting municipal institutions in selected key areas. The overall GS objective has been to adopt a systems perspective based on the assumption that the quality and effectiveness of governance depend on how different institutions, organizations, and actors are connected and interact with each other within the complex system of governance as a whole. The GS commitment to building deep insights from empathy with stakeholders, particularly male and female residents and youth, focus on three key areas: (1) enhancing checks and balances, (2) promoting meaningful public engagement, (3) strengthening municipal management and collaboration. The latter, to help municipalities perform their functions individually and also work well together as an integrated system and networks of good governance. While Kosovo has made some improvements in the field of governance over the last decade, further work is necessary: especially within the municipal management capacity, financial management, public consultation, effective policy drafting and development, as well as co-ordination within and across municipalities. The Mission has been providing support to the municipalities in these areas, with the overall objective to improve the quality of public service delivery and contribute to close the gap between what residents expect the government to do and what the government actually does. The Mission has also largely focused on building capacity for effective implementation of laws and policies. Yet, the drafting and amendments of legal acts meant to improve the performance of municipalities have not delivered the expected outcomes, reflecting weak stakeholder participation and inadequate evaluation. The continuous changes of legislation and the establishment of ministerial working groups (often on a yearly basis), create incertitude and confusion among residents on what rules and policies should be followed and what to ask municipality officials to be accountable for. Finally, the Mission’s projects over the past four years have placed strong focus on meaningful inclusion of women, youth and communities into the governance process. However, the percentage of women covering municipal senior-management positions remains low, as it is low the proportion of young leaders and elected officials. Thus, after several years of engagement in local governance, the Mission wishes to evaluate the impact of GS programming in this field, including its actions and systematic approaches to support the development of accountable and responsive municipalities in line with good governance principles and international standards. Given the Mission’s extensive engagement in strengthening local governments, the Mission aims also to assess whether internal procedures, cross-departmental interaction, the role of RCs and their co-ordination with the GS are adequate to properly support the effective implementation of projects with local governments.

Scope of the evaluation

The OSCE Mission in Kosovo is seeking to hire an international expert to evaluate its work in the field of local governance from 2017 to 2020. The key strategic question the evaluation will seek to answer is whether and how different Mission’s interventions contribute to strengthening of local governance in Kosovo, as well as their shortcomings and ways in which they could be improved. The evaluation will seek to assess both organizational and programmatic aspects of Mission’s work.

The programmatic areas subject to evaluation include:

a) Municipal finances such as budget development processes, public consultations on the budget, gender responsive budgeting, and the implementation of audit report recommendations;

b) Support to the Ministry of Local Government (MLG) on implementation of local self-government strategic objectives and on enhancing the dialogue across all levels of government (via, for example, forums with mayors, the Ministry of Finance and line ministries on budget processes, the MLG and municipalities on inter-municipal cooperation), as well as on municipal transparency (with a specific focus also on promoting the implementation of the Law on Access to Public Documents in four municipalities north of Ibar);

c) Co-ordination between Ministries and municipalities in law- and policy-making processes;

d) Promoting the inter-municipal co-operation mechanism (IMC) in the field of service delivery, including social services and support to vulnerable categories of residents.

The evaluation will assess activities implemented from 2017 to 2020 and will be conducted according to the following evaluation criteria:

1.) Results

a. Relevance: To what extent were the Mission’s local governance activities relevant to address the needs of the beneficiaries in Kosovo? To what extent have the project results and objective taken the interest of youth, men and women, different communities and vulnerable groups into consideration? a. Effectiveness: To what extent the local governance interventions, including Quick Impact Initiatives (QII), were effective in achieving the expected results (outputs and their contribution to outcomes)? What factors account for these results? What was not achieved and why? How were the local governance interventions planned and implemented?  To what degree were the results achieved equitably distributed among the targeted stakeholder groups?

b. Efficiency: Were the results of the project achieved at reasonable cost?

c. Impact: Did the interventions bring real change and contribute to a specific UB programme objective/outcome? Were there any unintended results related to rights of communities, youth and women? Were they positive or negative and in which ways did they affect the different stakeholders?

d. Coherence and added value: To what extent the local governance interventions complement other Mission’s interventions? To what extent has the Mission provided meaningful contribution to the overall local governance efforts in Kosovo?

e. Sustainability: Will the benefits last beyond the OSCE’s initiative?

2.)Management

a. Was the co-ordination with RCs and Governance Section, as well the co-ordination among the sections of the Democratization Department (Public Participation, Media and Governance, Analysis and reporting Cell) effective?

b. Did the Mission make the best use of in-house expertise, capacities and assets (including procurement, logistics, translation, etc.) in implementing its local governance interventions?

c. Would the capacity of Mission staff, including RCs, need to be strengthened to better understand governments’ priorities in the area of local government? Is the Mission’s approach adequate in assessing government capacity and design feasible technical assistance actions?

d. Was the budget allocated to strengthen the development of local governments adequate?

e. Did the Mission sufficiently co-ordinate with other organizations in Kosovo engaged in local governance?

f. Were the measures adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic by the Mission adequate to support local government development and ensure proper implementation of related activities?

g. Were the self-evaluation exercises effective to detect areas of further intervention and improve the Mission assistance to local development and to measure the Mission results in this area?

3.)Lessons learned and recommendations

a. What lessons learned and successful practices can be extracted to inform further Mission’s programming? What unsuccessful practices can be identified to avoid in future and correct the course of Mission’s programming?

b. Which successful and unsuccessful practices can be identified to improve Mission’s internal processes of needs assessment, prioritization, decision-making, external and internal coordination?

c. Would there be any need for capacity-building activity/training for Mission staff (including RCs) in order to improve the problem-solving approach and increase Mission’s impact in the area of local governance? If yes, which trainings?

d. In line with Mission Strategic framework, mandate and guidelines, what could be other areas in which the Mission would engage in strengthening the local governance?

e. What lessons learned can be suggested to improve the Mission’s engagement in local governance in light of COVID-19 restrictive measures?

f. Are there any lessons learned or recommendations to improve Mission’s visibility in the area of local governance and highlight Mission’s efforts to improve local governance?

Evaluation methodology

The evaluator will be selected based on a proposed methodology for the evaluation. The methodology will be then finalised in details at the beginning of the contract based on feedback by the OSCE Mission in Kosovo. The draft methodology should include as mandatory chapters: Background, strategy and approach, including proposed evaluation questions with matrix consisting of preliminary indicators and means of verification, understanding of the task as per the ToR, key issues and limitations for the evaluation to be conducted, integration of cross-cutting issues in the evaluation, risks, methodological approach for evaluation, timeframe and work plan.

The evaluation will ensure that key stakeholders will be consulted. The evaluation will involve the following: Desk review of all relevant documents, including research and evaluation of similar programmes in Western Balkans; Interviews, surveys and/or group discussions with stakeholders and partners; Consultations with RCs and other Departments/Sections and an assessment of their initiatives to enhance local development in the above-mentioned areas.

The duration of consultancy is 45 working days

Tasks and Responsibilities  

The international consultant will work under the supervision and guidance of the Evaluation manager, in close co-operation with the Mission’s Project/Programme Evaluation Officer. The consultant will be advised by the ad-hoc Reference group, which will be established for this purpose.

The international consultant will be expected to perform the following duties:

  • To conduct desk research of available documents, summarizing the findings into a desk study note.
  • To design tools for primary data collection among all relevant stakeholders, beneficiaries and interlocutors, and collect the data;
  • Analyse the collected data and assess the performance of Mission’s initiatives on local governance as per the guiding questions above;
  • In consultation with the Reference Group identify results, progress, strengths and weaknesses of local governance programming; and
  • Formulate recommendations for future local governance programming, including potential activities and proposals for changes, if any, to be designed/implemented in the short- to mid-term.
  • Maintain regular and timely communication with the Evaluation manager.

Key Deliverables

  • Within 5 working days from the contract signature, to submit a first draft of detailed methodology with timelines;
  • Within 15 working days submit a final desk research note and finalized methodology, with OSCE Mission comments addressed and incorporated;
  • Within 40 working days deliver a first draft of the report and the PowerPoint presentation with summary of findings and recommendations.
  • Within 45 working days from the contract signature to submit the final evaluation report, considering feedback given by the OSCE Mission in Kosovo.

The final evaluation report will be written in English and fully in line with OSCE Mission in Kosovo’s writing and reporting standards. The structure of the report should include the following:

Table of Contents (1 page)

Executive summary (max. 2 pages)

Methodology (max. 5 pages)

Analysis and findings (max. 15 pages)

Lessons learned (max. 5 pages)

Recommendations (max. 2 pages)

Annexes (including interviews list, data collection instruments, key documents consulted)

Necessary Qualifications  

  • University degree in law, public administration, political science, international relations, social sciences, international development, or similar
  • A minimum of ten (10) years of proven expertise in delivering project/programme evaluation or impact assessments
  • Proven experience in the field of good governance, local governance, and/or public administration
  • Familiarity with gender equality and gender mainstreaming principles in context of good governance and experience in conducting gender analysis in evaluations
  • Experience with governments decision-making processes or in assessing government decision-making processes is highly desirable
  • Good understanding of the OSCE Mission’s engagement in Kosovo, specifically with providing support to governments is highly desirable
  • Diplomatic skills to liaise with a different number of stakeholders, including high-level political officials and flexibility in adapting to stakeholders’ needs
  • Good IT skills
  • Strong analytical skills to evaluate a particular amount of data as well as co-ordinate with a multitude of different interlocutor to ensure the proper collection of data
  • Experience working in or with international organizations, with multicultural, multilingual environments is a strong asset
  • Outstanding writing and reporting skills
  • Sound knowledge of Albanian and Serbian would be an asset
  • Fluency in written and oral English language.

Remuneration Package 

Remuneration will depend on the qualifications and experience of individual experts as well as the detailed work plan to be agreed upon and will be based on the current OSCE consultancy rates.

How To Apply 

In order to apply for this position you must complete the OSCE's online application form, found under https://jobs.osce.org/. Applicants are encouraged to use the online recruitment and only fully completed OSCE applications will be accepted. However, if you have technical difficulties with the system you may use the offline application form found under https://jobs.osce.org/resources/document/offline-application-form and forward the completed form quoting the vacancy number by e-mail to: consultancy.omik@osce.org. In line with your qualifications please indicate preference to one or more field of expertise listed above (while using the onlineapplication the field of expertise preference can be indicated in the cover letter part). Kindly note that applications received after the deadline, submitted in different formats than the OSCE Application Form or in other languages than the English language would not be considered. The OSCE is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious, ethnic and social backgrounds to apply

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