Place Kosovo and home station
Starting date 01.09.2019
Duration 130 jours sur 32 mois
The Human Capacity Development Facility is assisting the establishment and further development of knowledge and skills necessary for the state administration to implement European Union acquis. The Luxembourg contribution to the HCDF is made via project KSV/020 “Technical Assistance in the Context of European Integration” and has a total budget of 2,100,000 EUR. The project has started on 3 May 2018, and has a duration of four years, concluding on 30 April 2022. The first eight months of the project were dedicated to establishing the documents and the agreements required for setting up the HCDF. The Kingdom of Norway joined the HCDF, with project KOS-18/0005 “Support to Kosovo’s European Integration” which started on 1 January 2019 with a contribution of 1,5 million Euros over a period of three years. The last six months (Jan-Jun 2019) have been dedicated to identifying the needs within each of the addressed Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) chapters (see hereunder) and formulating the initial capacity development plans.
The overall objective of the HCDF is to contribute to Kosovo’s efforts to meet the requirements of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union (EU), which has entered into force in spring 2016. The SAA is the first document establishing a contractual relationship with the EU, and provides, for a period of 10 years, the main reference framework for Kosovo’s progress towards European integration. In order to meet its SAA obligations, Kosovo needs to engage in further democratic reforms, achieve social and economic development, and progressively align with EU legislation and standards, so that it is able to fully implement the EU acquis upon accession.
The State Administration is in general familiar with the requirements of the EU integration process. The necessary institutional and coordination structures and basic capacities exist, even though the departments in charge of integration and policy coordination often complain about staff shortages and an overload of work. The main local partner in the project, the Ministry for European Integration (MEI), provides political and administrative leadership for all European Integration (EUI)-related processes.
The Ministry has the necessary structure and legal powers. Line ministries have dedicated Departments of European Integration and Policy Coordination (DEIPCs) to deal with the integration process. Still, their skills and expertise, along with those of ministries’ legal departments and the main technical units in charge of EUI, need to be strengthened considerably. The MEI has decided to set-up a dedicated organisational unit within MEI to implement the HCDF, which will hopefully see the day shortly. The HCDF is currently being assisted by a team of long-term technical experts recruited with Luxembourg and Norwegian funds, working within the MEI:
- one intermittent international technical assistant in EU Integration Capacity Development, providing strategic programme management advice;
- three full-time national technical experts, assisting the MEI in management, finance and procurement.
The HCDF uses a Capacity Development Plan (CDP) based on the needs of the DEICPs following the priorities set by the National Programme for Implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (NPISAA), a comprehensive and well-structured countrywide strategy. The NPISAA is both up-to-date and accepted by all key stakeholders as the basis for determining government action, and the priorities for the use of foreign assistance in the short and medium term. Additional information is available from detailed needs assessments in different sectors under other donor projects, especially those expected from an EU twinning project at MEI completed by June 2019.
In agreement with the MEI, based on wide-ranging stakeholder consultations the HCDF provides support in 19 key policy areas: 18 EU acquis chapters and one horizontal theme:
- Luxembourg funds are used to support the human capacity development of Kosovo’s state administration in 10 areas: free movement of goods, freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services, public procurement, company law, intellectual property law, competition policy, food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy, judiciary, fundamental rights, justice, freedom and security, public administration reform.
- Norwegian funds are used to assist the same purpose in the policy areas of free movement of capital, financial services, information society and media, energy, statistics, social policy and employment, environment, consumer and health protection, financial control.
Last but not least, the HCDF is to contribute to the implementation of the 2018 national strategy for communication and information on the EU integration process (budget: 200 000 EUR). The chapters are those with the highest immediate relevance for the implementation of the SAA, since they are priority acquis chapters deriving from SAA’s provisions required to be complied with during the first phase (initial three to five years) of its implementation. Public administration reform entails – in general terms – the improvement of policy planning, the strengthening of the human resources of the administration and public finance management reforms.
Overall, while general knowledge is present in all parts of the administration, specialist knowledge on the practical implementation and day-to-day enforcement of the EU acquis is insufficient.
Current assistance programmes offer many trainings but these are of limited potential. Therefore, other forms of Human Capacity Development (HCD) are planned. The flexible HCD facility is a much-needed gap-filler. The types of interventions (activities) that may be financed by the HCDF include a wide range of possible measures (Trainings / trainings of trainers; TA and coaching; Study tours and secondments to member state institutions involved in acquis implementation; In-depth research of EU policies to support the formulation of national policies).
The main beneficiaries of the HCDF are the line ministries and national-level independent institutions and agencies engaged in the implementation of the acquis, as well as the MEI as the main coordinating institution. Accordingly, the focus is on the line ministries’ DEIPCs, Legal Departments and key technical/sectorial departments (and equivalent bodies of relevant independent institutions and agencies) directly engaged in SAA implementation in the priority chapters, as well as on MEI’s relevant departments. In addition, where duly justified by specific circumstances, training and TA measures may also include concerned officials working in the administration of the Assembly (Parliament).
By the end of the foreseen support by Luxembourg and Norway, the MEI should be able to continue to organise capacity development activities (possibly by continuing with the HCDF using national funds as well as donor assistance), to the key departments of the administration responsible for implementing the NPISAA.
The MEI also needs to develop its assistance management capacities. The direct involvement of the national administration in the financial implementation of donor measures has so far been an exception. The project offers a good opportunity to change that, creating a positive example. The interventions to be financed are relatively small-scale and uncomplicated in terms of public procurement and financial management. Therefore, the financial risk involved is moderate – provided transactions are followed up regularly by audits. The MEI already has dedicated organisational units and capacities, and the legal framework of Kosovo – in terms of public procurement and financial management – is largely applicable. At the same time, the workload of MEI with KSV/019 is considerable.
The activities to be financed by the project are selected in two main ways:
- Pre-programmed measures (training plan): identified by indicative programmes to be established for each of the priority sectors;
- Fast-track interventions: proposed and selected on an ad hoc basis following a set of predefined criteria.
As to results so far: the necessary operational agreements with donors were concluded, technical assistants were recruited, the Management Manual – rules of procedure – of the HCDF were drafted and approved, and a strategic Capacity Development Plan was prepared to provide a programming framework for the selection of HCD interventions, based on the NPISAA. By mid-2019, the first generation of human capacity development operations has been programmed and approved by donors.
As a next step, these operations are to be implemented, while the next set of interventions is to be prepared.
The main objective of the assignment is to empower the MEI to manage a Human Capacity Development Facility (HCDF) for EU Integration. This is done through backstopping activities from home station as well as regular missions to Kosovo, supporting programming and implementation, ex-post control and assistance in preparing the Steering Committees.
The Expert will take over from an existing EUI expert, whose circumstances have changed so he’s no longer able to continue his contract, but will be available for a handover.
Responsibility 1: Advise the MEI on the implementation of the HCDF.
Task 1: Maintain, and update, as needed, the HCDF Management Manual, including the mechanism to manage the activities that don’t meet the foreseen criteria on the use of the HCDF. Task 2: Help the MEI further developing (updating) the HCDF’s Capacity Development Plan, based on various donors Training Needs Assessments and the internal capacity development plans through regular missions to Kosovo, every three months for the first two years of the contract.
Responsibility 2: Help prepare the Steering Committee every six month.
Task 3: As a temporary measure, evaluate the quality and compliance of the Operational Implementation Plans (mini-projects used to implement the CDP) ex-ante and advise the Luxembourg and Norway HCDF representatives on the subject.
Task 4: Assess the compliance (ex-post) of the projects/trainings financed by the HCDF to the established criteria. Write an assessment report to be presented to the Steering Committee.
Responsibility 3: Provide continuous backstopping and capacity building
Task 5: Provide backstopping on demand, especially with respect to the eligibility of training.
Task 6: Help the MEI achieve a better vision of the capacity development needs and how to address them through the HCDF. Provide advice and capacity development on the programming and the formulation of project (training) proposals
Responsibility 4: Help the MEI develop the implementation of the Government’s communication strategy for the SAA
Task 7: Help the MEI organise the communication campaign especially in terms of content. Help them in coordinating with other donors.
Skills required for the job
Education: Relevant university education: law, public administration, economics, finance
General experience: 10 years general professional experience
- At least 10 years experience working for or providing advice to governments in areas related to EU accession, covering:
- donor funds management;
- the EU integration process in the pre-accession phase;
- the implementation of EU law;
- public administration reform;
- the planning, monitoring and implementation of sector (or multi-sectoral) programmes;
- Project planning techniques, with special regard to relevant EU methodologies, including the Logical Framework Approach;
- Programme / project implementation, techniques and processes, including monitoring functions with IT support.
Contract duration: 130 days spread over 32 months.
From the planned 130 days about half are spent in Kosovo, and the remainder via backstopping from home. Nine field missions will be implemented, evaluating the work done and the projects authorised plus preparing and following-up the project’s half-yearly Steering Committee sessions.