Local Governance and UNDP:
Local governance and local development comprise the combined set of institutions, systems and processes, at the local level, through which local authorities interact with and provide services to citizens, groups and local communities and through which the later articulate their interests and needs, mediate their differences and exercise their rights. The building blocks of effective local governance are many: transparent and robust central-local relationships, citizen participation, including the equal participation of women, partnerships among key stakeholders at the local level, capacity of local actors, multiple flows of information, gender sensitive institutions of accountability, and an inclusive and pro-poor orientation. While local development is an essential condition to ensure the geographical spread of human development, effective local governance complements that process in support of inclusive and rights-compliant societies.
Local governance and local development are key areas of UNDP’s work. UNDP supports local governance and local development as critical mechanisms for empowering sub-national levels of society, to ensure that local people participate in, and benefit from their own governance institutions and development services. Institutions of decentralization, local governance and urban/rural development aim to bring policy formulation, service delivery and resource management within the purview of men and women.
An independent evaluation of UNDP’s contribution to local governance was conducted in 2010. The report points to three main shortcomings:lack of coherence in our approach; insufficient strategic focus in our operations; and limited visibility in terms of knowledge sharing. The key actions proposed in response to the findings build on ongoing work and comprise four types of initiatives focused on:
One of the key findings of the report was that “the absence of a unifying framework for local governance and guidance notes drawing on UNDP cumulative experience in different political settings has tended to limit the organization’s capacity to adequately respond to the requirements of strengthening local governance. Many of the commonly used terms in the context of local governance— local governments, local authorities, subnational governments, local development, local economic development, local area development, local human development—have meant different things to different people within and outside UNDP. Similarly, the dynamics of decentralization and local governance processes have not always been fully understood. In the absence of a unifying framework and common understanding, UNDP has not been able to fully leverage its potential comparative advantage.”
One of the main recommendations in the evaluation report was that “UNDP should more explicitly and effectively mainstream local governance into all its programmatic areas of support by developing a coherent framework that is firmly grounded in the practice of human development”.
Addressing local governance from a holistic and cross-cutting perspective presents new challenges. For example, the evaluation found that “There have been instances in several countries of UNDP successes in promoting gender issues in local governance; however, a strategic and systematic effort at mainstreaming gender concerns into local governance has been missing.” The more complex the task, the more difficult — in terms of capacity and resources — it is to scale up such initiatives. At the same time, a more holistic approach to local governance offers opportunities to better link outputs tobroader development outcomes at the local level. The mid-term review of UNDP’s Strategic Plan allows further opportunities to reflect on the cross-practice linkages between current outcomes and for capturing the complexity of integrated, local-governance development programmes.
Objectives of the Assignment:
The overall objective of this consultancy is to assist the UNDP-UNCDF-UNV Task Force on Local Governance and Local Development in developing an integrated, cross-practice approach for addressing development challenges at the sub-national level. Based on demand and recommendations from the field, and guided by the task force, the Operations/Programme Management Consultant, together with the lead Consultant on Local Governance and Local Development and the Research Assistant, is expected to propose an integrated conceptual framework that provides solutions to the compartmentalization and lack of synergies at country level and headquarters. The product itself represents the first step in a series of initiatives that UNDP and its associated programmes is expected to undertake in the coming years, as a lead provider of support to developing countries in the area of local governance and local development.
The consultants will first undertake a scoping review of UNDP’s local governance and local development initiatives in UNDP’s Practices (Poverty Reduction, Democratic Governance, Environment and Energy, Crisis Prevention and Recovery and HIV/AIDS) as well as on the cross-cutting themes (Gender and Capacity Development) to gain a better understanding of on-going activities, analyse current challenges that obstruct cross-practice work and also identify possible synergies. The local governance and local development portfolios of UNDP’s associated funds (UNCDF and UNV) will also be included in the scoping exercise. The report of the scoping will also include an overview of funding and implementation vehicles with an analysis of possible entry points for cross-practice approaches from a technical and operational perspective.
The consultants will also provide a summary overview of the current policies and approaches to local governance and local development adopted by some key development partners (World Bank, Regional Development Banks, selected bilaterals and some international NGO’s with global coverage on the subject). That review will help to outline UNDP’s comparative advantage in the sector as compared to other key players.
On the basis of the scoping review and analysis of issues, trends and challenges, the consultants will propose a conceptual framework for local governance and local development responding to the key recommendations made in the evaluation report and UNDP’s management response presented to the UNDP Executive Board in February 2011. The framework should identify common local governance and local development objectives shared among different practice areas and relevant agencies. Rather than providing prescriptive guidance, the framework will be designed to assist country offices and practitioners to overcome existing institutional boundaries and shift towards a cross-practice and cross-agency approach to local governance and local development.
Under the guidance of the lead consultant, the Operations/Programme Management Expert will give substantive inputs particularly on programming and resource allocation modalities as well as analysing operational constraints and opportunities for cross-practice initiatives in local governance and local development. In addition, he/she will fulfil any other related task that may be delegated by the lead consultant. He/she is expected to coordinate closely with the team and regularly report back to the chairs of the task force core team.
Duties and Responsibilities
Undertake a Scoping Review of Local Governance and Local Development Portfolio UNDP BDP Practices and associated funds, including funding and implementation modalities:
Draft Integrated Conceptual Framework for Local Governance and Local Development:
Required Skills and Experience
Application process - Interested candidates should follow UNDP standard online application procedure:
Financial proposal - A multi-practice panel will evaluate the applications through a two-stage procedure:
Aspects of the technical evaluation will include but is not limited to the following:
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UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.
Operations/Programme Management Consultant on Local Governance and Local Development (Readvertized)