International Consultant for Strategic Planning for the New Cooperation Framework (2024-2028) – Mauritius & Seychelles

  • Location:
  • Salary:
    negotiable
  • Job type:
    Consultancy
  • Posted:
    1 week ago
  • Category:
    Economics
  • Deadline:
    December 1, 2022

JOB DESCRIPTION

Posting Title: International Consultant for Strategic Planning for the New Cooperation Framework (2024-2028) – Mauritius & Seychelles
Department/Office: Resident Coordinator System
Duty Station: PORT LOUIS
Posting Period: 22 November 2022 – 01 December 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-Resident Coordinator System-195911-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Result of Service

In this context, the UNCT seeks an international consultant to support the UN Country Team in developing the next CF, focusing on policy and strategy coherence, development effectiveness and organizational efficiency, as well as mainstreaming the five programming principles.

The objectives of the assignment are as follows:

1. UNSDCF for Seychelles and for Mauritius (including required attachments)
Intermediate deliverables include:
a) An inception report including a calendar of key activities and the methodology of the Prioritization Retreat
b) Consolidation of Outcome formulation including TOC (indicators, baselines, targets and MoV);
c) Draft Cooperation Framework Narrative;
d) Draft Cooperation Framework Results Matrix;
e) Final Cooperation Framework document integrating comments from UNCT, national Government and any other relevant stakeholders (TBD by the RCO)

Work Location

Port Louis (Mauritius) ; Victoria (Seychelles)

Expected duration

6 months

Duties and Responsibilities

Mauritius

Mauritius has made remarkable economic and social transformation from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a diversified, upper middle-income economy with growing industrial, financial, and tourism sectors. Mauritius became a High-Income Country in July 2020 based on 2019 data. The country’s HDI value for 2019 was¿0.804 (UNDP Human Development Report, 2020) which was synonymous to the country possessing a high human development category. However, it transitioned back to occupy the status of “Upper-Middle-Income” country in 2021 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic (World Bank, 2022). Despite the nation’s successful handling of the public health emergency, the economic impact was substantial, and the GDP shrunk by 14.9 percent in 2020 (World Bank, 2020). The effects of COVID-19 have reversed recent gains in poverty reduction – the country had achieved “SDG 1: No Poverty”- and women’s labor force participation. Concerns over food security and imported inflation have been growing with the COVID-related instability and the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war.

Mauritius also faces increasing threats of an ageing population, structural employment, declining labour force putting an increasing pressure on Government expenditure budget as the revenue base shrinks, as identified in the new Common Country Analysis being elaborated in Mauritius and Seychelles in 2022.

As a Small Island Development State (SIDS), Mauritius is struggling to adapt to the impacts of climate change. The country is highly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, especially in its coastal zones. The rising sea level and increasing frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones and heavy rainfalls result in considerable economic loss and environmental degradation, with a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable.
The Strategic Partnership Framework 2019-2023 outlines the collective vision and shared response of UN agencies in Mauritius to the Mauritius’ National Vision, the three-year Strategic Plan, related sustainable development goals, internationally and regionally agreed commitments and obligations, including human rights treaties, the Samoa Pathway, and the Africa Agenda 2063.

The SPF 2019-2023 outlines 6 Pillars, namely: “Transformed Businesses”, “Ageing society, health, and labour market reforms”, “Ocean economy and tourism”, “Inclusive, quality education and skilling”, “Social protection and gender equality”, and “Resilience to climate change”

The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Mauritius delivering on the SPF comprised of resident agencies and non-resident agencies. The resident agencies currently operational in-country are UNDP, WHO and IOM, while UNFPA, UNEP, UNAIDS, FAO, UNIDO, IAEA, OHCHR, UNWomen, ILO, UNODC, UNECA, UNWTO, UNHABITAT, UNESCO and IFAD are non-resident agencies.

Seychelles

The Republic of Seychelles comprises over 116 islands scattered over 1 million square kilometres of sea in the middle of the Western Indian Ocean. The Seychelles archipelago is composed of two distinct collections of islands: the Mahe group, which includes 43 islands in all, and the coralline group, numbering 73 or more islands that are mostly only a little above sea-level. Supported by well-entrenched democratic institutions, the country is politically and socially stable and has relatively solid public institutions based on the rule of law. For the past 10 years, Seychelles has constantly improved in the Mo Ibrahim Overall Governance Index, moving from sixth to third place among African countries, with a most recent score of 72.3. The country performs particularly well in the categories of Participation, Rights, Inclusion and Equality, and Gender. Seychelles has experienced rapid economic growth and attained high-income status in 20152. It is mainly a service-driven economy with services accounting for 78 percent of GDP4. However, its high dependency on tourism left it highly vulnerable to the effects of the pandemic. Seychelles’ economy contracted by 10.8 percent in 2020 but swiftly bounced back to a growth rate of 6.8 percent in 2021 according to latest estimates.

The Strategic Partnership Framework 2019-2023 is the first ever strategic cooperation framework between the Government of Seychelles and the UN in Seychelles. It outlines the collective vision and shared response of UN agencies in Seychelles to the National Development Strategy (NDS), related sustainable development goals, internationally and regionally agreed commitments and obligations, including human rights treaties, the Samoa Pathway, and the Africa Agenda 2063.

The SPF 2019-2023 outlines 4 Pillars, namely: “Economic prosperity”, “Environmental, Resilience and Disaster Risk Management”, “Human Capital Development and Quality of Life”, and “Science, Technology and Innovation, and Data Development”.

The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Seychelles delivering on the SPF comprised of resident agencies and non-resident agencies. The resident agencies currently operational in-country are UNDP and WHO, while IOM, UNFPA, UNEP, UNAIDS, FAO, UNIDO, IAEA, OHCHR, UNWomen, ILO, UNODC, UNECA, UNWTO, UNHABITAT, UNESCO, UNICEF and IFAD are non-resident agencies.

2. UN reform and strategic planning

The United Nations reform started in 2017 with the aim to improve the delivery of the UN mandate, through sweeping changes in the areas of Development, Management, and Peace and Security. IN terms of development and in line with the 2030 Agenda, the reform ensures the emergence of a new generation of UN Country Teams, centred on a Strategic Cooperation Framework, and led by an impartial, independent, and empowered Resident Coordinator. Management-wise, a new paradigm empowers managers and staff, simplifies processes, increases transparency, and improves on the delivery.

In this context, the UN General Assembly resolution 72/279 elevated the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (now renamed the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework – CF) as “the most important instrument for planning and implementation of the UN development activities at country level in support of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda)”.

The CF is designed under the premises of the UN development reform to provide more focused, agile, and integrated UNCTs working in a more inclusive, creative, and innovative approach with the Government and a wide range of partners and stakeholders to advance and accelerate, where feasible, the development agenda of the host country.

As the United Nations Strategic Programming Framework (SPF) 2019-2023 signed between the Governments of Mauritius and Seychelles and 18 UN Agencies in August 2019 comes to an end, the preparatory cycle for the novel United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) has kicked off.

A Roadmap is being developed between the UNCT and the Governments of Mauritius and Seychelles to design the upcoming UN CF 2024-2028. The UNCT’s partnership with both Governments is primarily guided by National Development Plans and priorities, including crisis response and recovery strategies, while the CF is also an instrument to achieve the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UN CFs in Mauritius and Seychelles will outline the UN development system’s (UNDS) contributions sought by national stakeholders of both countries to reach the SDGs in an integrated manner, with a commitment to leave no one behind, human rights, and other international standards and obligations. The UNCT aims to design a UN CF that is light, adaptable, and flexible, resulting in a strategic framework at a higher outcome level.

Based on the UN development system’s policy expertise and its comparative advantages, its normative agenda, and its ability to leverage, influence and unlock a broad range of resources for development, the UN CFs will reflect:
a) the expectations national stakeholders have of the UN development system’s contribution to national development;
b) a shared vision and strategic priorities of the United Nations, framed within the broader landscape of partners;
c) the strategic partners with whom the UN system will work in pursuit of development solutions;
d) on how the UN system and its partners will contribute to accelerating progress towards the 2030 Agenda;
e) the financial and non-financial commitments of the UN system and partners in the wider context of the financing required to reach the SDGs in the country.
The preparation and formulation of the 2023-2027 UN CF started with the final evaluation of the SPF 2019-2023 and the elaboration of the Common Country Analysis (CCA), in the second semester of 2022. The CCA will be a critical element for the development of the UN CF as the UN system’s independent, impartial, and collective analysis of the country’s situation. The development of the UN CF will be inclusive, participatory, co-led by the UN System and the Government, and premised on the tenets of SDGs, including as reflected in the UN CF internal Guidance.

3. The Guiding Principles of the CF

“Leave No One behind” is the core unifying principle underlying the partnerships that the UN enables. It is underpinned by three other principles: 1) human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment; 2) sustainability and resilience; and 3) accountability.

Leave No One Behind: Leaving no one behind and reaching the furthest behind first is the central promise of the 2030 Agenda. It represents the commitment of Member States to address the multidimensional causes of poverty, inequalities and discrimination, and reduce the vulnerabilities of the most marginalized people, including women, refugees, internally displaced persons, migrants, minorities, indigenous peoples, stateless persons, and populations affected by conflict and natural disasters through: eliminating inequalities and discrimination; addressing the root causes of multidimensional poverty and building capacities for resilience; and strengthening national systems and processes of accountability to monitor progress and provide remedies. To this end, the UNCT must actively work to anchor their work on this principle.

Human Rights and Gender Equality and Empowerment of All Women and Girls: The 2030 Agenda commits to “realize the human rights of all and…gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.” This requires:
¿ Explicit alignment of development efforts with international standards on human rights and gender equality, and prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse especially within the context of implementation of the CF;
¿ A focus on addressing inequalities and discrimination towards leaving no one behind;
¿ Active and meaningful participation by all stakeholders in all aspects of the development process;
¿ Due diligence, including provision of effective remedies where rights are violated; and
¿ The establishment of measures to pursue reduction of gender inequalities and empowerment of all women and girls both through dedicated programmes and policies to these ends and through attention to gender equality in all development efforts.

Sustainability and resilience: The CF supports national efforts to: increase the resilience of societies and ecosystems to man-made and natural hazards, shocks and stresses; promote multisectoral, integrated approaches that harness the potential, assets and capacities of institutions and communities to enhance human well-being, and reduce risks and vulnerabilities associated with natural hazards, climate change, violence, conflict, political and social instability, or economic volatility; and manage the change and uncertainty of long-term trends. This requires:
¿ Reflecting interconnections and a balanced approach among the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development;
¿ Integrating economic, environmental, and social sustainability and risk management into programming, and strengthening national capacities to address these issues;
¿ Identifying risks and their complex interrelationships, identify measures to lower the risks, and apply a prevention and conflict sensitivity lens to guide implementation of actions;
¿ Applying social and environmental safeguards and standards to prevent adverse impacts on people, including the poor, and the environment; managing risks when impacts cannot be avoided and building resilience;
¿ Supporting the full integration of environmental issues and social protection in national policies that deal with key development sectors, and ensuring links with emergency, crisis and humanitarian systems;
¿ Addressing the sustainability and resilience dimensions of development problems, and the interconnections among issues related to the environment, human rights, conflict, and vulnerability; and
¿ Ensuring consistency between CF outcomes and objectives and priorities stated in national development policies, budgets, and strategies.

Accountability: The 2030 Agenda includes commitments to greater accountability at global, regional, and national levels, and to corresponding mechanisms for implementation and follow-up. These require:
¿ Alignment of development efforts with national accountability mechanisms, as well as the provision of priority support to the expansion or further development of those mechanisms to ensure that they include all population groups;
¿ Strengthening national and local mechanisms, institutions, and processes to monitor and report on the progress of SDG implementation for all parts of society, and linking these with international mechanisms, including UN human rights mechanisms;
¿ Measures to build upon and extend greater transparency, and improved measurement and reporting on results, including through joint assessments with target populations;
¿ Practicing what the UN advocates by recognizing the UN system’s accountability to the public of the countries in which it works;
¿ Enabling active local community engagement and participation in planning and decision-making—particularly of those who are left behind or are at risk of being left behind—whether more broadly in national policy development, implementation, or monitoring and evaluation, or specifically in the CF process; and
¿ Supporting the development and use of transparent and robust data and information for policy formulation, programme design and implementation to manage risks and deliver results through more effective decision-making, both in national policy processes and the work of the UN at the country level.

4. Reference Instruments for the development of the CF

4.1. CCA
The Common Country Analyses (CCAs) of Mauritius and Seychelles delivers integrated and evidence-based joint analysis of the context for sustainable development in each country. It connects the analysis of issues for the achievement of each Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), and across SDGs, with the overall commitment to leave no one behind, and focusing on the action of the Government, civil society, and private sector to reach their sustainable development objectives. The UNCT developed CCAs in Mauritius and Seychelles in 2022 and will consistently update these documents through agencies’ inputs to ensure contextual relevance. These CCAs will be the primary base of the CF drafting, as they will identify the development challenges on which the Theory of Change will be built (see CF elaboration steps below).

4.2 CF Evaluation
Another critical reference document will be the SPF evaluation (see below), as it will allow for the CF to be based on a thorough analysis on what went right and what not in the previous planning cycle, as well as the real and perceived UN comparative advantage to support the country in advancing national priorities and the 2030 Agenda.

The CF evaluation is a joint UN review, conducted with national partners, of the overall results expected from UN cooperation in the country. The proposed timing, the beginning of the penultimate year of the programme cycle, suggests that the Evaluation takes place late enough to assess performance and results of the first three years of the current programme cycle and early enough to inform the design of the next programme cycle.
The evaluation of the 2019-2023 SPF is being conducted in the second semester of 2022, and should present critical recommendations that will need to be considered in the design of the next CF.

4.3 Proposed Structure of the new CF:
The final CF document will include at least three parts:
– A first part on the national and regional contexts, including chapters related to the national vision for sustainable development and country progress towards the SDGs, including gaps and challenges, all based on the CCA.
– A second part on the UN contribution to the country’s priorities for the coming years, including the Theory of Change, the strategic priority areas, the intended development results (outcomes and specific UN contribution to it), the synergies between CF outcomes, sustainability arrangements, UN comparative advantages and UNCT configuration.
– A third part on the implementation plan, including the implementation strategy and strategic partnerships, the joint workplans, the resources available and to be mobilized, the management, accountability, and monitoring mechanisms
– The CF will also include an introduction and a conclusion. It shall also have an executive summary and predetermined annexes (including Results Framework, TORs for coordination structures, etc.).
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the guidance and supervision of the RCO Team Leader and the UN RC and in close collaboration with the UNCT and the Programme Management Team (PMT), Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Team, CF Core Groups and Resident Coordinator’s Office, the consultant will assist in the development of the next CF (2024-2028), which would entail supporting the following tasks:

5. Responsibilities and expected results

5.1 Modalities
The International Consultant will work under the supervision of a dual-tiered management structure. Direct supervision is provided by the RCO Team Leader and the RC, with overall guidance by the UNCT and technical and consultative support by the PMT. The Resident Coordinator’s Office will be responsible for coordinating and managing the Consultant throughout the entire process, on behalf of the Resident Coordinator and the UN Country Team. The Consultant will be reporting regularly to the PMT, and monthly to the UNCT on progress through the RCO.

In-country visit: In implementing some of the activities in the CF Roadmap the Consultant will be expected to be physically in Mauritius and Seychelles. Physical presence is expected to be +- 20 days in each Country. The meetings in country shall be scheduled in consultation with the RCO. Applicants shall include the number of days in country in the suggested methodology.

5.2 Main tasks
¿ Facilitate the UN internal visioning exercise – UN comparative advantage analysis, utilizing all inputs received from consultations to ensure the CF 2024-2028 builds on UNs strengths and tackles weaknesses
¿ Facilitate the UN prioritization process, and in particular the UN Strategic Prioritization Retreat – supporting the UN, in consultation with national partners, in choosing strategic priorities and related development results (outcomes and outputs) in which to invest its collective efforts, capacities and resources
¿ Facilitate the development of / drafting the CF Theory of Change, Strategic Priorities for the UNDS, Intended Development results as well as CF Outcomes and partnerships;
¿ Facilitate the UNCT configuration dialogue
¿ Draft the Cooperation Framework narrative;
¿ Facilitate the development of the CF Implementation Plan, including the risks and assumptions chapter, ensuring these are well articulated in the narrative of the ToC
¿ Facilitate the development of the CF Results matrix, including indicator definitions, as well as a costed Monitoring and Evaluation Plan, including a Business Operations Strategy in the CF document to ensure programme- operations integration.
¿ Based on all the tasks above, draft the full CF according to the CF guidelines, the present ToRs and the orientiations from the RCO
¿ Facilitate the CF Validation Workshop, prepare the CF presentation;
¿ Based on the feedback from the validation workshop, finalize the CF document in consultation with the Government, partners, and other stakeholders, under the guidance of the UN RC/UNCT and in close collaboration with CF Result Groups

Qualifications/special skills

University Degree (Master’s or equivalent) in Economics, Development Studies/Economics, Monitoring and Evaluation or Social Science is required. A first level degree with additional two years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of Master’s degree.
A minimum of 15 years of professional experience in the international development field is required.
10 years of relevant professional experience in Strategic planning is desirable.
Previous experience with CF formulations recently, 3 to 4 years is required
Practical experience in Africa or Small Island Developing States and knowledge of the development issues in Lower Middle- Income Countries are desirable
Experience with the SDGs and the 2030 agenda is a strong asset.

Languages

Fluency in oral and written English is required.

No Fee

THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.