Solomon Islands nationals: Assessment of Provincial Governance and Service Delivery in focused areas of Education, Health, and WASH Consultancy

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Honiara, Solomon Islands 🇸🇧

Job no: 558509
Contract type: Consultant
Duty Station: Honiara
Level: Consultancy
Location: Solomon Islands
Categories: Social Policy

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential. 

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone. 

And we never give up. 

For every child, care.

In the Pacific we work in Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu: These 14 Pacific island countries are home to 2.3 million people, including 1.2 million children and youth, living on more than 660 islands and atolls stretching across 17.2 million square kilometers of the Pacific Ocean, an area comparable to the combined size of the United States of America and Canada. Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu are classified as Fragile States according to World Bank/OECD criteria.

All 14 Pacific Island countries and territories have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, but only a third are on track with reporting obligations. Explore the different areas of our work in the link provided here www.unicef.org/pacificislands.

How can you make a difference? 

The consultant will be required to carry out an assessment to establish a comprehensive understanding of the latest development in the Solomon Islands (SI) of the legal framework, policies and programmes, status of implementation on the ground and current trends in policy discussions around provincial governance and service delivery at the sub-national level. Understanding the situation will help SIG and development partners to better design and implement concrete actions to strengthen capacity of actors who deliver services in the field and to support the national policy makers to make informed choices and implement policy options that will create enabling conditions for a more efficient, effective service delivery in the areas of education, health and water, sanitation and hygiene that meet both citizens’ needs and national and sector goals and objectives.

Expected Outcome and Specific Tasks:

  • Create repository/ compendium of relevant documents: national, sectoral policies, plans, work plans and budgets, standard and coordination guidelines for sub-national level for easy dissemination / access.
  • Inform national and provincial discussion on issues and challenges facing PGs and sector officials in application/ implementation, sharing good practices and solutions.
  • Inform SIG and development partners in the development and or revision of guidelines, design, and delivery of capacity building interventions to fill the gaps in promotion of an integrated planning, participatory budgeting and execution process of PG and sectoral projects under the PG unified administration, strengthening evidence-based, equity focused and improve engagement and participation of citizens- youth, women, and vulnerable groups in the development process in sustainable manner.
  • Inform the national conferences and policy dialogues on decentralized service delivery and to support a) the consultation / finalization of the 1997 PGA, sector laws and b) discussion and actions of sector ministries and PGs on functional assignment in areas of health & nutrition, education, and WASH.

The specific tasks of the assignment are as follows:

  • Consultant is expected to prepare inception report and submit to UNICEF for approval in consultation with MPGIS before proceeding with all other tasks of the assignment.
  • Identification and dissemination of relevant sectoral and national policies, national plans, sectoral annual plans and budgets, sectoral standards and coordination guidelines to subnational levels, tasks include:
    • Map out and review the relevant national, provincial and sectoral policies, plans, annual operational plans and budgets, sectoral standards, and coordination guidelines to subnational levels.
    • Create compendium of documents for easy dissemination
  • Review of accountability and institutional implementation arrangements for health, WASH, and education service delivery at subnational level (delineating institutional roles, responsibilities, and functions), tasks include:
    • Develop questionnaire for data collection on situation of accountability, the implementation arrangement on the ground through key informant interview and focused group discussion at both national and provincial levels.
    • Conduct key informant interview at the national level with MPGIS, MEHRD, MHDS, DP (UNDP, UNICEF, BW).
    • Conduct field mission to facilitate FGD sessions in 6 out 9 provinces. FGDs may be held with for target groups: 1) PG and sector officials, 2) ward officials, 3) CSO and 4) women, children, and youth groups.
    • Analyze data and prepare draft assessment report along with recommendations.
  • Review of the legal framework for service delivery and decentralization and gap analysis, the tasks include:
    • Informed by the mapping exercise and findings of the above-mentioned key informant interview with policy makers  on status of implementation and future aspiration, prepare in depth analysis of high-level policy documents: national and sectoral strategies, programmes and laws summarizing key elements of legal framework that orient/ shape governance and service delivery in SI and highlight the gap of current policies/ existing legal documents in comparison with national aspiration for future provincial governance and service delivery at the provincial level.
  • Hold sessions to validate findings and discuss actions with stakeholders. Consultations with the World Bank, UNCDF and the MPGIS to find out what is already being initiated by the interventions of those agencies and clarifying roles for each DP and project would be key to avoid duplication and to build synergies.
  • Prepare a full report and policy brief that capture findings for all three components with clear summary of key findings for each along with recommendations around: a) strategies to disseminate/ transfer knowledge from central to provincial level, b) actions to improves existing guidelines and or development of new ones that support intension of project- Provincial governance and service delivery (PGSD) i.e. to have better coordination of PG- sector planning, better use of evidence, engagement of communities, children and youth, capacity for inclusive/ equitable service delivery and financial management and c) recommendations for filling policy gap through the process of harmonizing the PGA and sector laws and other legal instruments.  The recommendations should be geared towards facilitating the process of UNICEF, UNDP the MPGIS and the World Bank interventions complementing each other and building synergies.
  • Inception Report that contains workplan, methodology and data collection tools: questionnaire for key informant interviews and focused group discussion.
  • Mapping of the existing policies, national and sector laws, and strategies, plans and budgets, guidelines, standard and tools for coordinated and participatory planning, budgeting, and service delivery at the sub-national level.
  • Assessment of accountability, implementation arrangement and application policies, laws, guidelines and standard and tools for coordinated and participatory planning, budgeting, and delivery of service at the sub-national level.
  • Analysis of existing high-level policy documents (national and sector laws, national and sector strategic plans) and assess gap in comparison with country aspiration for decentralized governance and service delivery.
  • Prepare a full report and policy brief along with power point presentation that capture funding of a) mapping exercise, b) assessment of implementation c) policy gap analysis and d) recommendations for operational and strategic changes and reforms.
  • Facilitate session to validate findings with stakeholders and to discuss actions.
  • Finalize and submit final report that reflect feedbacks received from above consultation.

Scope of Work and Methodology

Scope of works: Assessment should cover:

  • Sectors: education, health & nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, and PGs
  • Assessment will be conducted in 6 sampled provinces out of 9 provinces

Research questions:

  1. On identification and dissemination of relevant national and sectoral laws and policies, plans, sectoral annual plans and budgets, sectoral standards, and coordination guidelines to subnational levels,
    1. What are the relevant national, provincial and sectoral laws and policies, strategic plans, annual operational plans and budgets, sectoral standards, and coordination guidelines in place that orient or frame a) the decentralization status, devolution, and delegation of power/ functions, human and financial resources and b) local/ provincial governance and service delivery at the provincial level in areas of education, health & nutrition, water, sanitation, and hygiene?
    2. A specific dissemination plan in consultation with key partners.
  2. For review of accountability and institutional implementation arrangements for health, WASH, and education service delivery at subnational level (delineating institutional roles, responsibilities, and functions),
    1. Building on above mapping exercise, for each sector, what are roles, functions, and resources (human and finance) that have been transferred/ delegated from central government to the sub-national level?
    2. What kind of planning and budget documents each sector at the sub-national level must prepare/ formulate?
    3. For planning and budgeting process, who led the process, who participate (internal sector and external actors), to what extent the integration with PG and other sector planning taken place, and who approve the sector plan and budget on what basis/ requirement?
    4. Research into the reasons the sector plans are not part of the provincial budget and make recommendations on how could sectors plans and budgets be integrated into provincial plans.
    5. What are the current Service Provision Models for the different sectors and how are they performing in ensuring that deprivations in Health, Education & WASH are ended/addressed effectively?
    6. In what way and to what extent the attention has been paid on equity issue, use of data and evidence, engagement with community, children youth and women?
    7. What are the aspects of planning, budget formulation, execution, coordination, equity issues and issue of citizens engagement that key stakeholders in each sector feel they work well (best practices) or not well, and why Any opportunities for improvements? Or risks that could jeopardize performance if not addressed/ managed?
    8. What method of capacity building those national ministries employed in dissemination/ transfer of knowledge and skills to sector colleagues at the sub-national level? And what methods yielded satisfactory outcome? And what not?
  3. In review of the legal framework for service delivery and decentralization and gap analysis,
    1. What are the key elements of existing SIG policies and legal framework about provincial governance and service delivery at sub-national level, provide a succinct summary of key elements of SIG policies regarding provincial governance and service delivery?
    2. Look into the causes of delay in the assignment of functions to the PGs by education and health and make recommendations as to how the functional assignment can be moved forward.
    3. Research into resource allocation to sectors compared to provinces and its impact on service delivery.
    4. What are key elements of future of decentralized governance and service delivery that the policy makers in SI want to see adopted/ implemented?
    5. Depict the gap analysis of existing and future envisaged elements of provincial governance and service delivery at the provincial level including suggestions of how the PGs may be useful to sector service delivery including critical infrastructures on which service delivery is anchored.

Methodology:

  • Desk review
  • key informant interviews to better understand the SIG polices and status of implementation 
  • Focused group discussion to better understand the progress and good practices, challenges, and opportunities
  • For field data collection, we may do it in 6 out of 9 provinces. We may pick provinces that received highest (2 provinces), medium (2 provinces) and lowest (2 provinces) scores in annual performance assessment on PCDF. FGDs could be held with 4 groups in each province: PG and sector officials (1 group), ward officials (1 group) and CSO (1 group) and children and youth (1)
  • Sessions to validate findings
  • Consultant is expected to submit, present, and seek approval of UNICEF in consultation with MPGIS for each deliverable/ output including report format/ content in a phased approach before moving from one phase to another

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have… 

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in public policy, economics, social sciences, international development and or other relevant subjects.
  • At least 8 years of experience in assessment/ evaluation of local governance and decentralization reform policy and programmes including decentralized sectoral service delivery in education, health, and WASH.
  • Nationals of Solomon Islands only.
  • Knowledge about the Solomon Islands particularly its formal and informal governance structures at the provincial level will be a strong asset.
  • A strong commitment to delivering timely and high-quality results (i.e., credible findings and recommendations that are used for improving strategic decisions)
  • Commitment and willingness to work independently, with limited regular supervision; s/he must demonstrate adaptability and flexibility, client orientation, proven ethical practice, initiative, and concern for accuracy and quality.
  • Previous experience in carrying out similar assignments for UNICEF and/or other UN agencies and/or other development organizations.
  • Strong ability to engage with policy makers and government officials.
  • Ability to summarise and communicate evidence, in writing and in workshops and meetings, to a non-technical audience.
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset. 
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset. 

For every Child, you demonstrate… 

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS). 

To view our competency framework, please visit  here

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment. 

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check. 

Remarks:  

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process. 

This consultancy is open to Nationals of the Solomon Islands only.

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws. 

The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts. 

Advertised: 12 Jan 2023 Central Pacific Standard Time
Deadline: 26 Jan 2023 Central Pacific Standard Time


POSITION TYPE

ORGANIZATION TYPE

EXPERIENCE-LEVEL

DEGREE REQUIRED

IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development