Closing Date: Wednesday, 23 March 2011
Methodological Approach for Country Case Studies on: Extent to which Development Partner support to Decentralization and Local Governance is Harmonized and Aligned with Country Policies and Priorities
The Development Partner Working Group on Decentralization and Local Governance (DPWG-DLG) has requested the support of specific Development Partners to carryout an assessment of the extent to which DP interventions in client countries have supported or hindered efforts to implement decentralization reforms and to strengthen local government systems and local governance in general. The objective of this work is to gain a better understanding of the impact of DP actions in these fields and how DP interventions can better support country policies and contribute to the creation of coherent and effective LG systems.
Three such cases where conducted in 2010 and presented to the annual meeting of the Group in DC in June of last year. The three cases covered Uganda, which was carried out by UNCDF, DRC, which was conducted by the World Bank and Indonesia by USAID. These cases represented a first attempt to carryout such an assessment and the Group agreed that they should be repeated again in 2011 to introduce modification and improve their outputs and scope of focus. In addition to repeating the three cases by the original sponsors (UNCDF, World Bank and USAID), the Group has requested the carrying out of four more cases (Benin, Mozambique, Peru and Ghana) in order to improve the quality of the study through increasing the size of the sample.
Duties and Responsibilities
UNCDF will contract a Uganda based consultant to upgrade the assessment, which has already been conducted in 2010, and to refine its outputs in accordance with the scope outlined below in this TOR.
The case studies will address the following issues:
Relevant Country Context of decentralisation:
In this section, an overview about the trajectory of the decentralisation process and the main features of the process will be given.Special emphasis should be given to (1) the original motivation for decentralization (e.g., as part of a post-conflict solution, transition to democracy, public sector reform, economic reform etc.), (2) development of decentralization reform since its inception (e.g., continuity or discontinuity, possible backlash against decentralization, changing dynamics), (3) contribution of development partners to the design and execution of the decentralization reform.
Political Economy Analysis:
A first sub section will focus on the political and structural drivers of the decentralisation process applying a political economy approach. The consultants will analyse the country context and the most critical motivations behind the decentralisation and local government reform. They will look at the origins of decentralization reforms and justifications for these reforms. Where and from whom did the idea of reform come from?
* What are the main motivations for the current or planned decentralisation reforms? What are the espoused goals of national decentralization policies and programs? Are they aligned with a "pro-developmental", pro poor growth direction (e.g., national cohesion, macro-fiscal sustainability, service delivery/MDGs, democratic local governance), or are they more contested? Who are the key actors and organisations that are or ideally should be involved in decentralisation? What incentives do they face with respect to decentralisation? Are they likely to support or oppose reform? What is the level of influence of each main actor both in terms of his/her official position via legal or administrative empowerment and through unofficial channels?
* What other elements of country context are relevant to national decentralization/local government strengthening efforts? For example, persistent conflict, high levels of ethnic, linguistic or secular fractionalization, large inter-regional economic disparities, significant aid dependency of government, weak state capacity (effectiveness or legitimacy), elite capture of the state and/or devolved local governments, etc.?
* Given the range of actors, their incentives, and their relative levels of power, where are there productive opportunities to engage? What are the specific opportunities, potential benefits, and potential risks associated with supporting decentralisation and local government reforms?
Main features and state of play of the decentralisation process:
* This sub section will examine the main features of the decentralisation and local government system in each country. It will analyse the degree of advancement in the reform process, the results achieved compared to the specific country objectives, the major problems and bottlenecks.For this sub section, the annex 1 of the "General and Specific Guiding Principles for Enhancing Alignment and Harmonisation on Local Governance and Decentralisation" will be used as a reference for the analysis.
* In order to make the country studies comparable a set of cross-country benchmark indicators will be presented. See table Annex 1 that is proposing how to display the results. Some of the proposed indicators are:
Institutional set up
* Tiers of government, grade of de-concentration /devolution.
* Relevant legal framework.
* Institutional arrangements for separation of powers among executive, legislative, and judicial bodies at the local level.
* Existence and quality of local electoral governments.
* Nature of political party system
- Public and social accountability mechanisms
* Type of assigned competencies to sub national governments.
* Existing coordination mechanism between government levels.
* Existing competency conflicts/ coordination between de-concentrated line ministry offices and local governments.
* Assignment of expenditures (profile and trends).
* Assignment of revenues (composition, type, etc.).
* Match between expenditure and revenue assignments.
* % of national budget spent at sub national level (importance of local level).
* % of own revenues of the total sub national budget (fiscal autonomy).
* Nature of intergovernmental transfers (open/ closed, conditioned).
Strengths and weaknesses
* This part should assess the quality and coherence of the reform on paper and the extent to which the framework has been implemented, gaps/weaknesses in implementation and then try to identify the reason for these gaps/weaknesses – political or institutional dynamics, lack of capacity, negative development partner actions or interventions, or other? This should tie the state of development of the LG System to the first part of the assessment (political economy) outlined above.
* Do central authorities provide an enabling framework, which outlines and defines the roles and responsibilities of the respective levels within government?
* How does the legal framework foresee the relationship of the sectors vis-à-vis the decentralised levels in government? Are sectoral legal frameworks aligned to the general decentralization framework?
* Is the legal framework enforced?
Human and financial resources
* Are sufficient human and financial resources available to manage and fund the administration and delivery of local public services?
* Do sub national officials have effective control over human and financial resources or do they act merely as agents of the national government?
Mechanisms for political accountability:
* Do appropriate and effective upward and downward accountability mechanisms exist?
* Who is leading the decentralisation process? Are there central institutional arrangements to steer and implement the decentralisation process?
Key Dimensions of DP Engagement / Aid Modalities:
* The main objective of this section is to provide a quick overview over the different decentralization interventions by donors and the used aid modalities. This section will also present the evolution of donor support to DLG and the motivations behind donor engagement (historical and political economy analysis of donor interventions). To a less extent, donor interventions in other areas will also be considered in order to determine if some of these interventions went against the decentralisation reform while others may have supported it and were aligned with it.
* Which development partners support decentralization projects in this country? When did they start their involvement? What has been their financial/technical commitment over time?
* What is the nature of the current and/or potential decentralisation support of each development partner? What are the motivations for supporting DLG processes and the objectives pursued by DPs?
* What are the entry points used by DPs in their support to DLG? Does it consist of cross-cutting strengthening of national systems, sectoral engagement, and/or more local level engagement? What are the financing modalities (sector budget support, pool funding, and project approach)? Have they changed over time?How strong is the local presence of the DP in this country? Are decentralization projects managed by the county office or from headquarters?
* What have been the major results of donor engagement? What have been its major failures/weaknesses? What are the major problems, constraints and difficulties encountered by donors?
* In what other areas (education, health, food security, etc.) did donors provide support and what were the outcomes/impacts on decentralization and the evolving/resultant system of local government?
The findings from this section will be summarized in a table.
3. The Status of Implementation of the Paris- Accra Process:
* This section will analyse the degree of implementation of the Paris Declaration in the DLG area. However, it will be important to refer to the comprehensive evaluation process of the Paris Declaration and clearly establish a link between both processes.
* The section will look at the extent to which donors and beneficiary countries have found ways to increase ownership, used mechanisms to align and harmonise aid, notably as regards to capacity building and fiscal transfers, and used results-based monitoring frameworks and mutual accountability mechanisms. It will also explore the obstacles to harmonisation and alignment faced by the developments partners.
* The study will use as a reference for the analysis the "General and Specific Guiding Principles for Enhancing Alignment and Harmonisation on Local Governance and Decentralisation". The list of questions below is not exhaustive and may be refined by using the specific guiding principles if needed.
* Is the government effectively assuming the leading role in the decentralisation process? Is there an articulated government-wide DLG strategy? Does the strategy have high-level government buy-in and consistent support from the relevant government ministries/agencies? And what is the nature of the prevailing institutional dynamics around it?
* Are donor interventions coherent with the country context and dynamics? Have the constraints and risks of supporting DLG processes been assessed appropriately? Have the specific drivers and incentive structures that move the DLG processes been identified properly and taken into account? If so, how have they influenced donor decisions and approaches to support DLG?
* Are donors effectively contributing to strengthen country ownership? Are DPs conducting joint analysis and assessments with country partners?How donors have been supporting the role of national stakeholders in preparing, implementing and monitoring decentralisation and local governance reforms (parliaments, national government structures in charge of formulating and implementing decentralisation strategies, local authorities, and civil society)? To what extent do donors support domestic capacity development through existing (government) structures? Are donor approaches to delivering capacity building assistance conducive to better ownership (focus on the demand-side, learning by doing approach)?
* Given the state of government ownership/leadership (if it exists), is DP engagement aligned to its objectives/vision and strategy? If government leadership is weak (or does not exist), are DP actions coordinated and cumulatively contributing to the development of a coherent DLG approach? Is DP support timely provided given the political context and the degree of advancement in the reform process?
* Is there an overarching government coordination mechanism for DLG and for the implementation of its Strategy (if one exists)? Is it functional? Is it reasonably representative of all/most relevant government actors? Do DPs utilize and reinforce the coordination mechanism that government has put in place for DLG?
* To what extent do sector policies and sector support programmes take into account and contribute to reinforcing DLG processes? To what extent does DLG support contribute to promoting better articulation with sector policies? How do these processes mutually reinforce or affect each other negatively?Is aid (for LGD) channelled through the national public finance system? Do donors use partner countries' procurement systems? Isdonor capacity-development support provided through coordinatedprogrammes consistent with partners' national development strategies? How does donor support contributes to strengthening national systems, notably as regards to capacity building and fiscal decentralisation?
* Is DP support to fiscal decentralisation linked/aligned to general PFM interventions?
* Given the country context, is donor engagement considered to be coherent? Do donors have significantly different approaches and priorities in engaging on DLG? Are they complementary /coherent or potentially counterproductive? To what extentdo donors coordinate/collaborate in diagnostic work and joint support programmes?
* Is there any kind of division of labour in the DLG sector implemented amongst DPs? Is there an established development partner coordination mechanism specifically for decentralization and/or local governance? How long has it been in existence? Is it linked to an overarching donor coordination mechanism? Is this mechanism considered to be effective?
* Do donors have a harmonized approach on capacity building/development?
Managing for Results and mutual Accountability:
* Are harmonised monitoring and reporting systems in place? To what extent do donors contribute to developing national information systems and performance assessment frameworks of decentralisation and local governance reforms?
* Are the policies and activities of government (at all levels) and/or development partners transparent to relevant civil society groups?
* Do representative bodies, judicial institutions, independent media and/or public participation mechanisms enable an acceptable degree of government and/or development partner accountability to citizens? Do/have DP actions reinforced or undermined domestic accountability?
* Have joint evaluations been carried out (with government or amongst donors)?
The Table under Annex 2 should be used to summarize the findings of this section.
4. Results, key lessons and recommendations:
* This section will examine how the implementation of the Paris Declaration has contributed to improving aid allocation and making donor engagement more effective, in other words how it has contributed to better relevance, coherence, consistency and increased effectiveness of donor interventions. This section will also identify entry points and make recommendations to improve and make donor engagement in the DLG area more effective.
* What are the main bottlenecks and major problems encountered by donors in DLG, how to explain and overcome these difficulties?
* To what extent has each of the five principles of the Paris Declaration been observed and implemented, and the Accra Agenda priorities reflected? What mechanisms have development partners used to align and harmonise aid for decentralisation? To what extent does the implementation of the Paris Declaration principles contribute to overcoming difficulties encountered by donors and improving aid effectiveness and development results?What has been the added value of the Paris Declaration compared with the pre-Paris Declaration situation? Is there evidence of better ways to make aid more effective and contribute more to development results? What are the limits of the Paris Declaration principles? How can encountered difficulties be overcome and what can be done better? What are the key messages?
* How have DPs responded to the prevailing political and institutional dynamics in the country? To what extent was the response appropriate? Was donor support consistent with the country context? How has donor support influenced the DLG process? Have assumptions and risks of engaging in DLG been properly identified and assessed? Which critical elements need to be considered before engaging in support to decentralisation and local governance processes?
* How can donors promote and facilitate better ownership of reforms by partner countries? What can be done to facilitate a national consensus on decentralisation and how to develop it? What should we do when there is weak leadership at government level? In this case, should support for decentralisation be considered and how?
* To what extent development partner's actions that focus on decentralization and local governance are harmonized and aligned with national policy and objectives? What kind of processes and practical steps need to be put in place in order for external assistance to be better aligned with the country context and dynamics?How to combine and reconcile different and heterogeneous objectives and what are the trade-offs?
* To what extent are DP's actions in other relevant areas such as PFM, CSR, Sectors (SWAps) harmonized and aligned with decentralization and LG policy? How to ensure in concrete terms better consistency between decentralisation processes and other crosscutting reforms (PFM, CSR) and sector strategies that have an impact on local governments (both at central government and donor level)?
5. Key References / Background Studies (published & unpublished):
* The consultant shall refer to all documents relevant to decentralization, local governance and local government system development in Uganda. A list shall be agreed to once contract is issued.
6. Specific presentation deliverables:
* The consultant shall produce the case in a report format to be aligned with the structure of the TOR above. A PPT presentation should also be derived from the report for presentation at the 2011 annual meeting of the DPWG, which will take place in Brussels from the 18th to the 20th of May.
7. Time allocation for the study:
* 20 workdays will be allocated for the study to be utilized during March and April and to be concluded by the 30th of April
* Focuses on impact and results for the client and responds positively to feedback;
* Ability to identify client's needs and appropriate solutions;
* Ability to establish and maintain productive partnerships with clients;
* Plans and prioritizes work activities to meet organizational goals and organize and oversee work processes efficiently to achieve quality results;
* Communicates clearly and convincingly.
Required Skills and Experience
* Masters degree in planning, local development, and/or other relevant fields.
* Minimum 10 years of related experience. In-depth understanding of decentralization, local governance and local government systems and an advanced appreciation of and experience with the Uganda case, its local government system and its performance towards local development.
* Proficiency in written and spoken English.
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.