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Myanmar Consultancy

Terms of Reference for a Consultancy:

Support to partners’ capacity building in Myanmar

Find full posting here.

1.      Overview

Mission East is an international relief and development organisation founded in Denmark in 1991. Mission East (ME), Together for Sustainable Development (TSD) and Health and Hope for Myanmar (HHM) have worked in partnership since 2015. Through the various projects implemented together, TSD and HHM have been able to benefit from the experience and expertise of ME and improve their capacities, while strengthening their cooperation. To date the partners have experienced a very positive relationship of mutual respect and trust. Transparency has been a key element of the relationship, with the local partners willing to accept advice and challenges and ME willing to support them in their organisational growth.  TSD and HHM are local organisations, working in a remote rural context of Chin state, with the Mara community (Maraland).

The implementing partners are engaged in the joint implementation of projects in Maraland in the sphere of food security. Thanks to the projects implemented together by ME, TSD and HHM, the local partners have been able to increase their understanding and application of sustainable agricultural methods and on nutrition. This consultancy assists in further developing TSD and HHM’s organisational and advocacy capacities; these areas are identified by all partners as the ones in which they can still grow, will improve the professionalisation of the organisations and will make it easier to work with current partners like Mission East and other potential partners in the future. While encouraging progress has been seen in capacity growth in both organisations, it is challenging to work on improving skills and supporting systems via the normal partnership modality i.e. at a distance with poor communications channels, interspersed with short intense field visits. The idea of a short-term consultancy is therefore conceived to provide on-site support to develop partner staff skills, and to assist embedding of learnings and procedures established so far.

In particular, this consultancy aims to strengthen local partners’ capacities in the sphere of financial management, support them to set up a Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning System, and improve external communication and advocacy skills.

The consultant will assist in increasing capacities of the organisations’ staff members in various offices in Myanmar. The capacity-building intervention is embedded in the framework of the existing partnership between ME and the local partner organisations and will contribute to the growth of TSD and HHM as local organizations, assisting them to become more sustainable civil society actors able to maintain existing partnerships, attract other donors and develop new projects that will benefit the local communities with whom they work.

Ultimately, the consultancy will contribute to developing strong and independent civil society organisations that can drive the social and institutional change necessary for a transition towards increased community resilience.

Mission East are therefore searching for short term consultancy support to provide input to the development of partners in Myanmar to become more efficient and resilient organisations and to implement development programming.

1.      Objectives

With the aim of enabling partners in Myanmar to become more efficient and resilient organisations to implement development programming, the objectives for this consultancy are to ensure that:

1. Together for Sustainable Development (TSD) and Health and Hope Myanmar (HHM) have increased their financial management capacity, including: budget planning and management, use of Excel, consistent use of accounting software and established processes and understanding for filing of supporting documentation.

2. Partner organisations have a Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning System in place, staff understand it and are able to apply it.

3. TSD and HHM have improved internal and external communication and advocacy skills and have strengthened their ability to develop new partners/donor relationships and maintain existing ones to increase the sustainability of the organisations

2.      Outputs (deliverables)

1.1 Training in using Excel – effective use of existing tools (ex. budgets, reporting formats, etc.) and ability to customize as needed (small group training sessions, with individual follow up)

1.2 Oversee financial reporting cycle and procedures with responsible staff for improved quality. Assist in developing simple internal systems to support improved project financial reporting. (reporting workshop, coaching, group sessions as needed)

1.3 Establish back-up systems for e-files and filing/file-sharing systems. (stock-taking of existing systems, coaching on administration /document management, group work to develop filing guidance note)

 

2.1 Training on surveying methodology, data collection and management and development of a survey

2.2 Coaching senior management to establish some simple management systems – to keep track of what’s happening by whom, draw out the potential of each staff and deal with poor staff performance.

2.3 Advise on systems for internal (finance and programme levels) reporting for all projects (group sessions, coaching)

2.4 Coaching for reporting quality improvement at all levels

2.5 Establishing a complaints mechanism (workshop with project staff, coaching)

 

3.1 Training on effective advocacy and workshop for advocacy strategy

3.2 Exercise to gather / improved existing tools / materials for community engagement, and coach staff in their use (meetings, group sessions, fieldwork for coaching and application)

3.3 Coaching on development of new partner/ donor relationships

 

Notes:

TSD will have feedback sessions on a continuous basis and record the monthly meeting with the consultant on the implementation of her/ his tasks.

ME will maintain monthly contact with the consultant, TSD and HHM to monitor the development of the consultancy, a brief report will be required from the consultant in preparation for the monthly discussion on the set objectives and the workplan. A sparring session will be conducted between Mission East and the consultant after each visit.

A final report and debrief presentation will be required from the consultant.

More detail on the objectives and outputs of the consultancy will be discussed during interviews and after contracting.

3.      Consultancy timeline:

The consultancy has been scoped as 6 months of work overall, with the following provisional schedule:

  • 5 initial days of remote preparation, briefing and planning
  • Two visits of three months each – allowing the partners to have some time between visits to continue improvements themselves, see what else they need support on, and to follow-up on actions agreed with the consultant.
  • The starting time is expected from September 2020, arriving in Myanmar by mid-September until December 2020 and then to return in the same period in 2021.

4.      Method of work:

The consultant is envisaged to work via a variety of activities, including one-to-one support, group work and workshops

  • It is envisaged that the consultant’s time in-country will be split between partner offices – 60% TSD and 40% HHM
  • The main beneficiaries of the capacity building consultancy will be the staff of TSD and HHM; approximately 15 staff of each organisation, from the finance, operations, administration and communication departments. They are all Mara community members, from Chin State.
  • The consultant will carry out an initial assessment and planning session with the organisations to determine whether the set outputs require adaptations according to need. Together with the partners and ME a workplan will be drawn for the initial part of the consultancy.
  • The consultant will work side by side with specific staff to increase capacity in planning, designing of projects, reporting, use of Excel sheets, budget control, and other skills related to deliverables. There will be specific training moments for the staff of both organisations jointly and individual training/ coaching for managing staff. There will be a considerable dedication to on the job training.
  • The consultant will facilitate development of guidelines in collaboration with the relevant staff of the local partners in each organisation, based on local partner staff inputs to ensure ownership and context relevance.

5.      Logistical arrangements:

The majority of the work will be carried in Lailenpi, Sabawngpi (Chin State) and some short time in Yangon, Myanmar. Mission East will arrange international travel to and from Myanmar, support with visa process, coordinate with partners for housing in Yangon, coordinate with partners for the internal travel in Myanmar.   Partners will arrange housing in the project areas in Lailenpi and Sabawngpi. Any other logistical arrangements will be the responsibility of the selected consultant.

Accommodation facilities in the target area are very basic and with a very limited number of options available. Internet access fluctuates and is very slow. Telephone service is not guaranteed.

6.      Background Information:

The main issues which underlie the proposed activity are the vulnerable conditions of people in South Chin State living in rural remote and isolated areas of Myanmar, such as Maraland, and the absence of tangible support from government and civil society which provides lasting solutions to their food security and livelihoods problems. In this context TSD and HHM are the first organizations in Maraland that have the ambition to switch from a short-term, unsustainable methodologies, to environmentally sustainable, rights-based and inclusive approach, However, institutional gap analysis TSD and HHM capacity and experience in prior cooperation with them has identified as main needs to build capacity on: financial management; Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning Systems; Internal and external communication and advocacy skills and their ability to develop new partners/donor relationships and maintain existing ones to increase the sustainability of the organisations.

Potential risks to the consultancy have been outlined as follows:

  • Access limited by security situation, particularly armed conflict in Southern Chin State;
  • The government will impose travel limitations which will not allow consultant to work in southern Chin State for long enough periods to carry out the capacity interventions;
  • Heavy rains, flooding and/or rockslides will make access to the target area impossible and will result in delays of planned activities;
  • Local partner staff will leave southern Chin State for job opportunities elsewhere in Burma or abroad after being trained, and the knowledge and skills gained from this intervention will leave with them;
  • COVID-19 pandemic continues to limit movement of people within Myanmar and internationally at the time of the start of activities plan.

The following documents and materials will be made available to the consultant in English:

  • Consultancy proposal;
  • Existing policies and processes documentation of HHM and TSD;
  • Reporting formats;
  • Growth plans of the organisations;
  • Recent evaluations/ assessments on partners’ capacity.
  • Relevant project documentation

7.      Selection criteria:

  • Past relevant experience working as a trainer/consultant in the area of organisational development;
  • Track record of having successfully assisted the capacity building of different local NGOs and training other trainers/consultants in a development context;
  • Substantial experience of setting up of processes and systems, building other people’s competencies in budgets and financial reporting (with an excellent command of Excel).
  • Substantial experience in training / coaching on other topics relevant to deliverables, including monitoring and evaluation, advocacy, community engagement, complaints mechanisms, etc.
  • Experience in supporting English language skills would be an asset.
  • Knowledge of Burmese or Mara would be an asset, but is not necessary;
  • The consultant is expected to be able to work in a context with difficult physical and communication access and to respect the Christian values of the staff of the partner organisations and the host community.

8.      Exclusion criteria:

If any of the following are true for the applicant at the time of submitting their application or at any time during the procurement process, they will be excluded from consideration for winning a contract with Mission East. The bidder may also be blacklisted for participation in future Mission East procurements.

Violations of sanctions & support for terrorism

  1. The company, organisation or an individual associated with the tender are listed in the sanction and embargo list of the UN Security Council, the European Union or EU Member States, United States (OFAC) or United Kingdom (OFSI).
  2. They have provided support (material or other) or any resource to any individual or entity that advocates, plans, sponsors, engages in, or has engaged in terrorist activity; or to anyone who acts as an agent for such an individual or entity;
  3. They have association with a designated terrorist entity or their ownership, control, or influence;
  4. They are not compliant with laws and regulations stipulated by the UN Security Council Counter Terrorism and Sanctions policies, as well as those stipulated by the European Union and its member states, the United Kingdom, or the United States of America.

Unacceptable interaction with Mission East

  1. They have engaged in corrupt, fraudulent, collusive or coercive practices in their interactions with Mission East or its partners in relation to the current procurement process or any time in the past;
  2. They are subject to a conflict of interest. If there is any personal or business relationship between the bidder and Mission East staff, its partners or its donors, the bidder must state this at the time of tendering, and this may result in exclusion of the bidder;
  3. Following another procurement procedure or grant award procedure with Mission East, its partners, or financed by the European Union, they have been declared to be in serious breach of contract for failure to comply with their contractual obligations;
  4. They are guilty of misrepresenting the information required by Mission East as part of the procurement procedure or fail to supply this information.

Unethical practices by the bidder

  1. They are engaged in the exploitation of child labour or other forms of trafficking in human beings;
  2. They do not respect their employees’ basic social rights and working conditions as per international labour standards;
  3. They are actively supporting a conflict or are engaged in the manufacture of arms and/or landmines, or the sale of such to governments which systematically violate the human rights of their citizens, or where there is internal armed conflict or major tensions, or where the sale of arms may jeopardise regional peace and security.
  4. They are involved in unethical exploitation of natural resources, in particular sensitive commodities such as precious metals, stones, and rare earths.
  5. They are engaged in activities which directly cause harm to the population that Mission East is aiming to assist, including environmental harm to their communities.

Unacceptable legal situation of the bidder

  • They are bankrupt, subject to insolvency, or being wound up, are having their affairs administered by the courts, have entered into an arrangement with creditors, have suspended business activities, are the subject of proceedings concerning those matters, or are in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for in national legislation or regulations;
  • It has been established by a court’s final judgment or by any means that Mission East can justify that the bidder is guilty of grave professional misconduct by having violated applicable laws or regulations or ethical standards of the profession to which the bidder belongs, or by having engaged in any wrongful conduct which has an impact on its professional credibility where such conduct denotes a wrongful intent or gross negligence.
  • They have not fulfilled obligations relating to the payment of social security contributions or the payment of taxes in accordance with applicable laws;
  • They have been the subject of a court’s final judgement for acts of fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organisation or money laundering, or any other illegal activity detrimental to Mission East or its donors’ financial interests;

Applicants must complete and sign the ‘Consultant Statement Confirming Eligibility’ below and submit the signed ToR together with their application package to confirm that that they are not in one of the situations listed above. Even if such confirmation is given, Mission East will investigate any of the situations listed above if it has reasonable grounds to doubt the contents of such confirmation.

9.      Anti-Fraud Policy:

Mission East has a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption and fraud in all its forms. Mission East aims to prevent fraudulent activities and to respond to any allegations or potential fraud swiftly and effectively. In line with Mission East’s Anti-Fraud Policy, which can be viewed on the Mission East website, Mission East requires the consultant to report any suspected fraud, waste, theft or abuse to Mission East. Any reports of such misconduct can be reported to Mission East headquarters through contact details on their website. Further, in compliance with donor requirements, the consultant will be required to commit to the following Anti-corruption clause:

“No offer, payment, consideration or benefit of any kind, which could be regarded as an illegal or corrupt practice, shall be made, promised, sought or accepted – neither directly nor indirectly – as an inducement or rewards in relation to activities funded under this agreement, including tendering, award or execution of contracts. Any such practice will be grounds for the immediate cancellation of this agreement and for such additional action, civil and/or criminal, as may be appropriate. At the discretion of the Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a further consequence of any such practice can be the definite exclusion from any projects funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs”.

10. Other requirements if selected:

  • Mission East will require the successful consultant to sign our organisational Code of Conduct.

  • Mission East upholds high standards in Counter Terrorism (COTER) and sanctions regulation compliance.  In view of the nature and location of Mission East’s work, Mission East will conduct background checks  of the successful consultant, including checking through relevant sanctions lists.

  • M ission East upholds high standards in all aspects of Safeguarding. In view of the nature of this role potentially requiring unsupervised access to children or vulnerable individuals (including situations where there are potential imbalances of power), you may be required to provide a certificate of good conduct.

  • The successful consultant will also be required to commit to the following clause relating to the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment: The parties agree to actively prevent sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment (PSEAH), and to ensure, in the best possible way, that the intervention is carried out in an environment free of all kinds of exploitation, abuse and harassment, sexually or otherwise, especially in the case of particularly vulnerable groups.

Application:

Interested individuals should submit the following via online application to www.missioneast.org/apply:

  • Financial Proposal: Note that per-diems are not issued as separate parts of consultancies with Mission East. Please take this into consideration in the financial proposal;
  • Signed Consultant Statement Confirming Eligibility – see below;
  • Cover letter, explaining experience and competencies relevant to the achievement of the deliverables listed;
  • Individual CV;
  • Example of past work(s)

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