USAID/Vietnam Local Governance Assessment:
Local Government and Community Organization Support
Scope of Work: Senior Governance Consultant
About Social Impact
Social Impact (SI) is a global development management consulting firm which provides monitoring, evaluation, strategic planning, and capacity building services to advance development effectiveness. In Vietnam, SI is implementing the USAID Learns program to support USAID staff and partners to implement more efficient, effective, and transparent programs.
USAID Vietnam will launch an assessment of the key dynamics and issues affecting local government and community organizations, which will be used to inform new programming to support the capacity of and engagement between both parties, leading to more transparent policy making processes and better delivery of services to Vietnamese citizens. This will ensure USAID support is well-targeted, informed by experience, and likely to reinforce rather than duplicate existing efforts. Importantly, the assessment will also propose programming options and evaluate their feasibility, including a recommended strategy for engagement with relevant stakeholders within the Government of Vietnam (GVN) to ensure buy-in and approval of any proposed activity.
**Please Note: These are local positions. Only Vietnamese citizens are eligible to apply**
Analysis of the context in Vietnam suggests that the GVN prioritizes consensus, efficiency, and the delivery of results for citizens. Much of the work of delivery, particularly social programs and domestic economic development, takes place at the provincial level, where there are both technical and financial capacity constraints. At the same time, inclusion in policymaking and access to the governing consensus is a significant challenge. However, anecdotal evidence suggests there is interest in input and feedback from citizens and local organizations on what is or is not working in order to improve performance.
The overarching problem statement may be characterized therefore as CSOs and local government officials do not work together effectively to address issues of concern to citizens, and require support to do so.
The USAID Mission in Vietnam is interested in exploring the potential for standalone governance programming in Vietnam, operating alongside governance-informed work in technical sectors. There is particular interest in supporting the capacity of local government, building on the experiences and successes of prior programming, as well as interventions to open the space for local organizations to operate and advocate for change at different levels of society.
Terms of Reference
USAID Learns, implemented by Social Impact, seeks a local consultant to contribute to this assessment, working closely with senior USAID Vietnam Foreign Service Nationals and an international governance specialist.
This rapid assessment will support the Mission in understanding the context for and feasibility of supporting local government and civil society actors in Vietnam to more effectively collaborate with one another on issues of importance to Vietnamese citizens, particularly focused on the last five years. This should focus on the following analysis questions:
Based on learning from the local capacity development roundtable, USAID staff indicated that a trusting relationship is essential to success. As such, the assessment will start with an internal discussion on where USAID/Vietnam’s existing and strongest relationships are and where there are positive deviants who are motivated to create change at the provincial level. As such the first assessment question is: With which provinces does USAID have existing productive relationships?
The remaining questions will focus on those target provinces so learning is relevant to the specific local context and takes into account the actors and their specific motivations within that province. By focusing on potential target provinces, the assessment will also support continued relationship building with those provinces and enable co-design of interventions for greater buy-in. The remaining rapid assessment questions include:
- What is the formal role and responsibility of local government entities in delivering services to citizens?
- Identifying key technical service areas delivered by decentralized entities.
- Identifying fiscal capacity and revenue sources at local level?
- What are the key local government/governance challenges that could be resolved through donor support? This could include policy planning, transparency, service delivery, monitoring and feedback to/from citizens and organizations, e.g. businesses/CSOs, budgeting, etc.
- In what areas would GVN welcome support on local government capacity building? Where is the least resistance and motivation to change within target provinces?
- To what extent do these link to other USAID priorities, including climate change, economic development and competitiveness, gender, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) countering corruption, etc.?
- What are other donors currently funding in these areas, and how can duplication be avoided?
- Who are the civil society actors best placed to engage on these challenges, and what support do they need?
- Assess constraints including technical capacity, financial management, leadership, operational capacity, etc.
- Identify the areas of mutual collaboration with the local government entities to deliver the best services to the citizens.
- In light of the above, what are the possible entry points for facilitating collaboration between and building the capacity of local government and civil society actors in Vietnam? Disaggregate findings by type, e.g. local government and civil society needs.
- How feasible is support to these actors at present, across different thematic and geographic areas? What type of activity is most likely to receive buy-in and support from the GVN?
- What technical approaches might be most useful?
- What management and operational models (top-down or bottom-up, single counterpart or multiple counterparts) might be most effective for a new activity?
- What are the main lessons from previous donor-funded programs, including USAID/USG, in these areas?
This rapid assessment is primarily intended to be a landscape analysis exercise informing new USAID programming options. To deliver the assignment, the assessment team will conduct a document review and hold interviews with key stakeholders (across the Mission’s offices and with external partner organizations) to identify where transformative work is already being done and can be leveraged, as well as where possible gaps exist that could present opportunities for strategic integration of governance in the future. The team will also conduct one field trip to 1-2 provinces based on the internal identification of high potential provinces. If travel restrictions do not allow for travel, interviews will be conducted by phone or online. The assessment will be led by the Foreign Service Nationals (FSNs) of USAID/Vietnam with significant technical assistance from USAID Learns. The Senior Governance Consultant will be responsible for contributing to all aspects of the assessment.
Rapid Desk Review
- GVN policies, directives, decrees, public statements, etc.
- Reports developed by donors, global funds, and local organizations related to local government and community organizations in Vietnam in the last five years.
- Programming of other donors and non-state actors, particularly UK FCDO, the Embassy of Sweden, the European Union, and UNDP.
Key Informant Interviews (KIIs)
- USAID Mission and Embassy staff concerned with local governance and community organization capacity.
- GVN representatives: Relevant ministries; provincial government representatives; and others as relevant.
- Vietnamese community organizations, as well as INGOs and other non-state actors
- Other donors as specified above.
Key informants for interviews and validation event(s) will be selected in coordination with USAID. The target number of KIIs will be confirmed in consultation with USAID and Learns at the start of the assignment. Note however that the methodology can be amended based on discussions with the team and given circumstances at the time of kickoff.
Assessment Team Deliverables and Management
Working closely with the USAID Learns team, the Senior Governance Consultant will be responsible for producing deliverables according to the following implementation plan. Deadlines and the distribution of level of effort (LOE) are subject to amendment in consultation with USAID Learns and the USAID FSN management team. The estimated total LOE is 40 days, with the assignment completed by October 1, 2021.
|By August 9||Desk review completed||10|
|By August 23||Interviews completed||15|
|By September 10||First Draft Report completed||10|
|By September 17||Validation Event held with USAID and provincial stakeholders (TBC)||2|
|By September 24||Final Draft completed and shared with Mission||2|
|By October 1||Revisions and Final Report Submission||1|
The Senior Governance Consultant will report to the USAID Learns Senior Governance and Learning Consultant, who will be accountable for all deliverables to USAID. The Senior Governance Consultant will also be supported by a Research Coordinator.
The consultancy will be delivered in Hanoi, Vietnam. Up to two field visits are planned to provincial offices within Vietnam. The locations will be identified in consultation with USAID. If travel is not possible due to COVID-19 precautions, virtual visits will be arranged.
- Master’s degree or higher, with preference for a degree relevant to law, public policy, international development, or another related field
- 10 years of experience specifically focused on supporting governance and/or community organizations in Vietnam
- Extensive understanding of the Vietnamese context, including demonstrable access to a network of informed advisors
- Strong experience conducting qualitative data collection and using findings to inform programming
- Very strong analytical and presentation skills are essential
- High degree of fluency in English and Vietnamese reading, speaking and writing is required
- Experience with USAID assessments and program design is strongly preferred
The closing date for application: July 09, 2021. Selection and interview will be performed on a rolling basis, and interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
To apply, please submit your CV through the online portal.
To learn more about Social Impact, please visit our website: http://www.socialimpact.com
SI is an EEO/AA/ADA Veterans Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.
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