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Call for expression of interest for National Consultant | Networking for Participatory Rural Development

CALL FOR EXPRESSION OF INTEREST 

IDM Albania is looking to engage one  National Consultant for the preparation of Monitoring Report on National Plan to European Integration, Chapter 11 – Agriculture and Rural Development

Deadline for applications is July 20th 2019.

Terms of Reference

  1. Background Information

‘Consolidating the role of Albanian Network for Rural Development toward a functional model of bottom-up and participatory perspective in national rural agenda’ is a 32-month project funded by the European Union, which has started its implementation since February 2018. The project is being implemented by three founding and most active member organisations of the Albanian Network for Rural Development (ANRD): Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM) is leading the implementation of the action in partnership with AgriNET and AgroPUKA.

The proposed action reflects the project partners’ shared vision for ANRD in advocating and influencing the design and implementation of rural development policy in Albania. This action is aligned with main focus area of the ANRD Strategic Framework (2018-2020) on which partner organisations and other ANRD constituents have committed themselves to jointly network and advocate for.

The overall objective of the project is to enhance the impact and the involvement of CSOs and CSOs Network (and other rural stakeholders) in advocating and influencing the design and implementation of rural development policy in Albania for improved quality of life in rural communities as well as accelerating the reforming process in approximating EU policy of rural development.

The overall objective will be achieved through the following specific objectives:

  • ANRD is consolidated through strengthened regional representation of its constituents, decentralized decision-making, country-wide and coverage of the territory and enhanced visibility;
  • The role of ANRD and its constituents is empowered through multi-stakeholder partnership forums at regional level as spaces for stakeholders’ interaction and consultation, information sharing, exchange and transfer of know-how with regard to rural development;
  • Capacities of ANRD and its constituents and members of multi-stakeholder partnership forums are strengthened in advocacy and lobby, research and analysis, to be able to influence the agenda of rural development and dialogue with government structures;
  • ANRD and its regional forums promote evidence-based rural policymaking and bottom-up advocacy to accelerate Albanian rural reforming process in approximating with EU CAP, especially with CLLD (Community Led Local Development).

Work package 4.1 Evidence-based rural policy-making in rural development and/or identified gap in relation to EU CAP approximation process, especially CLLD (community led local development) – involves a set of activities aiming at generating evidence-based policy solutions on critical issues in rural development in order to accelerate the rural reforming process in Albania.

  1. Purpose of the assignment

As a genuine initiative of civil society, ANRD supports and implements policies of rural development in Albania in the light of the principles that guide the country’s integration into the EU. The efforts to date have reflected the willingness to support and contribute to proper implementation of rural development policies and instruments. The national wide consultation process on Governance of Agriculture and Rural Development carried out by ANRD during November 2018 and the following

Position Paper (January 2019), the National Round Table (February 12th) and the Appeal of ANRD (February 18th) are a series of recent inter-related activities aimed at monitoring agriculture and rural development policies from both perspectives – EU Acquis in agriculture and rural development and farmers and local actors as well. Findings of this monitoring process show that rural reform processes face significant shortages of administrative and institutional capacities, serious deficiencies of compliance with EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and its principles, including non-discrimination, fairness and equality etc.

Agriculture and rural development reform is one of the most important reforms Albania needs to implement toward the EU integration. Such reform process requires coercive and constant efforts to reach compliance with the EU Acquis in agriculture and rural development, namely CAP.

CSOs and CSOs’ Networks play a significant role in EU reforming process. Their involvement and contribution is crucial in advancing EU agenda and necessary reforms as they support and implement key policies as well as monitor and hold government and relevant state institutions accountable.  In addition, their involvement in the pre-accession process contribute in giving citizens a voice and deepening their understanding of the reforms Albania needs to carry out in its road toward EU integration.

As a policy network in the domain of rural development, ANRD has intensified its efforts in policy engagement, embarking on monitoring the national policy framework in agriculture and rural development and actively contributing in national monitoring mechanisms, such as IPARD II Monitoring Committee, etc. ANRD and its constituents is making efforts to represent a crucial actor in concrete initiatives and processes advancing rural communities’ interests and accelerating the rural reforming processes toward EU integration. In this light, ANRD and its constituents aim to advocate and encourage public participation in the process of accession negotiation between Albania and the EU and provide evidenced-informed recommendations for improvement of the agricultural and rural development policies and the wellbeing of rural communities.

In this context, the Project (work package 4.1) intends to engage one national consultant which will offer his/her expertise to deliver a monitoring report on National Plan to European Integration, Chapter 11 -Agriculture and Rural Development.

  1. Objectives and scope of the assignment

The main objective of the Consultancy assignment is to prepare a Monitoring Report on the implementation of the National Plan to European Integration, Chapter 11 – Agriculture and Rural Development and generate a set of evidence-informed recommendations offered as ANRD contribution to influence and accelerate EU approximation of sector national policies.

Generally, this assignment should help ANRD to play its crucial watchdog role in the monitoring of the effectiveness of the GoA efforts and work in the implementation of the commitments toward EU integration. Such assignment will enhance ANRD engagement as a CSOs Network and increase citizens’ participation and their contribution to the reform process in agriculture and rural development in Albania in approximating EU policy of rural development.

However, Consultant should take into consideration the collaborative approach of ANRD in policy engagement. ANRD’s policy and advocacy work is directed toward a twofold aim: to hold government accountable and demand to accelerate the reforming process and to provide opportunities for joint work with government toward fulfilment of EU Acquis in agricultural and rural development.

Nevertheless, the assignment should serve as a capacity building exercise for ANRD and its constituents which will help CSOs and other civic organizations in ensuring qualitative participation in the EU accession negotiation process.

The consultant will be responsible for the preparation of Monitoring Report on National Plan to European Integration, Chapter 11 – Agriculture and Rural Development.

  1. Tasks and Responsibilities

The consultant will work in close cooperation with ANRD National Coordinator and Project Manager. He/she will be responsible for the following:

  • Prepare an Inception Report including a detailed description of the proposed methodology (data source, format of the report, suggested stakeholders to interview and consult), initial outline of the monitoring report, suggested work plan and timeline;
  • Make use of sources agreed in the methodology to review, collect and analyze valid, reliable, and comprehensive data and information related to the implementation of measures stipulated in the Chapter 11 of National Plan for EU integration;
  • Analyze the current situation with regard to measures envisaged in the Chapter 11 compared to their deadlines stipulated in the National Plan to EU Integration and highlight milestones achieved, problems and challenges;
  • Assess the progress of measures implementation and identify the deficiencies in the implementation of existing regulatory framework;
  • Provide a comprehensive set of evidenced-informed recommendations for improving the timely implementation of the National Action Plan;
  • Submit the draft monitoring report in the agreed format all of the above, by paying due attention to the scope and purpose of this undertaking.
  • Participate to a roundtable discussion to be organized in frame of the project implementation to present the key findings of the report;
  • Finalize and submit the monitoring report in English and Albanian by reflecting stakeholders’ feedback;
  • Prepare a final report including a summary of the assignment, lessons learned and recommendations for follow-up.
  1. Qualifications and requirements:
  • Advanced university degree in one of the following or closely related field of studies: public policies, social sciences, economics, etc.
  • At least seven years of professional experience in public policy analysis and monitoring as well as research and studies related to agriculture and rural development;
  • Experience in monitoring and evaluating implementation of national and EU policy framework in agriculture and rural development;
  • Advanced knowledge of EU Acquis in agriculture and rural development, especially with regard to the negotiation process within Chapter 11;
  • Solid knowledge of the national institutional, legal and policy frameworks in agriculture and rural development;
  • Previous working experience with the Albanian Network for Rural Development and/or any of the project partner organizations.
  1. Delivery and timing

The consultancy contract is expected to start immediately after the signing of the contract.  A total of 28 working days is estimated to complete the assignment. The consultancy work should be completed by 15 November 2019.

The expected outputs from the Consultant and respective time of delivery are as in the following table:

Deliverables Timing
Inception report (description of the proposed methodology initial outline of the monitoring report, suggested work plan and timeline) Three weeks after the signing of the contract
Draft Monitoring Report 30 September 2019
Presentation at the roundtable discussion 31 October 2019
Final report in English and Albanian 15 November 2019

All deliverables will be submitted in electronic format to the Project Manager, who is the responsible person to review and to request revisions to the draft deliverables and to certify the delivery of the output.

The payment will be carried out in two installments: 50% after the acceptance by the Project Manager of the Inception report and 50% after the completed assignment.

  1. Application procedure

Interested applicants are advised to submit application for the consultancy assignment no later than: 20 July, 17:00 hrs to info@anrd.al including your latest personal CV, cover letter and financial proposal in Eur. The financial proposal shall specify the total amount requested to complete the assignment.