[governance-vn] Specialists for Research Project on Addressing Governance and State Management Effectively
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Tue Jun 10 23:11:35 EST 2008
Specialists for Research Project on Addressing Governance and State Management
Effectively: Towards Evidence-Based Public Administration Reform in Viet Nam
Publish Date: 10-Jun-2008
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is looking for the highly
qualified and experienced international candidates for the position of Senior
International Public Administration/Governance Specialists for Research Project
on Addressing Governance and State Management Effectively: Towards
Evidence-Based Public Administration Reform in Viet Nam (Special Service
Attached are the Terms of Reference.
An application letter in English indicating clearly the title of the research
paper chosen and updated curriculum vitae should be sent to the address below.
Only short–listed candidates whose applications respond to the criteria in the
Job Description will be contacted.
Ms. Do Thi Thanh Huyen
UNDP Viet Nam
25-29 Phan Boi Chau
Ha Noi - Viet Nam
Fax: (84 4) 942 2267 OR
Email: registry.vn at undp.org
Deadline for submissions: Wednesday 05:00 PM | 25-Jun-2008
United Nations Development Programme
25-29 Phan Boi Chau
Ha Noi, Viet Nam
Policy Advisor – Public Administration Reform and Anti-Corruption
jairo.acuna at undp.org .
Terms of Reference –
Senior International Public Administration / Governance Specialists for
Research Project on
Addressing Governance and State Management Effectively:
Towards Evidence-Based Public Administration Reform in Viet Nam
1. Scope of Work
The international consultants/researchers, according to the following terms of
reference, and under the coordination of UNDP‟s Policy Advisor on Public
Administration Reform (PAR) and Anti-Corruption (AC) will deliver the products
Public Administration Reform (PAR) in Viet Nam has provided mixed results and
proven to be a tension-ridden process in the country. It has proven to be an
programme of government reform, a political strategy by the Party and State
and an unavoidable high-risk key area for donor support.1 Despite efforts made,
exist some levels of frustration mainly due to the lack of a monitoring and
framework and fragile evidence-based policy analysis to guide policy making and
policy implementation processes.
For the former, PAR requires a well developed Monitoring and Evaluation system to
provide consistent, systematic and reliable data on progress made and gaps to be
filled. As such PAR in Viet Nam should keep the scope of reform well-focused and
set realistic and well defined targets. For the latter (i.e. evidence-based policy
analysis) governance requires a strong and clearly defined Public Administration to
support an efficient, effective and ethical service delivery. Information and
support decision making and policy implementation processes is crucial. PAR should
be seen as a strategic directional programme, setting the course and vision for the
structure/role of public sector. As such, continued support to the Government‟s PAR
should aim to develop the long term objective, set targets and strategies, and more
importantly, improve steering and coordination of PAR with independent/autonomous
research and empirical evidence.
Over the past couple of years, there has been a discussion in Viet Nam around three
options for moving PAR‟s agenda forward. The first advocates continued support for
the Government‟s comprehensive PAR Master Plan programme (2001-2010). The
second option revolves around the need to choose between service reform and
performance management as priorities, while the third is a compromise, aiming at
consolidating ongoing reforms with development of new actions.2
Institutions create incentives that structure cooperation in political and economic
environments. Recent scholarly work has focused on “which” institutions are good
development and “how” institutional change can be achieved. Less work has been
done on the timing and sequencing (if any) of institutional reform. Institutions
permanently evolving and should be viewed as long-term and open-ended processes.
Perhaps there is no measurable end-point, but rather processes of social,
economic construction. The goals of institutional reform remain subject to revision
and adjustment by future generations of citizens, and they may vary over time.
there is no right or wrong institutional design. What is required is an
how institutional arrangements work at a certain point in time or as products of
natural human interaction and evolution are being implemented and delivering public
goods. The analysis of institutional design changes in Viet Nam sheds light on the
need to initiate a second set of institutional reforms.
The changes brought about with the renovation (“doi moi”) process started in the
1980s and the subsequent PAR Master Programme in the late 1990s, seems to have
slowed down due to natural political friction. The lack of a clear monitoring and
evaluation framework and the weak authority/mandate of the Steering Committee
have resulted in fragile and sporadic coordination mechanisms between government
agencies. In addition, the upcoming transition for Viet Nam from a middle-income
country status calls for deepening the public administration reform process to
and sustain the new income status of the Vietnamese citizens.
PAR is a complex and evolving process. Experience in Viet Nam suggests PAR has
been done through a “learning by doing” process instead of “walk before you run”
approach, in which key stages in PAR are identifiable and properly monitored. In
sense, a fundamental stepping stone required to have a deeper understanding of PAR
in Viet Nam is the need to revise the existing normative framework on Public
Administration, systematize clear analytic documentation of lessons learnt from
recent achievement and shortcomings, including a deeper understanding of what has
been reformed and what is still in need of reform (i.e. why and how?) and propose
alternate scenarios for the way forward in order to step up public administration.
In particular, a systematic review is needed of each of the four priority areas
which Viet Nam‟s PAR Master Programme was originally designed and initially
implemented: (i) institutional reform; (ii) organizational structure of
state management; (iii) human resource management and civil service reform, and
public finance management. In addition to the four PAR areas identified above, two
additional areas will be further studied related to (v) the role of Public
Reform in improving human development and poverty reduction, and (vi) to what
extent is corruption affecting development and how can anti-corruption be
implemented and monitored.
World Bank (2007).
The main objective of the project is the production of six original high-quality
research papers (see outputs below) analyzing Viet Nam‟s trends regarding
implementation processes and options in specific public administration reform
Each study will also produce policy recommendations to speed up specific public
administration reform areas.
The papers will be published as UNDP Viet Nam working papers and shared with
Government of Viet Nam policy makers, donors, the research community and civil
society in Viet Nam.
The main output of each research is a paper of about 30-40 pages long (single
and a power point presentation (10-12 slides) summarizing the policy
recommendations. The research papers should focus on the existing normative
framework for Public Administration in Viet Nam. The outline of each research paper
should consider (but not limit) to including the following aspects:
Research # 1. Viet Nam’s Institutional Reform for Public Administration
Analyze how Viet Nam‟s administrative institutional system is been
transformed and renewed and contributing to the development of market
o Review development of normative Public Administration framework
o Identify the major institutional changes in Viet Nam and propose measures
towards a better institutional alignment and coordination.
o Provide an indicative structural X-ray of the Public Administration and
o Identify hierarchical levels with public administration institutions
o Identify gaps, duplicities and bottleneck that obstruct PAR in general and
propose measure to address them.
o Propose measures in order that public administration is more responsive and
suitable to the requirements of State management and of public service
Research #2. Governmental Organizational Structure and State Management
Analyze how the government‟s organizational structure has been reformed and
how it is contributing to provide better public services
o Identify vital information related to the functioning and linkages between
different government organizations
o Identify and analysis the roles, functions, responsibilities and structure of
o Propose measures to facilitate interaction and coordination among state
Research #3. Human Resources Development (i.e Civil Service)
Identify options for the reform of the civil service system as Viet Nam moves
into the middle income country category
o Identify lessons learnt from countries that transited from low-income to
middle-income status in terms of human resource management
o Describe and analyze the positive and negative effects of civil service reform
o Identify weaknesses and strengths from career-based and position-based
o Propose measures to implement civil service procedures based on merit,
professionalism and competencies as stepping stones
Research #4. Public Finance Management
Analyze what are the financial/economic costs of the public administration
o Identify and analyze taxation levels and how is PAR facilitating or hindering
o Identify and describe the obstacles for administrative agencies to implement
their budgets for assigned tasks
o Analyze implementation of State Budget Law in relation to PAR costs
o Propose measures on public finance management
Research #5. Public Administration and Economic Development
Analyze how Viet Nam‟s Public Administration is contributing towards
economic growth and improvements in living conditions.
o Identify Viet Nam‟s public administration system contribution towards
economic growth and poverty reduction.
o Analyze what type of public administration does Viet Nam requires to sustain
a middle-income status.
o Analyze how PAR facilitates or hinders provision of better public services,
especially to the poor.
o Propose measures aimed to enhancing Viet Nam‟s public sector contribution
towards improving the quality of Viet Nam‟s economic growth.
Research #6. Corruption, Public Administration and Economic Development
Analyze the relationship between corruption, public administration and
o The ambitious public administration reform programme set out in Viet
Nam aims to develop a modernized, efficient and effective public
administration system, yet few attention is given to the ethical dimensions
of government and bureaucratic accountability in low and middle-income
o Examine the types of corruption in developing countries and compare
them with Viet Nam‟s trends
o Propose types of public administration reforms required to accelerate
economic development, while tackling corruption
Project outputs will consist of six discussion papers to be published in an edited
volume tentatively entitled „Addressing Governance and State Management
Effectively: Towards Evidence-Based Public Administration Reform in Viet
UNDP will arrange for translation and publication in Vietnamese and English. The
papers will be made publicly available through the normal distribution channels,
distributed to national and international agencies. UNDP also actively
researchers to publish the papers in other outlets, including scholarly journals
institutional websites as long as the support of UNDP is explicitly acknowledged in
Each team of consultants/researchers will work under close supervision of the
Advisor on PAR and AC during the assignment. To the possible extent, the analysis
will have to be based on statistical data and documented material, including the
compilation of recently published studies and reports. The research methodology
include the revision, analysis and synthesis of data, statistics, documents and
publications on the theme as well as complementary interviews (semi-structured).
Each team of consultants/researchers will be in charge of collecting the
with specific inputs from UNDP‟s PAR and AC Advisor.
Each team of consultants/researchers will have to identify the sources of all
information, and cite them properly in the research. The team of
consultants/researchers is not necessarily expected to generate primary
but to develop and present in-depth analysis based on compilation and processing of
The research paper is not an essay of qualified opinion neither a newspaper type
article and needs to be grounded on evidence and documented data. Therefore, the
team of consultants/researchers will keep frequent working sessions with the PAR
AC advisor who can request additional information and clarity where deemed
appropriate. UNDP will support the research process and facilitate access to
information sources to research teams; however the ultimate responsibility on
and accuracy of data relies on consultants.
5.1. Composition of the team
Each team of consultants/researches will consist of one senior international
one senior national consultant and one national researcher. Each team member will
have distinct roles, to include, but not limit to the following minimum aspects:
o The senior international consultant will lead the research team and have the
overall responsibility for the outputs of the research. She/he will provide
overall substantive guidance, methodological advise to other team members.
In addition, the senior international consultant, in consultation with UNDP‟s
PAR and AC Policy Advisor, will distribute roles and responsibilities for team
o The senior national consultant will provide contextual and substantive inputs
to the team. She/he will help identifying, in collaboration with the national
researcher, key sources of information for the research, as well as provide
technical advise and contribute to the outputs of the research. She/he will
ensure that current national policies and priorities as well as local level
realities are adequately addressed in the research paper.
o The national researcher will support the two experts with data collection,
contact key informants and support arranging a comprehensive programme of
interviews for the fieldwork component of the research. She/he will ensure
that all identified relevant documents are collected and reviewed. She/he will
work in close consultation with the (senior) national consultant and will
provide administrative support where needed.
6. Timing, duration and location
Research will commence in June/July 2008. It is estimated that 40 person-days of
work will be required to complete each research paper. The international senior
will spent an estimate of 15 of these days in Hanoi, at the early stages of the
in order to do extensive fieldwork, data collection and present outline of
days should be spent at the end of the assignment for presentation of results and
finalization of research paper. The remaining 20 days will be spent at the
home base with frequent communication with the national researchers. UNDP will
arrange for a maximum of two trips to Hanoi during the life of the research for the
It is envisaged that the research will be carried out between July – December,
with flexible deadline extension.
In consultation with UNDP‟s Policy Advisor on Public Administration Reform the
key task for research teams are (in chronological order):
1. Identification and assembling of research teams
2. Initial brainstorming on information sources, outline and team‟s working
arrangements (via teleconference with international expert)
3. Planning and organization for fieldwork and data collection
4. In depth fieldwork interviews and consultation workshop to present initial
outline of research paper
5. Report writing at researchers‟ home base
6. Submission of first draft for internal discussion
7. Workshop for presentation of research papers
8. Finalization of research paper
7. Reporting lines and administrative support
The researchers will report to the Policy Advisor on Public Administration
UNDP in Viet Nam. The researchers will keep the Policy Advisory Team informed of
progress on a regular basis and will submit drafts of the research paper to UNDP
discussion and comment. UNDP will provide administrative support for research and
8. Qualifications and experience:
Advanced degree in political science or related discipline;
At least 10 years experience conducting applied research in developing
Demonstrated expertise on governance, public administration issues, and anti-
A strong international publications record;
Proven experience in the analysis of South-East Asian governance features (an
asset if in Viet Nam);
Proven ability to write clear, jargon-free English.
9. Contracts and Payment
Each individual researcher will be issued a short term contract with UNDP
to UNDP‟s guidelines and rules) for a maximum on 40 person-day working days.
Three payments will be made during the lifetime of the project, as follows:
1. First payment, equivalent to 20 person-days. Payment will be made
after finalization of fieldwork and presentation of outline of research
2. Second payment, equivalent to 10 person-days. Payment will be made
after submission of first draft.
3. Third payment, equivalent to 10 person-days. Payment will be made
after completion of research paper and upon satisfaction of output by
10. Deadline for application: Wednesday June 25, 2008
Send application to:
25-29 Phan Boi Chau Street, Hanoi, or via email to registry.vn at undp.org no later
than 5:00 PM (Hanoi time) Wednesday June 25, 2008.
Applications must include an application letter, indicating clearly the title of
research paper chosen, and updated curriculum vitae.
UNDP is an equal opportunity employer and female candidates are particularly
encouraged to apply.
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