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International Consultant- Capacity/Needs Assessment for the Central Statistics Organization of Afghanistan


VACANCY NO: VA-CO-2017-02-01

CLOSING DATE: 11 Feb 2017

POST TITLE:        International Consultant on Capacity/Needs Assessment for the
Central Statistics Organization of Afghanistan
DUTY STATION:  Kabul, Afghanistan

DURATION:        15-February-2017 up to 15-March-2017

Afghanistan has not had a census since 1979. A census was planned for 2008 but has had to be delayed. As a result, the Socio-Demographic and Economic Survey (SDES), a survey representative at the district and province level, was implemented by the Central Statistics Organisation (CSO). The SDES is being rolled out province by province and was first implemented in Bamiyan Province in 2011. Financial assistance has been provided by a number of donors including the Government of Japan, DFID and USAID. Technical assistance has been provided by UNFPA. The survey was undertaken in Ghor and Daikundi provinces in 2012, Kabul in 2013, Parwan and Kapisa in 2014, Samangan and Takhar in 2015, Balkh, Herat, and Nimroz in 2016, and is currently on-going in Baghlan and Badakhshan.

The SDES was designed to collect socio-demographic and economic data, representative at provincial and district levels, on age and sex structure, education, employment, migration, fertility, mortality, functional difficulty, household and housing characteristics. The information collected is expected to be used for policy and planning decisions at provincial and national level.

The current security situation means that undertaking the survey in Afghanistan’s remaining provinces may not be feasible. As a result, partners would like to explore how the work carried out to date of the SDES can be utilised more effectively through enhanced analysis, dissemination and knowledge uptake.  This would form part of a review that would also include an inquiry, using the SDES as the exemplar, of the capacity of CSO to undertake appropriate data analysis – both descriptive and in-depth, data dissemination, and supporting different data users to utilise information from SDES.

In 2015/16, the CSO underwent a review process of the organisation itself, using the structure of the Paris21 process. This Capacity/Needs assessment should be aware of this review and align assessment activities with the review’s findings.

In assessing these aspects, it will also be important to consider the following points:

a. The extent to which CSO can ensure the generation, analysis, dissemination and utilization of credible statistics from the SDES. Where capacity gaps exist, the review should examine options to address the issues. 
b. The extent to which CSO can ensure the SDES data are properly utilized for local development planning, programme monitoring, and project evaluation and other key activities.
c. The extent to which CSO structures are beneficial to implementing a large scale survey such as the SDES, including an analysis of processes at the CSO that may facilitate/hinder survey implementation.
d. The security conditions in the country which may make further survey work unfeasible.

Duties and Responsibilities

Overall, this assessment aims to identify and assess capacity at CSO in the implementation of SDES and to determine areas where the organisation itself can lever change and where further proportional support or investment by donors might be provided to enhance the work of the organisation from partners. In particular, the assessment should consider:

a. The management structure and staff capacity to deliver the SDES across the delivery spectrum from planning to utilisation. This should include the demand from the Government and partners for information and strategies to enhance SDES data sharing and utilisation;
b. The quality of the statistics system which operates in respect of the SDES and the extent to which the system is reliable, resilient and ready for future challenges;
c. The extent to which accuracy, professional standards, ethics, and transparency are embedded into SDES;
d. The cost effectiveness of SDES;
e. The extent to which CSO operates in a process oriented way and suggestions for supporting a “process” rather than a “product” view;
f. Recommendations on the improvement of the SDES survey system, the CSO structure, and staff capacity, as well as their implications, along with success and risk factors; and
g. The review should recommend the best options for generating population estimates that would address the demand for information, decision making and planning including, but not limited to, satellite imagery and modelling.

Project Recipients
The primary recipients of the assessment are as follows:

a. The CSO as the assessment will provide an assessment of the capacities of the organization and its staff, as well as propose measures to address these gaps.  Secondly, the assessment will assist CSO in ensuring that the SDES data are properly used for planning, monitoring, and evaluation;
b. Key development Partners, specifically, UNFPA, DFID, USAID, and World Bank. This assessment will provide partners with comprehensive information on the CSO and enable decision making on the future of the survey and its data; and
c. The Afghan government at national and provincial levels in terms of improved information for planning and decision making.

Duties and Responsibilities
In consultation with the CSO President General, UNFPA Country Representative, DFID Senior Advisor, World Bank and USAID, the Consultant will independently undertake the following tasks, using SDES to:
a. Assess statistical data needs and expectations on the part of the Government, development partners, NGOs and Civil Society Organizations conducting development and humanitarian work in the country as well as determine the responsiveness of SDES to data needs of these stakeholders;
b. Assess the qualifications (education and experience) of the key staff at CSO to determine their capacity to independently plan, collect, process, analyse, and disseminate SDES data;
c. Based on the assessment on qualifications, determine the training needs of key staff and gaps at CSO in order to properly fulfil CSO’s mandate as well as identify areas where technical assistance is required;
d. Assess the accessibility of SDES data by users and develop recommendations to address the difficulties of users in accessing the SDES data. This aspect should encompass CSO’s working relationships with line ministries and partners, use of existing SDES data and processes for improvement to reflect the needs of lines ministries and partners;
e. Determine the feasibility of moving CSO to a process oriented organization (rather than one oriented at products) and assess capabilities of staff to function is process-oriented structure;  and
f. Develop a set of recommendations based on the results of the assessments.

Deliverables and Timeframe
The assessment will be undertaken in four weeks, starting from 15/02/2017 to 15/03/2017.

The Consultant shall strictly follow the timeframe indicated and payment is subject to the delivery of outputs to the satisfaction of the key beneficiaries.

During this review the consultant should use techniques including, but not confined to: documentary review and key informant interviews.

All the above listed deliverables are expected to be accomplished within the consultancy  period

The consultant will work closely with UNFPA Country Representative, DFID Senior Advisor and CSO President General.  To gather information for the assessment, he/she shall collaborate with technical staff of CSO and UNFPA and different key stakeholders at the national (ministries) and local levels (provincial and/or districts officials).

Deliverables Timeline  Payment
Inception Report (outlining the work plan of the consultancy) 3rd day 10% of the contract fee
Draft of Assessment Report and Recommendations based on Assessment 20th day 40% of the contract fee
Final Assessment Report 30th day Remaining 50% of the contract fee

Educational Qualification
Master’s degree or higher in demography, statistics, economics, social sciences, or population and development studies

Experience Required
• Minimum of 15 years of experience working with statistics organizations; 
• Has conducted assessments in statistics organizations;
• Experience in data dissemination, utilization and advocacy for population and development issues;
• Experience in post-conflict countries is an advantage, preferably in Afghanistan;
• Experience in the field of data gathering in challenging work environment is an advantage;
• Experience in technical capacity building or training in developing countries is considered an asset;

Skills Required
• Excellent writing and communication skills;
• Fluent spoken and written English are essential; and
• Excellent inter-personal and general communication skills.


Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund
  • Location: Kabul
  • Grade: International Consultant - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Statistics
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Statistics
    • Education, Learning and Training
  • Closing Date: 2017-02-11

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