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National Consultant for the Development of Annual Planning Guideline for Provincial Councils




UNDP is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life.  We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges.  The UNDP adopts a UN inter-agency approach, and has built partnerships with a range of stakeholders, from government ministries and local government agencies to community-based organizations and non-government organizations.

Under the Peace Building Fund, the UNDP in partnership with other stakeholders supports the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka for sustainable peace by enabling them to put in place coherent mechanisms and processes to advance national unity and reconciliation. This endeavor cuts across multiple government institutions and other stakeholders at the national and regional level.

The overall objective of the project is to ensure Sri Lankan society has a better coordinated and coherent system to advance national unity and reconciliation among its people. As part of the process of putting in place such a system, the project particularly works with Provincial Council Administrations, to enable them to produce strategic plans and strengthen revenue generation to support development activities that address the priorities of conflict affected peopleThese activities will complement and support those undertaken on transitional justice issues, and those on durable solutions for resettling communities.

In the past, there have been many attempts to decentralize administrative decision making to the Provinces; however, this has not been successful. It has been recognized and accepted widely by Government of Sri Lanka that the Centralized system of administration has failed to satisfy the aspirations of the people to achieve rapid socio-economic development of the country. At present, there are nine Provincial Councils functioning at different capacities throughout the

country. All 9 Provincial Councils are responsible to produce their medium-term development strategies and annual plans to mobilise resources, including financial transfers from the Government. The Finance Commission, through its guidelines on annual “needs assessment” triggers the process of assessment of financial needs in the provinces for both recurrent and capital expenditure. On the apportionment of funds between the provinces, allocated by the Government through the Annual Budget, the Finance Commission sets the parameters for prioritizing and allocating the Province Specific Development Grant (the main fiscal transfer for capital expenditure) provincial development outcomes through a Guideline for the preparation od “Annual Development Plans” by the Provinces. The Annual Development Plan is the basis for ensuring that the financial transfer would contribute towards balanced regional development objectives, both inter and intra-provncial.  

The Finance Commission is mandated to consult with and recommend to Government funds as are adequate tp meet the needs of the Provinces and apportion such funds as are allocate by the Annual Budget between the provinces with the objective of achieving balanced regional development. The existing guidelines, therefore, need to be improved to prioritise inclusive and sustainable development in the country by refelecting the goals and indicators of the Global Sustainable Development Framework.  Therefore, the Governance for Local Economic Development (GLED) programme of the UNDP has initiated to support the development of a revised Annual Planning Guideline for Provincial Councils. This will act as the central guide for all Provincial Councils to generate their annual plans in line with the national vision and targets set out in the Public Investment Plan (PIP).



The Finance Commission is the constitutional body responsible for operationalizing good devolved fiscal governance by providing for adequate and predictable resources to Provinces and ensuring balanced apportionament and allocation of such resources , taking into account the responsibility and accountability of the Provinces arising from their constitutional governance mandates for inclusive and sustainable provincial development. Therefore, the Finance Commission is responsible for setting the procedural framework for fiscal devolution that would promote efficient alocation of resources. This requires the design and development of regulatory oversight of fiscal devolution through appropriate guidelines for assessment of provincial needs, apportionment of central government financial transfers and efficient allocation of resources.

At present, the guideline set by the Finance Commission for Provincial Plannning needs to be updated to reflect goals and indicators that promote sustainable and inclusive development. The Finance Commission is in the process of improving the exisiting guideline through consultations with national stakeholders.

Specifically, UNDP support will enable the incorporation of the recommendations from these consultaion as well as ensure that the revised guidelines reflect the global 2030 Sustainable.

Development Goals and corresponding national targets, which will enable Sri Lanka to successfully achieve balanced regional development. This revised guideline is also expected to encourage Annual Plans of Provincial Councils to be in line with the PIP.

Therefore, the Finance Commission is seeking a National Consultant to improve the existing guideline to achieve the above mentioned objectives. The Consultant is expected to work with the Research Unit in the Finance Commission to document the development process of the revised Annual Planning Guideline for Provincial Councils and provide necessary technical support. The Director of the Research Unit will act as focal person for this exercise and will provide the logistic support to carry out the task. 

Scope of the Development of Annual Planning Guideline for Provincial Councils:

1. Review and analyse the existing  Guideline for submission of Annual Development Plans for Provincesidentify gaps,in current systems, methods and practice;

2. Review and suggest improvement to the on going exercise on the linkages with Department of National Planning  in intergration of national and sub-national level planning framework;

3. Identify and recommend a framework of best practices for the design of Guidelines and formulating Provincial Annual Development Plans.

The recommended framework of best practices  should include the following elements:  

  • A unified sectoral results framework for formulating Provincial Development Plans;
  • The analysis of alignment of the Provincial Annual DevelopmentPlan with the SDG Framework;
  • Intraprovincial allocation of funds  to mitigate the inequality and disparity among the districts;
  • The Sectoral framework and alignment with the Public Investment Program (PIP);
  • The agency level structure and appropriate inclusion within the the sectoral framework;
  • The set of critical inter-agency linkages for provincial sustainable development outcomes;
  • A performance monitoring system to monitor interventions and its  results at Provincial, Sector and District levels and linked to the Management Information System (MIS).

4. Identify linkages with with  Five Year Provincial Development Planning Frameworks

5. Design relevant formats for presentation of Annual Development Plans; 

6. Propose areas for capacity development based on identified needs for the Research Unit of the Finance Commission to successfully roll out the system with all 9 provinces;

7. Propose a system for implementation of Planning Guideline  for Provincial Councils.

Duties and Responsibilities


  1. Liaise with Finance Commision, Department of National Planning, Chief Secretaries of Provincial councils, Planning Secretariats of the Provincial Concils, Provinical ministries and departments and UNDP;
  2. The consultant/s should actively engage with Finance Commision, Department of National Planning, Provincial Councils and UNDP;
  3. The consultant will be expected to make their own arrangements for accommodation and transportation, which includes return travel to selected field locations;
  4. The consultant should bear the cost of all logistical arrangements related to the task assigned;
  5. The consultant should mange payments for assistants and other supportive hands within consultation budget.

 Expected Output/Deliverables

The selected consultants will be expected to work as a team under the guidance, coordination and support of the Team Leader selected by UNDP:

  • Discussion with Officials from Finance Commission and UNDP to understand the clear scope of the Consultation – By 27th September 2017;
  • Submission of the inception report to the Finance Commission to ensure the approach and achieve the ultimate objective of the task - By 02nd October 2017;
  • Review the current planning system and practices of the Finance Commission in relation to provincial capital grants - By 02nd October 2017;
  • Submission of Review Report of the existing Guidelines, Planning System, Formats, Monitoring and Reporting Systems, PIP and Midterm plans - By 07th October 2017;
  • Conduct Consultative meeting and workshops to gain inputs from relevant stakeholders and submit the findings to Finance Commission for their feedback – By 12th October 2017;
  •  Submission of the changes to areas in need of improvement, including key elements proposed under scope of the work – By 17th October 2017;
  • Submission and Presentation of draft Planning Guideline including Best Practices, Formats, Systems, Monitoring System and Reporting Systems – By 22nd October 2017;
  • Conduct validation workshop with stakeholders and experts to ensure the practicality and user-friendliness of the guideline – By 27th October 2017;
  • Propose capacity development needs of the FC to roll out the new guideline within 9 provinces – By 2nd November 2017;
  • Submission of final draft guideline to Commission, including all relevant supportive documents (e.g. formats, system, monitoring formats and reporting formats) – By 7th November 2017.


  • The envisaged time frame of the consultancy is for 60 Days – Starting from 26th of September to 26th of November 2017;
  • The consultant is expected to be in regular contact with the Finance Commission’s focal point during the period of the assignment.



The prospective consultant should have excellent knowledge on Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring and reporting approaches at national and provincial level including working experiences with Devolved and Decentralized structures and functions in Sri Lanka.

Technical Competencies

  • Strong expertise in devolved structure of the country and provincial planning, budgeting process, experience in working with National Planning and rolling out the plans at national and sub national level;
  • Experience on Result Based Management Process and Participatory approaches;
  • Familiarity with the SriLanka’s Planning administrative structures and has knowledge about government development priorities.


  • Maturity and confidence in dealing with senior members of national and provincial institutions;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Excellent written communication skills, with analytic capacity and ability to synthesize relevant collected data and findings for the preparation of quality analysis for the project proposal;
  • Excellent coordination skills and result oriented collaboration other national level consultants;
  • Excellent coordination with UN agencies and other development partners and stakeholders.


  • Good team player who has ability to maintain good relationships.

Required Skills and Experience



  • Master’s Degree in Political Science, Development Studies, Economics,  Public Administration or other related fields;
  • Minimum of 15 years of demonstrable experience and knowledge in the field of planning, Budgeting and monitoring at National and sub national level;
  • Demonstrated strategic technical and intellectual skills in the substantive area;
  • Demonstrated leadership, facilitation and coordination skills, ability to manage technical team;
  • Excellent communication (both oral and written) and partnership building skills with multi-dimension partners;
  • Computer proficiency, especially related to professional office software packages (Microsoft Office);
  • Excellent English language skills, particularly in the preparation of written documents.


The application should contain:

  • Cover letter explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for the advertised position and a brief methodology on how you will approach and conduct the work;
  • Updated CV to include qualifications/competencies and relevant past experience in similar projects and contact details of 3 professional referees who can certify your competencies, professionalism, quality of writing, presentation and overall suitability to this TOR;
  • Individual consultants will be evaluated based on a combination of factors including cover letter, the credentials on offer and brief interview (optional) and the offer which gives the best value for money for the UNDP;
  • Please send the Financial Proposal separately to the following e-mail address:  stating the vacancy number/position  in the subject line.


All Inclusive Lump Sum Fee: LKR


All Inclusive Daily Fee: LKR

Amount in words: (Rs.)

Note: Payments will be based on invoices on achievement of agreed milestones i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR and certification of acceptance by the UNDP. The applicant must factor in all possible costs in his/her “All Inclusive Lump Sum Fee” including his/her consultancy and professional fee, travel (economy class flights is required to and from the Duty Station) honorarium, board and lodging, and any other foreseeable costs in this exercise. No costs other than what has been indicated in the financial proposal will be paid or reimbursed to the consultant. UNDP will only pay for any unplanned travel outside of this TOR and Duty Station on actual basis and on submission of original bills/invoices and on prior agreement with UNDP officials. Daily perdiums and costs for accommodation/meals/incidental expenses for such travel shall not exceed established local UNDP DSA rates.

For an Individual Contractor who is 62 years of age or older, and on an assignment requiring travel, be it for the purpose of arriving at the duty station or as an integral duty required travel under the TOR, a full medical examination and statement of fitness to work must be provided.  Such medical examination costs must be factored in to the financial proposal above. Medical examination is not a requirement for individuals on RLA contracts. 


Payments will be released upon completion of milestones based on the recommendation of the Working Group consisting of  representatives from FC, NPD and UNDP.

Payment Milestones will be as follows:

  • 30%  at the Submission of the inception report to the Finance Commission to ensure the approach and achieve the ultimate objective of the task;
  • 30 %  on the submission and presentation of draft Planning Guideline including best practices, formats, systems, motoring system and reporting systems;
  • 40 %  on the submission of final draft guideline to Finance Commission, including all relevant supportive documents such as formats, system, monitoring formats and reporting formats.
UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.
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: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Colombo
  • Grade: National Consultant - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Management, Administration and Finance
  • Closing Date: 2017-09-20

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