The skills and AI
Pacific Islands countries (PICs) boast “big ocean” economies, with young and mobile populations and highly resilient and adaptative societies. Past and recent investments have however fallen short of developing diverse economies offering inclusive services and opportunities, resilient to external shocks and the increasing pace of climate disasters. While the scale of Pacific economies does not allow them to respond to all these challenges alone, public investment and revenues would gain from empowered officials accountable to keep basic service delivery and development priorities in mind while driving fiscal decisions.
For this reason, the “Accountable Public Finances to serve Pacific people – Vaka Pasifika” project (hereafter Vaka Pasifika project) builds on the results of the “Strengthening Public Finance Management and Governance in the Pacific” (PFM) project implemented between 2018 and 2022. The proposed overarching goal of this project is to strengthen the governance mechanisms enabling Pacific countries to deliver public services that are better calibrated to meet specific needs of the people. Its specific focus will be to ensure scarce Pacific resources are better managed and the resource base available for achieving national development goals will be increased. To achieve this goal, PIC economies require stable and reliable institutions implementing the right mix of creativity and rigor informed by ground reality. The Project will contribute to this vision by (a) supporting oversight institutions and decision makers to define and implement their priorities through leadership and institutional capacity strengthening and (b) enhancing responsiveness of service delivery and public finance management by developing institutional mechanisms for engagement and openness and strengthening civil society capacity.
A major challenge in the Pacific region is the quality and timeliness of audit reports with an even greater challenge in the follow-up and implementation of recommendations from audits. Both are impaired by delays in producing whole of government financial statements and capacity of parliaments in the region to follow-up on reports, factors which are external to Audit Offices. Yet a major challenge also relates to human resource. Supreme Audit Institutions cannot compete with the private sectors and very few manage to recruit from the extremely limited pool of qualified accountant, with some Auditor Office functioning without any certified auditor.
Starting from this specific challenge, the focus of this consultancy is to understand what skills are actually worth investing in for Pacific Supreme Audit Institutions and where it might be worth investing in ICT and artificial Intelligence tools. The report will lead to the Vaka Pasifika project focusing energy on developing and piloting some of these tools to accelerate the transition and ensure SAIs can focus on the essential human resources capacity and cut down on capacity building of the past.
Duties and Responsibilities
Scope of Work
Reporting to the UNDP Vaka Pasifika PFM Project Manager, the “Skills of the Past” consultant will be in charge of facilitating a collaborative reflection on the futures of SAIs and human resources in the Pacific with relationship to ICT and AI tools. Specific responsibilities will include:
- Design a methodology to answer the following two challenges: “are we and where are we wasting money in when it comes to skills building for SAIs in the Pacific given predicted evolution of ICT” and “what is worth pushing for early adoption in terms of technology given the above?”
- Implement the methodology which should: be mindful of regional and local context and existing state of knowledge and adoption of ICT by Supreme Audit Institutions, harvest collective intelligence and enable the project to build partnership with new actors, the ICT community in the Pacific as well as futurists. The methodology can include events, desk-based and interactive methods as needed.
- Produce a report with recommendations – the report should be a pitch to heads of Supreme Audit Institutions and development partners which will be presented to them for feedback and expression of interest.
Expected Outputs and Deliverables
Indicative No. of days / due date
Develop methodology in partnership with project team and UNDP Pacific Innovation Specialist + initial desk-based research report
5days / by mid-August
Report on skills and ICT/AI tools for Supreme Institutions in the Pacific, including a) review of literature and trends analysis on the future of work in SAIs and linked sectors; b) report on learning process and emerging conclusion on future of skills for SAIs; c) analysis of the availability and cost of relevant technology and ease of adoption for SAIs in the Pacific; d) recommendations on pilot and follow-up activities for UNDP Vaka Pasifika.
15 days/ by mid-October
The Consultant will report to the UNDP PFM Project Manager Effective Governance.
The Consultant to provide their own IT equipment and access (computer and internet connection).
Duration of the Work
The consultant will be required to work for a period of up to 20 days between August and November 2022.
Duty Station home based.
- Demonstrates integrity and fairness by modelling UN values and ethical standards;
- Demonstrates professional competence and is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results;
- Display cultural, gender, nationality, religion and age sensitivity and adaptability.
- Demonstrated ability to work harmoniously in a multi-cultural environment;
- Ability to work on own initiative as well as a member of a team and to work under pressure;
- Excellent relationship management;
- Excellent communication, facilitation, presentation and reporting skills;
Required Skills and Experience
- Bachelor’s in social science, future sciences, audit, public finance or related.
- 3 years of professional experience at the policy or strategic level in development, institutional work, think tank or related – 1 year experience with a PhD will be considered;
- Publications or research experience on one minimum, ideally several of the following: future of work, ICT for audit or future of audit topics or related, AI and accountability and oversight, technology and audit or related;
- Experience conducting research in developing countries, preferably the Pacific;
- Experience with foresight tools and methodology an advantage
- Fluency of English language is required;
Price Proposal and Schedule of Payments
Lump Sum Amount. The total amount quoted shall be all-inclusive and include all costs components required to perform the deliverables identified in the TOR, including professional fee, travel costs, living allowance (if any work is to be done outside the IC´s duty station) and any other applicable cost to be incurred by the IC in completing the assignment. The contract price will fixed output-based price regardless of extension of the herein specified duration. Payments will be done upon completion of the deliverables/outputs and as per below percentages:
- Upon reception and final clearance of deliverable 2: 100% of total value of the contract
Evaluation Method and Criteria
Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology Cumulative analysis
The award of the contract shall be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as a) responsive/compliant/acceptable; and b) having received the highest score out of set of weighted technical criteria (70%). and financial criteria (30%). Financial score shall be computed as a ratio of the proposal being evaluated and the lowest priced proposal received by UNDP for the assignment.
Technical Criteria for Evaluation (Maximum 70 points)
- Criteria 1 - Relevance of Education – Max 5 points
- Criteria 2 - Relevance of professional experience at strategic level - Max 20 Points
- Criteria 3 – Specific experience on technical research and analysis - Max 20 points
- Criteria 4 – Experience in the development sector in the Pacific – Max 10 points
- Criteria 5 – Evidence of foresight methodology – Max 15 points
UNDP may interview the technically qualified candidates as a means to validate the technical evaluation.
Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49 points (70% of the total technical points) would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.
Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications to the link provided .
- Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability for the duration of the assignment using the template provided in Annex II.
- CV indicating all experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references.
- Financial proposal, as per template provided in Annex II (in USD)
- Portfolio of research or published pieces would be welcome
Note: Successful individual will be required to provide proof of medical insurance coverage before commencement of contract for the duration of the assignment.
Incomplete, joint proposals and proposals sent to the wrong mailing address will not be accepted and only candidates for whom there is further interest will be contacted.
Individuals interested in this consultancy should apply and will be reviewed based on their own individual capacity. The successful individual may sign an Individual Contract with UNDP or request his/her employer to sign a Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA) on their behalf by indicating this in the Offerors letter to Confirming Interest and Availability using Annex II.
- Annex I - Individual IC General Terms and Conditions
- Annex II – Offeror’s Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability for the Individual IC, including Financial Proposal Template
For further information concerning this Terms of Reference, please contact UNDP Pacific Office by email: [email protected].