International Consultants / Monitoring the Implementation of Minority Laws and Policies

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Call for Expression of Interest for the provision of international consultancy in the area of monitoring the implementation of minority laws and policies

The ECMI is seeking to select two international consultants with a relevant education background and work experience, who will assist ECMI in supporting the Serbian Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue in establishing an efficient and evidence-based system of monitoring the implementation of the Action Plan for the Realisation of Rights of National Minorities.

Consultancy Period: January-December 2023; 28 working days in total  

Place of execution of services: not specified; some activities in Belgrade  

Deadline for Applications: 28 November 2022

*** The realization of the call is conditioned with the project approval by the GIZ.

Background and objectives of the consultancy

With the MPA project, the ECMI will support Serbia in meeting the benchmarks of EU accession Chapter 23 relating to the protection of national minorities through the improved quality of implementation of minority-related laws and policies. One of the core areas of the project relates to the improvement of the monitoring of the implementation of the Action Plan for the Realisation of Rights of National Minorities.

During the period of Serbia’s existing Special Action Plan (2016-2022), reports on its implementation were produced quarterly, based on the inputs provided by a variety of actors. The coordination of the reporting process lies within the Ministry for Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue, and the reports were intended to allow the Council for National Minorities to assess the progress and level of implementation of the set activities.

The main shortcoming of these reports concerned the fact that they were mostly narrative. While they offered some quantitative and qualitative information, they were often merely chronological and hence relatively mechanical. They lacked transparent benchmarks and indicators for the assessment of each action as having been fulfilled, partly fulfilled, or not fulfilled. The effects of the monitoring/reporting also remained unclear, as there were no regular or systematic follow-up activities. Synergies between the reporting and respective policy action did not emerge. Against this backdrop, the objective of the given project section is to improve reporting so that it can be used more holistically as a tool to identify implementation gaps, the nature thereof, possible solutions for mitigation, as well as the responsible actors.

There is a general intention in Serbia to establish a more systematised and holistic system for monitoring the implementation of laws and public policies, for which a special law and various regulations have been adopted since 2018. However, the monitoring/reporting practices remain only rudimentary, and the Ministry for Human and Minority Rights has still not thoroughly transferred its work to the new system. The adoption of a new Action Plan thus offers a good opportunity to set the baseline for a new, systematised, and structured monitoring/reporting on its implementation.

The ECMI will support the Serbian Ministry for Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue in setting the framework for more efficient and optimized implementation monitoring, through the set of project activities focused on screening the existing state of affairs, peer-to-peer exchange, development of a monitoring toolkit, monitoring training, follow-up dialogue, and annual conference. The engagement of two highly qualified and experienced experts in the field of monitoring and evaluation of public policies can significantly contribute to the quality of the envisaged activities.

Description of tasks

The selected consultants will contribute to the achievement of the project objective of improved monitoring of the implementation of the Action Plan for the Realisation of Rights of National Minorities through the following activities:

  • Design of the Monitoring Methodology Toolkit. The Toolkit is the core outcome of the given consultancy. The toolkit should outline the monitoring procedures, steps, actors, etc., and serve as a basis and framework for a unified monitoring/reporting process. It should be a practical and user-friendly handbook that can support relevant actors with the practical aspects of monitoring/reporting.
  • Participation in the screening meeting and identification of strengths and weaknesses of the existing monitoring procedures in Serbia related to national minority laws and policies.
  • Participation in peer-to-peer meetings with the Serbian stakeholders and identification of examples of good practices in other European countries that can be useful for Serbia.
  • Support in designing tailor-made training programmes.
  • Support in evaluating the effectiveness of the established monitoring mechanism.
  • Support in designing the programme of the Annual Implementation Conference.
Selection criteria
  • University degree in social sciences, political sciences, or any related field;
  • Extensive professional experience at international and/or domestic level in areas related to monitoring and evaluation of public policies;
  • Knowledge of the core European standards of good governance and minority rights;
  • Proven analytical, research and reporting skills;
  • Excellent oral and written knowledge of English, proficiency in drafting in that language;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Proven ability to work in international and multicultural environments;
  • Experience/knowledge in the EU accession process is an asset;
  • Knowledge of BHS languages is an asset;
  • Knowledge of the Serbian and/or Western Balkans context of minority protection and EU accession is an asset. 
Application procedure

Interested applicants should submit:

  • a letter of expression of interest;
  • a CV (indicating experience that is relevant to the consultancy); and
  • a short proposal of the monitoring toolkit outline.

Application materials should be submitted electronically to Ms. Oana Buta (buta@ecmi.de) no later than 28 November 2022.

 

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