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The Asia Foundation is a non-profit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our programs address critical issues affecting Asia in the 21st century—governance and law, economic development, women's empowerment, environment, and regional cooperation. In addition, our Books for Asia and professional exchange programs are among the ways we encourage Asia's continued development as a peaceful, just, and thriving region of the world.
If you share the same vision and commitment, we invite you to submit a Cover Letter and CV for the vacancy below to firstname.lastname@example.org
Technical Assistance for Ulaanbaatar Strategic Planning Department
Objectives/Purpose of Assignment
The Asia Foundation is collaborating with Stanford University and the City of Ulaanbaatar to use the deliberative poll methodology to hold discussions with the city's citizens. The deliberative polling technique will allow the city leadership to gain insight into the thoughtful opinions of a representative sample of UB citizens on issues of key important. After several months of discussion with the city, the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar has chosen to ask citizens to deliberate on the appropriate prioritization of major infrastructure projects being considered by the city.
Given the increasing challenging fiscal situation that both the country and city are facing, there are critical questions of prioritization to be considered. Prioritizing among the many infrastructure projects that the city is considering would be both fiscally prudent, but also potentially help the city staff focus on the highest priority projects to move forward. The scale of the projects being considered also will potentially impact the citizens of Ulaanbaatar broadly, and so consulting them to understand which projects they think are most important is important. The misinformation about spending and planning that does persist in Ulaanbaatar also indicates that the deliberative polling mechanisms, which generates informed opinions from citizens, as well as data about why citizens prefer certain kinds of projects over others, makes sense as an appropriately nuanced tool for this discussion.
The criteria for selected projects to deliberate on generated by the city included three main factors. First the city considered projects introduced in the approved master plan. Second the city wanted to discuss significant projects that would affect UB as a whole. Third the projects selected for selection will all need the city to take on debt to execute the plans. Applying these criteria the city has selected 14 projects for discussion at the deliberative poll, this list is not yet final, but should be considered close to final. For each project the city will produce short briefing documents that will be used to inform the citizens about the projects for discussion. In addition to briefings about each project, citizens will be provided with information regarding the national and city financial situation, background on the UB Masterplan, and finally the overall challenges facing the city.
The Ulaanbaatar Strategic Planning Department is leading the collation of information on potential infrastructure projects and is producing short briefing materials for each project. These materials will be critical to the deliberative polling project. Currently initial drafts of all project briefing materials have been produced, but there are gaps in information and analysis across them. Clarity is lacking on certain plans, potential costs have been calculated inconsistently, and the cost-benefit analysis of each project is limited. The Asia Foundation is seeking an experienced consultant to provide two weeks of in country technical assistance to the Strategic Planning Department to work with city officials to improve the quality of these briefing materials. This will include direct work on improving briefing materials, as well as capacity building with city staff to help them develop and use relevant tools to analyze the viability and potential positive and negative impacts of infrastructure projects being planned.
Scope of Work
The performance period will initially run from November 16 until November 27, 2015 (or as soon as possible) on which date all final outputs will be expected. This assignment will take place in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. During the performance period the consultants will:
- Review the existing project briefing materials and comments received from technical experts and identify gaps and needs.
- Work closely with city counterparts and The Asia Foundation staff to develop a plan to collect the information and conduct analysis to improve the briefing materials.
- Work with city officials to gather the required information to update the briefing materials both from experts within the city as well as at other organizations in Ulaanbaatar (such as IFIs).
- Conduct required financial or cost-benefit analysis with city counterparts, both to produce information for briefing materials but also to impart skills to city counterparts.
- Directly add inputs and improvements to the project briefing materials.
- Produce a short report for city leadership with candid observations on what is required to move projects forward, potential for success, major outstanding information needed to make sound decisions on next steps.
Required Experience for Consultant
The successful candidate will have demonstrated capacity to conduct feasibility studies, cost-benefit analysis and provide advisory support on planning urban infrastructure projects. International experience is also strong preferred. A combination of technical capacity, communication skills, and ability to synthesize analysis into clearly articulated guidance for city leadership and citizens will be required for success. An advanced degree in urban planning, economics, engineering, architecture or other relevant fields is strongly preferred. Availability for travel on short notice is also required. Experience in Mongolia and Mongolian language abilities are advantages but not required.
Assignment Dates and Level of Effort:
The assignment would ideally begin on 16 November, 2015 until 27 November, 2015. The expected Level of Effort will be 10 days of in country support to the city of Ulaanbaatar. The consultant will be compensated for actual time spent on the assignment, and all travel costs will be reimbursed or paid directly by The Asia Foundation. The assignment will take place in Ulaanbaatar, and appropriate staffing arrangement will be made by The Asia Foundation to ensure that support required for direct engagement with the city is provided.