Request for Expressions of Interest (REoI) For

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­Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GoIRA)

Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation & Development (MRRD)

National Solidarity Programme (NSP)

Request for Expressions of Interest (REoI) For

International Individual Consultant to Provide Technical Assistance to the

NSP Operations Directorate on Financial Oversight

(Reference # MRRD/NSP III/CN/494)
Country: Afghanistan

Ministry: Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation & Development (MRRD)

Type: Individual (International) Consultant

Project ID: P117103

Grant #: TF 098459-AF (and/or other grants as may be available)

Issue Date: April 19, 2011

Closing Date: May 15, 2011

Proc Plan Ref: 89-a
General Introduction:

The National Solidarity Program is the largest of the Afghanistan Government’s national priority programmes and is the second largest development programme in the world. The Program is implemented by the Afghanistan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) and currently is into its 7th year and 2nd phase. NSP consists of four core elements:

  • Facilitation at the community level to assist communities establish inclusive community institutions through secret ballot and democratic elections; reach consensus on priorities and corresponding subproject activities; develop eligible subproject proposals that comply with NSP appraisal criteria; and implement approved subprojects;.

  • Building the capacities of CDC and community members (both men and women) in participation, consensus-building, accounting, procurement and contract management, operations and maintenance, and monitoring;

  • Providing direct block grant transfers to fund approved subprojects; and

  • Linking CDCs to government agencies, NGOs, and donors to improve access to services and resources.

NSP proposes to cover an estimated 33,500 rural communities to achieve full national coverage. The NSP currently contracts around 28 firms (including 1 UN agency and 27 NGOs) to serve as Facilitating Partners (FPs).

The NSP Phase III is to start shortly and will involve the rollout to over 10,000 new communities for the first round of block grants and rollout to around 17,500 existing communities for the second round of block grants.

  1. Introduction to NSP Financial Oversight

The NSP Phases I and II (May 2003 to September 2011) has a total budget of around US$ 1.2 billion. The NSP Phase III (September 2010 to September 2015) has an additional budget of US$ 1.5 billion. Together NSP has a budget of nearly US$ 3 billion. This may broadly be divided as around 70% as block grants provided directly to communities, around 20% as costs for facilitation and capacity building of Community Development Councils (CDCs), and around 10% as all other management, operational and project support costs. NSP has spent around US$ 1.1 billion to-date.

NSP has 4 primary funding sources: a) the International Development Association (IDA), b) the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), c) the Japanese Social Development Fund (JSDF), and d) bilateral donors. The funding is channeled through the donor accounts in the Afghan Ministry of Finance (MoF) and via the “float accounts” managed by the NSP’s Financial Management Agent (FMA). Deloitte Overseas Consulting Inc (USA) has been contracted since late March 2010 for a period of 23 months as the NSP FMA.

The NSP Headquarters includes one full-fledged Finance Department (FD) which has two international consultants seconded as part of the FMA, the Head of the Department and the Manager of 2 of the 3 Units within the Department. Unlike most internationals currently in the NSP that are limited to technical assistance roles, these 2 FMA personnel serve in executive roles. The 3 FD units are Block Grant Fund Unit, Operations Fund Unit and Programme Fund Unit. At the field level, the 6 NSP Regional Coordination Units (RCUs) have 1 Finance Officer and 1 Finance Assistant each and the 34 Provincial Management Units (PMUs) have 1 Accountant and 1 Assistant Accountant each.

Financial management functions of the NSP include budget planning/forecasts, budget implementation and monitoring, proper financial controls, financial management information systems and financial reporting. Each of this is done for all NSP funds compiled by component, by fiscal year, by donor, by grant, etc. All approval related to potential financial expenditure/commitments and procurements are divided into various units and levels as per the Approval Policy and the NSP Financial Management Manual (FMM) which are in line with Afghan government legislation and/or policy and/or as per the Financing Agreements of NSP’s various Grants.

Regular audits are conducted on all NSP finances by the Government’s Central Audit Office (CAO). The World Bank also conducts Financial Management Reviews as part of their NSP Implementation Support Missions (ISMs) once every 6 months.

  1. Specific Roles/ Responsibilities Expected of the Consultant Position:

  • Assist the NSP Director of Operations (DoO) in preparing budget forecasts for multiple years based on operational work plans for various donors/individual grants in NSP III.

  • Assist the DoO in ensuring that the legal covenants and other obligations of the Client with regard to the World Bank grant related Technical Annexes and Financing Agreements, and Grant Agreements of other donors are met

  • Assist the DoO in overseeing the overall financial management of the programme

  • Assist the DoO in monitoring NSP expenditure against approved annual and quarterly budgets

  • Assist the DoO overseeing the NSP Finance Department’s performance.

  • Assist the DoO in liaison with external auditors on all financial audit report queries/responses, observations/feedback and comments.

  • Assist the DoO to ensure the linkage between financial and physical progress in the various components of all NSP financial management reports.

  • Assist the DoO in establishing and implementing smooth financial coordination between the NSP FD, the MRRD FD, and the various units within the Ministry of Finance (MoF) that handle NSP payments/ funds.

  • Technical assistance to the NSP’s Internal Control Unit.

  • Follow-up on the various action points raised in the World Bank’s Implementation Support Missions’ (ISMs’) Aide Memoires relating to NSP’s financial management.

  • Advise the DoO on the progress in implementing the NSP Financial Management Information Systems (FMIS).

  • Assist the DoO in monitoring and improving upon existing policies, systems, regulations and procedures relating to NSP’s financial management

  1. Time Schedule

The assignment is expected to start in early May 2011 and is for a period of twelve (12) months, with an additional possible extension of 6 months if mutually agreed between both parties. The contract could be phased if so agreed between both parties during the contract negotiations.

  1. Qualification Requirements

V.A Academic Qualifications

A chartered accountant certification is preferred. A master’s degree in a related field such as financial management will also be considered acceptable. Specific experience (minimum 1 year) in development programme financing in mandatory.

V.B Work Experience

A minimum of 3 years of direct experience in senior management and/or contracts management (of non-works type of contracts) of large organizations/ programmes of which at least 1 year is outside the consultant’s native country is required. At least 1 year experience in senior management in organizations/ programmes with multiple contractual partners is essential.

V.C Other Requirements

  • Considerable knowledge in development and development partnerships.

  • Excellent knowledge in international best practices in financial management in large multi-donor, multi-partner development programmes.

  • Excellent knowledge of software, tools and related requirements for FMIS set-up and implementation.

  • Working knowledge of personal computers including word processing, database, and spreadsheet applications.

  • Fluency in English (listening, reading, writing, speaking).

  • Ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing.

  • Ability to listen and ascertain the needs of various NSP stakeholders, especially donors and community members.

  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with all related stakeholders.

VI. Duty Station and Reporting Requirements:
VI.A Duty Station: The duty station shall be the NSP HQ Offices located within the MRRD Compound in Darul Aman, Kabul, Afghanistan. The position will include occasional travel to the field as may be required to fulfill the ToRs stated above.
VI.B Reporting Requirements: The consultant reports to the NSP Director of Operations (DoO) on all work related issues, including HR issues (such as leave days, time sheets etc) of his/her contract.

  1. Submission of Expression of Interest:

The NSP/MRRD now invites eligible consultants to indicate their interest in providing the services. Interested eligible candidates must provide both a cover letter and Curriculum Vitae (CV) as their Expression of Interest (EoI). The EoI should include clear information on the applicant’s key qualifications, employment history (including description of similar assignments, experience in similar programmes/conditions, previous remunerations etc), availability of appropriate skills, at least 2 professional work references (preferably from current or immediate previous employer), any specific conditions required by the applicant for the potential services, and statement on any disabilities or other factors that may hinder or affect the performing of the services.

A consultant will be selected in accordance with ‘Section V: Selection of Individual Consultants’ procedures set out in the World Bank’s Guidelines: ‘Selection and Employment of Consultants by World Bank Borrowers, version May 2004’. Interested consultants may obtain further information

  1. in person at the address below (from 08:00 to 16:30 hours from Saturday to Wednesday) or

  2. from the website indicated below or

  3. by email to the contact person indicated below.

Expressions of interest (EoI) must be delivered to the address below or by E-Mail to the ID shown below no later than 16:00 Hours on May 15, 2011. The subject line (of the email or the cover letter if submitted in person) should refer to the position being applied both by title and by the reference number stated in this document. Note: No telephone inquires will be entertained.

Address of Focal Person for Enquires and Submission of EoIs:

Mr. Nabiullah Azimi, Head, Procurement Department, National Solidarity Program (NSP),

Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD), Afghanistan

Address: NSP HQ Offices, MRRD Compound Tashkilat Street, Darul Aman Road, Kabul, Afghanistan

E-mail to: with cc to Website:

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