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Terminal evaluation of the access to justice & support to judiciary projects

Organization: UNDP

Location: Banjul, GAMBIA

Application Deadline: 24-Feb-12

Additional Category: Millennium Development Goals

Type of Contract: Individual Contract

Post Level: International Consultant

Languages Required: English 

Starting Date: 05-Mar-2012
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)

Duration of Initial Contract: 3 weeks

Expected Duration of Assignment: 3 weeks

Background

The Gambia Government adopted a Legal Sector Strategy (LSS) for 2007-2011 as an integral part of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper II. The main objective of the Legal Sector Strategy is to address the general neglect of the legal sector institutions leading to inordinate delays of court cases, massive build-up of backlog of cases overtime and institutional weaknesses in terms of court rules, its facilities and logistics. It is evident that the accumulation of cases in the court systems serves as a major constraint to the efficient and effective administration of justice in The Gambia. As at July 2009, the number of pending cases rose to one thousand, two hundred and eighty (1,280) in the High Courts and one thousand three hundred (1,300) in the Magistrates Courts within the Greater Banjul Area.  Out of this, 70% of these cases are backlogged. Moreover, the overloaded adjudicatory Court system and considering the fact that the Court system is often expensive leads to the majority of the population, who are mostly peri-urban and rural-based, poor and vulnerable, having limited access to the quick and efficient dispensation of justice and resolution of conflicts to community members.

The Government, through its collaboration with development partners such as UNDP, initiated various interventions aimed at enhancing access to justice and the efficient and effective administration of justice. Included amongst these interventions are  various support mechanisms to the Judiciary system to address the backlog of cases for the timely dispensation of justice. Another mechanism employed to address this phenomenon is the enactment of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Act in 2005, and the Legal Aid Act in 2008. These have led to the establishment of the ADR Secretariat with the mandate of implementing the provisions of the Act; and the National Agency for Legal Aid in 2010 to promote the legal aid mechanism and to collaborate with NGOs to extend legal aid clinics to the sub-national levels. These two frameworks are essential complimentary components for justice delivery and access to justice in The Gambia and fulfil the Government’s constitutional obligations under several regional and international human rights instruments aimed at providing ready access to justice particularly to the poor and vulnerable.

Brief Project Description:

In line with the CPAP and CPD (2007-2011) and within the framework of a National Governance Programme and the projections to strengthen the governance processes and systems in The Gambia, UNDP supported the Ministry of Justice to implement two projects (Access to Justice and Support to Judiciary) to build upon and strengthen the available structures.

The ‘Support to Judiciary of The Gambia project implemented short-term measures aimed at enhancing access to justice and expediting processes within the judicial system. The key expected outputs for the project are: a) Justice dispensed in 70% of the pending cases constituting the backlog in the Greater Banjul Area Magistrates Courts b) High Court Rules amended; c) Rules of Procedures for Children’s Court and Industrial Tribunal introduced; d) Capacities of the Judicial and Administrative Officers strengthened in leadership and management; e) Operational Manuals for the Judicial and Court Support services prepared; f) Web site for the Judiciary developed; g) Magistrates and Registrars trained and equipped with computer equipment; h) Planning and Monitoring Unit established and operational.

The’ Access to Justice’ project sought to provide ready access to justice to the poor at both the Secretariat in Banjul  and rural regions of the country through the establishment of legal aid clinics and the provision of support to fully operationalise the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) concept within the judicial system. The project focused on the following 5 output areas: (i)The institutional framework of the National Agency for Legal Aid effectively established and operationalised; (ii) Existing Legal Aid initiatives supported and assistance provided for establishment of Legal Aid services at community levels through CSOs/CBOs; (iii) Operationalisation of the ADR Secretariat and the decentralisation of ADR centres in other regions supported; (iv) Initiatives of Civil Society / Community Based Organisations in implementation of ADR modalities at the grassroots levels supported; and (v) Governance Projects Management Unit established to render technical advice and coordinate attainment of identified project outputs.

Both projects were nationally executed (NEX). The Office of the Chief justice was the Implementing Partner for the Support to the Judiciary and the Attorney General’s Chambers and Ministry of Justice was the implementing partner for the Access to justice project. The IPs was responsible and accountable for project implementation including the achievement of project outputs and effective use of UNDP resources.

Project Boards (PB) were established to oversee the overall implementation process. For the ‘Support to the Judiciary of The Gambia Project the membership included Office of the Chief Justice, EC, National Authorizing Office and UNDP. For the ‘Access to Justice Project, its membership consisted of The Solicitor General, Attorney General’s Chambers and Ministry of Justice, or his/her alternate; (Chairperson); FLAG, FLARE, The UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, or his/her designated officer (Deputy Chairperson); Representative of the Office of the President; Representative from the Alternative Dispute Resolution Secretariat; NALA Programme Specialist, UNDP and Projects Coordinator as Secretary ex-officio.

Objectives:

The objective of the evaluation is to assess progress of UNDP’s interventions towards achievement of priority areas of intervention areas identified in terms of its objectives and to evaluate the efficacy of the strategies employed in contributing to the achievement of the outputs and outcomes as well as generate lessons, challenges and recommendations that could provide inputs or feed into the development of the next CPAP and any future interventions in this area.

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of the Evaluation:

The evaluation will cover all activities supported by UNDP in the two projects and, where appropriate, in collaboration with other development partners that have contributed to the achievement of the outputs. The evaluation is expected to generate lessons learnt, findings, conclusions and recommendations in the following areas:

  • An assessment of the adequacy of the project design, including adequacy of the situational analysis and indicators for achievement of outputs/activities;
  • An assessment and analysis of the outputs and outcomes: whether they have been achieved in part or full as was intended, the reason for any shortfall in their achievements and whether any unexpected results or outcomes have occurred. The evaluation should appraise their relevance to the intended overall project objectives;
  • An analysis of factors within and beyond UNDP’s control that influenced performance and success of the project (including the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) in contributing to the realization of the outputs;
  • An analysis of whether UNDP’s interventions can be credibly linked to achievement of the overall objectives, including the key outputs and assistance provided, both soft and hard as well as how the support has influenced the capacity development;
  • Whether UNDP’s partnership strategy has been appropriate and effective including the range and quality of partnerships and collaboration developed with government, civil society, donors, the private sector and whether these have contributed to improved project delivery. The degree of stakeholder and partner involvement in the various processes related to the objectives. How can synergies are built with other projects within the UNDP Country Programme and those of other development partners (donors);
  • Whether cross-cutting issues such as ICT, gender etc were adequately addressed in the interventions and have contributed to the achievement of the objectives; and if not, establish the reasons for not addressing the cross-cutting issues and suggest the appropriate remedial measures to be taken into account under the next support;
  • Explore whether the activities being implemented would contribute to smooth exist strategy or/and sustainability.

Expected outputs of the Evaluation:

The findings are expected to feed into the CPAP (2012-2016) development process and for any possible future support and provide valuable insights into the implementation of the Country Programme Action Plan.

The expected Deliverables of the assignment are as follows:

  • An inception report after desk review of relevant documents;
  • A draft report after two weeks from signing the contract;
  • A power point presentation of evaluation findings and facilitation of Terminal Tripartite Review of project;
  • A final Evaluation report.

Methodology or Evaluation Approach:

The consultant may employ relevant and appropriate methods to conduct evaluations including review of documents, individual and group interviews/discussions with stakeholders and partners, field visits, use of questionnaires, etc.

Competencies

  • Experience with organizational capacity building, programming and delivery mechanisms;
  • Knowledge and competencies/experience in organizational development, policy analysis, capacity building and mainstreaming crosscutting issues such ICT & gender etc;
  • Experience in technical cooperation programmes and projects would be an added advantage;
  • Knowledge of UNDP procedures and programme implementation strategies will be additional advantage.

Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Masters’ degree in development studies, legal studies, or any of the social sciences relevant to task and should have extensive experience in leading evaluations and report writing.

Experience:

  • 5 years of professional experience in, project design, monitoring and management.
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.

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