Short Term Consult...

Short Term Consultant: The Role of ICTs in Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Overall Report

DEADLINE: June 25, 2012

infoDev is seeking an individual consultant to produce a report on the role of ICTs in Post-Conflict Reconstruction based on six country case studies (already commissioned by infoDev), including a synthesis that outlines lessons learned and potential policy frameworks. Individuals working within universities or other research institutions are particularly encouraged to apply.

In responding to these terms of reference, please submit a cover letter and a CV using the World Bank eConsult2 system, online at: https:/wbgeconsult2.worldbank.org/wbgec/index.html  (search for selection no. 1074467) no later than 11:59 pm Eastern Time, 25 June 2012.  PLEASE DO NOT LOGIN, simply click on “Bidding Opportunities”.  When responding, please indicate for which of the three case studies you are applying.

Background

infoDev (www.infodev.org) is a research, capacity building, and advisory program, coordinated and served by an expert Secretariat housed in the Financial and Private Sector Development Vice Presidency of the World Bank Group.  It helps developing countries and their international partners use innovation and information and communication technologies (ICTs) effectively as tools for poverty reduction and sustainable social and economic development.

Since it was launched, the infoDev program has become renowned as a premier research and development organization in the field of technology for development. Its work program for FY2010‐12 is organized under three themes: Innovate, Connect, and Transform, and aims to develop a new cutting‐edge set of activities.

  • The Innovate work stream includes infoDev’s thought‐leadership in technology‐enabled small business incubation. infoDev’s global incubation network focuses on innovative small businesses that use information and technology to create sustainable enterprises in developing countries.
  • infoDev’s Connect work stream creates and disseminates widely‐acclaimed tools such as regulatory toolkits for policymakers. These knowledge products help developing countries to increase their access to ICT, thus connecting their citizens to the information and opportunities that technology brings.
  • infoDev’s Transform work stream encompasses our work with client countries and partners to nurture the transformative possibilities of ICT through grassroots initiatives in sectors including education and agriculture.

Within the World Bank Group, infoDev has also been recognized as a leader in its use of web‐based resources to develop, publish, and disseminate its work and facilitate debate and interaction among and between client countries and donors. infoDev’s goal is to bring together people passionate about how technology can be used appropriately and effectively to tackle a variety of challenges facing communities in developing countries.

With funding from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) Research Uptake Team, infoDev is implementing a policy research project aimed at furthering understanding of the role of ICTs in Post-Conflict Reconstruction.

Project Description

Conflict, within and between countries, is a major cause and consequence of poverty. Conflict currently affects around one quarter of low-income countries and the percentage of the population living in poverty in these countries is more than twice as high, at 54 per cent, as for other non-conflict-affected low income countries (World Development Report, 2011). But conflicts do end, and the challenge then is to bring relief and stability quickly, through good governance matched with rising living standards, in order to create the right conditions for nation-building. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) can play an important role in that process.

In line with the DFID Research Theme on “Governance in Challenging Environments”, and the World Bank’s strategic theme on the “Special challenges of post-conflict and fragile states”, infoDev has commissioned six case studies on the role of ICTs in post-conflict reconstruction. Experience in a number of post-conflict countries has shown that mobile communications is one of the first sectors to contribute to economic recovery through increased foreign direct investment to build infrastructure, better coordinated reconstruction, improved access to information, increased employment, and expanded government revenues. ICTs are also are enablers of strong economic performance and private sector development in a post conflict environment. ICTs can also contribute to social cohesion, in particular through the use of social media.

In summer 2011, infoDev commissioned a series of case studies of countries at different stages of post-conflict – covering Afghanistan, Liberia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste and Tunisia – to examine the contribution of ICTs in more detail. These studies are now well advanced and examine how policy-makers, the donor community and the private sector should prioritize and sequence ICT initiatives in the aftermath of conflict and aim to understand how ICTs can contribute to improving service delivery and assisting with nation-building. This research serves as the first large-scale comparative analysis of the role that ICTs play in countries emerging from conflict and it helps to identify the role of information in post-conflict development and social cohesion.

Purpose and objectives:

The purpose of this consultancy is to commission an overview report on ICTs for post-conflict reconstruction. This overview report will be the centrepiece of the second phase of this research project. As such, it should reflect on lessons learned from the commissioned research and from the general literature available on this topic. It should propose potential policy frameworks for ICTs in Post-Conflict Reconstruction. In doing so, the report should complete the goals outlined in the project concept note (full version available here):

a)      raise awareness of the benefits of prioritizing ICT initiatives early in the reconstruction effort;

b)      stimulate discussion on the principles and priority actions that will help policy-makers to create enabling conditions that leverage ICTs to advance, accelerate, and sustain reconstruction efforts;

c)      identify best practice lessons that can be learned, especially with regard to the sequencing of different ICT initiatives.

The report will mainly draw on the six country case studies that were commissioned. It will need to filter the findings of the studies while also considering on prior literature in the field, so prior knowledge of this literature is a must. The report should also give voice to the opinions and feedback from other experts in the field, gathered, in particular, at consultation events that infoDev hosted, including at the WSIS Forum, in Geneva, on 16 May 2012 (recording available on WSIS Forum website).

The case studies cover a wide spectrum of historical backgrounds and post-conflict stages. As a result, they differ in terms of format and of the specific themes that they discuss. A major objective of the report is to merge these diverse studies into a coherent final document while maintaining the cases’ uniqueness. Summaries of the case studies in the report should be written in a similar format and style, and this will require the consultant to work closely the case study authors as well as with the infoDev project team. The report will need to identify and highlight the major overlaps and differences of the studies.

A secondary goal is the identification of priority areas for engagements of donors and the private sector. This could include opportunities for investment and risk analysis. A further goal is to highlight a future research and program agenda for the field of ICT for Post-Conflict Reconstruction.

The key target audience of the report consists of policy-makers in developing countries which are emerging from conflicts and revolutions. Secondary target audiences are the ICT and ICT4D research communities, ICT4D practitioners, the donor community and the ICT private sector with interest in post-conflict situations.

Scope of Work

The consultant will provide a report (around 80-90 pages) on the role of ICTs in Post-Conflict Reconstruction, with particular focus on the 6 countries examined in the case studies. The report could be composed of the following elements:

  • An executive summary of 3-5 pages
  • An overview of 20-25 pages
  • Synthetic reviews of the highlights of the six separate case studies, of around 8-10 pages each.
  • Bibliography, glossary etc

The following three sets of questions should be answered based on the current state of research in general and the findings from the case studies in particular:

  • What are the potential benefits to be gained from focusing on the ICT sector at an early stage in the reconstruction effort and how does this help ensure tangible and sustainable development results? Why have these benefits sometimes failed to materialize?
  • What common principles and priorities can be gleaned that might help policymakers create enabling conditions that leverage ICTs in future reconstruction efforts? Which specific ICTs are likely to be the most useful in the immediate aftermath (e.g., satellite/GIS, emergency communications, etc.)?
  • What role does information play in post-conflict reconstruction, social cohesion, and the rebuilding of the national economy, including the use of social media? What is the likely role of different stakeholders?

The report should focus on the demonstrated impacts that ICT initiatives have had in the case study countries and other reconstruction programs. The analysis should cover insights on the optimal sequencing of ICT initiatives; in particular, how policy can balance “quick wins” that are rapidly achievable and which generate visible results with the need to develop the infrastructure to support longer-term reconstruction and recovery programs. The report should synthesize the case studies’ insights of the specific role that ICTs can play in peace building, national reconciliation, transparency, and accountability.

Consultant Qualifications

  • University degree with relevant field, at least at Masters Level. Further Postgraduate qualifications would be an advantage.
  • At least 10 years of relevant experience, including work in the ICT sector.
  • Strong analytical and data skills and proven writing ability.
  • Experience with ICT policy in post-conflict environments. Experience with one or more of the examined regions or specific countries would be an advantage.
  • Proven English writing skills.

Timetable and Payment Schedule

It is expected that this assignment will require around 40-50 days of effort at a rate to be established based on the consultant’s qualifications and experience. The consultant is not expected to do additional travelling or data gathering and should base the final document mainly on the six case studies which will be provided plus a literature survey. The deliverables will be due according to the following timeline:

Estimated date

Deliverable

Contract signature + two months

First draft of overview report

Contract signature + three

months

Revised draft of external report and first draft of case study synthesis chapters and executive summary

Contract signature + four months

Final draft of full report, incorporating comments

Management and Logistical Support

The Consultant will work under the supervision of infoDev.


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