Short-term Consult...

Short-term Consultants (STCs): Country Case Studies of the Role of ICTs in Post-Conflict Reconstruction

infoDev is seeking three (3) consultants to research and produce three case studies on the role of ICTs in Post-Conflict Reconstruction in Cambodia, Liberia and Sri Lanka. Individuals working within universities or other research institutions are encouraged to apply, via the World Bank eConsult site.

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. 1039296) no later than 11.59 pm Eastern Time, 24 June 2011.  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.

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 (22 per cent; Source: 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 seeks individuals to research and produce 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.

Purpose and objectives:

The case studies produced will be used in the formulation of recommendations to governments and the donor community on the sequencing of ICT reforms and investments that could be followed in the aftermath of a conflict.

The case studies should:

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 policymakers 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.

As part of this project, three country case studies will cover:

  • Cambodia, from the East Asia and Pacific region, as an historical perspective on post-conflict reconstruction. The UN and its agencies played an important role in implementing the peace settlement reached in Cambodia in the early 1990s and in running democratic elections. Cambodia’s transition is widely perceived to be a success and it enjoyed some of the fastest rates of economic growth anywhere in the world in the first decade of the 2000s. Cambodia was the first country in the world where the number of mobile phone exceeded the number of fixed-line phones and it pioneered a new model for ICT development which has become the norm across much of the developing world. The country has benefited from extensive donor aid and growth in tourism, and the recent discovery of off-shore oil and gas deposits could further boost growth. But the recovery remains fragile.
  • Liberia, from the Africa region, as an example of reconstruction after an extended period of conflict, and in which the institutions of government and civil society are still very weak. Fourteen years of civil conflict left Liberia’s economy, institutions and infrastructure completely devastated. Following a transition period, a new elected Government took office since 2005.  Liberia has made much progress, starting to rebuild public sector institutions, delivering some essential services, revitalizing infrastructure, and laying the foundations for sustaining economic growth. Liberia is now at an inflection point, moving from a transitional post-conflict recovery phase to laying the foundations for long-term development.
  • Sri Lanka, from the South Asia region, as a more recent example of post-conflict reconstruction, with a focus on nation building. The defeat of the LTTE in May 2009 brought to an end more than 25 years of on-off civil war, but left a large number of displaced people. Sri Lanka now faces the challenges of promoting inclusive development and restoring social cohesion following the brutal end to the civil war, but is making rapid progress, building on the role that ICTs already played in helping to restore stability during the conflict. The World Bank has been supporting the e-Sri Lanka project and is now supporting a FutureGov transformational study. What have been the benefits of these efforts to ensure good governance through the use of ICTs?

In addition, we would welcome proposals from consultants to carry out a similar study in Nepal.

Scope of Work

Each consultant will provide a case study (around 40 pages) on the role of ICTs in post-conflict reconstruction in the assigned country (Cambodia, Liberia or Sri Lanka). The following three sets of questions should act as guidelines for research to be conducted:

·         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 case studies should focus on the potential impacts of ICT initiatives in the reconstruction program, balancing “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. They will also look at the specific role that ICTs can play in peace building, national reconciliation, transparency, and accountability.

Each study should outline lessons which can be used to recommend proactive policy steps to maximize the benefits of using ICTs in post-conflict reconstruction.

Deliverables

·         A first draft of each case study will be due 3 months after contract signature.

·         Each consultant will incorporate comments and provide a second draft version within five days of receiving comments.

·         The final version of each case study, incorporating any final comments following the second draft, will be due within four months of contract signature.

Consultant Qualifications

·         University degree with relevant field, at least at Masters Level. Further Postgraduate qualifications would be an advantage.

·         At least 8 years of relevant experience, including work in the ICT sector.

·         Strong analytical and data skills and proven writing ability.

·         Experience with deploying ICT in post-conflict environments. Experience with the region or specific country would be an advantage.

·         Proven English writing skills with fluency of the official language of the country being studied.

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 # 1039296) no later than 11.59 pm Eastern Time, 24 June 2011.  PLEASE DO NOT LOGIN, simply click on “Bidding Opportunities”.  When responding, please indicate for which of the three case studies you are applying.


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