PROJECT BACKDROUNG AND DESCRIPTION
Lebanon has been facing compounded challenges with its largest peace-time socio-economic and financial crisis, aggravated over time and intensified by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on key sectors of the economy, the consequences of the explosion of the Port of Beirut in 2020 and the war in Ukraine in 2022. Owing to the lack of political consensus for pursuing and implementing effective reforms to enhance governance and accountability of public services and to generate State revenues and reduce expenditures, the multi-dimensional crisis continues to persist, although the 2022 parliamentary elections showed growing support for candidates representing civil society and demanding reform.
Public administrations in Lebanon are marked by low quality and accessibility of public services, suffering from weak decision-making processes, absence of clear vision, lack of transparency and accountability leading to increased corruption and weakening the public service delivery. The sectarian regime, nepotism and confessional power sharing running across all government ministries and institutions creates inefficiencies in the public administrations, room for corruption and misuse of public funds. This results in citizens and businesses wasting time and resources undermining the image of public services, distracting officials from achieving good results and advancing on public administrative reform. With the crisis, salaries of civil servants have plummeted resulting in an increasing number of highly qualified Lebanese migrating in search of better opportunities.
Following the explosion of the Port of Beirut in 2020, the European Union launched, jointly with the United Nations and the World Bank, the “Reform, Recovery and Reconstruction Framework (3RF)”. The 3RF addresses the impact of the explosion on affected communities and businesses in Beirut; in addition, it focuses on critical reforms, including enhancing transparency, accountability and integrity of the public administration. These reforms are notably to be achieved through the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy 2020-2025 (NACS), of which the recent nomination of the members of the National Anti-Corruption Commission is crucial to the monitoring of the implementation of reform.
In addition, in 2021, a new Public Procurement Law was passed in Parliament, based on international standards and following a MAPS assessment. This Law establishes a new, independent Public Procurement Authority, which was preceded by a Tender Board that had been part of the Central Inspection.
The most recent milestone in international assistance was the signature of a staff-level agreement for a financial assistance program between Lebanon and the IMF, announced on April 6, 2022. This preliminary agreement should lead to the conclusion of an Extended Fund Arrangement of a period of 46 months for a total amount of 3 billion dollars. The agreement provides that the future program includes a pillar relating to the improvement of governance, transparency and the fight against corruption in public finances. Under this pillar, the IMF demanded the reform of the civil service field, implementing the new Public Procurement Law, reinforcing the capacities of oversight bodies, specifically the National Anti-Corruption Commission (IMF press release, April 2022). With the legislative elections taken place in May 2022, the new parliament and the future government continue discussions with the IMF for the implementation of this agreement, however the political actions implemented in the country are far from the IMF demands
Accordingly, a new EU Program Action will be implemented in 2023 by Expertise France that aims to support progress in key areas of public administration reform in Lebanon through enhancing the integrity, transparency and accountability of its public administration aligned with the principles of a modern public administration. It consists of three outcomes:
1. Safeguarding integrity of the public administration, mainly in the area of public human resources management (i.e. civil service reform); beneficiary: Civil Service Board
2. Enhancing transparency in public administration systems, mainly in the area of public procurement at central and local level (i.e. public financial management reform) and access to public information (i.e. accountability); beneficiary: Public Procurement Authority
3. Strengthening accountability of the administration by reinforcing the role of the main oversight bodies (Beneficiary: Central Inspection Board, Court of Audits and National Anti-corruption Commission) in implementing reform, fighting and preventing corruption.
The project Officer will contribute to the implementation of the 3 Outcomes in close collaboration with the 3 components managers.
For the implementation of the project, Expertise France is currently recruiting a project Officer.
Under the responsibility of the Deputy Team Leader/Component Manager, the project officer will be responsible for the following tasks:
Support the component managers within the three project components:
- Provide technical input for the transversal aspect of the project;
- Contribute to drafting and updating project documents such as work plan, calendar, project dashboards, and drafting/revising project narrative reports;
- Support the organization of the Project’s steering committee and technical committee meetings: prepare relevant documentation and presentations;
- Participate in project activities such as trainings, roundtables etc.
Support the international short-term experts within the three project components:
- Accompany short term experts (legal and interpretation support) in developing tools, technical documents, new procedures for the public administration beneficiaries;
- Plan the activities of the short-term experts in coordination with the long-term experts (provide support for the drafting of terms of reference for short-term expert missions, agendas of the missions, coordination meetings with experts, etc.);
- Contribute to the quality control of deliverables;
- Support with legal researches;
- Translate documents and deliverables from Arabic to English and vice versa;
- Assess beneficiaries’ needs and their translation into project activities;
- Monitor the local political, institutional and legal framework and report to the Team leader regarding any development (regulatory change, turnover or interlocutors …).
Monitoring and Evaluation:
- Contribute with the Team Leader and components managers to the elaboration and the implementation of the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan: monitor activities, update M&E tools and extract M&E reports.
Qualifications and skills
- Master's degree or equivalent in public business, law, public finance, international project management or other equivalent field;
- Proven expertise in the field of public administration reform;
- Ability to work in a team and bring out ideas and operational solutions;
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills;
- Proactive, with a sense of responsibility;
- Organizational skills and attention to detail;
- Institutional representation capacity;
- Demonstrated autonomy, flexibility, and responsiveness.
- Analytical mindset and ability to synthesize information.
- Proficiency in office tools (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.).
- Diplomatic and discreet approach.
- Demonstrated ability to work in a multicultural environment.
- Demonstrated ability to work in a complex context
- Excellent proficiency of Arabic and English, both oral and written, essential – French is a plus.
- Minimum of 5 years of progressive experience in project management and/or international cooperation in the field of public reforms and the fight against corruption;
- Experience working with international experts (missions planning and elaboration of deliverables);
- Proven ability to collaborate with Lebanese Public Administrations to achieve project objectives;
- Proven ability to do extensive Legal researches;
- Experience in the implementation of EU cooperation projects under the delegated management modality is a plus;
- Strong project management skills, planning and reporting,
- Previous experience in organizing capacity-building programs, workshops, and training sessions is highly desirable;
- Previous experience in Monitoring and Evaluation: logical frameworks tools and follow up of indicators achievements.