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Request for Proposals #001: International Consultant for the Elaboration of the Constitutive Legal Texts for the Creation of the Mano River Union “Office of Transboundary Water Basins Management” (OTWBM)

Request for Proposals #001

International Consultant for the Elaboration of the Constitutive Legal Texts for the Creation of the Mano River Union “Office of Transboundary Water Basins Management” (OTWBM)

o Location: Freetown, Sierra Leone
o Application deadline: April 4, 2024, at 5:00 PM EST
o Language requirements: French or English

  1. CONTEXT

The Mano River Union (MRU), currently comprised of four West African countries, was created 1973 between Liberia and Sierra Leone for sub-regional cooperation and integration. The Republic of Guinea joined the Union in 1980, followed by the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire in April 2008. The MRU’s mandate is to promote socio-economic development, strengthen the capacity of member states to integrate their economies, consolidate peace and security, and foster good governance in the sub-region.

As part of implementing this mandate, the MRU drew up a strategic plan, which was updated in 2020 for the period 2021-2025, through which this sub-regional institution has defined the sustainable use and management of natural resources, particularly transboundary water resources, as one of its main areas of intervention. The crucial nature of these resources, and therefore the need to preserve them, prompted the MRU to explore the establishment of a Transboundary Water Basin Authority (TWBA) to serve as a sub-regional platform for consultation and decision-making on the joint management of shared water resources.

Furthermore, the project to create a TWBA for the MRU States is also part of the regional process of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in West Africa, to which all the States and Basin Organizations in the region have been resolutely committed since the West African Conference on IWRM held in Ouagadougou in March 1998.

As the founding document of this process, the Ouagadougou Declaration includes the principle of « creating or revitalising consultation frameworks between riparian countries for the concerted management of the water of shared basins ».

The regional IWRM process in West Africa has resulted in:

  1. The adoption of a Regional Action Plan for Integrated Water Resources Management in West Africa (RAP-IWRM /WA) by the ECOWAS Summit of Heads of State and Government in December 2000;
  2. The establishment of the Permanent Coordination and Monitoring Framework for IWRM in West Africa by the ECOWAS Summit of Heads of State and Government in December 2001;
  3. The adoption of the West African Water Resources Policy (WAWRP) by the ECOWAS Summit of Heads of State and Government, in December 2008.

As part of the implementation of the provisions of the Ouagadougou Declaration and the decisions mentioned above, the Ministerial Monitoring Committee (MMC), the decision-making body of the Permanent Framework for IWRM Coordination and Monitoring in West Africa, at its 3rd Session held in Bamako on November 21, 2008, adopted a resolution on the promotion of three (3) new Transboundary Basin Organizations in West Africa, through the following schemes:

  1. Comoé-Bia-Tanoé (Burkina, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali);
  2. Mono (Togo, Benin) ;
  3. Cavally-Cestos-Sassandra (Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia).

Thus, following consultations between ECOWAS and the MRU Secretariat on the need to establish an MRU transboundary water basin authority, the decision was taken in October 2015 to extend the latest scheme to all transboundary river basins in the Mano River Union (MRU) area.

A feasibility study for the establishment of a transboundary water basin authority of MRU Member States was carried out under the joint aegis of ECOWAS and the MRU Secretariat and validated at a regional workshop held on May 15 and 16, 2018, in Abidjan.

Subsequently, a regional consultative meeting on establishing a transboundary water basins authority of MRU Member States was held on May 27 and 28, 2019, in Conakry. During the meeting the configuration of the organization for its establishment was adopted by consensus. As a result, the « Office of Transboundary Water Basins Management (OTWBM) » was selected as one of the options for the MRU Transboundary Authority.

In order to implement the recommendations and comply with the Conakry action plan for finalising the process of effectively setting up this Office, the present call for proposals to recruit a consultant is launched.

  1. OBJECTIVE OF THE CONSULTATION 

The consultation aims to draw up draft constitutive texts for the MRU-OTWBM using the guidelines defined by the Member States.

  • ASSIGNMENT AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CONSULTANT 

Under the authority and guidance of the MRU Secretary General and the technical supervision of the department in charge of Economic Development and Sub-regional Integration, the Consultant will:

  1. Review and evaluate all legal provisions, regulations and relevant texts governing water resource and environmental management in MRU member countries, with a view to the creation of the MRU-OTWBM;
  2. Take note of the results of the feasibility study for the creation of a transboundary water basin authority of MRU Member States under the statuary bodies of the MRU;
  3. Take note of the report of the regional meeting that adopted the creation of the MRU–OTWBM;
  4. Propose draft texts defining the remit, relevant legal and institutional provisions, and structural organisation of the OTWBM;
  5. Carry out a comparative analysis of the provisions in force in each Member State with the international conventions relating to the management of transboundary water resources and submit proposals for compliance to the MRU Secretariat;
  6. Draft legal texts for the establishment of the MRU – OTWBM and submit them to the Mano River Union (MRU) Secretariat for validation by the Member States;
  7. Propose an organisation chart for the structural organisation and operational guidelines of the Water Basin Authority office;
  8. Propose a detailed description of the remit of each position (terms of reference ) defined in the organisation chart to ensure effective and efficient functioning of the office after its establishment;
  9. Indicate the legal and institutional procedure leading to the official establishment of the office;
  10. Provide technical support to the MRU throughout the process of validation, and adoption by Member States;
  11. Advise and support the MRU in the consultations and awareness-raising process with stakeholders in the Member States to ensure recognition and ownership of the Office;
  1. EXPECTED RESULTS 

Draft a text, an organisation chart and a description of the responsibilities of each position, the relevant legal and institutional provisions, and the structural, functional and operational organisation of the MRU-OTWBM.

The texts include inter-alia:

  1. Statutes of the Office (nature, description of objectives, missions of the Office, organisation chart, source of funding, etc.)
  2. Institutional framework and relationship with MRU
  3. Office by-laws and operating procedures
  4. Administrative and financial management procedures manual
  5. Office Safe-guard Policy Manual
  6. Draft Declaration of the establishment of the Office

METHODOLOGY 

The text is to be drafted by an expert legal consultant of international standing, who will be responsible for the proper execution of the assignment and the quality of the deliverables. At the start of the assignment, the Consultant will submit an initial inception report describing in a comprehensible manner the methodology, his/her understanding of the assignment, the expected results, and the timetable for completion of the assignment. The MRU Secretary General must validate this report as deliverable 1 in consultation with relevant senior staff. The Consultant will then carry out a mission to all the critical stakeholders in the four Member States and present a mission report to the MRU Secretariat at a workshop with all the legal documents required to set up the Office.

  1. PROFILE OF THE CONSULTANT 

The Consultant must be a senior legal expert and: 

  1. Hold at least a Bach +5 degree in Law.
  2. A post-graduate degree in Law or a relevant professional degree in sociology or organisational development would be an asset.
  3. At least ten years’ proven professional experience in drafting legal texts on creating, organising and operating sub-regional institutions.
  4. Have practical experience developing texts relating to the creation and operation of international institutions.
  5. Good practical experience with basin organisations.
  6. Good experience in a transboundary watercourse and Environmental Law.
  7. Good knowledge of the national legislation of at least one MRU member state on water resources and the environment.
  8. Ability to apply legal knowledge and experience to provide a full range of specific legal services.
  9. Have good communication, meeting and workshop facilitation skills. Must be able to work under pressure.
  10. Good knowledge of environmental and social issues in the MRU area would be an asset.
  11. A proven knowledge of the habits and customs of the riparian populations of most of the basins would be an asset;
  12. Having up-to-standard oral and written communication skills in one of the MRUs Working languages (English or French).
  13. Having good Computer skills.
  • SCOPE OF THE ASSIGNMENT 

This consultancy will cover all four MRU Member States. The Consultant will work directly with the MRU Secretariat in Freetown, Sierra Leone, which will provide a workspace.

  • FUNDING AND CONTRACTUAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE ASSIGNMENT

This assignment is being funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the West Africa Biodiversity and Low Emissions Development (WABiLED) program.  Contract deliverables will be reviewed by the MRU and WABiLED. The contract will stipulate that payment will be made upon the satisfactory completion of agreed deliverables against the deliverables schedule.

  1. DURATION OF THE ASSIGNMENT 

The estimated duration of this assignment for tasks 1-9 defined in Section III above is up to 45 Person/Days spread over 90 calendar days (03 months) from the contract’s signature date.

Based on the timing and completion of tasks 1-9 and consultations between the MRU Secretariat and WABiLED, additional person days will be considered for tasks 10-11 based on time and resources available.

  1. EVALUATION OF THE PROPOSALS 

The evaluation of proposals received will be based on the following criteria:

  1. The candidate’s experience in carrying out the assignment.
  2. His / Her understanding of the expectations of the assignment and proposed methodology.
  • His / Her financial offer.
  1. COMPOSITION OF THE APPLICATION FILE 
  2. A letter of application addressed to the MRU General Secretary (maximum two pages, Arial ten font) with a brief description of why the candidate considers him/herself suitable for this assignment.
  3. A curriculum vitae highlighting the applicant’s qualifications and professional experience for the requested work.
  4. A proposal detailing the timetable for completion of the assignment.
  5. A financial offer specifying the total remuneration for the consultancy (in US dollars, all taxes included) and indicating the daily fee.
  • SUBMISSION AND DEADLINE
  1. Proposals to be submitted via email to:
    1. Esther Kwao at esther.kwao@tetratech.com;
    2. Jill Hartsig at jill.hartsig@tetratech.com
    3. Gondo Gbanyangbe at gondo.gbanyangbe@tetratech.com

Proposals are due no later than April 4, 2024, at 5:00 PM EST. The email subject should reference ‘RFP #001 MRU OTWBM Consultancy’.

  1. Offers received after the specified time and date will be considered late and will be considered only at the discretion of WABiLED. No phone calls will be accepted regarding this Request for Proposals.
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