Individual consultancy – Research Consultant

Research Consultant on Role of Local Authorities on PNDS Implementation

Type of Contract

Individual consultancy.  Remuneration based on experience/qualification.

Time Frame

April-June 2017 (35 working days)


The Consultant will research how PNDS can better use, work in partnership with, and strengthen local authority structures at suku and aldeia level. The research will be based on a mixed method qualitative research such as review of primary documents and research, and key informant interviews. In addition, the Consultant will develop a survey instrument for former and newly elected representatives of the Suku Council of approximately 20-30 questions to add additional quantitative data to the findings. The survey will be conducted by Asia Foundation staff to approximately 10 percent of suku. The Consultant will produce a research report that will identify areas where local authorities could have more involvement in the PNDS process; identify knowledge gaps amongst local authorities; identify barriers to the coordination processes; and provide recommendations on how to integrate PNDS more firmly in the local community development process.


The Government of Timor-Leste has been implementing a program since 2013 called the National Program for Village (suku) Development (PNDS) to accelerate community development at the suku level. The project aims to empower communities by supporting them to determine and manage their own small scale infrastructure needs.

In July 2016 a new suku law was approved – decree law #9/2016. Suku elections then took place where 568 PNDS Community Management Team members were elected to suku council positions across 291 suku.

The Asia Foundation Timor-Leste (The Foundation) has been supporting the Ministry of State Administration through the PNDS Secretariat with the funding support from Australian Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Under this partnership the Foundation has conducted a range of activities aimed at monitoring, evaluating, and providing targeted research to provide an evidence base for learning and data driven adjustments to the program to strengthen PNDS implementation.


The Consultant will design a research methodology and instruments and write a report that will:

  1. Identify what aldeia and suku community leaders currently do for / with PNDS (5 key activities)
  2. Identify what aldeia and suku community leaders could do for / with PNDS in the future to integrate it more firmly into the local community development process
  3. Identify knowledge gaps amongst local authorities about PNDS
  4. Identify gaps / barriers in the coordination process between aldeia and suku community leaders and the PNDS Community Management Team (Ekipa Jestaun Suku – EJS)

Target group: Both former and newly elected members of the suku council including ex PNDS Community Management Team members who have recently been elected to the suku council

Methodology: Qualitative and quantitative (to be decided on with the Consultant in close collaboration with the PNDS Secretariat and the Foundation)

Sample Size: Qualitative analysis and quantitative survey covering approximately 10% of suku (to be decided on with the Consultant in close collaboration with the PNDS Secretariat and the Foundation)

Research Team: Lead Researcher (international consultant); 4-6 national staff and consultants. Data gathering will be handled by the Asia Foundation. The researchers will occasionally be accompanied by PNDS Secretariat staff.

The Consultant will work closely with the Local Governance Program in the Foundation and the PNDS Secretariat in preparing the methodology and report structure. While the Foundation, the PNDS Secretariat and the Consultant will agree on the final methodology, it is expected it will contain the following:

  1. Selection of target sukus, approximately 10% of the total sukus.
  2. Review of the case studies on community contribution and Xefe Suku collaboration conducted by the NGO Luta Hamutuk as part of the PNDS Monitoring program.
  3. Key informant interviews with selected former and newly elected community leaders (suku council and aldeia assembly members).
  4. If considered relevant, focus group discussions with suku councils responsible for overseeing PNDS implementation.
  5. Development of a 20-30 question survey instrument.

The Consultant will produce a detailed work plan as part of the methodology development. It is expected that preparation and research will take approximately 25 workings days, and drafting of the report will take 10 working days.


  1. Detailed research methodology and instruments
  2. Detailed research work plan
  3. Presentation of preliminary findings
  4. Research report of no more than 30 pages detailing the major findings with practical recommendations plus annexes.

Internal Foundation Contacts

Country Representative, Local Governance Program Team, Support for Good Public Policy Team, EVAW Team, Community Oriented Police Program and other programs as required, finance and administrative staff on a regular basis.

External Contacts

Ministry of State Administration – PNDS Secretariat and sub-national teams, Australian Government –  Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the DFAT supported PNDS Support Program, Municipal and Administrative Post authorities, former and newly elected Community Leaders (suku council and aldeia assembly), and other NGOs, bilateral or multilateral donors in Timor-Leste with policy and research support programs, as may be required.

Minimum Qualifications


Graduate degree (MA required, PhD desired) from an accredited university;


  • Significant expertise in Local Governance, Local Development, Decentralization, Fiscal Decentralization, Community Driven Development and other relevant fields of work, preferably in Asia and definitely in other developing country contexts;
  • Strong understanding of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies;
  • Timor-Leste experience required, including familiarity with local stakeholders engaged in local governance work;
  • Proven track record in mentoring and working with research teams in a leadership position.


  • Fluency in English required
  • Tetun, and/or Bahasa Indonesia preferred

Expressions of interest

Interested candidates must submit the requirements as follows no later than 14th April 2017 at 5PM to Vicente Borges Maia, via email to

  • A written application, including a brief section on the applicants’ understanding of the ToR and comments, if any, and a draft work plan and schedule for accomplishing the consultancy
  • Up to date and relevant CV(s)
  • Examples of past work


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