The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is the global organization of national parliaments. It was founded more than 130 years ago as the first multilateral political organization in the world, encouraging cooperation and dialogue between all nations. Today, the IPU comprises 179 national Member Parliaments and 13 regional parliamentary bodies. It promotes democracy and helps parliaments become stronger, younger, gender-balanced, and more diverse. It also defends the human rights of parliamentarians through a dedicated committee made up of MPs from around the world. Twice a year, the IPU convenes over 1,500 parliamentary delegates and partners in a world assembly, bringing a parliamentary dimension to global governance, including the work of the United Nations and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The IPU’s work is guided by its five-year strategy. The current strategy (2017-2021) provides a road map for the organization’s overall objectives and work.
In view of developing the 2022-2026 Strategy the IPU intends to carry out a two phase approach:
- An assessment phase in which we assess where the IPU is today compared with five years ago.
- A revision phase in which we revise the current strategy and project where the organization should be in five years’ time.
The 2022-2026 Strategy is due to be adopted by the IPU membership at its Governing Council meeting scheduled for October- November 2021.
The Executive Committee of the IPU, composed of members of Parliament, representing geopolitical groups, and presided by the IPU President, will drive the process of developing the 2022-2026 Strategy, with the support of the IPU Secretariat.
Objective and scope of the work
The IPU is looking for support (consultants or agency) to facilitate the process leading to the production of the next IPU Strategy 2022-2026.
The work will aim at facilitating with the IPU Secretariat the implementation of the two phases (assessment and revision) resulting in the production of a new strategy that will guide the IPU membership and secretariat for the next five year cycle.
The work will include organising and carrying out a review of the current strategy, drawing conclusions and recommendations based on consultations made, and supporting the elaboration of a new strategy ready to be implemented in 2022.
The review is meant to assist the IPU in focusing on those areas where it can bring added value, avoid duplication of efforts and achieve greater efficiency and impact. It should provide the IPU’s membership with recommendations for further refining the priorities of the Organization.
The review phase should result in a report containing an assessment of the work carried out by the IPU over the past five years, evaluating where the IPU has had an impact, ascertaining the relevance of the IPU’s role in the areas of work covered by the Strategy and identifying areas for improvement.
The review report should identify strengths and weaknesses of the organization and make recommendations for the next IPU Strategy. It should indicate areas where the IPU brings an added value (core business) and where it should pursue and develop its work further, taking into account the global environment within which it works and the response required to address those challenges. A particular attention will be placed on analyzing how the IPU has adapted to the pandemic, what has changed and what should be kept for the future.
The review report should also provide a critical analysis of the Strategy per se in terms of its structure, presentation and content.
The supplier, in consultation with the IPU Secretariat, will also help produce a proposed new strategy framework based on the review and consultations and for discussion, and approval, by the IPU Executive Committee in May 2021.
The assessment work will include a desk review of relevant documentation and interviews with/surveys of key stakeholders. It will include the following:
- A review of documentation relevant for the assignment, in particular, annual impact reports, programmes and budgets, annual reports on financial results, reports of recent evaluations and audits (the UN Political Project, the transparency report and the gender audit), progress and donor reports;
- Interviews/focus group discussions with IPU members and leadership: a representative sample of members of parliament, including members of the IPU Executive Committee, and its Sub-Committee on Finance. Interviews can be carried out either individually or through the organization of focus group discussions. Alternatively or in addition, the review team may design a survey questionnaire that will be administered on their behalf by the IPU secretariat.
- Interviews with parliamentary staff, secretaries of IPU delegations etc
- Interviews/focus group discussions with IPU staff
- Interviews/focus group discussions with IPU partners, representatives of UN agencies, international organisations
- Interviews/focus group discussions with other stakeholders as may be deemed necessary by the consultant/review team.
The consultant/review team will pay particular attention to ensuring the widest representation and diversity of views are taken into account in the process. In carrying out its assessment it will also build its questions around the DAC/OECD criteria for evaluation, namely relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability. Questions for consideration can be found in annex.
- A developed review methodology including fleshing out of the themes and questions to be addressed
- The organisation of consultations/survey of Members and other stakeholders
- A preliminary draft report (April)
- Presentation of the main findings and conclusions of the review to IPU bodies and secretariat
- Elaboration of a proposed new framework for the 2022-2026 IPU Strategy (May)
- Support in fleshing out and preparing for implementing the new Strategy within the whole organization (July to December)
The report should be written in English or French and should not require additional editing by the IPU. It should be brief and concise, in principle not more than 30 pages long. Additional materials should be presented in annexes and appendices. The report should contain an executive summary, main findings, conclusions and recommendations.
The review should begin no later than 1 March and be completed by 15 April 2021. The main proposed framework for the new Strategy should be ready by 15 May 2021. The supplier will then support the fleshing out and preparation for implementation of the Strategy in the second half of 2021. Further details with regard to the duration and timing of the consultancy will be determined in collaboration with the consultant(s).
The IPU Secretariat will assist the consultant(s) with organizing meetings with the relevant stakeholders.
The required competencies for the consultancy services should include documented professional experience in organizational reviews and evaluations, preferably in an international context.
Previous experience with organizations working with parliaments and in politics will be considered an asset.
Experience in gender evaluations will also be an asset.
Proficiency in English and French is required as desk review documents will be in both languages.
Prospective consultants should:
Describe how they intend to implement the assignment and describe the organization/individuals that will work on the assignment.
State the qualifications of each of the persons/sub-contractor(s) they will make available for the assignment and attach a CV for each of them.
Indicate the levels of knowledge of written and spoken English and French of the staff/sub-consultant(s) they intend to allocate to the assignment.
Describe previous experience of similar assignments that have been performed during the last three years and provide at least two references, with names and telephone numbers. References may be contacted to provide testimonials.
State the total cost of the assignment, specified in the form of the daily fee for each personnel category, reimbursable costs, and any other related costs. All costs shall be given in Swiss francs, excluding taxes.
Present a detailed time schedule for the assignment.
The review will target all the strategic directions and objectives of the Strategy. In the assessment of effectiveness, impact, efficiency and relevance, the review will consider addressing the following key evaluation questions:
Effectiveness and impact
- How does the IPU define itself and the services it delivers? What are the criteria used when deciding what work areas to focus on and activities to implement?
- What results have been achieved and/or what progress has been made in comparison to objectives established in the 2017-2021 Strategy?
- In what areas does the IPU add the greatest value? What is the value-added by the IPU in those areas where
- Other international organizations and national parliaments are doing similar work? How does the IPU measure the impact of its activities and programmes? How could it improve the ways in which it measures and communicates the impact of its activities and programmes?
- Do the conditions for achieving long-term impact seem to be in place (e.g. sustainability of, and building on, results achieved, Members’ ownership, follow-up activities to facilitate processes, etc.)?
- What are the role, relevance and value of the IPU’s partners in achieving results and what general risks can be identified?
- Does IPU work contribute to the advancement of gender equality?
- Do IPU activities meet needs and identified priorities of its Member Parliaments? To what extent are Member Parliaments involved in the design of IPU work and activities?
- Are the Common Principles for Support to Parliaments adequately respected?
- What areas of work has the IPU prioritized during the period under review and has there been any shift in its approach? Should the IPU continue with these focus areas, re-define their scope or discontinue them?
- Do IPU activities respond to a gender assessment of needs? Do IPU activities include a human rights based approach?
Efficiency and sustainability
- What is the source of funding for resources allocated to IPU activities? Are these resources being used in the most cost-efficient manner? What cost-efficiency measures could be introduced without impeding the achievement of results?
- What are the mechanisms in place for tracking resource allocations and do they provide a sound basis for estimating the related expenditure?
- Are the staff implementing the IPU’s work sufficient for the scope of the work being delivered?
- Are risk management strategies in place?
- How does the IPU relate to and coordinate with other institutions involved in similar areas of work as the IPU?
- To what extent is the delivery of work and initiatives (whether political or programmatic) underpinned by a strong results-based framework at both the institutional (IPU) and national levels (follow-up by Member Parliaments)?
- Are the performance indicators adequate to facilitate the measurement of results? Are gender/human rights mainstreaming indicators sufficient?
- Is work increasingly implemented using good practice project management tools (planning, design, monitoring and evaluation) and are results frameworks at the project level adequately linked to organizational goals and expected results?
- Are adequate monitoring and evaluation mechanisms in place to ensure that: a) information on results achieved is captured; b) information on progress made is available; and c) lessons learned are generated for the design of future activities?
Additional questions may be added by the review team.