Job Category

Job Experience

Job Location

Expiration Date

01 Apr 2019

Invitation to tender concerning

the assessment of the CEMR Policy Work

About CEMR

The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) is the broadest organisation of local and regional authorities in Europe. Its members are over 50 national associations of municipalities and regions from 41 European countries. Together these associations represent some 130 000 local and regional authorities. CEMR’s objectives are twofold: to influence European legislation on behalf of local and regional authorities and to provide a platform for exchange of information and knowledge between its member associations and their elected officials and experts.

How to apply

CEMR invites tenders to respond to this call for the assessment of the CEMR policy work. For a full description of the tender, please consult the Tender Specifications below.

If you wish to express your interest, please submit a tender electronically not later than 1 April 2019 to the following email address: application@ccre-cemr.org.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview on 8 or 11 April 2019.

For further information, please contact Angelika Poth-Mögele, Executive Director European Affairs (e-mail: Angelika.Poth-Moegele@ccre-cemr.org; tel. +32 2 5000540).

All questions should be addressed by email before the 27 March 2019.

TENDER SPECIFICATIONS

This document outlines the tender specifications, which the external evaluator will implement to perform an assessment of CEMR’s policy work.

  1. BACKGROUND

Context

Sixty years after its creation, over the course of 2011, CEMR redefined its priorities and strategy. This reflection has lead CEMR to structure its activities along two pillars: the first consists of affirming the organisation’s role of influencing policy and legislation, as the foremost organisation representing local and regional authorities in Europe through its network of national associations representing local, intermediate and regional authorities. The second pillar complements these activities by reinforcing the exchange of expertise and best practice between CEMR members, facilitating networking and encouraging cooperation, thus providing a European platform of local and regional authorities and their representative associations.

Therefore CEMR mission is set on two pillars:

  1. To influence European policies and legislation, promoting shared positions in all domains concerning local and regional authorities (Lobbying strategy)
  2. To enhance the role of CEMR as the forum of debate and cooperation between European local and regional authorities through their national representative associations (Knowledge strategy)

In order to clarify CEMR’s lobbying, a Lobbying Strategy was developed and adopted by the Policy Committee in December 2015, defining CEMR’s mission and ambition, describing the context in which CEMR performs its advocacy work, the measures and actions to achieve its ambitions, and monitoring and evaluation tools.

Concerning the knowledge, a first focus was laid on CEMR’s activities in the area of research and studies and projects: a Research and Studies Strategy was adopted in June 2014 and - following an assessment - updated in 2018. In 2018, an assessment of CEMR’s project work was conducted and CEMR is currently developing its Project Strategy as a part of the knowledge pillar.

In order to complete the reflection about its two pillars, CEMR wants to assess its policy work in 2019.

CEMR’s policy work

CEMR’s policy work is structured along the two pillars and conducted at two levels: at the political level, elected representatives of the member associations express their views in debates, which guide the work of the technical level, discuss the draft position papers and approve them; at the technical level, experts and technical representatives of the member associations contribute to the development of policy papers. The draft papers are first shared with the Secretaries General and Directors and validated before they are presented to the elected representatives for their approval.

In 2016 CEMR introduced the role of spokespersons who contribute to the shaping of policy papers, act as link between the technical and the political level, and represent CEMR at meetings with European and international institutions or other relevant meetings. They can be involved in campaigns or other activities related to the policy area for which they are nominated.

The elected representatives mainly gather in statutory meetings (policy committee, executive bureau); the technical experts meet in expert groups or tasks forces. In events such as the retreat (organised for the first time in 2018), thematic conferences (every four years / 2018: equality, diversity, inclusion) or the Congress (every four years / the next one in 2020) allow representatives of both levels to meet and discuss.

The priorities for CEMR’s activities during a year are set out in annual work programmes; as a frame, a multi-annual work programme was approved in 2014 aligned with the current European Parliament’s and Commission’s mandate, which come to an end in 2019. At the beginning of their mandate, the current CEMR Presidency presented five priorities for its mandate (2016 – 2019): 1) strengthen CEMR’s European policy work; 2) promote strong CEMR positions towards the European institutions; 3) reinforce the link with the member associations; 4) elaborate a long-term CEMR agenda; 5) support the local level in promoting European issues and contribute to a stabilisation of the EU.

The policy work in the past years put the focus on the lobbying of EU policy and legislation; it is therefore necessary to examine how the knowledge of the members can be better used for the mutual benefit and how CEMR can facilitate the sharing of best practices, to increase knowledge and develop capacity of its members.   

Furthermore, the feedback of the survey on CEMR’s research and studies strategy and our project work showed that members that are not participating in the lobbying activities (for example because their country is not a member of the EU) are very interested in knowledge-based activities.

With the adoption of the work programme for 2019, CEMR members approved the proposal to develop a new multi-annual CEMR work programme, taking the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations as guiding objectives. For the implementation of the SDGs, it will be important to balance the two pillars: continue lobbying for the recognition of the important role that local and regional governments play, and to share information and experience.

In the end, the results of the assessments of the research and studies strategy, the project work and the policy work will contribute to the proposals for the tools, working methods and structures aiming to implement CEMR’s multi-annual work programme as of 2020.

CEMR working structures

CEMR’s thematic work is structured within five thematic areas, which affect all aspects of the lives of European citizens as well as the local and regional authorities that represent them. Each of the below working structure is coordinated by CEMR secretariat with a dedicated policy officer.

Governance, Democracy and citizenship

  • Expert group on governance, local democracy and citizenship
  • Expert group on town twinning
  • Task Force on Migration and Refugees
  • Standing Committee for Equality of women and men in local life
  • Expert group on gender equality
  • Committee of young local and regional elected representatives

Environment, Climate and Energy

International engagement and cooperation

  • UCLG Europe

Economic, social and territorial cohesion

Local and regional public services management

Objective of the assessment

This assessment aims to find out:

  1. whether the CEMR policy work, carried out by the secretariat in cooperation with the member associations serves the purpose as defined in the CEMR 2011 Strategy (the lobbying and the knowledge pillar)?
  2. whether the lobbying and knowledge pillar are of mutual benefit?
  3. whether the working methods and instruments are fit for purpose?

Key assessment questions

The central questions that the contractor shall address are the following:

  • Achievement: Did the policy work contribute to influence European policies and legislation, promoting shared positions in all domains concerning local and regional authorities and enhance the role of CEMR as the forum of debate and cooperation between European local and regional authorities through their national representative associations?
  • Participation & involvement: Is the way the policy work is carried out appropriate, effective, and satisfactory? Do the working methods suit the capacity and resources of the member associations? Are they in line with their own working methods? Is there anything they are missing? Does it allow sufficient participation and involvement of both levels, political and technical? Do they want to propose changes? In case they are not participating: what are the reasons for that? What would make the association participate?
  • Complementarity of lobbying and knowledge pillar: Would members be interested in more opportunities to share knowledge, experience and best practices? If so, what topics or thematic areas would be of interest? Are they interested in sharing with partners at global level? Under what conditions would the association participate? What would the association prevent from participating?

The tenderer might present in his / her offer other relevant questions aiming at assessing the above-mentioned elements.

Methodology of assessment

The tenderer is expected to follow the methodology below:

  • Desk review of selected CEMR documents (work programmes, meeting agendas, work plans, updates, other relevant documents, etc.).
  • An online survey dedicated to the members. CEMR secretariat will disseminate the survey and encourage CEMR members to respond.
  • Semi structured interviews (up to 10 interviews with CEMR member associations and the secretariat staff)

Based on the outcome of the survey, semi structured interviews will be held:

  • Face to face interviews with relevant CEMR secretariat staff (relevant managers and staff)
  • Interviews with members of CEMR expert groups
  • Interviews with selected secretaries general and directors of CEMR members
  • Interviews with selected elected representatives

The tenderer will present in his offer a draft methodology to carry out the interviews, the online survey and the desk review. Moreover, the tenderer shall suggest an appropriate number of interviews to be conducted.

The assessment will consist of the following phases:

  • Preparation phase focusing on establishing the evaluation methodology and framework
  • Implementation phase focusing on collecting information via different methods stipulated under the methodology chapter
  • Finalisation phase focusing on drafting the assessment report stipulated under the deliverables chapter
  • Presenting the assessment report to the Secretary General and the members of the CEMR Management Team

The tenderer will present in his / her offer a draft work programme for each of the above phases.

Deliverables

A final report and a presentation will be produced and presented by the tenderer at a meeting of the CEMR Management Team early September 2019 in Brussels. The outline of the assessment report shall contain at least the following chapters:

  • Executive summary
  • Introduction
  • Findings
  • Conclusions
  • Recommendations

The tenderer will suggest in its offer an outline of the assessment report and the presentation.

  1. ORGANISATIONAL MATTERS AND CONDITIONS

CEMR secretariat

CEMR secretariat will be responsible for the general coordination during the preparatory, implementation and finalisation phases. Its main responsibilities are as following:

  • Monitor the general organisation process
  • Promote and disseminate the survey to members
  • Provide access to all necessary documents and information required by the evaluator
  • Provide feedback on regular basis (draft survey, reports, etc.)
  • Approve and coordinate the work delivered by the tenderer

Duration of performance

The duration of the contract shall not exceed 7 months from the date on which the contract enters into force.

Place of performance

The work will be performed at the evaluator's premises. Meetings for interviews can be organised at CEMR’s premises in Brussels. Meetings between the contractor and the CEMR Secretariat will be held at the CEMR's premises in Brussels. We foresee at least two meetings, one at the beginning to agree on the methodology and the next steps and one to present the evaluation findings for feedback. Such expenditures should be budgeted by the contractor.

Estimated budget

The budget available for this contract is € 14.000 Euros (including VAT, travel expenses, per diem, overhead, etc.) and direct costs for two meetings at CEMR premises. Interested companies should be able to work to the timeline below.

Timing

The evaluator shall respect the deadlines for each of the phases stipulated under the methodology section as below:

  • Preparation phase (April - May)
  • Implementation phase (May - June)
  • Finalisation and Drafting phase (July - August)
  • Presentation of the conclusions and the recommendations to the Management Team (early September)
  • Presentation of the assessment report (end of September)
  1. FORM AND STRUCTURE OF THE TENDER

Language of the tender

Tenders must be written in English or French.

Structure of the tender

All tenders must include two sections:

Evidences

This section must provide information about the capacity to carry out the work under this contract.

Tenderers shall provide with their offer:

  • A cover letter containing the following information: organisation name/name of the tenderer if self-employed, contact person and contact details.
  • Detailed curriculum vitae (CV) of each staff member responsible for carrying out the evaluation, including his/ her educational background, degrees, diplomas and professional experience. The CVs shall be presented, preferably in europass format. Very good English and French language skills (written and oral) are required.
  • A list of relevant services provided in the past two years with the dates and recipients provided as well.
  • Short description of the organisation

Technical and financial proposal

This technical section must cover all aspects required in the technical specification and shall be presented in a concise manner. All tenders must contain a financial proposal under the technical and financial proposal section. The price must be quoted in euros including VAT and including all expenses, such as travel expenses and daily allowances. Prices shall be fixed and not subject to revision during the performance of the contract.

Selection criteria

The tenderers will be shortlisted based on the evidences provided to carry out the work under this contract, the best offer in terms of value for money and the content of their offer.

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