In December 2020, the European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank Group (WBG) launched the Reform, Recovery and Reconstruction Framework (3RF). The 3RF provides a costed and prioritized plan of key actions over the next 18 months across various sectors to support the recovery and reconstruction of Beirut following the tragic explosion of August 4, 2020. The 3RF sets out institutional arrangements that comprise:
- a Consultative Group (CG), to serve as a platform for overarching strategic guidance and direction on implementation and for high-level policy dialogue on 3RF priorities;
- a Partnership Council as the governing body for the Lebanon Financing Facility (LFF); and
- an Independent Oversight Board (IOB) to provide a civil society led mechanism for broad oversight on 3RF implementation and to hold 3RF stakeholders accountable for 3RF progress.
A dedicated Secretariat will provide support to the institutional arrangements and help facilitate 3RF implementation.
The inclusion of civil society in the governance and implementation of reform, recovery and reconstruction is a core principle of the 3RF. Civil society is therefore represented in the recently established 3RF Consultative Group and the LFF Partnership Council.
This Call for Expression of Interest is being issued by the EU-UN-World Bank 3RF Technical Team and aims to facilitate the nomination of civil society representation (“Civil Society Organizations” – CSOs) in the IOB.
CSOs are non-State, not-for-profit, voluntary entities formed by people in the social sphere representing a wide range of interests and ties. In the context of the IOB, CSOs may include (i) NGOs with expertise related to inclusion, transparency, and accountability, (ii) representatives of academia/think tanks/citizen initiatives or other community-based organizations, and (iii) professional and/or business/private sector associations.
CSOs need to take note that participation in the IOB is not compatible with participation in the 3RF Consultative Group. In case a CSO has been selected for the Consultative Group and wishes to apply for a role in the IOB, this CSO needs to withdraw from the Consultative Group.
The IOB is envisioned to serve as an independent mechanism for representatives from civil society and other institutions to provide broad oversight on 3RF implementation and hold 3RF stakeholders (i.e., government, civil society and development partners) and implementing organizations accountable for overall 3RF progress.
The IOB’s functions will be to:
- Deliver credible, non-partisan descriptions of 3RF processes and assessments of the implementation of the 3RF’s guiding principles, in particular: (a) inclusion and leaving no one behind, (b) transparency and accountability, including anti-corruption, and (c) two-way communication and grassroots outreach;
- Conduct independent review and validation of the 3RF’s implementation progress by issuing regular opinions, recommendations or reports notably on progress in the implementation of policy actions and reforms;
- Monitor the implementation of CG decisions and follow up actions;
- Provide policy recommendations to the 3RF CG, based on its own findings and inputs from civil society and other stakeholders, and on the basis of documents and reports received from the Secretariat and 3RF stakeholders, including audit reports;
- Advise on and provide recommendations on the design and terms of reference of mid-term reviews and final evaluations of the 3RF and the LFF, and contribute to these processes from the IOB’s perspectives;
- Provide technical recommendations to the 3RF Secretariat on the operationalization of activities related to communications, citizen engagement, community monitoring and transparency (including potential corruption risks) and suggest priority areas for action. For example, IOB could recommend that Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) be conducted for a specific sector, or a social audit for a project. It could also recommend that an entity be audited, or that targeted/additional communication and outreach may be required to better reach Lebanese citizens;
- Encourage and promote the use of the 3RF’s citizen engagement, grievance redress and whistleblower mechanisms;
- Review Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) data analysis (e.g., numbers, uptake and resolution trends) and actions, including the resolution of grievances to assure the overall quality of redressal; and
- Communicate decisions, findings, achievements, and concerns to the wider public by sharing of regular and timely information on the 3RF including progress assessments, IOB findings and recommendations, signed Conflict of Interest disclosures, etc.
- Number of representatives on IOB: 6 members representing a diversity of expertise related to the 3RF pillars, and core sectors and the functions of the IOB. In line with the values and principles of the 3RF, gender parity and inclusive/diverse membership in the IOB will be sought.
- IOB representation will be at the individual level with the approval and endorsement of the organization the individual is associated with. Organizations can choose to nominate a staff, representative from a member organization (for networks), Board member or an independent representative that will represent them on the IOB.
- Members of the IOB will rotate on a yearly basis with rotation of half of its members to ensure overlap between one Board and another. IOB meetings will take place at least quarterly with the option to call for additional meetings as needed.
- Membership in the IOB will be on a pro bono basis, i.e., representatives would not receive compensation or payment to serve on the IOB. Technical support in the establishment of the IOB will be made available through the 3RF Secretariat. Targeted support for capacity building and/or coaching to IOB members and/or their organizations may be made available by development partners supporting the 3RF. The IOB would have access to information and documentation and be able to advise on the design and later utilize the citizen engagement and monitoring tools that will be put in place by the 3RF Secretariat.
SELECTION QUALIFICATIONS / CRITERIA FOR CSOS
Eligibility criteria for the nominating CSO:
- Expertise: CSOs should have expertise in credible, ethical and impactful interventions in Lebanon related to issues/sectors of relevance to the 3RF as well as experience in working on issues related to transparency, anti-corruption, accountability, citizen engagement, monitoring and evaluation. CSOs need to also have a track record on the 3RF core values and principles, including social cohesion and inclusion, transparency and accountability.
- Capacity: CSOs must have the administrative capacity and human resources to support their representative on the IOB. The CSO must commit to making resources available to effectively support their nominated representative, if selected.
- Inclusion & non-partisanship: CSOs must be gender-inclusive, i.e. open to all and not discriminate against a particular sex or gender identity or expression. CSOs should be non-partisan and undertake activities without regard to any religious community or political affiliation.
Selection criteria for the nominated representative:
- Expertise: The CSO should nominate a representative with relevant experience and expertise to act as a credible member of the IOB. The nominee should have demonstrated expertise in 3RF focus areas and/or specialized in issues related to inclusion, transparency, accountability, governance, citizen engagement and/or monitoring.
- Capacity: The nominee must commit to make time available to effectively and efficiently fulfill the role as IOB member, if selected. This will entail preparing for and attending meetings, supporting the preparation of written documents (e.g. recommendations, opinions), analysis of data etc.
- Non-partisanship: Nominated candidate may not be affiliated with any political party.
The CSO submitting an Expression of Interest and/or their nominated candidate will need to disclose any potential conflict of interest (e.g. role in implementation of donor or government funded programs that relate to the 3RF). During its first meeting, the IOB will approve a Conflict of Interest Policy and request that all its members sign a disclosure statement regarding any Conflict of Interest s/he and their immediate family members may have related to the 3RF. Both the policy and signed statements will be public documents shared on the 3RF website and kept by the Secretariat.
Process for Expressing Interest in the Independent Oversight Board Role
CSOs interested in nominating a member to the IOB are requested to send their Expression of Interest, duly signed by an authorized representative of the organization to the 3RF Technical Team at the following email address: 3RF_Technical_Team@worldbank.org, by 12 May 2021.
The expression of interest should describe:
- Mandate, objectives, size of the organization (including membership for umbrella organizations/networks);
- Short biography of the nominee (a CV can be annexed);
- Motivation and interest of the nominee in being a member of the IOB;
- Expertise and capacity of the organization and nominee (see criteria above).
The submission should clearly state the CSO’s contact details as well as the name, title, and contact details of the nominee proposed to represent the CSO in the IOB. The CSO must indicate its registration number/status in Lebanon (if available). The submission should be made in English, using Calibri (body) font size 12 (twelve). It should not exceed three pages (excluding additional annexes, as needed, e.g. full CV of the nominee).
The selection will be based on an open, transparent process. The review and processing of the Expressions of Interest will be done by the 3RF Technical Team, composed of officials from EU, UN and WB in consultation with a small independent advisory group nominated by the 3RF Technical Team.
A prioritized shortlist of nominees meeting the criteria will be prepared by the 3RF Technical Team in consultation with the advisory group based on the selection criteria. The selection committee will also consider the need for a mix of expertise and to seek an inclusive and diverse membership (e.g. across age, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, ableness). The selection committee may consider identifying representatives for future nominations (i.e. that would be part of the rotation of IOB members).
Thank you for considering this opportunity to help guide and direct the implementation of the 3RF by playing a pivotal role in the Independent Oversight Board. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the 3RF Technical team at the following email address:
 Please note that individual companies/businesses are not eligible to apply.
 The four 3RF pillars are: (1) improving governance and accountability; (2) jobs and economic opportunities; (3) social protection, inclusion, and culture; and (4) improving services and infrastructure.