40th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee


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40th Meeting of the Standing Committee
Gland, Switzerland, 11-15 May 2009

DOC. SC40-3

Secretariat Partnership Officer

Action requested: The Secretariat proposes to proceed in the way outlined below to implement the establishment of a “Partnership Coordinator” position as outlined in Annex III to Resolution X.2, in order to increase its capacity to work in partnership with major organization partners. The Standing Committee is requested to provide comments as appropriate and guidance to carry out the process.


1.     The work of the small Ramsar Secretariat is guided by a common vision, and staff apply specific guiding principles to meet their commitments, as was detailed in the document on the “Future Secretariat Structure and Staffing” (Ramsar COP10 DOC.19) submitted to the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties.

2.     An important need for the future development of the Secretariat is to provide it with added capacity to work in partnership and synergy with a number of key international organizations. To increase the very limited existing capacities in this field, the establishment of a “partnership unit” within the Secretariat was proposed. The above-cited document (COP10 DOC.19) provides the rationale, responsibilities and outline terms of reference for this unit (in its Annex 2).

3.     During COP10 in November 2008, the Contracting Parties did not fully support this proposal. In Resolution X.2, they adopted a general plan to move forward with this issue and provided it with a much reduced budget, as detailed in Annex I of the Resolution, covering one “partnership coordinator” post only. Annex III of Resolution X.2 provides a preliminary job description for this post, available at http://www.ramsar.org/res/key_res_x_02_e.pdf.

4.     In accordance with the arguments provided in Annex 2 of document COP10 DOC.19, illustrating the case for a four-person unit, the sole accepted initial coordinator position would have to focus on a number of tasks among the eight strategic priorities outlined in the document. Most notably s/he would have to evaluate existing partnerships of the Ramsar Convention, define collaborative advantages from working in partnership, and draw up a fundraising strategy and plan. S/he would have to define a way, by sharing the tasks with existing staff positions, to address adequately three major areas of work –  1) with donors and the private sector, 2) with United Nations institutions and other Multilateral Environment Agreementss, and 3) with Ramsar’s International Organization Partners (IOPs) and NGO partners. The roles and responsibilities of the coordinator position were briefly outlined in Resolution X.2 Annex III  with a general job description, referring specifically to tasks of fundraising, advocacy, lobbying and partnership development. The position is anticipated to be a senior one requiring significant experience and demonstrable success at raising funds and developing successful relationships with various organizations.

Next step – clarifying partnership needs and the future approach to partnerships

5.     Given this situation, and taking into account the current economic context, the Secretariat believes that it would be most helpful first to have a strategic analysis and a clarification of a number of issues achieved, before recruiting for the proposed position of “partnership coordinator”, most likely during the latter part of 2009. To this end, the Secretariat is launching a call for tenders to suitably qualified organizations or persons and is looking forward to receiving detailed proposals, according to the format detailed below.

6.     The consultant will undertake the following tasks and produce the following results:

i)      Undertake an analysis and provide a brief report on the existing Ramsar Secretariat partnerships and the added values they provide to the Convention. This analysis will focus on the specific role played by the Secretariat when collaborating with different existing partners, and notably also analyze the functioning and outcomes of its cooperation with the Convention’s five International Organization Partners (BirdLife International, IUCN, IWMI, Wetlands International, WWF International).

Highlight the lessons to be learnt with regard to the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability of each of the analyzed partnerships.

Provide a short gap analysis listing those areas where new strategic partnerships should developed. List the reasons why and propose how to do so. This should also include proposals on what type of partnerships to develop at national and local level.

Present briefly strategically important future partners for the Ramsar Secretariat, accompanied by recommendations on how to develop these partnerships in practical terms, and the likely return on investment for Ramsar.

ii)     Based on the report to be elaborated under point 1 above, draft a guidance document for the Secretariat on how to develop new partnerships, how to measure their advantages (ex ante and ex post), and how to strengthen its partnership capacities under those circumstances where it is required.

iii)    Based on 1 and 2 above, elaborate an outline document detailing a general plan of work (2010-2012) for the proposed “partnership officer” position.

This needs to be accompanied by an operational planning document making proposals on how to address the large variety of issues mentioned in the documents cited above. It will have to include proposals on who (which Ramsar Secretariat position) should be dealing with what issue, based on existing staff positions with added capacities provided by the proposed new partnership officer position. The opportunity and feasibility of outsourcing specific (additional) tasks should also be addressed.

The document should outline practical steps (roadmap like) to be undertaken by the Secretariat for the remainder of the period leading to COP11 (mid-2012) in order to address in the most effective and efficient way possible the priorities listed (under three tiers) in Resolution X.2 Annex III.

iv)    Recommend consequential and comprehensive terms of references for a “partnership coordinator” position to be advertised, specifying qualifications needed and related general conditions.

v)     Evaluate possibilities and make concrete proposals on how to obtain additional support, in kind, financially or through specialist secondments, in order to develop the partnership work as outlined in COP10 DOC.19 beyond the partnership coordinator position before COP11.

Tendering process

7.     Qualified persons or companies with an interest in providing these services to the Ramsar Convention Secretariat should submit their four-page tender by 15 June 2009, according to the following format:

Page 1: Presenting themselves, their experience with and knowledge of the Ramsar Convention, and summarizing briefly their understanding of the tasks to be fulfilled.

Pages 2-3: Presenting in general terms how they intend to address the tasks and to provide the outputs listed above, making reference to the ways they intend to interact with Ramsar Secretariat staff via e-mail and face-to-face, including a general work plan.

Page 4: Providing details of the individual(s) involved in this consultancy, their qualifications and the details of an offer of the overall costs for this work and the production of the outputs listed above. Outputs will have to be submitted in electronic form (Microsoft Word documents) plus one paper copy.

8.     The volume of work to accomplish the above tasks is considered to represent roughly three months working time for one skilled person (60 days).

9.     The Secretariat anticipates proposing a contract to the successful consultant before the end of June 2009. The chosen consultant is expected to submit a draft report with early results and recommendations addressing the five tasks listed above by 30 September 2009 for comment and feedback by the Secretariat, and a final report, integrating such feed-back, by 30 November 2009.

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