Shortlisting and Selection Panel Members: Australia Awards in Africa
Company Overview
Palladium is a global leader in the design, development and delivery of Positive Impact - the intentional creation of enduring social and economic value. We work with foundations, investors, governments, corporations, communities and civil society to formulate strategies and implement solutions that generate lasting social, environmental and financial benefits.

For the past 50 years, we have been making Positive Impact possible. With a team of more than 2,500 employees operating in 90 plus countries and a global network of more than 35,000 technical experts, Palladium has improved - and is committed to continuing to improve - economies, societies and most importantly, people's lives.

Palladium is a child-safe organisation, and screens applicants for suitability to work with children. We also provide equal employment to all participants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran or marital status.

Project Overview and Role

Through the Australia Awards, the Australian Government provides scholarship opportunities for eligible Africans to undertake long- or short-term postgraduate level studies in Australia. Palladium is contracted to provide administrative and logistical management for the Australia Awards program in Africa. In the current phase of the program (2016 - 2020), DFAT aims to have provided scholarships to at least 1 200 mid-level professional from government, civil society and the private sector primarily in the extractives industries, agricultural productivity and public policy sectors.
The Program currently offers the following types of Awards:
  • Australia Awards Master' Degree Scholarships
  • Australia Awards - Africa Short Course Awards
  • Australia Awards - Africa Post-Doctoral Fellowships
Australia Awards - Africa Panels

Palladium is seeking to establish a pool of pre-qualified panel of experts who will
  1. Assess the technical and financial aspects of Africa Short Course tender submissions;
  2. Assist with the selection of candidates for the Short Course Awards and Master's Degree Scholarships.
Panel Members will have expertise in the preferred priority areas:
regional and transnational water resource management and Countering Violent Extremism.

The pool of Panel Members will be part of a Panel(s) and will be expected to carry out a number of tasks within their areas of expertise. The four main panels are:
  • Africa Short Course Technical Assessment Panels
  • Short Course Selection Panels
  • Independent Shortlisting Panel for Masters Scholarships
  • Independent Interview Panel for Masters Scholarships
Panels will either be convened virtually or temporarily across various locations in Africa. The duration of specific assignments for each Panel Member will vary based on the needs of Palladium and DFAT. No minimum service period can be guaranteed, and prompt mobilisation in Africa will be an expectation of applicants.

Once selected, Panel Members will be 'pre-approved' to sit on a panel(s) on an 'as needed' basis. Selection as a Panel Member does not guarantee employment for an individual on any particular assignment.

For any given task, Panel Members may be engaged individually, or as part of a broader team. Panel Members will be expected to work in a cooperative and efficient manner to achieve the objectives of the specific activity assigned to each panel.

Terms of Reference and Selection Criteria for each of the Panels can be found in Annex 1.

Australia Awards will abide by the Commonwealth Procurement Rules in running this selection process. Details of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules can be obtained at http://www.finance.gov.au/procurement/procurement-policy-and-guidance/commonwealth-procurement-rules/

Contracting of Panel Members
Panel Members selection will be for the duration of the current Australia Awards - Africa program (2019 -2020) contract. Panel Members who are selected to make up the pool of panel members will be provided with a Call-down Consultant Agreement for the duration of program contract; work on specific assignments will be authorized via a Work Order.

During the performance of services, Palladium and DFAT reserves the right to assess the performance of panel members, and use that as a determination of whether future work is provided under the Consultant Agreement. Performance assessments will be based on the quality and format of the services and the outputs to be delivered, including (but not limited to) the following:
  • Timeliness of deliverables
  • Format and quality of deliverables
  • Compliance with the description of services
Remuneration
An assessment of the skills and experience required for the role and an appropriate remuneration will be provided to (non-Australian Government) panel members, in accordance with the Australian Government's Adviser Remuneration Framework (ARF); for details see http://dfat.gov.au/about-us/publications/Documents/adviser-remuneration-framework-2016.pdf.

The activities of the Panels are short term in nature and therefore Palladium will negotiate all fee rates on a daily rate. The tasks associated with this role have been assessed to be commensurate with the following ARF Short Term Adviser rates (Discipline Group B, Level 2) and a daily rate in the range AUD 436 - 596 will be negotiated depending on the panel members' relevant experience and demonstrated skills.

All fee rates will be negotiated and contracted in Australian Dollars.

Reimbursable Expenses
In addition to a daily fee, Palladium will cover all reasonable travel and accommodation costs for short term assignments outside of the Panel Members home base. Per diems will be fixed and prescribed by DFAT's/Palladium's standard travel rates for each work location. Palladium will book required accommodation and airfare, where required. All other out of pocket expenses relating to a short term assignment (e.g., transport, communications) are reimbursed at cost up to a prescribed limit set by DFAT, conditional upon the provision of receipts and prior approval by Palladium.

An invoice for services rendered and any potential reimbursable expenses must be submitted with 15 days of completion of the Work Order

.

Responsibilities

Terms of Reference for Africa Short Course Technical Assessment Panel (TAP) Member
Short Course Technical Assessment Panel Members will work remotely as members of a 'virtual' assessment panel to undertake a computer-based review and assessment of compliant tender submissions for Short Courses. Up to 10 days of inputs will be required from Panel Members.
  1. FUNCTIONS:
To assess both the technical and financial aspects of all compliant tender submissions for Short Courses to be delivered under the Australia Awards - Africa Short Course cycle.
  1. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBLITIES
  • The consultants will be required to participate in the TAP and evaluate (in accordance with Commonwealth Procurement Rules) all compliant technical and financial tender submissions, and score them against the nominated Technical Criteria;
  • Participate in a TAP teleconference on the final day of the TAP process.
TAP Panel Chair
A panel member may be appointed to serve as a TAP Panel Chair. They will be requested to perform the following duties:
  • The Chair will be required to lead in the TAP and evaluate (in accordance with Commonwealth Procurement Rules) all compliant technical tender submissions, and score them against the nominated Technical Criteria;
  • Lead a TAP teleconference on the final day of the TAP process.
  • Consolidate and submit signed evaluations to Palladium, through the TAP Panel Chair.
  • Coordinate other panelists to deliver within the given timeframe.
Probity - Protecting the Integrity of the Contractor Selection Process
The Australia Awards - Africa Short Course TAP process is conducted on a strict commercial-in-confidence basis. TAP members must declare they have no commercial or other interest in any of the tenders or tendering institutions. TAP members are also required not to discuss the deliberations of the TAP with a third party.

In addition to the general skills and requirements required by any Panel Member, Panel Members who wish to sit on the Interview Panel need to also demonstrate the following:
  • Experience in curricula design and/or assessment
  • Familiarity with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules preferred.
  • Prior experience in the technical assessment of tenders preferred; Prior experience with assessment of tenders funded by the Australian Government highly preferred.
In addition to the general skills and requirements required by any Panel Member, Panel Chairs who wish to sit on the TAP Panel need to also demonstrate the following:
  • Experience in curricula design and/or assessment.
  • Familiarity with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules highly preferred.
  • Prior experience in the technical assessment of tenders required;
  • Prior experience with assessment of tenders funded by the Australian Government highly preferred

Terms of Reference for Selection Panel Member (SPM) - Short Course Awards
Selection Panel Members will work remotely as members of a 'virtual' selection panel to undertake a computer-based review and assessment of soft-copy applications. Up to 15 days of inputs will be required from Panel Members. This activity will generally occur during March of each year; but these dates are subject to change.
  1. FUNCTIONS:
  • Review candidates' Application Forms, Work Plans on Return and other supporting documents as requested, adhering to guidelines and standard scorings as provided by the DFAT Panel Chair.
  • Using the standardised scoring system and templates provided, record all scores and detailed comments for each applicant.
  • Actively participate in panel discussions on each applicant.
  • Return a written recommendation and any supporting comments for each applicant, using best professional judgment to indicate their suitability for an Australia Award Short Course.
  • Ensure that cultural and inclusiveness factors (to be advised) are treated appropriately and fairly across all candidates.
  • Participate in the review of overall scoring to ensure scoring consistency between countries and candidates.
  • Participate in the review of recommendations with the aim of achieving selection outcomes based on merit in accordance with the eligibility and selection criteria.
  1. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBLITIES
  • Review candidates' Application Forms, Work Plans on Return and other supporting documents as requested, adhering to guidelines and standard scorings as provided by the DFAT Panel Chair.
  • Using the standardised scoring system and templates provided, record all scores and detailed comments for each applicant.
  • Actively participate in panel discussions on each applicant.
  • Return a written recommendation and any supporting comments for each applicant, using best professional judgment to indicate their suitability for an Australia Award Short Course.
  • Ensure that cultural and inclusiveness factors (to be advised) are treated appropriately and fairly across all candidates.
  • Participate in the review of overall scoring to ensure scoring consistency between countries and candidates.
  • Participate in the review of recommendations with the aim of achieving selection outcomes based on merit in accordance with the eligibility and selection criteria.

Independent Interview Panel Member (IIPM) - Masters
The IIPM (Masters) will work in a panel of three members to interview shortlisted Masters Award candidates in several locations in Africa. Interviews will take place in selected locations.

Up to 25 days of inputs will be required from Panel Members in May/June to conduct interviews. The timetable for selection interviews is very strict and selected Interview Panel Members must commit to providing full-time team-based inputs during this period. Normal working hours for panel members will be 8am - 5pm with breaks for lunch and refreshments.

FUNCTIONS:
  • Interview award candidates in the agreed locations, adhering to the process guidelines and standard questions as provided.
  • Return a recommendation for each interviewee, using best professional judgement to indicate their suitability for a Scholarship (Masters) Award.
  • Undertake reviews of recommendations in various categories in order to meet guidelines and targets to be provided.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
  • Review candidates' Application Forms, Reintegration Action Plan and other supporting documents
  • Participate in panel briefing
  • Interview candidates, adhering to guidelines and standard questions as provided by the Panel Chair.
  • Ask follow-up questions as necessary to determine the suitability of the candidate for the receipt of an Award, focusing on relevant technical spheres of expertise, other areas as requested by the Panel Chair, or in accordance with the panel member's best professional judgement.
  • Using the standardised scoring system and templates provided, record all scores and comments for each interviewee.
  • Contribute to discussions on the selection merits of each interviewee.
  • Return a written recommendation and detailed comments for each interviewee, using best professional judgement to indicate their suitability for an Australia Award Scholarship.
  • Ensure that cultural and other inclusiveness factors (to be advised) are treated appropriately and fairly across all candidates.
  • Participate in reviews of overall scoring to ensure scoring consistency between countries and candidates.
  • Participate in reviews of recommendations with the aim of achieving, as directed by the Panel Chair and in accordance with guidelines to be provided: (i) overall targets for awards by country; (ii) overall targets for awards by gender; (iii) overall targets for awards for people with a disability, or under inclusiveness guidelines; (iv) overall targets for awards by priority sector; (v) any other targets or guidelines as advised by the Panel Chair.
In addition to the general skills and requirements required by any Panel Member, Panel Members who wish to sit on the Interview Panel need to also demonstrate the following:
  • Experience in one or more of the following: (i) awarding of scholarships, grants or other awards based on interviews and written assessments of applicants (individual or organisational); (ii) human resources management, for example interviewing candidates for employment or promotion; (iii) involvement in technical assessment panels.
  • Ability to sympathetically question a wide variety of candidates to return recommendations on suitability with a high standard of consistency, confidence and objectivity.
  • Ability to work with a cross-cultural team and ensure cultural differences are not a negative discriminatory barrier
Panel Members who wish to sit on the Interview Panel must hold a Master's Degree.

Requirements

Requirements for the Expression of Interest:
  1. Expressions of Interest (EOI) should be no more than three pages and should include the following information:
    1. Applicants must state in their EOI which of the four panels they wish to be considered for. Eligible applicants may apply to be considered for more than one panel.
    2. Their academic qualifications as it relates to the preferred priority and other sectors stated in the Terms of Reference
    3. Their professional experience as is related to the preferred priority sector(s), including their most recent work engagements.
    4. Their response to the other selection criteria included in the Terms of Reference.
  2. All EOIs must be submitted in English
  3. All documentation must be submitted electronically.
  4. Expressions of Interest (EOIs) must be submitted no later than 17 February 2019. EOIs received after the specific date will not be considered.
The Expression of Interest should be submitted in the CV field during the candidate's application on Palladium's website.

Palladium may conduct interviews with applicants if deemed necessary and at their sole discretion. If an interview is required, the applicant will be notified in advance to organise a time that is suitable.

By submitting an EOI, it is understood that the Applicant agrees to all conditions for this Scope of Service/Terms of Reference

All Panel Members - General
As the Managing Contactor for the Australia Awards program in Africa, Palladium is responsible for establishing and managing the pool of Short Course Tender Technical Assessment Panel experts and Awards Shortlisting and Selection Panel Experts. Panel Members will report to the Awards Manager (AM) Australia Awards - Africa, but will also engage with other Australia Awards - Africa staff and Palladium project staff.

The pool of Panel Members will provide services and advise on an as-needed basis to support the delivery of the Australia Awards - Africa program. Panel Members will be required to ensure transparency, confidentiality and fairness at all times and report any conflict of interest immediately to the Awards Manager.

Panel Members will be expected to commit to provide full-time, individual or team-based inputs during the time they are engaged.

Panel Members will undertake and complete the duties outlined in the Terms of Reference and Work Order. Completion of all specified tasks and outputs will be within the specified timeframe to achieve the programs objectives and contractual milestones. Meeting milestones on time is a condition for satisfactory completion of Panel Members assignments for payment purposes.

Where required Panel Members agree to participate in any training/briefing sessions prior to the commencement of their duties; Panel Members agree to review all documents and guidelines provided by Palladium prior to the commencement of their work.

Panel Member duties may include the preparation of spreadsheets, reports and other documentation required to satisfy Palladiums contractual obligations with DFAT. Palladium will provide the required documents and reporting templates.

Panel Member duties and responsibilities may vary from time to time to meet changing program needs. This will be discussed beforehand and be reflected in Panel Member Work Orders.

Panel Members will be expected to possess the following skills and experience:
  • Appreciation of the Australian Government's strategic focus in Africa, including development objectives and geographical spread, and an understanding of the objectives of Australia Awards;
  • Knowledge of and experience in the Australian academic sector and/or the relevant African academic sectors is preferred;
  • Postgraduate qualifications and expertise in a discipline relevant to the Australia Awards - Africa priority sectors are preferred. The following Priority areas are preferred: Extractives (mining, oil and gas); Agricultural Productivity and Public Policy.
Qualifications and expertise in other areas such as Natural Resources Management and the Environment; Health, including HIV and Maternal/Child Health; Education; Climate Change Adaptation; Technical Vocational Education and Training; Water Resource Management; Planning, monitoring and implementing Extractives investments; National Security and Countering Violent Extremism; and Public Health Management will also be considered;
  • Awareness and understanding of gender and social inclusion factors, such as those facing people with disabilities, and the ability to incorporate this understanding into assignments to ensure inclusion is required;
  • Sound computer skills, including an ability to navigate through an online library of documents and familiarity with MS Excel;
  • Demonstrated sound professional ethics and values;
  • An ability to work independently or in a small team, and to meet tight deadlines;
  • High level written and verbal English language skills are required. High level additional language skills preferred in French, Portuguese or Arabic.
All Panel Members - Engagement
Inclusion in the pool of Panel Members provides no guarantee of any minimum levels of work that may be commissioned. The duration of assignments may vary from short desk-based work to assignments lasting over a week. Assignments may require Panel Members to work in Africa and may require that they be available at short notice.

Details
Senior Level
Home-based
Closing date:
19 February 2019