In response to calls for greater transparency and competition in the awarding of contracts, the SDC has set up a platform on which to publish contracts it is planning as well as those it has already awarded.
- Information platform about SDC mandate allocation
In this platform we inform interested persons about planned and implemented service mandates to exte...
Professionalism is a must
SDC projects and programs frequently include more than one field of activity and are worked out in cooperation with local partners and authorities. The technical and functional requirements depend on the requirements of the individual project or program. Also, the specific plans of the project or program have an influence on the type of consulting mission, its location and duration.
Spheres of activities
Consulting activities focus mainly on the following areas:
- development of institutional and organizational capacities
- establishment of teaching programs and realization of training courses
- development of information systems and communications networks
- regional planning, specialized studies and applied research
The resources used to finance investments and activities must be held in trust particularly where wide-ranging projects are involved. In general, the assessment of the final results and their
impact through monitoring and evaluations has considerable importance.
Depending on the type and scope of the project, the SDC entrusts individual experts with special tasks, or commissions firms - including joint ventures of consortia - to carry out the project. The final selection is made based on technical requirements and personal qualifications. Depending on the mandate, one or more functions must be filled:
- Oversight of the whole project
The contractor is responsible for the management of the mandate and is in direct contact with SDC headquarters in Bern. The contractor oversees the execution of the agreed activities, supports staff working on location technically and logistically, coordinates the activities of short-term experts and if necessary assumes responsibility for the fiduciary management of project resources.
- Short-term experts
They are brought in to deal with project specific issues and aspects. Short-term experts are recruited either from inside the firm or as independent advisors from local, regional or international markets. They work as backups on selected jobs or are hired on a periodic basis.
Generally it should be noted that particularly high standards are placed on the professional and personal abilities and aptitudes of consultants. With regard to education, most consultants are expected to have completed studies at a (technical) college or university. Several years of practical experience in a relevant professional branch and sector of the economy are imperative and additional experience in related disciplines is desirable. Another precondition is several years experience in functions which correspond to those in the operation under consideration.
Besides specialized knowledge, the specialists are expected to have skills in team management, coordination, planning, conveying knowledge and results assessment. Experience in
development cooperation work is a distinct advantage as is a knowledge of and familiarity with its structures, processes, methods and main concerns. Great value is also placed on a demonstrable,
successful track record in such activities in developing countries.
Extremely important are communication skills with the SDC and particularly with local partners. Here too, familiarity with the official language of the country is essential. Also necessary is the ability to compile reports that are well structured and comprehensible.
Depending on the demands of the individual project the work may entail commitments involving shorter and longer stays or even several years' residence in the receiver country. By nature, travelling and living conditions can be extremely taxing, so good mental and physical condition is a must. In the event of longer stays and particularly in cases of residency the family situation is of great importance because of the frequently unusual and unfamiliar living conditions.
Individual attitude is of crucial importance to the successful outcome of a mission. This includes one's receptiveness to foreign cultures, tolerance for unfamiliar behavior as well as a marked readiness to compromise. Finally, age, or better said, maturity, plays a certain role because this is given equal importance as technical skills and experience, especially by the receiver, and has a direct influence on the acceptance of the expert.