The PBO training program aims to strengthen the Cambodian Parliament’s capacity to perform its constitutional role of state budget oversight. The training program seeks to strengthen the capacity to perform some of the research tasks typically found in Parliamentary Budgetary Offices (PBOs). The capacity building will partly be done by producing the type of research that a PBO would do (through a learning-by-doing approach), thus serving Parliament with knowledge and perhaps also creating a demand and political will for eventually establishing a PBO.
The training program will furthermore lay the institutional foundation for a PBO that could be instigated at the end of the three-year training program. It is, however up to the Cambodian Parliament to decide whether to establish a PBO after the program period.
The role of the manager of the PBO training program (henceforth the PBO Manager) is to implement the EU/SIDA-financed training program in order to strengthen PBO capacity and deliver high qualified products to meet the needs of its clients. This program is described in the document PIC “Application for a PBO training program” (30 May 2016). This role is composed of four main responsibilities: leadership, organization, quality and administration.
The PBO Manager will be aided, as needed, in his/her tasks by the PIC and consultants procured for the program. The PBO Manager is also responsible for maintaining a dialogue with the PIC and the consultants to ensure their services are utilized in the most beneficial way.
The PBO Manager is the representative of the PBO training program, vis-à-vis the Cambodian Parliament with the emphasis on Parliamentary Commissions and is also responsible for relations with donors and stakeholders.
Main responsibilities and tasks
The PBO Manager will be responsible for implementing the training program and conducting activities within the framework of the program. This includes both strategic and day-to-day leadership in allocating tasks and assignments within the training program. He/she is ultimately responsible for making sure that training takes place and that capacity is strengthened.
The main leadership responsibilities include:
- The overall responsibility for the products and services delivered by the PBO to the Cambodian Parliament and for the productivity, quality and effectiveness of the activities of the PBO training programme.
- Leading the work of the staff and interns on a day-to-day basis and directing the team leaders and strengthening their capacity to lead in the mid- to long term. This includes providing operational leadership and motivation to the entire staff, both team leaders and others
- Leading the management team consisting of himself/herself and the two team leaders, defining short- to midterm goals for the teams and discussing how to achieve those goals.
- Maintaining a dialogue with the political stakeholders, most importantly the Chairs of the commissions in the Cambodian Parliament. This dialogue aims to establish legitimacy for the PBO-training programme, a demand for its products and ultimately a buy-in to the idea of establishing a PBO institution at the end of the program period.
- Defining, conceptualizing and offering certain types of products/reports to clients. The production of what will primarily be reports is an important part of the “on-the-job-training” of the PBO-training program.
A sound organizational structure of the PBO is critical in the training phase of the program as well as for laying the foundation for a possible future PBO. In this regard, the PBO Manager is responsible for:
- Creating the institutional framework for the training program including creating principles and policies for client relations, research dialogues and assignment policies and routines. General staff policies and personnel matters are also part of this task. These policies are to be drafted in dialogue with clients and in co-operation with the PIC and consultants.
- Implementing the training program, including training courses on the main subjects of economics, state budget, research methods and English. In doing so, the PBO-manager is to draw on the experience of the PIC in conducting similar training. The manager should be directly involved in teaching some parts of the courses, and to coach the team leaders in how to undertake teaching.
- Recruiting team leaders, staff and interns from both the Senate and the National Assembly. The manager should, as an early task, produce terms of reference (ToRs) for the positions of team leaders, staff and interns, respectively. An important task is to establish and maintain good working relations with the secretariats of the Senate and the National Assembly with the aim of ensuring a commitment to supplying the training program with interns of high quality. Also in this task there is substantial experience in the PIC to be drawn upon. The manager should hold regular staff appraisal meetings at the individual level with team leaders, staff and interns.
- Building networks with suppliers of important statistics, information about the budget, and other information, most importantly from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the National Institute of Statistics, the National Audit Authority, the EU and the World Bank.
The work of a PBO is measured in terms of quality and reliability and is a key component of building trust with clients. In this regard, the PBO Manager is responsible for:
- Assuring that the PBO-training program delivers products and services of sufficient quality to ensure their acceptance by clients in the Cambodian Parliament. In practice this means giving advice on how to operationalize research tasks, giving advice on methodology, proofreading reports and providing feedback and suggestions for improvements to PBO products. Ultimately, the PBO- training manager is responsible for deciding what to deliver, to whom and when. The manager should adopt the principles of objectivity, non-partisanship and integrity in the operation of the training program.
- Maintaining good relations and continuous dialogue with clients. Part of this dialogue is to market the products and services of the PBO and thereby creating a demand from clients. The dialogue should also manage expectations and function as an opportunity to explain the working methods of the PBO training program. Furthermore, the manager should in the dialogue with clients, seek feedback on delivered reports and services, in order to improve quality and relevance.
- Defining principles and procedures for achieving sufficient quality in the research produced by the PBO. This could include the development of a checklist to ensure quality, a manual for standards of research products (e.g., templates and formats) and a Code of Conduct for the operations of a PBO.
The PBO Manager responsible for the following administrative tasks:
- Continuous monitoring and evaluation of how the program progresses. This includes reporting back to the PIC/SIDA/EU. A first step in this task is to establish baselines for the training program. The manager should use the PBO training program results framework including different indicators of human and institutional capacity development (see Annex 1, in document PIC: Draft application for a PBO training program, 30 May 2016).
- Responsibility for the overall administration of the PBO training program, including responsibility over adherence to rules and regulations. He/she also has budgetary responsibility and the task of assuring sound us e of budgetary allocations. Furthermore, the manager is responsible for establishing and implementing appropriate work routines and procedures for the training program.
Required qualifications, skills and experience
- Master’s degree, or higher, in economics, preferably from an overseas university.
- A least five years’ experience and a strong background in economic research. A combination of academic qualifications and practical research work experience is preferred.
- Strong management and mentoring skills.
- Strong communications skills in working with clients and research staff.
- Demonstrable skills in providing expert opinions to research staff.
- Computer skills sufficient to produce work products in MS Word (English and Khmer where appropriate).
- Excellent oral and written skills in Khmer.
- English language skills.
- Willingness to travel to the provinces or abroad.
- A proven track record of leading a research organisation.
- Previous experience working in government, parliament or other political organizations in Cambodia or in another country.
- Experience in working on issues relating to state budget, in Cambodia or other countries
PIC is an equal opportunities employer and Women are strongly encouraged to apply. The two-stage application process will consist of an interview and trial lesson. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.