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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the Institutional Capacity Development Support Project?
  2. What is the 200 Development Posts project?
  3. What are the '3 pillars'?
  4. How do Critical advisors differ from Most Critical advisors?
  5. What do advisors do?
  6. How are UNDP advisors funded?
  7. What is the relationship with bilaterally funded advisors?
  8. What is the current funding status of the project?
  9. How can I apply for a post?

Q1. What is the Institutional Capacity Development Support (ICDS) Project?

The ICDS project is Phase II of the UNDP's Support to the Development Posts Project. This programme is designed to strengthen the capacity of the Government of Timor-Leste by providing mentors and advisors to key government departments and other state institutions. It aims to support poverty reduction and sustainable development by strengthening government capacity to deal with these and other development issues.

The project works closely with the Government’s main coordinating body, the Capacity Development Coordination Unit (CDCU), for a comprehensive approach to capacity building with the premise that a strong civil service is built on three interdependent pillars of: (i) Skills and Knowledge; (ii) Systems and Processes; and (iii) Attitudes and Behaviors.

The '3 Pillars' approach is part of a strategy designed to achieve the transition from individual- to institution-based capacity development. This approach is implemented on an institutional level, with advisors working with multiple counterparts within a division or a unit, instead of one-to-one. CSG and UNDP advisors are currently working together to devise Ministerial-level capacity development work-plans to ensure greater coordination within ministries, and reduce repetition. Advisors are also devising exit strategies to ensure the sustainability of their activities for the future. Our institutional strategy also involves adopting more diverse and flexible funding modalities; and developing closer cooperation with UNMISET, other UNDP projects and other bilateral initiatives in order to ensure the sustainability of the programme.

It is anticipated that a close working relationship between the Programme Management Unit (PMU) and the CDCU, with CDCU assuming the lead, will increase the government’s responsibility and ownership for the Support to Development Posts Project in the medium term and provide an exit strategy for the UNDP. When the CDCU is able to operate without UNDP support over the longer term, it is anticipated that CDCU will assume the responsibility for coordinating all of the government’ capacity building projects.

Q2. What is the 200 Development Posts project?

The '200 Development Posts' project was Phase I of the Support to the Development Posts Project. In this phase, the project focused on the Government’s emergency needs by filling gaps of key posts and building the skills of the country’s public servants through one-on-one mentoring of an advisor to a counterpart.

Phase I was designed to build the capacity of Timor-Leste's civil servants to independently perform their tasks in their respective areas of responsibility by the end of a two-year period without the need for reliance on substantial international assistance. The emphasis of the Project was on transferring skills and knowledge through a one-on-one mentoring relationship of an advisor to a counterpart. Although the support has increased the capacities of government officers and strengthened systems across all sectors of Government, UNDP and its development partners recognize that continued support is still needed in many critical areas. These are being addressed in Phase II.

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Q3. What are the "3 pillars?"

The '3 pillars' refer to:

  • Skills and Knowledge;
  • Systems and Processes;
  • Attitudes and Behaviours.

The premise of the ICDS project and the Capacity Development Coordination Unit (CDCU) is that a strong civil service is built on these three interdependent pillars. Thus, the '3 pillars' approach is a way of focusing our advisor's work and measuring their progress. The 3-pillar paradigm involves a shift from one-on-one to one-to-many advisor modality, meaning that each advisor works with several counterparts from within a division or unit. CSG and UNDP advisors are also working together to devise Ministerial-level capacity development work-plans to ensure greater coordination within ministries, and reduce repetition.

Q4. How do the 'critical' advisors differ from the 'most critical' advisors?

There are a total of 160 advisory positions identified as needing international support, divided into two categories: 'most critical' and 'critical'. The decision as to which positions are 'most critical' and 'critical' is made on a ministerial level. The 'most critical' positions are those that the ministries deem vital to upholding the structure of the ministry, and the 'critical' positions are those that are esteemed to be crucial to their continued functioning. However, this does not mean that 'critical' positions have less seniority or are any less demanding. Often, 'critical' and 'most critical' advisors work side-by-side, and all advisors share the common goal of skill transfer to Timorese civil servants in the functions of the Government. The two categories of advisors do differ, however, in funding source and management structure as follows.

'Most Critical' Advisors:
Fifty-eight of the 160 positions were categorized 'most critical' to replace the initial 100 'stability' positions and submitted to the Security Council for funding. Funding was approved in May 2004 and the recruitment of these positions is underway. The 'most critical' advisors are funded by a UN-assessed budget and administered by UNMISET.

'Critical' Advisors:
The remaining, identified as 'critical' are subject to voluntary contribution from development partners under Phase 2 of the Support to Development Posts Project. There are currently 118 multilaterally and bilaterally funded positions on the critical list, of which 67, or 57%, have already been recruited. Bilaterally funded advisors are administered by the funding donors, while multilaterally funded advisors are managed by the UNDP's Institutional Capacity Development Support Project. Any position advertised on this site is a 'critical' position.

Q5. What do advisors do?

The advisors' main role is to enhance capacity of national civil servants to promote sustainable development and poverty eradication. This is done by developing a Capacity Development Plan that sets objectives in the 3 'pillar' areas of: Skills and Knowledge; Systems and Processes; and Attitudes and Behaviors. For more information, please see the job-seekers page and the skills transfer page.

Q6. How are they funded?

The 'critical' advisors are totally reliant on voluntary contributions from development partners. For more information, please see the partners page.

Q7. What is the relationship with bilaterally funded advisors?

UNDP coordinates with bilaterally funded advisors through the Capacity Development Coordination Unit (CDCU) of the Prime Minister's office. This helps to ensure a coordinated approach to capacity development in Timor-Leste's Public Administration.

Q8. What is the funding status of the project?

Please see the partners page for detailed funding information.

Q9. How can I apply for the posts?

Please see the job-seekers page.