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RFP_007_2024_English Language Training for ASEAN (AIPA) preparation
Procurement Process :RFP - Request for proposal
Office :UNDP-LAO - LAO PDR
Deadline :01-May-24 @ 12:59 PM (New York time)
Published on :05-Apr-24 @ 12:00 AM (New York time)
Development Area :OTHER  OTHER
Reference Number :UNDP-LAO-00305
Contact :Konthanou Khanthavixay, Procurement Analyst - kongthanou.khanthavixay@undp.org

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Background Information and Rationale

Project Description 

The UNDP STEPS project funded by USAID supports the NA and PPAs comprehensively in developing their capacities to perform their constitutional functions of law-making, oversight, and representation. One important element of the project’s support is to assist the NA in parliamentary diplomacy, in particular to address the NA’s capacity needs for participating in key regional and global inter-parliamentary fora. In 2024, Lao PDR will assume the chairmanship of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the NA will host the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA).

For the NA, the committees lead the preparations for hosting AIPA. The Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) is in charge of overall coordination, and works with the International Cooperation and Project Management Secretariat (ICPMS) to plan and deliver the necessary knowledge and capacity-building for NA Members and staff participating in AIPA in 2024.

For the AIPA General Assembly, the NA’s delegation will consist of up to 15 MPs, including the NA President and Vice President and the Chairs and members of the FAC, Planning and Financial Affairs Committee (PFAC), Social and Cultural Affairs Committee (SCAC), and the Economy, Technology, and Environment Committee (ETEC) who will chair and participate in the respective AIPA standing committees. The NA’s AIPA Secretariat will be supported by the respective NA committee staff to assist in the operation of the AIPA committees, and the staff of the Secretariat Committee and the NA Institute of Legislative Studies (ILS) who will provide administrative and technical support to the AIPA meetings and the General Assembly.

Through the FAC, the NA has requested support of STEPS in preparing NA committees, Members and staff for their duties in hosting AIPA workshops, committee meetings and the General Assembly. From this, STEPS has outlined the expected capacity development requirements to develop knowledge and skills ahead of AIPA events.

One essential area of capacity development is the ability to converse effectively in English language during AIPA Assembly plenary, committee meetings and in bi-lateral and information discussions. This necessitates responsive preparation for Members of the NA who will attend AIPA; and structured training for staff who  will support the Assembly. Approximate numbers are 15 MPs, and 35 staff who will require such support. UNDP seeks the services of a specialised English-language organisation to design and implement a course to meet the needs of the NA.

Specific Objectives

The overall goal of the assignment is to significantly boost the English language capacity of the NA's delegation to the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, empowering them to perform their roles with confidence and competence on the regional and global stage, particularly during Lao PDR's chairmanship of ASEAN and hosting of the AIPA General Assembly in 2024.

The objectives of the assignment are:

A. To improve the English language skills of NA Members and staff, focusing on fluency, accuracy, and the use of specialized parliamentary and diplomatic vocabulary to effectively participate in AIPA events

B. To equip participants with advanced communication skills required for parliamentary diplomacy, including public speaking, negotiation, and engaging in bilateral discussions with international counterparts.

C. To provide practical training through simulations of AIPA plenary sessions, committee meetings, and bilateral discussions to apply language skills in realistic and relevant parliamentary settings.

Scope 

The contractor will develop English-language training modules to support NA Members and staff, with the following focus:

1. Enhance English Language Proficiency: Design and implement a comprehensive General English language training program tailored to the specific needs of NA staff, focusing on improving their ability to converse fluently and accurately in English.

2. Specialized Parliamentary Vocabulary Development: Develop participants' proficiency in parliamentary and diplomatic terminology in English, enabling them to engage confidently and competently in discussions, debates, and negotiations at AIPA meetings and other international fora.

3. Effective Communication Skills for Diplomacy: Equip participants with the necessary language skills for effective communication, including speaking, listening, reading and writing, with a particular emphasis on public speaking, negotiation, and bilateral discussions in an inter-parliamentary context.

4. Cultural Sensitivity and Communicative Competence: Incorporate training elements that foster cultural sensitivity and awareness, ensuring that participants can communicate respectfully and effectively with international delegates from diverse cultural backgrounds.

5. Practical Application and Simulations: Provide practical, simulation-based learning experiences that mirror real-life interactions that participants will face at the AIPA Assembly.

6. Assessment and Continuous Improvement: Implement a robust assessment framework to measure participants' language proficiency at the outset, monitor their progress throughout the course, and evaluate the effectiveness of the training program in achieving its objectives.

7. Suport for High-Level Participants: Offer specialized support for high-level participants, including NA President, Vice President, and Committee Chairs, to address their unique responsibilities and roles during the AIPA General Assembly and related engagements, ensuring they can lead and participate effectively in English.

In particular, for National Assembly staff, the contractor will deliver the following:

1.       Needs analysis

-          Conduct a comprehensive needs analysis to accurately identify the English language proficiency levels, specific learning needs, relevant professional contexts of the NA staff, as well as tasks they will undertake during the AIPA Assembly. This will ensure the training program is precisely tailored to enhance their capabilities in supporting roles during the AIPA Assembly.

1. Curriculum Development for NA Staff:

-          Design a comprehensive four-month English language course, tailored to the needs of NA staff.

-          The curriculum should include general English language improvement.

-          Approximately one month will be dedicated to intensive parliamentary and diplomatic English training.

2. Course Delivery:

-          Schedule and conduct English language training sessions three times per week, for three hours in the evenings to accommodate the working hours of NA staff.

-          Utilize a blend of teaching methodologies, including traditional classroom instruction, interactive sessions, and use of digital learning platforms as required.

-          Incorporate practical exercises and simulations that reflect real-life scenarios participants will face at the AIPA Assembly.

4. Progress Assessment and Feedback:

-          Implement a continuous assessment mechanism to monitor progress and provide regular feedback to participants.

-          Conduct regular assessments to evaluate improvements in language proficiency and specific competencies in parliamentary and diplomatic contexts.

5. Course Materials and Resources:

-          Develop and provide comprehensive course materials, including textbooks, handouts, and access to online resources, tailored to the course's focus on the AIPA Assembly; and on parliamentary and diplomatic English.

For Members of the NA, the contractor will deliver the following:

6. Needs Analysis

Conduct an analysis to identify scenarios that NA Members are likely to face during AIPA events, and specific English language requirements that Members will have. In case of unavailability of Members, this can be conducted with STEPS staff and counterparts at the NA.

7.      Design and implement ad hoc support for Members

Provide flexible, on-demand English language support to Members, concentrating on enhancing communication skills through scenario-based learning tailored to their roles in parliamentary diplomacy and AIPA events. This will be achieved through:

-            Customized Learning Modules: Develop modular, scenario-based training materials that focus on situations Members are likely to encounter at the AIPA Assembly. These modules will be designed for quick adaptation to individual or group needs, allowing for personalized learning experiences.   Focus on enhancing negotiation skills, public speaking, and effective participation in bilateral and multilateral discussions in English.

-          Flexible Scheduling System: Implement an advanced booking system for NA Members to schedule individual or small group sessions at their convenience. This system will offer a range of times, including early mornings, evenings, and weekends, to ensure maximum accessibility given Members’ variable schedules. Prepare for approximately 50 hours of support available for Members.

-          Rapid Deployment: Assemble trainers specialized in parliamentary and diplomatic English, ready to deliver these ad-hoc sessions with minimal lead time. This trainers will be equipped to provide both virtual and in-person training, ensuring MPs can access support wherever they are.

-          Self-Study Learning Materials: Develop easily accessible self-study materials and resources, including online modules, workbooks, and interactive exercises tailored to the needs of Members at the AIPA Assembly. These resources will be designed for MPs to independently reinforce their learning and practice at their own pace, complementing the ad-hoc training sessions with flexible, anytime access 

8.      Evaluation and Support

-          Offer personalized feedback and support to MPs throughout the training, adapting the program as needed based on their progress and evolving needs.

-          Facilitate a final evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the training in preparing MPs for their roles in AIPA events, with recommendations for ongoing language support or further training as needed. 


UNDP LAO PDR

PROCUREMENT UNIT

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