(MAF) Ministry Institutional Reform and Transformation Project (MIRT)



The Government of Timor-Leste (GoTL) intends to establish a Project Implementation Unit (PIU) within the National Directorate of Policy and Planning (NDPP) in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) for implementation the MAF Institutional Reform and Transition Project (MIRT). MIRT is a $0.50 million grant from the World Bank’s Institutional Development Fund (IDF) and its Development Objective is to support MAF in its efforts to de-concentrate and reorganize its service delivery model so that the Ministry is better-aligned and responsive to the needs of farming and fishing communities. This will be achieved by: (i) developing and piloting operational procedures at the Municipal and watershed level for bottom-up planning involving farming communities; (ii) strengthening MAF’s program implementation capacity through enhanced coordination, MIS, financial management and M&E systems which are aligned to national regulations and systems; and (iii) supporting MAF’s National Directorate of Policy and Planning (NDPP) which is tasked with the identification, preparation and implementation of major investment projects, and the coordination and supervision of Development Partner (DP) funded interventions.


MIRT will be implemented at a time when GoTL is devolving services to the Municipal level (formally Districts). Therefore MAF will be required to change the way it plans and engages with its constituent farmers and fishers, with a greater focus on Municipal- and community-level planning, with the later focussing at the Suco and watershed levels. At the same time, MAF will need to transform the way the central Ministry coordinates, supports, monitors and reports on development impacts at the District level in terms of increasing farmers’ incomes and improving staple food production. MAF’s previous centralized planning role will, in future, be devolved down to the District level and therefore MAF central will no longer be responsible for development planning – this task will be completed at the District level.


MIRT is precursor for a much larger ($21 million) Sustainable Agriculture Productivity Improvement Project (SAPIP) which will be implemented directly by MAF and is expected to commence in mid-2016. This is why MIRT focuses on institutional reform and farm-level planning – with the objective of preparing operational manuals for these two levels of activity which will form the basis of SAPIP. It is expected that MIRT will commence its community-level planning and development support in Raumoco watershed in Lautem District, where a good start has been made in terms of forming a Watershed Management Council and agriculture development and environmental protection plans have been drafted. The second pilot will be in the District of Liquisa.


MAF’s annual planning process is guided by: (i) Timor-Leste’s national objectives which are outlined in the Strategic Development Plan (SDP); (ii) MAF’s Strategic Plan (MASP); and (iii) MAF’s Mid-Term Operations and Investment Plans (MTOP and MTIP). In addition, all major DPs have their sector-specific strategic plans. MAF’s new organic law will be approved and promulgate in 2015, and is expected to result in some reorganization of National Directorates (NDs) and their staff.


MIRT will assist MAF with high level ministerial and farmer-focused sectoral development planning following this restructuring. Therefore MAF requires the services of a National or International Community Natural Resources Management Planner (CNRMP) to assist with ministerial planning, and collaborate with (i) an International Institutional Planning Coordinator (IPC) responsible on assisting MAF in institutional reform and plan coordination and monitoring; (ii) and a National Project Manager/MIRT Coordinator (NPM/MC) who will run the PIU[1]. The IPC and the CNRMP will be expected to work as a small, complementary team, as the former will focus on higher-level MAF and DP coordination,  and the latter on Municipal, Suco and sustainable community-based natural resource planning.



Core Objective

  • To develop a more effective community-based and natural resource focused planning process with a view to improving sector development, through: (i) improved focus on farmers’ needs and the sustainable production potential of their natural resources, (ii) local (Suco- and watershed-based) budgeting, financing, procurement and implementation, famer driven M&E, and progress reporting; and (ii) avoidance of overlap and conflicting programme implementation amongst stakeholders. The recent establishment of a DP Coordination Mechanism (Agriculture and Fisheries Working Group) will assist in this regard, as will improved coordination with NGOs, who in many areas are the main implementing organizations. The new GoTL motto: “one plan, one budget and one M&E system” will guide this process.


Specific Objectives

  • To support MAF’s planning at the Municipal and Suco/watershed levels, using improved natural resource management planning methods and tools; and to train (on-the-job) MAF’s field-level planners and decision-makers (Municipal-level and Suco) in improved agriculture development planning techniques.
  • To design and test a pilot community-based agriculture development plan, based on the identification and implementation of development activities by target farmers in a selected Municipality – likely to be in Raumoco working with the already-established Watershed Management Council and farmer groups.
  • To Assist MAF in the production of a MAF “Standard Planning Operating Procedures” (MSPOP) manual which covers watershed-based community (and high-level central[2]) plan coordination and management.
  • To Work with policy-makers to achieve broad acceptance of this approach to community development (and institutional) coordination and management[3].
  • To Assist the IPC in the integration of GoTL’s and DP’s budgets (and plans for the latter) into one Annual MAF plan.


Requested Services

The selected expert will provide the following services, with assistance from a core MAF team in the PIU and with support from the Lead Technical Unit (LTU) which comprises three of MAF’s DGs:

  • Plan and implement a pilot MAF planning exercise which incorporates target farmers in a watershed (likely to be Raumoco) using a participatory and bottom-up approach to test the MSOP. SWOT and GIS tools will be used to assist this planning process and the watershed planning concept will be emphasized. Planning will be integrated with financial and procurement services and backed-up by improved MIS and M&E systems – which will also be supported under MIRT.
  • Establish a data-base to record watershed development plans in a future GIS system.
  • Ensure that MAF’s stakeholders are aware of and understand this new inclusive planning and development process, including DPs, farmer groups, and agribusiness investors.
  • Assist with the integration of MAF’s new approach to rural development planning with other GoTL ministries – particularly the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Environment (MCIE) and those ministries with related responsibilities for rural development in Timor-Leste.


Required Outputs

  • Well-coordinated sector meetings, facilitated with relevant documents circulated between stakeholders.
  • At least three community-based natural resource planning/ system validation workshops with strong evidence of bottom-up and participation accountability (responsibility, liability, answerability).
  • In conjunction with the IPC, one (or more) vertical planning exercise(s) completed and validated at all levels of MAF, and with rural communities (DG/ND/Municipalities/Sucos/watersheds/farmers).
  • A MSOP prepared and tested with selected rural communities.
  • On-the-job community-based natural resource management planning training for 15 MAF and 12 X 2 (24) Municipal and Regional (6) Planners, plus one planning training event for MAF’s new NDs during which accountability and participation will be emphasized. Training materials will be provided in advance to the trainees, in hard and electronic formats.
  • Inception report and monthly and final reports.



  • The CNRMP will work with the IPC in a small team composed of: (i) the IPC; (ii) the CNRMP; (iii) other short-term experts (M&E and MIS); (iv) a National Project Manager/MIRT Coordinator (NPM/MC); and (v) national counterparts – one for the ICP, and two for the CNRMP.
  • Coordination with all concerned stakeholders – DPs, DGs, NDs, Regional and Municipal staff, Suco staff, other GoTL ministries (and local civil society representatives) will be essential for integrated rural development planning exercises.



  • The working language of the assignment will be English. National MAF counterparts will assist the selected expert to prepare documents in Tetum.




The CNRMP will be expected to have the following qualifications and experience:

  • Master Degree in Rural Development (or similar) and/or specific training in Agricultural Economics, or Rural Development.
  • At least 10 years of professional planning experience with community-based rural development planning in associated with ministerial and DP support – with experience in Timor-Leste preferred.
  • Managerial skills, particularly in rural development planning; working with and coordinating teams of professionals; and liaising with government and non-government organizations – good facilitation and communication skills.
  • Flexibility and preparedness to understand the local situation, and a demonstrated ability to establish strong working relationships with national counterparts.
  • Good computer literacy (including use of GIS and other mapping and natural resource management tools), plus experience in writing natural resource planning manuals.
  • Fluency in English is mandatory, some Tetum preferred




The CNRMP will be based in Dili, Timor-Leste and is expected to commence work in about mid-September 2015. The assignment will be for five months, extendable, with considerable time to be spent in the field working with selected target communities and different levels of rural development planners in MAF and the Sucos.



The CNRMP will submit the following reports in English to the LTU:

  • A short inception report to describe the mission’s activities two weeks after start-up.
  • Validation workshop reports describing workshop results.
  • A validation training report for each training event.
  • With the IIP, an MSOP which incorporates the CNRMP’s work and recommendations
  • An end-of-mission draft final report two weeks prior to the end of the assignment.
  • A final end-of mission report no later than one week after completion of the assignment, and upon receipt of compiled TLU comments on the draft final report.



CLOSING DATE: 28TH August, 2015 by 5pm


All applications shall be submitted to kong_moo@yahoo.com.au