Resident Adviser at Legal Assistance for Economic Reform (LASER)

Background

1. LASER is a £4.3 million, three-year, DFID-funded programme implemented by The Law & Development Partnership and KPMG. It is explicitly tasked to develop new approaches to helping developing countries to address legal issues which constrain their ability to grow economically.  This could include for example the legislative framework, commercial dispute resolution, or government processes for the negotiation and management of contracts with international firms for example in relation to natural resource exploitation.

2. LASER is now in its second year and is working on these issues in eight countries (Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Somaliland, Kenya and Myanmar).

3. LASER;
 provides direct technical assistance through long-term advisers embedded in partner governments, UK legal pro bono networks and short-term legal experts.
 assists partner governments to articulate their needs and develop interventions that are genuinely country-owned and led.
 identifies and addresses the constraints developing countries face in accessing appropriate legal and judicial support.
 pilots different approaches for DFID (and other donors) and the UK legal sector to work together to achieve long term impact in developing countries.
 conducts and publishes research and uses lessons learnt to influence how CLJ reform is approached by developing countries and donors.
 supports donors, including DFID, with their investment climate programmes, from initial scoping and design to business case development.

4. At LASER, we’ve adopted a problem-driven and politically-informed approach to development. Our approach is particularly relevant for tackling issues in fragile and conflict affected states, where there is limited knowledge of how to prioritise, structure and customise investment climate interventions.

5. The support we provide is led by our partner governments and is designed to be highly flexible, allowing us to adapt to new challenges as they arise in rapidly changing political, social and investment contexts. We encourage dialogue between government and the business community, helping to identify and solve the primary constraints faced by citizens. We support step-by-step reform in recognition of gaps in government institutional capacity, whilst working alongside existing structures and resources.

LASER in Sierra Leone
6. Following a scoping mission in June 2014, the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) Attorney General/Minister of Justice requested a LASER resident adviser to;
 improve the Ministry of Justice’s capacity to manage complex contracts, and
 to develop the commercial law and justice component of Sierra Leone’s new national justice sector strategy.

7. Deployment of a resident adviser was put on hold due to the Ebola outbreak. LASER continued to support the government to develop the commercial law and justice (CLJ) component of its national justice sector strategy (the Justice Sector Reform Strategy and Investment Plan III (JSRSIP III)) including a re-prioritisation to support post-Ebola economic recovery.  JSRSIP III was approved by cabinet in June 2015.

8. Post-Ebola, LASER now plans to expand its support to the GoSL to assist in the country’s economic recovery. Core to this support is the deployment of a resident adviser as requested by the Minister last year.

Focus of LASER support in Sierra Leone
9. The main focus of the resident adviser’s support will be to support the GoSL to operationalise the CLJ component of the JSRSIP III.  In addition, he or she will assist the GoSL to respond to new CLJ priorities that have emerged as a result of the Ebola crisis.  The resident adviser will also work to apply lessons learned from other LASER countries, most notably in Rwanda in relation to strengthened complex contracting, and will look for opportunities to achieve long term impact through collaboration with UK legal professionals offering pro bono assistance to Sierra Leone.

10. The adviser will be expected to work in a highly adaptive, iterative and politically informed manner, responding to opportunities that arise, testing out approaches and adapting ideas and approaches in line with what works.  The objective is to work with counterparts to develop appropriate, sustainable, and ‘owned’ solutions to CLJ problems, as well as developing local CLJ capacity.

Scope of work
11. Specific responsibilities to the GoSL may include:
 supporting the operationalisation of the CLJ component to the JSRSIP III, including the development and implementation of sustainable GoSL processes, procedures and training modules for negotiating and managing complex commercial contracts;
 supporting post-Ebola prioritisation of urgent CLJ issues;
 supporting access to relevant legal technical advice where appropriate;
 identifying, and addressing, other CLJ problems that emerge during the course of the assignment and are in line with LASER’s objectives;
 identifying opportunities to leverage pro bono assistance to support GoSL needs and objectives.

Team support

The LASER adviser will work closely with the LASER programme team based in London.

Qualifications and Experience

The LASER Adviser must be a qualified commercial lawyer with significant experience and have:
 experience of working on commercial law and justice reform issues.
 a track record of working in a developing country with a similar context to Sierra Leone.
 a track record of working with government officials and international agencies.
 previous experience working in Sierra Leone and / or West Africa (desirable).
 previous experience of working on complex contracting (desirable).

How to apply

Send the following 2 documents to Amy Wordley, LASER Sierra Leone Programme Manager ([email protected])
 A one page covering letter briefly setting out why you want to work with the LASER programme and what you will bring to role
 A tailored CV including details of 2 referees (maximum 4 pages)

All applications will be treated in strictest confidence.

Job title: Resident Adviser 

Location: Freetown, Sierra Leone

Contract: The position will start in September/October 2015 and last for one year, subject to review by LASER and the Government of Sierra Leone after six months

Salary: Salary will be negotiable depending on experience and qualifications

Closing date: 5 August 2015 at 5pm (UK Time)