Consultant – Mapping South- South cooperation mechanisms and frameworks in the Arab region, especially post COVID – 19 pandemic

Location : Home-Based
Application Deadline :16-Dec-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :6 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :January 2021 – June 2021

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


 South-South and triangular cooperation (SSTC) continue to play an important role in the global development cooperation discourse and architecture for sustainable development. The scale, scope, volume, and number of stakeholders of SSTC continue to record an exponential growth at all levels. The Second UN High-level Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40, 2019) resulted in a very ambitious Outcome Document that aims at further strengthening and revitalizing SSTC, within the framework of a Global Partnership for Sustainable Development. In addition, the Outcome Document acknowledged the importance of sharing of knowledge, experiences and best practices, particularly homegrown development approaches, on SSTC in the attainment of sustainable development and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda; reaffirmed the key role of UN system entities in this endeavour, including UN country teams; and called on the UN system entities to continue supporting regional and sub-regional organizations. The 20th session of the UN High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation also provided further impetus to the follow-up to the BAPA+40 outcome document, especially in the context of COVID-19 recovery efforts and the last Decade of Action for SDGs.


South-South Cooperation in the Arab region has increased in the last decade and many countries and actors in the Arab States and beyond are playing an important role reshaping the regional development landscape.  While some Arab countries – be it beneficiaries/receivers, providers, or both - are sharing their experiences, are learning from others, and transforming their rich knowledge and skills, their creative social and economic policies, and their emerging political influence into positive outcomes, some others are still lagging behind due to many factors and challenges: conflicts, fragility, weak governance, lack of structures, capacities, and resources. Moreover, the importance of this region, its richness and complexity at several levels (geopolitical, socio-economic, demographic, natural and cultural resources) have contributed to an increase in the number of actors who would like to play/are playing an important role in its development.


A joint report entitled Mapping Mechanisms and Solutions - South-South Cooperation in the Arab States published by UNOSSC, UNDP and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) in 2014 helped in understanding the state of play and addressing the needs (and lack thereof) in access to information across the Arab States with regards to SSC. It looked into South-South Cooperation (SSC) initiatives that focuses on worked mechanisms and successful solutions already implemented in the different countries.


In 2017, the UNOSSC and IsDB released an updated report - Mapping South-South Cooperation Solutions in the Arab States. It included updates on the landscape of SSTrC in the Arab world as well as new new development solutions around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the same year, another report was produced by the UNOSSC and UNDP – focusing on South-South and Triangular Cooperation: Towards Sustainable Human Development in the Arab States that analysed efforts undertaken at the national level in the countries of the region with a view to defining a number of practical models that could be applied for further regional and global cross-fertilization of ideas, solutions and capacities towards achieving the 2030 Agenda.  


The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed fault lines, fissures and fragilities in societies and economies of the Arab countries, in a region that is already rife with tensions and inequalities which is having profound consequences on political and social stability. The region is blessed with tremendous diversity and potential. Yet all Arab countries – whether oil-rich, middle-income, or least developed – face difficulties in responding.


Thus, the Division for Arabs States, Europe and the CIS of the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), in cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and UNDP, is commissioning a new regional report aimed at defining medium and long term regional strategies, plans and programmes related to SSTrC in the Arab region to better help and support Arab States unleash their potential, including through more inter-regional, intra-regional and international cooperation.


Within the UN system, the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is responsible for mainstreaming SSTC across the UN system and assisting developing countries in strengthening their capacities to manage, design and implement SSC policies and initiatives through the identification, sharing, and transfer of successful Southern-generated development knowledge and solutions.


  1. Objectives of the report


  • Take stock/establish an updated mapping of South- South cooperation mechanisms and frameworks in the Arab region.
  • Present good practices, lessons learned and suggestions that could pave the way for a better and solid SSC cooperation in the region and beyond it.
  • Identify opportunities for the Arab countries and region to set up and leverage SSC institutional framework, tools and mechanisms that are needed to achieve the SDGs and the expected development.
  • Lay the foundation for the SSC players, including the UN system, national and other development partners, to provide substantive and meaningful support to the Arab region to fully unleash the potential of SSC.
  • Provide recommendations on how the UN System (as well as other actors) can provide support to institutional frameworks for SSC at country and regional levels.



In the recent decade, several countries of the region established national international cooperation agencies while other countries were active in international cooperation, while not establishing dedicated national institutions. The report will take stock of the institutional diversity in the region, draw lessons from recent experience and will offer recommendations on the knowledge sharing within the region and beyond. This theme will be the focus of the report.

Duties and Responsibilities

Methodology for Analysis


Candidates are expected to provide a description of the proposed methodology for the assignment taking into consideration some contextual factors summarized below. The selected consultant will produce a more detailed version of the methodology in the Inception report.


Under the overall supervision of the Chief, Division for Arab States, Europe and the CIS, and the direct guidance of the Specialist for Arab States, as well as in regular consultations with other organizations, the incumbent will be responsible for drafting the report. The report will rely on diverse methodological approaches[1] that allow quantitative analysis from available data sources. However, given the possible scarcity and limitations of the quantitative data, it will focus on qualitative tools.


Main tasks for this consultancy include but are not limited to the following:


  • Draft the initial outline of the report, surveys, interview templates. Present understanding of the methodology and the scope of work.
  • Conduct a desk review and dress a list of main documents, references, and sources.  
  • Contribute to the methodology in coordination with the task team members
  • Agree on the list of the interviewees identified through her/his as well as the Division’s and task team’s networks.
  • Organize interviews through direct communications, mostly in the virtual format, with governments, non-state actors, development partners and relevant UN entities at the regional, subregional, and country levels to collect the required information.
  • Include good practices and cases from other Southern countries outside the Arab region, through a benchmarking exercise.
  • Consolidate and analyze the collected information and identify missing information that requires further analytical work.
  • Conduct follow-ups necessary for collection and analysis of inputs to complement the findings with particular attention to the selected focus areas.
  • Draft the report and address the comments from partners and the team.
  • Finalize and ensure the high quality of the report and prepare it for publication.


Considering limitations caused by COVID-19 pandemic, first-hand data might be collected through on-line survey, interviews or focus groups.

A working group/task team comprising representatives of the IsDB, UNDP and other interested organizations will be put together for the purpose of the production of the report, coordinated by the UN Office for South-South Cooperation.



Expected Output and Deliverables


The total working days for this consultancy will be 55 days, starting ideally by 3rd January 2022 and completing by 30 June 2022. A detailed timeline with the deliverables will be included in the inception report, which will be agreed with the Division. The below table outlines the deliverables and expected working days.


The breakdown corresponds to the expected outputs and schedule of payments as follows:


Review on mapping South- South cooperation mechanisms and frameworks in the Arab region, especially post COVID -19 pandemic


Working days (indicative)

Target Due Dates

Percentage of Payment


An inception report that includes:

i) Outline of the report including chapters

ii) Methodology for designing and drafting the report considering what is mentioned under “Methodology for Analysis” above. iii) Detailed timeline covering completion of the report

Approx. 8 days

 10 working days from the contract signature  




Literature/desk review of national, regional and international references, studies, papers, websites, documents and other relevant sources that can help designing the initial draft of the table of content, and the different chapters and subchapters of the report. 

Approx. 5 days

15 February 2022



Based on the approved methodology, this phase will be dedicated to designing and conducting surveys/questionnaires/online consultations with stakeholders and individuals identified by the consultant. This phase will be dedicated to the collection of important data and new and/or missing information as follow:  

- Bilaterally with the different stakeholders in each country (Public sector, public institutions, private sector, think tanks, research centers, academia, CSOs, donors and international organizations, etc).

- At the regional level, with different stakeholders that intervenes and work directly with the Arab region on the SSC (Donors, think tanks, banks, research centers etc).

- At the international level, with strategic donors, countries and organizations that support SSC in the Arab States.

Approx. 15 days




 28 April 2022



  • Update and validate the table of contents, chapters, and subchapters, taking into consideration the findings.

Approx. 1 day

5 May 2022



Design a first draft of the report that will include (but not only):

  • Overview/mapping of South- South cooperation mechanisms, frameworks, institutional mechanisms and resources in the Arab States, at the national and regional levels.
  • Presentation and analysis of national and regional findings and data related to the mapping.
  • Identification of SSC challenges and opportunities in the Arab region related to the mapping exercise.
  • Suggestions on how to advance Arab SSC at the national and regional levels and to Strengthen policy, institutional and operational structures for advancing Arab SSC

Approx. 15 days

31 May 2022



  • Support the organization and the conduct of consultations sessions to present the preliminary findings of the report.
  •  Collect suggestions and comments


8 days

 16 June 2022



Final drafting of the report (including editing, layout, and graphics)

3 days

 26 June 2022



Payments will be made only upon confirmation of the Regional Chief, Division for Arab States, Europe, and the CIS of the UN Office for South-South Cooperation on delivering on the contract obligations in a satisfactory manner. The lump-sum price is fixed regardless of changes in the cost components.


Institutional Arrangement

  • The Consultant will report to the Regional Chief, Arab States, Europe and the CIS, UNOSSC Division for Arab States, Europe and the CIS (Istanbul) and to the Specialist – Arab States, on a weekly basis. In addition to weekly meetings on progress update, the Consultant will also join the Team meetings of the Division. 
  • The consultant will be expected to liaise/discuss with relevant institutions and stakeholders in complete coordination with the division.
  • The Consultant is requested to follow the UNDP Editorial Style Manual.
  • Every deliverable is subject to up to three reiterations and the consultant is requested to integrate the division’s comments, reviews, and guidance.
  • The Division will ensure that the consultant has access to the relevant information and contacts


Copyright, patents and other proprietary rights

UNDP shall be entitled to all intellectual property and other proprietary rights including, but not limited to, patents, copyrights, and trademarks, with regard to products, processes, inventions, ideas, know-how, or documents and other materials which the Consultant has developed as part of his/her functions under this consultancy or related to the Services performed hereunder. The Consultant acknowledges and agrees that such products, documents, and other materials constitute works made for hire for UNDP.


[1] In preparation for BAPA+40, the IsDB, the UNOSSC and the South Centre, worked on preparing a framework on national institutional arrangements and published a report entitled “Developing National Ecosystems for South-South and Triangular Cooperation to Achieve Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development”. Subsequently, an “Assessment Framework for National Ecosystems for South-South and Triangular Cooperation” was developed to provide a structured approach to analyze the state of national institutional arrangements for SSTC in member states. These documents may be consulted during the development of this exercise.



Corporate competencies:

  • Demonstrates commitment to UNDP’s mission, vision and values.
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Highest standards of integrity, discretion, and loyalty.


Functional and technical Competencies

  • Strong analytical, reporting and writing abilities
  • Solid experience in research, drafting national and regional reports, and sound capacity in analyzing complex data and information, in relation to SSC.
  • Ability to plan, organize and implement the collect of information and to report on work.
  • Openness to change and ability to receive/integrate feedback.
  • Ability to work under pressure and tight deadline.
  • strong interpersonal, communication and organizational skills.
  • Solid understanding of the Arab region and the different countries.
  • Familiarity with SSC set-up and mechanism in the region is a plus.
  • Experience in liaising and exchanging with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ability to work from remote, with personal IT resources such as laptop and internet connection.

Required Skills and Experience

Academic Qualifications/Education:

University degree (Master’s degree or above) in economics, public administration, political science, development, law, international relations, or another relevant field is essential, an advanced university degree is an asset.



  • Minimum of 10 years of relevant experience in the development field including policy development, analysis, research, planning, coordination and monitoring.
  • Familiarity with the region to be covered within the purview of this assignment, and knowledge of and demonstrated expertise in South-South and Triangular cooperation is a must.
  • At least 5 years of prior experience in this field preferably with one of the United Nations entities or another international organization, national governments, or other relevant stakeholders is an added advantage.
  • Demonstrated publication history on South-South Cooperation.
  •  Demonstrated publication history on the Arab region.


Language skills:

Excellent writing, editing, and oral communication skills in English

Fluency in Arabic is an asset.


Evaluation of Applications

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on a desk review considering the applicants’ qualifications, experience, and proposed methodology.  


Application procedure

Interested candidates must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications.


  • Cover letter explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for the advertised position. 
  • Filled P11 form including past experience in similar projects and contact details of referees
    (blank form can be downloaded from
  • Financial Proposal* - The financial proposal shall indicate the lump sum amount in US Dollars payable in installments
  • At least two examples of a previous relevant publication/assignment on or linked to SSC at the (Arab) regional level.
  • A proposed methodology for the assignment (not more than 1200 words).
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials.


Qualified women and members of minorities are encouraged to apply. Due to large number of applications, we are able to inform only the successful candidates about the outcome or status of the selection process.


Selection criteria

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the cumulative analysis methodology (weighted scoring method), where the award of the contract will be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of technical and financial criteria


Technical Criteria weight: [70%]

Financial Criteria weight: [30%]

Only Individual Consultants obtaining a minimum of 70% on the technical evaluation (49 scores) would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.

Education, Experience, and Technical Proposal - 70% (70 scores):

  • Minimum academic education (max 10 scores).
    • University degree (Master’s degree or above) in economics, public administration, political science, development, law, international relations, or another relevant field is essential, an advanced university degree is an asset (max 10 scores).
  • Experience relevant to the assignment (max 35 scores):
    • Minimum of 10 years of relevant experience in the development field including policy development, analysis, research, planning, coordination, and monitoring (max 10 scores).
    • At least 5 years of prior experience in this field preferably with one of the United Nations entities or another international organization, national governments, or other relevant stakeholders is an added advantage (max 10 scores). Familiarity with the region to be covered within the purview of this assignment, and knowledge of and demonstrated expertise in South-South and Triangular cooperation is a must (max 5 scores).
    • Demonstrated publication history on South-South Cooperation (max 5 scores).
    • Demonstrated publication history on the Arab region (max 5 scores).
  • Technical Proposal: Brief methodology and work plan on how the consultant will approach and complete the work (max 25 scores);
    • Brief methodology and work plan on how the consultant will approach and complete the work (max 15 scores)
    • Excellent writing, editing, and oral communication skills in English (max 10 scores)


Financial Proposal - 30% (30 scores)

Schedule of payment: The consultant will be paid in installments as per the deliverables above. 


Individual Consultants are responsible for ensuring they have vaccinations/inoculations when traveling to certain countries, as designated by the UN Medical Director. Consultants are also required to comply with the UN security directives set forth under


UNDP is applying fair and transparent selection process that would take into account both the technical qualification of Individual Consultants as well as their price proposals. The contract will be awarded to the candidate obtaining the highest combined technical and financial scores. Please go the following link for the General Conditions of Individual Contracts:

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