2469 International Consultant for conducting the National Stocktaking on South-South, East-East and Triangular cooperation in Serbia


Location : Home-based with one 5-days mission to Belgrade (Serbia), SERBIA
Application Deadline :01-Aug-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Expected Duration of Assignment :01 September – December 2022 (25 working days)

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.


Background

Purpose

 

To conduct an overall assessment of the activities and cooperation relevant for the South-South, East-East and Triangular cooperation in the Republic of Serbia.

 

Objective

 

To further advance the fundamental tenets of United Nations development system (UNDS) reform, thus ensuring the UN system support to the Member States in establishing and strengthening national institutional arrangements for South-South and Triangular cooperation (SSTC).

 

 Background Information

 

One of the key lessons of COVID-19 pandemic is that development cooperation in all its forms remains critical to an effective response to shocks, resilience, recovery, and, ultimately, sustainable development, especially during the last Decade of Action to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In this context, South-South, East-East and triangular cooperation (SS/EE/TrC) is acknowledged as an effective driver for change, as it offers a unique framework for the identification, exchange, and matching of cost-effective solutions for national and regional challenges. Yet, despite the significant rise in the scope and magnitude of South-South cooperation (SSC), experiences indicate that more harmonized and coordinated efforts in this form of cooperation would better assist and enable Member States to achieve greater development outcomes. Thus, the logical first step is to identify countries’ overall policy priorities and strategic preferences vis-à-vis the potential benefits that SS/EE/TrC can bring about, as well as the country’s level of readiness to pursue such priorities and preferences.

 

The outcome document of the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40 outcome document) encourages countries to strengthen national policies in advancing South-South and Triangular cooperation (SSTC), while enhancing the capacity of national and subnational coordination mechanisms. Furthermore, the BAPA+40 outcome document has urged the UN Development System (UNDS) entities to enhance its assistance to countries in seeking potential cooperation partners in strategic areas, whilst assisting those countries in building the human and institutional capacity needed to formulate and implement national development policies, strategies, and programmes for SSTC.

 

The 2020 UN System-wide Strategy on South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Sustainable Development, which is increasingly being acknowledged as one of the instruments to further advance the fundamental tenets of UNDS reform, also commits the UN system to supporting Member States in establishing and strengthening national institutional arrangements for SSTC. Deliberations during the recent 20th Session of the UN High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation in June 2021 also underlined the imperative for relevant policies, institutional arrangements, and capacities.  It was also noted that having the support of the UN system will allow countries to broaden access to experiences and engage new partners in mobilizing the necessary resources to achieve sustainable equitable recovery.

 

Given some of these developments, the national stocktaking exercise initiative of the UNOSSC Division for Arab States, Europe and the CIS aims to equip interested national partners and UNDS entities to further leverage SSTC for greater impact, especially in building back better from COVID-19 and achieving the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. This is not a standalone or an ad hoc activity. Rather, a process that is integral to the so-called ‘national eco-system’ for South-South cooperation.  

 

The Republic of Serbia is emerging as one of the advanced regional countries when it comes to South-South, East-East and triangular cooperation. Among other things, the Government of Serbia, with support from UNDP country office, initiated support in the selected areas in the countries of the Open Balkans (Albania and North Macedonia), within the framework of the Development Services Agreement: SDG Acceleration Framework, funded by the Government of Serbia, which, inter alia, supports initiatives relevant for the SS/EE/TrC. Furthermore, UNDP Serbia is currently implementing a project that is focused on Sustainable Investment Promotion, which is funded by the United Nations Trust Fund for Peace and Development, 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Sub-fund managed by UNDESA. UNDP also supported activities relevant for the advancing of cooperation within the Belt and Road Initiative, in the context of expanding partnership with China. The UNSDCF of Serbia for 2021-2025 refers to triangular cooperation (regional and transborder/ transboundary) as a core principle for achieving the two UNSDCF Strategic Priorities, while the third Strategic Priority adequately mainstreams the principles of the regional cooperation. Moreover, the UNCT 2021 Annual Result Report refers to the regional and transborder/ transboundary cooperation and identifies positive outcome of regional cooperation within the Western Balkans for the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, as well as the public promotion of regional infrastructure projects and the adoption of the Action Plan for Implementation of the Sofia Declaration on the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans (Nov 2021).

 

Within this larger context, the joint UNOSSC-UNDP CO Serbia national stocktaking exercise, carried out in partnership with the General Secretariat of the Government of Serbia, will:

  • Take stock of the cooperation stage in the country, including the regional level, while documenting successful policies and practical solutions across various areas and sectors that can be easily adopted and replicated in other similar contexts
  • Identify main challenges and opportunities in establishing/strengthening/consolidating South-South and triangular cooperation
  • Develop a set of practical recommendations for national stakeholders and UN Country Team.


Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of work

 

Under the overall guidance and the day-to-day supervision of the Portfolio Manager/SDG Integration Centre, UNDP Serbia and in close collaboration with the Regional Chief, Division for Arab States, Europe and the CIS, UNOSSC (based in Istanbul) and the Specialist – ECIS, the consultant will be responsible for the following key deliverables:

 

To produce the final report, the main activities for this consultancy include the following:

  • Desk study: Review of current national development cooperation initiatives and policy priorities (including regional/cross-regional); legal framework, policy and partnerships instruments and institutional arrangements pertaining to South-South and Triangular cooperation (SSTC); review and analysis of roles, responsibilities and division of labor among the main drivers and key stakeholders in SSTC and other forms of cooperation; research papers, reports produced by the UN and other international organizations, Serbian institutions, think tanks, research institutions, conference papers, relevant initiatives of UN entities and other partners etc.
  • Conduct a mini survey among key stakeholders (both in the Republic of Serbia and abroad, e.g., in the current and potential partner countries) aimed at identifying existing capacities and expertise; current and emerging SSTC policy developments, opportunities, and priorities of the government, UN entities and other partners. 
  • Conduct consultative meeting(s) with all key stakeholders, including line ministries, departments, UN Country Team, triangular cooperation partners present in Serbia (Belgrade), representatives of private sector and civil society stakeholders, to discuss the state of play, national and regional priorities, the enabling environment, institutional arrangements, lessons learned, latest trends and opportunities that can be advanced through SSTC strategic partnerships.
  • Final analysis of the qualitative data, information and sentiments shared by key informants with possible employment of methods such as triangulation, scenario building and rational choice. Identify key thematic priorities for further explorations and identifying additional areas for cooperation and partnership.
  • Presentation of stocktaking and strategic review before key stakeholders. The presentation will include the draft outcome of the stocktaking, analyses and draft recommendations. The presentation is expected to generate constructive feedback on the stocktaking, analysis and recommendations.
  • Preparation of a concise report documenting good practices in SSTC and recommendations to the Government and the UN System.

 

Duties, responsibilities, and key milestones

 

The consultant is responsible for the following deliverables:

No

Outputs (in Serbian)

Deadline*

1.

Inception report containing the outline of the report and the template for the survey, prepared and accepted by UNDP.

30 September 2022

2.

Initial analysis of the collected information, prepared and accepted by UNDP.

15 October, 2022

3.

Visit to Belgrade, Serbia (5 working days) and collection of additional information, including national consultation, preparation and discussion of the key conclusions and recommendations, prepared and accepted by UNDP.  

15 November, 2022

4.

Draft report prepared and accepted by UNDP.

30 November, 2022

5.

Final report prepared and accepted by UNDP.

15 December, 2022

* The timelines may be slightly adjusted once the contract is signed with the consultant in order to align with actual project implementation.

All deliverables shall be reviewed and approved by UNDP Portfolio Manager, in consultations with the UNOSSC Division for Arab States, Europe and the CIS, and the national partner.


Competencies

  • Demonstrated experience in policy analysis and/or providing policy advisory services to governments and/or UN entities related to development cooperation;
  • Familiarity with the European Union (EU) accession process and the relevant parts of the EU acquis related to external relations;
  • Familiarity with the Europe and the CIS region, trends and dynamics, and economic, social, cultural, and political landscape;
  • Proven experience in facilitating and moderating national and/or regional consultations and workshops;
  • Proven experience in preparing relevant studies and reports;
  • Strong communication and analytical skills and ability to present complex information in a clear succinct manner;
  • Familiarity with the various development contexts, SDGs, and a solid institutional and political understanding of at global, regional, and country levels development processes;
  • Ability to handle confidential and politically sensitive issues in a responsible and mature manner; and Sound judgment with proven ability to work effectively under minimum supervision;
  • Ability to work independently and has a track record of delivering quality work on time;
  • 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.


Required Skills and Experience

Education

  • Master’s degree in economics, development, law, international relations, environment, or another relevant field is essential.

Experience

  • Minimum of 10 years of relevant experience in the development field including policy development, analysis, research, planning, coordination, and monitoring;
  • At least 5 years of prior experience in development cooperation preferably with one of the United Nations entities or another international organization, national governments, or other relevant stakeholders.

Language

  • Fluency in oral and written English language is required.

 

DOCUMENTS TO BE INCLUDED WHEN SUBMITTING THE PROPOSALS.

 

Qualified and interested candidates are asked to submit their applications via UNDP Web site: UNDP in Serbia under section “Jobs” no later than 1 August 2022.

 

Application should include: 

  • CV in English language containing date of birth, contact information (home address, phone number, e-mail) and timeline of work experience (including description of duties).  
  • Offeror’s Letter (only PDF format will be accepted) confirming Interest and availability for the Individual Contractor (IC) Assignment. Can be downloaded from the following link: https://www.undp.org/sites/g/files/zskgke326/files/2022-07/confirmation.docx. The Offeror’s Letter shall include financial proposal specifying a total lump sum amount for the tasks specified in this announcement with a breakdown of costs.

In order to apply please merge above listed documents into a single PDF file. The system does not allow for more than one attachment to be uploaded.

 

The shortlisted candidates may be asked to provide copies of diplomas and any other certificates providing evidence of their education and experience in relevant fields.

 

Any request for clarification must be sent by standard electronic communication to the email vacancy.rs@undp.org. The procuring UNDP entity will respond by standard electronic mail and will send response, including an explanation of the query without identifying the source of inquiry, to all consultants.

 

Financial Proposal

 

  • Lump sum contracts

The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount in USD currency, and payment terms around specific and measurable (qualitative and quantitative) deliverables (i.e., whether payments fall in installments or upon completion of the entire contract). Payments are based upon approval of each deliverable.  In order to assist the requesting unit in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal will include a breakdown of this lump sum amount (Including travel in Serbia, per diems, and number of anticipated working days).

 

Travel:

 

All envisaged travel costs must be included in the financial proposal. In the case of unforeseeable travel, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon, between the respective business unit and Individual Consultant, prior to travel and will be reimbursed.

 

Evaluation

 

Cumulative analysis

 

When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract should be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

a) responsive/compliant/acceptable in terms of relevant experience and academic background, and

b) Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

* Technical Criteria weight; 70%

* Financial Criteria weight; 30%

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49 points would be considered for the Financial Evaluation

Criteria

Weight

Max. Point

Technical

 

70 points

Criteria A

  • Demonstrated experience (at least one project relevant for the topic concerned) and familiarity with the South South, East-East and Triangular cooperation framework.

35

Criteria B

  • Demonstrated experience (at least two projects relevant for the topic concerned) in engaging with high-level national policy makers, practitioners, and other stakeholders. 

35

Financial

 

30 points

 

 

Additional Information:

 

In the case of engagement of Civil servants under IC contract modality a no-objection letter should be provided by the Government entity. The ‘no-objection’ letter must also state that the employer formally certifies that their employees are allowed to receive short-term consultancy assignment from another entity without being on “leave-without-pay” status (if applicable), and include any conditions and restrictions on granting such permission, if any. If the previous is not applicable ‘leave-without-pay’ confirmation should be submitted.

Engagement of Government Officials and Employees

 

  • Government Officials or Employees are civil servants of UN Member States.  As such, if they will be engaged by UNDP under an IC which they will be signing in their individual capacity (i.e., engagement is not done through RLA signed by their government employer), the following conditions must be met prior to the award of contract:

(i)       A “No-objection” letter in respect of the individual is received from the Government employing him/her, and;

(ii)     The individual must provide an official documentation from his/her employer formally certifying his or her status as being on “official leave without pay” for the duration of the IC.

  • The above requirements are also applicable to Government-owned and controlled enterprises and well as other semi/partially or fully owned Government entities, whether or not the Government ownership is of majority or minority status.   
  • UNDP recognizes the possibility that there are situations when the Government entity employing the individual that UNDP wishes to engage is one that allows its employees to receive external short-term consultancy assignments (including but not limited to research institutions, state-owned colleges/universities, etc.), whereby a status of “on-leave-without-pay” is not required.  Under such circumstance, the individual entering into an IC with UNDP must still provide a “No-objection” letter from the Government employing him/her.  The “no objection” letter required under (i) above must also state that the employer formally certifies that their employees are allowed to receive short-term consultancy assignment from another entity without being on “leave-without-pay” status and include any conditions and restrictions on granting such permission, if any.  The said document may be obtained by, and put on record of, UNDP, in lieu of the document (ii) listed above.



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