Location : Varies from home-based to assignments in headquarters/ regional centres or country office
Application Deadline :31-Oct-11 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English   French   Spanish  
Duration of Initial Contract :Varies from a few days to several months
Expected Duration of Assignment :Varies from a few days to several months


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN’s development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. UNDP supports over 132 countries around the globe in the areas of Poverty Reduction, Democratic Governance, Environment and Energy, Capacity Development, Gender, HIV/AIDS and Crisis Prevention and Recovery. The Bureau for Development Policy (BDP) is UNDP’s policy bureau. BDP plays a key role in helping country offices accelerate human development through UNDP’s programmes and initiatives.

The Democratic Governance Practice (DGP) is the largest practice area in UNDP/BDP. It works on building effective and capable states that are accountable and transparent. The principal areas of work are organized around 3 clusters: Inclusive Participation, Responsive Governing Institutions, and International Norms and Principles.

  • The Inclusive Participation cluster supports efforts for expanding opportunities for civic engagement – particularly of the poor, women, youth, indigenous people, and other marginalized groups – in the channels of interaction with the state, at national, regional and local levels.
  • The Responsive Institutions cluster promotes the development of institutional capacity, and accountability, in the area of access to justice, rule of law and security, public administration and local governance at the national, regional and local level to ensure these institutions reflect and serve the needs, priorities, and interests of all people. Programme priority is given to strengthening the mechanisms of responsiveness and public accountability to the concerns and interests of poor people, women, and other vulnerable or excluded groups.
  • The International Norms and Principles cluster promotes integration of UN principles, policies, practices, and strategies (on human rights, anti-corruption and gender) within and outside the UN family

UNDP’s work in Local Governance and Local Development is guided by the principle that local governance is a key mechanism for inclusive representation and participation, shaping effective and legitimate state–society relationships, poverty reduction, economic development, reducing inequality, strengthening social cohesion and achieving the Millennium Development Goals. It is critical for post-crisis state building, restoration of basic security, provision of basic services and transition from humanitarian relief to development.

Local governance is also an integral component of effective responses to the challenges presented by climate change, natural disasters and rapid urbanization. In support of robust, representative, inclusive and responsive local governance arrangements, UNDP focuses on: (i) promoting incremental steps towards democratic reform, supporting the efforts of local leaders to engage with marginalized groups, promote accountability, inclusion and participation and to develop democratic local institutions; (ii) strengthening local actors’ ability and capacity to become better administrators, raise revenue and deliver high-quality services for MDG progress; (iii) bolstering local governance as an essential component of building political authority in post-conflict environments and promoting local peace and reconciliation; and (iv) strengthening local governance systems for addressing climate change, local economic development, environmental sustainability and disaster risk reduction.

UNDP is inviting applications from highly qualified individual consultants with local governance / local development expertise and proven experience in at least one of the following sub-areas:

  • Policy making, strategic planning and coordination of local governance and decentralization reform strategies, both at sectoral level and for the whole of government;
  • Analysis of institutional and contextual factors and social impact assessments of local governance and decentralization reform plans and programmes;
  • Fiscal and administrative decentralization (including intergovernmental transfers of funds and mandates, inspections, local tax and revenue management, local procurement, land administration and management, sub-national public sector organizational development etc.;
  • Representation in local governance including indigenous peoples, youth and women empowerment, local council strengthening;  
  • Integrity frameworks for accountable and transparent public service at sub-national levels, including local government information and communication systems;
  • Vertical and horizontal integration/coordination mechanisms between central and sub-national government institutions;
  • Sub-national public service delivery including administrative decision making, administrative simplifications, performance management and citizen monitoring, e-government, decentralization and public-private partnerships;
  • Local government and local administration capacity assessments, diagnostics and development including support to the development of local government associations and local government training institutions;
  • Regional and area-based development, integrated local and rural development;
  • Community mobilization and civic engagement;
  • Urban and municipal governance and development, intermunicipal cooperation;
  • Project and programme management.

Duties and Responsibilities

The range of tasks that would typically be expected from a consultant in this area is to assist country offices, regional centres, headquarter units and/or government counterparts in:

  • Providing strategic and operational advice to governments and non-state actors on the formulation and execution of local governance / local development policies, strategies and interventions;
  • Designing, implementing and/or evaluating projects and programmes (applying a human rights based approach and taking into account the impact on the environment, communities, women, poor and vulnerable people);
  • Knowledge sharing through comparative analysis;
  • Development of performance management systems and related indicators; 
  • Developing capacities through high-quality training or coaching;
  • Liaising with other development partners (e.g., other UN agencies, EC, USAID, OSI, IFIs, but also NGOs), assisting in donor coordination and preparations for donor meetings.
  • Contributing to partnership building and resource mobilization efforts for global, regional and/or country level initiatives.
  • Submitting well-written, concise reports according to the stipulated requirements.


  • Strategic vision, strong technical and analytical capabilities;
  • Strong reporting and writing abilities;
  • Ability to work in a team, develop synergies and establish effective working relations with government counterparts, donors, NGOs and other development partners;
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, resourcefulness, initiative, maturity of judgment, tact, and negotiating skills, and the ability to cope with potential conflict situations;
  • Integrity, modeled on the UN's values and ethical standards;
  • Sensitivity and adaptability to culture, gender, religion, nationality and age;
  • Openness to change and ability to receive/integrate feedback;
  • Ability to work under pressure and stressful situations;
  • Ability to manage heavy workloads and solve complex problems with minimum supervision.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced university degree (Master, PhD) in social sciences, international affairs, international law, public administration, business administration, political science, development studies, economics or other related areas.


  • Depending on the complexity of the assignment, consultants will need to have between 5 years (minimum requirement) and 20 years of proven work experience in local governance / local development.
  • IT literacy and ability to operate with on-line web-based applications and tools.
  • Proven relevant working experience in a region (Africa, Arab States, Asia & the Pacific, Europe & the Commonwealth of Independent States and/or Latin America & the Caribbean) will be considered an asset.


  • Proficiency in one of the three UNDP working languages (English, French, and Spanish) is a must; proficiency in a second UN language would be an advantage.
Evaluation Process

In accordance with the procedures set out in UNDP’s Procurement Guidelines and Financial Rules and Regulations, a technical evaluation of all applications will be conducted, based on a balanced assessment of candidates’: (i) knowledge and analysis of the subject matter; (ii) relevance of previous experience and technical expertise; (iii) education background; and (iv) language skills.

  • Applicants will be screened against qualifications and the competencies specified above.
  • Short listed candidates will be invited to participate in an interview and/or assessment.
  • Candidates’ references –including past employers- will be verified and confirmed;
  • Selected candidates will be invited to create a profile in the roster; where they can be considered for consultancy opportunities as needs arise.

Contracting Arrangements

Successful candidates will be included in UNDP’s Democratic Governance Vetted Experts Roster for a period of 2 years. Inclusion in the expert roster does not guarantee a contract with UNDP.

When a request for services arises, the hiring unit/office shall:
  • Contact the roster manager or search the roster to select at least three qualified experts;
  • Send the procurement notice and ToRs for the assignment to the selected experts with a request to confirm      availability and submit a financial proposal for the assignment within 3-5 business days;
  • Review the submissions and financial proposals; and
  • Select an expert for the assignment based on the ‘Best value for money’ approach.
  • Issue an Individual Contract to the expert;
  • Notify the roster manager of the decision and of the duration of the contract issued to the expert.
  • Submit an evaluation of the expert to the roster manager once the assignment is completed; and before the final payment is issued.

The contracting unit/office will provide a specific Term of Reference (ToR) outlining the outputs for each assignment and issue an Individual Contract (IC) to the consultant, detailing the time frame, and frequency/modality of payments.

Conditions of a particular assignment may be negotiable. 

Payment/s shall be made following certification by UNDP that the services related to each deliverable, as specified in the contract, have been satisfactorily performed and the deliverables have been achieved by or before the due dates specified, if any.

Please note that an evaluation of the expert must be submitted by the hiring unit before issuance of the last payment on the assignment.

Application Procedure

Qualified candidates are requested to apply online via the UNDP website.

This call for applications is specifically directed at Local Governance and Local Development Experts. Interested candidates are advised to carefully review this ToR and ensure that they meet the requirements and qualifications described above.

Experts can apply to more than one expert roster. Candidates interested in being considered for other thematic rosters should submit a separate application, in response to the specific vacancy announcement for that thematic area.

All Democratic Governance Vetted Experts Roster announcements are accessible below.


Experts must submit all materials requested for each thematic area of interest. Applications (for each roster) should contain:

  • A brief cover letter, clearly identifying the sub-area(s) of interest and expertise for which the applicant wishes to be considered. Please paste the letter into the "Resume and Motivation" section of the electronic application.
  • A current completed and signed P11 form/ UN Personal History Form in English (blank form can be downloaded from; please upload the P11 instead of your CV.
  • Contact details for 3 references. Please note that your previous employers could also be contacted.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you provide all requested materials
  • The deadline for submission of applications is 14 October 2011.

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

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.

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© 2016 United Nations Development Programme