DEVELOPMENT RESEARCHER AND WRITER


Location : Home-based
Application Deadline :13-Feb-13 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Management
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
25-Feb-2013
Duration of Initial Contract :7 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :7 months

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

The MDG Achievement Fund (MDG-F) is a United Nations resource that finances and supports national efforts to accelerate progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Established in 2007 with a contribution from the Spanish Government to the United Nations system, the MDG-F supports national governments, local authorities and citizen organizations in their efforts to tackle poverty and inequality.

Our goals are to:

  • Positively impact the status of the MDGs and tackle inequality
  • Increase national ownership and civil society participation
  • Improve aid effectiveness by building on the collective strength of the United Nations.


The MDG-F supports 130 JPs in 50 countries around the world focusing on 8 thematic areas namely gender equality, youth employment, economic governance, culture and development, conflict prevention, environment, child nutrition and private sector.

The MDG-F Secretariat is the operational and substantive coordination unit for the Fund and services the MDG-F Steering Committee comprised of UNDP and the Secretary of State of International Cooperation. The Secretariat sits in the Bureau for External Relations and Advocacy of UNDP headquarters. The Secretariat is delegated by the Steering Committee to ensure policies and strategies decided by the Steering Committee are implemented and adhered to. 
Communications and Advocacy is a one of the key driving strategies of the MDG Achievement Fund work and has been implemented through a strategy that seeks to increase broad-based support and action on the MDGs, encourage citizen participation and increase transparency and accountability. Through the latter, we put significant emphasis in ensuring that information on our programmes and actions are made available to the public and key target groups. 

As most of the MDG-F’s 130 programmes will progressively be coming to an end, final evaluations and reports are providing valuable information on their results. The MDG-F would like to produce a concise (approx.. two pages) substantive overview of each programme achievements and contributions to development that can be shared with various interested stakeholders (partners, programmes’ participants or development practitioners, among others) as a quick snapshot of our work. 
These pieces will be used and disseminated through a range of actions and communication tools such as the MDG-F global website that has been created as one of our main platforms of communication, accountability and transparency.
The Development Researcher and Writer will work under the direct supervision of the Advocacy & Partnerships Adviser to distill the most relevant information to produce engaging substantive pieces on the achievements of each one of the MDG-F’s joint programmes.


Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop a template for the production of the Programme Results Summaries selecting key categories that are both in line with the MDG-F’s overall messages as well as relevant to partners in the development community (governments, civil society and the UN).
  • Distill key information relevant to MDG-F messages and development agendas from a range of documents such as final evaluations, programme reports and the MDG-F monitoring system in order to write Programme Results Summaries that are concise and engaging. As programmes are closing in a phased way (not all on the same date), the work will be split in phases as well starting with the programmes that have already closed.
  • Liaise with Programme Advisors (through the Advocacy and Communication Unit) to receive feedback on drafts and refine if necessary.
  • Coordinate with Communications Unit to insert photos and tables into each piece so that they are both substantively as well as visually appealing.
  • Liaise with web editors for the publication of the pieces on the MDG-F website.

The consultant will be working from 25 February 2013 until 25 September 2013, with the following schedule:
Deliverables/ Due Date

  • Template (programme results and web summary) 1 March
  • First round of Programme Results summaries and web summaries  15 May
  • Second round of Programme Result summaries and web summaries 15 August
  • Third round of Programme Result summaries and web summaries 15 September

Payment method:
The consultant will be paid upon submission of the deliverables and approval of MDG-F Secretariat Management.

Impact of Results:
The work of the Development Researcher and Writer will increase the accountability of the MDG-F and have a clear impact.


Competencies

  • Demonstrated experience with and understanding/knowledge of development issues, particularly those related to poverty reduction, inequality and the MDGs.
  • Superior written and oral communication skills, with the ability to convey complex development concepts and recommendations, in a clear and persuasive manner that is tailored to match different audiences.
  • Demonstrated experience writing academic or development oriented policy papers, project proposals and/or development reports for reputable international organizations.
  • Ability to show a high attention to detail without losing the bigger purpose and picture.
  • Proven ability to find creative solutions to complex problems with an excellent ability to work effectively under pressure and with tight timelines.
  • Ability to work independently, take initiative and produce consistent high quality results.
  • A highly motivated self-starter with an excellent combination of communication, analytical and writing skills.
  • Web editing experience Drupal would be an asset
  • Proficient in the use of computers and office software packages
  • Superior written and oral communication skills, with the ability to convey complex development concepts and recommendations, in a clear and persuasive manner that is tailored to match different audiences.
  • Ability to show a high attention to detail without losing the bigger purpose and picture.
  • Proven ability to find creative solutions to complex problems with an excellent ability to work effectively under pressure and with tight timelines.
  • Ability to work independently, take initiative and produce consistent high quality results.
  • A highly motivated self-starter with an excellent combination of communication, analytical and writing skills


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Master's degree in the following relevant fields: social or political science, international development, journalism, public relations, or related field.

Experience:

  • Minimum 3 years relevant experience at the national and/or international level working with well recognized universities, research institutes and/or development organizations;
  • Demonstrated experience producing analytical written pieces on development issues that are concise and convincing;
  • Experience interacting with, researching or managing international development initiatives
  • Demonstrated experience with and understanding/knowledge of development issues, particularly those related to poverty reduction, inequality and the MDGs
  • Demonstrated experience writing academic or development oriented policy papers, project proposals and/or development reports for reputable international organizations.
  • Professional experience conducting research on developing issues
  • Web editing experience Drupal would be an asset
  • Proficient in the use of computers and office software packages.

Language:

  • Fluency in English.
  • Working knowledge of reading in Spanish and/or French would be considered as asset.

The contract is awarded to the candidate who received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria: Technical Criteria weight: 70% + Financial Criteria weight: 30%.
Individual consultants will be evaluated based on 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:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable, and
  • 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%

TECHNICAL EVALUATION CRITERIA:

  • Demonstrated experience working with academic institutions, think tanks and/or development organizations on research related initiatives in the area of poverty reduction, MDGs and human development; 15%
  • Technical knowledge of key areas related to human development, MDGs, inequality and/or poverty reduction; 15%
  • Assessment of writing samples (candidates will attach two individually written samples): 20%
  • Written test results (shortlisted candidates are expected to take a written test): 20%

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 12 points in the Technical Evaluation would be considered for the Financial.

Evaluation

Documents to be included in the application (only 1 file can be uploaded):
The following documents should be merged in a standalone file including all them, since the online application submission does only permit to upload one file per application. Incomplete submission can be a ground for disqualification.

  • Brief expression of interest: a brief narrative on why you think you are qualified to undertake the consultancy.
  • A current and complete C.V. in English with indication of 3 references as well as the permanent e-mail and phone contact.
  • Duly completed UNDP Personal History Form (P11) that can be downloaded from http://europeandcis.undp.org/files/hrforms/P11_modified_for_SCs_and_ICs.doc
  • Financial proposal: Rate per Programme Result Summaries (in .doc version of approx. 2 pages –approx.1000 words and two photos) and web summary of approx. 300 words)
  • Two written samples of individual authorship (in English)

Incomplete applications or applications received after the closing date will not be given consideration. Please note that only applicants who are shorted-listed will be contacted.
The Secretariat will cross check previous work experience and expertise.
If shortlisted the Secretariat may ask the applicant to share one or several of his/her previous works to assess competencies and skills of the applicant.



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