Development Writers/ Editors, Long Term Agreement

Location : Home-based
Application Deadline :02-Sep-13 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :1 year
Expected Duration of Assignment :1- 2 years, with potential extension for one year based on a satisfactory performance

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.


As a trusted and neutral multilateral partner serving 177 countries and territories around the world, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is uniquely positioned to advocate for transformative change, connect countries to the knowledge and resources they require to promote sustainable human development and to coordinate the efforts of the United Nations at the country level.

The mission of the Bureau for Development Policy (BDP) is to strengthen national governments’ institutional capacity, so that developing countries are increasingly able to tackle the challenges within and across their borders themselves. As an active policy bureau, BDP produces world-class knowledge and advocacy products and reference publications and substantively influences current development debates advocating for transformational change in collaboration with partners and institutions around the globe.  
UNDP has established a quality assurance process for producing knowledge and advocacy products and, to assist in meeting editorial and production standards in line with this process, BDP is setting up an LTA for development writers/editors with experience in the substantive areas of our work including: poverty reduction and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the definition of the next development agenda from 2015 onwards; democratic governance; environment, energy and sustainable development; gender equality and women’s empowerment; HIV/AIDS, health and development; and knowledge management, innovation and capacity development. 

BDP shall enter into anon-exclusive long term agreement (LTA)with the selected consultant(s) and shall provide specific deliverables and time frames for each task, as and when required. Prospective individuals are requested to take note of the following:
  • Long Term Agreement is a mutual arrangement between UNDP and an individual to provide the required services at prescribed prices or provisions over a period of 12-24 months, with potential extension of one year. UNDP reserves the right to rescind the agreement during that period should performance of the consultant not meet its requirements;
  • Under a Long Term Agreement, UNDP does not warrant that any quantity of services shall be purchased during the term of this agreement. Where a request for services arises, UNDP shall directly contract the consultant based on its need to carry out those activities. A specific Term of Reference (TOR) outlining the outputs for each assignment shall be provided and an Individual Contract (former SSA) would be issued to the consultant, detailing the time frame.

Duties and Responsibilities

The writer/editor consultant (s) shall report to the BDP task/project manager and/or the author(s) of the concerned knowledge materials. Task/project managers will likely differ from task to task.  The main areas of work are as described below:

Editing of knowledge and advocacy products:
  • Draft and/or edit manuscripts to ensure clarity, consistency and readability of the text for the intended audience;
  • Under the guidance of the UNDP task manager and authors/specialists, assemble all chapters/sections; suggesting re-writing as necessary, adding/editing boxes of interest, tables and charts bringing the manuscript to full completion including all necessary components (table of contents, foreword, preface, introduction, bibliography, tables, annexes, boxes, etc.), depending on the product and the tasks set in the Terms of Reference;
  • Point out factual inconsistencies, inconsistencies in arguments, political nuances, faulty logic, and awkward or unclear passages and suggest solutions;
  • Ensure all references are in order, requesting source information for tables and figures when such information is missing;
  • Ensure timely incorporation of feedback received from internal and external peer reviewers into draft manuscripts; 
  • As appropriate, work closely with the consultant graphic designer to develop ideas for infographics, charts and images that creatively convey key messages/data in the manuscript;
  • Proof-read final texts as laid out by designer to ensure text and associated graphics are error free.
Creative writing targeting external audiences and the media:
  • Summarize, draft and edit succinct communications pieces in close cooperation with UNDP task managers;
  • Produce draft succinct opinion articles for UNDP public website and other media channels, including blogs, based on key knowledge products, publications and other products under the responsibility of UNDP researchers and senior policy advisors; and
  • Support the substantive revision of opinion articles and other materials aimed at media outreach in coordination with the author(s), and communications focal points within relevant UNDP teams.


  • Excellent analytical and writing skills demonstrating complete fluency in English language;
  • Demonstrated accuracy and attention to detail;
  • Ability to be flexible and respond to changes as part of the review and feedback process;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate and work well with diverse and multicultural supervisors and staff members at UN Headquarters in New York, Regional Centres and Country Offices;
  • Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Master’s Degree in development studies and social sciences, journalism, communications, international relations or other development or communications-related area of study;
  • Minimum 5 years of experience as a writer/editor producing/editing relevant publications and products;
  • Experience in writing for media outlets, development-related organizations, research centres, think-tanks or multilateral institutions required;
  • Substantive understanding of and/or background in one or more of the following areas of specialization: poverty reduction and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the process to define a post-2015 development agenda; democratic governance; sustainable development, environment and energy;  HIV/AIDS, health and development;  gender equality and women’s empowerment; and knowledge, innovation and capacity development;
  • Proven record in advanced copy editing and/or producing knowledge in the area of sustainable, human development and international development;
  • Knowledge of UN, including UNDP terminology, language and style an advantage.


  • Complete fluency in English (written and oral).

Application process:

Interested individuals must submit the following as proposals in order to demonstrate their qualifications:
  • Mandatory submission of UNDP Personal History form P11.  A personal CV is welcome in addition.
  • Samples of work you consider to be the best and most relevant examples of at least two of the following categories.
The total number of samples should not exceed 6.
  • An opinion/news article written and/or edited by the candidate;
  • An advocacy or outreach-related product (brochure/booklet/press kit) written and/or edited by the candidate;
  • A development-related publication or knowledge product written and/or edited by the candidate.
  • The P11 form can be downloaded at the following web address:;
  • The candidate must specify if she/he was solely responsible for producing or editing each of the above materials;
  • Please provide the samples in a document with internet links;
  • Please note that if internet links are not available, the candidate must otherwise submit the relevant content by email to  with the subject line "Sample Work for Writer/Editor Long Term Agreement 2013”.



Payments shall be made to the Individual Consultant based on the prescribed rates and upon successful achievement of the tasks and approval of work by task managers.
Volume of work:

An estimated volume of work for the individual consultant (s) for one year is expected to be around US$ 55,000, however, UNDP does not guarantee it will place orders for this quantity and is not bound by the LTA to purchase any minimum amount of services.

No travel is envisaged.
Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology:
Step I : Screening
Applications will be screened and only candidates meeting the following minimum criteria will progress to the pool for shortlisting:
  • Education: Master’s Degree in development studies and social sciences, journalism, communications, international relations or other development or communications-related area of study;
  • Experience: minimum 5 years as a writer/editor of significant, relevant publications and products;
  • Samples of original works by the candidate;
  • Language: Complete fluency in English (written and oral);
  • Mandatory submission of UNDP Personal History form (P11).  
Step II : Shortlisting by Desk Review
UNDP will conduct a desk review to produce a shortlist of candidates by evaluating:
  • Competences and qualifications based on the UNDP P11 form submitted by each candidate; and
  • Submitted samples of work.
Candidates will be assessed and scored against the following evaluation criteria.
Evaluation of Candidates (max 100 points):
  • Writing as expressed in the work samples makes complex topics interesting and easy to understand with clear, coherent and concise argumentation and analysis – 45;
  • Relevant experience in writing and /or editing – 30;
  • Writing illustrates clear understanding and knowledge of the substantive issues covered by UNDP (as set out above) - 25.
Up to 25 candidates who score the highest in the desk review and also meet the minimum threshold (70 points) will be invited to take part in a written test to assess their writing and editing skills.
Step III: Written test

The written test will be submitted to the shortlisted candidates via e-mail and they will be given a deadline to respond to the required questions. 
The written tests will be evaluated as per the following criteria:
Evaluation of Written Tests (max 100 points)
  • Accuracy  - 30;
  • Organization, Structure and presentation – 30;
  • Logical reasoning and analysis - 20;
  • Tailored to audience – 10;
  • Creative writing/style – 10.
The threshold to pass the written test is 70 points.
Step IV: Financial Proposals

The candidates invited to sit on a written test will be also requested to provide their financial proposals, which shall contain a daily rate (or an hourly rate) where applicable.
Step V : Final evaluation

The final evaluation will combine the scores of desk review, written test and financial proposal with the following weights assigned to each:
  • Shortlisting/ Desk review: 30%;
  • Written test: 40%;
  • Financial proposal: 30%.
Contract award
Up to 15 candidates obtaining highest score in the final evaluation will be considered technically qualified and will be offered to enter into a Long Term Agreement with UNDP.
Evaluation timeline
It is expected that the evaluation steps will be undertaken following the below tentative timeline. Candidates must be aware that the timeline can be changed according to the number of applicants and level/quality of responses and written tests.
Screening and shortlisting by desk review – September 2013;
Written test – September 2013;
Final evaluation – October –November 2013;
Contract award - November – December 2013.

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