Research Consultant on Volunteerism and Governance

Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Home based
Application Deadline :23-Jan-14 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Management
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 :Four months
Expected Duration of Assignment :Four 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.


The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in tackling development challenges, and it can transform the pace and nature of development. Volunteerism benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer by strengthening trust, solidarity and reciprocity among citizens, and by purposefully creating opportunities for participation. UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for recognition of volunteers, working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing an increasing number and diversity of volunteers, including experienced UN Volunteers, throughout the world. UNV embraces volunteerism as universal and inclusive, and recognizes volunteerism in its diversity, as well as the values that sustain it: free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity.

UNV is headquartered in Bonn, Germany and has approximately 150 staff positions – with the majority in Bonn and some positions with different UN peacekeeping and political missions, and in other Headquarters locations (e.g. New York and Tokyo).

The major organizational groups within UNV are:

  • the Office of the Executive Coordinator (OEC) comprising the Evaluation Unit (EU) and the Corporate Planning and Performance Unit (CPPU);
  • The Volunteer Programming and Management Group (VPMG) comprising Quality Assurance Unit (QAU), Volunteer Knowledge and Innovation Section (VKIS), and Peace and Development Division (PDD), which includes the Peace Programming Section (PPS), the Development Programming Section (DPS), and the Volunteer Recruitment Resources Section (VRRS);
  • the Partnerships and Communications Division (PCD) comprising the Partnerships Section (PS) and the Communications Section (CS);
  • The Management Services Division (MSD) comprising the Information and Communication Technology Section (ICTS), Finance Section (FS), Human Resources Section (HRS), and the Administration Unit (AU). Additionally the Common Services Unit (CSU) provides support to the UN presence in Bonn.

The Volunteer Knowledge and Innovation Section (VKIS) enhance UNV’s proactive capacity to mainstream volunteerism into peace and development initiatives through:

  • Promoting sound volunteer management practices, including the development of innovative volunteering solutions (volunteer modalities and volunteer management resources and tools) and the management of the Online Volunteering service;
  • Leading the delivery of volunteerism advisory services for integration of volunteerism for peace and development into policies and programming; and for enhancing the recognition of volunteerism contributions;
  • Leading initiatives for Volunteer Learning and Knowledge management;
  • Facilitating and supporting advocacy initiatives at national and global level with the objective to integrate volunteerism in the post-2015 development agenda;
  • Supporting research on volunteerism for peace and development, including leading the development of the State of the World’s Volunteerism Reports (SWVR).

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of work:

This consultancy is to develop an evidence-based paper on international volunteering and governance. The paper will be a jointly sponsored effort of the International FORUM for Volunteering in Development and UNV. One of its purposes is as input into the 2014 State of the World’s Volunteerism Report (SWVR). 

The paper should analyse whether international volunteerism helps to strengthen governance. UNDP defines governance as the exercise of political, economic and administrative authority in the management of a country’s affairs at all levels. Governance is a neutral concept comprising the complex mechanisms, processes, relationships and institutions through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their rights and obligations and mediate their differences. (// 

In this paper, volunteerism and governance may be explored in one or several areas such as collaborative governance, human rights, youth, gender, accountability, anti-corruption, access to information, conflict prevention and peace building, rule of law, social capital, poverty reduction, local governance, and multi-track diplomacy.

  • Briefing, literacy review, research design: UNV/FORUM will brief the Consultant. Consultant will conduct a literature review and review inputs from FORUM members. 
  • Research and draft paper: Conduct desk reviews of examples of volunteerism and governance. For selected examples, conduct follow-up surveys/interviews with informants, e.g. project team, volunteers, partners, government/community stakeholders. Analyse contribution of international volunteering to governance. 
  • Submit final paper: Based on FORUM/UNV feedback, the paper and abstract will be finalized and submitted with agreed format and referencing.
The work is home based. It will include desk reviews and making international contacts with informants.  
  • Deliverable by 24 February 2014;
    Provision of research question and design with the conceptual framework justified by literature;
  • Deliverable by 4 April 2014;
    Draft paper including brief description of data and analytical process;
    Major findings and conclusions;
    Recommendations, and Abstract;
  • Deliverable by 15 May 2014;
    Submit final paper and abstract ready for editing and printing.


  • Demonstrates analytical rigor, intellectual creativity and contributes original research ideas about volunteerism, governance, poverty and development;
  • Possesses some familiarity with substantive and policy issues related to government, civil society, and volunteerism, especially international;
  • Demonstrates strong writing skills in English. In particular, has the ability to present persuasive, coherent and well-founded arguments and make messages accessible to a broad audience;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality, and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Demonstrates drive to achieve results in timely manner and to seek and find solutions to any problems encountered; makes efficient use of available resources; demonstrates ability to multitask; remains composed under stress;
  • Has ability to communicate clearly and persuasively; demonstrates ability to build consensus and expresses own ideas openly and frankly without jeopardizing rapport with colleagues. 

Required Skills and Experience

  • Advanced university degree in political science, international development, journalism, research or related topic.
  • Minimum of 3 years of relevant professional work experience in volunteerism, development, research, or communications;
  • Demonstrable experience in writing/editing/formulating evidence based regional or global knowledge products, preferably with UN, Government, or international NGO;
  • Work experience in governance desirable;
  • Experience and demonstrated understanding of international volunteerism desirable.
Language requirements:
  • Excellent written and spoken English required. Fluency in another UN language desirable.

Evaluation of Candidates:

The contract shall be awarded to the company/consultant who is the most technically qualified and provides the best value for money. The consultancy will be offered to the candidate with the highest combined score (technical and financial).
Only those who pass 70% of the technical evaluation score will be considered. 

Excellent language and report writing skills are prerequisites for even being considered for the consultancy. Only companies/consultants with relevant experience in supplying similar services will be considered qualified.

Evaluation Criteria and Weight (70% Technical 30% Financial):


  • Relevant substantive experience with volunteerism, especially international - 25%;
  • Relevant substantive experience with governance and development - 20%;
  • Demonstrated experience in writing/editing/ formulating complex English-language knowledge products successfully and on-schedule - 25 %;
  • Demonstrates ability and cultural competencies to conduct research/ interviews and develop critical analysis and recommendations - 30 %.
The candidate obtaining the overall highest score after adding the technical score and the financial score will be awarded the contract.
For any queries, please send an e-mail to, Att.: Iris Klesing with ‘55061 – Research Consultant – Volunteerism and Governance’ in the subject line.

We cannot accept applications by e-mail, fax or mail.

How to apply:

Applications should be submitted on line and include an up-to-date CV or Personal History Form (P11). Only short-listed applicants will be contacted.

If you submit an application, UNV expects that you have read and agree with the TOR and the UNV Terms and Conditions, available online: Additional information needed:
  • A cover letter with a brief presentation of yourself, including contact detail - explain why you are the most suitable for the work (1000 words or under);
  • Please supply at least three references from previous clients that we can contact to seek references, name, address, e-mail, telephone;
  • Please provide at least two writing samples or a relevant link;
  • Proof of any previous relevant work carried out;
  • A detailed list of services and specific areas of expertise that your institution (or you as an individual) may provide.

The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount 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 output, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR.

The Financial proposal has to be sent in a separate email to, with the subject title: ‘55061 – Research Consultant – Volunteerism and Governance, Att. Iris Klesing, no later than COB (Bonn time) 23 January 2014. The same applies to additional documents related to your submission.

Any request for clarification must be sent in writing, or by standard electronic communication to the e-mail indicated below. UNV will respond in writing or by standard electronic mail and will send written copies of the response, including an explanation of the query without identifying the source of inquiry, to all consultants/companies.


In the case of unforeseeable travel, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses would be agreed upon, between the respective business unit and Individual Consultant, prior to travel and will be reimbursed.

Requests for further information must be sent in writing to the e-mail indicated above. Please note all applications must be submitted via the UNDP Job shop, we cannot accept application solely sent by e-mail.

If you are experiencing difficulties with online job applications, please contact the eRecruit Helpdesk.

© 2016 United Nations Development Programme