Consultancy Services on Research And Drafting of African Human Development Report 2015 (25 positions)

Location : Home-Based
Application Deadline :30-Jul-14 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction
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 :12 Months (August 2014 -July 2015)
Expected Duration of Assignment :Six Months( Approximately 131 days with deliverable staggered between ( August 2014 and July 2015)

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.


UNDP works to advance gender equality and empower women as agents of change and leaders in the development processes that shape their lives towards a more inclusive, sustainable and resilient world. Gender equality and womens empowerment is integrated in the organisation's work in promoting sustainable development pathways, inclusive and effective governance systems and resilience building. This second Regional Human Development Report on Women's Economic Empowerment and Gender Equality in Africa builds on the success of the first Africa Human Development Report (2012) on a Food Secure Future for Africa that advocated for sustainable increases in agricultural productivity and better nutrition as drivers of growth and human development. The analysis highlighted the importance of building resilience, empowerment, social justice and gender as critical elements of the transformative change required for food security. It made the case for clear linkages between expanding women's capabilities and enhancing food security including empowering women in agriculture by addressing unequal control of productive assets, time use and access to justice and markets. This report intends to provide intellectually independent, empirically grounded analysis of development issues, trends, progress and policies in order to help advance human development. HDRs are based on the premise that "people are the real wealth of a nation" using empirical data to impact policies that enlarge people's choices and create an enabling environment for people to enjoy long, healthy and creative lives or simply to "advance the richness of human life, rather than the richness of the economy in which human beings live" (Amartya Sen). Today, more people are healthier, live longer, are more educated, have more access to goods and services and more power to select leaders, influence public decisions and share knowledge. Yet much more remains to be done in expanding choices and improving well-being for all people in all countries and communities, and for generations yet to come.

The selected individual consultants (commissioned experts) are expected to contribute to the preparation of background papers for the report and a select few will lead in the consolidation of draft chapters.

Objectives of the report

This African Human Development Report aims:

  • To establishes the links between Sustainable Human Development, women empowerment and gender equality in Africa;
  • To use existing and newly generated research, to provide evidence and demonstrate the intrinsic value of gender equality with a focus beyond economic aspects to social and environmental gains;
  • To explore political, social and structural constraints to globally and nationally identified goal and targets while showcasing lessons learned from successes and failures in the African context;
  • To provide policy recommendations that would lead to fundamental changes in policies, institutions, incentives, ideas and social processes to achieve Africa's transformative vision.


The Report will be prepared over a period of 18 months through a consultative process, using new and existing empirical research produced by a team of UNDP in-house experts led by UNDP Africa working in close collaboration with the Policy Bureau, leading scholars and development practitioners.

Timeline of the research project

Given the scope and dimensions of the report, the background papers and chapters for the report will be prepared over a cumulative period of six months (131days), with the engagement of up to twenty consultants to carry out the background research and five thematic leaders to consolidate draft chapters. The duration of the assignment is between August 2014 and July 2015  Based on the results after 12 months period, the work can be extended further. During this period, the consultants may be required to travel and spend time in New York for in-depth discussions with UNDP, the Advisory panel and in facilitation of stakeholders consultations. Thematic Leaders may be required to spend at least two weeks in New York for in depth discussions with UNDP staff and desk review of relevant documents.

Duties and Responsibilities

The consultants will work closely with the Senior Strategic Advisor and the Strategic Advisor of RBA. They will be available to (a) carry out background research and (b) provide technical backstopping on the preparation of the second regional Human Development Report. The background paper authors will be responsible for carrying out stipulated research in the areas assigned to each in the timelines required. The thematic leaders will provide intellectual leadership  and consolidate the drafts of the relevant thematic papers following the standards and deadlines set by UNDP.Individual consultants/contractors will be recruited to undertake these assignments.Prospective offeror's are expected to bid for only one task.

Task 1: Background Paper Authors (20)

  •  Undertake conceptual research, carry out case studies and surveys and write background issue papers to help deepen and broaden the analysis and the coverage of the report with the aim of generating 'new" knowledge;
  • Produce an initial " issue paper" discussing on the basis of political economic theory, literature and existing aggregate data on Sub-Saharan Africa's recent women's empowerment and gender equality, exploring the plausibility of different explanations for gender inequality dynamics;
  • Prepare a clear analysis of human development in the region. This might include an overview relating theoretical aspects of human development and the regional context. Investigate the root causes of constraints on human development. Track development gaps and their impact on population groups, especially the vulnerable. Incorporate analysis highlighting the advances achieved in human development;
  • Introduce updated national or regional indicators of development, including the Human Development Index; Discuss the method of calculating the main indicators and note any data or conceptual difficulties;
  • Carry out policy analysis related to selected thematic areas including synthesis of information and research to scrutinize systematically the causes and consequences of current policies; assess the performance of these policies and produce policy options;
  • Review the effectiveness of previous or current policies. Include an examination of policy-monitoring indicators that may be traced from year to year;
  • Examine traditions, historical and cultural norms, and the social and economic environment to evaluate the local constraints on policy-making;
  • Explore aspects of the regional and global context that broaden or limit government policy choices. Include the policies of other governments and regional or international institutions ïdentify policy alternatives.Explore experiences in other countries that are grappling with similar issues under similar circumstances;
  • Establish a benchmark scenario that indicates the outcome if current trends continue undisturbed. Carry out structured analyses of all alternatives, including cost-benefit analyses. For each option, gauge the extra units of good outcome that will result if an extra X dollars are spent for each extra Y unit of service. Compare trade-offs in resource efficiency across outcomes. Identify potential winners and losers. Project and evaluate the possible micro-level impacts of policy shifts;
  • Work with staff of UNDP to turn the research/analysis into UNDP -RBA working papers and other significant publications.

Task 2: Thematic Leaders (5)

  •  Provide a draft report outline for overall general orientation and framing to the chapters and ensure analytical consistency among the various chapters;
  • Prepare a thematic paper that clearly defines the theme, the purpose and objective of the selected section of the report;
  •  Provide the political, social and economic context related to specific thematic area;
  •  Establish a strong conceptual framework for scrutiny of the report’s theme through a human development lens.This might include a description of the links of the theme with human development, national or regional development priorities, past and current development policies;
  •  Identify related problems and issues (historical factors and spatial dimensions that may be relevant in elucidating the theme, as well as impacts on the economy and society, health, governance, gender, risk management and so on). Describe problems encountered by people within the region who are regularly engaged with the theme and issues under consideration. Examine related problems and issues elsewhere that may add insight into the regional situation; 
  •  Analyse past and current government policies in the area of the theme. Through interviews, surveys, opinion polls, perception studies, focus groups and so on, capture the voices of a broad spectrum of people, including people in population segments that are affected negatively by current policies or the lack of clear policies in the area of the theme or that may be positively affected by reforms in these policies; 
  •  Articulate, dissect and diagnose viable alternative policy approaches and solutions. Include any reasoned views that may contrast with widely held opinions. This can add weight and credibility to the analysis and may lead to innovations in thinking; 
  •  Indicate research gaps that merit further study. In many cases, it may be up to the team to undertake research to fill the gaps or to present an analytical structure highlighting the gaps and demonstrating the critical nature of the gaps; 
  •  Consolidate analysis from background papers on development policies and alternatives to generate solidly grounded, well-considered recommendations that can serve as tools in promoting serious public debate on development issues and in advocating for effective government initiatives to foster human development;
  • Provide recommendations including a description and analysis of the basic intervention strategy and list the agencies that would implement the strategy and address the likely financing and other resource needs;
  • Facilitate the organization of stakeholders consultations and validation meetings in the course of the study. These meetings are to provide additional useful inputs and qualitative information that could enhance the quality of the report. There is also the possibility of participating in relevant conferences and seminars that could add value into the study or raise advocacy around it.


Although the assignment is for six months, (131days) the key deliverables will be staggered over a period of 12 months as indicated below:

  • Issue papers submitted by Background paper author due  by August 15.2014;
  • First draft of outline due by 15 August 2014;
  • First draft background papers due by 1-5 September 2014;
  •  Final Draft of background papers;
  • Comments on background papers by Thematic Lead,readers Group 8-19 September 2014;
  • Annotated Chapter Outlines by Annotated Chapter Outlines by thematic Lead due 22-30 September 2014;
  • Chapter Drafts (ZERO DRAFT)by thematic leads due by 30 October  2014;
  • Chapter Drafts( First  Draft) by thematic leads due by 24-28 November 2014;
  • AFHDR; Chapter Draft( Second Draft) Draft and enclosed Country mentions sent to UNDP Executive Offfice,Regional Service Centers Human Development Office, Advisory Panel and Readers group of  editors due 30 January 2015;
  • Third Draft by thematic leads and RBA  for Director's  Sign off  28 February 2015;
  • Launch of the report  by end of May 2015.


Corporate Competencies 

  •  Demonstrated commitment to UNDP's mission, vision and values including working in a culturally diverse environment; 
  •  Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  •  Demonstrates ability to function in a team environment and shares knowledge and experience;

 Functional Competencies 

  •  Excellent verbal and writing skills with strong academic and policy experience; 
  •  Outstanding analytical and negotiations skills. Ability to present coherent and convincing positions both in writing and orally;
  • Strong ability to take initiative to move complex processes forward to achieve articulated results, work at varying levels and on different initiatives simultaneously (personal organization and ability for multi-tasking);
  •  The consultant must also possess ability to work under pressure and to accommodate change; and 
  •  Demonstrable networking capability, interpersonal skills and strong ability to promote team work.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced University degree in development and applied economics, macroeconomics, quantitative economics, or equivalent qualifications;
  • A PhD in any of these areas would be an added advantage.
  • Minimum of fifteen years of work experience in the areas of interest (sustainable human development, women empowerment and gender equality);
  • Cognate experience in research and analysis related to sustainable human development, gender equality and women's empowerment with particular focus on Africa and developing economies;
  • There must be evidence of similar works done in the past on issues related to sustainable human development, women's empowerment and gender equality;
  • Substantial experience in development research and policy analysis related to political economy; and
  • Strong quantitative skills and demonstrated capacity to perform outstanding original research including statistical analysis and data mining;
  • Fully literate in terms of software and e-networking.

Language Skills: 

  • Excellent written and oral English communications skills;
  • Fluency in any of other UN Languages spoken in Africa would be an added advantage; and

Documents to be included when submitting the proposal: Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:

 Technical proposal

A short paper (maximum of 500 words in any of the following thematic areas that brings out (a) emerging issues; (b) research methodology; (c) proposed approach to deliver on the tasks enumerated; and (d) possible risks associated to achieving the objectives of this study and how to address the identified risks. This should be a maximum of five pages;

  • Linkages between empowerment, gender equality and sustainable human development;
  • Estimating the cost of gender gap on sustainable growth & structural transformation in Africa;
  • Social and structural barriers to economic, political and social empowerment;
  • Impact of women's political empowerment and collective action on gender equality; 
  • Policies and partnerships to promote women's agency, transformation and resilience;
  • New ways of measuring progress at global, regional, national and sub-national levels.

 Each proposal should specific only one task either background paper author or thematic lead. Filled the P11 form including past experience in similar projects and contact details of referees (can be downloaded from here) Evidence of key deliverables and results could be attached to the document; 

 Financial proposal

The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount, and payment terms around specific and measurable deliverables as indicated below:

The assignments will be delivered concurrently by twenty five consultants with in 131days (6 calendar months) but the deliverables will be staggered between 1 August 2014 and 31 July 2015. All individual consultants must follow this schedule when submitting their financial proposal. All financial proposals should be submitted separately to this email addres; no later than 30 July 2014. The template for the Financial Proposal can be downloaded from here. Please Note: The total working days per month are estimated to be 21.75 days. The cost of travel air tickets, living allowance, visa for staying in New York for attending consultations during this assignment will be borne by UNDP (and should not be part of this financial proposal). The financial proposal must be all-inclusive and shall take into account various expenses incurred by the consultant/contractor during the contract period (e.g. professional fee, and insurance  any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services.).

Payment Modality:

Task 1 (Background Paper Authors) 

  •  15% of Contract sum upon satisfactory completion of the issue paper on selected thematic area; 
  •  35% of Contract sum upon satisfactory submission of a draft background paper; and 
  •  30% of Contract sum upon satisfactory completion of the final background paper; 
  •  20% Contract sum upon satisfactory completion of a working paper for publication by UNDP.

Task 2 ( Thematic Leaders)

  • 15% of contract sum upon submission an annotated chapter outline; 
  •  25% of contract sum upon satisfactory submission of First Draft of Chapter and facilitation of relevant consultations; 
  •  25% of contract sum upon satisfactory submission of Second Draft of Chapter; and 
  •  35% of contract sum upon submission of final Chapter.


Successful consultants must be able to travel to facilitate consultations in countries based on demand excluding the two-week stay in New York. When such a request comes), the organization shall bear the cost of travel including economy class air tickets , lodging and terminal expenses based on extant policies and rules. Should the Individual Consultant (IC) wish to travel on a higher class he/she should do so using their own resources. 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 Criteria

Candidates will be assessed based on the following  criteria:

Technical Evaluation (70%):

  • Quality and relevance of similar tasks undertaken in the past with concrete results (20 points);
  • the technical proposal (50 points);
  • Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70 per cent of the total technical scores will be considered for the Financial Evaluation; 

 Financial Evaluation (30%): (if the professional fee should be based on the understanding that there are 21.75 working days in a month. The fee should be quoted in US dollar only.

The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal: p = y (μ/z),
  • p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated;
  • y = maximum number of points for the financial proposal;
  • μ = price of the lowest priced proposal;
  • z = price of the proposal being evaluated;
The final evaluation method will be based on a cumulative analysis of both the technical and financial proposals. 

When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract will be made to the individual consultants whose offers have 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 per cent

Financial Criteria weight: 30 percent

Due to large number of applications we receive, we are able to inform only the successful candidates about the outcome or status of the selection process.

General  Terms and Conditions of Contract for the Services of an Individual Contractor
can be downloaded from this link

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials. Payments will be made only upon confirmation by UNDP on delivering on the contract obligations in a satisfactory manner.  
Individual Consultants are responsible for ensuring they have vaccinations/inoculations when traveling to certain countries, as designated by the UN Medical Director. Consultants are also required to comply with the UN security directives set forth under

Qualified women and members of minorities are encouraged to apply.

Due to large number of applications we receive, we are able to inform only the successful candidates about the outcome or status of the selection process.

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