UNDP’s Social and Environmental Standards (SES) underpin our commitment to mainstream social and environmental sustainability in our Programmes and Projects to support sustainable development.

The objectives of the standards are to:

  • Strengthen the social and environmental outcomes of Programmes and Projects;
  • Avoid adverse impacts to people and the environment;
  • Minimize, mitigate, and manage adverse impacts where avoidance is not possible;
  • Strengthen UNDP and partner capacities for managing social and environmental risks;
  • Ensure full and effective stakeholder engagement, including through a mechanism to respond to complaints from project-affected people.

The SES are comprised of an Overarching Policy and Principles, Project-Level Standards, and a Policy Delivery Process. The overarching policy and principles at the core of the SES are: (i) human rights-based approach to development programming; (ii) gender equality; and (iii) environmental sustainability.

A key mechanism to ensure these standards are applied is through UNDP’s project-level Social and Environmental Screening Procedure (SESP) which is a requirement for all proposed projects with a budget of $500,000 or more. The objectives of the SESP are to: (a) Integrate the SES Overarching Principles (human rights, gender equality and environmental sustainability); (b) Identify potential social and environmental risks and their significance; (c) Determine the Project's risk category (Low, Moderate, High); and (d) Determine the level of social and environmental assessment and management required to address potential risks and impacts.

UNDP’s SES and SESP came into effect January 1, 2015. The challenge now is to ensure successful implementation and strengthened capacities of staff to apply the standards.

Duties and Responsibilities

To support implementation of the SES a Roster of Social and Environmental Standards Experts will be established. Experts will need to demonstrate extensive experience in at least one (preferably multiple) of the thematic areas listed below:

  • Human Rights (including human rights based approach and human rights impact assessment);
  • Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (including gender mainstreaming and gender analysis);
  • Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Natural Resource Management (including mitigation and use of offsets, protected areas, forests, water);
  • Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction (including climate risk analysis, disaster risk, greenhouse gas emissions);
  • Community Health and Safety (including infrastructure safety, health impacts, emergency preparedness);
  • Labour Standards (including familiarity with ILO standards, decent work);
  • Cultural Heritage (including chance find procedures, physical and intangible cultural resources);
  • Displacement and Resettlement (including Resettlement Action Plan, livelihoods);
  • Indigenous Peoples (including Free, Prior and Informed Consent, Indigenous Peoples Plans);
  • Pollution Prevention and Resource Efficiency (including pollution prevention plans, waste management, hazardous materials);
  • Social and Environmental Screening and Assessment (including Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment, Environmental and Social Management Plans).

Relevant experience includes demonstrated familiarity with the relevant UN international legal and normative framework, the application of relevant standards, stakeholder engagement, analytical tools, methods, impact assessment and risk management measures during the planning and implementation of development projects.

The duties and responsibilities detailed below are a representative, but not exhaustive, list of potential activities. Specific Terms of Reference will dictate the scope of work and the selection of experts from the vetted roster for each of the assignments. Key areas of support and activities will include:

Development of guidance and tools

  • Provide inputs in area(s) of expertise to the development of guidance and tools to support implementation of the SES;
  • Support the elaboration of case studies;

Capacity development and trainings for staff

  • Support the development and delivery of trainings for staff, including webinars, the development of online training content, and support to face-to-face trainings;
  • Support the development of learning materials, including case studies and documentation of lessons learned.
  • Technical and advisory support related to implementation of the SES
  • Review draft SESP reports and related assessments and management plans and provide advice on how to further strengthen the quality.
  • Support the conduct of assessments and development of management plans.
  • Support implementation and monitoring of management and mitigation activities.

Institutional arrangements will be agreed if a contract is formalized. The hired consultants will report to, seek approval/acceptance of outputs as specified in the contract.

Duration of the Work:

One year initial with possibility of extension up to two additional years subject to satisfactory performance.


  • Specific technical expertise in at least one of the SES thematic areas listed above;
  • Highly organized with strong analytical and research skills;
  • Excellent analytical, writing, advocacy, presentation, and communications skills;
  • Ability to prepare succinct, analytical publications and reports;
  • Focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to critical feedback;
  • Demonstrated ability to work in an independent manner.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Masters degree in field related to international development, with specific academic background related to social and environmental sustainability.


  • At least 10 years of experience related to social and environmental standards and impact assessment in an international development context;
  • Experience developing and conducting training related to social and environmental standards;
  • Experience or strong familiarity with the work of UNDP and/or other multilateral, bilateral and civil society development partners.
  • Familiarity with the UN System, in particular UNDP.


  • Fluency in English;
  • For some regional assignments, working knowledge of the following UN languages is required: Spanish, Russian, Arabic, French, Chinese.

Note: Some assignments would be open only to an expert with the knowledge of a specific language.

Scope of Price Proposal and Schedule of Payments:

  • Financial proposals must be all inclusive[i] and must be expressed on the basis of “a daily fee” in USD;
  • Payment will be made upon monthly submission of a certificate of payment request, indicating outputs achieved and days worked to be verified and cleared for payment by the supervisor;
  • Any travel expenses will be paid for directly by UNDP and should not be included in the price proposal.

Recommended Presentation of Offer:

Qualified candidates are requested to apply online via this website. The application should contain:

  • Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references;
  • Indicate which thematic areas (listed in the background section of this posting) where the individual can demonstrate specialized expertise. Note, applicants can select multiple thematic areas;
  • Brief description of why the individual considers her/himself suitable for the assignment.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials. Please group all your documents into one (1) single PDF document as the system only allows to upload maximum one document.

Qualified women are encouraged to apply.

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

Criteria for Selection of the Best Offer:

  • All applicants will be initially screened against the minimum requirements as specified above. These long listed candidates will then be further evaluated against the following criteria.

Desk review of technical criteria as evident in the submitted application:

  • Demonstrated specialized expertise in the thematic areas the consultant has indicated - 15;
  • Experience in application of social and environmental standards in development context - 10;
  • Experience in conducting trainings and developing guidance materials related to social and environmental standards - 10 points
  • The maximum points that can be achieved in the desk review are 35;
  • Only those applicants obtaining a minimum of 25 points in the desk review will be considered for an interview. A total of 35 additional points (with same scoring breakdown as desk review) can then be obtained in the interview bringing the total points for the technical evaluation to a max. of 70;
  • Only those candidates who obtain a total technical score of 49 and above will be considered for the financial evaluation and will be asked to submit a financial proposal. The financial proposal will also count for a max. of 30 points, given to the lowest bid;
  • Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive monthly fee/ fixed total contract price. The term ‘all-inclusive” implies that all costs (professional fees, communications, utilities, consumables, insurance, etc.) that could possibly be incurred by the Contractor are already factored into the financial proposal.  If an Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and she/he expects her/his employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing her/him to UNDP under a Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP;
  • The final selection will be based on the combination of the technical evaluation and the financial proposal (weighing 70 -30) taking into consideration the different level and best value for money approach.

Contracting Arrangements:

Several successful individuals will be selected and placed on the technical expert roster for the period of up to three years. It is to be noted that inclusion in the roster does not guarantee a contract during the period of three years.
Rostered experts will be contacted when specific service requests arise and will be asked to indicate availability and interest against a specific Terms of Reference (ToR) outlining the outputs of the assignment.

Upon secondary selection Individual Contract (IC) or Reimbursable Loan Agreements (RLA) will then be awarded for these specific ToRs, incl. detailing the time frame.


Please visit to view the Individual Contract (IC) General Terms and Conditions (for Individuals/Free Lancers who will sign the UNDP contract on behalf of themselves);
For Individuals who will be represented on behalf of a company, a Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA) will be signed between UNDP and the company. To view the RLA's terms & conditions, please see
Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA): A legal instrument between UNDP and a Company/institution, according to which, the latter makes available the services of an individual delivering time-bound and quantifiable outputs that are directly linked to payments.

Payments will be made as specified in the actual contract upon confirmation of UNDP on delivering against the contract obligations in a satisfactory manner.

Please indicate the category/categories of work in which you are qualified (from the eleven themes listed below) with a short paragraph highlighting your experience in each
(1000 words or under)

  •  Human Rights;
  •  Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment;
  •  Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Natural Resource Management;
  •  Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction;
  •  Community Health and Safety;
  •  Labour Standards;
  •  Cultural Heritage;
  •  Displacement and Resettlement;
  •  Indigenous Peoples;
  •  Pollution Prevention and Resource Efficiency;
  •  Social and Environmental Screening and Assessment.