RE-ANNOUNCEMENT: International Consultant on International Merchandise Trade Statistics (IMTS)


Location : home-based with one mission to ASHGABAT, TURKMENISTAN
Application Deadline :24-Sep-17 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Democratic Governance and Peacebuilding
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Russian  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
13-Oct-2017
Duration of Initial Contract :October 2017 - December 2017
Expected Duration of Assignment :12 working days

Background

The State Statistics Committee of Turkmenistan (Turkmenstat) is a key government agency responsible for compilation and reporting on international merchandise trade statistics in Turkmenistan. In Turkmenstat’s structure, foreign trade statistics is a part of the Trade Unit of the Trade, Transport and Communication Department. The foreign trade statistical information is prepared at the centralized level based on the customs data.

Foreign trade statistics in Turkmenistan is poorly presented at international level. Data on trade in goods is mainly available in the form of mirror statistics reported by other countries, no data is available on trade of services.

The current data management system which uses Eurotrace DOS (installed in 1998) does not enable the effective and efficient processing of the data Windows transmitted by the State Customs Committee. This is because the existing Eurotrace DOS system is out of data and does not meet the current needs of Turkmenistan to effectively compile and disseminate IMTS for Turkmenistan.

The failure to regularly disseminate good quality, timely and detailed data on IMTS is caused by the lack of a more robust and modern software to compile and process Customs data. Therefore, there is an urgent need to upgrade the existing Eurotrace DOS version to the latest available Eurotrace Windows version. In 2017, UNDP and Turkmenstat signed a joint project “Support to Improvement of the Foreign Trade Statistics in Turkmenistan” that, among other activities, envisages upgrading the existing Eurotrace DOS version to the latest available Eurotrace Windows version.

Therefore, there is an immediate need for sharing good practices on the use of Eurotrace in trade data processing and its maintenance. Organization of the specialized trainings/workshops on trade dissemination and trade indices modules of the Eurotrace software is crucial to expose Turkmen specialists to the best practices in International Merchandise Trade Statistics.

The abovementioned interventions will enable the State Statistics Committee to:

  • Provide good quality state statistics on foreign trade in Turkmenistan;
  • Benefit from better coordination with the State Customs Service in collecting, compiling and processing the foreign trade data;
  • Develop the knowledge on international standards in international merchandise trade statistics.

To achieve the above-mentioned objective of the project, UNDP is looking for an International Expert on IMST. The tasks will be implemented under the Component 2: Enhancing institutional capacity and cooperation for compilation of high quality foreign trade statistics in line with international standards.

The assessment revealed that there is a need to establish effective institutional arrangements in Turkmenistan in order to provide quality data for IMTS.

According to the international practice, statistical office bears the overall responsibility for the country official trade statistics, including issuance of methodological guidelines, raw data editing and processing, database maintenance and dissemination of official statistics. Customs authorities bear responsibility for the collection of the basic records and for supplying the statistical office with these records on a regular basis: normally, customs would carry out some editing of records before passing them to the statistical office. Other governmental agencies provide additional information on trade flows not covered by customs records. The statistical office further edits all input data and merges them into a consistent data set.

In Turkmenistan, particular challenges for statistical data processing arise when revisions or corrections need to be coordinated and agreed between customs and Turkmenstat. These two institutions should work closely and together on elaboration of a common understandable national methodology for collecting, compiling and processing the data on foreign trade, because since 2013, the State Customs Service of Turkmenistan has been applying the 2012 version of WCO, which is equal to the Commodity Nomenclature of Foreign Economic Activity of the CIS countries (TN VED CIS 2012), while foreign trade statistics of the Turkmenstat is processed based on the 1996 WCO HS version  (TN VED CIS version).

In order to address this issue, the assessment mission recommended Turkmenstat to update Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with the State Customs Service as well as with other source agencies, including specialized agencies (energy, oil, gas, etc.). MoU shall determine roles and responsibilities of each party with regard to all aspects of the production, compiling, revisions and distribution of official statistics are clearly defined and elaborated in sufficient detail, and will be regularly updated to reflect developments and changes. Formal arrangements should be complemented by informal activities to strengthen cooperation, such as joint workshops, trainings for data providers and compilers.


Duties and Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the Project Manager, the International Consultant (IC) will have the objective to support State committee of statistics of Turkmenistan in establishing effective institutional arrangements in provision of quality data for IMTS. To achieve the objective, the International Consultant will carry out the following tasks:

  • Task 1: Preparation of training materials for both workshops;
  • Task 2: Conduct joint seminars for specialists of State committee of Statistics and State Customs service of Turkmenistan on international merchandise trade statistics of goods and services;
  • Task 3: Conduct workshop for specialists of State committee of Statistics and State Customs service of Turkmenistan on customs procedures;
  • Task 4: Mission report with attachment of all training material used in seminars and workshops.

Deliverables and timeframe:

Deliverable 1 prepared through the tasks 1, 2 and 3 above:

  • Training materials prepared for both workshops;
  • Conducted joint seminars for specialists of State committee of Statistics and State Customs service of Turkmenistan on international merchandise trade statistics of goods and services;
  • Conducted workshop for specialists of State committee of Statistics and State Customs service of Turkmenistan on customs procedures;

Location:  home-based (3 days) and Mission to Ashgabat (6 days), Turkmenistan. Number of days: 3+6 working days (October - November 2017).

Deliverable 2 prepared through the task 4 above:

  • Prepared Mission report and all training material used in seminars/workshops is attached.

Location: Home-based. Number of days: 3 days (November- December 2017).

Payment conditions:

This is an installment-based contract that should cover the costs of consultancy required to produce the above deliverables. The final schedule payments will be agreed upon in the beginning of consultancy.


Competencies

Corporate Competences:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism;
  • Fulfills all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment.

Functional Competencies:

  • Knowledge of and extensive experience working with UN human rights mechanisms;
  • Excellent training, facilitation and communication skills;
  • Results driven, ability to work under pressure and to meet required deadlines;
  • Good understanding and practice of capacity development;
  • Cultural sensitivity;
  • Diplomatic skills.


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Master’s degree in Statistics/Data Management or similar by experience.

Experience:

  • Minimum 5 years of experience in Statistics, International Trade and Data Management;
  • Practical experience in compiling trade statistics gained in a national statistics institute or Customs Department;
  • Practical experience in conducting training on IMTS;
  • Good knowledge of international merchandise trade statistics;
  • Good knowledge of and working experience of CIS region.

Language requirements:

  • Fluent in Russian, English is an asset.

Submission of applications:

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:

All experts applying for this position are required to provide:

  • Financial proposal with references to (1) the daily rate for the assignment and within the timing scale indicated in the present TOR, and (2) any other expenses (including transportation costs, accommodation costs, the possibility of vaccination and etc.). template of the form can be found at: http://www.tm.undp.org/content/turkmenistan/en/home/operations/jobs. The UNDP will enter into an Individual Contract based on a lump sum amounts. The financial proposal shall represent a detailed, justified and “all inclusive” amount. In order to assist UNDP in the comparison of the financial proposals, the financial proposal shall include a breakdown of this lump sum amount, including: a daily fee for the tasks and an estimated duration as specified in this announcement, travel (to and from the missions), per diems, any other possible costs (including vaccinations, dwelling, communication and etc.);
  • Cover letter explaining why they are the most suitable candidate for the assignment;
  • Filled P11 form including past experience in similar projects and contact details for referees (blank form can be downloaded from http://europeandcis.undp.org/files/hrforms/P11_modified_for_SCs_and_ICs.doc.

Evaluation of proposals:

Individual Consultants will be evaluated based on the combined scoring methodology. When using this method, the award of the contract should be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant and
  • Having received the highest score – out of 100 points.

Out of the maximum score, the score for technical criteria equals 70% - maximum 100 points, and for financial criteria 30%.

The technical evaluation will take into account the following as per the scoring provided:

  • Education in relevant area – 20 pts;
  • Experience in international trade statistics and data management – 20 pts;
  • Experience in international merchandise trade statistics – 20 pt;
  • Experience in conducting training on IMTS – 20 pt;
  • Knowledge of English – 5 pts;
  • Knowledge of Russian – 15 pts;

Financial proposal – 30% of total evaluation - max 30 pts.

Additional requirements for recommended contractor:

Recommended contractors aged 62 and older, and if the travel is required, shall undergo a full medical examination including x-ray, and obtain medical clearance from the UN-approved doctor prior to taking up their assignment. The medical examination is to be cleared by the UN physicians, and shall be paid by the consultant.


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.


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