Vetted Experts Roster: Sustainable Development: Employment and Inclusive Growth

Location : home-based with possible missions
Application Deadline :01-Mar-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :Depending on particular assignment


The Istanbul Regional Hub (IRH) is UNDP’s main knowledge and advisory hub for the Europe and CIS Region (ECIS). It aims to connect the region to a global network of development experts, to build knowledge and capacity, and to forge partnerships to meet the development challenges of a large and diverse region. IRH also aims to capture and spread development successes and best practices in the region and to improve the impact of UNDP’s work through effective communications and advocacy.

In order to achieve these aims, the IRH employs a team of in-house policy advisers and specialists, backed by an extensive roster of outside experts. Regional programme advisers and specialists provide demand-driven advisory services, access to knowledge, and technical backstopping to ECIS country offices. Their specific services include diagnostic missions, on-site support to UNDP Country offices principally in programme identification and preparation, evaluations, expert referrals, capacity development, training and applied research. They may also be responsible for leading and managing the regional practice work through communities of practice (COP) in their respective areas of expertise.n

The Sustainable Development Team provides support to the process of nationalizing, implementing and monitoring the global 2030 sustainable development agenda. UNDP IRH invites applications from qualified experts to establish a roster of consultants to work on various consultancy assignments in the region.  The SDT launches a competitive process to create a pool of qualified experts/consultants in following areas:

  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 
  • Poverty and Inequality, 
  • Employment and Inclusive Growth, 
  • Private Sector and Trade, 
  • Social Protection and Social Inclusion
  • Roma Inclusion
  • Green economy
  • Human Development

Employment and Inclusive Growth in ECIS region

Lack of inclusive and robust economic growth in the region has meant that income and job insecurities continue to affect large sections of the population of the ECIS region. The critical labour market situation is manifested  in either in high unemployment rates (Western Balkans) or low and decreasing participation rates, the large shares of the workforce in low productivity agricultural jobs, and in vulnerable employment (up to 50 percent of the workforce in some countries), or working in the informal sector. The unemployment and inactivity are usually concentrated in certain demographic, social and ethnic groups such as: youth, rural women, persons with disabilities, older workers, ethnic minorities, Roma.  

Youth unemployment rate for example is reaching close to 50 percent in some countries, and high shares of discouraged young people who are not in full time employment, education or training (NEETs) are particularly worrisome. Lack of misalignment of skills is a common challenge for youth to enter the labour market.  While youth population is getting better educated, the mismatch between skills demanded and supplied is another cause of youth unemployment. 

Gender gap in labour force participation rate and wages persist due to female labour’s concentration in informal and lower-paid jobs, including subsistence agriculture. Factors hindering women’s economic participation include domestic work, lack of affordable childcare and unequal access to resources.

While subsistence rural farming has provided a safety net for many, migration has provided the safety valve for others and has reduced the mounting supply-side pressures on the labour market. Nonetheless, this had prevented many countries in the region to harness economic dividends of the demographic transition. Moldova, for example, experienced an 8 percent drop in labour force participation in the last decade, largely due to significant labour migration. 

Moreover, ECIS  region has seen a growth in informal and precarious work; an increase in inequalities and the “working poor”. Over half of the employed in the Southern Caucasus live on incomes below the ILO threshold used to measure the share of “working poor”. Recent official data point to large declines in full-time employment and real wages in Ukraine and Belarus.

In addressing these chronic and fundamental economic and labour market challenges, UNDP advocates for growth, which is broad-based, inclusive and sustainable. This approach is also featured prominently in the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For example, the proposed SDG 8 is calling for the promotion of “sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”, and the proposed SDG 10 is calling for the “reduction of inequality within and among countries”. 

UNDP’s response to these problems follows a multi-directional trajectory:

n line with the principles underpinning the SDGs, UNDP is actively promoting integrated, whole-of-government and transformative approaches to tackling unemployment, underemployment, and the very large shares of informal, precarious and vulnerable employment in the region. In our analytical, advisory and programming work, we have been actively cultivating partnerships to explore new ways of ensuring more inclusive growth patterns, while fully respecting the principle of “leaving no-one behind”. This approach is reflected for example in our current sub-regional project on Promoting Inclusive Labour Market Solutions in the Western Balkans ( This project looks at practical ways for promoting integrated and innovative solutions for the effective provision of employment and social services, as well as better outreach to those most at risk of exclusion through territorial partnerships for employment-creation.

UNDP has been actively promoting the policy debate on employment, and linking it to the transformational ambition of the SDGs, in particular the target of “decent work for all” envisioned by SDG 8. To raise the profile of employment in policy dialogue in the countries of our region, ensuring that long and medium-term economic development strategies embrace the employment implications of economic policies, in 2015 - 2016 in partnership with ILO and other agencies, UNDP organized three high-level sub-regional conferences ( on the topic of employment. The need for improving the employment statistics, including through alternative data sources, which would provide deeper insights into labour market performance and for identifying those being left behind has come up very prominently. Statistics issue is specifically important for Green Jobs, which are crucial for achieving SDGs 8 and 12, but still generally invisible on statistics radar screen. ILO usefully piloted Green Jobs measurement in Albania ( The SDG alignment and reporting process provides space for improvements in this area.

Generation of productive employment requires the creation of new jobs, but also increasing the productivity of those jobs so as to improve wages and returns for those who are self-employed. Beyond the productive employment generated through area based development programmes, in many ECIS  countries UNDP is one of the strategic partners to  Ministries of Labour and Public Employment Agencies in designing and implementing job creation programmes, including self-employment, social entrepreneurship, business startup and growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), Employment Programme in FYR Macedonia ( transition from informality to a modern products and service sector in the formal economy, enlarging opportunities for women employment as well as unleashing the potentials of care economy. 

Labour market institutions play important role in improving the labour market dynamic. Public employment offices, in particular are instrumental in the job mediation process, collaboration with the private sector and the implementation of active labour market measures, while ensuring that employment and training opportunities reach out to most disadvantaged groups.  In Ukraine, for example, in jointly with ILO we are supporting the government’s initiative for modernization of the State Employment Services, to meet the new labour market challenges emerging from the ongoing economic restructuring and large stock of IDPs. 

Also, issues of livelihoods and jobs creation are an important component of our work in the area of migration, displacement and migrant returnees. Our programme in Moldova is an example of harnessing partnerships between local communities, migrant workers and diaspora for investment in the local economy and municipal services, ultimately aiming to stimulate the return migrated population. Moreover, in Turkey, UNDP has commissioned a study on the Labor Market Absorption Capacity for Syrian Workforce in Southeast Turkey ( 

As part of our new Western Balkan Roma inclusion initiative, in partnership with DG Near and WB, we are looking at ways of monitoring the labour market integration of Roma returnees from Western European countries. As part of our work on social inclusion, we are also supporting governments to enable the integration of particularly vulnerable groups into the labour market.  This is for example part of our ongoing work to help governments meet the rights of PwD in Central Asia, Armenia and the Western Balkans.

UNDP has a long-standing experience in supporting the countries from the ECIS region to enhance their vocational training system. For example in the FYR Macedonia, Albania, UNDP provides technical assistance to national authorities for the establishment of Quality assurance and accreditation of VET/VSD providers; skills needs forecasting, improvement of the regulatory framework and ecosystem for up-scaling work-based learning schemes (elements of dual system). Skills development for sustainable employment in Albania ( A transition to a low-carbon economy is only possible by developing the skills, knowledge and competences required by resource-efficient, sustainable processes and technologies; and integrating these into our businesses and communities. VET institutions, as well as on-job training are crucial for formation skills for green economy. For instance, in Turkey ILO study reveals that the transition of enterprises towards a greener business model is not easy, yet necessary for companies to reduce their impact on the environment and keep their leading positions in their respective sectors. The same study documented company responses to green skills need in sectors as diverse as construction and garment industry.

Duties and Responsibilities

Consultants selected for the Roster will be working with UNDP Country Offices and/or Istanbul Regional Hub on various assignments related to employment and inclusive growth. Final agreement on operational reporting lines will be made during the contractual tasks negotiations. The range of tasks typically expected includes:

  • Contributes to the development of cross-sectoral and sectoral strategies, policies and measures, bearing in mind sustainable employment and “decent work for all” approach and the SDG national and local priorities, and paying specific attention to “green jobs”;
  • Supports in-depth research, provides advice and strategic technical inputs in the design and implementation of programme/project in above areas with a view of promoting sustainable employment, green jobs, inclusive growth and the achievement of SDGs and respective country roadmaps;
  • Contributes to analytical and thematic research within the subject areas, including for the development of relevant strategies, plans, programs/projects.
  • Contributes to the development of toolkits, guidelines, publications, knowledge products and advocacy messages in the area of employment and inclusive growth (including green jobs), mutually reinforcing the 2030 Agenda for Development and the SDGs at regional and (sub)national levels;
  • Contributes to conducting functional reviews, assessments, roadmaps development and institutional development for public employment services, vocational education schools and training centres and other relevant labour market institutions;
  • Contributes to development of innovative schemes, facilities and capacities for financing self-employment, MSMEs and social enterprises (e.g. public funds, grants, guarantees, micro-finance loans, introducing flexible collaterals, social impact investment). 
  • Contribute to development of innovative tools and networks for increased access to knowledge, support services, business opportunities for MSMEs, social enterprises, with a view of strengthening their capacities for growth and creation of productive jobs. 
  • Supports initiatives and programmes that will facilitate and broker policy dialogue and cooperation mechanisms between the public and private sectors at national, sub-national and regional levels, in order to catalyze and incentivize private actors to come up with innovation and investments that result in sustainable and inclusive employments;
  • Contributes to the preparation and facilitation of workshops, conferences, expert or other high level policy forums commissioned by UNDP in the area of sustainable and inclusive employment 
  • Provides input for development of training curricula, background materials and delivery of training  at regional, national and local levels; Collects and systematizes country case studies, drafts analytical materials on the basis of information collected;
  • Contributes to developing a methodology and guide quantitative and qualitative surveys, including by using alternative data sources for the relevant SDG 8 and SDG 1 targets and indicators;
  • Contributes to collection, systematization and analysis of data sets for countries of region using international and national data sources, in particular related to SDG 8 


Corporate competencies:

  • 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:

  • Strong interpersonal skills, communication and diplomatic skills, ability to work in a team
  • Openness to change and ability to receive/integrate feedback
  • Ability to work under pressure and stressful situations
  • Strong analytical, reporting and writing abilities
  • Excellent public speaking and presentation skills

Required Skills and Experience


  • Minimum Master’s degree at least in one of the following fields: macro/micro economics, labour economy, Business Administration, Public Policy, Social Science, Development Studies or related fields.
  • Relevant training on labor market and macro/microeconomic data analysis and development project management is preferred.


  • At least 5 years of proven work experience in development field, esp. in any of following areas: labour economics, institutional development, strategic policy making, labour statistics, labour migration, green jobs with emphasis on employment and inclusive growth related initiatives (e.g. project management, research, teaching, consultancy, policy advice)
  • Experience with liaising and cooperating with government officials, civil society organizations, universities, research institutes or economic think tanks is an asset.
  • Proven existence of knowledge products such as books, articles, research papers, toolkits, guides, methodologies, analytical documents, policy papers and notes, project and program documents, baseline studies, desk reviews, comparative studies, reports etc. developed and/or published by the candidate is an asset.
  • Previous relevant experience of working in/for ECIS countries (Central Asia, the Commonwealth of Independent States and Caucasus, European Union (EU) Accession Countries and Western Balkan) is an asset. 

Language skills:

  • Fluency in English is required
  • Fluency in Russian or any other language spoken in the region is an asset

Computer and application skills:

  • Full IT literacy is a must
  • Evaluation of Applicants

All applicants will be screened against qualifications and the competencies set above. Candidates fully meeting the requirements will be further evaluated based on the criteria below. The inclusion into the Vetted Roster of Experts will be offered to those individual consultants whose offers have been evaluated and determined as (a) responsive/compliant/acceptable, and (b) having received high scores specific to the solicitation. 

Technical Criteria – 70 % of total evaluation– max. 70 points:

P11 review: 60 points 

Only highest ranked candidates who would be found qualified for the job based on the CV desk review (who will score at least 70%) will be considered for drafting and formulation skills evaluation.

  • Relevance of education – 5 points;
  • Years of professional experience in employment and inclusive growth related initiatives – max. 5 points
  • Relevance of proven professional and technical expertise (skills) in employment and inclusive growth initiatives, especially in conducting research papers and analytical papers, comparative studies, articles, policy papers and notes etc. max. 10 points;
  • Relevance of experience with development and implementation of employment and inclusive growth on central and local levels, including sector-specific reforms, including in writing project documents, sectoral assessments, progress reports etc. – max. 10 points;
  • Relevance of experience with liaising and cooperating with government officials, civil society organizations, universities, research institutes or economic think tanks is an asset – max. 5 points;
  • Relevant regional knowledge and experience in the ECIS – max. 15 points;
  • Fluency in English; Fluency inRussian or other language spoken in the region– max. 10 points;

Proven drafting and formulation skills (based on the record of existing publications focused on employment and inclusive growth related areas) – max. 10 points (candidates can provide links to written samples of their work in relevant areas or send as attachment  together with the P11 form, preferably in English. Publications in Russian language will also be accepted).

Only candidates who will receive at least 70% of points in technical evaluation (desk review and evaluation of written samples) will be considered for financial evaluation.

Financial Criteria – 30 % of total evaluation – max. 30 points.

Contracting Arrangements:
Successful candidates will be included into UNDP RBEC Vetted Experts Roster for Area of poverty and inequality for the period of 3 years. Entry into the expert roster system does not necessarily mean that contract with UNDP is guaranteed. This will depend on forthcoming needs. During this period, IRH which manages the roster, can regularly follow up with consultants as well as UNDP offices in ECIS on their assignments. Financial proposal (daily fee in USD) provided by the consultant is the all-inclusive maximum daily fee payable and is bound to the period of 3 years (unless the consultant applies to the roster during its re-opening). 

Profiles of roster members will be published at UNDP internal platform and accessible to UNDP IRH and Country Offices.
Where a request for services arises, the UNDP IRH or UNDP office will share a specific Terms of Reference (TOR) outlining specific services, outputs and timeline for that assignment with consultant(s) matching the requested profile and consultants will be requested to provide a price offer. A consultant offering a best value for money will be contracted.

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

Application procedures

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

  • Cover letter explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for the advertised position. Please paste the letter into the "Resume and Motivation" section of the electronic application. 
  • Filled P11 form including past experience in similar projects and contact details of referees (blank form can be downloaded from; please upload the P11 instead of your CV. 
  • Financial Proposal* in USD – specifying all-inclusive maximum daily fee
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials

*Please note that the financial proposal is all-inclusive and shall take into account various expenses incurred by the consultant/contractor (e.g. fee, health insurance, office supplies, communications, vaccination, personal security needs and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services...). 

Payments will be made only upon confirmation of UNDP on delivering on the contract obligations in a satisfactory manner. 

Individual Consultants are responsible for ensuring they have vaccinations/inoculations when travelling to certain countries, as designated by the UN Medical Director. Consultants are also required to comply with the UN security directives set forth under
General Terms and conditions as well as other related documents can be found 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.

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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