International Economist for NCD Investment Cases

Location : Home Based
Application Deadline :18-Feb-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
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 :Up to 60 working days
Expected Duration of Assignment :1 March - 31 December 2018


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life, as envisaged by 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We are on the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, working with governments and people on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners that can bring about results.

The Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP’s Strategic Plan and help countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.  BPPS’s staff provides technical advice to Country Offices; advocates for UNDP corporate messages, represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private dialogues, government and civil society dialogues, South-South and Triangular cooperation initiatives, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas.

BPPS supports UNDP’s 2014-2017 Strategic Plan and will focus on strengthening institutions to progressively deliver universal access to basic services (outcome 3). The HIV, Health and Development Group (HHD), within BPPS, is helping to contribute towards this outcome.

UNDP is a founding cosponsor of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), a partner of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, and a co-sponsor of several other international health partnerships. UNDP’s work on HIV, health and development, as described in the HIV, Health and Development Strategy 2016-2021: Connecting the Dots, leverages UNDP’s core strengths and mandates in human development, governance and capacity development to complement the efforts of specialist health-focused UN agencies. UNDP delivers three types of support to countries in HIV, health and development.

First, UNDP helps countries to mainstream attention to HIV and health into action on gender, poverty and the broader effort to achieve and sustain the Sustainable Development Goals.  For example, UNDP works with countries to understand the social and economic factors that play a crucial role in driving health and disease, and to respond to such dynamics with appropriate policies and programmes outside the health sector. UNDP also promotes specific action on the needs and rights of women and girls as they relate to HIV.

Second, UNDP works with partners to address the interactions between governance, human rights and health responses. Sometimes this is done through focused or specialized programmes, such as promoting attention to the role of the law and legal environments in facilitating stronger HIV responses, including the use of flexibilities in intellectual property law to lower the cost of drugs and diagnostics. UNDP also works to empower and include marginalized populations who are disproportionately affected by HIV, such as sex workers, men who have sex with men and people living with HIV. Beyond these focused efforts, UNDP plays a key role in ensuring attention to HIV and health within broader governance and rights initiatives, including support to municipal action on SDGs, sustainable responses for Health and HIV such as improving sustainability of AIDS financing, sustainable health procurement, strengthening of national human rights institutions and increasing access to justice for key populations.

Third, as a trusted, long-term partner with extensive operational experience, UNDP supports countries in effective implementation of complex, multilateral and multisectoral health projects, while simultaneously investing in capacity development so that national and local partners can assume these responsibilities over time. The UNDP/Global Fund partnership is an important part of this work, facilitating access to resources for action on SDG 3 by countries that face constraints in directly receiving and managing such funding.  UNDP partners with countries in crisis/post-crisis situations, those with weak institutional capacity or governance challenges, and countries under sanctions. When requested, UNDP acts as temporary Principal Recipient in these settings, working with national partners and the Global Fund to improve management, implementation and oversight of Global Fund grants, while simultaneously developing national capacity to be able to assume the Principal Recipient role over time.


The significant harms of tobacco use on developing countries are usually understood primarily through a health lens. This overlooks the extensive impact of tobacco on social, economic and environmental progress. Tobacco control is a development issue and its success relies on sectors such as commerce, trade, finance, justice and education working with the health sector to their mutual advantage.

Significantly increased investments are necessary to meet Sustainable Development Goal targets 3 on NCD prevention. These investments will need to rely primarily on domestic public finance. Tobacco taxation (i.e. WHO FCTC Article 6) was specified in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development for its potential to reduce the health burden and associated costs of tobacco use while and generating significant revenue for countries to finance their development priorities. Raised tobacco excise taxes, along with the multiple other interventions outlined across the WHO “Best Buys”, are some of the most cost-effective and proven health and development interventions. Yet, perceived incentive conflicts amongst government sectors, particularly between the health and economic sectors, remain a barrier to its implementation and to implementation of the treaty broadly.

To support increased investments in NCDs and to facilitate stronger coordination across governments, the UN has been invited to assist countries in quantifying the significant costs of the status quo – to the health sector and the economy at large – against the investments and benefits of scaled up action. The ability of governments – especially ministries of health – to make a compelling, evidence-informed advocacy case for NCD implementation is crucial for reversing the trend of more and younger people falling ill, living with chronic and debilitating conditions, being unable to participate in labour markets, and dying of diseases stemming from tobacco use, cardiovascular disease, obesity and cancer.

UNDP and WHO are simultaneously responding to country demand for investment cases on NCDs. Given the significant overlap between the issues of tobacco control and NCDs, the consultant may contribute to the work of both investment cases, should a Government request that both be delivered simultaneously.

UNDP’s work on health and development leverages the organization’s core strengths and mandates in human development, governance and capacity development to complement the efforts of specialist health-focused UN agencies.

The emergence of NCDs as a development concern also presents governance, gender and human rights challenges that UNDP is well placed to help address, in collaboration with WHO, as the UN system lead on health, along with governments, civil society and private sector partners as appropriate. UNDP works closely with the Convention Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control as well as the Inter-Agency Task Force for NCDs, particularly in supporting governance of NCD responses and helping Parties to implement Article 5 of the WHO FCTC, which pertains to national planning, governance structures and reducing tobacco industry interference in policymaking. UNDP’s 2014-2017 Strategic Plan contains multiple entry points for UNDP’s engagement on NCDs, including: strengthening institutions and sectors to progressively deliver universal access to basic services; the importance of social, economic and environmental co-benefit analysis and planning; inclusive social protection; and whole-of-government/society initiatives and addressing inequalities.

Overall Objective of the NCD investment cases 

The objective of this consultancy is to provide high quality technical support to UNDP in their work with WHO in developing a set of investment cases in low and middle-income countries and developing country-specific guidance for policymakers and technical professionals at international and country level for conducting future investment cases.

The joint UNDP/WHO Investment Case team will undertake:

  1. To meet with key stakeholders and sectors to discuss the purpose of the investment case, seek their inputs and ultimately secure the endorsement of the case.
  2. To provide an institutional context analysis as it relates to NCD prevention implementation in the country.
  3. To develop collect and analyse national health, economic and social data for input into the investment case.
  4. To brief the Government on how to use, adapt and update the prevention of NCDs.

Outputs of the mission

  1. The Investment Case team in each country will undertake a desk review and one or two country missions for data collection, key informant interviews and policy analysis to deliver a tailored, compelling and clear case outlining the economic benefits of strengthening the NCD prevention implementation, and how that supports achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, utilizing context-specific policy options.
  2. During a detailed handover process, each country will receive the findings of the investment case in the following four deliverables:
    • a brief report summarizing the Investment Case findings and integrating the institutional context analysis;
    • infographics illustrating key messages;
    • power-point presentation featuring the key messages; and
    • excel-based economic model to be handed over to the Government in a detailed briefing session.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall supervision of Team Leader, Health and Innovative Financing, during development of each country Investment Case, the Lead Economist consultant will be responsible for:

  1. Overall responsibility for adapting the UNDP/WHO investment case methodology to meet country needs and context, while striving for adherence to the existing modelling done in other countries.
  2. Ensure national data collection is complemented by relevant regional and international proxy data where no national data is available.
  3. Where relevant, work with the Investment Case team to find synergies and efficiencies with NCD investment case processes, aligning the processes to the extent appropriate.
  4. Ensure timely delivery of the four main components of the model:
    • estimate of the economic burden of the four main NCDs and their shared risk factors;
    • estimate of the impact of key NCD preventions;
    • estimate of the costs of the interventions; and
    • quantification of the return-on-investment in those interventions.
  5. Contribute to the development of the advocacy strategy for the Investment Case findings.
  6. Deliver the first draft of the Investment Case report, with key messages coordinated with UNDP and WHO.
  7. Contribute to briefing on the findings to the UN Country Team.
  8. Lead the presentation of the modelling during the handover to the Government.
  9. Where relevant contribute to the alignment of tobacco control and NCD investment cases, including by collecting and analyzing data for both.


The consultant will regularly evaluate progress in meeting the specific deliverables with Programme Specialist, and other members of the Investment Case mission.


Some travel is foreseen under this contract. Travel, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon between the supervisor and Individual Consultant, prior to travel booking and will be reimbursed as per agreement.


The consultancy will be home-based with some travel for a period of up to 60 working days during 2018.


Applicants will be screened against qualifications and competencies specified below through a desk review that combines the results of a technical and financial evaluation. Specifically, the award of the contract will be made to the Individual Consultant whose offer has 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 points; Financial Criteria weight: 30 points.

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49 points (70%) out of a maximum 70 points on the Technical Evaluation will be considered for the Financial Evaluation.

Criteria for Technical Evaluation (70 points maximum)

  • Minimum of a master’s degree or equivalent in health economics, public health, social sciences or a related field (10 points maximum);
  • At least three years’ experience of research, writing, modeling and analytical skills (20 points maximum);
  • Experience in undertaking health investment case analyses (or health spending cost/benefit analyses), including return on investment. (30 points maximum);
  • Language; English is required, another UN language is an asset. (10 points maximum).

Criteria for Financial Evaluation (30 points maximum)

The following formula will be used to evaluate the financial proposal:

  • p = y (µ/z), where;
  • 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.


Final payments will be made upon agreement that the deliverables have been satisfied and subject to a timesheet and certificate of payment signed and approved by the direct supervisor.


 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.

Functional Competencies 

  • Familiarity with and experience in global health economics, including NCDs.
  • Knowledge of the development dimensions of health.
  • Familiarity with national health and development planning processes an asset.
  • Familiarity with the sustainable development goals and targets, including how UNDP’s work on health advances these.
  • Competence with Microsoft Word and Excel.

Project and Resource Management 

  • Exceptional organizational skills.
  • Ability to work independently, produce high quality outputs.

Partnership Building and Teamwork 

  • Demonstrated flexibility to excel in a multi-cultural environment.
  • Provides and receives constructive feedback.

Communications and Advocacy

  • Exceptional writing skills.
  • Ability to clearly and briefly generate insights based on analysis of data.
  • Strong capacity to communicate clearly and quickly.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced degree (at least honors level) in Social Science, Public Health, Law, Economics, International Development or a related field.


  • At least three years relevant work experience in NCDs, HIV and/or health, especially in a development context.
  • Research, writing, and analytical skills.

Language Requirement

  • Fluency in written and spoken English required. Working knowledge of another UN language is an asset.

Guidelines for Applications

Interested applicants are advised to carefully review this advertisement and ensure that they meet the requirements and qualifications described.

Applicants should submit:

*Please note that the financial proposal is all-inclusive and shall take into account various expenses incurred by the consultant/contractor during the contract period (e.g. rent of dwelling, fee, health insurance, vaccination, visa costs and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services...). All envisaged costs (except of the unforeseen travel costs for missions, if any) must be included in the financial proposal. Unforeseen travel costs for missions, if any, will be paid separately according to UNDP rules and regulations.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials

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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