84580-Consultant for Paper on South-South Cooperation and Volunteerism

Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Home Based
Application Deadline :15-Apr-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :4 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :25 days over a 4 month period


The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Programme is the UN organization that contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in tackling development challenges, and it can transform the pace and nature of development. Volunteerism benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer by strengthening trust, solidarity and reciprocity among citizens, and by purposefully creating opportunities for participation. UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for recognition of volunteers, working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing an increasing number and diversity of volunteers, including experienced UNV volunteers, throughout the world. UNV embraces volunteerism as universal and inclusive, and recognizes volunteerism in its diversity as well as the values that sustain it: free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity.

Under the guidance of the VKIS research specialist the consultant will produce a research and policy paper of 10,000 words (excluding references) that will be used for internal UNV reference and, subject to meeting UNV publication standards, may be published in separate standalone pieces as reports, briefs, or articles.

Focus of the research topic

South-South Cooperation and volunteerism are both important cross-cutting means of implementation for the 2030 Development Agenda. As recognized by SDG 17, South-South Cooperation is essential to re-energizing global partnership and implementation to enable developing countries to take shared steps towards equitable development. Volunteerism can support the world achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by delivering services, transferring skills, and localizing ownership. Through doing so, they ensure participatory approaches to development, while cultivating global citizenship, and demonstrating and advocating for sustainable behavioral changes.

Combined together, South-South Cooperation and volunteering offer complementary strengths and impacts, and large dividends for sustainable development that leaves no one behind. UNV is already a promoter and mechanism of volunteering for South-South Cooperation and works to mainstream South-South (and Triangular Cooperation) in volunteerism for peace and development. UNV places the large numbers (over 80%) of its volunteers mobilized from the South to serve in the South at the center of its core messaging. It increasingly facilitates South-South knowledge exchanges and programmatic engagement in volunteer infrastructure projects with a South-South/Triangular focus. And South-South Cooperation features prominently in key UNV corporate frameworks including the Plan of Action and its new 2018-2021 Strategic Framework.
However, there remains a paucity of evidence to support volunteering for South-South Cooperation (and vice versa). The following questions deserve close examination: How do South-South Cooperation and volunteering for peace and development intersect? Do volunteering and South-South Cooperation really add value to one another? And if so what does this complementarity bring to the 2030 Development Agenda and what can UNV do to better support it? The hypothesis is that South-South and volunteerism are mutually reinforcing and highly compatible concepts. South-South and Triangular Cooperation has the potential to bring new Southern voices to the field of volunteering, driving innovations, and creating new partnerships to promote a more representative, multi-stakeholder volunteering pillar to support SDG implementation. In turn volunteerism, can make South-South and Triangular Cooperation more participatory, inclusive, and needs-based, without draining resources, and while promoting peaceful people to people interactions. This potential remains largely unmeasured, unrecognized, and unrealized.

As such, there is a need to better understand and strengthen the drivers of synergy between volunteerism and South-South Cooperation so that best practices can be scaled-up, needs and gaps can be met, and South-South Cooperation and volunteering can be better integrated into international, state and non-state interventions and policies. Through this paper, UNV seeks to lead the way by producing evidence-based research that can underpin its own approaches to South-South/triangular Cooperation in volunteerism and suggest new entry points for volunteer mobilization, programmes, and partnerships.

One objective of this paper is therefore to distill and analyse UNV’s past and present interventions for the promotion of volunteering for South-South, and give recommendations to inform future engagement and identify potential gaps and challenges that the UN and other stakeholders can help address. In order to produce strong recommendations, it will also analyse non-UNV South-South volunteering initiatives and the role of volunteers in South-South projects. All recommendations should take into account the alignments of UNV’s new strategic framework (2018-2021) and aim to support in particular its objectives on gender, youth, volunteer infrastructure and inclusion.

A second objective of this paper is to develop the theoretical links between South-South Cooperation and volunteering. This should result in a conceptual framework or ‘theory of change’ with potential outcomes and indicators of what South-South Cooperation and volunteerism can uniquely bring to development, based on the evidence base. This includes reviewing the existing literature as well as examining relevant research and policy pieces, dialogue and conversations from the perspective of volunteerism. It should also include key informant interviews to highlight key trends, and case study analysis to convey lessons learned from different types of volunteering responses.

The paper should be developed using a mix of methods including desk review of research and evidence,
review of UNV programme and project documents, interviews with key stakeholders and meetings with relevant staff at UNV and counterparts. It should include strong analysis of gender dimensions in South South Cooperation and volunteering, and how volunteering and South-South Cooperation can promote inclusivity, awareness, advocacy, and opportunities for cross-community, cross-border, and cross-sectoral cooperation. Attention should also be paid to innovations – including digital infrastructure and private sector cooperation – that can multiply and enhance the combination of South-South Cooperation and volunteerism.

The primary purpose of the paper will be for internal UNV use but the paper should have modular chapters that can be easily turned into publishable standalone knowledge products and tools that can be used to generate further discussion and benefit researchers outside of UNV.

Following finalization of the paper, the consultant will deliver an interactive seminar with UNV staff on Volunteerism and South-South Cooperation.
Indicative structure of the paper to be developed

  1. Introduction, definitions, conceptual linkages between ‘volunteerism’ and South-South cooperation including key result areas framed in the context of the SDGs.
  2. Assessment of the strength of the evidence base (incl. evidence map) on the role of volunteerism in South-South Cooperation and vice versa including UNV’s own expertise.
  3. Distillation of UNV experience on South-South and Triangular cooperation including mobilization, policy, knowledge-sharing, and programmes.
  4. Analysis of structures and institutional arrangements through which volunteerism and south-south/triangular cooperation support each other.
  5. Schematic/summary of best practices in terms of volunteer infrastructure and mechanisms to support effective south-south Cooperation.
  6. Evidence-based theory of Change/conceptual framework on volunteerism and south-south cooperation, with specific attention to SSC for gender equality and youth empowerment.
  7. Identification of south-south/triangular mechanisms and funding streams through which resources are/ can be mobilized to support the volunteer infrastructure.
  8. Entry points menu: Recommendations for further research, programming, and policy work including concrete entry points in current and upcoming programmes, dialogues, and initiatives.
  9. Full reference list with at least ten references coming from the Global South.

Duties and Responsibilities

Delivery Schedule

  1. Outline of paper approach, themes, sources and out line submitted for review 25 March 2018
  2. Submission full draft report for feedback 10 May 2018
  3. Second draft submitted for feedback 5 June 2018
  4. Full final report submitted 30 June 2018
  5. Webinar/seminar on Volunteerism and SSC developed and delivered to UNV staff  March-April TBC


Excellent knowledge of South-South Cooperation policies, standards, practices within and outside the UN system.

  • Research & writing skills, such as demonstrated through having successfully formulated background papers, campaign materials and case studies.
  • Strong analytical skills including gender analysis.
  • Language requirement.  English.  Other UN languages are an asset.

Required Skills and Experience

Education; Advanced university degree (Master’s and above) in social, political, or economic sciences.
Experience; At least 7 years’ relevant experience in research and policy in international peace and development; Experience of policy engagement on related issues (volunteerism, enabling environment for volunteering and citizen engagement, humanitarian research and policy). 


Applicants have to provide a technical and financial proposal. 

The technical proposal shall describe the methodology and the approach how to fulfill the required deliverables as well as outline the major components of its implementation.
The financial proposal shall consist of all-inclusive lump sum for the whole duration of the contract period, which shall include the consultancy fee, costs of living, costs for insurance, etc. The financial proposal shall contain a breakdown of these costs and indicate the number of off-days the consultant wants to take during the contract period (if any).
The lump sum/contract price is fixed regardless of subsequent changes in the cost components.

Criteria for Selection of the Best offer:

The selection of the best offer will be based on the combined scoring method – where the qualifications and methodology will be weighted – 70% , and combined with the price offer which will be weighted 30%.

Key selection criteria are

• Proven experience in research and policy analysis on international development cooperation (35%)
• Demonstrated track record writing and publishing on volunteerism and related issues (10%)
• Experience in promoting or engaging with South-South Cooperation (25%)
• Financial proposal (30%)

How to apply

Interested individual consultants must apply online via the UNDP Job Shop: The following documents/information should be uploaded

  • Motivation/Cover Letter: Explaining why they are the most suitable candidate for the work. This should include your contact details.
  • Personal History (P11): Applicants are required to fill out and sign a P11 Form. The P11 should include Contact details of 3 references; (the P11 form can be downloaded at http://www.ls.undp.org/content/dam/lesotho/docs/Other/P11%20modified%20for%20SCs%20and%20IC%20%282%29.doc
  • Confirmation of Interest which includes the  financial proposal. Applicants are instructed to submit their financial proposals  using the financial proposal template “Confirmation of Interest” template. To assist the requesting unit in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal should be all-inclusive and include a breakdown. The term ‘all-inclusive” implies that all costs (daily rate of professional fees, communications, utilities, consumables, insurance, etc.) that could possibly be incurred by the Contractor are already factored into the financial proposal.

Please make sure you provide all requested materials. Incomplete applications will not be considered. All documents should be scanned and attached in one pdf format document.

Any queries should be sent to procurement@unv.org  attention Marc Wharton with 0084580:South-South Cooperation Consultancy in the subject line

The Terms and Conditions and Confirmation of Interest (COI) template can be downloaded  at the following link:


We look forward to receiving your application.


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.

If you are experiencing difficulties with online job applications, please contact erecruit.helpdesk@undp.org.

© 2016 United Nations Development Programme