Adviser on EU programmes and Trade Practices


Location : Brussels, BELGIUM
Application Deadline :28-Feb-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
02-Apr-2018
Duration of Initial Contract :on retainer basis - 95 working days
Expected Duration of Assignment :10 months

Background

Arab States and economies are in various levels of economic development and integration into the global economy. It is comprised of countries whose economic growth depends mainly on exports of hydro-carburets. On the other side, there are several economies having diversified economic sectors while some of these are experiencing substantial economic fragility. The regional economic integration via enhanced trade facilitation and connectivity would pave the way to integrate those economies in the Arab region into regional and international supply chains. Arab countries have achieved a number of positive progress during the implementation of the Pan-Arab Free Trade Agreement (PAFTA). However, challenges in mainstreaming trade for development remain.

Since 2014 to present, UNDP pioneered strengthening Arab economic integration as one of key engines to foster good governance in economic and trade through policy dialogue and collective responsibility towards Arab common market under the instructions of Arab Leaders. These trade-related efforts are generating more business opportunities and with these, more jobs, particularly for women and youth. Promoting Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) forms part of these long-term strategies of sustainability and inclusiveness.

As overall, the EU is one of the main trading partners of 22 Arab countries with significant investment flows into key sectors of the knowledge-based economies such as energy, electricity, port facilities and infrastructure. Several multilateral, sub-regional and bilateral trade and investment arrangements have been established between Arab countries and the EU. Rich experiences of the EU are very valuable for the region in considering various alternatives in deepening regional economic and trade relations, such as the acquis communautaire – EU legislation for 27 Member States to operate as a single economic territory. Exchange of experiences of preferential trade agreements between Arab countries and the EU Members and of its operational modalities of promoting a common market are useful for the Arab region in recent efforts of economic diversification and modernization of practices for more facilitation and global integration.

Against this background, UNDP is looking for an international consultant experienced in EU legislations and its financial and technical assistance programme in order to facilitate designing a multi-annual technical assistance programmes on trade, addressing the relevant needs of the Arab region at the regional scale, and to secure sufficient technical and financial support from the EU assistance programmes.

The objective of this assignment is to secure sustainable and long-term financial assistance to the programmes of UNDP towards the economies of Arab states in order to respond to socio-economic challenges through specific initiatives related to facilitation of trade, regionally and promoting integration of the beneficiary economies to the regional and international value chains. This can be seen as the continuation of existent efforts of reform of trade and trade-related policies and implementation of trade facilitating measures under the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.   


Duties and Responsibilities

Scope:

The International Consultant (IC) on EU Programmes and Trade Practices will contribute to the efforts of UNDP – Regional Programme for Arab States to ensure its appropriate and timely involvement in the programming activities of the European Commission (EC) for IPA/ENP Financial Assistance implemented by DG NEAR and other EU financial assistance programmes, being implemented by other DGs (DEVCO and REGIO).

The scope of services shall also include development of project proposals of technical assistance by UNDP taking into account the programming priorities of the EC Financial Assistance, and provision of advice to UNDP Regional Programme and Country Offices in the region, as appropriate. It serves to align the proposals to standard practices of the EC, and to the needs of the beneficiaries. 

In this regard, the IC will undertake networking and consultation with the line DGs of the European Commission to advise how UNDP may contribute to the formulation of priority areas in programming of the financial assistance and to match those priorities with the expectations of Arab beneficiary countries, within the framework of the Regional Program, UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States (RBAS). The RP will undertake delivery of the assistance in close collaboration with beneficiaries.

The technical assistance to be provided by the IC will cover both multi-beneficiary and national IPA/ENP Programmes (for the Arab States) in addition to other financial assistance programmes extended to the relevant region by other international donors such as GIZ, and USAID, among others.

Activities:

  • Networking: The IC will report to the Coordinator of the UNDP Regional Programme, through the Chief Technical Advisor of the project of Strengthening Arab Economic Integration for Sustainable Development (AEISD) in support of identification of new potential to deepen regional integration. He/she will undertake networking activities to increase technical and policy level awareness of the line Directorates General of the European Commission (i.e DG NEAR, DG TRADE, DG TAXUD, DG DEVCO, DG REGIO, DG MOVE) about forthcoming interventions to be the possible role which the UNDP may play in delivering technical assistance in the areas of trade policy, trade facilitation, customs, and connectivity for the purpose of better integration of regional economies to the regional and international value chains.  This activity also includes proposing possible areas of UNDP initiatives which could be included directly into the programming priorities of the EC in order to secure preliminary agreements/understanding of the EC about the areas which would directly be granted to the UNDP.
  • Appraisal: The IC will contribute to designing the initial drafts of scope and concepts of the multi-annual regional projects/programming priorities which UNDP would be best placed to deliver. Once such drafts are approved by UNDP, those concepts will be communicated to the EC and negotiate with the line DGs to turn those concept as areas of intervention. In this regard, the expectations of beneficiary countries will be duly taken into account either by having direct meetings with their representatives or through reports to be received from the staff of UNDP country offices and/or regional hub. If necessary, the IC will be present in any meetings with the representatives of the beneficiary countries or with the relevant structures of the regional organisations (i.e. Secretariat of League of Arab States)
  • Formulation: Once the agreement is reached between the EC and UNDP on the areas where the involvement of UNDP is expected, the IC will assist to the formulation of project proposals through consultation and communication with the relevant staff members of the UNDP.
  • Communication: Those project proposals which are developed by UNDP will be coordinated with the relevant regional and country authorities. In that framework, the undersigned will assist UNDP how to communicate those project proposals to the beneficiary countries and regional organizations in order to secure their support. Such assistance to communication will be delivered either through Brussels or by participating in the missions of UNDP in those beneficiary countries.
  • Coordination and communication with other donors: All those activities will equally be applicable to secure funds from other international donors such as GIZ, and USAID. The necessary coordination between the EC programming priorities and the priorities of other donors in order to facilitate the receipt of uninterrupted funding by UNDP will be carried out by the IC.
  • Undertake other tasks as required with regard to dissemination of good trade practices as required.

Deliverables:

  1. At least 7 networking meetings with representatives of the European Commission will be organized by the IC during his/her assignment. The reports of those meetings will be delivered by the IC to the Chief Technical Advisor, Strengthening Arab economic integration for Sustainable Development.
  2. Presentations of policy areas of UNDP and its role to play in the Arab region are made to the representatives of the European Commission. The awareness of the European Commission towards the strengths of UNDP as a project partner in the region is increased. The UNDP Regional Office(s) will be taken as the focal point by the European Commission DGs for information purposes related to trade and trade facilitation in a progressive manner.
  3. At least the appraisal of one project for the EU financial support is to be developed by the IC during his assignment.
  4. The formulation of at least one project proposal will start during the IC assignment which the EU agrees to finance during its appraisal phase.
  5. The preparation and participation of at least two meetings with the beneficiary countries and regional institutions will be ensured by the beneficiary to secure the commitment and ownership of the projects to be proposed by UNDP.
  6. The contribution of a proposal of the management structure the implementation of projects which are to be financed by the EU and other donors in the relevant policy areas.

Timeline vs. deliverables:

Deliverables

Deadline

Weight

2 networking meetings with EC + 1 preparation/participation in one meeting with regional beneficiaries

15 working days after the signature of the contract

10%

3 networking meetings with EC + presentation of UNDP’s policy areas

30 working days after the signature of the contract

10%

Appraisal of one project

45 working days after the signature of the contract

20%

First draft of the project proposal + One preparation/participation in one meeting with regional beneficiaries

65 working days after the signature of the contract

10%

1 networking meeting with EC + final version of the project proposal to be submitted to the EU

75 working days after the signature of the contract

20%

Finalization of UNDP project document including management structures

90 working days after the signature of the contract

20%

Finalization of draft contribution agreement*

 

95 working days after the signature of the contract

10%


Competencies

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.

Functional Competencies:

  • Solid knowledge of development, regional and international trade;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of local realities in Arab states;
  • Ability to work with multiple partners in a wide variety of disciplines;
  • Ability to preapre and lead formulation, desing of EU development projects.


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • University Degree in Political Science, International Relations, Economics, Social Policy.
  • Masters’ Degree in Economics with specialization of EU Policies will be advantage.
  • Preferably a combination of academic and technical experience in EU policies and EU technical and financial assistance.
  • At least 15 years of professional experience would also be acceptable.

Experience:

  • At least 5 years of experience in EU technical and financial assistance including the involvement of appraising and designing project proposals and programmes for the EU financial assistance.
  • At least 3 projects or programmes designed and received in EU financial assistance in the areas of trade.
  • Experienced in managing operational and action grant contracts financed by the EU with international organizations.
  • At least 7 years of experience in the European Commission institutions or in its Delegations.
  • At least 5 years of experience in an international or regional organization specialized in international trade.
  • Proven knowledge and experience in trade and trade-related matters

Language skills:

Excellent writing, editing, and oral communication skills in English, basic knowledge of French is an asset.

Evaluation of Applicants

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on a cumulative analysis taking into consideration the combination of the applicants’ qualifications and financial proposal.

Only the highest ranked candidates who would be found qualified for the job will be considered for the Financial Evaluation”.

  • Technical Criteria - 70% of total evaluation
  • Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation

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 and a brief methodology on how you will approach and conduct the work (if applicable). 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 http://europeandcis.undp.org/files/hrforms/P11_modified_for_SCs_and_ICs.doc ); please upload the P11 instead of your CV.

  • Financial Proposal - Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price preferably in currency EURO supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template here provided needs to be sent to procurement.be@undp.org by 28th February 2018. The proposals should be sent via email with the following subject heading: “Financial Proposal/UNDP RO Brussels/Adviser on EU programmes and trade practices”. Proposals received after the deadline will be rejected. Financial proposal template available here: http://procurement-notices.undp.org/view_file.cfm?doc_id=45780.

  • The financial proposal shall include a breakdown of this lump sum amount (number of anticipated working days, travel, per diems and any other possible costs).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. fee, health insurance, vaccination, personal security needs and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services...). All envisaged travel costs must be included in the financial proposal. This includes all travel to join duty station/repatriation travel. 

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

    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 dss.un.org

    General Terms and conditions as well as other related documents can be found under: http://on.undp.org/t7fJs.

    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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