Trade Policy Specialist


Location : Cairo, EGYPT
Application Deadline :28-Feb-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
Arabic   English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
09-Mar-2018
Duration of Initial Contract :220 Working days over a period of 12 months

Background

The project of Strengthening Arab Economic Integration for Sustainable Development (AEISD), by UNDP, sets as objective, provision of technical assistance to the League of Arab States, specifically Economic Sector and relevant organs, and member states of Pan Arab Free Trade Agreement (PAFTA) in working towards a deepened integration, including preparations for the Arab Customs Union. The second important component relates to strengthening the Arab connectivity among economies in the region with the expectation, these efforts would be translated into more contribution of economic integration for better livelihood of people, more employment opportunity and participation by the private sector. Trade has significant potential to fight poverty in Arab countries through generation of more income and access to markets. Upgrading current preferential trade arrangements will contribute to the realization of strategic visions of Arab Common Market.

Built on the progress achieved in the previous program of support to implementation of PAFTA (Executive Program), the current project focuses on specific aspects of making trade an engine of inclusive and sustainable growth guided by the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The Project will focus on helping countries and the main sub-regional and regional integration entities to accelerate the pace of trade reforms and regional economic integration, to strengthen the employment effects of those reforms with particular focus on women and youth and to mobilize additional resources for this purpose.

The project aims to address specific challenges and complexities that Arab countries (and League of Arab States) face to enhance regional economic integration, more specifically in the transition from an FTA-based framework towards making the customs union a reality. The following presents major areas of focus:

  •  Provide a structured and targeted technical support to LAS Secretariat and Arab negotiators on trade policy formulation and reform under PAFTA.
  • Provide assistance to the LAS Secretariat with a view of strengthening its organizational capacity in the pursuit of further facilitation of the regional economic integration agenda as well as promotion of trade liberalization.
  • Assist target Arab countries with collaboration with national policy makers in trade and economic fields in efforts of modernization and reform of trade policy in taking into consideration new development.
  •  Facilitation of transport and trade activities constitutes one of key areas to support national programs of enhancement of national competitiveness and better market access and more integration of the value chain.
  • Promotion of gender equality and women empowerment as well as generation of business and job opportunity for youth is also a key target of project activities. Moreover, good governance is a pre-requisite in deepening Arab economic integration with inclusiveness and sustainability. These priority dimensions form a basis of the work program of the project.

Specifically, the project targets the following result-oriented activities: 

  • Development of the technical framework and required instruments for the PAFTA Upgrading- as an upgrade from the existing PAFTA, and for the Arab Customs Union (ACU) preparations, to deepen Arab economic integration.
  • Reinforcement of mechanisms of policy design, measures of implementation and systems of documenting the progress of implementation to secure smooth acceleration of realization of regional commitments.
  • Building the technical capability and capacity of policy makers of Arab countries to support accelerated implementation of the PAFTA Upgrading and preparations for the ACU.
  • Introduction of institutional arrangements that are necessary for the LAS to respond to the requirements of implementation of the PAFTA Upgrading, and consequently of designing and establishing the ACU.
  • Delivery of awareness raising activities and provision of technical guidance on good governance and integrity approaches.
  •  Promotion of regulatory transparency, open dialogues and consultations with related stakeholders, targeting all social groups but particularly women in participating to cross border operations and related economic activities, among others.

The project team also cooperate with several national authorities and regional organizations in the implementation of defined activities in taking into account requirements and priorities of national socio-economic development plans and strategies of Arab economic integration. The execution will be carried out under rules and regulations by the UN applicable for Delegated Direct Implementation and fully aligned to UNDP Programme and Operations Policies and Procedures (POPP).

Reinforcing the technical capability and capacity of regional institutions forms part of strengthening regional bodies in response to new needs and requirements by Arab countries, particularly those being member of PAFTA, in economic and trade matters. According to formal mandates and decisions by Arab Leaders, Economic Sector is the technical secretariat under PAFTA and plays an active role to support countries in tightening the collaboration as well as facilitation of communication and coordination of interventions to secure timely implementation of regional commitments.

Based on the request by the Economic Sector, represented by the Arab Economic Integration Department (AEID), the project will provide technical assistance to the LAS in various areas trade policies, such as the implementation and monitoring the PAFTA Executive Program with a view to achieve closer cooperation and collaboration with progressive updating of the PAFTA. This support serves to develop technical proposals and analytical advice for Arab countries through the AEID. Specific areas of work will be defined the subsequent session of Scope of Work.

To that end, the project seeks provision of related services by a Specialist in trade and trade-related matters with detailed knowledge in certain areas such as rules of origin. S/he forms part of the expert team, responsible for the implementation of the project of AEISD starting in January 2018. The Junior Expert discharges her/his duties under the supervision and guidance of the Chief Technical Advisor of the project or CTA AEISD and would be supported by the team of domain experts.


Duties and Responsibilities

The scope of the assignment will cover the following areas:

A.            Implementation of PAFTA and its progressive improvement

A1. Prepare analytical assessment of achievements and challenges of the implementation of PAFTA and potential thematic matters for improvement for pertinent recommendations. That may include provision of support to the drafting of action plan to address any obstacles/impediments.

A2. Review thematic and progress reports of PAFTA implementation (using the standard format of Unified Report as approved by ECOSOC), including studies and working documents by the private sector and Chambers of Commerce as applicable.

A3. Provide thematic support (for example, in terms of coordination of thematic subjects of discussions of specific Committees such as the Monitoring and Compliance Committee, Committee on Rules of Origin for PAFTA and others).

A4. Assist the AEID to gather information and analyze it for follow ups with ECOSOC.

B.            Determination of origin

B1. Conduct research in specific areas of determination of origin of goods as required by the AEID.

B2. Provide technical assistance to the AEID in the review of thematic matters concerning the rules of origin.

C.            Other trade and trade-related matters

C1. Provide assistance to AEID in the coordination of thematic discussions in trade and trade-related matters for ECOSOC.

C2. Undertake responsibility of analysis and provision of technical advice to the AEID on trade and trade-related matters.

C3. Attend official meetings of technical committees of LAS as related to trade and concerned matters as part of the AEID in order to provide ad-hoc support.

C4. Serve as the coordinator in the organization of activities of capacity building in trade and concerned matters (for example, in rules of origin) towards its improvement in response to requirements of Arab countries.

C5. Undertake other assignments as requested by the Chief Technical Advisor to assist the AEID.

Deliverables and results:

The deliverables to be completed by the Trade Specialist may comprise of the following, among others:

Deliverable 1: Technical reports

The Trade Specialist is required to prepare the technical reports on subjects that are defined in three Areas of A, B, and C of the Work Scope, Part 2 of this TOR in a timely manner.

The structure and content of reports will be defined by the Chief Technical Advisor and its completion should be at the satisfaction by the project.

Deliverable 2: Progress reports

The Trade Specialist is required to prepare the progress reports on the 6-month basis for consideration and approval by the CTA.

Deliverable 3: Coordination and organization of activities of capacity building for the AEID in trade and trade-related matters

The Trade Specialist will prepare the concept notes, work programmes and mobilization of expertise for Arab countries in collaboration with the AEID and under the guidance by the CTA.

Remuneration of the Trade Specialist will be made upon successful completion of identified tasks. The below matrix indicates the scheduled payment of the assignment. Due to the particularity of the continuity and dynamic of the regional policy making in trade, the timing of the payment is indicative.

INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS

The consultant will work under the guidance and direct supervision of the Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) in Beirut, Lebanon. The supervision by the CTA will include approvals/acceptance of the outputs as identified in the previous section. She/he/ will report and consult with the CTA on regular basis, and ad hoc as needs arise.

DURATION OF THE WORK

The duration of the work is 220 working day for over period of twelve months from the date of the contract signing with the consultant.  For the deliverable, the consultant should expect about a week’s lead time to review outputs, give comments, certify approval/acceptance of outputs, etc.

DUTY STATION

The expert will work in premises of the Headquarters of the League of Arab States, Cairo, Egypt.


Competencies

Corporate competencies

  • Demonstrates integrity and fairness, by modeling the UN/UNDP’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Knowledge of Arab region (Arab economies and trade) and institutional environment is a must; and
  • In-depth; and understanding of the Arab region climate and the challenges faced by Member States in the economic integration process.
  • Strong communication, analytical and presentation skills;
  • Proven ability to work independently with minimum supervision in a dynamic environment;
  • Ability to meet deadlines and prioritize multiple tasks.

Functional Competencies

  • Experience working with national policy decision-makers;
  • Substantive knowledge of UN and UNDP/UN agencies programming and application of UNDP/UN agencies operational policies, goals & practices;
  • Substantive knowledge of LAS Secretariat operational policies, goals & practices
  • Ability to work independently and achieve quality results with limited supervision and within tight schedules;
  • Strong quantitative and qualitative research skills;
  • Good teamwork and interpersonal skills;
  • Flexibility and ability to handle multiple tasks and work under pressure; and
  • Excellent computer skills especially Word, Excel and Power Point.

Managing Relationships

  • Demonstrated well developed people management and organizational management skills; and
  • Excellent networking skills with strong partnerships in academia, technical organizations, competent authorities and as a recognized expert in the practice area.

Managing Complexity

  • Ability to address multi-sector and multi-dimension assignments in a timely and coordinated manner; and
  • Demonstrated substantive leadership and ability to integrate knowledge with broader strategic, trade policy coherence and formulation, and operational objectives.

Knowledge Management and Learning

  • Ability to strongly promote and build knowledge products;
  • Seeks and applies knowledge, information and best practices from within and outside of UNDP;
  • Provides constructive feedback; and
  • Demonstrates a strong capacity for innovation and creativity in providing strategic policy recommendations and direction.

Judgement/Decision-Making

  • Mature judgment and initiative;
  • Proven ability to provide strategic direction to the study implementation process; and
  • Independent judgment and discretion in recommending on handling major trade policy and economic integration issues and challenges, uses diplomacy and tact to achieve result.


Required Skills and Experience

I. Academic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree, in international trade, business administration, economics, trade and development or related field. Master’s degree in these fields is desirable.

II. Years of experience:

  • Minimum (10) years of practical experience in international trade and preferential trade arrangements in the Arab countries as well as on matters concerning determination of rules of origin of goods, trade in services, among other relevant works.
  • Demonstrated experience in performing similar assignments, in the Arab region is an asset.

III. Technical experience:

  • A solid experience in the areas of international and regional trade, economic development, trade policy, development/formulation and planning, trade negotiations, determination of rules of origin in goods and services, and trade policy making;
  • Expertise and proven track record in trade policy formulations, Rules of Origin negotiations, economic analysis, analytical works and public-private dialogue;
  • Considerable knowledge of LAS programming and application of its operational policies & practices or of relevant regional organizations.
  • In-depth understanding of the WTO Agreements and rules, and PAFTA and regional agreements in trade in services.

 Language Skills:

  • Excellent writing, editing and oral communications in English and Arabic in a clear and concise manner, strong analytical and synthesis skills, presentation and drafting skills.
  • Fluency in English and Arabic. 

DOCUMENTS TO BE INCLUDED WHEN SUBMITTING THE PROPOSALS.

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications. Candidates that fail to submit the required information will not be considered.

  1. Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template provided by UNDP;
  2. Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references;
  3. Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs, as per the table given in section D. template provided;
  4. Sample from previous work of technical analysis, concept papers, prepared by the applicants (including those from any previous employment) on international and regional trade, economic development, trade policy, development/formulation and planning, trade negotiations, determination of rules of origin in goods and services, and trade policy making 

All necessary information including: Complete Procurement Notice, The Selection Criteria, and Annexes are found on the following link under Procurement http://procurement-notices.undp.org/

Interested candidate shall apply the CV/P11 to Job advertisement website, hence consultant should submit all documents mentioned above to website:  Proc.contract.rscjo@undp.org : not later than 28 February 2018.  

FINANCIAL PROPOSAL

Interested candidates should provide lump sum fees for requested services with detailed breakdown (consultancy fees* number of working days.)

EVALUATION

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodologies:

Step I: Screening and desk review:

Applications will be first screened and only candidates meeting the following minimum criteria will progress to the pool for shortlisting

  • Bachelor degree, in international trade, business administration, economics, trade and development or related fields, with specialized trainings in these fields. Master degree is desirable.
  • Minimum (10) years of practical experience in international trade and preferential trade arrangements in the Arab countries as well as on matters concerning determination of rules of origin of goods, trade in services, among other relevant works.
  • Fluency in English and Arabic.

Shortlisted Candidates will be then assessed and scored against the following evaluation criteria.

Evaluation of Candidates (max 100 points):

  • A solid experience in the areas of international and regional trade, economic development, trade policy, development/formulation and planning, trade negotiations, determination of rules of origin in goods and services, and trade policy making; 40%
  • Expertise and proven track record in trade policy formulations, Rules of Origin negotiations, economic analysis, analytical works and public-private dialogue;30%
  • Considerable knowledge of LAS programming and application of its operational policies & practices or of relevant regional organizations.5%
  • In-depth understanding of the WTO Agreements and rules, and PAFTA and regional agreements in trade in services.15%
  • Samples from previous work of technical analysis, concept papers, prepared by the applicants (including those from any previous employment) on international and regional trade, economic development, trade policy, development/formulation and planning, trade negotiations, determination of rules of origin in goods and services, and trade policy making.10% 

Step II: Final evaluation

The final evaluation will combine the scores of the desk review and the financial proposal with the following weights assigned to each:

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the cumulative analysis methodology (weighted scoring method), where 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 technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

Technical Criteria weight: [70%]

Financial Criteria weight: [30%]

Only Individual Consultants obtaining a minimum of 49 points (70%) on the Technical evaluation would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.


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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