Expert on BRI Standard Report

Location : Beijing, CHINA
Application Deadline :11-Jan-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :

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.


Documents to be included when submitting application

Please provide Offeror’s Letter and proposal (download the format in the link provided( together with your CV while submitting application.  For people who apply from UNDP Jobs, please note that the system will not accept the uploading of more than one document so please merge or scan all your documents into one prior to uploading.


China has become a major emerging player in global governance, able to share its valuable experience with the entire international community, acting at the same time as a bridge-builder between institutions and nations in the sustainable development era. China takes a proactive role in shaping new initiatives which complement existing global governance mechanisms. One example is the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which has been growing steadily. 

Since the launch of UNDP China Global Governance Initiative in 2012, UNDP China has become a key partner of the Government of China in international development cooperation and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. UNDP is recognized as a bridge between China and the world—in terms of understanding the sustainable development context, as a channel for international development assistance, and as a facilitator of South-South cooperation.

Against this backdrop, a team in UNDP China is writing a research report jointly with China Development Bank (CDB) on “Harmonizing international standards in financing and investments towards sustainable development along the Belt and Road”. The report is planned to be formally acknowledged as a result of work on the Belt and Road Initiative during the April 2019 BRI Forum in President Xi’s speech. 

The team has worked on the report for 4 months and brought it to an intermediate level. They have consulted with the CDB research team, prepared an updated annotated outline, and will have a full draft by mid-January. However, the team anticipates that this draft will undergo major further revisions on a tight timeline to ensure that the text reflects the joint views of the two lead institutions writing it, to sharpen and expand its analytical content, and strengthen the policy relevance of the main recommendations. 

The revised text needs to provide detailed and nuanced recommendations for harmonizing BRI standards with domestic Chinese, international and partner country standards. The harmonized standards aim to help raise the efficiency and effectiveness of BRI financing and connectivity-related investments, convincingly demonstrate that partner countries’ sustainable development goals are supported, and facilitate the provision of global public goods.

Toward this end, UNDP China is seeking a leading expert with excellent analytical and writing skills, strong interpersonal skills, as well as deep knowledge of China and the Belt and Road Initiative to assist in bringing the report to the necessary level for submission by late February, 2019. 

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the guidance of the BRI Senior Advisor, the expert’s task is to seamlessly join UNDP’s BRI team in the China Country Office. He/she is expected to have insightful views of countries’ investment and financing environment along the Belt and Road, to contribute in-depth analysis from economic, social and governance perspectives, and to come up with strategic and feasible recommendations for harmonizing standards along BRI countries. He/she is expected to be knowledgeable on international investment and financing standards/mechanisms at a global level, and to add value in the following ways:

1)  Contribute to drafting a key chapter of the report “Harmonizing international investment and financing standards along the Belt and Road” that focuses on BRI partner countries’ investment and financing background analysis (covering the business, legal, political, and tax environment), the necessity, opportunities and challenges for BRI to move forward, setting the stage for identifying key elements for harmonized standards that can be applied along the Belt and Road.

2) Work with the team on current drafts of other individual chapters to deepen and broaden the analysis, relate it more closely with the objectives of the BRI and with Sustainable Development Goals, anchoring standards-related policy recommendations in best international practice and current Chinese rules and standards.

3) Work with the China CO BRI team to formulate a compelling overall narrative for the report linking the various chapters that aligns both with Chinese partner views and the UN’s sustainable development goals. The flow of the revised text will follow this narrative.

4) Contribute to distilling the report’s key messages into a compelling presentation. The audience will be Chinese counterparts, partner country representatives, and international organizations. It is planned to be used in a February workshop on the paper, and—in revised form—in a side event at the Global BRI Forum.

5) Contribute to discussions with CDB aimed at finding common language that conforms with the Chinese viewpoint while not diluting UNDP’s critical messages:

  • The harmonized standards need to safeguard the long-term sustainability concerns of not only China but also of partner countries.
  • The magnitude of financing and investment along the Belt and Road and its impact on the sustainability of development are expected to be massive. Shaping BRI implementation modalities presents a unique opportunity to make that impact positive. A key instrument to do so is a set of well formulated standards applied consistently along the BRI.
  • BRI’s impact on sustainable development goes beyond China and partner countries, and thus BRI standards need to contribute to coordinated action on global public goods. The UN’s Agenda 2030 is the appropriate framework for this.



  • Demonstrate commitment to UNDP’s mission, vision and values;
  • Deep insights on BRI partner countries’ environmental and social background;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality, and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Excellent writing skills and communication skills, with strong analytic capacity and ability to synthesize relevant collected data and findings for the preparation of quality analysis
  • Good team player who has ability to maintain good relationships and has result oriented collaboration with colleagues. 
  • Ability to plan, organize, implement, and report on work.
  • Ability to work under pressure and tight deadlines and openness to change, receive/integrate feedback.
  • Curiosity and desire to work in a complex, international environment.

Required Skills and Experience

Documents to be included when submitting application

Please provide Offeror’s Letter and proposal (download the format in the link provided( together with your CV while submitting application.  For people who apply from UNDP Jobs, please note that the system will not accept the uploading of more than one document so please merge or scan all your documents into one prior to uploading.


  • Master’s Degree or Doctor’s Degree in Political or Social SCancelciences, Economics, International Development Studies or related disciplines.


  • At least 10 years of relevant high-level experience at the national or international level in conducting qualitative and quantitative policy research, providing policy recommendations; 
  • Thorough understanding of China, politically and economically as well as its role in the global and regional development sphere with focus on the Belt and Road Initiative;
  • Sound knowledge of global governance mechanisms and regional development cooperation with a particular focus on ESG issues and BRI partner countries.


  • Sound knowledge of Microsoft office;
  • Strong presentations and networking skills;
  • Professional English writing skills.


  • Excellent skills in both written and spoken English required;
  • Good knowledge of Chinese is preferable.


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