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National Single Window Development Team Leader
|Location :||Home Based|
|Application Deadline :||28-Feb-19 (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)
|Duration of Initial Contract :||1 Year|
|Expected Duration of Assignment :||100 working days over a period of 12 Months|
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 (LAS), 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 through gradual upgrading of performance of PAFTA.
The second project component relates to strengthen 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. This task also aims to promote more integration of the economies into the global supply chain as part of support to build production capacities and leverage on new potential, brought about by the technology.
A key thematic area of great interest to Arab countries relates to the promotion and implementation of trade facilitation measures in the pursuit of better competitiveness in international trade and development of economic programmes as identified in the Sustainable Development Goals. With experiences in working in this area since 2014 in the region, UNDP continues support to several Arab countries in the modernization and simplification of trade and trade-related procedures. Areas of priority concern the design and development of the trade facilitating platform of a National Single Window (NSW). Until 2019, UNDP has assisted two PAFTA countries to develop their Roadmaps of NSWs as the main guidelines to put into operation this platform. Assistance to its implementation in one country has started and achieved important progress in specific thematic areas, for example, data harmonization and simplification of business processes of participating agencies. Expectedly, these trades facilitating initiatives strengthen the policy dialogue in economic and trade policies among Arab countries towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The third component of the project focuses on the promotion of inclusiveness and transparency as part of the development agenda, particularly on the economic empowerment of women, for regional economic integration. It focuses on empowerment of women and promotion of good governance – the two key factors for collective prosperity in the Arab region. Deepening regional economic linkages would requires a new model of governance, which should serve to make trade an effective tool to fight poverty, generate decent jobs and business opportunities to everyone.
Capitalizing on the progress achieved in the previous program of support to implementation of PAFTA (Executive Program of PAFTA), the current project also focuses on specific aspects of making trade an engine of inclusive and sustainable growth guided by the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Along this line, the Project will further, 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 a particular focus on women and youth, and to mobilize additional resources for this purpose.
The project also aims to address specific challenges and complexities that PAFTA 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:
Putting a National Single Window into function is easier say than done. To make it happened, it is required collective efforts and partnership of the private sector, businesses and industries, and strong political determination of the Governments working for better delivery of public services and contribution to improve the productivity at the level of the entire economy. Indeed, activation of a National Single Window is a Governance project in which, new roles, new functions and even, a new distribution of responsibility among related stakeholders would arise. In working toward strengthening productive capacity of countries and better livelihood, it is required to put into place an inclusive, resilience and dynamic model of economic model.
Since its establishment, a National Single Window constitutes one of advance commitments of trade and investment at the global level, Arab countries have gradually incorporated this task as part of their national competitiveness enhancement programmes. In this regard, adopting international standards and best practices is also necessary in order to achieve not only regional linkages but also linkages with major trading partners as more and more trade takes place between Arab countries with Asia, China, India, among others.
The objective of this assignment consists of provision of technical advice, analysis of related technicality of the design and development of a National Single Window and/or Regional Single Window, to concerned authorities of identified Arab countries during 2019. That serves to capitalize on key elements of the trade facilitation framework at the global level to substantial boost trade, investment and inclusive development as part of the strategy of continuous improvement of competitiveness and optimization of trade costs.
UNDP assists Arab countries with the review and analysis of current applications of Information and Communication Technology as part of efforts of the promotion of e-Government and Paperless environment. In parallel, this exercise has been designed as part of a comprehensive programme of simplification and harmonization of trade and trade-related procedures in the pursuit of reduced time and costs. Additionally, strengthening cooperation with the private sector also plays an essential role of the end-user and the evaluator of the suitability of technical architecture.
During the implementation, the project team also cooperates with several national authorities, and regional organizations in the execution of defined activities in taking into account requirements and priorities of national socio- economic development plans and strategies of Arab economic integration. The execution is 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).
The key areas to be covered by the assignment include, among others:
As Arab countries continue working in these trade-facilitating platforms, new areas and technical portfolios are being developed under the guidance of national socio-economic development plans. Furthermore, technology and new management schemes of trade, investment, and services evolve dynamically in recent years and it could be further accelerated. Due to this, more detailed assignments would be designed by the project in addition to indicative areas of support, set forth in the current TORs.
In 2019, the long-term expert (Expert/Team leader) would operate under the direct supervision of the Chief Technical Advisor of AEISD (AEISD CTA) and reports to him in the implementation of the assignment. Factoring in the dynamic development and forthcoming mandate, the expert is required to partner with the project through the AEISD CTA in delivering support to Arab countries.
Duties and Responsibilities
As part of an on-going process of technical support to Arab countries, the project seeks the services of one senior expert on NSW with proven records of its successful implementation. S/he will be part of the team of specialists on trade facilitation electronic platforms with focus on business process re-engineering (BPR in short), data harmonization and digitalization in information processing in support to national teams of identified Arab countries. Specifically, the Expert discharges her/his duties under the supervision and guidance of the CTA AEISD, and forms part of the technical team of UNDP, works with other experts as required.
Capitalizing on initial success of the support programme on trade facilitation, UNDP continues working with countries in the region in making trade facilitation one of pillars in trade and development in response to needs of having decent jobs, more transparency in the regulatory framework and business opportunities. From the pilot application of the NSW in one Arab country, it was documented substantial improvement of the control by regulatory agencies, early detection of threats of non- compliance – factors needed for a better control and activation of enforcement measures. In this regard, new technologies such as block chains, smart ledgers, integrated controls and peer-to-peer review are helpful to support trade policies, enhance compliance while providing more convenience to end-users.
In particular, the assignment also sets as target, trainings and preparations of the national teams in charge of the development of a NSW with focus on the transfer of knowledge and skills so regional and national experts could finetune and enhance their systems.
The assignment of technical assistance in the promotion of a National Single Window (NSW) should address the following issues:
Other required tasks on the basis of the requirements of Arab countries in the concerned areas as defined by the Chief Technical Advisor (CTA).
Knowledge Management and Learning
Required Skills and Experience
I. Academic qualification:
Master’s degree in information and communication technology, computer sciences, international trade, business administration, economics, trade and development, or related fields.
II. Work Experience:
• At least 8 years of experience in developing and operating information and communication technology applications in an automated data and information processing systems for the clearance and release of shipments through international trade and/or logistics services;
• Experience in designing, developing and deploying any National Single Window is a major asset;
• Extensive experience in the design and establishment of automated applications concerning information processing for trade and transport management in a multi-agency platform is required;
• Adequate understanding of the WCO Data Model and the international standards and practices implemented by UN/CEFACT;
• Proven experience in the business process re-engineering and data harmonization;
• Demonstrated knowledge of technical standards and international standards, applicable to the design and operations of a NSW, among them, those developed by UNECE, World Customs Organization, relevant international and multilateral organizations;
• Proven experience working within the Arab region;
• Previous experience working for the UN is a plus.
III. Language Requirements
Language proficiency in both written and oral English. Knowledge of Arabic is a plus.
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.