Trade and Gender Expert

Location : Home based assignment with possible travel to Arab countries
Application Deadline :28-May-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Arabic   English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :70 working days over a period of 4 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 Area (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. The third component 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.

Built on the progress achieved in the previous program of support to implementation of PAFTA (Executive Program of the agreement on Facilitating and Developing Trade among Arab Countries), the current project focuses on specific aspects of making trade an engine of inclusive and sustainable growth guided by the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.  In continuation, the Project will also 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 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:

  1. Provide a structured and targeted technical support to LAS Secretariat and Arab negotiators on trade policy formulation and reform under PAFTA.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 developments.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 constitutes a pre-requisite in deepening Arab economic integration to a higher level of commitment with inclusiveness and sustainability.
  6. Promotion of the contribution of trade, as one of the pillars to achievement of SDGs at national and regional level.

These priority dimensions form the basis of the work program of the project. Specifically, the project targets the following result-oriented activities:

  1. Development of the technical framework and required instruments for the PAFTA Upgrading - an upgrade from the existing PAFTA, and for the Arab Customs Union (ACU) preparations, to deepen Arab economic integration.
  2. Reinforcement of mechanisms of policy design, measures of implementation and of systems of documenting the progress of implementation to secure smooth acceleration of realization of regional commitments.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Delivery of awareness raising activities and provision of technical guidance on good governance and integrity approaches.
  6. Promotion   of   regulatory   transparency, open   dialogues   and   consultations   with   related stakeholders, targeting all social groups but particularly women, for more active participation to cross border operations and related economic activities, among others.

The project team also cooperates 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 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 project also seeks to achieve more detailed understanding of the modalities through which Arab women and the youth contribute to deepening Arab economic cooperation and making trade an effective instrument for resilient and participatory economies in the region.It does also relate to promotion of gender equality and women empowerment as well as generation of business and job opportunity for women. In relation tothese works of Output 3 of the project, the project seeks provision of services of an expert on trade and gender to conduct a study on the “Roles of women empowerment to foster Arab economic cooperation”.

The expert discharges her/his duties under the supervision and guidance of the Chief Technical Advisor of the project and would be supported by the team of domain experts.

Duties and Responsibilities

Overall, Arab countries have a relatively low rate of participation of women to the labor market. In accordance with studies of women engagement into the economic life of the countries, conducted in several regions, their participation brought about significant benefits to economic performance and produced tangible gains to the community and livelihood.

Within the scope of the AEISD project focusing on the deepening of regional economic integration, it is important to enhance the role and contribution of women to enable more cooperation and share good practices in making women and the young population an agent of change toward achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.Furthermore, besides their contribution in terms of generating more income for households, women empowerment should be seen as part of the overall agenda of establishing a new and inclusive governance model in which transparency and dialogues become a key and community development is considered as one of foundations.

The study shall provide a detailed analysis of the role of women to further the regional cooperation in trade, commerce, and economic matters at the policy and transactional level, for example promoting cross border exchange while capitalizing on the competitiveness of individual economies. It might relate to women’s access to information, to production factors, comprised of land, capital, financial resourcesas well as access to business and job opportunities. Moreover, it would help to identify challenges for Arab women in promoting the Beijing Declarations and other related instruments in fostering empowerment and participation.

The study would look into the impact of trade policy on women and identifying gender-based constraints that hinder inclusive development in the Arab region. In doing so, the assessment shall portray existing gender gaps, challenges in securing equal business opportunities for businesswomen and women entrepreneurs in the Arab women, as well as equal working opportunities for female workers. More importantly, findings of the Study should help to understand existent regulatory constraints and lead to proposals of concrete measures to achieve their better participation to bring about better livelihood. That would serve to design policy measures to deal with the challenges.

In order to secure more focused analysis, the study will review the participation of women in the countries who are members of the Agadir arrangements and the Arab cooperation framework. Specifically, the expert analyzes the economic roles of women in the promotion of international trade (imports, exports) and investment, particularly in a number of sectors in which available information and statistics could assist to understand these roles in concrete manner.

Furthermore, study conclusions would be formulated and presented to the senior officials for their consideration and incorporation into the negotiations of new instruments of Arab cooperation.

The scope of the assignment will cover the following areas, among others:

Approach and Methodology

The selected consultant shall conduct extensive literature review on existing studies that tackled the issue of the economic empowerment of Arab Women, obstacles for doing business in the Arab region and the economic rights of Arab women and how effective they exercise these in daily life. The study should document also key features on the women empowerment as per reputable sources of information.

This will be followed by mapping key stakeholders in the targeted and selected Arab countries in the selected goods and services sectors (with certain priority given to signatories of Agadir Agreements and of Arab cooperation framework) and conducting key in-depth interviews with them in order to document their perspectives as well as to discuss perspectives in fostering the empowerment in a systematic manner.

Main activities

  1. To review available information, literature, references of available studies on the economic empowerment of Arab women in order to identify obstacles and/or impediments for their active participation to economic activities.
  2. To study and compile available statistics related to the composition of the labor market of a number of Arab countries as well as documentation, information concerning the participation by women to economic activities in the countries as well as in international trade in the region. The main focus would be on the entrepreneurship by women and female labourers, and sectors in which, their participation plays a significant role. Quantitative analysis based on available statistics is required.
  3. To identify alternatives and modalities aimed at improvement of opportunities for women to exercise their rights, particularly, those related to economic and trade opportunities.
  4. To review and analyse policies of Arab countries and those under legal instruments (for example, the Agreement on Facilitating and Developing Trade among Arab Countries and its Executive Program, the Agadir Agreements and related instruments),  and those adopted by LAS ECOSOC and high level officials of Agadir countries) and its introduction into national trade and economic policies and other commitments in which, measures related to promotion of small economic entities, led by women, are to be highlighted, either directly or indirectly.
  5. To analyse potential contribution of the Arab Agreement on Trade in Services and economic sectors in which, women could play a significant role in promoting enhancement to the livelihood and exercising of their established rights.
  6. To analyse major activities of international trade, investment, entrepreneurship of some focus PAFTA countries while indicating the potential of specific sectors of imports/exports, investment as well as service (i.e… Travel and Tourism, Banking, among others). This will be followed by analysing existing conditions of the selected goods and services sectors, women participation in these sectors and explore potential opportunities for women.
  7. To compile perspectives and views of related key stakeholders (i.e…, women business associations, regional organizations led by women) to be incorporated into the thematic analysis.
  8. To formulate and validate the report on the roles and contribution of women to enhance the role and contribution of women to enable more cooperation and share good practices for deepening Arab economic integration. At the same time, it serves to making women and the young population an agent of change toward achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.
  9. Prepare the final report on the “Women and contribution to Arab Economic Integration” and “Trade in the Arab Region”
  10. To propose an action plan to enhance the role of women in the process of Arab Economic Integration.



  • Demonstrates integrity and fairness, by modeling the UN/UNDP’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.


  • Time management and organizational skills, with the ability to undertake multiple tasks and deliver under pressure;
  • Strong analytical and synthesis skills;
  • Ability to work independently and achieve quality results with limited supervision and within tight schedules;
  • Strong quantitative and qualitative research skills;
  • Experience in reports production;
  • Ability to write in a clear and concise manner;
  • Good teamwork and interpersonal skills;
  • Flexibility and ability to handle multiple tasks and work under pressure;
  • Excellent computer skills especially Word, Excel and Power Point.

Knowledge Management and Learning

  • Ability to strongly promote and build knowledge products;
  • Promotes knowledge management in UNDP and a learning environment in the office through leadership and personal example;
  • Seeks and applies knowledge, information and best practices from within and outside of UNDP;
  • Demonstrates a strong capacity for innovation and creativity in providing strategic policy advice and direction.


  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and to provide credible leadership;
  • Demonstrated flexibility in leadership by performing and/or overseeing the analysis/resolution of complex issues. 

Required Skills and Experience

Academic Qualification

  • Master’s Degree in Economics, International Development, Gender, or in other related Social Sciences.

Work Experience

  • Minimum 10 years of practical experience on trade and gender and women’s economic empowerment as well as on international trade and preferential trade arrangements in the Arab countries.
  • Expertise and knowledge on economics and gender analysis as it relates to regional economic development; proven track record in conducting assessments of gender perspectives in regional trade agreements using assessment tools or methodologies, economic analysis, analytical works and public-private dialogue.
  • Proven experience on research and publication on trade and gender and mainstreaming gender in regional trade agreements and integration of gender sensitivities in trade policy –making and negotiations.  
  • Experience in gender equality in Arab countries.
  • Previous experience working for the UN is a plus.
  • Proven experience working within the Arab region;

Language Requirements

  • Language proficiency in both written and oral English and Arabic is required.


  • The individual is required to exhibit his or her commitment to this assignment with UNDP-RBAS;
  • S/He shall perform tasks under the general guidance of the Regional Programme Coordinator and the direct supervision of the AEISD Chief Technical Advisor. The supervision will include approvals/acceptance of the outputs as identified in previous sections;
  • The individual is expected to liaise and collaborate in the course of performing the work with other consultants, suppliers and UN colleagues;
  • The individual is required to maintain close communication with the UNDP-RBAS on regular and needed basis at any period throughout the assignment in order to monitor progress. In the event of any delay, s/he will inform UNDP promptly so that decisions and remedial action may be taken accordingly. Delays that would affect the flow of the collaborative work and the delivery of outputs on schedule will lead to termination of contract; and
  • Should UNDP deem it necessary, it reserves the right to commission additional inputs, reviews or revisions, as needed to ensure the quality and relevance of the work.


The duration of the work is expected to be 70 working days over a period of 4 months from contract signature date.


This is a home-based assignment. Part of this assignment may require the individual to travel to Arab and non-Arab countries. In such cases, unforeseen travel will be arranged and covered in accordance with corporate regulations and rules.


All proposals must be expressed in a lump sum amount. This amount must be “all-inclusive”. Please note that the terms “all-inclusive” implies that costs of (Professional fees, communications…., etc.) that could possibly be incurred are already factored into the final amounts submitted in the proposal.

The contractor will be paid an all-inclusive Deliverables/Outputs based lump sum amounts over the assignment period, subject to the submission of Certification of Payment (CoP) duly certified and confirmation of satisfactory performance of achieved work (deliverables/outputs) in line with the schedule of payments table mentioned in Procurement Notice. 

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. Brief Description of why you consider yourself as the most suitable candidate for this assignment;
  4. One sample of work that shows the candidate’s competence to undertake this assignment.

Interested candidates shall submit above documents to the Job Advertisement Website:  as one document not later than 28 May, 2019

Interested candidates can find Procurement notice, letter of confirmation of interest and availability and P11

Please do not submit financial proposal in this stage.  Financial proposal shall be requested from technically compliant candidates only

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodologies:

Step I: Screening and desk review:

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology.

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

  • Master’s Degree in Economics, International Development, Gender, or in other related Social Sciences.
  • Minimum 10 years of practical experience on trade and gender and women’s economic empowerment as well as on international trade and preferential trade arrangements in the Arab countries.
  • Proficiency in both written and oral English and Arabic

Technical evaluation Criteria max 100 points (Weighted 70):

  • Expertise and knowledge on economics and gender analysis as it relates to regional economic development; proven track record in conducting assessments of gender perspectives in regional trade agreements using assessment tools or methodologies, economic analysis, analytical works and public-private dialogue.(35 points)
  • Proven experience on research and publication on trade and gender and mainstreaming gender in regional trade agreements and integration of gender sensitivities in trade policymaking and negotiations.  (30 points)
  • Previous experience working for the UN (15 points)
  • Proven experience within the Arab Region in Gender (10)
  • One Sample of work (10)

Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation

For those offers considered in the financial evaluation, the lowest price offer will receive 30 points.                  
The other offers will receive points in relation to the lowest offer, based on the following formula:                  
(PI / Pn)* 30 where Pn is the financial offer being evaluated and Pl is the lowest financial offer received.

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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