Understanding Macro-economic Impacts of COVID-19: Building Back Better

Location : Home-based
Application Deadline :06-Jun-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :40 working days
Expected Duration of Assignment :6 months (1 June – 30 November 2020)


The COVID-19 pandemic presents itself as a unique crisis in which a humanitarian crisis is evolving simultaneously with a global and local economic downturn and threatens to affect entire economies and livelihoods en masse. Early signs indicate that Malaysia’s heavy economic reliance on India and China, its largest trade partners, source of tourism revenues and investments will exacerbate the impact of the global COVID crisis in the country. The COVID outbreak has not only amplified these challenges, but also create new vulnerabilities in Malaysia’s socio-economic life.

In addition to the enormous and immediate health risks and the potential pressures on the Malaysia health sector, there are severe socioeconomic impacts that affect the most vulnerable populations both globally and at national levels. These threaten achievement of national development goals and attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially as it relates to the leaving no one behind agenda, a rights based approach to development and economic growth that is environmentally and socially balanced.

As the COVID-19 has progressed, the Government of Malaysia has implemented movement control measures to prevent further virus spread. The crisis is expected to have major socio-economic and macro-economic impacts, as trade and services have been hit significantly. In addition to immediate relief and recovery efforts, there is a need to assess the impact on long-term plans and goals at the national level. To address long-term policy needs and to ensure continued progress toward resilience, sustainability, and equity, the UNDP is examining the economic outcomes of this crisis and the impacts on major national and international commitments. ?This socio-economic package of support recognizes that the response to this pandemic must accelerate rather than under­mine decarbonization, protect the natural capital, build resilient cities, and ensure social equality,inclusion, and the realization of human rights for everyone, the rule of law and account­able, capable governments and institutions.?

Objectives of the Assignment

The objective of this assignment is to assess potential changes in Malaysia’s three long-term development frameworks i.e. 12MP, SPV2030, and the SDGs in light of economic challenges emanating from the COVID-19 pandemic. The assessment will include (1) how targets or aspirations in the frameworks are being affected, (2) whether the frameworks as currently envisioned and implemented need to be adjusted, and (3) what needs to be done to maintain progress toward targets and aspirations.

Given the above, UNDP is recruiting a national consultant to plan and carry out the following activities:

  1. Identify channels of impact and quantification (modelling) of the impact in light of the 12MP pillars, SPV2030, and the 17 SDGs. The analysis should be based on realistic assumptions regarding aggregate demand, employment, exchange rates, debt, investment and trade levels and intra-industry linkages (multipliers). The impact of government stimulus package should also be modelled.
  2. This above exercise should lead to evidence-based, integrated, country specific policy advice and programme support or recommendations which covers but not limited to*:
  • fiscal adjustments in the light of oil price slump and declining tax buoyancy
  • social expenditure realignment to address the most pressing needs of the country
  • private sector involvement in economic recovery
  • incentivising building back better and ‘greener’
  • support to young people and social partners in entrepreneurship and social innovation
  • role of digital payments, e-commerce and digital solutions in the new normal

Note*: this list is extracted from Pillars III and IV from the UN Socio-Economic Framework guidance note, which will be provided to the consultant.

The assessment will create a better understanding of the mid and long-term effects of COVID-19 and the macro-level adaptations needed to respond to this disruption and to increase resilience to future economic shocks. The assessment will need to be rapid in nature to allow for inputs into the 12MP, which was scheduled to be finalized in July. However, since the full impact of COVID will not be fully observed by then, the Consultant will be required to update their analysis on periodical basis and use it to support government’s continuing efforts in economic recovery.

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work

The consultant will be under the direct supervision of the ?Senior Development Economist to provide expert advice and support to Government and UNDP Country Office with the guidance from the of the Deputy Resident Representative / Assistant Resident Representative of The consultant will work in close collaboration (as necessary) with Government officials at EPU, UN Agencies, development partners, technical advisors and experts, multilateral and bilateral donors, and the private sector to strategically position UNDP's support in relation to building back better in meeting the Agenda 2030.


1.Inception report including a Situational Analysis and ??Methodology and Workplan

Based on initial review, develop a joint inception report that reflects the consultant’s understanding of the assignment, methodology to carry out the assessment, tentative plan and schedule to carry out the tasks, and expected conclusions and recommendations of the report;


2.Impact Assessment report including key findings and recommendations;

Based on assessment findings and available information, develop an assessment report that includes key findings from results from an impact modelling exercises (CGE or other modelling techniques) and other types of analysis. The report should outline Malaysia’s development trajectory and key impacts to that trajectory stemming from COVID-19, including containment measures and economic relief and recovery efforts. The report should discuss how implementation of the 12MP, SPV2030, and SDG needs to be re-evaluated in light of successes and failures of the socio-economic system in responding to the crisis.


3.Policy note focusing on top priorities for improving resilience, sustainability and equity in the 12MP, SPV 2030 and SDG achievements.

Based on the existing needs and priorities identified in the assessment report, develop a high-quality policy note for the Government of Malaysia focusing on priority interventions for improving resilience, sustainability and equity in the 12MP, SPV 2030 and SDG achievements. Specific recommendations on macro, meso, and micro levels are expected. The policy note may benefit from alternate-scenario analysis aimed at estimating the interventions necessary for keeping national aspirations on track and building back better.


4.Updates after the final report submitted to reflect changes or new developments affecting the economy until the end of 2020. These updates are provided upon agreement between UNDP and the consultant.


Consultant will submit deliverables to UNDP by email for review and approval. Timing of specific activities will be discussed and agreed between UNDP and the consultant.


Estimated timelines, payment and deliverables:?



Estimated timeline

% of Payment


Upon satisfactory submission and approval of Inception Report

7 June 2020



Upon satisfactory submission Draft SEI Report

30 June 2020



Upon satisfactory submission and approval of SEI Report

7 July 2020



Upon satisfactory submission of Draft Policy Note

23 July 2020



Upon satisfactory submission and approval of Policy Note

30 July 2020



Contracts based on daily fee:

The fee will be paid on a monthly based on time sheet completed with description of tasks, certified by Programme Manager. UNDP?makes payments based on the actual number of days worked.

The estimated maximum number of workdays for the duration of the consultancy is as follows:


Daily rate (MYR)

Maximum workdays

Total Amount (MYR)

Maximum professional fee (excluding of all travel expenses)




  1. Professionalism: Ability to apply sustainable development theories, concepts and approaches. Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Ability to conduct data collection using various methods. Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis, including familiarity with and experience in the use of various research sources, including electronic resources on the internet, intranet and other databases.?
  2. Planning and Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently. Demonstrates negotiation skills and experience engaging with strategic partners (UN Agencies, IFI’s, government institutions, bilateral and multilateral donors, private sector, civil society). Ability to build strong relationships with Government and external actors;? Ability to anticipate and understand client needs, formulate clear strategic plans, prioritise interventions and propose allocation of resources according to priorities;? Ability to develop innovative solutions to address challenging situations; Ability to establish effective working relations in a multicultural team environment;
  3. Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format?to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Knowledge of impact assessment methodologies and tools of macro-economic analysis;
  • Knowledge of the international humanitarian/emergency response and disaster risk reduction system is highly desired
  • Experience working in Malaysian context is preferred;
  • Excellent written communication skills.


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in development, macro-economics, statistics, finance or a related area
  • A combination of relevant academic background (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent) and with more than 5 years of extensive relevant professional experience in a related area may be accepted in lieu of advanced university degree;
  • At least 5 years of progressively responsible experience in macro-economics, development, national planning or public policy work;
  • Knowledge and skills on design and implementation of impact assessment methodologies is a must;
  • Experience in development and implementation of response and recovery/resilience programmes will be added advantage;
  • Knowledge of key UN /UNDP thematic areas of support will be preferred;

Interested individuals must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:

  • Cover letter (maximum of 2 pages) on how your qualifications and experience can lead towards the successful deliverable of this assignment within the required timeframe;
  • Financial Proposal (refer to template as provided as Annex 1).
  • Personal CV including areas of expertise and past experience in similar projects and at least three (3) references.
  • Up to three (3) samples of written / research work.

How to Apply:

  • Kindly download the Letter of Confirmation of interest and availability, Financial Proposal Template and General Terms & Conditions mentioned below;
  • Read and agree to the General Terms & Conditions;
  • Click the ‘apply’ icon and complete what is required;
  • Scan all documents into 1 pdf folder and then upload;
  • For clarification question, please email to procurement.my@undp.org. The clarification question deadline is three (3) days before the closing. When emailing for clarification questions, please put "MyIC/2020/027" as the subject matter.

Forms and General terms & conditions to be downloaded:

Incomplete proposals may not be considered. The shortlisted candidates may be contacted, and the successful candidate will be notified.

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, aboriginal groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

Evaluation Criteria

The offers that will be received shall be evaluated based on the Combined Scoring method – where the qualifications and methodology will be weighted a maximum of 70% and combined with the price offer which will be weighted a maximum of 30%.

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.

If you are experiencing difficulties with online job applications, please contact erecruit.helpdesk@undp.org.

© 2016 United Nations Development Programme