Trade Policy Expert


Location : Headquarters of the League of Arab States (LAS) in Cairo, Egypt
Application Deadline :11-Aug-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
10-Sep-2020
Duration of Initial Contract :(264) working days over a period of (12) calendar 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 (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 and the overall working environment of the current assignment.

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).

2020 marks the 3rd year of the project implementation and a start of preparation for the next stage of technical assistance to Arab countries. For that, it will be necessary to define the course of actions to secure that initial results of the period of 2018 to 2020 be sustainable and continued. Main target consists of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and rebuilding national economies in the post COVID-19. In this regard, it is necessary to design the continuation plan in order to deepen Arab economic integration with focus on corresponding economic recovery.

The assignment, to be delivered within the next 12 months, serves to support Arab trade negotiators and the League of Arab States in the modernization of trade policies and deepened economic integration in response to new requirements of the on-going economic diversification towards the Arab Customs Union as mandated by Arab Leaders . It is a continuation of the successfully completed support and to the extent possible, a preparation for a more progressive and in-depth integration in mainstreaming trade for development.

To that end, UNDP seeks professional services of one Trade Policy Expert, who works under the guidance of the Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) of the Strengthening Arab Economic Integration for Sustainable Development (AEISD) during a period of up to 264 working days over a period of 12 months from the commencement date. Services comprise of provision of technical advice, opinions to the Economic Sector of the League of Arab States, trade policy makers of PAFTA member countries at various technical committees of PAFTA implementation and contribution to activities of capacity building for trade policy makers as well as businesses and industries as domain experts.


Duties and Responsibilities

Modernization of trade policies in Arab economies is a necessity for numerous Arab economies in their efforts of diversifying economic and production activities with a view to reduce dependence on oils, gas, and raw materials and to embark on high value-added production. This diversification is supplemented by increasing importance of trade in services in terms of creation of employment in order to alleviate poverty. As part of regional efforts of upgrading the regional framework to international standards, progressive upgrade of Arab agreements to international conventions and good practices forms part of this process taking into consideration the level of political commitment of member countries of the Pan Arab Free Trade Area (PAFTA).

Implementation of PAFTA and its progressive improvement

  1. Prepare assessment of implementing PAFTA provisions in 2020 under the current circumstances of the wide spread of the COVID-19, specifically, assessing impacts on the international trade of PAFTA member countries on the basis of available and supplied information of the countries and in the public domain. This task also includes drafting of pertinent recommendations to deal with difficulty arisen, particularly issues of non-compliance.
  2. Provide technical advice to the LAS on the reporting of progress implementation of PAFTA using the template standard of the progress report (the standard format of Unified Report was endorsed by ECOSOC).
  3. Conduct thematic review of studies and working documents by the private sector and chambers of commerce on the effective implementation of PAFTA commitment as applicable.
  4. Provide thematic support LAS Economic Sector in the coordination of thematic subjects of discussions of specific technical committees on matters of PAFTA commitments implementation for the ECOSOC’s decisions.
  5. Provide assistance to LAS Economic Sector in the coordination of thematic discussions in trade and trade-related matters for ECOSOC and other activities of Arab economic integration.
  6. Assisting as a domain expert to concerned technical committees of LAS at their meetings as required by LAS.

Development of the action plan to sustain realization of the existent activities of assistance

  1.  Prepare the plan of activities for the hand-over of technical assistance to the LAS Economic Sector and PAFTA member countries in securing its sustainability and momentum.
  2. Design the corresponding working methodology to execute the above plan of activities.

Monitoring of the implementation of regional decisions concerning determination of origin of good by concerned committees

  1. Coordinating the project activities related to enhancing the accumulation of origin among Arab countries (phase II of a study on cumulation of origin).
  2. Serve as the coordinator in the organization of a regional workshop on the determination of origin of goods among Arab countries.
  3. Provide technical support to LAS Economic Sector and supply it and Arab countries with ad-hoc technical advice to the Committee on Arab rules of origin on the revision process of the general provisions of Arab Rules of Origin.

Trade development activities

  1. Provide technical support and coordination to activities to mainstream gender into Arab economic integration. That includes ad-hoc assistance in the organization of concerned interventions by the project.
  2. Contribution to related interventions by the project related to the promotion of trade for economic empowerment of women (i.e.., technical analysis, project management) under the guidance of the Chief Technical Advisor.

Trade in services

  1. Review of commitment offers by Arab countries for their participation/accession to the Arab Agreement in trade in services as applicable.
  2. Contribution to related interventions in trade in services as the domain expert in activities of capacity building, particularly to candidate countries to the said Arab Agreement in Services as required.
  3. Participate to the technical analysis of impacts of the COVID-19 to the operationalization and promotion of Arab Agreement in trade in services.

Other trade and trade-related matters

  1. Undertake responsibility of analysis and provision of technical advice to the LAS Economic Sector on trade and trade-related matters.
  2. Serve as the coordinator in the organization of activities of capacity building in trade and concerned matters towards its improvement in response to requirements of Arab countries.
  3. Undertake other assignments as requested by the Chief Technical Advisor.

Approach and Methodology

The Trade Expert will prepare technical analysis and documents in close cooperation with officials of the LAS, under the guidance of the Chief Technical Advisor. Other types of documents, such as presentations, policy notes might be required to be drafted in function of specific activities of technical support.

Quantitative and/or statistics analysis could also be required to support the informed decision making in trade and trade-related policies. Furthermore, she/he would need to work with other experts of the project team in the delivery of her/his assignment as well as to assist team members.


Competencies

Corporate

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

Functional

  • 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;
  • 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

Leadership

  • 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;
  • Ability to conceptualize and convey strategic vision from the spectrum of development experience.

Managing Relationships

  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain strategic partnerships;
  • Demonstrated well developed people management and organizational management skills;
  • Excellent negotiating and networking skills with strong partnerships in academia, technical organizations and as a recognized expert in the practice area.

Managing Complexity

  • Ability to address global development issues;
  • Demonstrated substantive leadership and ability to integrate knowledge with broader strategic, policy and operational objectives.

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.

Judgment/Decision-Making

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


Required Skills and Experience

Academic Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in business administration, economics international trade, trade and development, or related fields.

Work experience

  • Minimum 08 years of practical experience in the conduct of economic studies, research in international trade, operations and industrial policies within the customs unions, customs operations, revenue management and taxation. 
  • Experiences in the design, establishment of trade policies at either national or regional level are an asset;
  • Demonstrated experience in providing technical advices to Arab trade policy makers is an asset;
  • Previous working experience with the United Nations (UN) is an advantage. 

Language Requirements:

  • Language proficiency in both written and oral English is required. Knowledge of any other UN language, particularly Arabic, is an asset. 

INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENT

 

  • The individual is required to exhibit his or her full-time commitment with UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States (RBAS);
  • S/He shall perform tasks under the general guidance of the Regional Programme Coordinator and the direct supervision of the Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) of the Strengthening Arab Economic Integration for Sustainable Development (AEISD) regional project;
  • The supervision will include approvals/acceptance of the outputs and deliverables as identified in                     the previous section;
  • 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 provide periodical progress reports on regular and needed basis throughout the assignment to monitor progress;
  • The individual is required to maintain close communication with 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; 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.

DURATION OF THE WORK

The expected duration of the assignment is expected to be up to (264) working days over a period of (01) calendar year from the contract signature date.

DUTY STATION

This individual will be based at the Headquarters of the League of Arab States (LAS) in Cairo, Egypt.

TRAVEL PLAN (OPTIONAL)

If any unforeseen travel outside the consultant home-based city is requested by UNDP and required by activities under the Terms of References (ToR), such travel shall be covered by UNDP in line with applicable rules and regulations and upon prior written agreement. In such cases, the consultant shall receive living allowances not exceeding  the United Nations (UN) Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) rate for such other location(s).

SCOPE OF PRICE PROPOSAL AND SCHEDULE OF PAYMENTS

Interested candidates should provide professional fees for 264 working days over a period of 12 months (up to 22 working days per month). If there is any travel during the contract period, it will be covered by unforeseen travel in accordance with standards and practices by UNDP. If an Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP under Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP.

Payments shall be made to the consultant after satisfactory completion required deliverables and based on the submission of a duly certified Certification of Payment (CoP) and signed time sheet report an invoice and confirmation of satisfactory performance of achieved work (deliverables/outputs) in line with the schedule of payments table mentioned in Procurement Notice. 

RECOMMENDED PRESENTATION OF OFFER

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. Technical Proposal A half page technical proposal detailing how they will approach the assignment, prioritizing activities to meet the deliverables as set above in the most efficient and effective manner;
  5. Sample of work to demonstrate the individual’s competencies to undertake this assignment;
  6. Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive Deliverables/Outputs based total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template provided. The terms “all-inclusive” implies that all costs (professional fees, travel costs, living allowances, communications, consumables, etc.) that could possibly be incurred are already factored into the final amounts submitted in the proposal. If an Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP under Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP.

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 individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications to Job advertisement website (https://jobs.undp.org/cj_view_jobs.cfm) and should submit their proposal by e-mail to the following address: proc.contract.rscjo@undp.org not later than 11 August 2020. Candidates that fail to submit the required information on or before the set deadline (27 July 2020) will not be considered.

Please do not submit financial proposal in this stage. Financial proposal shall be requested from Candidates who are considered technically responsive. 

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:

  • Criteria A: Master’s degree in business administration, economics international trade, trade and development, or related fields.
  • Criteria B: Minimum 08 years of practical experience in the conduct of economic studies, research in international trade, operations and industrial policies within the customs unions, customs operations, revenue management and taxation;
  • Criteria C: Language proficiency in both written and oral English.

Step II : Technical Review

Shortlisted candidates will undergo a technical evaluation and a submission of a proposal to tackle the assignment.

Technical evaluation Criteria max 100 points (Weighted 70):

  • Criteria D:  5 years of experiences in the design, establishment of trade policies in the promotion of infant, emerging industries/sectors at either national or regional level; (15 points)
  • Criteria E: Proven experience in providing technical advices to Arab trade policy makers; (35 points)
  • Criteria F: Technical proposal; (25 points)
  • Criteria G: Previous working experience with the United Nations (UN); (10 points)
  • Criteria H: Sample of Work; (15 points)

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.


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

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