National Consultant to Macroeconomic policy advisor & Macroeconomic Modelling Expert


Location : Putrajaya, MALAYSIA
Application Deadline :23-Dec-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Duration of Initial Contract :2.5 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :December 2020- March 2021

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.


Background

The UN Country Team in Malaysia comprises 19 (10 resident and 9 non-resident) agencies, led by the UN Resident Coordinators Office (RCO), which has been strengthened and enhanced under recent UN reforms. These reforms included the  separation of the RC from the UNDP Resident Representative (RR) function, and established a standing RCO team, incorporating key competencies including strategic planning for the UN development system, monitoring and evaluation (M&E), communications and advocacy, partnerships, human rights, and economics. The RCO also covers Singapore and Brunei Darussalam, allowing for sub-regional approaches, and operates within the Asia Pacific division of the UN Development  Coordination Office (DCO).

 

Malaysia, an upper middle-income country (UMIC), which is also approaching high income status, represents an atypical, and  challenging operating context for the UN development system to  discharge its core mission of promoting inclusive and sustainable development with a clear value proposition. The UN system has therefore focused agency inputs on high level technical advice (TA) and policy advice, and the Resident Coordinator (RC) is keen to consolidate this approach, by delivering greater synergies and creating entry points for engagement at the strategic level.  The COVID-19 crisis has provided further impetus for this, heightening government interest in the UN’s technical support.

 

In addition to the ongoing health emergency, the socioeconomic policy response has emerged as a priority, and the UN Country Team (UNCT)  has published a Socioeconomic Response Plan (SERP) as a counterpart to national stimulus and recovery proposals.  It is vital these efforts, and Government responses are framed by sound evidence-based analysis, including tools to gauge the impact of the crisis on the economy, in terms of  output and employment, but also the differential impact on vulnerable groups. Although Government has a strong handle on the overall impact of the crisis, more disaggregated modeling tools and analyses would prove highly beneficial in designing and implementing policies, to deliver an inclusive recovery. This assignment aims to enable this by reviewing using existing tools and data, notably Malaysia’s Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) [See:www.dosm.gov.my/v1/uploads/files/7_Publication/Technical_Paper/Paper_APES/2018/1.%20Social%20Accounting%20Matrix%20The%20Compilation%20and%20Construction%20of%20Malaysia%20Framework.pdf], and developing general equilibrium (GE) analytics, and then applying these to provide a full socioeconomic scenario for 2021.

 


Duties and Responsibilities

Functions / Key Results Expected

 

Purpose: This assignment specifies works connected with setting up and applying standard GE methods (models of varying complexity) to analyze the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis in Malaysia in  2021. This includes:  proposing a viable GE approach for vouching and simulating the recovery in 2021; simulating key metrics (output growth and employment levels) along with distributional impacts (poverty levels, gendered effects) based on a given set of parameters (agreed with UNRCO); and setting out differential impacts on key household types and groups (categories, again to be agreed with UNRCO).

 

We envisage the use of two consultants, a primary national expert, with a high-level policy focus, paired with and supported by an international macroeconomic modelling expert. We note that the national IC would manage the project, leading all local research and interactions, and drawing in the international expert to support the technical modelling and analytical work. Functions are somewhat separated below (showing lead party at each stage); as are the skills and experience requirements (following section)

 

Separate recruitment processes will be run, and we envisage an  assignment of some 60 days (the equivalent of 3 working months), divided equally between the two parties. This is, however, subject to revision following the initial scoping stage (see below).

 

Summary of key functions [lead IC specified in square brackets]:

  1. Scoping review of current data and analytical tools available and propose improvements [national consultant].  
  2. Undertake several simulations for divergent scenarios, and policy responses, to be agreed with UNRCO and Government and UNRCO.
  3. Prepare a report and present findings to UN and Government partners, including policy observations and recommendations. Noting that these will later be re-shaped to support capacity building (a likely follow on assignment).

 

1. Scoping review of current data and analytical tools available, and propose a viable and improved GE approach

  • Engage with Government and other partners to gain buy-in for the exercise.
  • Prepare an inventory of data and GE methods including the SAM, specifically identifying GE modelling tools in place, and commenting on their adequacy.
  • Report and review  current methods employment output (and employment), and comments on if, and how, wider socioeconomic effects are/ might be gauged
  • Propose a way forward specifying the GE approach, noting pros and cons, setting out a summary plan (also confirming or revising consultant inputs and mix).

 

2. Undertake several simulations for divergent scenarios, and policy responses (to be agreed with UNRCO and Government).

  • Develop alternative input parameters in consultation with UNRCO and Government counterparts, including reflecting alternative policy responses.
  • Simulate these alternative scenarios – delivering macroeconomic and socioeconomic estimates.
  • Share and engage with Government and develop a dialogue on optimal policy responses

 

3. Prepare a report and present findings to UN and Government partners, including policy observations and recommendations. Noting that these will later be re-shaped to support capacity building (a likely follow on assignment).

  • Prepare presentational materials for UN and Government closed meetings.
  • Actively reinforce the relationship with counterparts on policy and maintain policy dialogues.
  • Subsequently, prepare full report documentation, including discussion of models, and outline key findings.
  • Provide policy brief, as an extended executive summary for key decision makers. 

 

Deliverables & Reporting Arrangements

 

Deliverables conform to the four phases of the assignment described above, albeit with different payment profiles for the two consultants as follows:

 

No.

Deliverable

Due Date

Payable to national IC

 

1

Scoping report & assignment plan

 

10th January, 2021

20% of contract fees

2

Modelling & data framework, including macro estimates

 

12th  February, 2021

15% of contract fees

3

Scenario results (& PPT), macro & socioeconomic

 

22nd February 2021

25% of contract fees

4

Assignment draft & final reports

 

1st March  2021

40% of contract fees

 

Both ICs will report to the Head of the RCO and the Senior Economist within the UNRCO on progress and performance, and they will determine that the milestones above are met and release payment.  However, we underline also, that the international consultant should work to the requirements of the national consultant, given the latter’s responsibility of  overall management and delivery of the assignment.


Competencies

Corporate Competencies:

 

  1. Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards
  2. Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of the UNCT
  3. Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability

 

Functional Competencies:

 

Knowledge Management and Learning

  1. Promotes knowledge management in UNCT and a learning environment in the office through leadership and personal example
  2. Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development in one or more Practice Areas, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills

 

Development and Operational Effectiveness

  1. Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting
  2. Ability to lead formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes and projects
  3. Ability to formulate and manage budgets, manage contributions and investments, manage transactions, conduct financial analysis, reporting and cost-recovery
    • Ability to implement new systems and affect staff behavioral/attitudinal change
    • Strong IT skills
    • Excellent knowledge of financial rules and regulations, accounting
    • Excellent knowledge of Results Management Guide and Toolkit

 

Management and Leadership

  1. Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback
  2. Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude
  3. Demonstrates good oral and written communication skills
  4. Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Advanced degree in economics, PhD is preferred.
  • Track record of high-level policy advice, well-regarded  and acknowledged domestic authority.

 

Experience:

  • Minimum 5 years with PhD, or minimum 7 years with master’s degree, of relevant experience at the national level in economic analysis and policy advice. This must include authoring and presenting technical content to diverse audiences, including senior policymakers.
  • Extensive track record of policy advice delivered at strategic level, to Malaysia’s policymakers and/ or equivalent, with demonstrable impacts.

 

Language Requirements

  • Fluency in English and Bahasa Malaysia at technical and policy levels (written and spoken).

 

DOCUMENTS TO BE INCLUDED WHEN SUBMITTING THE PROPOSALS

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

  1. Document 1 : Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability at  http://www.my.undp.org/content/dam/malaysia/docs/Procurement/Letter%20of%20Interest%20_Annex%201.docx?download;
  2. Document 2: Technical Proposal: cover page (maximum 2 pages) how candidate’s qualification and experience in rapid evaluation makes them suitable for the work and can lead towards the successful deliverable of this consultancy within the required timeframe; and 
  3. Document 3: Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template provided.  If an Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution and 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. The consultant should also indicate any travel and related costs for meetings etc. at https://www.my.undp.org/content/dam/malaysia/docs/Procurement/Financial Proposal- Macro.docx.
  4. Document 4: Personal CV or P11 including areas of expertise and past experiences in similar projects and at least three (3) references at http://www.my.undp.org/content/dam/malaysia/docs/Procurement/P11%20for%20SC%20&%20IC.doc?download
  5. Please submit this information in one file as Document 1, 2, 3, and 4.The system will only accept one attachment, please merge all documents and submit as one file.
  6. Applicants must reply to the mandatory questions asked by the system when submitting the application.
  7. Candidates who fail to submit all the information requested above will be disqualified.


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 (refer to below link);
  • Click the ‘apply’ icon and complete what is required;
  • Scan all documents into 1 pdf file 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/2020/073"as the subject matter.

 

General terms & conditions to be downloaded:

Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA): A legal instrument between UNDP and a Company/institution, according to which, the latter makes available the services of an individual delivering time-bound and quantifiable outputs that are directly linked to payments

  • The General Terms & Conditions for Reimbursement Loan Agreement is available at:http://www.my.undp.org/content/dam/malaysia/docs/Procurement/Reimbursable%20Loan%20Agreement%20_%20Terms%20&%20Conditions.pdf?download? 

Incomplete proposals may not be considered. Only short-listed candidates may be contacted, and successful candidates will be notified.

 

Criteria for Selection of the Best Offer

 

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodologies:

 

Cumulative analysis

The award of the contract will be made to the candidate whose offer has been evaluated and determined as responsive, compliant and acceptable, and having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation:

 

a)         Technical criteria weight (70%)

b)         Financial criteria weight (30%)

 

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 50 points will be considered for the Financial Evaluation. 

Education and qualifications (as given with additional for research record and/ or policy contribution)

25%

Experience (fulfilled similar assignments and hands-on use of specified competencies)

40%

 

Language Requirements and drafting/ presentational skills (English and Malay/ English, both written and spoken)

25%

Other (including management and other relevant professional skills)

10%



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