Business Operation Strategy (BOS) Expert

Location : Beijing, CHINA
Application Deadline :25-Jun-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :

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.



The Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) and the subsequent Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) resolution on Operational Activities of the United Nations for international development cooperation (2011) call for simplification and harmonization of the United Nation system. At the country level, harmonized business operations will reduce transaction costs, eliminate duplication, and contribute to more effective programme delivery. For this purpose, the UN Development Group (UNDG) High Level Committee on Management (HLCM) was mandated to work with UN Country Teams (UNCTs) to improve programme and business operations. The Business Operations Strategy (BOS) was created in 2012 as the UNDG response to these needs and requests.

The 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have increased expectations for cost-effectiveness, timeliness and quality of service provision by the UN. The UN Reform calls for advanced common business services and back-office functions to promote more effective and efficient programme delivery on the 2030 Agenda. The Secretary-General encourages all UNCTs to ensure compliance with an improved Business Operations Strategy by 2021.

The Business Operations Strategy (BOS) is a voluntary framework that focuses on joint business operations with the purpose of business process harmonization for improved delivery efficiency and reduced transaction cost. It allows UNCTs to take a strategic and results-oriented approach to planning, management and implementation of harmonized business operations at a country level aligning operational activities to programme activities as outlined within the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).


The Business Operations Strategy (BoS) supports the development of harmonised business operations, and achievement of the following results:

  • Enhanced linkages between programmes and operations: By analyzing the programme strategy through an operational lens and identifying the operational activities required to deliver the programmatic support, as well as building synergies between programme and operations. As the BoS runs parallel to the UNDAF cycle, its key focus is to enhance the operationalization of the UNDAF from a harmonized operational perspective.
  • Reduced Transaction Costs: One of the key objectives of the BoS; besides its strategic focus on operational support services and harmonizing and/or simplifying business processes, it seeks to reduce operational transaction cost for both the UN and its partners in terms of times and monetary cost by streamlining operational process and leveraging system-wide operational opportunities and efficneicies including volumes and economy of scale.
  • Enhanced quality: By jointly procuring services in larger volumes, the UN increases its bargaining power with service providers and enhances its ability to monitor and evaluate overall quality of service delivery.
  • Enhanced operational focus and prioritization: Instruments like cost benefit analysis/transaction cost analysis and business process mapping provide the basis for the UNCT to identify and prioritize high impact harmonization initiatives, and facilitate the measureability of results/impact against set targets in time.


Scope of work


The key deliverable for this consultancy is to develop, within the available framework, a finished product of the Business Operations Strategy (BOS) for China to cover the period that will start on 1 January 2019. This should be done in close collaboration with RCO, OMT and its technical working groups. The strategic stages within the formulation process include:

  • finalization of Baseline Analysis: collection, overview and analysis of operational data to determine current status;
  • determining new needs and requirements (review of the UNDAF results framework to determine new needs and advice on system requirements to address those new needs);
  • conduct of cost-benefits analysis and strategic prioritization (rationalizing and ranking in terms of the most beneficiary and cost-saving activities);
  • finalization of the results and M&E matrixes as well as related budgeting;
  • finalizing the BOS document by compiling all relevant collected data and drafting the narrative.

Within this framework, the proposed pillars of the BOS under which the analysis shall be done include Procurement, Human Resources, Facility Management, ICT and Security respectively based on the work of the OMT Working Groups and the current country context.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Consultant will be primarily responsible for taking the lead in all technical, (meeting/discussion) facilitation, administrative support required by the OMT for the development of the operations feasibility/prioritization report and facilitation toward the development of the BOS.

The BOS has three components:

  • Business Operations Results Framework, reflecting medium-term outcomes and outputs in line with the UNDAF cycle,
  • Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, reflecting outcome and output level indicators, allowing for monitoring and evaluation of the impact of business operations,
  • Management Arrangements of UN Business Operations, outlining the way the UN organizes itself in order to deliver cost effective operational support that meets programme requirements.


A typical structure of BOS includes the following chapters:

  • Chapter 1: Introduction: Sets the context of BOS.
  • Chapter 2: Operations Analysis: Defines the results, the strategic focus and prioritizes the results areas according to the outcome of costs and benefit analysis for each suggested business solution.
    • Includes Baseline Analysis, Needs Analysis, Requirements Analysis, Cost Benefit Analysis, Prioritization.
  • Chapter 3: Business Operations Results Framework (with narratives): Translates the business solutions to specific result statements (outcomes, outputs) and adds a short narrative for each results area. It also suggests a required budget per outcome/output.
  • Chapter 4: Business Operations Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting: Defines outcome and output level indicators, targets and baselines.
  • Chapter 5: Business Operations Governance Mechanisms. Defines the various roles and responsibility/mechanism through which the BOS shall be implemented stating clearly who does what, when, where and how.
  • Chapter 6: Business Operations Budgetary Framework: Describes the resource requirements, including a resource map of existing resources, the resource gap and a resource mobilization strategy.
  • Chapter 7: Operationalizing the Business Operations Strategy: Outlines the implementation of BOS through work planning, including the concepts of integrated (OMT) work plan and the use of the standardized MoU for Common Services.



The details of duties and responsibilities of the Consultant are as follows:

  1. Operational Data Collection/Analysis (Onsite, estimated 10 days):
  1. Development of required data collection templates
  2. Actual collection of operational data in collaboration with OMT China
  3. Data Rationalization and Analysis


Operational Analysis (offsite):


  • Current Service Offering (both agencies specific and common service mapping)


  • Programme related Needs (deducted from the UNDAF)
  • Other, non-programme related needs (field operations, etc.)

Cost-Benefit Analysis and Prioritization:

  • Identifying, ranking and sequencing of common services by contextual relevance, cost, UNCT capacity, mandate, etc.
  • Develop Common Service Priority Ranking (Baseline Report) with clear baselines indicators at the pillar and outcome levels

Strategic Process (offsite)

Developing the BOS Results Matrix:

  • Formulate suitable outcomes
  • Review and finalize outputs per outcome
  • Identify and set baselines, targets and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for 2018 onwards at outcome level with required resources (budget)

Developing the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework

  • Finalize clear M&E matrix as per UNDG BOS M&E guidelines and OMT establishment priorities.
  • Develop required reporting and tracking tools with a clear link to current electronic Management Information System (eMIS)
  • Develop M&E management arrangements and frequencies

Developing the Annual Work Plan

  • In cooperation with OMT Chair and based on the available information, formulate activities with related costs per output for 2018 as per UNDG template

Develop BOS Narrative/Submission (offsite)

  • Develop the various narrative sections of the BoS in close cooperation with OMT/BOS Technical Team and UN RC Office.
  • The Consultant will edit the final draft version of the document and present to the OMT for their feedback.
  • The Consultant, with OMT Chairpersons and RCO, will facilitate the presentation of draft BOS to the UNCT for review (VCT, Skype Session) and incorporate inputs toward the development of the final draft.
  • This consultancy contract will end after the UNCT approves the final version of the BOS.


Beijing, no need for field travel


The contractor/consultant will be supervised by the OMT Chair through the BOS work team. He/she will report to the OMT Chair who is responsible to approve and accept outputs and performance on behalf of the OMT with support of the BOS work team. During the contract period, the contractor is expected to interact with the OMT various working groups, the RCO and specific UN agencies where necessary.


The BOS development will be conducted in accordance with the principles outlined in the ‘UNEG Ethical Guidelines for Evaluation’. Critical issues that consultant must safeguard include the rights and confidentiality of information provided in the design and implementation of the BOS.

At every stage of the BOS development process, the following principles should be observed:

  • Independence - the consultant should be independent from the operational management and decision-making functions of the UNCT;
  • Impartiality – the BOS information should be free of political or other bias and deliberate distortions;
  • Timeliness – the BOS must be designed and completed in a timely fashion;
  • Purpose - the scope, design and plan of the BOS should generate relevant products that meet the needs of intended users;
  • Transparency - meaningful consultation with stakeholders should be undertaken to ensure the credibility and utility of the BOS;
  • Competencies – the BOS should be developed by well-qualified expert/consultant.
  • Ethics - consultant must have professional integrity and respect the rights of institutions and individuals to provide information in confidence and to verify statements attributed to them;

Quality – The BOS plan should be practical and cost effective. To ensure that the information generated is accurate and reliable, the BOS design, data collection and analysis should reflect professional standards, with due regard for any special circumstances or limitations reflecting the context of the BOS. BOS findings and recommendations should be presented in a manner that will be readily understood by target audiences and have regard for cost-effectiveness in implementing the recommendations proposed.


REQUIRED Competencies

The incumbent will have to demonstrate competencies of working as a team member and team leader.

Professional Competencies:

  • Professionalism:Knowledge and understanding of UN’s operational context in China, particularly in the fields of common services and the Business Operations Strategy. Ability to identify key procedures and issues, conduct data collection, operational analyses and discussions with decision-makers to propose solutions to these issues. Ability to apply sound judgment in the context of assignments given, and work under pressure. Shows persistence and remains calm in stressful situations. Shows pride in work and achievements, demonstrates professional competence and mastery of the subject matter. Responds positively to feedback and different points of view. Conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results.
  • Planning and Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with the terms defined here. Identifies priority activities and assignments, and adjusts them as required. Allocates appropriate time and resources for completing work by foreseeing risks and developing contingency plans accordingly. Monitors and adjusts plans as necessary, and uses time effectively.
  • Accountability: Takes ownership of responsibilities and honors commitments. Delivers assigned tasks within prescribed time, cost and quality standards. Operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules. Takes personal responsibility for his/her shortcomings.


Functional Competencies:


  • Expertise in operational support activities required to ensure high-quality and cost-effective delivery of UN’s development and humanitarian assistance.
  • Experience with holding operational analyses to identify benchmarks on quality and efficiency for inter-agency operations activities, and monitor and implement these activities accordingly.
  • Knowledge of UN’s legal and market context in China, particularly to facilitate UN’s inter-agency harmonization, operational support and procurement activities.
  • Demonstrate strong analytical and strategic thinking skills with ability to conceptualize, articulate, write and debate about relevant issues;
  • Demonstrate ability to lead and manage a team substantively;
  • Ability to identify beneficiaries’ needs, and to match them with appropriate solutions
  • Ability to build and sustain effective dialogue with main constituents, communicate effectively and sensitively across different constituencies;
  • Ability to handle a large volume of work possibly under time constraints.

Required Skills and Experience

Required Skills & Experiences



  • Minimum of 5 years of experience with procurement, logistics or operations having quantitative analysis background and having UN experience.
  • Professional training in, and experience with statistical/operational analyses, and inter-agency procurement activities involving multiple UN agencies.
  • Experience developing the UN BOS for other UN Offices.


  • Excellent proven written and spoken English and presentation skills;
  • Excellent communication and interview skills; interpersonal and teamwork skills;
  • Excellent report writing skills.

Evaluation/SELECTION of the Candidate

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

  • Cover letter explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for the advertised position, a brief a work plan based on the outlined scope, purpose, objective, and methodology and a CV and a personal P-11 form (including past experience in similar tasks and at least 3 references);
  • Financial proposal (including fee, travel cost, DSA, and other relevant expenses).

Lump sum contracts:

The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount, and payment terms around specific and measurable (qualitative and quantitative) deliverables (i.e. whether payments fall in installments or upon completion of the entire contract). Payments are based upon output, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR. In order to assist the requesting unit in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal will include a breakdown of this
lump sum amount (including travel, per diems, and number of anticipated working days).

All envisaged travel costs must be included in the financial proposal. This includes all travel to join duty station/repatriation travel. In general, travel costs should not exceed those of an economy class ticket. Should the individual consultant wish to travel on a higher class he/she should do so using their own resources.

In the case of unforeseeable travel, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon, between the respective business unit and Individual Consultant, prior to travel and will be reimbursed.

Proposal of Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodologies:

Technical Evaluation: (Total obtainable score – 70)

Individual applicant will be evaluated based on a cumulative analysis taking into consideration the combination of the applicants’ qualifications, (phone interview) interview results and financial proposal.

Shortlisting - Individual applicant will be shortlisted based on the following criteria:

  • Master’s degree in operations, finance, auditing, logistics, procurement, management, statistics or development related field preferably with specific focus on international development and humanitarian operations.
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience with procurement, logistics or operations having quantitative analysis background and having UN experience.
  • Professional training in, and experience with statistical/operational analyses, and inter-agency procurement activities involving multiple UN agencies.
  • Experience developing the UN BOS for other UN Offices.

The shortlisted candidates will be evaluated based on the following criteria and informal interview. Technical Criteria - 70% of total evaluation:

  • Demonstrable experience in working in politically sensitive environments and in managing multiple stakeholders (10 marks);
  • Leading the design and conduct of framework and/or outcome reviews of programs (15 marks);
  • Demonstrable ability to analyze and review similar programs in complex situations using relevant tools (20 marks);
  • Demonstrable experience in assessing the application of the five UN Programming Principles: human rights; gender equality; environmental sustainability; RBM; capacity development (10 marks);
  • Demonstrable experience in implementing a range of qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques and methods in programme reviews (5 marks);
  • Ability to effectively communicate and present findings and recommendations in complex situations (10 marks).
  • The technical evaluation of each member will be based on the required skills, experiences and competencies as outlined above, a work plan based on the outlined scope, purpose, objective, and methodology and informal interview.


    Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% marks i.e. 49 marks in the Technical evaluation would be considered for Financial evaluation.

    Financial Evaluation: (Total obtainable score – 30):

    All technically qualified proposals will be scored out 30 based on the formula provided below. The maximum points (30) will be assigned to the lowest financial proposal. All other proposals receive points according to the following
    formula: p = y (µ/z)


  • p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated;
  • y = maximum number of points for the financial proposal;
  • µ = price of the lowest priced proposal;
  • z = price of the proposal being evaluated.

Final Selection:

The final selection will be completed through the cumulative calculation of obtained points from Technical and Financial Evaluation. The highest cumulative scorer will be awarded the contract.

Please add Documents to be included when submitting application & Evaluation Criteria in your TOR;

Documents to be included when submitting application

Please provide Offeror’s Letter and proposal (download the format in the link provided) together with your CV while submitting application. And please note that the system will not accept the uploading of more than one document so please merge or scan all your documents into one prior to uploading.

In the Offeror’s Letter and proposal, you will be asked to confirm your interest and availability for the assignment, and provide technical and financial proposal.

Technical proposal

  • Explaining why you are the most suitable for the work with example/former experience demonstrating your competencies;
  • Provide a brief methodology on how you will approach and conduct the work.

Financial Proposal

Please quote the daily rate for professional fee and others related.

UNDP applies a fair and transparent selection process that will take into account the competencies/skills of the applicants as well as their financial proposals. Qualified women and members of social minorities are encouraged to apply.

Offeror’s Letter and proposal?Download Link:

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