International Consultant for In-Depth comparative analysis of sustainable cashmere initiatives in Mongolia

Location : Ulaanbaatar, MONGOLIA
Application Deadline :18-Aug-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Management
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :60 working days - home based
Expected Duration of Assignment :60 working days

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.


Different Sustainable Cashmere Initiatives are currently operating in Mongolia (see UNDP supplier side analysis in Annex for an initial comparison). These sustainability initiatives are at different stages of developing some of the key features of sustainability initiatives/ Voluntary Standards Schemes which may include all or some of the following: Standards, Assurance model, Governance, Business Model, Supply Chain and Traceability Systems, M&E mechanisms, Capacity Building, Incentives or Claims Framework. Looking at the potential for alignment, recognition and collaboration in the early days provide significant opportunities to minimise duplication of efforts, reduce confusion for herders, companies, or the government but also reducing the likelihood of potential complex benchmarking exercises in the future.

This study aims to provide the necessary space to explore the potential (and building the business case) for close collaboration rather than committing directly to future mutual recognition – as more information is needed first before being able to fully commit to collective action. The intention of this exercise is nonetheless to elevate current practices according to international and national best practices. In particular, the international consultant is expected to provide recommendations on how to stimulate improvements according to the ISEAL existing code of good practice.

* ISEAL is the global membership association for credible sustainability standards.

Duties and Responsibilities

For this comparative analysis, UNDP is requiring a team of 2 experts recruited separately. The international consultant selected will be required to complete the following tasks in close coordination and collaboration with the national consultant:

 -        In-depth comparison of different sustainable cashmere initiatives in Mongolia – with a particular focus on alignment with ISEAL code of practices (August 2020);

  • Lead the development of a set of initial recommendations for future recognition pathways and collective action – see guidance below on what would be expected (Sept 2020);
  • Virtually present key findings and draft recommendations in Mongolia - conduct participatory process to build consensus and shared vision (Oct 2020);
  • Develop a draft shared vision letter of intent, list of 4-5 common outcomes-based indicators, and “benchmarking tool” in collaboration with partners (Oct-Nov 2020)
  • Final report/proposal (November 2020)

Building on the initial comparative analysis conducted in Mongolia in 2019 the following initiatives will be compared by the team of consultants:

  • Sustainable Fibre Alliance (SFA)
  • Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) – Program on Sustainable and Wildlife-Friendly Cashmere Value Chain 
  • Agronomes et Vétérinaires Sans Frontières – Sustainable Cashmere (AVSF)
  • The Nature Conservancy – Community-led Grassland Management
  • Mongolian Noble Fibre trademark (a government and ADB initiative)
  • Responsible Nomads Cashmere and Wool sustainability system developed by SDC Green Gold Animal Health Project (GG AHP) and being handed over to the Mongolian National Federation of PUGs

In addition, it is proposed for the consultant to explore with a “lighter touch” similar initiatives on cashmere outside of Mongolia such as in China as there might be useful learning to extract despite the very different context (e.g. farmed cashmere):

  • Aid by Trade Foundation – “Good Cashmere Standard”
  • Other initiatives as appropriate (e.g. work conducted by ICCAW International Cooperation Committee of Animal Welfare

Detailed information can be found in the Terms of Reference (TOR), which is available in the following link:

If you meet the qualifications of the announced vacancy, please submit the following documents by the deadline 18 August 2020 11:00a.m. Ulaanbaatar time (GMT+8). Incomplete and late applications will be excluded from further consideration.

When submitting your application, it can be made in electronic submission to

Personal CV or P11 application form, 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.

  • Brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment.
  • Technical proposal/proposed work plan and methodology on how they will approach and complete the assignment.
  • Sample/reference in English of the previous written work of relevance (paper, strategy, report, analysis, etc.)
  • Financial proposal that indicates the all-inclusive daily professional fee in USD according to the template provided "Template for Confirmation of Interest and Availability". Note: Proposal must be indicated in USD (United States Dollar)


Corporate competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Advanced degree (Master’s Degree or equivalent) in Management, Business Administration, Environmental and other Social Science or related field;
  • Minimum 5 years of experience working on business analyses, market analyses, environmental program analyses, or similar nature requiring high-level of analytical, structural thinking.
  • Experience with ISEAL codes of good practice (preferred, but not mandatory– at a minimum detailed understanding of the codes);
  • Strong technical background and understanding of standards, certification and scheme governance.
  • Strong understanding of political sensitivity.
  • Experienced facilitator encouraging full participation, promote mutual understanding and cultivates shared responsibility.
  • Need to be a content-neutral party who, by not taking sides or advocating a point of view, can advocate for fair, open and mutually beneficial outcomes with the different initiatives.
  • Demonstrated ability to deliver projects on time and within budget.
  • Having a prior assignment of a similar nature and complexity, comparing organizations, programs, projects, business models and/or markets will be highly desirable.
  • Demonstrated experience of producing a high-quality document on an issue area of a similar nature.
  • Demonstrated experience using research results to communicate in public.
  • Excellent communications and facilitation skills.
  • Fluent English (written and oral).

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