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Consultant for support in Drafting the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) for the period 2022-2026

home-based with expected travel to podgorica

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: home-based with expected travel to podgorica
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
    • Environment
    • Documentation and Information Management
  • Closing Date: 2020-10-26

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The Government of Montenegro and the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Montenegro have launched the process for drafting the new United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF or the Cooperation Framework) for Montenegro (formerly known as United Nations Development Assistance Framework - UNDAF) as the most important instrument for planning and implementation of UN development activities. This document will serve as the next partnership framework between Montenegro and the UN System towards achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The UNSDCF will cover the period 2022-2026 and will be prepared in close partnership with the state authorities of Montenegro, international partners, private sector, civil society organizations and other relevant stakeholders.

In line with the standard UN planning procedures, the process requires preparation of a Common Country Analysis (CCA), with the main objective to analyze the development and human rights context in Montenegro and provide the analytical ground for further deliberation on UN strategic positioning in the host country. As such, the CCA represents UN’s independent, impartial and collective assessment and analysis of the host country that examines progress, gaps, opportunities and bottlenecks vis-à-vis country’s commitment to achieving the 2030 Agenda, UN norms and standards and the principles of the UN Charter. The CCA drafting is currently underway. The process of preparation of the next UNSDCF is preceded by the conduct of the Independent Evaluation of the current Integrated UN Programme for Montenegro 2017-2021 (UNDAF). 

The CCA will be the basis for developing the new Cooperation Framework in accordance with the UNSDCF Internal Guidance (3 June 2019)  and its Consolidated Annexes (24 May 2019) , the complementary Cooperation Framework Companion Package (May 2020) and the UNCT  Montenegro Roadmap, which outlines all the components of the process as well as the timetable for their implementation. The process to develop the UNSDCF 2022-2026 for Montenegro will be supported and facilitated by the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator (RCO) in close coordination with resident and non-resident UN Agencies, and in consultation with the Joint Steering Committee (JSC), as well as other relevant stakeholders, including civil society, academia and private sector. 

In the Q3 of 2021, the CF 2022-2026 is expected to be submitted to the Government of Montenegro for the formal review and endorsement, which would provide the basis for joint UN programmatic implementation as of 2022.

The UN Resident Coordinator’s Office is recruiting an international consultant to facilitate the design/formulation of the 2022-2026 Cooperation Framework for Montenegro.

N.B. The current strategic framework of the UN System in Montenegro is the Integrated UN Programme for Montenegro 2017-2021. This document is aligned with the national priorities of joining the EU and implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This document outlines UN support in four areas: social inclusion, democratic governance, environmental sustainability and economic governance. Progress on implementation of relevant programmes has been tracked on an annual basis by the Joint Country Steering Committee (co-chaired by the UN Resident Coordinator and the Minister of Foreign Affairs) and evaluated.

Duties and Responsibilities

Objective of the Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework

The Cooperation Framework shall be reflective of the country context and its specific needs and priorities within implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. By adopting the integrated programming approach, it will address core programming principles in a holistic manner and integrate the key UN programming principles throughout all stages. By adopting an integrated and multidimensional programming approach—in line with the “five P’s” of the 2030 Agenda (people, prosperity, planet, peace and partnerships) —the Cooperation Framework will identify how working on and advancing one SDG can maximize synergies and positive impacts and manages potential trade-offs. As the central transformative promise of the 2030 Agenda, leaving no one behind will be used as the rights-based framework that represents the unequivocal commitment of all United Nations Member States.

Objective of the Assignment

The overall objective of the assignment is to define the next Cooperation Framework scope between the UN and the Government of Montenegro for the period 2022-2026 against the national priorities and the Agenda 2030.

To that end, the consultant is expected to firstly, analyze the overall country context against the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs using the existing UN and non-UN analytical secondary sources. Primarily, the consultant is expected to base its work on the information and analysis provided in the Final Evaluation of the current UNDAF (2017-2021), Common Country Analysis, and several other key UN and non-UN documents.

Secondly, under the overarching principle of ‘Leave No One Behind’ and in consideration of the concrete programming principles and requirements as stipulated in the new Cooperation Framework’s guidelines, the consultant is expected to: 1) facilitate the overall consultation and prioritization process, including foresight exercise and 2) under the UNCT guidance and leadership, develop the 2022-2026 Cooperation Framework for Montenegro, including Theory of Change (in close consultation with the Task Team), the narrative part as well as the supporting matrices. In parallel and following the strategic prioritization process, at least 2 agencies – UNDP and UNICEF will draft the agency specific country programme documents (per the above-mentioned guidelines). While the CPDs will derive from the Cooperation Framework, synergies and coordination in the processes will be ensured throughout. 

The expert will work under the overall guidance from the UN Resident Coordinator and Heads of Agencies in close collaboration with the CCA/CF Task Team, coordinated by the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office.

Job content

Under the guidance of the UN Resident Coordinator, and overall supervision of the Head of the RCO, the selected consultant will be responsible for preparation, implementation and administration of the assignment, which includes but is not limited to:

  • Desk review and development of Inception Report outlining consultant’s approach to work, action plan and timeline;
  • Formulation of CF 2022-2026 Theory of Change, Results Framework and other Cooperation Framework sections in line with the CF Guidance Outline and UNCT/Partners strategic inputs. The process will entail
  1. Facilitating UN Strategic Prioritization and Validation processes – in consultation with UN, all partners - to identify and formulate strategic priorities and related development results (outcomes/outputs) to invest collective efforts, capacities, and resources (methodology to include foresight or other similar innovative planning tools)
  2. Regular communication and coordination with the RC, UN RCO, UNCT, and CF Task Team, including conduct of online discussions and facilitations as needed;
  3. Provision of quality assurance of the process and inputs provided by the RC/UNCT, Task Team/Result  Groups, including identification of gaps and areas for improvement against the corporate guidelines;
  4. Integration of all comments (RC/UNCT, PSG, Result Groups; Government of Montenegro, other stakeholders)
  5. Submit the final UNSDCF document that is accepted and approved by the RC and JSC.
  6. Development of a presentation of the Cooperation Framework or other visualization products.

Throughout the process, the consultant will rely on the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator and the UNCT for support and advice. The RCO will facilitate contacts with UNCT via e-mail or online platforms when necessary. Consultations throughout the process will be encouraged to ensure identification of appropriate priorities.

The UN RC Office and all agencies, using available support and resources from Regional Offices and HQ as relevant, will make available all necessary documents for review in the context of this exercise.

Under the leadership of the RC, the Cooperation Framework will be prepared using the Outline in Annex 17 of the Cooperation Framework Companion Package Consolidated Annexes:

Joint Statement and Signature PageExecutive SummaryChapter 1: Country Progress Towards the 2030 AgendaChapter 2: UN Development system support to the 2030 Agenda2.1. From CCA to Cooperation Framework Priorities2.2. Theory of change for the Cooperation Framework Priorities2.3. Cooperation Framework Outcomes and PartnershipsChapter 3: Cooperation Framework Implementation Plan3.1. Cooperation Framework Governance3.2. Cooperation Framework Management Structure3.3. Resourcing the Cooperation Framework3.4 Derivation of UN entity country programming instruments from the CF3.5.  Joint Workplans3.6. Business Operations Strategy in support of the Cooperation Framework

Chapter 4: CCA update, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Plan4.1. Updates of the UN common country analysis4.2. Monitoring implementation of joint work plans4.3 Annual performance review and Country Results Reporting4.4. Evaluation plan



The approach of the assignment shall be participatory and inclusive ensuring full participation and ownership from the UNCT and national stakeholders. The assignment will be initiated through a desk-review of the existing and relevant UN guidelines, timelines and outlines for the Cooperation Framework process and required products. The initial phase will include remote consultations with the RC/UNCT and key selected partners on the process and the proposed methodology itself.

The engagement of the consultant will continue during the early 2021 with initial consolidation of 0-draft of set of priorities and outcomes, to continue with design and validation of the entire Cooperation Framework document based on the comments and feedback stemming from the validation sessions as well as the Peer Support Group (PSG) review process.The final draft 2022-2026 Cooperation Framework is expected to be submitted to the Government of Montenegro for the formal review and endorsement process and the official signing in Q3 2021.In terms of the structure, the 2022-2026 Cooperation Framework document will follow the standardized outline as provided in the newly approved guidelines for preparation of the Cooperation Frameworks and companion pieces.

Deliverables and timing

The assignment will be for 45 working days during 1 November 2020 – 30 July 2021.



1.   Desk Review and Inception Report

- Desk review and development of a brief Inception Report outlining the consultant’s approach to work, including the action plan and timeline

10 November 2020

- RC/UNCT agreement of plan

15 November 2020

2.    Strategic Prioritization Process- Phase 1

- Facilitation of the Strategic Prioritization exercise

-  Based on their understanding of situation, UN agencies undertake scoring of problems/challenges

-  UNCT review and discussion

- 0 draft of Theory of Change

- 0 draft Priorities and Outcomes- Based on feedback from UNCT a zero draft set of priorities and preliminary outcomes with indicators are prepared for further review, discussion, and refinement

- Identify a reference group of Government partners, share the short list of priorities – identified by UNCT to kick-start discussions – and have a dedicated (online)consultation to present and receive their feedback


December – mid February 2021

3.   Designing the Cooperation Framework- Phase 2

- Preparation of the final Results Framework

- Preparation of the first draft Cooperation Framework document

30 March 2021

4.    Finalization of the document

- Integration of comments (RC/RCO/UNCT/PSG/GoM/other stakeholders) to draft Cooperation Framework document

- Finalization of Theory of Change

- Preparation of the final draft Cooperation Framework document





30 June 2020

- Finalization of the Annexes

July 2021

The Consultant payment shall be made in four instalments of:

  • 20% upon submission of the inception report and implementation plan as specified in the deliverables of this ToR
  • 20% upon submission of the finalized draft of the Results Framework and summary of 2022-2026
  • Cooperation Framework following the collaborative UNCT foresight and prioritization exercise;
  • 20% upon submission of the finalized draft of the 2022-2026 Cooperation Framework document
  • following the validation exercise;
  • 40% upon submission of the final 2022-2026 Cooperation Framework document, including integration of final comments, including the PSG review process.

TravelConsultancy services will be performed as a combination of (i) home-based work (desk research, compilation of inputs, peer-review of the document, and similar), (ii) facilitation of discussion and consultations in an online setting, as needed and (iii) support in presentation of findings to relevant UN staff and, potentially, partners.

Travel to Podgorica, Montenegro (10 days in late January/early February tentatively) is expected, should epidemiological situation allow it. If not, all the tasks will need to be adjusted in order to be performed in an online setting due to the current Covid-19 restrictions.

ReportingThe consultant will be accountable to the Office of the Resident Coordinator.

Management arrangements

United Nations Country TeamIn line with the adopted Roadmap for preparation of the 2022-2026 Cooperation Framework, the UNCT, under the leadership of the UN Resident Coordinator, provides the overall strategic oversight and guidance for the entire process, including participation in the visioning and prioritization as well as validation sessions. The UNCT will guide the Result Groups and the consultant with preparation of the Cooperation Framework and review/endorse the first and final drafts of the Cooperation Framework.CCA/CF task teamCCA/CF task team will be responsible for technical support and contributions to the process of preparation of the Cooperation Framework. This will imply provision of data, research and required analysis as well as participation in all the related consultations sessions, in coordination with their respective joint working/results groups.  The CCA/CF task team will also be responsible for reviews of the draft versions of the Cooperation Frameworks at various stages, in consultation and coordination with the consultant.

Office of the UN Resident CoordinatorRCO will be responsible for the overall coordination and daily management of the assignment. It will also provide guidance, data and analytical support as well as quality assurance in consultation and coordination with the UNCT and Result Groups. The responsibility of the RCO will also include facilitation and coordination of the inputs by the UNCT and Result Groups into the Cooperation Framework. The RCO will also manage the administrative and logistical aspect of the assignment as well as liaison with the consultant and the PSG on behalf of the UNCT.


  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting;
  • Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Demonstrates good oral and written communication skills;
  • Demonstrates ability to manage complexities and work under pressure, as well as conflict resolution skills;
  • Ability to synthesize complex issues drawing synergies and linkages between development issues (governance, inclusive growth, human rights, poverty, financing, social inclusion, environment, etc.);
  • Ability to work with, and analyse data, using appropriate tools/computer programs (Excel, SPSS, STATA, online survey tools or similar) to present findings. 

Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced University degree in international development, economics, social sciences or related field; MA required, PhD an asset;


  • A minimum of 10 years of professional experience specifically in the area of international development initiatives in working with development organizations;
  • Extensive knowledge of and experience in systems thinking and applying, qualitative and quantitative analytical methods; Ability to identify beneficiaries’ needs, and to match them with appropriate solutions – demonstrated in at least 3 initiative;
  • Technical competence in undertaking complex analysis which involve use of mixed methods; 
  • Knowledge of UN role, UN reform process and UN programming at the country level, particularly strategic programming; Familiarity with the 2030 Agenda and SDG related processes.
  • Excellent writing and analytical formulation skills with demonstrated experience in preparing strategic and programming documents or similar analytical documents – at least 2 engagements of similar nature;
  • Strong understanding of the development and political context and working experience in the closer region;


  • Fluency in English, both written and spoken;

Criteria for selection:

Combined Scoring method will be used. When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract should be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as: (i) responsive, compliant, acceptable, and (ii) having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

  • Technical criteria weight - 70% (Background and education 10%; Relevant previous experience 20%; Substantial knowledge/Required competencies 30%; Required language 10%);
  • Financial criteria weight - 30%.

Only offerors obtaining a minimum 490 points for technical criteria will be considered for the financial evaluation. For more information on procurement methodology for Individual Contractors, please refer to Procurement Notice.

Application procedure:

Interested applicants are requested to submit their applications by October 26, 2020 by using the Apply now button. The application should contain CV or P11 that can be downloaded at Please note that UNDP jobsite system allows only one uploading of application document, so please make sure that you merge all your documents into a single file.

Only the short-listed applicants will be contacted and requested to submit a letter of interest including a price quotation indicating the lump sum (in EUR) requested for the work envisaged in the section "Description of Responsibilities".

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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