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Consultancy – Research Assistant, SPE/BPPS/UNDP

Home Based - May require travel

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Remote | Home Based - May require travel
  • Grade: Consultancy - International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
    • Administrative support
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2022-12-02


UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP's policy work carried out at HQ, Regional and Country Office levels, forms a contiguous spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan.

Within the GPN, the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP's Strategic Plan. BPPS's staff provides technical advice to Country Offices, advocates for UNDP corporate messages, represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private dialogues, government and civil society dialogues, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas. BPPS works closely with UNDP's Crisis Bureau (CB) to support emergency and crisis response. BPPS ensures that issues of risk are fully integrated into UNDP's development programmes. BPPS assists UNDP and partners to achieve higher quality development results through an integrated approach that links results-based management and performance monitoring with more effective and new ways of working. BPPS supports UNDP and partners to be more innovative, knowledge and data driven including in its programme support efforts.

Embedded in the GPN/BPPS, the Strategic Policy Engagement Unit (SPE) sits at the intersection of the organisation’s expertise on economic and finance issues, global policy making and international cooperation, and SDG implementation. This perspective enables horizon-scanning and the identification and analysis of emerging opportunities and challenges. Accordingly, it allows for cutting-edge research, for contributing and facilitating development debates – thus advancing UNDP’s thought leadership, strategic partnerships and strengthening policy coherence in line with the 2030 Agenda.

SPE works in close collaboration with all the technical teams in BPPS, providing integrated programme guidance and support, as well as with the Global Policy Centers and CB, forging coherence around UNDP's work on cross-cutting issues and to ensure that policy development remains relevant to challenges being faced on the ground.


SPE within BPPS is responsible for the following:

  • Analysing future-oriented macro and micro trends that shape sustainable development and the achievement of the SDGs (scenarios, disruptions, horizon scanning, emerging challenges) to advance UNDP’s contribution to global policy debates and the implementation of UNDP’s Strategic Plan.
  • Applying strategic foresight and assessing lessons learnt on finance and means of implementation for the 2030 Agenda (fiscal space, finance for development, trade, international cooperation, digital, science and technology, multilateralism and multi-stakeholder approaches) to inform UNDP’s service offer as “integrator” and “arrowhead” of the UN development system
  • Leveraging GPN network, advancing UNDP’s thought leadership, build academic/policy partnerships, launch GPN policy briefs.

Fostering strategic engagement with the IMF, World Bank, G20, UN Sustainable Development Group including DESA, World Economic Forum, Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development and other key financial and economic counterparts to advance UNDP’s positioning in key global development processes and fora.

Duties and Responsibilities


The Consultant – Research Assistant will support the team’s work on empirical, quantitative research on the following area:

Quantitative analysis and simulations using microdata and aggregate (country-level) indicators related to green energy transitions and cost-of-living:


i.Cleaning and management of countries’ household survey data and welfare distributions.

ii.Implement quantitative analysis on the welfare and distributional effects of external shocks (inflation, pandemics, climate-related events, etc.) and design of households’ compensation mechanisms.

iii.Implement global, regional, and country-level simulations related to cost-of-living crisis, economic forecasts, human development trends, and decarbonization pathways.

iv.Implement global and regional quantitative analysis on convergence around decarbonization decoupling GDP from CO2 emissions.

v.Conceptual and quantitative work on gaps and challenges of building social protection, including trade-offs between protecting jobs versus incomes, and critical socioeconomic and fiscal analysis on the building blocks of the ‘future of context-specific social protection’.

vi.Elaboration of analytical inputs (simulations, regressions, literature review, and data visualization) for presentations and reports.

vii.Drafting of policy reports based on the quantitative analysis described above and development of analytical materials for training in microsimulation approaches.


Expected outputs and deliverables:


  • Month 1 (January 2023). Results of microsimulation of the effects of energy inflation on poverty and ‘energy relief’ compensation scheme in Moldova
  • Month 2 (February 2023). Complete policy report on the poverty effects of energy inflation in Moldova.
  • Month 3 (March 2023). Quantitative analysis on the future trajectories of decoupling and decarbonization with a global and regional focus
  • Month 4 (April 2023). Complete draft of a working paper on ‘Decarbonization Divergence’ which uses quantitative analysis on future decoupling trajectories.
  • Month 5 (May 2023). Summary report of cost-of-living microsimulation exercise for Mozambique
  • Month 6 (June 2023). Summary report of tax-benefit microsimulation exercise for Mozambique
  • Month 7 (July 2023). Results of simulation on the distributional consequences of energy transitions via fossil-fuel subsidies removal
  • Month 8 (August 2023). Complete draft of a working paper on the distributional consequences of energy transitions across the developing world.
  • Month 9 (September 2023). First draft of a working paper with literature review on social protection systems across the world, including history, approaches, components, and political economy concerns.
  • Month 10 (October 2023). Second draft of working paper with policy review on social protection systems across the world, including expenditure, fiscal space, what components and approaches work best and where, and what does not work.
  • Month 11 (November 2023). Final draft working paper on the future of social protection systems with policy recommendations.

Month 12 (December 2023). Complete set of materials for an online training module on microsimulation tools.


The Consultant – Research Assistant must have the following:

  • Knowledge of analytical tools, literature, and methods for undertaking substantive conceptual and empirical research on socioeconomic and sustainable development, impacts, and policy implications.
  • Ability to analyse data to derive relevant findings on the areas of interest.
  • Ability to apply findings to strategic and/or practical situations.
  • Knowledge of global developmental trends. 
  • Ability to prepare high-quality reports and briefs in English.

Required Skills and Experience

Academic qualifications:

  • Minimum advanced university degree in economics, development economics, international development, development studies.



  • Minimum of 1 year of relevant work experience in quantitative analysis and research support on development, inclusive growth, poverty, social development, and sustainable development issues is required
  • Excellent communication and drafting skills are required
  • Ability to work across a broad range of thematic areas.



  • Fluency in written and spoken English is required;
  • Working knowledge of another UN language would be an asset


Application Procedure

The application package containing the following (to be uploaded as one file):

  • A cover letter with a brief description of why the Offer considers her/himself the most suitable for the assignment;
  • Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects and specifying the relevant assignment period (from/to), as well as the email and telephone contacts of at least three (3) professional references;


Note: The above documents need to be scanned in one file and uploaded to the online application as one document.


Shortlisted candidates (ONLY) will be requested to submit a Financial Proposal.

  • The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount, and payment terms around the specific and measurable deliverables of the TOR. Payments are based upon output, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR, and deliverables accepted and certified by the technical manager. 
  • The financial proposal must be all-inclusive and take into account various expenses that will be incurred during the contract, including: the daily professional fee; (excluding mission travel); living allowances at the duty station; communications, utilities and consumables; life, health and any other insurance; risks and inconveniences related to work under hardship and hazardous conditions (e.g., personal security needs, etc.), when applicable; and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services under the contract.
  • This consultancy is a home-based assignment, therefore, there is no envisaged travel cost to join duty station/repatriation travel. 
  • In the case of unforeseeable travel requested by UNDP, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon, between UNDP and Individual Consultant, prior to travel and will be reimbursed. In general, UNDP should not accept travel costs exceeding those of an economy class ticket. Should the IC wish to travel on a higher class he/she should do so using their own resources.
  • If the 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 a 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 Financial Proposal is to be emailed as per the instruction in the separate email that will be sent to shortlisted candidates.



Evaluation process

Applicants are reviewed based on Required Skills and Experience stated above and based on the technical evaluation criteria outlined below.  Applicants will be evaluated based on cumulative scoring.  When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract will be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Being responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation where technical criteria weighs 70% and Financial criteria/ Proposal weighs 30%.


Technical evaluation - Total 70% (70 points):

  • Criteria 1. Relevant academic qualification for the specific assignment Weight = 25%; Maximum Points: 25;
  • Criteria 2. Relevant professional experience in inclusive growth, poverty, social development, and sustainable development. Weight = 25 %; Maximum Points: 25; and
  • Criteria 3. Professional experience in drafting of working papers and policy reports based on quantitative analysis including microsimulation related to above areas of work Weight = 20 %; Maximum Points: 20;

Candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% (49 points) of the maximum obtainable points for the technical criteria (70 points) shall be considered for the financial evaluation.


Financial evaluation - Total 30% (30 points)

The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal:

p = y (µ/z), where

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


Contract Award

Candidate obtaining the highest combined scores in the combined score of Technical and Financial evaluation will be considered technically qualified and will be offered to enter into contract with UNDP.


Institutional arrangement

The consultant will work under the guidance and direct supervision of George Gray Molina and will be responsible for the fulfilment of the deliverables as specified above.


The Consultant will be responsible for providing her/his own laptop.


Payment modality

Payments are based upon output, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified above and deliverables accepted and upon certification of satisfactory completion by the manager.


Annexes (click on the hyperlink to access the documents):

Annex 1 - UNDP P-11 Form for ICs

Annex 2 - IC Contract Template

Annex 3 – IC General Terms and Conditions

Annex 4 – RLA Template


Any request for clarification must be sent by email to 


The UNDP Central Procurement Unit will respond by email and will send written copies of the response, including an explanation of the query without identifying the source of inquiry, to all applicants.

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.