Framework Agreement for 10 Consultants to Support Application of UNDP’s Social and Environmental Standards in the Environmental Vertical Funds Portfolio
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 is carried out through a network of advisors and specialists located at HQ, Regional and Country Office levels, to ensure that local knowledge and context specific expertise is linked to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP provides its policy advisory and programme support functions through the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains, 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 and works closely with the Crisis Bureau (CB) that has the responsibility to guide and implement UNDP’s corporate crisis-related strategies and vision for crisis prevention, response and recovery.
In line with its Strategic Plan, UNDP supports countries to eradicate poverty and reduce inequalities and exclusion through five inter-related areas of environment and climate work: (i) sustainable management of ecosystem goods and services; (ii) scaling up of climate change adaptation and mitigation; (iii) sustainable, affordable and accessible energy services; (iv) sustainable management of chemicals and waste; (v) improved water and ocean governance. These areas of work are fully aligned with the four environmental outputs of the Strategic Plan and are financed through various sources including the Global Environment Facility, Green Climate Fund, and other bilateral/multilateral donors.
The Social and Environmental Standards (SES) underpin UNDP’s support to sustainable development. The objectives of the standards are to:
- Strengthen the social and environmental outcomes of Programmes and Projects
- Avoid adverse impacts to people and the environment
- Minimize, mitigate, and manage adverse impacts where avoidance is not possible
- Strengthen UNDP and partner capacities for managing social and environmental risks
- Ensure full and effective stakeholder engagement, including through a mechanism to respond to complaints from project-affected people
A key mechanism to ensure these standards are applied is through UNDP’s project-level Social and Environmental Screening Procedure (SESP), which is a requirement for all proposed projects. The objectives of the SESP are to: (a) integrate the SES Overarching Principles (human rights, gender equality and environmental sustainability); (b) identify potential social and environmental risks and their significance; (c) determine the Project's SES risk category (Low, Moderate, High); and (d) determine the level of assessment and management required to address potential social and environmental risks and impacts. All guidance on UNDPs Social and Environmental Safeguards can be found in the SES Toolkit.
The Social and Environmental Safeguards consultants will support the UNDP-GEF team, and staff in Country Offices, during the development and implementation of projects. The consultants will report to the Results and Evaluation Senior Advisor in the BPPS/EF Directorate.
Duties and Responsibilities
The UNDP-EF Unit is seeking the services of up to ten (10) consultants who offer high quality technical support to projects both under development and implementation.
This support is needed to ensure that select projects under development avoid potential social and environmental risks, and, when avoidance is not possible, to ensure that proper assessment(s) will be conducted and management measures put in place; and that select projects under implementation are adhering to their Environmental and Social Management Plan/Framework (ESMP/ESMF) and otherwise fully complying with SES in the course of their activities.
For projects under development, the assignment will include screening Project Documents to identify potential environmental and social risks, recommending ways in which to avoid such risks through project design and site selection, and developing sound project-specific management measures and plans consistent with the requirements of the SES. These might include Environmental and Social Impact Assessments, Environmental and Social Management Plans, Environmental and Social Management Frameworks, and stand-alone management plans (e.g. Indigenous Peoples Plan).
For projects under implementation, the assignment will include the implementation and/or monitoring of the ESMP and/or other management plans, the preparation of Terms of Reference (TORs) or specifications for project components of moderate or high risk, the review of the subsequent proposals/tenders, and the review of the given product for compliance with SES. In some cases, impact assessments and management plans will be developed during project implementation.
In addition, and as needed, the assignment will also include support to UNDP staff and partners in the form of training and development of knowledge products. This might involve drafting of Guidance Notes, preparing and/or presenting webinars/presentations, carrying out analyses, and other such tasks. All documentation will be prepared in full compliance with UNDP’s SES.
The outputs and responsibilities listed below are representative, and in no way exhaustive. Specific TORs will dictate the scope of work for each assignment.
Output 1: SES Screenings, Assessments & Management Plans
- Prepare full screening (SESP) at development or implementation stages;
- Identify any potential environmental and social risks that may require additional specialized expertise or other considerations;
- Undertake baseline data collection and prepare impact assessments (Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA), targeted assessment, etc. as identified through SESP screening;
- Conduct remote and/or on-the-ground data collection;
- Prepare assessment reports with all supporting documents/technical chapters/evidence, as appropriate;
- Prepare management plans (ESMF, ESMP, Indigenous Peoples Plan, etc.) as identified through SESP screening and as informed by SES assessments.
Output 2: Oversight support
- Review draft and final assessment reports, management plans and other documentation produced during project implementation, to ensure they meet technical standards and requirements;
- Advise on new social and environmental risks or changes to project risk categorization;
- Advise on ad hoc safeguards matters as they arise during design or implementation, including re-structuring of projects;
- Undertake oversight missions.
Output 3: Training & knowledge products
- Develop new technical training materials;
- Provide training to UNDP staff and partners on relevant technical issues;
- Identify technical capacity needs in UNDP and propose solutions;
- Develop new technical guidance;
- Undertake other ad hoc tasks.
All deliverables must fully align with UNDP's Social and Environmental Standards (SES), and associated guidance documents.
Consultants involved in the design of a specific project cannot be assigned to tasks associated with the implementation (or oversight) of that same project.
All potential conflicts of interest must be avoided.
The payment method will be defined within the TOR of each assignment under this ICFA.
Information on Working Arrangements:
- Estimated level of effort including travel: approximately 173 working days over 12 months for each consultant. Maximum working days over the 3-year period would be 521 days per consultant;
- UNDP does not warrant that any quantity of services will be purchased during the term of the Framework Agreement, as this will depend on forthcoming needs and good performance;
- IC as a Framework agreement is non-exclusive (i.e. it does not prohibit UNDP from entering into another such framework agreement with another individuals or entities);
- The Framework Agreement will be for a fixed all-inclusive daily fee;
- Once the Framework Agreement is signed, if there is a specific assignment, the focal person(s) at UNDP would contact the Consultant by email informing him/her of the specific assignment, deliverables, and timeline;
- The consultant must advise within 48 hours whether s/he is available to deliver the requested service;
- Thereafter a Purchase Order will be raised. Financial commitments will only be established each time the services are requested within the scope of the Framework Agreement through the transmitted email and purchase order;
- The consultant will work from home;
- The Consultant will report to, and be directly supervised by, the UNDP-EF Results and Evaluation Senior Advisor based in New York;
- The Consultant will be given access to relevant information necessary for execution of the tasks under this assignment;
- The Consultant will be responsible for providing her/his own workstation (i.e. laptop, internet, phone, scanner/printer, etc.) and must have access to reliable internet connection;
- Given the global consultations to be undertaken during this assignment, the consultant is expected to be reasonably flexible with his/her availability for such consultations taking into consideration different time zones;
- Payments will be made upon submission of a detailed time sheet and certification of payment form, and acceptance and confirmation by the Supervisor on days worked (with a “day” calculated as 8 hours of work) and outputs delivered. If the quality does not meet standards or requirements, the consultant will be asked to rewrite or revise (as necessary) the document before proceeding to payment.
- Missions to several countries, in all regions, with an estimated duration of 10 days each might be required;
- Any necessary mission travel must be approved in advance and writing by the Supervisor;
- The BSAFE course must be completed before the commencement of travel;
- Individual Consultants are responsible for ensuring they have vaccinations/inoculations when traveling to certain countries, as designated by the UN Medical Director;
- Consultants are also required to comply with the UN security directives set forth under https://dss.un.org/dssweb/;
- The consultant will be responsible for making his/her mission travel arrangements in line with UNDP travel policies;
- All travel expenses related to mission travels will be supported by the project travel fund and will be reimbursed as per UNDP rules and regulations for consultants. Costs for mission airfares, terminal expenses, and living allowances should not be included in financial proposal.
- Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
- Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
- Treats all people fairly without favouritism.
- Demonstrates strong technical expertise in social and environmental standards and principles;
- Excellent skills related to stakeholder engagement;
- Experience designing and/or implementing social and environmental safeguards at the project level.
- Able to communicate effectively in writing to a varied and broad audience in a simple and concise manner.
- Capable of working in a high- pressure environment with sharp and frequent deadlines, managing many tasks simultaneously;
- Excellent analytical and organizational skills;
- Exercises the highest level of responsibility and be able to handle confidential and politically sensitive issues in a responsible and mature manner.
- Works well in a team;
- Projects a positive image and is ready to take on a wide range of tasks;
- Focuses on results for the client;
- Welcomes constructive feedback.
Required Skills and Experience
- Master’s degree in field related to international development, environmental science, anthropology or similar field. [pass/fail]
- At least 8 years of experience related to social and environmental impact assessment and management [max. 18 points];
- Relevant expertise in one or more of the following thematic areas: [max. 40 points]
- Human Rights;
- Peoples with Disabilities;
- Community Health, Security and Safety;
- Cultural Heritage;
- Displacement and Resettlement;
- Indigenous Peoples;
- Labour and Working Conditions.
- Relevant experience in one or more of the regions in which UNDP works (Africa, Asia and Pacific, Arab States, Europe & the CIS, and Latin America & the Caribbean) [max. 10 points].
- Excellent oral and written communication skills in English language (Pass/Fail);
- Fluency in another UN language, especially French or Spanish, is an advantage [max. 2 points].
- Only those applications which are responsive and compliant will be evaluated. Incomplete applications will not be considered;
- Offers will be evaluated according to the Combined Scoring method – where the technical criteria will be weighted at 70% and the financial offer will be weighted at 30%;
- The technical criteria (education, experience, language [max. 70 points] and interview [max. 30 points]) will be based on a maximum 100 points. Only candidates that have achieved a minimum of 49 points from the review of education, experience and language will be considered for the interview;
- Candidates obtaining 21 points or higher in the interview will be deemed technically compliant and considered for financial evaluation;
- Financial score (max 100 points) shall be computed as a ratio of the proposal being evaluated and the lowest priced proposal of those technically qualified;
- The financial proposal shall specify an all-inclusive daily fee. In order to assist the requesting unit in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal must additionally include a breakdown of this daily fee (including all foreseeable expenses to carry out the assignment);
- Top 10 applicants receiving the Highest Combined Score and have accepted UNDP’s General Terms and Conditions will be awarded the contract.
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