International Consultant for Management Advisory Services for EU/UNDP Black Sea Project: “Improving Environmental Monitoring in the Black Sea, Phase 2 – EMBLAS II”

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

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The Black Sea is one of the most vulnerable regional seas in the world given its limited exchange of water with the open oceans and the large area of continental Europe from which it receives the drainage. The four strongly interlinked priority trans-boundary problems of the Black Sea are eutrophication – nutrient enrichment, changes in marine living resources, chemical pollution (including oil), and biodiversity/habitat changes, including alien species introduction – as well as the underlying root causes like industrial activities, agriculture, domestic wastewater, sea transport (oil spills, ballast water), and coastal zone degradation (urbanisation, tourism). The Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution (Bucharest Convention) addresses these problems through enhanced cooperation among its signatories. The development/improvement of a monitoring network and data collection to provide for ecosystem-based and knowledge-based decision-making is considered to be a management target of high priority. Further coordination in policies and legislation between the Black Sea countries is of common interest in the region and specifically to the EU’s partners countries, which are also members of the Black Sea Commission (BSC).  The proper monitoring influences ability of the EU Accession countries to comply with EU legislation and policies, notably the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). 
The overall objective of the project is to help improve the protection of the Black Sea environment. This objective will be pursued through the implementation of those initiatives that were elaborated and planned during the preparatory phase of this project (EMBLAS-I) and the first part of the implementation phase of the project (EMBLAS-II; April 2014 – November 2016).
The specific objectives are as follows: i) to improve availability and quality of Black Sea environmental data in line with the MSFD and Black Sea Strategic Action Plan 2009 (BS SAP 2009) needs; ii) to improve partner countries’ ability to perform marine environmental monitoring along MSFD principles, taking into account the Black Sea Diagnostic Report II recommendations on capacity building.

The main results to attain the mentioned objectives are: 

  • Implementation of the provisions of the Bucharest Convention on scientific and technical cooperation and monitoring advanced;
  • Establishment and implementation by the Black Sea Commission of a coordinated regional marine environment monitoring programme – further development of Black Sea Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Programme (BSIMAP) in line with the MSFD and the BS SAP 2009 supported;
  • Capacities of the relevant national authorities to carry out marine environmental monitoring in the Black Sea along MSFD principles increased;
  • Revised monitoring programmes tested (including those in the open sea and with the development of a network of regional reference stations and transects to trace transboundary environmental problems);
  • Quality assurance and quality control procedures in field and laboratories systematically applied;
  • Environmental data management capacities improved and data quality control enhanced; 
  • BSIS further developed and data products in support of informed decision-making in the Black Sea environmental protection provided;
  • On-line Black Sea Monitoring Catalogue and Manual with monitoring specifications agreed and used;
  • Sharing of marine environmental information between Black Sea riparian countries facilitated and enhanced;
  • Harmonisation of marine environmental practices further advanced;
  • Regional cooperation at basin level strengthened;
  • Public awareness about the need of high quality marine environmental data increased;
  • Projects results widely incorporated in decision-making and cooperation of ongoing projects facilitated through a web-based platform and with the BSC participation.

The following activities are carried out in the Phase 2 of the project – EMBLAS-II:

  • PA 1. Support at the implementation of countries’ obligations under the Bucharest and other related Conventions and Agreements;
  • PA 2. National Pilot Monitoring Studies (NPMS) – Development and implementation of NPMS for testing and harmonisation of developed by EMBLAS-I drafts of cost-effective National Black Sea Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Programmes (N-BSIMAPs) in accordance with reporting obligations under the WFD, MSFD and BSIMAP;
  • PA 3. Large scale implementation of training and intercomparison programmes on monitoring methods and quality assurance adhering to the ISO 17025 standard;
  • PA 4. Joint Open Sea Surveys (JOSS) – Implementation of the Joint Black Sea Surveys methodology along the lines of the MSFD, WFD and BSIMAP;
  • PA 5. Upgrade and operation of the web-based Black Sea Water Quality Database;
  • PA 6. Dissemination of knowledge and best practices, public awareness and visibility;
  • PA 7. Management and coordination of the project.

The project will strengthen capacities of the respective national authorities for biological and chemical monitoring of the Black Sea, taking into consideration the requirements of EU water related legislation (EU WFD and MSFD). Significant effort will be put into training and other capacity building activities. In order to promote ownership, engagement of local experts and organisations is foreseen. 

Home based, with travels in the Black Sea region for the project meetings and particularly to Odessa project office as needed (approximately one mission per month with duration of 3 days). The project is implemented in Georgia, Russian Federation and Ukraine.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Project Management Advisor will provide advisory services related to development of monitoring programmes, methodologies, trainings and pilots data management tools (including data quality control), testing of indicators and methodologies, assessments preparation and dissemination of knowledge/capacity building. He/she will work under the direct supervision of the UNDP Regional Technical Advisor for International Waters, who has have the overall supervision role on the project from the UNDP side.  
The Expert will guide the other international, national experts and partner organizations working on the project, as well as closely cooperate with the relevant UNDP staff – Project Assistant and Water Programme Analyst from UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub.
In detail, the Project Management Advisor will have the following tasks in the project:

  • In the Project Activity 1, the consultant will advise on the preparation of documents related to the compliance indicators, Good Environmental Status (GES) Methodology, Reference conditions and environmental targets, as well as on activities related to MSFD implementation in the context of the EU Association Agreements of Ukraine and Georgia;
  • In the Project Activity 2 and the Project Activity 4 the consultant will contribute to the implementation of the second round of the Joint Black Sea Surveys 2017 consisting of National Pilot Monitoring Studies (NPMS) and Joint Open Sea Surveys (JOSS) in 2017, considering the results and lessons learned from the surveys organized in 2016;
  • In the Project Activity 3, the consultant will actively participate in planning of capacity building, training programmes and harmonisation exercises on biology,chemistry and marine litter;
  • In the Project Activity 5, the consultant will be responsible for guiding the development of the online databases – for water quality, Mnemiopsis and Phytoplankton and preparation of relevant manuals;
  • In the frame of the Project Activity 6 the consultant will contribute to the visibility actions of the project, participate at relevant events and press-conferences, to ensure proper presentation of the project and its results;
  • In the Project Activity 7 the consultant will provide input to the regular donor reporting to the EC, as well as support reporting required by UNDP. In addition, the consultant will contribute to the drafting ToRs for the short-term experts, ToRs amendments of the project partner organizations and substantively support the procurements within the project.

The consultant will prepare several deliverables in cooperation with the project experts, within the following time frame and payment schedule:

January 2017 (25% of payment)

  • Final Draft of the Technical Report from the Joint BS Surveys organised in summer 2016, including the data interpretation; 
  • Organisation of the Evaluation meeting for the surveys, possibly back to back with the Project Steering Committee;
  • Proposal of the training programme/capacity building activities for 2017;
  • Input to the ToRs for short-term experts (database, economy, etc.);
  • Workplan for 2017 – for the Project Steering Committee.

June 2017 (25 % of payment)

  • Revised version of the NPMS Manuals for Ukraine, Georgia and Russian Federation;
  • Revised version of the JOSS Manual;
  • Revised ToRs of the partner organizations, in line with the project workplan and actual needs;
  • Summary of comments, contributions provided to the documents prepared under PA 1 (Compliance indicators – if requested, GES Methodology, etc.).

December 2017 (25% of payment)

  • Coordination of the NPMS and JOSS (planned in Aug/Sept 2017), guiding preparation of relevant Technical Reports;
  • Draft Annual Progress Report for the EC, covering period August 2016 – July 2017;
  • Report on the preparation of online databases for Mnemiopsis and Phytoplankton.

May 2018 (25% of payment)

  • Technical Report from the Joint Black Sea Surveys 2017;
  • Project Final Report;
  • Project Exit Strategy;
  • Preparation of the documents for the Final Project Steering Committee.

The assignment will require travel in the region, upon request by UNDP (to be covered separately as per UNDP rules and regulations). The consultant is expected to work closely with UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub, with the staff, responsible for the project implementation.


Functional competencies:

  • Excellent communication and management skills and demonstrable capacity to lead a multi-national team and to work with governmental institutions;
  • Demonstrated ability to develop strategies and work plans to accomplish objectives, empower others to translate visions and efforts into results, identify strategic issues, opportunities and risks and devise timely and effective responses;
  • Openness to change and ability to receive/integrate feedback;
  • Ability to work under pressure and stressful situations;
  • Strong analytical, reporting and writing abilities.

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling 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 favoritism;
  • Fulfills all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment.
Required Skills and Experience

Academic Qualifications/Education: 

  • Minimum Master Degree in chemistry, chemical oceanography, hydrobiology, environmental/natural sciences or environmental engineering.


  • At least 3 years of demonstrable experience and a proven track record is required in the field of implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) or the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and other EU Directives;
  • Experience with transposition, implementation or enforcement of the EU environmental legislation, particularly the EU WFD or MSFD is required;
  • At least 5 years of management experience in projects of similar size and complexity with multidisciplinary teams related to water environment or integrated water resources management (IWRM), having team-leader position;
  • Working experience in international projects related to research and development in the area of water quality monitoring, at least in one of the following: in chemical or biological monitoring or  monitoring programmes development, related data collection and data management – database development, Quality Assurance / Quality Control (QAQC) processes, monitoring methodologies and guidelines preparation, monitoring surveys; 
  • Relevant experience in the beneficiary countries of the Black Sea is a strong asset.

Language skills:

  • Excellent writing, editing and oral communication skills in English; 
  • Working knowledge of Russian is an asset. 

Evaluation of Applicants:
Individual consultants will be evaluated based on a cumulative analysis taking into consideration the combination of the applicants’ qualifications and financial proposal.
The award of the contract should be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical (P11 desk reviews and interviews) and financial criteria specific to the solicitation. 

Only candidates who will get at least 70% of points in each step of the process (desk review and interviews) will be considered for financial evaluation.

Technical Criteria – 70% of total evaluation – max. 70 points:

  • Criteria A – academic qualification / education – max points: 5;
  • Criteria B – general professional experience in EU environmental acquis (WFD and MSFD) – max points: 10;
  • Criteria C – experience in projects of similar size and complexity with multidisciplinary teams related to water environment or integrated water resources management (IWRM), having team-leader position – max points: 15;
  •  Criteria D – experience in international projects related to research and development in the areas of water quality monitoring: in chemical or biological monitoring or monitoring programmes development, related data collection and data management – database development, Quality Assurance / Quality Control (QAQC) processes, monitoring methodologies and guidelines preparation, monitoring surveys – max points: 15;
  • Criteria E – relevant experience in the Black Sea region – max points: 5;
  • Criteria F – language, writing skills (publications)  max points: 10;
  • Criteria G – interview (technical and communication skills) – max points: 10.

Financial Criteria – 30% of total evaluation – max. 30 points.

Application procedures:

Qualified candidates are requested to apply online via this website. The application should contain:

  • Cover letter explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for the advertised position. Please paste the letter into the “Resume and Motivation” section of the electronic application. 
  • Filled P11 form including past experience in similar projects and contact details of referees 
  • (blank form can be downloaded from ); please upload the P11 instead of your CV. 
  • Financial Proposal* – specifying a total lump sum amount in USD for the tasks specified in this announcement. The financial proposal shall include a breakdown of this lump sum amount (number of anticipated working days, and any other possible costs). Missions related costs should NOT be included as they will be covered separately as per UNDP rules.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials.

*Please note that the financial proposal is all-inclusive and shall take into account various expenses incurred by the consultant/contractor during the contract period (e.g. fee, health insurance, vaccination, personal security needs and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services…). All envisaged travel costs must not be included in the financial proposal..  These costs will be covered separately as per UNDP rules and regulations.

Payments will be made only upon confirmation of UNDP on delivering on the contract obligations in a satisfactory manner. 

Individual Consultants are responsible for ensuring they have vaccinations/inoculations when travelling to certain countries, as designated by the UN Medical Director. Consultants are also required to comply with the UN security directives set forth under
General Terms and conditions as well as other related documents can be found under:

Qualified women and members of minorities are encouraged to apply.
Due to large number of applications we receive, we are able to inform only the successful candidates about the outcome or status of the selection process.