0094746_National and International UN Volunteer Entitlements Methodology review

  • Added Date: Friday, 03 July 2020
  • Deadline Date: Friday, 31 July 2020

Background and Context

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Programme intends to recruit an international consultant to review current methodologies for establishment and periodic review and adjustments of the national and international UN Volunteersโ€™ entitlements ย such as living allowances, family, wellbeing, expert differentials, resettlement allowances, and entitlements and advise on the changes to the current methodologies, taking into account practical experience of UNV, cost of living, and a policy rationale of Volunteer Living Allowances (VLA), current developments for compensation of UN personnel, which is intended to sustain a secure standard of living in line with United Nations standards for the UN Volunteer, the UN system duty of care for the UN affiliated personnel as well as considering entitlements of international volunteer involving organizations.ย 

Project Information

Project Title

UN Volunteer Solutions

Corporate outcome and output

Outcome 2 Strategic Framework

Expected project outcome

Review, establish and validate national and international UN Volunteer entitlements to sustain a secure standard of living in line with United Nations standards.


Global corporate outreach

Date project document signed

Volunteer Solutions Section annual workplan for 2020 โ€“ output 00118480 approved on 13 December 2019

Project dates

1 January to 31 December 2020

Projet budget


Project expenditure at the time of evaluation


Funding source

Volunteer Solutions Section budgetary allocation

Implementing Agency

United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Programme

The mobilization of UN Volunteers is core to UNVโ€™s mandate and has constituted the bulk of the organisationโ€™s activities since its establishment in 1971. From a modest volume, operations have grown overall and for the past years, the yearly number of national and international UN Volunteers has been 7,300 โ€“ 8,300.

In order to remain relevant UNV needs to ensure that volunteer entitlements are adapted to changing realities. It also requires that the service provisions for UN Volunteers in all its aspects is reviewed and modernized regularly.

Part of the overall service provisions for national and international UN Volunteers is the Conditions of Service (COS). A major revision of these was introduced in 2015 for international UN Volunteers, and in 2017 for national UN Volunteers. The 2015/2017 revisions followed a comprehensive analysis of policy aspects of the COS as well as a thorough comparative analysis of the main COS elements offered by UNV and a number of partner organisations engaging with national and international volunteer service.

To remain relevant and up to date in an ever-changing environment, documents such as Conditions of Service require regular updates. Such an update has been planned to take place in 2020 with an aim for a merged Conditions of Service that should include a reviewed and validated Volunteer Living Allowance base rate and all related emoluments for all UN Volunteers categories, including Family Allowance, Expertise Differential, Well-Being Differential, and Resettlement Allowance. ย 

A Working Group was established to review the parameters of the Conditions of Service, including the VLA. This resulted in guiding principles for a review of the UN Volunteer entitlements methodologies.

The main guiding principles to shape UN Volunteer entitlement methodology:

  • Global base rate for international UN Volunteer while noting differentials may be introduced, labour market substitution, and other criteria that may be explored such as in which life stage one becomes a UN Volunteers;
  • National UN Volunteer VLA methodology;
  • Expertise Differential for UN Expert Volunteers;
  • Well-Being Differential of UN Volunteers serving in locations where living conditions are substantially below those conditions in family-duty stations are provided a Well-Being Differential to offset the diminished standard of living of UN Volunteers serving in hardship duty stations;
  • Family allowances that assist with the added burden of dependents joining the duty station as well as exploring what responsibility UNV has to those who leave their dependents to become a UN Volunteer; and
  • A solid methodological basis and equity-based rationale for a UN Volunteer living allowance applicable for UN Volunteers to sustain a secure standard of living in line with United Nations standards.

As the VLA and related allowances comprise a substantial portion of the proforma costs of a UN Volunteer assignment, it is imperative to avoid an adverse reaction to a massive increase in proforma.ย  The UN Volunteer living allowances methodology should be a) fully costed for all types of UN Volunteers (youth, university, community, specialists, experts); and b) validated with the main UN entity partners.

It is against this background that UNV intends to recruit a consultant to review current methodologies to establish a revised UN Volunteersโ€™ living allowances and advise on the changes to the current methodologies, taking into account experience of UNV, as well as other volunteer organizations in this area.

Duties and Responsibilities

Purpose, Scope and Objectives

The main objective of the consultancy service is to review and recommend an appropriate national and international UN Volunteers living allowances methodology including family related allowances, differentials, and end of service lump sums. It shall cost and present these recommendations in terms of proforma and validate them with the main UN entity partners of UNV. Specifically, the following are the expected deliverables

Deliverable 1: Review and recommend an appropriate national and international UN Volunteers VLA methodology, adjustments procedures and related benefits computation, including family related allowances, well-being and expert differentials and resettlement allowances.

1.1.ย  ย  ย  ย In close consultation with the Volunteer Solutions Section pillars, review and analyse the current and previous national and international volunteer living allowances methodology, family related allowances, well-being, expert differentials, resettlement allowances and periodic revision methodologies, analysis of impact on the new methodology on UN Volunteer modality including costing, review of the internally developed recommendations and discussion papers and presentations.ย 

1.2.ย  ย  ย  ย Develop a set of recommendations for management consideration with options on the national and international VLA, family, well-being, expert differentials and resettlement allowances computation methodologies, building on 1.1. above and experience of other comparable international and volunteer involving organizations.

Deliverable 2: Validate the revised national and international UN Volunteers living allowances computation and revision methodology.

2.1ย ย ย ย ย ย  Review and analyse report on the impact of roll-out of the current UN Volunteer living allowances computation and revision methodology based on internal stakeholders and main UN entity partners input, including incorporating feedback for alternative recommendations. Hold several consultations with key internal and external stakeholders and design a roll-out strategy/roadmap.

2.2.ย ย ย ย ย  Advise on the appropriate roll-out period of the rates given by the new computation methodology and possible transition arrangements based on host entities operational requirements and UNV contractual obligations.


During this exercise, it is suggested the consultant applies a mix of qualitative and quantitative approaches. The following are elements of proposed data collection and analysis.

  • Desk review of relevant documents Evidence Brief for Policy Re-Imagining, the UN Volunteer Conditions of Service Framework, Technical COS and implementation, UN Volunteer Conditions of Service, International Civil Service Commission methodological basis for establishing base rates for UN staff, UNV Market Research, evaluation report and methodological notes from previous UN Volunteer entitlements reviews, including Volunteer Reporting;
  • Briefings and consultations with Regional Offices and selected Field Units, Volunteer Solutions Team including with the Digital Transformation Project Team, Volunteer Services Center, Executive Team
  • Remote / online validation with main UN entity partners with support of New York Office and Regional Offices
  • Remote / online debriefing sessions on findings and recommendations with the UNV Management Team, Executive Team, and the Volunteer Solutions Team

The detailed design, including and review matrix to link the review criteria and questions with data collection methods and sources of data, shall be developed by the consultant during the inception phase.

Project Evaluation Deliverables and Timeline:


Expected outputs/key deliverables


Estimated days ย 


Desk review of relevant documents (Evidence Brief for Policy Re-Imagining, the UN Volunteer Conditions of Service Framework, Technical COS and implementation, UN Volunteer Conditions of Service, International Civil Service Commission methodological basis for establishing base rates for UN staff, UNV Market Research, evaluation report and methodological notes from previous UN Volunteer entitlements reviews, including Volunteer Reporting, etc.)


5 days


Briefing in person with the Executive Team, Volunteer Solutions Section, Digital Transformation Project Team, Volunteer Service Center and Regional Offices


1 day


Inception Report with costing (5-10 pages max) to be produced before the validation starts: Desk review; inception report to include methodology, costing, and a detailed interview plan for stakeholder validation


10 days


Validation conducted: Consultations among key internal and external stakeholders as requested by Executive Team conducted with PowerPoint webinars


10 days


Debriefing on preliminary findings
with Executive Team members and the Volunteer Solutions Section


2 days


Draft Report (10-20 pages including PowerPoint): Draft evaluation report is compiled, drafted and consolidated. Costing information is provided.


20 days


Consultation/Verification/ Presentation: Electronic peer review of draft evaluation report by Regional Offices and selected Field Units, Volunteer Solutions Team including with the Digital Transformation Project Team, Volunteer Services Center, Executive Team and other relevant internal stakeholders conducted

Issues/ comments log produced


15 days


1 day (within)


Final Report (10-20 pages including methodological framework, costing, roadmap and accompanying PowerPoint): the report is finalized including comprehensive list of recommendations by integrating all relevant comments of the electronic peer review and the Management Team presentation


10 daysย 


Presentation of the Final Report and Road Map to UNV Management Team


1 day

The consultancy work is expected to be completed within three months and a half from the date of contract signature. The consultant is required to prepare and submit the entire plan in a way that allows the achievements of all deliverables to be completed within one and a half month.

Review Management

This review is commissioned by the Volunteer Solutions Section (VSS). UNVโ€™s Executive Office and the UNV Office of UN Affairs in New York will initiate stakeholder consultations, provide guidance and quality assurance throughout the review process


Corporate Competencies:

  • Integrity, professionalism and respect for diversity.

Functional Competencies:

  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills, demonstrated ability to build trust;
  • Excellent organizational, teambuilding and planning skill;
  • Analytical minded with an ability to provide solutions to complex problems.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effective in team, delivering through and with others.

Required Skills and Experience

Required Skills and Experience

Academic Qualification:

  • University degree at post graduate level in the social sciences, human resources, business administration, management or other relevant field of study;


  • A minimum of 10 years of experience in compensation analysis and design, salary and/or living allowance preferably in multinational organizations and in an international context
  • Advanced quantitative and qualitative analysis and problem-solving skills
  • Proven research, investigative interview, analytical and advisory experience
  • Strong written, verbal, and technical skills
  • First-rate organizational skills and ability to work independently, multi-task, and meet deadlines
  • Excellent presentation and report writing skills;
  • Familiarity with UNV and experience within the UN system would be an advantage;
  • Knowledge of UN Volunteer living allowance methodologies is a distinct advantage.


  • Fluency in written and spoken English is essential, knowledge of other UN languages is desirable


Criteria for Selection of best offer

The selection of the best offer will be based on the combined scoring method โ€“ where the qualifications and methodology will be weighted โ€“ 70% and combined with the price offer which will be weighted 30%.

Key evaluation criteria:

  • Proposed approach and working experience in the field of compensation review, including living allowance component (35%)
  • Proven experience in conducting similar review (15%)
  • Proven analytical skills (10%)
  • Proven experience in volunteering for development (10%)

Application procedure

Interested candidates are advised to carefully review this ToR and ensure that they meet the requirements and qualifications described above. Qualified women and members of social minorities are encouraged to apply. Due to the large number of applications we receive, we are only able to inform the successful candidates about the outcome or status of the selection process.

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications

  • Motivation Letter describing their interest in the assignment and why they are the most suitable for the work;ย Please paste the letter into the "Resume and Motivation" section of the electronic application.
  • Latest personal CV,ย including past experience from similar projectsย and at least three references
  • Technical proposal shall describe the methodology and the approach and a plan on how the required deliverables will be achieved within the 75-day period as well as outline the major components of its implementation
  • Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability-please fill in the attached formย ย https://popp.undp.org/_layouts/15/WopiFrame.aspx?sourcedoc=/UNDP_POPP_DOCUMENT_LIBRARY/Public/PSU_%20Individual%20Contract_Offerors%20Letter%20to%20UNDP%20Confirming%20Interest%20and%20Availability.docx&action=default);ย . The financial proposal shall consist of all-inclusive lump sum in USD for the whole duration of the contract period ย andย shall include the daily consultancy fee.ย  Any output or activity described in the technical proposal, but not priced in the financial proposal shall be assumed to be included in the prices of other activities and items as well as in the final total price.The lump sum/contract price is fixed regardless of subsequent changes in the cost components.


Any queries should be sent in a separate e-mail and addressed to: procurement@unv.org clearly markingย 0094746_National and International UN Volunteer Entitlements Methodology reviewย in the subject line

How to Submit the Application:

To submit your application online, please follow the steps below:

  • Merge your Cover Letter, CV, Technical Proposal and Letter toย UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability (including the financial proposal) into a single file. The system does not allow for more than one attachment to be uploaded;
  • Click on the Job Title (job vacancy announcement);
  • Click โ€œApply Nowโ€ button, fill in necessary information on the first page, and then click โ€œSubmit Application;โ€
  • Upload your application/single file as indicated above with the merged documents (underlined above);
  • You will receive an automatic response to your email confirming receipt of your application by the system.

This vacancy is archived.

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