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Applicant Information & FAQs
A. The ESCWA consultant recruitment process
1. What is the ESCWA Expert Knowledgebase and why should I apply?
- The ESCWA Expert Knowledgebase is an online database containing information on experts who possess proven expertise in an area of relevance to the work programme and strategic priorities of ESCWA.
- ESCWA refers to the Expert Knowledgebase whenever it requires the services of a consultant. Consultancy contracts can only be awarded to experts from within the Knowledgebase. As such, applying to the Knowledgebase is the only way for you to be considered for a consultancy assignment with ESCWA.
2. Who is eligible to apply?
- National, regional and international professionals with proven expertise in different aspects of human development are eligible to apply. Knowledge and firsthand experience in the countries of the ESCWA region is an advantage.
- ESCWA places no restriction on the nationality, ethnicity, gender or any other background of the candidate; women are encouraged to apply.
3. What expertise is ESCWA looking for?
- ESCWA typically looks for expertise not found within the organization and which responds to a specific need. The areas of expertise sought are diverse and may change over time.
- In your application, you will be requested to identify your main area of focus and your specific areas of expertise.
4. What is the difference between Main Area of Focus, Areas of Expertise and Skills?
- The Main Area of Focus is the general area of proficiency (e.g. economic development, social development, etc.) that Consultants identify themselves with. Each applicant can have only one Area of Focus.
- Areas of Expertise are divided into 13 categories and 228 sub-categories. These are the substantive areas of expertise that consultants have acquired through education and experience (e.g. Climate change mitigation, fiscal policy, social protection, etc.). Each applicant can select up to 12 sub-categories of expertise.
- Skills are the competencies that are independent of areas of expertise (e.g. Facilitation of meetings, evaluation, training, etc.). Each applicant can select up to 5 skills.
5. When are consultancy assignments advertised?
- Vacancies for consultancy assignments may be advertised when ESCWA cannot identify the required expertise in the Expert Knowledgebase. Calls for consultants are advertised on the Vacancies page on ESCWA’s website (http://www.escwa.un.org/main/vacancies/main.asp) and may include:
- General calls for consultants: Occasionally and as needed, ESCWA will launch a campaign to expand its pool of consultants in the Expert Knowledgebase. These campaigns will target experts in all or selected areas of ESCWA activity.
- Specific announcements: In instances where a specific and timely need for a consultant arises and no suitable candidates are found in the Knowledgebase, ESCWA will issue a specific announcement in the form of detailed terms of reference. These announcements have a closing date (deadline for application), which is typically two weeks after the issuance date.
6. What is the scale of fees that ESCWA gives to consultants?
- The fees will depend on the qualifications of the selected consultant, the nature of the assignment and the expected workload (which may be measured in work-hours, days, weeks or months).
- Typically, the hiring manager would be limited by the budget earmarked for the activity during the design/planning phase. As such, and depending on the consultancy at hand, the responsible Division will communicate the proposed fee to the shortlisted candidate.
B. Filling an application in the ESCWA Expert Knowledgebase
1. What will I need before filling the application?
Before starting your application process, please have the following information at hand:
- An e-copy of your updated CV
- 2-3 work /publication samples
- 2-3 references
- An electronic photo (optional)
Scanned copy of your national passport, indicating name, date of birth and validity of the document (will only be required when you are issued a contract)
- You will be able to save your application mid-way and resume it later as needed prior to submission.
2. What happens after I have applied to the Expert Knowledgebase?
- Once you have completed your application to the Expert Knowledgebase, it will be reviewed by the relevant office at ESCWA against a set of defined criteria. Only candidates found suitable will be included in the Expert Knowledgebase, and become eligible for future recruitment as ESCWA consultants. You will receive an e-mail, typically within two weeks after completion of your application, notifying you of the status of your application.
- As the need for a consultant arises, the concerned substantive Division will consult the Expert Knowledgebase for a list of suitable experts, who will then be contacted to explore their willingness and availability to undertake the assignment at hand. A consultant would subsequently be contracted according to specific terms of reference.
- Membership in the Expert Knowledgebase does not: constitute an offer of employment, guarantee future recruitment, or imply a preferential position compared to other candidates.
3. Why can’t I log in to the Expert Knowledgebase?
- If you receive the error message ‘incorrect login or password’, there may be an issue with either your password or the user name you have entered. Please ensure that you use the password you have initially selected when you created your profile.
4. What do I do if I forget my password?
- If you have forgotten your password, you can receive a new one through the “forgot password” link available at the login page. Just enter your registered email address and instructions for setting a new password will be sent to you.
5. How do I change my registration details?
- You can update and change all your details when you log in via the “edit” function of your profile. Even information such as passwords and emails can be updated in the section called “account”. We encourage you to update your profile every six months.
- Periodic e-mail reminders will be sent to all members of the Knowledgebase reminding them to update their academic information and work history.
6. How do I access the Expert Knowledgebase?
- At the present time, membership in the Expert Knowledgebase is by invitation only. However, ESCWA does plan general calls for consultants as well as specific vacancy announcements, as the need arises. At that time, the Knowledgebase will be made available through relevant links in the Vacancies page of ESCWA’s website (http://www.escwa.un.org/main/vacancies/main.asp).
7. Why is my data not saving?
To ensure your personal data is saved, a number of mandatory fields must be completed depending on the section in the Profile. The mandatory fields have a red star next to them and must be completed in order to continue with the registration. You can monitor the percentage of completion of required data on the right hand menu.
- We encourage you to complete ALL sections in your profile as an incomplete profile will decrease the chances of being short listed for future consultancy assignments.
8. Why do I have to attach my CV if I have already entered all necessary data?
- Your CV or P-11 is typically more elaborate, and will cover your professional information in more detail than what is provided in the Profile. If you are shortlisted for a particular assignment then the concerned ESCWA substantive division can refer to your CV for further detail.
9. How do I review my completed profile?
- You can review your profile by clicking on the “view” button when you log in to the Expert Knowledgebase.
10. What should I do if I experience technical difficulties?
- Should you experience technical difficulties during the application process, please send a brief description of the difficulty faced using the “Contact Us” link found at the bottom of the screen.
C. Privacy and accuracy of information
1. Privacy notice statement
Although provision of information is on a voluntary basis, a minimum set of information is required in order to ensure applications are complete and allow for comparative assessment of potential consultants.
ESCWA will use the information only for the purpose of establishing an Expert Knowledgebase and will not share this information with any third party without prior consent of the applicant.
- All ESCWA staff will be able to view your Profile; however, only Managers of relevant projects and Human Resources Section staff would have access to your personal information such as date of birth and contact details.
2. Statement of accuracy of personal information
- Information provided in this application is expected to be truthful and accurate. Changes to any of the information provided should be reported by updating your application accordingly.