Background Information – Job-specific
Financial stability is crucial to the robustness and sustainability of the Palestinian Authority (PA), its ability to govern well, and the overall welfare of Palestinian society. As one of the core issues of the Office of the Quartet (OQ), we work with the parties and international partners to facilitate ongoing PA–GoI dialogue related to Annex IV of the Interim Agreement, governing economic relations between the PA and Israel (the “Paris Protocol”).
The Paris Protocol covers a range of economic sectors and establishes a mechanism for Palestinian-Israeli
economic consultation and tax collection. The Protocol explicitly mentions five economic sectors (labour,
agriculture, industry, tourism and insurance
A comprehensive review of the Paris Protocol, and in particular performance of its trade, taxation, monetary relations, and labour elements.
The OQ seeks a consultant (hereinafter the “Consultant”) with demonstrated experience and knowledge in economics law, public policy, and knowledge of trade relations to complete a comprehensive assessment.
The consultant will prepare a paper that situates the Paris Protocol in the present political, legal and economic context and will recommend a constructive path forward to tangibly improve economic relations. The paper will reflect on actual implementation, and indeed realistic implementability of the Protocol, and will thoughtfully recommend potential updates to provisions.
The OQ has set a target for completion of the work product by mid-April 2023. The shortlisted candidates will be required to provide technical and financial proposal later during the recruitment process.
Expected Output The Consultant shall perform the following activities and provide the following information in their production of this paper:
Undertake a desk review of past studies on the Paris Protocol and related issues to establish a comprehensive understanding of the existing challenges that are preventing the full implementation of the Protocol.
Based on a defined question framework, to interview key stakeholders about (inter alia) the impacts of operating in the present Paris Protocol paradigm, progress on meaningful implementation, what solutions they propose and why. Engagement of stakeholders must reflect a balanced survey of positions of key figures of the relevant ministries and government agencies within both GOI and PA, as well as the informed positions of academic experts, diplomatic and international organisations, and other applicable national experts and institutions, necessary to produce a well-rounded and evidenced analysis.
Where available and relevant to evidence such positions, to secure reproducible empirical data that supports the positions held by stakeholders.
Assess overall substantive progress on implementation of the Paris Protocol in realising the dual goals: “to enhance the parties’ interest in peace and to strengthen the Palestinian economy”, as well as where we are today with implementation.
Undertake a comprehensive analysis of key provisions of the Protocol through an economic and legal lens with a view to establishing an objective appraisal of progress on areas including (inter alia) those of Joint Economic Committee (Article II), Import Taxes and Import Policy (Article III); Monetary and Financial Issues (Article IV), Direct Taxation (Article V), Indirect Taxes on Local Production (Article VI) and Labour (Article VII).
Within the relevant sections of the paper, also consider issues including (inter alia) the following:
enabling cost-effective importation of petroleum products;
customs authority arrangements and modalities between the PA and GOI;
measures and mechanisms improve VAT clearance between PA and GOI;
mechanisms for improved transparency and efficiencies in handling of clearance revenues deductions, including those made for utilities and other sectors;
examination of practice and opportunities for tax collection from Palestinian businesses in Area C;
review the framework for salary deductions applied to Palestinian labour in Israel;
opportunities to combat smuggling and illicit trade impacting the economy;
optimising of key banking cash management arrangements.
Article II of the Protocol establishes the Joint Economic Committee (the “JEC”). The JEC’s Mandate is to follow up on the implementation of the Protocol and decide on any issues that may arise. The JEC may also establish sub-committees to cooperate on issues specified in the Protocol. Neither the JEC, nor any of its sub-committees, has been in session since 2009. This has resulted in many pressing economic issues not being resolved or agreed upon, such as the periodic revision of the quantities of the A1 and A2 list of goods. Examine past practice of, and consider revisions to the mandate, structure, operation, and rules governing the Joint Economic Committee.
Maintain a detailed record of notes on engagement with stakeholders and reference materials used.
Perform other tasks that are relevant for this assessment; to be included in the detailed Contract prior to engagement.
The contract will include completion of the following deliverables, according to the following timeframes:
An inception meeting between the Consultant and the OQ (by video conference/ in-person) ahead of the Consultant commencing the scope work.
A comprehensive inception report (not longer than 10 pages, excluding annexes) completed by the Consultant and shared with the OQ containing at least the following points:
an outline that includes the basic cases to be made out/ thesis on each area of progress/non-progress on implementation of the Protocol, as well as on each area for proposed revision;
a presentation of the approach to be applied during data collection and analysis;
a stakeholder consultation plan outlining how and on what matters stakeholders will be consulted, including the list of intended stakeholders from the GoI and PA, academia, civil society, international and diplomatic organisations.
An initial outline of the final report’s structure.
First draft of first half of report (introductory and retrospective issue sections) to be shared by the Consultant to the OQ for feedback.
Feedback and remarks on first draft of first half of report, if any, provided by the OQ to Consultant
First draft of second half of report (prospective issues and remaining sections) to be shared by the Consultant to the OQ for feedback
Feedback and remarks on first draft of second half of report, if any, provided by OQ to Consultant
consolidated and edited draft produced and submitted by consultant to OQ for further comments
In addition to meeting notes, the Consultant may be asked to share with the OQ reference materials including verifiable citations, raw and processed qualitative and quantitative data, questionnaires, etc.
Final clarifications and remarks on consolidated report and reference materials from OQ to consultant if any, provided by OQ to Consultant.
Final clarifications and remarks, if any, incorporated by consultant to OQ, as required.
The Assessment will be considered complete when the Final Draft Assessment has been approved by OQ.
At least a Master’s level is required preferably in law, economics, public policy, international trade, taxation, or a similar field.
Bachelor’s Degree preferably in law, economics, public policy, international trade, taxation, or a similar field may be accepted in combination with 2 additional years of experience.
At least 7 years’ experience working on issues of diplomacy, international relations, economics, international trade, or a similar field;
demonstrated experience in trade facilitation and both public and private sector engagement is required.;
experience in advising senior government officials on trade related issues at an international level is highly desired.
First-hand experience with international trade agreements negotiations and drafting is desired;
strong knowledge and understanding of international trade agreements and arrangements as well as engagement with senior government officials e.g., Ministers is crucial to this role. This experience can be gained by exposure to international organisations, or the international aspects of a private sector entity is highly desired; and
excellent knowledge of the trade arrangements between the Palestinian Authority and Israel is highly desired.
Organisation Skills and Abilities:
ability to both prepare high-quality persuasive written documents and key concepts in English and to and verbally present in English is required.
excellent communication skills and ability to establish trusted engagement with stakeholders;
sound judgment, political sensitivity and ability to consistently work in a professional manner in dealing with culturally diverse individuals at all levels, both internal and external to the organisation;
must be able to compromise and focus on developing collaborative solutions;
demonstrable skills in research and analysis, with solid quantitative and qualitative analytic skills; keen attention to detail, data accuracy and data presentation;
ability to work independently and in teams; ability to interact with senior representatives across a range of organisations; flexible as tasks and priorities shift; respect and proven ability to work and strive in a multicultural environment;
time management skills: strong time management skills and abilities which are critical for successful management of projects and initiatives; and
other: demonstrated competence with using standard office software packages (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.).
Excellent command of written and spoken English is required.
Knowledge of Arabic and Hebrew is desirable.
Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.
Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.
Contract type, level and duration
The contract for this position will be issued by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) on behalf of its Client the Office of Quartet pursuant to an agreement between both parties whereby the successful candidate’s contractual rights and responsibilities will be managed by the Office of Quartet (OQ) office and not by UNOPS.
Contract type: A home based Retainer contract with frequent travel to Jerusalem /West Bank when needed- International Individual Contract IICA or Local Individual Contract LICA
Contract level: ICS 11/ IICA 3
Contract duration: 3 months, The assignment should end by mid April 2023.
For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:
Please note that UNOPS does not accept unsolicited resumes.
Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process, which involves various assessments.
UNOPS embraces diversity and is committed to equal employment opportunity. Our workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities. UNOPS seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce.
Qualified women and candidates from groups which are underrepresented in the UNOPS workforce are encouraged to apply. These include in particular candidates from racialized and/or indigenous groups, members of minority gender identities and sexual orientations, and people with disabilities.
We would like to ensure all candidates perform at their best during the assessment process. If you are shortlisted and require additional assistance to complete any assessment, including reasonable accommodation, please inform our human resources team when you receive an invitation.
Terms and Conditions
For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post.
For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (they take around 4 hours to complete) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS. For more information on a retainer contract here.
All UNOPS personnel are responsible for performing their duties in accordance with the UN Charter and UNOPS Policies and Instructions, as well as other relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, all personnel must demonstrate an understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a manner consistent with UN core values and the UN Common Agenda.
It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential personnel. Recruitment in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.