Call For Experts For A USAID-Trade Facilitation Program In Vietnam – Stage 1, International Development
April 6 2020
Nathan Associates Inc. (Nathan), a U.S. based international development consulting firm, is seeking to build a pool of mid and senior level technical experts for a development cooperation program in Vietnam funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Nathan is a leading provider of economic and management consultancy services worldwide. We have been implementing successful projects in the South East Asia region for over 30 years.
The program will help Vietnam adopt and implement a risk management approach to modernize and expedite customs procedures, simplify and streamline Specialized Inspections by other border agencies (i.e. non-tariff measures), and support Vietnam’s implementation of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).
We are seeking experts in the following areas:
- Customs modernization including risk management and compliance measurement
- Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems for customs
- National Single Window and ASEAN Single Window
- Trade facilitation and border management
- Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) schemes
- Legal and regulatory reform
- Strategic Communications
- Monitoring and evaluation
- Economic impact analysis on trade facilitation reforms
- Digital trade and e-Commerce
- Gender and Social Inclusion
Key responsibilities include providing technical assistance in assessing the customs and regulatory environment and building capacity for WTO TFA implementation. Candidates should have excellent technical experience in one or more of the areas above, knowledge of USAID projects, other donors, and proven consulting skills.
- An advanced degree in economics, international trade, business administration, trade economics or related field;
- At least five years of experience in any of the areas bulleted above, for example customs administration, WTO TFA, monitoring and evaluation, etc.;
- Experience working with counterparts at the central and/or provincial levels, and with multilateral organizations on programs of a similar focus and complexity;
- Strong quantitative and analytical skills;
- Prior experience working on donor programs (e.g. USAID, EU, JICA, GIZ, etc.);
- Fluency in English; and
- Ability to travel extensively throughout Vietnam.
- Experience working in Vietnam and/or ASEAN region;
- Experience working on USAID-funded programs;
- Experience working in government or in a business/trade association or chamber of commerce; and
- Regional/provincial level experience outside of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Nathan will draw from the established pool of experts when looking to hiring short-term consultant(s) for various activities throughout the USAID program. Note that inclusion in the pool does not guarantee an assignment; however, experts must be part of the established pool in order to be considered for any activity.
The selection of expert(s) for each activity will have two stages. This Call for Experts is Stage 1 of the selection of expert(s). Stage two will occur when the program seeks to competitively bid for a program activity. The process for Stage 2 is described for reference only. Bids/applications relating to Stage 2 will be extended only to those accepted in the general pool of experts at a later time as assignments needs arise.
Application to the general pool of experts
No deadline; Applications to pool of experts will be accepted on a rolling basis.
Competitive bidding for a specific program activity
Deadline for specific activities will be indicated in the Request for Quotations (RFQ) for each assignment.
Stage 1 – Application to the general pool of experts (for action)
All experts who meet the criteria described in the preceding section are encouraged to submit:
- A CV with the required details;
- A valid email address for RFP/RFQ dissemination under Part 2; and
- A completed and signed USAID biodata (1420 form) with a proposed daily rate that will be valid for at least one calendar year.
Assignments for program activities will be awarded to qualified individual experts; assignments are not intended for a firm or team. Inclusion in the general pool of experts does not guarantee an assignment. This Call for Experts in no way obligates Nathan to award a contract nor does it commit Nathan to pay for any costs incurred in the preparation and submission of an application in response hereto. Furthermore, Nathan reserves the right to reject any and all offers, if such action is considered to be in the best interest of USAID.
CVs are required to include the following details:
- Name & contact info - mailing address, telephone number, email
- Employment history – Employer, employment duration, location, position held, key responsibilities and/or accomplishments
- Education history – Institution name, location, degree obtained, notable concentrations/certificates earned, date years of attendance
- Three professional references – name, title, organization, relationship, email address, phone number
Please follow here (shorturl.at/rNQR3) for a sample CV format. CVs that do not provide the required information will not be considered for inclusion in the general pool of experts. CVs will be reviewed for technical relevance and evaluated for inclusion in the pool. CVs must include a valid email address for RFP/RFQ dissemination under Stage 2.
Establishment of Daily Rate
Candidates should complete and submit the USAID 1420 Employee Biographical Data (shorturl.at/CNR23) and propose a gross daily rate in Box 6 based on the candidate’s salary history, in line with USAID 1420 Employee Biographical Data salary reporting guidelines. Gross daily rate must not exceed the current USAID Contractor Salary Threshold of $698.08 per day. Salary history shall be based on remuneration earned on both fulltime permanent positions and consultant services over the past three years. Proposed daily rates are valid for at least one calendar year from the date that the application is submitted. Candidates do not need to fill out Boxes 2-5 and 7 on the USAID 1420 form.
Once the candidate is confirmed as part of the general pool of experts at a proposed daily rate, s/he may not negotiate a higher rate until after one calendar year of submission. Nathan reserves the right to request additional supporting documentation that verifies the salary history reported on the USAID 1420 form at any time. Supporting documentation may include: 1.) a recent pay stub 2.) a recent, signed contract or 3.) the name, title, and contact information of a current or previous employer willing and able to confirm a recent salary or daily consulting rate as the case may be.
Stage 2 - Competitive bidding for a program activity (for reference only)
For each program activity requiring short-term technical assistance, Nathan will announce to the general pool of experts the release of a Request for Quotation (RFQ). The RFQ will include the activity’s scope of work (SOW) and detailed bidding instructions. The SOW will include details such as approximate period of performance, approximate travel dates in Vietnam if applicable, activity background, methodology, tasks and responsibilities, required qualifications, reporting, and deliverables.
Based on the SOW, qualified and interested experts from the pool will be invited to submit a bid by a specific deadline. Candidates will be asked to include the following in his/her bid:
- A brief cover letter, no longer than 1-page, highlighting assignments and experience relevant to the SOW;
- Proposed total number of Level of Effort (LOE) Days with a breakdown of LOE days estimated for each deliverable listed in the SOW; and
- Proposed total travel cost with a breakdown of M&IE + home/airport ground transfer costs only based on the approximate travel dates.
Guidelines for Stage 2 bids:
- Candidates may alternatively propose a rate equal to or lower than the daily rate established during the application process into the general pool of experts.
- An updated table of M&IE costs by location in Vietnam will be provided in the instructions section of the RFQ.
- The program shall directly pay for and provide the selected experts the cost of economy class airfare, travel visas, hotel/lodging, in country ground transportation, and a local mobile phone for project calls in country.
Nathan intends to make contract awards under Stage 2 to the responsible candidate(s) whose bid(s) represent the best value to the U.S. government. For overall evaluation purposes, all technical factors/qualifications other than cost or price, when combined, are significantly more important than cost or price.