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Africa Quality Policy and Quality Infrastructure Expert Africa Quality Policy and Quality Infrastructure Expert Home Based, Home Based ISA-Senior Specialist
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
Chief and Senior Professional Full-time
Job Expired 16 Jul 2024
Posted 3 weeks ago
Job Description

Title: Africa Quality Policy and Quality Infrastructure Expert

​​Requisition ID: 4076
Grade: ISA-Senior Specialist
Country: Home Based
Duty Station: Home Based
Category: International Consultant
Type of Job Posting:
Employment Type: NonStaff-When Act. Employed

Contract Duration: 30 working days (When Actually Employed)
Application Deadline: 16-Jul-2024, 11:59 PM (CEST)

Vacancy Announcement
Female candidates are encouraged to apply.


The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability. The mission of UNIDO, as described in the Lima Declaration adopted at the fifteenth session of the UNIDO General Conference in 2013 as well as the Abu Dhabi Declaration adopted at the eighteenth session of UNIDO General Conference in 2019, is to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) in Member States. The relevance of ISID as an integrated approach to all three pillars of sustainable development is recognized by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will frame United Nations and country efforts towards sustainable development. UNIDO’s mandate is fully recognized in SDG-9, which calls to “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”. The relevance of ISID, however, applies in greater or lesser extent to all SDGs. Accordingly, the Organization’s programmatic focus is structured in four strategic priorities: Creating shared prosperity; Advancing economic competitiveness; Safeguarding the environment; and Strengthening knowledge and institutions.

Each of these programmatic fields of activity contains a number of individual programmes, which are implemented in a holistic manner to achieve effective outcomes and impacts through UNIDO’s four enabling functions: (i) technical cooperation; (ii) analytical and research functions and policy advisory services; (iii) normative functions and standards and quality-related activities; and (iv) convening and partnerships for knowledge transfer, networking and industrial cooperation. Such core functions are carried out in Divisions/Offices in its Headquarters, Regional Offices and Hubs and Country Offices.

The Directorate of Technical Cooperation and Sustainable Industrial Development (TCS), headed by a Managing Director, oversees the Organization's development of capacities for industrial development as well as industrial policy advice, statistics and research activities and the Organization's normative contribution to Member States and global development community in achieving the SDGs. The Directorate also ensures the application of strategies and interventions for sustainable industrial development related to Environment, Energy, SMEs, Competitiveness and Job creation, as well as Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence. Through coordination in-house and with Member States and industry stakeholders, it ensures that the services provided in these areas contribute toward effective and appropriate technical, business and policy solutions and are focused on results and on realizing any potential for scaling up and positioning UNIDO as a leading platform for industrial development in developing countries and global fora.

The Directorate houses the technical Divisions of Capacity Development and Industrial Policy Advice (TCS/CAP); Circular Economy and Environmental Protection (TCS/CEP); Decarbonization and Sustainable Energy (TCS/DSE); SMEs, Competitiveness and Job Creation (TCS/SME); and Digital Transformation and AI Strategies (TCS/DAS). The Directorate also ensures close coordination and collaboration among the Divisions as well as with relevant entities in the Directorate of Global Partnerships and External Relations (GLO) and the Directorate of SDG Innovation and Economic Transformation (IET).

This position is located under the Competitiveness, Quality and Compliance Unit (TCS/SME/CQC) which builds national and regional production and quality infrastructure systems, with an emphasis on providing internationally recognized services, facilitating SME participation in regional and global value chains; strengthening institutional quality infrastructure capacities (i.e. standardization, metrology, and accreditation); building conformity assessment capacities (testing, inspection, certification, calibration, etc.); and supporting trade facilitation and quality awareness with the public sector, economic operators and consumers, placing a special emphasis on capacitating SMEs.


One of the priorities of the ACP countries is to stimulate economic growth beyond the natural resource sectors through diversification, generating higher added value by moving up the value chains in productive activities, and enhancing linkages between sectors in the economy. This requires local industry not only to be able to meet international standards, technical regulations and other market requirements, but also to be able to DEMONSTRATE to export partners that they meet these requirements. For such an initiative to upgrade local industry to be successful it is essential, therefore, that it is coupled with an articulated technical assistance program aimed at enhancing the capacity and governance of the various regions’ quality infrastructure institutions, and specifically their associated quality systems and conformity assessment services.

The Project entrusted to UNIDO represents the meso-level component of a larger Program “Supporting business-friendly and inclusive national and regional policies, strengthening productive capabilities and value chains” which is funded by the European Union and the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (Delegation Agreement FED/2018/403- 924).

The project component “Supporting quality and regulatory infrastructure, value chain-specific quality infrastructure services and quality culture promotion in the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States” will contribute to the overarching objectives of the Project, namely to increase the economic and social impact from ACP participation in the multi-lateral trading system. This will be achieved through increased competitiveness of SMEs and their products on local, regional and international markets, increased ACP consumer safety, and increased contribution of OACPS to the operation of the multi-lateral trading system.

This specific project component is designed to contribute to the overall program objective by achieving four key outputs:

1) Enhancing regional quality and regulatory infrastructure (Q&RI) governance

2) Strengthening the availability of value chain specific quality infrastructure (QI) Services and;

3) Promoting Quality Culture and Practices.

4) Improving the investment-related business environment/climate through quality systems and conformity assessment


Enhancing quality and regulatory infrastructure in African Union (AU) member states have been a continuous concern for the African Continent decision makers and their regional and international stakeholders. The Quality and Regulatory Infrastructure (Q&RI) is generally defined as the sum of a country’s policy, legal, regulatory and administrative frameworks and the respective public and/or private institutional arrangements necessary to put standardization, metrology, technical regulation, accreditation and conformity assessment services (inspection, testing and certification) into effective operation. Thus, the need for a higher-level policy document, namely the Quality Policy (QP), is to ensure that the Quality Infrastructure (QI) components continually operates in a coherent and effective manner while constantly meeting international requirements. It follows that wherever there is a QI operating institution, whether at country, Regional Economic Community (REC) or continental level, there is a need for a QP. This overall system’s aim is to assure that services and products meet defined requirements, with the appropriate recognition to facilitate international trade.

The Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community popularly referred to as the Abuja Treaty which was concluded and signed in Abuja, Nigeria on 3 June 1991 and of which implementation started in 1994 gave direction on the development of a ‘Common Policy on Standardisation and Measurement Systems’, in its Article 67 of Chapter XI. It states as follows:

1. Member States agree to:

  1. Adopt a common policy on standardisation and quality assurance of goods and services among Member States;

  1. Undertake such other related activities in standardisation and measurement systems that are likely to promote trade, economic development and integration within the Community; and

  1. Strengthen African national, regional and continental organisations operating in this field.

2. For the purposes of this Chapter, Member States agreed to cooperate in accordance with the provisions of the protocol concerning Standardisation, Quality Assurance and Measurement Systems.

It is noted from the above that the development of an African policy on Quality was always one of the strategic intents of the AU in order to successfully advance its integration agenda.

Within this same context, under the leadership of the African Union Commission (AUC) Department of Economic Development, Trade, Tourism and Industry (ETTIM) and the Pan-African Quality Infrastructure (PAQI) Secretariat hosted by the African Organization for Standardization (ARSO), an Africa Quality Policy (AQP) has been developed with the support from AFREXIMBANK and German Cooperation through the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB).

Scope of the Africa Quality Policy

The AQP lays down policy directions for the operation of a continental-level QI, with the aim of aligning the AQP with the policies governing national and REC-level QI. The AQP embodies a vision, objectives and specific functional policies for implementing quality at national, REC and continental levels. This comprehensive methodology is one of the main pillars to assure a harmonizing QI system between AU countries and will play a pivotal role in facilitating the trade and products exchange that will improve the socio-economic status of Member States (MS).

UNIDO - ARSO Ongoing initiative

The AQP establishes a mechanism to monitor the effectiveness of the QI measures put in place that include periodic reviews of the policies to ensure that they remain up to date. Africa has set continental level policies and initiatives for enhancing industrial development, increasing intra-African trade, developing agriculture and exports of food products, enhancing wealth creation from sustainable governance of Africa’s inland waters, oceans and seas, etc. Furthermore, an effective QI has been identified as a critical element for achieving these goals. In implementing the AQP, the AU can also count on the regional PAQI institutions to undertake capacity building efforts and bring a certain level of harmonization of practices in their respective QI fields.

To achieve the first output of the ACP QI program within African countries, “Enhancing regional quality and regulatory infrastructure (Q&RI) governance”, the African MS’s have to be committed in building the Quality Institutions and showing their governance through their operations according to holistic Africa quality policy terms, having the goal to enhance the quality infrastructure at national level that will impact in institutionalize the quality culture and practices, and to facilitate the trade exchange between African Members states while being aligned to one quality policy goal.

It is in this context that ARSO is collaborating with UNIDO through the ACP QI program to support capacity building of expert(s) with regards the basic principles of the Africa Quality policy to be able to assist selected pilot AU Member States to align their National Quality Policies (NQPs) to the adopted AQP. Priority will be given to Member States that are willing to fast-track the alignment process and showing their interest in adapting the QI components, having adequate quality infrastructure systems including metrology, standardization, accreditation, quality management and conformity assessment. It is worth adding that MS that have completed their AfCFTA National Implementation Strategies will also be prioritized to benefit from this support.

Activities for the alignment of NQP’s to AQP

To achieve the above-mentioned objectives, UNIDO is seeking to procure the services of International and National Quality Infrastructure Expert(s) to implement the following 4 related activities:

  1. Training-of-Trainers (ToT) of experts on Africa Quality Policy

  1. Sensitizing AU MS for adopting the terms of the AQP within the national QI context.

  1. Collect national QI documents and facilitate the interaction with the local concerned authorities

  1. Assist selected AU MS in aligning their NQP


In order to support the AU MS in aligning their NQP with the AQP under the ACP QI program, UNIDO is seeking the services from an international expert(s) on Quality Infrastructure policy to review the existing NQP for 4 selected MS, by comparing them with the AQP terms to identify the gaps in function of the active legal documents in place.

As a result of this comparison study, the expert will present a recommendation plan for MS government in question to advise on the strategy to be adopted in updating their national quality documents; further a new version of the NQP shall be updated and submitted by the expert for internal validation and approval.

Under the ACP QI program, 4 AU MS will be selected based on a list of criteria taking in consideration the willingness of MS to onboard such national activity, the level of engagement in the QI components as establishment and operation of QI institutes, in addition to the already existence of NQP.

During this assignment, the expert(s) will be assisted by Local Consultant(s) recruited by UNIDO to facilitate the communication with local quality institutes and collect data from the field. The expert should master at least one of the official African languages (English, French or Portuguese)

The expert(s) to be recruited for this task will work under the overall supervision of the Program Manager and the Chief Technical Advisor of the program and the direct technical coordination of Lead Quality Expert of Africa under ACP program in collaboration with ARSO.

The International Expert will fulfil the following duties:





  1. Draft an updated version of the National Quality Policy aligned to the AQP and accompanying implementation roadmap, informed by:

  1. Examining National Quality Policy in comparison with the AQP provisions, identifying the gaps and suggesting revisions.

  1. Conducting research, surveys and interviews and analyzing data to gain insights on the appropriate content.

  1. Undertaking a situation analysis of capacities of National Quality Infrastructure Institutions to inform recommendations on required improvements to implement the aligned NQP.

  1. Consulting relevant stakeholders and documenting success stories and/or challenges that can serve as lessons learnt for implementation of the aligned AQP

An inception report highlighting the methodology and work plan, which indicates the phases of the analysis and preparation of the aligned AQP.

Summary report to present initial findings from desk research, surveys and consultations

20 w/days


  1. Present the draft aligned NQP to the appropriate national organs for validation.

Draft aligned National Quality Policy submitted for MS for feedback

5 w/days


  1. Finalize the aligned NQP incorporating feedback and comments from national stakeholders.

Presentation of aligned Quality Policy to national stakeholders

Final aligned National Quality Policy delivered.

5 w/days



30 working days


Core Values

WE LIVE AND ACT WITH INTEGRITY: work honestly, openly and impartially.

WE SHOW PROFESSIONALISM: work hard and competently in a committed and responsible manner.

WE RESPECT DIVERSITY: work together effectively, respectfully and inclusively, regardless of our differences in culture and perspective.

Key Competencies

WE FOCUS ON PEOPLE: cooperate to fully reach our potential –and this is true for our colleagues as well as our clients. Emotional intelligence and receptiveness are vital parts of our UNIDO identity.

WE FOCUS ON RESULTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES: focus on planning, organizing and managing our work effectively and efficiently. We are responsible and accountable for achieving our results and meeting our performance standards. This accountability does not end with our colleagues and supervisors, but we also owe it to those, we serve and who have trusted us to contribute to a better, safer and healthier world.

WE COMMUNICATE AND EARN TRUST: communicate effectively with one another and build an environment of trust where we can all excel in our work.

WE THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX AND INNOVATE: To stay relevant, we continuously improve, support innovation, share our knowledge and skills, and learn from one another.



Education: An advanced university degree in the field of Quality Management or any other related fields (economics, development, business, international relations, economic development, …) is required.

Technical and functional expertise:

  • A minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible working experience on African trade policy, standardisation and quality infrastructure, including drafting quality infrastructure policy, and mainly in training others on QP at national, regional and international level, is required.

  • Proficient knowledge of quality infrastructure components; proven competence & achievement record and special knowledge of developing regional / national policy in the context of each target region/country is required.

  • Proven experience in delivering training courses for professional level is required.

  • Knowledge on the African Quality Policy is required.

  • Demonstrated experience in working with government partners and other stakeholders in public sector development programs especially in capacity development is desirable.

  • Experience in evaluating the needs, conditions and problems in developing countries is desirable.


  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, drafting skills, both written and verbal, sensitivity to cultural, socio-economic and political differences.

  • Ability to effectively capture data collated from the relevant stakeholders engaged in the surveys.

Languages: Fluency, written and spoken, in one of the Official African Languages is required. Working knowledge of English or French is required. Knowledge of other languages would be an asset.

This appointment is limited to the specified project(s) only and does not carry any expectation of renewal.
Employees of UNIDO are expected at all times to uphold the highest standards of integrity, professionalism and respect for diversity, both at work and outside. Only persons who fully and unconditionally commit to these values should consider applying for jobs at UNIDO.

All applications must be submitted online through the Online Recruitment System. Correspondence will be undertaken only with candidates who are being considered at an advanced phase of the selection process. Selected candidate(s) may be required to disclose to the Director General the nature and scope of financial and other personal interests and assets in respect of themselves, their spouses and dependents, under the procedures established by the Director General.

Visit the UNIDO website for details on how to apply:

NOTE: The Director General retains the discretion to make an appointment to this post at a lower level.

Notice to applicants:
UNIDO does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. If you have received a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Vacant positions within UNIDO are advertised on the official UNIDO website. Should you have any questions concerning persons or companies claiming to be recruiting on behalf of UNIDO and requesting payment of a fee, please contact:

This position is no longer open.