Call for external experts

Reference N°: CTA/CEI/EE/2017

Call addressed to interested individuals to be included in a list of independent experts to serve as prospective consultants to the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) in various thematic areas for the implementation of CTA’s 2016 – 2020 strategic plan.

Background Information & Instructions

This Call for Expressions of Interest (CEI) sets out the procedure for submission, evaluation, and registration of individual experts, in accordance with CTA's Procurement and Contract Awarding Procedures

Failure to complete a registration form containing all the required information and documentation within the deadline specified will lead to its the rejection.

1. Procurement procedure

External experts (rotational basis).

2. Type of contract

The contract is for fixed, non-revisable daily fee rates according to CTA guidelines (cf.§ 15 below).

3. Duration

This CEI will remain open on CTA's website from 7 September 2017 until 30 September 2019. Any natural person may submit an application at any time during the period of the validity of the list. The detailed specifications of the services to be provided are set out in the document – Experts' Roles and Tasks.

4. About CTA

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union. Its mission is to advance food and nutritional security, increase prosperity and encourage sound natural resource management in ACP countries. CTA provides access to information and knowledge, facilitates policy dialogue and strengthens the capacity of agricultural and rural development communities.

5. Object of the call for expressions of interest (CEI)

CTA hereby invites applications from individuals with a view to establishing a database of independent experts who could be called upon to support CTA's main areas of work within the framework of its 2016 – 2020 strategic plan, notably the:

  1. Development of inclusive agricultural value chains
  2. Advancing enabling policies and legal frameworks
  3. Knowledge management, information and communication, including promotion of ICTs for agriculture.

The strategic plan has identified the following intervention areas / priority themes, namely:

  • Supporting climate-smart agriculture
  • Agribusiness development
  • Making agriculture nutrition-sensitive
  • Leveraging the data revolution for agriculture, and
  • Women and youth in agriculture.

In addition, the Centre is also seeking to identify individual experts in these other areas:

  • Communications and knowledge management
  • Monitoring, evaluation and impact assessments in the ACP region.

CTA may appoint independent experts in any / all of the above areas for tasks involving technical assistance or other advisory services not available in-house.

Independent experts shall be chosen on the basis of skills, experience and knowledge appropriate to carry out the tasks assigned to them. The detailed skills sets and relevant experience needed is detailed in the document - Experts Roles and Tasks.

6. Participation, subcontracting and eligibility

  • Participation in the CEI is open natural persons of the ACP States, EU Member States, official EU candidate countries, member States of the European Economic Area, and OECD countries in case of activities implemented in Least Developed Countries (LDC) and in Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) as defined by the UN.
  • Natural persons may not find themselves in any of the exclusion situations mentioned in section 8.1 § A.2 below.
  • Subcontracting is not authorized.

7. Content of the submission of the CEI

The language used for the submitting the expressions of interest and for all documents must be English or French. Applications must be submitted electronically, as per the instructions included in the CEI.

8. Registering as an expert

To work for CTA as an independent expert in your field, you will first need to register to be included in CTA's experts'/consultants' database. This requires you to fully complete the form(s), as provided in CTA's electronic expert registration database. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Key elements to be provided include:

A.1. An indication of the nationality of the expert when registering in the experts' database.
A.2. A sworn statement certifying that the applicant does NOT find him/herself in one of the exclusion situations.

  1. Is in a state of bankruptcy, liquidation, judicial settlement, discontinuance of activity, or in any suchlike situation resulting from proceedings of the same nature in the national legislation and regulations;
  2. Is the subject of bankruptcy, liquidation or judicial settlement proceedings, or any other proceedings of the same nature in the national legislation or regulations;
  3. Has been sentenced by judgment having the force of res judicata (i.e. against which there is no further appeal) for any offense that comprises his/her professional conduct;
  4. Has been guilty of gross professional negligence;
  5. Has failed to fulfill his/her obligations concerning the payment of social security contributions in accordance with the relevant legal provisions of the country in which he/she is established;
  6. Has failed to meet his/her obligations concerning the payment of taxes and charges in accordance with the relevant legal provisions of the country in which he/she is established;
  7. Is or has been guilty of making false statements when providing the information required by the CTA for his/her participation in a contract;
  8. Has been found to have seriously failed to meet his/her contractual obligations arising out of another contract concluded with CTA.

N.B. This statement is available in the electronic expert registration database under "Terms and Conditions". Please check the box "read and agreed" which follows this statement.

A.3. The area(s) for which the candidate is applying (cf. document – Experts' roles and Tasks).
A.4. A detailed CV completed in the electronic expert registration database. The qualifications and experience must correspond clearly to the profile indicated in the document - Experts roles & tasks.

N.B. Failure to complete the electronic CV format in its entirety will lead to the rejection of the application.

9. Additional information before the CEI submission deadlines

Applicants may send questions by e-mail to the following e-mail address – experts@cta.int, specifying the CEI reference number. Responses to the questions will be posted in the 'frequently asked questions – FAQ' section on CTA's website.

10. Submission of expressions of interest & acknowledgment of receipt

Expressions of interest must be submitted by clicking on the following on the link: https://consultant.cta.int, in order to complete your application. You will receive an automatic acknowledgment of receipt once your application has been duly completed. For confirmation of your inclusion (or not) in CTA's short list of experts, cf. § 11.

The CEI will remain open until 30 September 2019 after which no further applications will be accepted.

11. Establishing a shortlist of experts

CTA will screen all (new) applications received based on the eligibility and exclusion criteria mentioned in sections 6 and 8.1 of the CEI. Experts falling into any of the ineligible and exclusion criteria situations will be excluded from participation in this procedure. The Centre will then check the (remaining) experts' professional capacity and his/her specific ability to perform the tasks required, based on the terms of reference developed for the thematic areas and expertise required.

The selection shall be carried by an evaluation committee established according to CTA's Procurement and Contract Awarding Procedures Manual, § Section 2.8. The results of this process shall be registered in an evaluation report, specifying the reasons for the selection and exclusion of candidates.

When the evaluation is completed, the evaluation committee will submit a selection recommendation, together with the evaluation report, to the Authorizing Officer for approval through the Procurement Officer. Once the recommendation is approved, the list of selected experts will be drawn up accordingly and will remain valid for the period specified in the CEI, except when an expert withdraws/asks to be removed from the list.

N.B. In order to keep the list of experts updated, the selection procedure shall be repeated at least twice per year.

12. Confidentiality

All information communicated to CTA by individual experts will remain confidential and will not be communicated to any third parties. The entire evaluation procedure and the entire expert database is confidential. The decisions of the evaluation committee are collegial and its deliberations are conducted behind closed doors. The members of the evaluation committee are bound by the obligation of secrecy. The evaluation reports and written minutes, in particular, are intended mainly for internal use and their confidential aspects may not be communicated to the tenderers or to any other party.

13. Notification of the shortlist

Candidates are notified about the outcome of the selection procedure and are entitled to raise questions on this procedure within 30 days from the notification. CTA shall provide all necessary clarifications within 21 days after reception of the relevant request.

Any confidential information contained in the evaluation report shall not be released to candidates nor to any person or entity other than CTA's competent services.

14. Selecting experts for specific assignments

Terms of reference will be developed for specific assignments in any of the areas mentioned in § 5 above.

CTA will search the database of short-listed experts using various key words in order to identify the most suitable candidates for a specific assignment. Candidates included in the list of experts can be called upon a case-by-case basis by CTA, according to the relevance of his/her education, expertise, experience and interests to the activities at hand. Selected experts will be contacted to determine their availability and willingness to undertake the assignment

CTA strives to ensure that the choice of the expert is drawn up in a balanced manner ensuring thus an appropriate rotation of experts. Account is also taken, depending on the specific tasks to be assigned, of geographical, gender and other relevant considerations. Inclusion in the list of experts entails no obligation on the part of CTA to assign specific tasks to such experts.

15. Remuneration of experts

15.1 Fees
Experts will be remunerated based on CTA's fees and guidelines for each full day worked. The maximum daily CTA fee rates for assignments, based on the level of expertise and minimum requirements are as follows:

  Maximum Daily Rates in Euros
Levels Minimum Requirements
[I] Junior Expert

University degree
5 years experience in relevant discipline / at least 2 in area of specialization for which the candidate applies
Fluency in EN or FR

200,-
[II] Expert

University degree
10 years professional experience in relevant discipline / at least 5 in the area of specialization for which the candidate applies
Fluency in EN or FR

290,-
[III] Senior Expert

Advanced university degree
15 years professional experience in relevant discipline / at least 10 in the area of specialization for which the candidate applies
Fluency in EN or FR

450,-


It should be noted that the maximum number of days allocated per individual expert will be limited to 120 working days and/or Euros 54,000 (whichever comes first) for the duration of the CEI.

It should be noted that CTA is exempt from value added tax, in accordance with Article 15, paragraph 19 of Directive 77/388/EEC and by virtue of the Headquarters Agreement, concluded on 7 August 1984 by and between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and CTA.

15.2 Reimbursables

The reimbursement of travel expenses, accommodation allowance and per diems, if applicable, are made in accordance with CTA regulations and are not included in the above referenced fee rates.

16. Contract signature

For a specific assignment, a letter contract shall be signed between CTA and the selected expert, who will be paid in accordance with the applicable CTA rules and procedures, as specified in the CEI (cf. section 9). The selected expert must sign, date and return the contract to CTA within 30 days after receipt thereof.
If the selected expert does not comply with this obligation, the decision to award the contract may be reversed. In such a case, CTA may award the contract to another expert on the short-list or cancel the assignment.
Experts shall be requested to respect the applicable legislation, to demonstrate appropriate ethical conduct and to respect the confidentiality of the information and documents to which they will have access. Specific clauses to this effect are to be included in the relevant contracts.

17. Publication of the list of experts

The names of experts who have been awarded contracts as a result of this CEI shall be published together with their expertise and the title of the contract at least once a year on CTA's website.