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Consultancy on support for upgrading IDSC Library


Parent Sector : Communication and Information Sector (CI)

Duty Station: Cairo

Job Family: Public Information

Type of contract : Non Staff

Duration of contract : From 1 to 6 months

Recruitment open to : External candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 8-May-2021 (Extended)


UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism




UNESCO is inviting written proposals from Individual National Consultants for the work assignment described in Part A - Terms of Reference.

To enable you to prepare a proposal for this assignment, please refer to Part A - Terms of Reference, Part B - Required Qualifications/Application Process/Selection Process and the UNESCO contract for Individual Consultants (below link) which is the contracting modality to be used for these assignments:             



The following documents should be uploaded in the " Employment History" part of the on-line application:

(a) A Technical Proposal consisting of  an up to date curriculum vitae, and an approach and methodology for the assignment, a work plan and comments on the Terms of Reference if any (they should be attached in the Employment History part of the application).

(b) A financial proposal including the estimated working days for completing the assignment and the amount to be charged for the assignment, which should be quoted in US Dollars.

Your proposal and any supporting documents must be in English. Certified translations should be provided for any supporting documents that are not in English.


UNESCO places great emphasis on ensuring that the objectives of the work assignment, as described in the Terms of Reference, are met. Accordingly, in evaluating the proposals for the assignment, attention will focus first and foremost on the technical elements. From those proposals deemed suitable in terms of the criteria in the Terms of Reference, UNESCO shall select the proposal that offers the Organisation best value for money.

It is the individual’s responsibility to ensure that his/her proposal is received by the deadline.

Thank you for your interest in this UNESCO assignment; and we look forward to receiving your proposal.

Part A. Terms for references

Part A.1 Background

  • The Information and Decision Support Center's (IDSC) library was established in 1987 as an Egyptian exemplary model of a special library in economic and social development areas. In its quest for supporting IDSC's efforts, it provided information resources in different formats, in addition to an accessible online database.
  • The library's existence came with a view to support goals in providing information and supporting decision makers, in addition to its developmental role in enhancing information infrastructure and making it available to beneficiaries.
  • The Library holds an intellectual wealth of more than 40 thousand titles in the Arabic and English languages. This includes books, references, reports, studies, periodicals, conference papers, statistics and CDs as well as Egyptian, Arab and international newspapers and periodicals. This intellectual wealth spans an array of development fields including economics, social, political and decision support.
  • Global libraries are now using modern technologies in processing, information transmission and delivery to beneficiaries in the easiest and fastest way.
  • IDSC has developed an initial proposal of how it plans to develop its library into an electronic modern one and the technical requirements thereof (October 2020).
  • Within this context, the ultimate aim of this assignment is to ensure and enable the IDSC library to tangibly contribute to the realization of IDSC objectives/tasks in an effective, timely, and professionally sound manner.

Any relevant background information/documents  

For more info on The Egyptian Cabinet's Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC), please visit the following website:


Part A.2 Nature and Objectives of the Assignment

  • Take stock and evaluate the existing IDSC library system.
  • In close coordination with IDSC, and based on their initial proposal, develop a set of alternative costed scenarios for achieving the vision incorporated in the proposal and agree on a set of criteria for evaluating scenarios (e.g. cost, human resource requirements, time, technical feasibility, sustainability, flexibility, etc.). Identify best scenario based on set of criteria. Develop a plan for monitoring and evaluating implementation progress that includes key performance indicators.
  • Define the Center’s library requirements for the best identified scenario, including: the necessary hardware and software to deal with digital acquisitions, linking all databases with each other, and international databases with subscriptions through one window ... etc.
  • Provide technical advice regarding the specifications of the advanced system to be implemented in the library, taking into consideration the latest technologies and standards currently applied in international systems.
  • Provide technical advice on how to acquire a new library system or develop the current library system, including required human resources and training requirements.
  • Present new suggestions and ideas for interactive information services that use modern technological techniques in this regard.
  • Review and evaluate the library website and mobile App., and recommend the best international practices and the development needed.
  • Prepare a project proposal that could help IDSC finance the Library development project.

Part A.3 Scope and Tasks

Along with the established objectives and mission of IDSC, and to contribute tangibly and effectively to the fulfilment of its mandate, these Terms of Reference (TOR) refer to tasks related to the following:


  • The evaluation of IDSC Library’s current system and its role and contributions to the IDSC objectives and tasks.  The evaluation shall take into consideration all relevant dimensions including, and not limited to, governance, management, performed tasks (in quantitative and qualitative terms), people development, communication and outreach, contribution and relevance to IDSC operations,  technical, operational, staffing, equipment and other related terms.
  • Preparation of a detailed description of the desired future status of the Library to be more developed and keeping up with global trends.  Along with established IDSC objectives and goals, the desired status should identify related specifications and requirements including and not limited to: tasks, systems, tools, human resources, operational guidelines, management and governance.
  • Based on the established desired future status, prepare a gap analysis study to determine the requirements (systems, tools, human resources… etc.) needed to realize the planned/desired Library system of the IDSC Library. 
  • Prepare and suggest a blueprint (detailed plan) for realizing the agreed upon change. This shall include estimate of required resources (financial and human) and timeframe.
  • Develop RFP/RFQ specifications for hardware and software to deal with digital acquisitions, linking all databases with each other, and international databases…, as well as the procurement items to develop the new library system including the library website and mobile App,  provide document explaining method to evaluate the bids from service providers and monitor the work of the awarded service provider(s)

Part A.4 Duration of contract

Expected duration: 30 April – 30 July 2021.

The expert will initially be engaged for 3 months

Part A.5 Outputs and Deliverables

  • Gap analysis study, including evaluation of current IDSC library system, identification of desired future status and the gap between the two.
  • Blueprint document, providing all the technical, logistical and financial details concerning the necessary change in hardware, software and other requirements to convert into a digital library, develop electronic library websites, and provide advanced information services.
  • Prepare a proposal for fund raising covering the implementation of the library upgrade and the Training and staff / human resources engagement plan to ensure effective operation and maintenance of the developed library system.
  • All deliverables shall be in English

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Accountability (C)
Communication (C)
Innovation (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Planning and organizing (C)
Results focus (C)
Teamwork (C)
Professionalism (C)

For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.


  • PhD in Library and Information Science, or related field.
  • Extensive practical experience in the field of libraries of not less than 15 years in Egypt.
  • Experience in establishing modern electronic library websites and how to develop them, including participating in and supervising many library development projects at the local and Arab levels.
  • Extensive knowledge of modern technological changes in the field of libraries and information systems and the library specifications currently used in different parts of the world.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Excellent drafting skills.
  • Knowledge of both English and Arabic is required.


Technical and financial proposals which include the following items should be uploaded in the Employment History part of the application:  

  1. Technical proposal consisting of work plan, approach, timeline for the assignment, means and methodology of the delivery of the requirements and addressing the comments on the Terms of Reference (if any).
    • The suggested approach and methodology for undertaking the assignment fully including a work plan
    • List  of a minimum 1 reference/client for whom similar services have been provided and preferrably as many references/clients as possible, and briefly indicating  a description of the contract’s scope, contract duration, contract value, and/or contact references
    • At least a sample of similar work
    • Any comments on the Terms of Reference if any
  2. A financial proposal including the estimated working days for completing the assignment and the amount to be charged for the assignment, which should be quoted in US Dollars.


Please note that all applicants must complete an on-line application and provide complete and accurate information.

Application Deadline (Midnight Cairo Time): 8-May-2021 (Extended)

To apply, please visit the UNESCO careers website. No modifications can be made to the application submitted. The evaluation of applicants is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview. UNESCO uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of applicants. Please note that only selected applicants will be further contacted and applicants in the final selection step may be subject to reference checks based on the information provided.



UNESCO applies a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of harassment. UNESCO is committed to achieve and sustain gender parity. Furthermore, UNESCO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups, and persons with disabilities, as well as nationals from non-and under-represented Member States (last update here), are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality.