The Trade Facilitation and Customs Support programme (Tasdeer) is a three-year programme, funded by The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and aims at improving the trade performance and customs capabilities in the OPTs. It will ultimately contribute to private sector led economic growth and fiscal sustainability in the OPTs. The programme is designed to be flexible and adaptable and will work politically and technically to make progress across four-key interrelated Workstreams:
Work Stream 1 (WS1): Support to expedite the movement of goods and reduce transaction costs.
Work Stream 2 (WS2): Support to improve Palestinian trade-related institutions and business enabling environment.
Work Stream 3 (WS3): Support to improve the private sector’s skills and innovation to export and create jobs.
Work Stream 4 (WS4): Support to improve PA’s Customs readiness to assume functions from Israel to collect revenues from trade-related taxes.
The programme is implemented by Cowater-led consortium on behalf of FCDO. A Steering Committee (including representatives from FCDO, the Ministry of National Economy and Ministry of Finance) will approve interventions identified and designed by the supplier. Supplier interventions will be reviewed, and quality assured by the strategic Advisory Panel comprised of experts from the core consortium members across the four work streams.
The Palestinian Standards Institution / Testing Labs:
The Palestinian Standard Institute (PSI) was established in 1994 and started its operations in 1997 as the sole body within the Palestinian Authority (PA) responsible for issuing Palestinian standards and is also considered the focal point for Palestinian participation in the global system of harmonised standards.
Currently, there are three testing labs in Palestine operated by PSI that provide services to the private sector; namely the leather and shoes testing lab located in Hebron and serving the leather and shoes industry, the electrical testing lab located in Ramallah serving importers of electrical equipment and home appliances and the cement testing lab also located in Ramallah and serving the construction industry. The services of the three testing labs are either directly connected to the export sector (such as the leather and shoes) or indirectly linked to the export sector by testing products that serve this sector such as the case of the electrical and the cement testing labs.
To progress towards obtaining international accreditation and providing an enabling quality infrastructure for Palestinian products, PSI has identified the need for a comprehensive assessment of testing labs to identify gaps and required additional testing services. PSI considers the services provided by its labs to be critical for the private sector and in particular the exporting companies, such as those producing leather, shoes and textile products. These companies need the services of PSI labs to test the compliance of their products’ quality to Palestinian standards and the export market standards. Furthermore, the provision of these testing services coupled with having Mutual Recognition Agreements with the export market country would save cost and time for exporters. PSI believes that these labs are in need for further development to meet the quality requirements of the export market.
A recent PSI assessment of the shoes and leather testing lab in Hebron identified the need for an upgrade to test the chemical properties of samples. Exporters regularly require this test to obtain entry into export markets. Upgrading the lab would also enable it to provide testing services for other products within the textile and paper sectors.
The PSI assessment of the Hebron testing lab highlighted the importance of conducting a broader and more comprehensive analysis of gaps in testing labs capabilities across Palestine. Such a study shall assess whether labs are present in the right locations, provide the appropriate services to priority sectors and have the required functionality. It shall also assess the needs and accessibility of marginalised groups of small-scale producers. The assessment is also expected to provide information about potential human resources needs and capacities to operate these labs.
Tasdeer and PSI would like to recruit a Testing Labs Assessment Expert with proven experience in testing and calibration of industrial labs.
Objectives of the Assignment:
The objective of this assignment is to assess the testing services provided by PSI’s existing labs against the needs and requirements of the private sector and its targeted export markets, by assessing the quality of existing services (including the needs for new testing services) and assessing the need for new testing labs.
Scope of Work:
Tasdeer will support PSI in assessing the services of the PSI operated testing labs and provide recommendations for additional labs facilities needed for the private sector to improve its access to the export market.,
The Labs Assessment Expert is expected to conduct a comprehensive assessment to map out specific testing services needed by the private sector to penetrate markets. This is expected to be a comprehensive assessment of testing services across Palestine, and it will cover the following:
- Gap Analysis:
- Gap analysis of existing labs services: Assess needs and upgrade requirements for existing labs (electrical appliances, cement, leather and shoes, etc.) depending on historical data from the labs along with consultation with stakeholders.
The gap analysis report is expected to identify, in addition to gaps in testing services, capacity building needs (including training) and other needs such as systems upgrade, equipment…etc in existing standards testing labs while ensuring that the needs of both women and men technicians are equally assessed.
- Gap analysis for new labs: Assess the need to establish new testing labs based on consultations with different relevant stakeholders, ensuring the participation of MSMEs owned by women and other marginalised groups through their representative organizations. The consultations will focus on promising economic sectors that are exporting or have strong potential to export and need testing labs services.
The two gap analysis reports should also include the specific needs, findings and recommendations of women and other marginalised producers as relevant.
- A development plan, including timeframe and budget, needed to upgrade its existing lab capacities (both for equipment and human resources) and required new testing labs.
To achieve the stated objective, The Labs Assessment Expert will engage with the following (but not limited to) Palestinian stakeholders: Ministry of National Economy (MoNE), The Palestinian Standard Institution (PSI) including the gender units in these entities, Palestinian Federation of Industries (PFI) and its specialised member associations (especially the Federation of Leather Industries, Wood Industries Union, Federation of Paper Industries, Federation of Garment and Textile Industries, and Food Industrial Union), PalTrade, Chambers of Commerce, The Engineers Syndicate, The Contractors Union, MSME’s, individual female and male exporters and any other relevant stakeholders as deemed necessary.
The deliverables for this assignment include the following:
- Gap analysis assessment report for the PSI operated testing labs in Palestine. The assessment report should distinguish between upgrade needs for existing labs and those for new labs.
- Development and upgrade plan for existing labs to serve the local industry across different geographic locations, and sectors, taking into consideration the needs expressed by women and other marginalised producers, in addition to including recommendations for the establishment of new testing labs. The development plan should provide specific timeframe and budget for the different proposed activities.
Geographic coverage and duty station
The Labs Assessment Expert will undertake the assessment from his/her own offices and the field (Palestine) and will be expected to maintain regular contact with Tasdeer, PSI and relevant stakeholders including those representing the small-scale traders of women, youth and PWD, for the duration of its work. The Labs Assessment Expert will need to arrange visits to all current PSI-operated labs in the West Bank/ Gaza, and to conduct interviews with relevant authorities and private sector including PSI, MoNE, Federation of Industries, specialised federations, chambers of commerce, gender units/focal points in these entities, Palestinian small and medium size exporters or any other stakeholders as deemed necessary.
جميع الحقوق محفوظة لموقع جوبس.
Required Expertise, Competencies and Skills:
- B.Sc. degree in engineering or relevant filed.
- Al least 10 years professional experience in testing and calibration of industrial laboratories.
- Strong background knowledge of ISO quality standards 17025, and ISO 9001.
- Good experience in conducting conformity assessments; Inspection, testing, and certification and familiarity with gender and inclusion analytical frameworks.
- Good understanding of quality infrastructure elements; standardization, metrology, conformity assessment, and technical regulations.
- Experience in dealing with Palestinian private sector including MSMEs.
- Familiar with the quality ecosystem, its dynamics in Palestine and its influence on the MSMcEs including that owned by women and the marginalised groups.
- Good management experience, and ability to work with different teams.
- Proven competency in writing and speaking English.
- Strong leadership and planning skills.
- Tasdeer encourages a coalition of consultants to apply to cover a wide scope of testing services across different sectors.
- Tasdeer is an equal opportunity programme, qualified women and men, Persons with Disability professionals are encouraged to apply individually or in coalitions.
Reporting Lines and Managerial Responsibilities
The Lab Assessment Expert will report to WS2 Lead.
Type of the Contract:
Short Term Consultancy.
Duration of Contract and level of effort:
The assignment is expected to be accomplished over a period of three months with up to 25 days Level of Effort (LoE).
The expected start date is August 1st and ending by October 30th, 2021.
Interested applicants are requested to provide their CVs and Cover Letter clearly indicating the position name and explaining how they qualify to fulfil the specified position requirements.
Completed applications must be sent by email to [email protected] by July 14th, 2021.
Tasdeer is an equal employer. We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those shortlisted will be contacted.