Wellbeing Programme Consultant

UNU-WIDER is seeking a home-based external consultant to develop the institutional wellbeing programme. Submission deadline: 7 May 2021 23:59 UTC+3

For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing global problems of human survival, conflict prevention, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 13 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies, leading universities, and research institutions across the globe. For more information, please visit

United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER)

UNU-WIDER is a leading international development economics think tank. The Institute provides economic analysis and policy advice with the aim of promoting sustainable and equitable development for all. The Institute began operations in 1985 in Helsinki, Finland, as the first research centre of the United Nations University. Today, it is a unique blend of think tank, research institute, and UN agency — providing a range of services from policy advice to governments, as well as freely available original research. More information on UNU-WIDER and its current work programme is available in the institute's website.

As a result of the changes in the operating environment of the Institute due to COVID-19, and the subsequent impact the pandemic has had on the Institute’s personnel and ability to operate effectively there is an increasing need and call to address wellbeing at UNU-WIDER in a more strategic manner. As a result, the WIDER Management Team has formed a task force to develop a holistic wellbeing programme for the Institute based on the core values of the UN and supporting the realization of the United Nations System Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy.  

The aim of the wellbeing programme overall is to capitalize on the benefits of increased wellbeing — which are proven to be associated with increased motivation, productivity, ownership, and reduce the need for sick leave for personnel. While for the organization, high-performing, motivated personnel result in lower healthcare costs and less absenteeism, higher productivity and retention, as well as increased collaboration and a positive organizational culture associated with higher levels of employee engagement and productivity. 

To drive this work forward, an in-house task force has been created represented by members from the research, programme, communications, and operations units as well as members of the UNU-WIDER management team. 

To support the work of the WIDER Wellbeing Task Force, UNU-WIDER is seeking a home-based external consultant to carry out the work outlined in the TOR for developing the institutional wellbeing programme.


The overall objective of this assignment is, in co-ordination with the WIDER Wellbeing Task Force, to develop a costed WIDER Wellbeing Programme with clear, time-bound actions for the programme period (2021–27). The WIDER Wellbeing Programme should guide the action of UNU-WIDER both at management and personnel levels. In this respect, the specific objectives of this consultancy include the following:  

  • Based on survey results, establish concrete time-bound actions for promoting wellbeing at UNU-WIDER. These should take into consideration existing initiatives and support mechanisms available within UNU, and the UN more broadly.  
  • Identify a baseline, processes, and indicators for monitoring personnel wellbeing. 
Expected results and deliverables 
  1. During the assignment, the consultant will submit the following:  
  2. An inception report outlining preliminary findings from the survey, focus group discussions, documentation review and methodology for carrying out the assignment (after 15 working days from start date).  
  3. A proposed outline of the WIDER Wellbeing Programme (after 17 working days from start date).  
  4. A first draft of the WIDER Wellbeing Programme (costed) and presentation during a validation workshop with management, WIDER Wellbeing Task Force, and a representative group of personnel (after 23 working days from start date).  
  5. A final version of the WIDER Wellbeing programme, incorporating comments on the first draft (by the end of assignment, 30 working days from start date).  

Under the supervision of the WIDER Wellbeing Task Force focal point, and in close collaboration with the WIDER Wellbeing Task Force, the consultant shall perform the following tasks: 

  • Carry out a literature review of relevant existing policies, instructions, and best practices, related to the promotion of wellbeing within the UNU, and UN where needed.   
  • Carry out a survey using established and reliable methodologies for assessing wellbeing. The survey should be one that can be replicated regularly to assess progress against agreed action plan. Such surveys could include, e.g., a tailored version of the COPSOQ III.   
  • Develop an inception report and methodology for the action-oriented WIDER Wellbeing Programme outlining priority areas.   
  • Present the inception report to the WIDER Wellbeing Task Force and management team for comments and feedback.
  • Finalize the inception report.   
  • Develop first draft of the action-oriented WIDER Wellbeing programme.  
  • Present the programme for review and discussion by the WIDER Wellbeing Task Force.  
  • Incorporate comments from exercise and finalize the draft programme.   
  • Present draft WIDER Wellbeing programme document at validation session.   
  • Finalize the WIDER Wellbeing programme document by incorporating comments from the validation exercise.   
  • Submit a well-crafted, action-oriented WIDER Wellbeing Programme that is costed. 
Required qualifications and experience
  • A master’s degree in health, psychology, sociology, HR, business/public administration, or other relevant fields.
  • Proven experience in: (1) delivering similar programmes/action plans, and (2) in planning, designing, preparation and delivery of wellbeing programmes in public, private or civil society sector organizations.
  • Experience with UN Agencies and/or a strong understanding of the UN system, frameworks, and structures, particularly those related to wellbeing in an international institution is an asset.
  • Excellent drafting skills and fluency in both oral and written English. 
  • Excellent team player with strong communication (both oral and written) and interpersonal skills, as well as an ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.

UNU is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities to apply and become part of the organization. 

UNU has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNU, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. 


Based on the selected candidate’s cost quotation, a fee will be paid under the consultant contract upon submission of the agreed deliverables.

Duration of contract

The contract is expected to commence as soon as possible, with the final deliverable to be submitted 30 working days after signing of contract. 

General conditions of contracts for the service of consultants apply. The services of a consultant shall be limited to twenty-four months of accrued service within a period of thirty-six calendar months.

Starting date: As soon as possible.

Application procedure

Interested applicants must submit their application online through this form and upload the following documents:

  • a completed short history form (P.110) available through UNU-WIDER website
  • an up-to-date CV 
  • a quotation including an overall breakdown of costs (time and other costs in USD or EUR) for fulfilling the TOR, delivering the expected outputs and statement of availability for completing the consultancy
  • a work portfolio: one or more documents demonstrating that the applicant has experience in (a) delivering similar programmes/action plans, and (b) in planning, designing, preparation and delivery of wellbeing programmes in public, private or civil society sector organizations. These documents should provide key examples of such activities, clarify their nature (providing external links if necessary), and the specific role of the applicant had in their development. Note: the application system will allow for candidates to upload up to 4 separate files in .pdf format and up to 2MB in size each.