Short-Term Consultant (Technical Support)


Short-Term Consultant (Technical Support)

Contact: Jiyoun Christina Chang <>

Terms of Reference


The European Commission’s target for a climate-neutral Europe with rising circularity in production and consumption behaviors by 2050[1] represents an ambitious agenda that requires a fundamental paradigm shift in institutional and individual behaviors. The European Union’s Cohesion Policy Objective 2 supports this agenda by providing a framework for policies and investments that support green energy, biodiversity conservation, pollution reduction, climate change adaptation, disaster resilience, efficient energy and water use and shifts towards a circular economy. A climate-neutral Europe will require fundamental transformations in lifestyle as well as patterns of production and consumption in core societal systems such as food, energy, and mobility in member countries.[2] Transforming societies sustainably will demand systemic integration of efforts at different levels of government and participatory public engagement to ensure a fine balance between human wellbeing and environmental sustainability.

Sustainability transitions are long-term, society-wide processes that depend critically on the emergence and spread of diverse forms of innovation that trigger alternative ways of thinking and living – new social practices, technologies, business models, nature-based solutions and so on.[3] The fundamental uncertain nature of sustainability transitions result in trade-offs between societal systems as well as unpredictable and unintended outcomes. This implies that innovative thinking, networking and financial reorientation sustainability goals are key elements to ensuring successful sustainability transitions within national systems. Intergovernmental agreements, regulations and financial instruments are also important since transitions in member states cannot be achieved in isolation within and outside national systems. In addition, there is no consistent approach to measuring governmental effectiveness for achieving long-term sustainability goals, despite the consensus on the important role of governance in achieving these goals. For the purposes of this activity, Sustainability Transitions refers to the economic and policy changes required to achieve the second objective of the EU’s Cohesion Policy.

Upon the request of the European Commission, The World Bank is developing and piloting a methodology for reviewing the capacity of member states to design and implement “Sustainability Transitions”. The commission has also asked that the Bank accompany member states in reflecting on their readiness to achieve the long-term sustainability goals agreed upon by the Union.

The main objective of this activity is to develop and pilot a framework to assess the capacity of EU member states to achieve sustainability transitions. The framework will provide the Commission with a tool to: a) identify policy and institutional bottlenecks and ‘pain points’ hindering Member States’ achievement of Cohesion Policy Objective 2, and engage them in a dialogue to address them; b) inform the greening of the European Semester by identifying sustainability oriented institutional and governance reforms


The World Bank is looking to recruit a short-term consultant to support a multisectoral team of experts in the development of the diagnostic framework. The consultant is expected to work under the direction of the Lead for the Circular Economy sector and support activities related to the assessment of policy instruments, leadership structures, legal frameworks, government strategies, accountability processes, and coordination of responsibilities across different tiers of government. The ideal candidate must be capable of taking initiative on a range of tasks with minimal supervision.

Specific Activities

The consultant will:

  1. List the important aspects that should be considered to access the capacity of the government to achieve a circular economy on following five attributes: i) leadership, ii) strategic and legal bases, iii) coordination mechanisms; iv) policy instruments and v) internal/external accountability. As the circular economy requires measures in perspective of life-cycle approaches, these aspects must target all different stages of life-cycle (design, production, consumption, waste management, market for the secondary materials) in line with the EU Circular Economy Action Plan as well as reflect the interactions between different stages.
  2. Explain the rationale for the importance of each identified key aspect from activity 1) and how they are linked to implement core elements of the circular economy strategy in the EU framework (
  3. Develop questionnaire to assess how the government of member states address key aspects from the Activity 1. The questionnaire should be designed to differentiate the capacity of the governments, ones who address identified key aspects versus ones who do not in pursuing transition to a circular economy. These questions should reflect key features of sustainable transitions, which often act as constraints in decision making, namely, trade-off and synergies, long-term horizons, evidence base, resources, and social inclusion and buy-in. The questions could be structured in one-stop or question trees depending on the nature of questions. For the latter, the answers to a set of questions could be binary or categorical.  
  4. Annotate guidance on each question of the Activity 3 should be provided including the relevance, required information, target counterpart, and relevant stakeholders.
  5. Iterate 1-4 activities based on the feedbacks on the Circular Economy lead as well as other related sectors leads.
  6. Validate hypothesis in developing questionnaire above by comparing different EU member states.

Outputs and Deliverables

The consultant is expected to:

  1. Prepare technical reports at the request of the sector lead
  2. Provide written inputs for the section of the diagnostic framework that addresses circular economy
  3. Produce products for presentation in accordance with the assigned inputs defined in the project’s scope of work.


  1. A report of 5-7 page describing the key governance aspects or components for a transition to a CE including policy instruments, leadership structure, legal framework, accountability and coordination of responsibilities that should be considered to assess the capacity of the government to achieve a circular economy and explain rationale for importance of considering these aspects
  2. A report of a detailed questionnaire to assess key governance aspects or components for a transition to a CE. The questionnaire should be able to differentiate the governments with different level of capacity with identified key aspects and explain the appropriateness of each question to measure that.
  3. A short summary writeup or presentation of two reports could be requested.


Consultant Qualifications

The consultant should have the following background:

  • Strong background knowledge about EU Circular Economy Package.
  • Ability to governance and policy analysis for a multi-sector strategic agenda, particularly circular economy, resource efficiency, or industrial ecology.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills (in English)
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work well with a team
  • The consultant should be able to work independently with minimal supervision
  • The consultant should be detail-oriented and capable of synthesizing materials from a wide range of sources

Schedule and Reporting

The contract schedule will be from February 2020 to June 2020. The time allocation is up to 4 weeks. The consultant will report to the Circular Economy Lead while working closely with consultants and Leads of other related sectors in the project.   

Proposed Deadline (subject to change):

  • A first draft of the first deliverable due February 14, 2020
  • A first draft of the framework document including deliverable 1 and 2 due February 28, 2020
  • A second draft of the framework document (deliverable 1 and 2) after incorporating team feedbacks due April 30. 2020
  • Final draft of the framework document due May 15, 2020

Data Confidentiality/Ownership/Re-Use

All data collected under this activity including the documentation about the data and its collection methodology are confidential and are the property of the World Bank. The consultant must also ensure that data or the documentation referred to above, collected or compiled under this activity, are not distributed for commercial or non-commercial purposes to third parties, nor will they be used for purposes other than those expressly stated in these terms of reference, without the written approval of the World Bank prior to, during, or after completion of the assignments.





  • World Bank
  • Lead for the Circular Economy sector
  • remote
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