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Is this you?

If you work as an independent expert on technical assistance and development cooperation assignments, you have chosen an exceptionally rewarding profession. Every project is different and the challenges stretch and satisfy us both professionally and personally, despite the many setbacks and disappointments we inevitably encounter. While we broaden and deepen our skills and experience, we also know that we are contributing, in however a modest a way, to improving the welfare of other people. Thatʼs very important.

And yet, it is not easy for us. One job doesnʼt instantly follow another. We are often unemployed – no income, no pension contributions, and great worry and uncertainty about when we will start earning again. Itʼs tougher too when we have children in fulltime education and a mortgage to pay off.

Itʼs made far, far worse when unscrupulous or incompetent contractors/consultancy firms take advantage of our need to get back to work. They get us to sign up with them for a project tender, but donʼt tell us they are going to propose another expert for the post until it is too late for us to join a competitorʼs bid. They donʼt pay us for travel days. They donʼt pay us on time. They donʼt pay us full and fair per diems. They donʼt insure us when we are on missions, although they are required to. Too many contractors are guilty of these and other abuses.

And then there are the contracting authorities (CAs), donors or their appointed agencies who fund the projects. All too often, they donʼt complete the evaluation of tenders when they say they will, frequently over-running their own deadlines by many months and all the time we are without any income.

Frequently they lack the technical expertise to evaluate proposals properly and are obsessed with bean-counting and box-ticking when assessing CVs, instead of focusing on required competences. Or they change their minds about the experts they have approved or maybe they just cancel the project. And more.

The whole industry is suffering from crazy procedures.

And there is absolutely nothing we can do about it, as we are on our own – just individuals without the backing and resources to fight for what we are entitled to and to redress the wrongs committed against us.

Well, thatʼs all changing now…

Our member consultants want:

  1. Fair odds of gaining employment

  2. Short procedures to obtain employment

  3. And/or the possibility to join multiple tenders

  4. Smart policies & programme design

  5. Practical, focussed, output-oriented TOR

  6. Fair contractors delivering added value in commerce, expertise & HR plus effective backstopping

  7. Possibilities for individual development

  8. Appropriate tender evaluation:

  9. Oriented on outputs

  10. Allowing innovative approaches

  11. Done by competent evaluators

  12. Weighing competences (instead of counting beans)

  13. Selecting best teams (rather than ticking boxes)

  14. Easy reporting / appeal procedures when situations seem fishy or are unfair, with ‘Whistle-blower protection’

Our member consultants also want:

  1. Balanced (clearly dual sided) contracts with:

  2. Fair rates

  3. Provisions for travel costs, travel days, full per diems , fee rates indexed to cost of living, travel & health insurance

  4. Better possibilities to work from home

  5. Fair family policies

  6. More flexibility – output driven rather than presence

  7. Dispute arrangements

  8. Correct and on time payments

Our member consultants are furthermore committed to:

  1. Tangible project results

  2. Satisfied clients

  3. Rightfully proud donors / funding agencies

  4. Flourishing contractors making the difference

  5. Making sustainable contributions to development

If this is you, become a member!