ESCAP- OECD research project on Digital-trade regulatory integration in Asia-Pacific region

Application deadline 15 September 2020
ESCAP invites junior researchers who are interested in building their capacity through learning-by-doing and direct experience in working with experts in digital-trade regulatory analysis to submit applications for participation in the learning-by-doing training programme on “Digital-trade regulatory integration in Asia-Pacific region”.

The objective of the project is to develop an Asia-Pacific database on digital-trade regulatory restrictiveness as a knowledge product for the region. The research project is initiated by United Nations ESCAP, with technical support from OECD.

1. Participation: training and assignments
Successful candidates will be trained to collect and verify data and information on national regulations affecting digital trade environment of respective countries. Following the technical guidelines and close supervisions by international experts, including those from OECD, the candidates will be given an assignment to construct a dataset of national digital-trade regulatory restrictiveness.

Each successful applicant will have 4 months to complete the assignment by submitting the national digital-trade regulatory restrictiveness dataset and a 2- to 4-page summary of the country’s regulatory profile, which may be co-published by ESCAP and the researcher or its affiliated institution, as appropriate. Overall expected time commitment is about 1.5 work month, depending on experience of the researcher.

The national datasets produced under this initiative will have to follow technical guidelines and address peer-reviewed comments from the project supervisor and experts. The datasets will eventually be used as part of inputs for the ESCAP DigiSRII and OECD DSTRI databases.* The country-profile sheet will be subsequently published on the ESCAP website.

(Note: *ESCAP DigiSRII is available from OECD DSTRI is available from

2. Benefits
The selected candidates will each be given a research fee of USD 2,000-4,000, depending on scope of work in each country and level of expertise of the selected applicant, for their successful submissions of the project assignments for a country, through a consultant contract with ESCAP (outputs will need to follow the technical guidelines and address peer-reviewed comments received, including from project supervisors and experts). The country-profile sheets which will be published on the ESCAP website will also indicate the contributors’ name.

Participation in this project is a great opportunity for young professionals in developing countries – and the institution they are affiliated with - to build their capacity in research and analysis in the areas of digital trade related laws and regulations. The project participants will engage in practical training on legal-data collection, verification, and analysis. The participants will develop their technical capacity through, also, learning-by-doing, and interactions with experts in the areas through-out the project. This will give them opportunities to develop competencies in digital-trade regulatory analysis and networking with professionals in the areas.

3. Eligibility
The application is open to researchers with at least 2 years of experience in studying or analyzing trade-related laws. Knowledge of local and/or official languages of the country of assignment is required. Priority will be given to researchers from developing Asia-Pacific economies member of ESCAP, as well as to the following economies:

Brunei Darussalam**
Hong Kong, China**
Lao P.D.R.**
Republic of Korea
Russian Federation
Viet Nam

(Note: **Applicants from these economies will be given particularly high priority.)

4. How to apply
To apply, please submits by email to [email protected] the following documents:
o Resume/CV
o Cover letter, indicating by countries where the applicant has interest or capability to conduct the research, if any, and reasons for being a suitable candidate.
o Professional/Academic recommendation

The deadline of application is 15 September 2020. The successful applications will be announced around 30 September 2020 by email.

5. Contract arrangement
ESCAP will enter into appropriate contractual arrangements with the successful applicants who have been selected for funding their participation in these research exercises. The contract duration will be 4 months.

6. Contact information
Please email Ms. Witada Anukoonwattaka, the project coordinator, at [email protected] if you have any question.