Call for Expressions of Interest: Report-writing Teams


© Sunset Flowers – Tommy S. Clark

Call for Expressions of Interest
Report-writing Teams

TEEB for Agriculture and Food

‘Scientific and Economic Foundations’

 Launch date: 25 October 2016
Deadline: 11 December 2016


‘The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity’ (TEEB) Office, hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), is seeking motivated individuals who are looking for a challenging, yet rewarding role in the content development of a technical report on the ‘Scientific and Economic Foundations’ for a project on ‘TEEB for Agriculture & Food’

Project Background
First Technical Report
Project Governance & Management
Description of Activities

Support Provided
Eligibility and Application Information






1. Project Background

A ‘TEEB for Agriculture & Food’ (TEEBAgriFood) study will seek to bring together scientists, economists, policymakers, business organizations, civil society and farmer/consumer groups in order to undertake a comprehensive economic evaluation of agricultural systems, practices, products, along value chains and across policy scenarios, to form assessments and provide recommendations that recognize and reflect a comprehensive range of impacts and dependencies.

TEEBAgriFood will seek to review the economic interdependencies between human (including health, nutrition, economic and social) systems, agriculture and food systems, and biodiversity and ecosystems. In doing so, it will address the economic invisibility of many of these links while exploring how biodiversity and key ecosystem services deliver benefits to the agriculture sector and also beyond, itself being a key contributor to human health, livelihoods and well-being.

The objectives of this project are not limited to the assessment of a wide range of hidden costs and benefits of various agricultural production and food systems (making values visible), but to also build an evidence base that provides context-specific examples and recommendations for “sustainable” food systems, i.e. systems that can feed the world with nourishing, healthy diets and without creating high burdens of disease while also ensuring equitable access to resources and livelihoods to farm workers and maintaining and improving ecosystem services for the benefit of all including generations to come.

More information:


2. First Technical Report

A ‘Scientific and Economic Foundations’ report will address the main theoretical issues and challenges underpinning the evaluation of the nexus between the agriculture and food sector, biodiversity and ecosystem services and externalities from agriculture on a global scale. In essence it seeks to set the theoretical context for the evaluation of policy implementation.

At the core of this report will be a proposed universal valuation framework, which seeks to address the question “what should we value, and why?” In seeking to evaluate all significant externalities of agri-food systems, one must consider a wide range of crops, agricultural systems, and supply chains, each with its own set of impacts and dependencies that need to be assessed, and a wide range of economically visible, and more importantly, invisible positive and negative externalities that need to be accounted for. The valuation framework provides both a common understanding of what such an evaluation might entail, as well as a cross-cutting template for carrying out such evaluations. In other words, each type of food system, production alternative, or consumer choice could be held to a common form of assessment of costs and benefits by using a single universally applicable framework.


3. Project Governance & Management

Project Governance — The Project Steering Committee (PSC) is a voluntary group of senior experts in academia, government, business, and civil society appointed by the TEEB Advisory Board and entrusted with the oversight and governance of TEEBAgriFood. Members meet regularly, whether virtually or physically, to carry out their oversight and governance functions. Based on their time availability and area of interest, members are also given the opportunity as volunteers to oversee any particular aspect / any one chapter of the Report, advising the Report Director and CLAs during writing. They may also volunteer to peer review any other chapter.

Study Leader — Alexander Mueller was appointed by the TEEB Advisory Board and UNEP to lead the TEEBAgriFood study and guide the design of all its Reports. The Study Leader also represents the project externally and engages all partners and major stakeholders in addition to communicating frequently the purpose of TEEBAgriFood and the learnings from its reports.

Special Adviser — Pavan Sukhdev was appointed by the TEEB Advisory Board and UNEP to advise the Study Leader and UNEP TEEB Office, manage resources internally (i.e. project management partners including UNEP & various management teams) and guide the processes of report writing by the respective Report Directors of TEEBAgriFood reports. The Special Adviser is accountable for delivering the Reports to high quality and on time.

Report Director — Dr. Pushpam Kumar of UNEP was nominated by UN Environment, proposed by the Study Leader and Special Adviser, and approved by the PSC. As Report Director of “Scientific & Economic Foundations”, he is the overall manager and lead author of the Report, and his principal responsibility is to deliver the entire Report to high quality and on time. He will also be responsible for (at respective stages) engaging authors, day-to-day management of chapter writing teams, quality control and time management. 

Project Management  — UNEP hosts the TEEB Initiative through its TEEB Office in Geneva, which also hosts the TEEBAgriFood project and provides dedicated Project Management. In the writing phase, this means designing and adhering to a timetable and action plan, communicating with writing teams on technical content, coordinating inputs and drafts, coordinating (and contributing to) technical review, and ensuring consistency across sections. In the publication phase, this means setting up procurement processes for graphic design, formatting and printing as well as coordinating other publication elements (e.g. preface, acknowledgements, table of contents, glossary, boxes, tables, etc.). They will also manage the logistics and organization of meetings, calls and launch events.


4. Description of Activities

Applications are at present being sought for the following four roles for each chapter (or group of chapters) of “TEEBAgriFood: Scientific & Economic Foundations”:

♦ Coordinating Lead Author (CLA) – Each chapter will have one (or two) CLAs, whose role will be to ensure that all aspects of the chapter’s wireframe have been explored and addressed fully and to the highest academic standards. The CLA is also the de-facto ‘chief editor’ of that chapter, responsible for its quality.

Time commitment will be considerable for the duration of the report-writing process, and variable by chapter.

♦ Lead Author (LA) – Each chapter will have two (or more) LAs, whose role will be to research and write the body of the chapter.

Time commitment will be considerable for the duration of the report-writing process, and variable by chapter.

♦ Contributing Author (CA) – Each chapter will have several CAs who will contribute a few pages, a topic analysis, a box, an illustration, or an extract of a relevant paper (published or unpublished) written by the CA as their contribution towards the chapter.

Time commitment will be limited and variable for the duration of the report-writing process, depending on contribution.

♦ Peer Reviewers: These are senior academicians in the areas of agriculture, food and nutrition, ecosystems, economics, and other related fields. They will be assigned to review specific chapters as per their areas of expertise. One or two will also be appointed as Report Peer Reviewers, to review the entire Report.

Time commitment will be limited to the end of the report-writing process.

A report ‘wireframe’ (i.e. annotated structure) has been developed and can be accessed here: There are five broad sections, divided into 14 chapters overall. Applicants are invited to designate themselves according to individual chapter/s and preferred role, and to include a brief paragraph on relevant expertise.


5. Timelines

All dates are tentative.



6. Support Provided

Technical and logistical support: Writing teams will be supported throughout the entire process by UNEP TEEB Office in Geneva, as specified in §III above.

Financial support: The activities described in §IV above will mainly rely on in-kind contributions as in similar ‘open architecture’ writing processes. The benefits for experts and institutions are generated from the networking in the group and the visibility of expertise through the publication of our reports. Due acknowledgement will be provided for all contributions. In addition:

  • Participant travel to writers workshops (tentatively planned for January and June 2017) will be provided
  • Remuneration for work may be granted in exceptional cases, upon specific request, through a further and separate application process overseen by the PSC


7. Eligibility and Application Information

General requirements:

  • graduate degree in economics, policy or natural sciences with specialization in a field that is relevant to the chapter/s and/or topic/s being applied for
  • at least three published and peer-reviewed articles

Additional requirements for applicants for the role of CLA include:

  • experience in remotely managing large, international writing teams and/or complex writing processes
  • at least fifteen published and peer-reviewed articles

To apply:



TEEB for Agriculture & Food is sponsored by the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, the European Commission, and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation