How we Operate


  1. Identify needs
  2. Write specifications, terms of reference or statement of work
  3. Choose a procurement method
  4. Prepare solicitation document
  5. Seek, clarify and close offers
  6. Evaluate offers
  7. Award contract
  8. Negotiate the contract
  9. Manage contract
  10. Evaluate the procurement


Depending on the type, complexity, size and value of a procurement exercise, common methods of solicitation include:

Request for Quotation (RFQ)

An RFQ is an informal invitation to submit a quotation, usually for goods/services/civil works at a value between US$10,000 and US$60,000.

Prices, and other commercial terms and conditions are requested and award is made to the lowest-priced technically acceptable offer.

Invitation to Bid (ITB)

An ITB is a formal invitation to submit a bid, usually associated with requirements that are clearly and concisely defined, with an estimated procurement value of US$60,000 or more. Normally price is the sole determinant in making an award. Where all technical criteria are met, award is made to the lowest bidder.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

An RFP is a formal request to submit a proposal, usually associated with requirements for services, which cannot be clearly or concisely defined, with an estimated procurement value of US$60,000 or more.

Price is only one of several factors comprising the evaluation criteria. Award is made to the qualified bidder whose bid substantially conforms to the requirement set forth on the solicitation documents and is evaluated to be the lowest cost to UNRWA.

In some cases, exceptions to competition are made and direct contracting is used. This usually happens when a long-term agreement (LTA) is in place, either locally (at field office level) or internationally.


Evaluation is based on different factors, depending on the procurement method.

Requests for Quotation and Invitations to Bid

Price is the most important element.

Requests for Proposal

RFPs require a technical evaluation, which is the main factor in whether the proposal will be accepted or declined.

Other criteria

UNRWA also evaluates offers (for goods, construction works, or services) on the following criteria:

  • competency
  • quality assurance
  • speed of response
  • environmental soundness
  • accuracy of documentation
  • delivery in full for all required items
  • customer service – based on detailed service level agreements (SLAs)
  • ability to meet technical specifications or demonstrate comprehensive technical solutions.
  • acceptance of and compliance with the UNRWA General Conditions of Contract (GCC)
  • GCC Goods (PDF)
  • GCC Services (PDF)
  • GCC Goods and Services (PDF)

UNRWA Conditions of Contract

To any contract and purchase order issued by UNRWA, the UNRWA General Conditions of Contract shall apply.

GCC Goods (PDF)
GCC Services (PDF)
GCC Goods and Services (PDF) 


UNRWA procurement is decentralised, with the Chief of the Central Support Services Division ([email protected]) having ultimate responsibility for ensuring that procedures and awarded contracts comply with the UNRWA Regulatory Framework on Procurement.


CSSD headquarters oversees:

  • Agency-wide long-term agreements (LTAs)
  • procurement of goods and services
  • analysis, policies and development
  • transport and logistics

Its main tasks are:

  • global procurement of inventory for the entire Agency (such as food items)
  • updates and maintenance of the Agency’s policies and procedures
  • technical support for all UNRWA central support services divisions
  • tendering for and management of Agency-wide LTAs.
Field Office PLD

Field Office CSSD carries out field-specific procurement under the delegated procurement authority of the Director of Field Office and the general guidance of the Chief, Central Support Services Division. Each field office also provides logistical support to its field programmes.

Ethical standards

UNRWA, like other public-sector agencies and organisations, faces ethical challenges. The Agency promotes ethical conduct among its staff, based on common values.

The Agency has defined standards of behaviour and performance expected of its staff members by directly linking the Agency’s values to all elements of its work, and by making those standards an inherent part of its overall human resources management strategy.

As part of this overall strategy, the UNRWA Central Support Services Division in Headquarters Amman and in the Fields continuously seek and promote the commitment of their staff members to the UNRWA Staff Standards of Conduct.