• Frequently Asked Questions

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    General Questions

    Q: What are the different types of notices published in Development Business?

    A: DB publishes current Procurement Notices and Contract Awards from international development banks, the United Nations agencies and governments. Our Glossary provides more details on the types of notices published. (E.g. General Procurement Notices, Invitations to Bid, Invitations for Prequalification, Expressions of Interest, etc.)

    Q: Where does Development Business receive its material from?

    A: We receive tender notices and contract awards from our partners on a daily basis. For the most part we publish projects that are funded by development loans. All submissions are proof-read for content and edited so that information is displayed in a standard format.

    Q: What is the typical procurement process?

    A: The procurement process is fairly standard but may vary slightly from agency to agency. View a standard World Bank procurement cycle on slide 14 of our Powerpoint.

    Q: How much does it cost to subscribe to Development Business?

    A: The cost per year is $550 for online access. As of 1st January 2012 the print version has been phased out. Any subscription package previous to this date will be prorated accordingly.

    Q: If I subscribe to Development Business, am I then a registered company eligible to bid for contracts?

    A: DB is not a registration database. If you would like to participate in projects by UN agencies, you must register with the United Nations Global Marketplace. In order to do business with the World Bank, no registration is required. As for the other multilateral banks, please visit their respective websites.

    Q: What is the difference between Development Business (DB) and UN Global Marketplace (UNGM)?

    A: UNGM is the United Nation’s registration database for suppliers.  Development Business is the official publication for procurement information from multilateral banks, the United Nations System and several government agencies. In order to be eligible to do business with the UN, you need to be registered with the UNGM. 

    Q: Does Development Business provide assistance during the procurement process?

    A: We are not involved in the actual procurement of goods, works or services.

    The bidding process is managed by the implementing agency. DB provides contact information at the bottom of each notice for procurement and/or project officers for any questions during the application process.

    Q: Can I invite Development Business staff to participate in an event?

    A: DB is interested in participating in events that are relevant to our mandate – outreach for global projects that benefit developing countries and countries in transition.

    We do regularly attend seminars or forums hosted by UN agencies, multilateral development banks, and Chambers of Commerce and government institutions.  Development Business is very interested in reaching a large pool of qualified companies and consultants. If we are not able to attend your event but consider it relevant, you can request our media kit that includes flyers, brochures, and a PowerPoint presentation. We may also advertise your event on our website. Please contact us for more information.

    Q: How do I apply for a job at the UN or at one of the Development Banks?

    A: For information on jobs at the UN Secretariat and Peacekeeping Missions, please visit UN Careers. There are also many career opportunities at different UN agencies and programmes. You can also find information on employment with the World Bank. For more information on employment with other Development Banks, please visit their respective websites.

    Q: Where is the Development Business office located?

    A: Our main office is located at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City at 300 East 42nd street, IN-916A, New York, NY 10017, USA.

    Our liaison office is located at the World Bank in Washington, DC, 1818 H Street, Room MC10-378, MSN:MC10-1014, Washington, DC 20433, USA.

    Q: Whom can I contact if I need further information?

    A: Kindly contact dbusiness@un.org for more information on the procurement process and dbhelp@worldbank.org for technical or website assistance.


    FAQ for Subscribers

    Q: How do I find out about business opportunities in developing countries?

    A: Subscribing to Development Business gives you access to the latest procurement notices and contracts available from all major development banks, governments, and the United Nations system. In addition we publish Monthly Operational Summaries in order for you to plan your upcoming opportunities.

    Q: Why does Development Business operate through paid subscriptions?

    A: We are a self-financed operation that services our clients and development partners by publishing timely procurement information. Multilateral banks and UN agencies receive free space to advertise their procurement notices as our mandate is to provide outreach for their tenders. DB provides a reliable and unique service to its partners and subscribers on a daily basis. Our editors communicate with content providers to assure the format, deadlines and contact information on the notices are appropriate and comprehensive. For more than 30 years we have built a uniquely solid reputation and expansive network. We maintain our status as the single most comprehensive source for procurement information from developing banks, UN agencies and government institutions.

    Q: Can I share my access codes?

    A: Access codes are issued when you subscribe to Development Business. Codes provide access for one user and simultaneous login will not be possible. If you are interested in receiving access for multiple accounts, please contact us at dbsubscribe@un.org

    Q: What if I forget my username or password?

    A: Retrieve your username and password here by sending us an email

    Q: How do I view full notices?

    A: Click on the notice abstract to view a full notice. Full notices are only available to current Development Business subscribers.

    Q: Is it possible to receive e-mail alerts for notices?

    A: Yes. You can create a custom e-mail alert that delivers timely information directly to your inbox. Detailed instructions are given here. As of January 1st. 2013 it is only possible to receive one email alert per account. If you wish to receive multiple email alerts we recommend you use Twitter hashtags instead.  

    Q: As a subscriber to Development Business, am I automatically registered to do business with the UN system?

    A: No. If you would like to participate in projects financed by UN agencies, you need to be registered with the United Nations Global Marketplace

    Q: Should I register with the World Bank?

    A: A consultant or supplier does not need to register at the World Bank in order to bid on World Bank-financed contracts. For many contracts, prequalification procedures are used to create short lists. Such procedures are handled on a case-by-case basis. Consulting firms are encouraged, but are not required, to register with DACON. Information concerning registration with the other banks can be found on their websites.

    Q: What is DACON?

    A: DACON (Database on Consultants) is a consulting database used by the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for firms with at least five professionals. Although not a requirement for inclusion in a shortlist, participation in DACON provides information to World Bank and IDB Borrowers when identifying firms for projects. The Asian Development Bank has its own Consultant Management System (CMS). The African Development Bank Group has its own DACON registration system which can be accessed through the AFDB website.

    Q: How can I supply goods directly to the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC?

    A: The World Bank maintains a list of such contracts on their Corporate Procurement webpage.

    Q: Where can I find the Procurement and Consultant Guidelines for the Development Banks?

    A: Most of the Procurement and Consultant Guidelines of the various Development Banks can be found on their website. Select the following links to go directly to the procurement and consultant guidelines of the Development Banks.


    Q: Is there a standard form used in writing an Expression of Interest?

    A: There is no standard form that is used in a response to an Expression of Interest. The information that you should include in your response is mentioned in the Procurement Notice (Request for Expressions of Interest) which is published in Development Business. Be sure to include relevant details including the type of organization, experience in similar projects, experience of key personnel, contact information, etc.

    Q: Does Development Business offer subscription discounts?

    A: Yes. A discount is available to subscription agents and companies with five (5) or more accounts or during special promotional offers.

    Q: Is there a premium subscription with extra services and products?

    A: No. We have only one standard subscription model that incorporates all the products and services.

    Q: Which institutions publish in Development Business?

    A: This is a list of our Content Providers.

    Q: Where do I receive bidding documents?

    A: The implementing agencies are usually the ones who provide the bidding documents. That information is provided at the end of each notice.

    Q: What is the duration of a subscription?

    A: A subscription is valid for twelve months from the date of issuance of access codes.

    Q: Does Development Business have an IBAN number?

    A: No. An IBAN number is not needed for transfers into the United States.

    Q: Can my company have a trial or temporary access?

    A: We have no provision for a trial account unless you participated in an event where access codes were made available for a trial period.

    Q: What does it mean when my account is “pending?”

    A: It means your payment is being processed and your account will be approved shortly.


    FAQ for Development Partners

    Q: How do I publish notices on Development Business online?

    A: You many simply send an e-mail to dbusiness@un.org. More information on publishing notices can be found here.

    Q: Is there a template for Procurement Notices and Contract Awards?

    A: Yes, please choose your template here.

    Q: Can Development Business publish notices in any language?

    A: We currently publish notices written in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

    Q: Can I submit 2 versions of a notice, each in a different language?

    A:   We will only publish one notice and assign one reference number, but we can add the second, translated version of the notice right below the original version.

    Q: I need to make changes to a notice already published on Development Business online. How should I do that?

    A: Simply send an e-mail to dbusiness@un.org And indicate the reference number (e.g. IDB235-347/09) of the original notice along with the respective changes.

    Q: How long will it take for a procurement notice to be posted online?

    A: Procurement notices are posted within 2 business days, sometimes faster.

    Q: Why does it take 2 days for a notice to appear online?

    A: Development Business is a publication that adheres to high quality standards in terms of format and style. Our Editorial team reviews, edits and formats, confirms and provides feedback for every single notice before they are approved for publication. We provide a unique level of quality control to assure that the published tender is accurate and clear.

    Q: Why is there a publication schedule?

    A: Our publication schedule only refers to the magazine version of Development Business. As of 2012, this refers to the Monthly Operational Summaries from the AfDB, ADB and IDB. In order to put together the summaries every two weeks, we need to adhere to this schedule to leave enough time for typesetting.

    Q: How do I view the notice I submitted once it has been published?

    A: You may search for your notice in DB’s database by using the DB reference number communicated to you in your confirmation e-mail. A DB reference number starts with an abbreviation for your bank/agency, lists the notice count and includes the issue number and year. Example: IDB235-347/09.

    Q: I am not a Development Business subscriber and I have just sent a notice to be published by you. How do I know it has been published?

    A: You may use the Development Business search tool to search for your notice. All notice abstracts are available for viewing by subscribers and non-subscribers. If you wish to view the full notice, Development Business can send you an electronic copy of your notice. Kindly contact dbusiness@un.org

    Q: How much does it cost to publish a tender notice or contract award?

    A: Generally, Multilateral Development Banks and UN organizations publish notices at no cost. For all others, Development Business offers low advertising rates. Please send your notice to dbusiness@un.org for a price quote.

    Q: How and when do I pay for a notice published by Development Business?

    A: We publish your notice after receiving your confirmation to the price quote. You will also receive a reference number for easy tracking.

    An invoice will then be sent to you by e-mail. You may pay by credit card, bank transfer or cheque paid to UN Development Business.

    Q: I want to publish a classified advertisement in your publication. How do I do that?

    A: Visit our International Business Guide for more information on advertisements.

    Q: How can I list my company in your Directory?

    A: Visit our Business Directory for more information on advertisements.

    Q: Where can I find more information on participating banks and agencies?

    A: If you have any questions relating to any of the multilateral banks or the UN system, please visit our partners' sites:


    Didn’t find what you were looking for? Please contact us for more information.