Business and Human Rights National Specialist, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme

Country: Malaysia

City: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Office: UNDP Country Office Malaysia

Closing date: Saturday, 14 March 2020

Job ID: 29077

Practice Area - Job Family: Democratic Governance - HUMAN RIGHTS

Vacancy End Date: (Midnight New York, USA) 14/03/2020

Duty Station: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Education & Work Experience: G-Bachelor’s Level Degree - 5 year(s) experience, I-Master’s Level Degree - 3 year(s) experience

Languages: English, Malay

Grade: SB4

Vacancy Type: Service Contract (SC)

Posting Type: External

Bureau: Asia & the Pacific

Contract Duration: One year, with possibility of renewal


Over the last several decades, pro-growth policies have translated into higher incomes and reduced poverty levels in many countries in Asia and the Pacific. However, economic development has not come without costs and risks, particularly to the most vulnerable. There is now wider recognition that human rights abuses in business operations and supply chains in Asia are no longer sustainable, and that government and business must bring abuses to an end as a moral, legal, and economic imperative.

In this context, the UNDP Asia-Pacific, Governance and Peacebuilding Team, Business and Human Rights Unit, is currently engaged in promoting the implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). The UNGPs clarify the duty of states and the responsibility of businesses to uphold international norms and treaties on human rights. The UNGPs rest on three pillars: 1) the State’s duty to protect human rights; 2) the corporate responsibility to respect human rights and; 3) the joint responsibility of both the State and businesses sector to provide access to remedy for victims of business-related abuses. Momentum supporting the implementation of the UNGPs through National Action Plans (NAPs) is developing quickly in the region. Nurturing this, an already well-developed community of industry advocates, human rights activists, and development practitioners are deepening their work on a wide variety of thematic areas, while leading national and multi-national enterprises are embedding human rights due diligence approaches into their operational policies and corporate communication profiles.

In this context, UNDP is implementing from January 2020, the project, Business and Human Rights in Asia: Enabling Sustainable Economic Growth through the Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework. The goal of this project is to promote the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles in Asia through multi-country efforts focused on advocacy, policy development, technical advisory support, capacity building, awareness raising, innovation platforms, regional peer learning events, and South-South cooperation. The proposed project will be implemented by the UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub in collaboration with UNDP Country Offices and in partnership with regional initiatives, NHRIs, CSOs, other UN agencies, and the UN Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises.

The Business and Human Rights National Specialist based in the UNDP Malaysia Country Office directly manages funds allocated for project implementation at the country level in Malaysia. In addition to planning, administration and reporting, the National Specialist inputs into policy research and develops knowledge products as well as supports communication, partnership-building and resource mobilization. The Business and Human Rights National Specialist reports to the UNDP Malaysia Country Office but acts under the guidance of the Business and Human Rights Specialist, Crisis Prevention and Rule of Law, at the Bangkok Regional Hub.

Under the overall guidance and direct supervision of the Assistant Resident Representative of the UNDP Malaysia Country Office, and the guidance of the Business and Human Rights Specialist, Crisis Prevention and Rule of Law, at the Bangkok Regional Hub, the National Specialist is responsible for performing and contributing to the following:

Effective delivery of project implementation support services ensuring effective operational management of project and transparent utilization of financial resources;
Communications, awareness raising, capacity building and advocacy at national level;
Technical advisory and policy support for national policy documents and regulatory guidance.

The Business and Human Rights National Specialist promotes a collaborative, client-oriented approach consistent with UNDP rules and regulations. The National Specialist works in close collaboration with the respective CO Programme and Operations teams ensuring successful CO performance and compliance in programme management and finance.

Duties and Responsibilities

1. Ensure effective project implementation at the national level, focusing on the achievements of the following results:

Prepare and coordinate annual work plan development and implementation according to project document and for relevant projects in the portfolio;
Ensure project meets expectations as specified in project document, and update CO management and Bangkok Regional Hub as required;
Gather inputs and coordinate the preparation of work-plans, periodic narrative progress reports and expenditures status reports for all relevant projects;
Establish systems for project planning, implementation and monitoring;
Record and maintain documents on relevant CO-led activities, issues, and risks;
Gather and compile all information necessary for monitoring and reporting on activities from the planning to the evaluation stages;
Monitor the implementation of activities and the expenditure of funds; conduct regular monitoring visits, as required;
Draft and provide inputs to annual and quarterly reports;
Coordinate development and preparation of financial resources including annual workplan budgeting and budget revisions, and expenditure tracking and revisions;
Monitor the allocation and disbursement of funds to CSO partners per UNDP corporate guidance;
Advocate and facilitate knowledge building and management and communication in line with EU and UNDP guidelines.

2. Conduct awareness-raising, capacity building and advocacy activities, focusing on the achievements of the following results:

Draft reports or conduct quality control over reports, highlighting key issues, trends, emerging opportunities, risks, potential project partners, and entry-points for the country;
Facilitate consultations at national level with CSOs, business and government representatives;
Design and implement training, campaigning, and advocacy efforts as necessary;
Develop partnerships with the UN Agencies, IFI’s, government institutions, bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors, private sector firms and civil society organizations in the specific thematic areas based on the strategic goals of UNDP Country Offices, country needs and donors‘ priorities;
Deliver presentations/workshops to Resident Coordinators and the UN Country Team to raise awareness and build partnerships at the national level.

3. Provide technical support, expert advice, and policy representation to support governments in developing policy documents and regulatory guidance, focusing on the achievements of the following results:

Tags business enterprises economic development economic growth financial resources human rights human rights activists knowledge products knowledge sharing monitoring and reporting peacebuilding political science programme management project implementation quality control resident coordinators resource mobilization rule of law social sciences south south supply chain support services transnational corporations

Support the organization of national events on Business and Human Rights and other relevant areas to support knowledge building and exchange of best practices;
Facilitate the training of government representatives on Business and Human Rights to support institutional knowledge and capacity building;
Facilitate discussions on key country-specific issues that can be incorporated into National Action Plans;
Provide comments on National Baseline Assessments, National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights, or other policy instruments

Support research to showcase best practices in the field of business and human rights, and any other research required to support promotion and understanding of the UNGPs and its varied applications;
Provide guidance to stakeholders on human rights due diligence best practices;
Engage with stakeholders on access to remedy initiatives.


Corporate Competencies:

Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards

Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP

Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability

Functional Competencies:


Critically assesses established methods

Contributes to prototyping, piloting, and evaluating lessons / feedback


Communicates ideas and positions with command and confidence

Finds common ground to solve problems

Leadership and People Management

Creates new opportunities for team, not just self to learn and take on new responsibilities

Actively shares knowledge

Demonstrates behaviors of teamwork, collaboration, knowledge sharing, maintaining relationships


Embraces complex challenges and opportunities for getting work done

Ability to embrace challenges with minimal supervision

Works to develop organizational awareness of UNDP’s approach to client service delivery and integrity and accountability

Required Skills and Experience


MA or BA degree in Law, Political Science, Public Policy, International Development, other Social Sciences, or closely related fields.


A minimum three (3) years (with Masters‘ degree), or, minimum five (5) years (with Bachelors‘ degree) of relevant experience on programme and policy work preferably in Human Rights or Responsible Business fields. Familiarity and with the UNGPs and any experience working on Business and Human Rights matters is an asset.

Experience working with governments, business, and civil society, preferably in Asia on Human Rights issues is also an asset.

Language Requirements:

Fluency in English and Bahasa Malaysia


Important applicant information

All posts in the SC categories are subject to local recruitment.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

Workforce diversity

UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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