Business and Human Rights Specialist, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme

Country: Bangladesh

City: Dhaka, Bangladesh

Office: UNDP Dhaka

Grade: P-3

Closing date: Monday, 16 November 2020

Job ID: 33495

Practice Area - Job Family: Democratic Governance - HUMAN RIGHTS

Vacancy End Date: (Midnight New York, USA) 16/11/2020

Duty Station: Dhaka, Bangladesh

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

Languages: English

Grade: P3

Vacancy Type: TA International

Posting Type: External

Bureau: Asia & the Pacific

Contract Duration: 364 days

Bangladeshi nationals are not eligible to apply.


UNDP works to eradicate poverty and reduce inequalities through the sustainable development of nations, in more than 170 countries and territories. The Regional Bureau of Asia has the responsibility to guide and support 24 Country Offices in achieving the objectives of UNDP’s Strategic Plan. RBAP‘ staff provides technical advice to Country Offices, governments and other relevant stakeholders; advocates for UNDP corporate messages and represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private dialogues, government and civil society dialogues, South-South and Triangular cooperation initiatives, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas.

Rapid and continued economic dynamism has translated into growth and reduced poverty levels in several countries in Asia and the Pacific. More significant foreign direct investments and capital movements, accentuated by higher regional mobility, are reasons for further optimism for future regional growth. This progress has often come at the expense of the human rights of minorities, marginalised and disadvantaged and at-risk groups in the interest of investments and financial gains.

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 (UNGP). The UNGP clarifies the duty of states and the responsibility of businesses to uphold international norms and treaties on human rights. These Guiding Principles 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 UNGP 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 area or industry-specific B&HR activities. While leading national and multi-national corporations are embedding human rights due diligence approaches into their operational policies and corporate communication profiles.

Based on the findings from a scoping phase implemented between June 2017 and June 2018, UNDP is implementing from August 2018 till 2023 the regional project: Business and Human Rights in Asia: Promoting Responsible Business Practices through Regional Partnerships.

The goal of this project is to promote the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles in Asia through regional efforts focused on advocacy, policy development, technical advisory support, capacity building, awareness-raising, innovation platforms, regional peer learning events, and South-South cooperation. The project is implemented by UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific in collaboration with UNDP Country Offices, and supported by the Embassy of Sweden. The project partners with regional initiatives, NHRIs, CSOs, other UN agencies, and the UN Working Group on business and human rights. The project focuses its implementation in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Viet Nam, Sri Lanka and India.

The Business and Human Rights Specialist, based in Dhaka, is responsible for strengthening the business and human portfolio in Bangladesh. The Business and Human Rights Specialist will spend 50% of her/his time to support the Bangladesh CO in policy and technical advice and strategic partnerships and resource mobilization in the area of business and human rights, and the rest 50% coordinating the B+HR Asia regional project ‚Promoting Responsible Businss Practices through Regional Partnerships in Asia, placing stronger focus in the South Asia sub-region. The Business and Human Rights Specialist will be embedded in the Democratic Governance portfolio team. The Business and Human Rights Specialist will have a matrixed reporting line to the Project Manager, Business and Human Rights and to the UNDP Bangladesh Deputy Resident Representative. S/he works with teams across BRH, Country Offices, Global Policy Centers and the UN system to ensure the execution of quality and coherent policy and project advisory services within their region as well as alignment with the Strategic Plan. S/he is responsible for performing and contributing to the following:

Project Coordination

Technical support in the integration of business and human rights into programming and advocacy strategies

Policy and technical support to integrate business and human rights into the programme work of UNDP Bangladesh, including strategic partnership and resource mobilization

Duties and Responsibilities

1. Project Coordination:

Serves as a focal point for project activities in South Asia and support the project manager in implementing activities in the sub-region

Acts as project focal point in Bangladesh where it coordinates with other projects/initiatives being implemented by the Country Office or other actors in the field of Business and Human Rights

Supports coordination of project implementation activities, involving liaison with diverse organisational units to initiate requests, prepare standard terms of reference against project objectives, obtain necessary clearances, process and follow-up, e.g. recruitment and appointment of interns, staff and consultants by liaising with support unit (e.g. Atlas requisitioning, travel arrangements and procurement of equipment and services, etc.)

Assists in the preparation and analysis of project budget proposals; implementation of budget guidelines;
Supports results-based management of the portfolio (annual and quarterly work plans, monitoring and evaluation, human resources and procurement plans, financial reports and budget tracking and donor reporting) while ensuring strict adherence to UNDP procedures, rules and regulations;
Under guidance of the project manager liaises with country offices in South Asia and provides necessary support in ensuring delivery of their Annual Work Plans

Provides support in organising the regional forums and events and support attendance’s travel and participation liaising with travel and admin support unit

Support the project manager in day-to-day coordination of the UNDP’s B+HR Asia programme

2. Technical support in the integration of business and human rights into programming and advocacy strategies:

Raises awareness and advocates for the implementation of the UNGPs on Business and Human Rights with all actors in Bangladesh and supports the same in India and Sri Lanka

Provides analytical inputs on Business and Human Rights National Action Plans, legislation, strategies and initiatives in Bangladesh and other countries in the sub-region

Prepares and supervises the implementation of the project Annual Work plan for Bangladesh and backstops implementation of the same in India and Sri Lanka

Ensures substantive contribution to the analysis and research of the business and human rights situation in the countries in the focus of the programme, and prepares substantive inputs to the UNDP country office programme planning;
Provides substantive information on business and human rights to new policy developments and strategies analysing policy papers, strategy documents, national plans and development frameworks, and prepare briefs and inputs for policy dialogue and technical assistance coordination on business and human rights;
Coordinates the production of relevant high-level research and analysis for policy advice and programme support that responds to country office needs and verify that knowledge sharing and content management is in line with guidelines and performed using corporate tools;
Assists in planning and organising the annual regional Forums on Business and Human Rights, including drafting concept notes, background documents, agendas, invitations, and coordinating Forum sessions;
Provides periodic context analysis of progress in the implementation of the UNGPs in South Asia. Drafts sections of the Annual Report related to work in South Asia.

3. Policy and technical support to integrate business and human rights into the programme work of UNDP Bangladesh, including strategic partnership and resource mobilization:

Provide substantive leadership in the area of business and human rights in UNDP support for achievement of SDG 16, through identification of key policy issues and formulation of best possible and alternative policy options for UNDP.

In the area of business and human rights, identification of of cooperation, based on strategic goals of UNDP, country needs and donors‘ priorities;
Contribute to the UN/DP policy and programming work by ensuring business and human rights is advocated for and integrated in the UNSDCF/CPD including identification of possibilities for joint programming

Create and maintain partnerships with the UN Agencies, government institutions, bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors, private sector, civil society, etc in the area of business and human rights.

Mobilize resources and network with the experts of international development community, government partners, UN Agencies and prominent think-tanks to advance business and human rights agenda in Bangladesh.


Core Competency:


Ability to make new and useful ideas work

Level 5: Creates new and relevant ideas and leads others to implement them


Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform

Level 5: Gains trust of peers, partners, clients by presenting complex concepts in practical terms to others


Ability to get things done while exercising sound judgement

Level 5: Critically assesses value and relevance of existing policy/practice and contributes to enhanced delivery of products, services, and innovative solutions

Technical/Functional :

Project and Programme Management:

Ability to research, plan, organise, and comply with procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals

Level 5: Originate: Catalyses new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in the professional area of expertise

Human rights:

Knowledge of international Human Rights standards and principles and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations

Apply & Adapt: Contributes skills and knowledge with demonstrated ability to advance innovation and continuous improvement, in professional area of expertise

Rule of Law, Justice and Security:

Knowledge of Rule of law, Justice and Security concepts and principles and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations

Apply & Adapt: Contributes skills and knowledge with demonstrated ability to advance innovation and continuous improvement, in professional area of expertise

Knowledge Management:

Ability to capture, develop, share and effectively use information and knowledge

Level 5: Originate: Catalyses new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise


Ability to communicate and collaborate with team members and partner agencies to achieve joint objectives and deliver projects, campaigns or events successfully

Level 5: Originate: Catalyses new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in the professional area of expertise

Required Skills and Experience


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in law, political science, international relations, social sciences or related field is required. A first-level university degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent) in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree;
Knowledge and Experience:

Minimum 5 years of professional work experience in the areas of Governance, Human Rights and Rule of Law. Work experience in Business and Human Rights is an asset;
An understanding of research approaches and methodologies and their application to human rights;
Demonstrable experience in documentation and report writing;
Demonstrable experience in coordinating large scale multi-stakeholder events relevant stakeholders from the governmental and non-governmental institutions involved in human rights issues at the regional and national levels;
Experience of working with cross-cultural teams;
Previous UNDP working experience is an asset;
Experience working in the Asia-Pacific region is desirable;
Language Requirements:

Fluency in English is essential, both written and oral. Working knowledge of another UN language is an asset;

Important information for US Permanent Residents (‚Green Card‘ holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment.

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

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.

Scam warning

The United Nations does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you receive a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply particular care when submitting personal information on the web.

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, ethnicity and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and people living with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.