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 National Specialist based in Dhaka directly manages funds allocated for project implementation at the country level. 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. In this context Bangladesh has been identified as one of the focus countries under the regional project and will be part of the bigger network of implementing the BHR Asia Project
The National Specialist reports to the Chief Technical Advisor of the Human rights Programme in UNDP Country Office, Bangladesh but acts under 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:
Programme implementation and communication
Awareness raising, capacity building, partnership-building and advocacy
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Ensure effective programme implementation at the national level, including:
- Coordinate annual work plan development and implementation according to project document;
- Ensure project meets expectations as specified in project document, and update CO management and B+HR Unit at Bangkok Regional Hub as required;
- Gather inputs and coordinate the preparation of work-plans, periodic narrative progress reports and expenditures status reports;
- 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.
Conduct awareness-raising, capacity building and advocacy activities, including:
- Drafting reports or conducting quality control over reports, highlighting key issues, trends, emerging opportunities, risks, potential project partners, and entry-points for the country
- Conducting consultations at National level with CSOs, business and government
- 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 Office, country needs and donors’ priorities;
- Deliver presentations in the workshops to raise awareness and build partnerships at the national level.
Provide technical support, expert advice, and policy representation to support governments in developing policy documents and regulatory guidance, including:
- Organizing national events on Business and Human Rights to exchange best practices
- Training government representatives on Business and Human Rights and seize opportunities to use the implementation of the UNGPs as an instrument to strengthen gender equality and promote Environmental Rights
- Facilitating discussions on key country-specific issues that can be incorporated National Action Plans
- Provide Comments on Base Line Assessments, and 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 of human rights due diligence best practices
- Engage with stakeholders on access to remedy initiatives, including in the protection of human rights defenders.
- Innovation: Ability to make new and useful ideas workAdept with complex concepts and challenges convention purposefully
- Critically assesses established methods
- Contributes to prototyping, piloting, and evaluating lessons / feedback
- Leadership: Ability to persuade others to followGenerates commitment, excitement and excellence in others
- Creates new opportunities for team, not just self to learn and take on new responsibilities
- Actively shares knowledge
- People Management: Ability to improve performance and satisfactionModels independent thinking and action
- Demonstrates behaviors of teamwork, collaboration, knowledge sharing, maintaining relationships
- Communication: Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transformSynthesizes information to communicate independent analysis
- Communicates ideas and positions with command and confidence
- Finds common ground to solve problems
- Delivery: Ability to get things done while exercising good judgementMeets goals and quality criteria for delivery of products or services
- 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
- Master’s degree in Law, Business, economics, Political Science, Public Policy, International Development, other Social Sciences, or closely related fields.
- Minimum 3 years 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 the private sector in Bangladesh and having in-depth understating of the private sector landscape in the country and in the region is an asset
- Experience working with governments, business, and civil society, preferably in Asia on Human Rights issues is also an asset.
- Fluency in English is essential, both written and oral. Working knowledge of another UN language is an asset.