Business and Human Rights National Specialist

United Nations Development Programme, New Delhi, India

Skill Required:, HR and AdminPolicy/ Advocacy and Campaign
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
2nd March, 2020

Job Description


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 can occur in business operations and supply chains in Asia, and that government and business must bring abuses to an end as a moral, legal, and economic imperative.

In this context, the Business and Human Rights Unit in the UNDP Asia-Pacific Governance and Peacebuilding Team is 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:

  • the State’s duty to protect human rights;
  • the corporate responsibility to respect human rights and;
  • the joint responsibility of both the State and business 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 a project titled Business and Human Rights in Asia: Enabling Sustainable Economic Growth through the Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework from January 2020.

The goal of this project is to promote the implementation of the UNGP’s 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, the UN Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises.

The National Specialist based in Delhi directly manages project implementation in India and manages funds allocated 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.

The National Specialist reports to the UNDP India Country Office (CO) and works under the guidance of the Business and Human Rights Specialist, 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 workplan development and implementation according to the project document;
  • Ensure project meets expectations as specified in the project document, and update CO management and Business and Human Rights Unit at Bangkok Regional Hub as required;
  • Gather inputs and coordinate the preparation of workplans, 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, and 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 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, including:

  • Conduct consultations at country level with government partners, businesses and CSOs;
  • Draft reports and conduct quality control over reports, highlighting key issues, trends, emerging opportunities, risks, potential project partners, and entry-points for the country;
  • Design and implement training, campaigning, and advocacy efforts as necessary;
  • Develop partnerships with UN Agencies, IFI’s, government institutions, bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors, private sector firms and CSOs 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, including:

  • Organize country events on Business and Human Rights to exchange best practices;
  • Train government representatives on Business and Human Rights related issues in collaboration with Government and support implementation of the UNGPs as an instrument to strengthen gender equality and promote Environmental Rights;
  • Facilitate discussions on key country-specific issues that can be incorporated in 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 their varied applications;
  • Provide guidance to stakeholders of human rights due diligence best practices;
  • Engage with stakeholders on access to remedy initiatives.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree in Law, Political Science, Public Policy, International Development, other Social Sciences, or closely related fields.


  • Minimum 5 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 governments, business, and civil society, preferably in Asia on Human Rights issues is also an asset.

Language Requirements:

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


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