Consultant - Human Rights/Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Application Deadline :26-Oct-10 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :11 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :11 months


UNDP’s Democratic Governance Practice Area focuses on fostering inclusive participation, strengthening responsive governing institutions, and promoting democratic principles. Inclusive participation expands equal opportunities for engagement by the poor, women, youth, indigenous peoples, and other marginalized groups who are excluded from power. Strengthening responsive governing institutions entails promoting the core channels of representation and accountability in the state at the national, regional and local levels. Responsive institutions mean that the state reflects and serves the needs, priorities, and interests of all people, including women, the poor, youth, and minorities. Supporting national partners to strengthen democratic practices grounded in human rights, anti-corruption and gender equality require UNDP leadership in promoting integration, coordination and information-sharing of policies, practices, and strategies strengthening democratic governance within and outside of the UN family.
UNDP is committed to creating space at the local, regional, national and international level to ensure that local and indigenous voices are heard, that they inform policy making, and that they are acted upon. With its access to Govenments – its principal partners – UNDP has an important role to play in facilitating dialogue with and advancing the concerns of indigenous peoples, who are often the most marginalized populations in society. UNDP believes that ensuring the engagement of indigenous peoples and their organizations is critical in preventing and resolving conflict, enhancing democratic governance, reducing poverty and sustainably managing the environment.
Human Rights:
UNDP issued its policy of “Integrating Human Rights with Human Development” in January 1998. Since then human rights have emerged as a key area of the organisations’ development activities. In 2008, more than 94 COs reported activities in supporting national human rights institutions, 69 COs reported activities that explicitly supported the rights of discriminated, vulnerable and/or marginalized groups, and 51 COs reported activities in support of the harmonization of national legislation with internationally ratified human rights law.
UNDP efforts to operationalise human rights in its programming were notably enhanced through the implementation of the joint UNDP/OHCHR global Human Rights Strengthening Programme (HURIST; 1999-2006), in line with the 1998 MoU between UNDP and OHCHR. Based on this experience and lessons learned, UNDP, in 2005, adopted a new Practice Note - Human Rights in UNDP, which in turn has identified three strategic areas of interventions for UNDP in the future.
In 2001, UNDP adopted the UNDP and Indigenous Peoples Policy of Engagement. UNDP engagement with indigenous peoples has received fresh impetus with the historic adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on 13 September 2007. The United Nations Development Group (UNDG) then developed the UNDG Guidelines on Indigenous Peoples’ Issues in 2008 with the purpose to assist the UN system to mainstream and integrate indigenous peoples’ issues in processes and activities.
UNDP has established an internal mechanism, the UNDP Liaison Committee on Indigenous Peoples’ Issues (IPLC) in UNDP Headquarters to ensure corporate direction and coordination in our engagement with indigenous peoples across all practice areas and regions and this will be led by the Democratic Governance Group in the Bureau for Development Policy.
In addition, UNDP is working in partnership with the ILO and OHCHR in the operationalization of the UN-Indigenous Peoples Partnership (UNIPP) which aims to help countries develop the capacities they need to establish participatory and consultative mechanisms in line with human rights standards contained in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the ILO Convention 169. UNDP works with indigenous peoples to achieve  the Millennium Development Goals with a human rights-based approach and full respect and understanding of cultural diversity

Duties and Responsibilities

Under direct guidance and supervision of the Policy Advisor on Human Rights (Democratic Governance Group/Bureau for Development Policy DGG/BDP) the incumbent will:
  • Provide substantive support to UNDP HQ, Regional Centres and Country Offices in the implementation of UNDP policies, programmes and procedures related to indigenous peoples.
  • Liaison with indigenous peoples, indigenous peoples’ organizations, the UNDG and other UN partners, and civil society organizations on IP issues and the implementation of UNDP policies in the area of indigenous peoples.
  • Provide substantive support to the implementation of the UN-Indigenous Peoples’ Partnership (UNIPP) in close cooperation with ILO, OHCHR and the UNDG Multi-Donor Task Fund (MDTF) Office on behalf of UNDP, including support to the UNIPP Policy Board, programme development, resource mobilization and communication. 
  • Support the Chairperson of the UNDP Indigenous Peoples’ Liaison Committee (IPLC) on following up on recommendations of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and other related issues;
  •  Support the Chairperson of the IPLC in her/his role of UNDP focal point for Indigenous Peoples’ issues, including co-ordination, representation and reporting on UNDP’s work and progress in the area of indigenous peoples’ rights with the following: the General Assembly Third Committee, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples, the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Inter-Agency Support Group (IASG) and, the UNDG Management Committee on Indigenous Peoples’ issues.
  • Serve as the secretariat for the UNDP Chairperson of the UNDP Indigenous People’s Liaison Committee (IPLC);
  • Draft briefing notes for the Chairperson of the IPLC and co-ordinate and prepare meetings for the Chairperson of the IPLC and other IP related meetings / fora, particularly the the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues;
  • Ensure knowledge sharing and knowledge management in the area of indigenous peoples, particularly through maintaining the UNDP Website, Intranet and Teamworks updated.
  • Perform any other relevant tasks related to indigenous peoples requested by the Policy Advisor on Human Rights.


Required Selection Criteria Competencies
  • Strong knowledge of Indigenous Peoples’ issues, particularly their cultures, belief systems and institutions;
  • Demonstrated work experience in indigenous communities and/or with indigenous peoples’ organizations in the promotion of indigenous peoples’ rights;  
  • Strong knowledge of the UN machinery and coordination systems including the human rights machinery;
  • Strong knowledge of indigenous peoples’ organizations, networks and international advocacy;
  • Strong organizational, networking and coordination skills;
  • Familiarity and experience with the UN system;
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:
  • Ability to apply various governance related development theories to the specific context, including translating democratic governance principles into effective policy and programme interventions in relation to indigenous peoples;
  • Strong analytical, negotiation and communications skills, including ability to produce high quality briefing material and reports;
  • Professional and/or academic experience in one or more of the areas of the Democratic Governance Practice preferably human rights;
Leadership and Teamwork
  • Excellent negotiating and networking skills;
  • Demonstrates flexibility to excel in a multi-cultural environment;
  • Demonstrates the ability to work well in a team;
Communications and Advocacy:
  • Ability to write clearly and convincingly, adapting style and content to different audiences and to speak clearly and convincingly;
  • Strong presentation skills in meetings with the ability to adapt for different audiences;
  • Strong analytical, research and writing skills with demonstrated ability to think strategically;
  • Strong capacity to communicate clearly and quickly;
  • Strong inter-personal, negotiation and liaison skills.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Specialized studies  in international law/international human rights law or other relevant discipline (with human rights focus);
  • Minimum 5 years of relevant work experience in the field of indigenous Peoples rights.
  • A track record of extensive national/international working experience in the development area and UNDP’s practice areas.
  • English language knowledge is a requirement. Knowledge of indigenous peoples’ languages will be an asset. Knowledge of one additional UN language, preferably Spanish, preferred.

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

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