The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs and international crime, including terrorism. It is a leading provider of specialized assistance to Governments for addressing the legal, criminal justice and rule of law aspects of counter narcotics, crime prevention and counter-terrorism. It operates in all regions of the world through an extensive network of field offices.

The UNODC Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, based in Bangkok, seeks to recruit a National Programme Officer (NPO) who will support the implementation of activities in Malaysia in the area of prisons, with a primary focus on prison management and health services in line with international standards.

Under the overall guidance of the UNODC Regional Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, the incumbent will perform his/her duty under the direct supervision of the Programme Officer (Prisons) in Bangkok, as his/her first reporting officer, and the guidance of the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer, also based in Bangkok, as his/her second reporting officer. The NPO will also receive and act on requests for assistance from other UNODC initiatives having activities in Malaysia.

Duties and Responsibilities

The incumbent will fulfill the functions of National Project Officer for UNODC activities in Malaysia and provide support, as needed, to other initiatives implemented in that country. More specifically, the incumbent will fulfill the following tasks:

·Support UNODC Management liaising with, and mobilizing, the relevant local authorities in Kuala Lumpur to maintain and expand the partnerships with UNODC and to ensure their contribution/engagement towards related projects;

  • Contribute to the planning, implementation, management and delivery of technical assistance activities in the areas of prison management and health in prisons (including COVID-19 preparedness and responses), in accordance with the overall UNODC strategies and priorities, and in close collaboration with the local counterparts (government and civil society); Support the conducting of regular dialogues and discussions with the local authorities and direct beneficiaries of projects to integrate feedback into future UNODC activities and to identify new possible areas of collaboration;
  • Participate in needs assessment missions and in substantive discussions with the local authorities, and contribute to the drafting of mission reports as well as to the development of technical assistance proposals;
  • Keep abreast with latest national and local developments in Malaysia in relation to prison reform and addressing public health emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Contribute to a visible and identifiable UNODC presence in Malaysia, including by representing UNODC at relevant local/national events;
  • Organize conferences, meetings, seminars, training and workshops primarily in Kuala Lumpur, but also elsewhere in the country, and travel to the events' location if needed;
  • Prepare terms of reference/requirements for sub-contractors and vendors to ensure qualitative and objective procurement of services, and support the identification of suppliers and their contracting;
  • Assist in initiating and finalizing budget revisions, work plans, inventory lists, notes to the file, etc. to facilitate implementation and monitoring of activities;
  • Provide support to UNODC initiatives on aspects related to expenditures and the preparation of payment requests in UNODC administrative systems;
  • Contribute to developing a filing system for the project, and maintain filing accordingly;
  • Perform other duties as required.



Professionalism: Has knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to criminal justice reform covering prison reform and public health emergencies. Has knowledge of policies and practices in prison management and health, as well as in the mandates of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Has very good research and analytical skills. Is able to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Is able to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Planning, organizing and managing performance: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.

Required Skills and Experience


An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in international relations, public health, law, security studies, criminology, international development or a related field is required.

A first-level university degree in similar fields in combination with four additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in prisons-related work at the national and/or international level (management, health, etc.) is required;

Past experience in implementing technical assistance projects having a focus on security, public health, crime prevention, prison management and/or health emergencies is required;

Direct, hands-on experience with project beneficiaries and local government authorities is required, as is experience in programme monitoring and reporting;

Knowledge of Government procedures linked to technical assistance is desirable;

Past experience in liaising with mid- to high-level government officials is desirable;

Previous work experience with the United Nations or similar international organization is also desirable.

Language Requirements:

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English and Bahasa Malaysia is required. Knowledge of other United Nations official languages is an asset.


Experience in the use of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.) and knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages;

Experience in handling web-based management systems.