Consultant for Localising Sustainable Development Goals

Location : Country Office, MALAYSIA
Application Deadline :13-Mar-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :24 days
Expected Duration of Assignment :24 man-days over 6 months


The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aim to build on the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as well as extending their reach and ambition to cover a wider range of challenges including climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption and peace and justice. The SDGs also recognise these challenges are often interconnected and mutually re-enforcing. While providing clear pragmatic guidelines and targets for countries, the SDGs also recognise that countries will need to be able to adopt these in relation to their own particular development trajectory and specific priorities as well as taking into account regional and global environmental challenges.

In addition, it has increasingly been recognised from past efforts to achieve the (MDGs) that translating such an agenda into national development policies is only a starting point and that the quality of the institutions through which they are designed and delivered will determine their impact. Improving delivery systems at multiple levels and through multiple actors with a particular emphasis on local authorities ‘localising the SDGs’ has emerged as a critical priority for the European Union, the United Nations and other development partners, supporting countries to enable and incentivise their local authorities to own and prioritize these goals and monitor progress through relevant indicators. Given that the three underlying principles of Agenda 2030 are ‘leaving no one behind’, sustainability and participation, such efforts will also need to engage with and compliment the efforts of other actors such as civil society (NGOs, CBOs, religious groups, community initiatives etc.) and the private sector in multi-stakeholder alliances if they are to be successful.

Malaysia formulated a New Economic Model (NEM) in 2009 which demonstrated its commitment to pursue sustainable development based on three pillars (high income, inclusivity and sustainability) which mirror the three key elements of the SDG agenda, namely economy, social and environment. This NEM provides the basis for 5-year development plans, with the current one (11th Malaysia Plan 2016-2020) adopting a theme of “Anchoring Growth on People” where people will be the centrepiece of all development efforts. Malaysia has also mapped, integrated and aligned the SDG targets and indictors within this plan (through an SDG Roadmap) to ensure mutual re-enforcement and completion and will continue to address the remaining targets beyond 2020 through subsequent Malaysia Plans.

Key additional steps have included the establishment of a multi-stakeholder federal governance structure to oversee the implementation, monitoring of and reporting on the SDGs, localising SDGs at sub-national levels by replicating such governance structures at state levels, mobilising resources through partnerships and strengthening data readiness and addressing data gaps to develop a comprehensive dataset for SDG implementation. All of this has been underpinned and enabled by the establishment of a National SDG Council to plan and monitor the implementation of the SDGs at the national level, supported by a National Steering Committee (NSC) and five SDG Cluster Working Committees (CWCs) under which Tasks Forces for each of the 17 goals are working.

As part of these efforts, the European Union is currently considering funding future programme(s) to support the progressive achievement of the SDGs in Asia and in particular to graduated countries (e.g. China, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia) where needs for technical assistance is still required, but bi-lateral assistance is no longer available. The European Union therefore wishes to further develop the feasibility of these future programme(s) and identify avenues for future cooperation and piloting support to localisation of the SDGs in two graduated countries in Asia: Malaysia and Thailand, which have to date demonstrated a significant commitment to both the MDGs and now to the SDGs.

The Economic Planning Unit (EPU) in the Prime Minister’s Department is leading the initiatives to meet the targets for Malaysia in alignment with the Eleventh Malaysia Plan. The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) supports and works closely with EPU on the SDGs, including Malaysia’s Voluntary National Review at the 2017 High-level Political Forum, the development of a National SDG Portal, Monitoring and Evaluation, localisation and its efforts to develop a National SDG Roadmap to chart its course.

The National SDG Roadmap is the country’s strategic plan to ensure that the 17 goals, 169 targets and 244 indicators, are achieved to improve the quality of life for all, with no one left behind, and to ensure a country that is sustainable and protected for present and future generations. Together with EPU and the Global Compact Network Malaysia, the UN will unveil in January 2018 a National SDG Portal to enable private sector, civil society, youth, government agencies and others to commit and track their contributions to the SDGs.

The EU project ‘Support to localization of SDGs in Malaysia and Thailand’ has as its objective the identification of and support to the development of programs in Thailand and Malaysia leading to the achievement of the SDGs targets and goals. Given that the achievement of the SDGs will not be possible without multi-stakeholder engagement and ownership at local level, it is anticipated that such programs will need to support governments in Malaysian states and Thai provinces in developing systems to contribute to ‘localizing the SDGs’, including, but not limited to, awareness raising, knowledge and information sharing, alignment of work plans, learning exchanges, local monitoring and reporting. In Malaysia the United Nations Country Team [UNCT] will work in close partnership with the EPU and the EU Delegation to support the achievement of the above objectives.

A Team Leader, [Support to localisation of SDGs in Malaysia and Thailand’] has been retained by the EU Delegation as an international consultant [TL] in order to identify key areas for future support to the SDG process in Malaysia and Thailand with a particular focus on the engagement of stakeholders in localising the SDGs through multi-stakeholder, inclusive local governance structures and mechanisms and to promote knowledge sharing and visibility and awareness raising strategies on the SDGs in Malaysia. It is expected that this consultancy will contribute to the following results:

  1. High-quality advice provided by the TL reinforces the preparation of any future EU programme for the progressive achievement of the SDGs
  2. There is a better understanding of the localisation of the SDG process in Malaysia and Thailand and among other graduated countries in Asia.
  3. There is enhanced ownership among targeted beneficiaries and therefore improved sustainability of any future regional initiative on SDGs.

The TL will therefore:

  • Identify key future areas for cooperation on the SDGs with Asian graduated countries;
  • Develop communications materials in local language(s) for educating and creating awareness on the SDGs;
  • Support the analysis and exchange of best practices in favour of the localisation process of the SDGs in Malaysian states and Thai Provinces through technical assistance that will build ownership, create awareness and promote action at sub-national levels, including the establishment of multi-stakeholder and inclusive governance structures.
  • Organise a regional workshop in Malaysia targeting key stakeholders (approximately 20 people) from graduated Asian countries representing public bodies, civil society and/or the private sector. The choice of the participants to the Regional Workshop will be done by the Contracting Authority in consultation with the Framework Contractor.

Following discussions between the TL [on behalf of the EU Delegation], the EPU and the UNCT, the following actions have been agreed:

  • 4-6 sub-national case study sites [from at least two states and two local governments] will be identified with the aim of developing case studies on localising the SDGs through inclusive, multi-stakeholder local governance arrangements;
  • UNCT will provide for a national consultant [LC] as per this TORs to work with the international consultant [TL] in supporting and mentoring state-level EPUs and the selected Local Governments [LG] in gathering the data, assembling and presenting the case studies. This will include meetings by the LC with the selected states and the LGs in March 2018 to explain the process, gain buy in and initiate the case development process after which the TL will work with the LC to support the selected states to collect data, assemble, prepare and present the case studies at the regional workshop.
  • The presentation materials of these case studies will be developed with the selected presenters, so that they can be used as SDG communication materials, attractively packaged and presented.
  • A Regional workshop [with both international and national level participation from graduated countries in Asia countries and Malaysia and Thailand respectively] will be held in late July or early August 2018 in order to enable State and LG representatives to share the cases to a wider audience.

States and local governments will be selected by the EPU [through the good offices of the Town and Country Planning Department – Plan Malaysia] with support from the IC which can serve as examples of good practice, followed by the development of case studies on best practices in the engagement and inclusion of stakeholders in localising the SDGs with a particular emphasis on inclusive local governance structures and/or processes. As not all States or LGs will have the same understanding and awareness of SDGs, it will be important to emphasise “stakeholder engagement and inclusive governance in service delivery” or words similar to this, in order to engage states and LGs to propose and develop cases. Selected states and LGs will then be supported to develop these cases further for presentation to a national and international audience at the Regional workshop to be held in late July or early August 2018.

Initial criteria for selection of cases to be developed will include:

  1. Examples of general awareness raising, sensitization and engagement of local actors around SDGs;
  2. Partnerships and/or engagement with Civil Society for achievement of the SDGs[1];
  3. Partnership with Business and local economic development actors to contribute to SDG achievement;
  4. Partnership with Youth to help deliver the SDGs;
  5. Women’s engagement to help deliver the SDGs;
  6. Developing accountability mechanisms and/or participatory planning and/or monitoring of service delivery

[1] Where necessary, the term ‘service delivery’, can be used if awareness of SDGs is low.

Duties and Responsibilities

Given that this work will be undertaken in partnership between EPU, The European Delegation to Malaysia and the UNCT in Malaysia, a national consultant [NC] will be appointed by the UNCT to support the objectives of this project and other localisation initiatives of the UNCT.

Under the guidance of the UNCT and TL, the national consultant is responsible for:

  1. Supporting the IC in partnership with EPU, UNCT and Plan Malaysia in the identification and selection of case study sites at State and Local Government [approximately 4-6 in total] with a view to coaching and supporting them both remotely and through missions where required, to prepare a presentation for the regional workshop;



  • 24 days during 6 months intermittent from the starting date consisting of approx. 10 days in KL and 14 days field-based [potentially two missions to local governments and states as required] for Objective 1.


Expected Places of Travel: 

Field visits to Malaysian States and local Government offices when identified and other locations as required.


Logistical Information:

  • The expert is expected to arrange his/her travel opting for the most direct and economical route, based on the UN travel policy (available on request);
  • For in-country travel, EPU will provide administrative and logistical support for arranging permissions and meetings with the relevant local governments and State departments;
  • Costs related to in-country travels – such as transport and living allowances as per UN rules and regulations - will be provided by UNCT, in accordance with its regulations and policies. 


Final Deliverables: (Deliverables/Timeline/Days)

1st Deliverables ( March - April 2018, 12 Days)

  • In close coordination with the TL, EPU, UNCT and Plan Malaysia support in the identification and selection of the [4-6] States and LGs for field visits based on the criteria above;
  • Support to the EPU Kick-off meeting with selected states and LGs in order to introduce the project;
  • Provide a brief report justifying each State and LG selected for approval by the TL and EPU;
  • Field visits to each selected State office and LG Office to assess if the case is viable for the regional workshop, explain and gain buy-in to the case development process;
  • After each field visit update the case using the template format provided by the TL and make recommendations on necessary next steps;

2nd Deliverables (April - May 2018, 12 Days)

  • Work with selected States and LGs in order to prepare each presenter to develop their presentation and associated communication materials;
  • Follow up Coaching to each State and LG as required.

The consultant will be paid in accordance to the above schedule when deliverables are approved. 


Provision of Monitoring and Progress Controls:

The Consultant reports to the Team Leader, UNCT and EPU.



  • Excellent drafting, presentation, communication and negotiation skills both in English and Malay;
  • Strong research, facilitation, coaching and report writing skills, preferably with experience of case study development;
  • Strong analytical capacity, including the ability to analyse and articulate differences of positions among a large number of stakeholders and develop acceptable solutions;
  • Strong analytical and organizational skills;
  • Previous work experience in governmental, bi-lateral or multi lateral organizations is desirable;
  • Excellent analytical skills as demonstrated, for example, by prior experience in policy-oriented analysis;

Required Skills and Experience

  • Minimum Masters’ degree in Sociology, Sustainable Development, Governance, Development Economics, Public Finance Management, Economics, or related areas.



  • At least 7 years relevant experience working in development, with substantial experience working on either sustainable development, MDGs/SDGs, local governance, civic engagement for improved service or anti-poverty initiatives;
  • Experience and knowledge in different development sectors at local or sub-national levels preferred;
  • Experience of working in other countries in the Asia region is desirable. 


How to Apply:

  • Kindly download the Letter of Confirmation of interest and availability, Financial Proposal Template, P11 form and General Terms & Conditions mentioned below;
  • Read and agree to the General Terms & Conditions;
  • Click the ‘apply’icon and complete what is required;
  • Scan all documents into 1 pdf folder and then upload;
  • For clarification question, please email to The clarification question deadline is three (3) days before the closing. When emailing for clarification questions, please put "MyIC/2018/003" as the subject matter.


Forms and General terms & conditions to be downloaded:

  • The UN Personal History Form (P11) is available at:
  • The Letter of Confirmation of Interest at:
  • Financial Proposal Template at
  • The General Terms & Conditions for Individual contract is available at:
  • The General Terms & Conditions for Reimbursement Loan Agreement is available at: 


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