Consultancy - Journalism for Human Development

Location : Home-based
Application Deadline :17-Mar-19 (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 :Two months
Expected Duration of Assignment :Two months


The Human Development Report (HDR) will tackle the issue of inequality in Human Development. Inequality in Human Development – deep imbalances in the opportunities and choices people have – goes beyond income recognizing the dynamic and complex interactions between inequalities in education, health, voice, access to technology, and exposure to risk among many other dimensions that affect individual well-being.

The Report aims for the most comprehensive global analysis of inequality in human development to date, built upon the longstanding leadership of HDRO in tracking development beyond income and a new Partnerships with global leaders in the field. The main innovations will be:

  • A new framework of analysis that embraces the complexity of today’s world, able to identify new trends and forms of inequality.

  • The use of new sources of data and the assessment of the role of the Technological Revolution.

  • A policy-oriented analysis of the causes and consequences of inequality, leading to forward-looking action at the global and national levels.

The Report intends to lay the groundwork for a discussion of inequality with a long-term perspective, providing insights about the main policy options at different levels. Particular attention will be given to the international space for policies, given the global scope of the Human Development Report.

Duties and Responsibilities

Proposed research: “Uncovering data in times of inequality: Investigative Journalism”

Media and journalism play a key role in modern societies. Responsible media endowed with high quality journalism is a big asset for well-functioning democratic institutions. Journalism is frequently acknowledged as the “Fourth Power” to highlight its importance in society, checking power and transmitting information. 

Moreover, investigative journalism plays a critical role bringing new sources of data into the debate about inequality and exclusion.  Recent remarkable examples of journalists uncovering the hidden reality of those at the top, hiding their wealth from public eye, are the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers. On the other side, decentralized reporting based on investigative research routinely uncovers abuse towards disadvantaged groups: when all other mechanisms to give voice to excluded groups fail, journalism can be their last hope. Investigative journalism can bring light and generate data to assess new realities –for which no measurement standard exists– or existing structures that have remain opaque as a result the distribution of power in society.

The paper seeks to assess the role of journalism and media in general, and investigative journalism in particular, in today’s world, with a forward-looking view:

  • How is the changing context of structure of media and technical change affecting the quantity and quality of investigative journalism? What are the potential consequences of distorted/heavily managed media and weak journalism? Is there evidence of links between problems in this area and severe social disasters (like famine, this is Amartya Sen’s point) or conflict?

  • What have been and what are today the main contributions of investigative journalism to debate about inequality and exclusion?

  • Is investigative journalism at risk?

  • What are the main national and international approaches in the field? What are the main determinants of success for investigative journalism in the 21st century?

  • What structural policies at the national and global level would strengthen media in general and investigative journalism in particular?

Output and process

The paper should be about 10,000 words in length and delivered to HDRO in electronic format (Word file). It should also include a full data set as a Stata or Excel file (if applicable), bibliography with complete references for any data or examples used and full documentation for all sources drawn upon. The author(s) will provide HDRO with any relevant codes and detailed technical note for the data used.

The author(s) will submit a draft of the paper that is of high quality both in content and written English. The author(s) will be asked to consult remotely with the Human Development Report team via Skype or phone to discuss the work. The final version of the background paper may also be published on the HDRO website, referring to below HDRO publishing policy.

The copyright for all research commissioned by the Human Development Report Office will be held by HDRO/UNDP. HDRO reserves the right to publish it online as a Working Paper of the HDR Paper Series. Therefore, authors are requested to submit the papers in a form they would be satisfied with, substantively and stylistically, for publication. Publication and dissemination elsewhere is not permitted before the article here commissioned is published as a Working Paper of the HDR Paper series, or the author is informed that the paper will not be published by HDRO. After the publication of the Working Paper by HDRO or the written communication to the author that the paper will not be published by HDRO, authors are free to edit, update, expand and publish the papers elsewhere as long as they explicitly acknowledge that the original research had been commissioned by HDRO for HDR 2019.

This consultancy covers the potential participation of the author(s) of this background paper in consultation(s) during the research process of HDR 2019, as well as reviewing relevant segments of the draft for HDR 2019.  In consultation - and collaboration- with the author, HDRO may also develop strategies and communication products to effectively disseminate the findings of the paper to the right audiences.


The consultant shall work during the period with the following schedule of deliverables:


Due Date

First draft

12th April 2019

Final draft

10th May 2019

Detailed comments on the deliverables will be provided by the HDRO team to the consultant after each submission, within 10 days. After receiving the comments from HDRO, the author(s) is expected to revise the draft according to those suggestions.


Core Competencies:

  • Demonstrating/safeguarding ethics and integrity;
  • Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment;
  • Self-development, initiative-taking;
  • Acting as a team player and facilitating team work;
  • Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively;
  • Creating synergies through collaboration;
  • Managing conflict;
  • Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others (Promoting learning and knowledge management/sharing is the responsibility of each staff member), and
  • Informed and transparent decision making.

Functional competencies:

Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise: Fundamental knowledge of processes, methods and procedures

  • Understands the main processes and methods of work regarding to the position;
  • Possesses basic knowledge of organizational policies and procedures relating to the position and applies them consistently in work tasks;
  • Strives to keep job knowledge up-to-date through self-directed study and other means of learning, and
  • Demonstrates good knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments.

Client Orientation: Maintains effective client relationships

  • Reports to internal and external clients in a timely and appropriate fashion;
  • Organizes and prioritizes work schedule to meet client needs and deadlines;
  • Establishes, builds and sustains effective relationships within the work unit and with internal and external clients, and
  • Responds to client needs promptly.

Innovation and Marketing New Approaches: Implementing processes and uses products

  •  Documents and tracks innovative strategies/best practices/new approaches, and
  • Responds positively to new approaches.

Required Skills and Experience


  • At least a Master’s degree in relevance to the assignment


  • Minimum 10 years of experience, working in journalism.
  • Experience teaching or developing standards for investigative journalism highly valued.
  • International experience in investigative journalism is an asset.


  •  Excellent knowledge of English is required.


Criteria for Selection of the Best Offer:

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on UNDP’s cumulative analysis methodology (weighted scoring method), where the award of the contract will be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical (70%) and financial (30%) criteria.

The criteria which shall serve as basis for evaluating offers will be a combined scoring method as follows:

  • Technical (based on CV/ desk review and review of publications) – 70%
  • Financial (fee) proposal (30%)

Only Individual Consultants obtaining a minimum of 49 points (70%) on the Technical evaluation would be considered for the Financial Evaluation. For those offers considered in the financial evaluation, the lowest price offer will receive 30 points. The other offers will receive points in relation to the lowest offer, based on the following formula: (PI / Pn)* 30 where Pn is the financial offer being evaluated and Pl is the lowest financial offer received.

Application procedures:

  • Qualified candidates are requested to apply online via this website.

The application should contain:

  • Cover letter explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for the advertised consultancy.  Please paste the letter into the "Resume and Motivation" section of the electronic application;
  • Signed CV that includes your past experience in similar projects and contact details of references
  • Relevant sample of published work

Incomplete applications will not be considered.  Please combine all your documents into one (1) single PDF document as the system only allows to upload maximum one document (named CV).

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.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

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