Research Consultant for ‘Malaysia: Assessing Responsible Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Investment Policies in GLICs’


Location : Home-Based
Application Deadline :07-Dec-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
15-Dec-2020
Duration of Initial Contract :7 weeks
Expected Duration of Assignment :15 December 2020- 3 February 2021

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.


Background

As a key regional development partner, Malaysia plays a central role in promoting the implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in Asia. With support from civil society, business, SUHAKAM and UNDP Malaysia, the government of Malaysia is well-positioned to develop a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP BHR).

 

The UNGPs is the world’s most authoritative and normative framework guiding efforts to address the adverse impacts of business operations on human rights. The UNGPs consist of three pillars. The first pillar concerns the well-established State duty to protect human rights under international human rights law. The second pillar addresses the responsibility of business enterprises to respect human rights and the third pillar outlines the role of both State and non-State actors to promote access to effective remedies for rights holders who have experienced business-related abuses through judicial and non-judicial grievance mechanisms.

 

While there is increased awareness of the BHR agenda and visible uptake is observed, serious challenges remain in implementation. Indeed, implementation of the UNGPs will require dedicated efforts to create and enforce rights-centred policies and laws, ensure policy coherence and build the capacity of all key stakeholders.

 

Malaysia’s network of institutional investors or Government-Linked Investment Companies (GLICs), which include sovereign wealth and savings and retirement funds, influence the country’s corporate sector through significant ownership of Malaysia’s private and publicly listed companies. Recently, a number of these GLICs have outlined or reaffirmed their commitment towards responsible investment through the Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) lens grounded in the internationally recognized Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI). Responsible investment policies are key to the implementation of Business and Human Rights principles in the corporate sector and sets the tone for rights-based industry practice.

 

UNDP Malaysia, under the BHR project, intends to hire an National Research Consultant to conduct a brief research study to assess the Responsible Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Investment policies by GLICs in Malaysia and how it aligns with Pillars 2 and 3 of the UNGPs and Principles 1, 2 and 3 of the PRI.

 

 

The eventual knowledge product resulting from the research may comprise four main sections. The first section may contain an introductory chapter on the Principles of Responsible Investment (1-3) and how it relates to the UNGPs through the ESG framework. The second section may present the current state of the institutional investor ecosystem in Malaysia, background on the key GLICs and the latest policies in Malaysia related to responsible investing, including government-mandated policies. Following this, the third section may include an assessment on the effectiveness of these policies to mitigate human rights violations, detailing the outcomes to rights holders and more generally, how it may have top-down spill over effects and motivate market and industry improvement. The final section should contain recommendations through an analysis of potential gaps to ensure the continuous integration of ESG components in national-level investment policies and processes.  Note that the contents of these sections and chapters shall be focused on Malaysia and created in consultation with UNDP. Please note that this is the suggested format for the brief, but UNDP will be willing to consider other formats/structures based on preliminary research.

 

Ultimately, the research study aims at:

  1. Introducing linkages between Principles of Responsible Investment and the UNGPs through the ESG framework, with an eye towards uptake of ESG-based policies in Malaysia;
  2. Identifying and assessing the state of the institutional investor ecosystem and current policies of GLICs in Malaysia;
  3. Assessing the effectiveness or potential of ESG-based policies to mitigate human rights violations in Malaysia;
  4. Providing recommendations to promote further improvement through the continuous alignment of rights-based policies and processes for GLIC investments.  


Duties and Responsibilities

The Researcher will work under the guidance and supervision of the Business and Human Rights National Specialist and in collaboration with support from project team members, including at the regional level. Specific results to be achieved by the IC are listed below.

 

1. Produce a research plan in consultation with BHR National Specialist. This result comprises the following major tasks:

  • Conduct preliminary desk research to identify key data points, themes and references;
  • Propose the different chapters to be included in the knowledge product and outline their contents based on the preliminary research;
  • Create a research approach and structure, and outline the specific activities to be undertaken, suitable to accomplish the deliverables 2 and 3 listed below;
  • Draft a synopsis or abstract of expected findings that will be made into a communications product on social media to highlight the research being conducted.

2. Issue Brief on ‘Malaysia: Assessing Responsible Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Investment Policies by GLICs’. This result comprises the following major tasks:

  • Presentation and assessment of the Responsible Environmental, Social and Governance Investment policies by GLICs in Malaysia and how it aligns with Pillars 2 and 3 of the UNGPs and Principles 1, 2 and 3 of the PRI;
  • Analysis of existing trends, challenges and strategies;
  • Identify cases including key policy gaps;
  • Assess the effectiveness of ESG-based policies to mitigate human rights violations;
  • Provide recommendations to promote further improvement through the continuous alignment of rights-based policies and processes for GLIC investments.  

 

3.  Validate research findings and finalize Issue Brief. This result comprises the following major tasks:

  • Validate research findings through peer-review, including by UNDP Business and Human Rights unit at the regional level;
  • Finalise Issue Brief.

 

Expected Outputs and Deliverables

Deliverables/ Outputs

Estimated Duration to Complete

Target Due Dates

Review and Approvals Required

1) Research plan and short synopsis/abstract (1-2 pages)

1 week

21 December 2020 (20%)

Business and Human Rights National Specialist, UNDP Governance Team, UNDP BHR Regional Team

2) Draft study, inclusive of recommendations, for validation

5 weeks

25 January 2021 (50%)

Business and Human Rights National Specialist, UNDP Governance Team, UNDP BHR Regional Team

3) Validation and finalize Issue Brief

1 week

1 February 2021 (30%)

Business and Human Rights National Specialist, UNDP Governance Team, UNDP BHR Regional Team

Final Brief in a layout and format ready to be published (printing costs are not expected to be borne in this IC contract).

 

The consultant will use their equipment and software.

 

Intellectual Property

All information and production of the knowledge product to the assignments, as well as, outputs produced under this contract shall remain the property of the UNDP who shall have exclusive rights over their use. The products shall not be disclosed to the public nor used in whatever format without written permission of UNDP in line with the national and International Copyright Laws applicable. 

 

Institutional Arrnagements

The Researcher will work under the overall guidance of the Business and Human Rights Specialist, Governance Team and the UNDP Business and Human Rights regional team.   

 

Fortnightly reporting will be required, and each deliverable shall be presented to the Business and Human Rights Specialist for review and approval.

 

The project will not be required to provide any facilities or other support, though the Business and Human Rights Specialist or other team members may provide guidance.

 

Duration of Assignment, Duty Station and Expected Places of Travel

 

Duration

The assignment is estimated to commence on 30 October 2020. The assignment will need to be completed by 18 December 2020 at the latest, up to a maximum of 45 working days.

 

Duty Station

The consultancy will be home-based and consultation and shall set-up a schedule to engage with the project team through video conferencing or other remote communication tools.

 

Payment Terms

Candidates shall quote a lump-sum “all-inclusive” fee for the completion of each deliverable. The term “all-inclusive” implies that all costs (professional fees, communications, consumables, etc.) that could be incurred by the IC in completing the assignment are already factored into the lump-sum submitted in the proposal. Payments shall be done upon verification of the completion of deliverables and approval by the IC’s supervisor.

 

The lump-sum price is fixed regardless of changes in the cost components.

  • First Tranche – 20% upon submission and approval of Deliverable 1 (“Research Plan and Synopsis”)
  • Second Tranche – 50% upon submission and approval of Deliverable 2 (“Draft study”)
  • Third Tranche – 30% upon submission and approval of Deliverable 4 (“Final Issue Brief, inclusive of recommendations”)


Competencies

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling 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;
  • Treats all people fairly without favouritism.

 

Management and Leadership:

  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Demonstrates good oral and written communication skills;
  • Demonstrates openness to change/comments/suggestions and ability to manage.


Required Skills and Experience

The Researcher should possess the following expertise and qualifications: 

 

Education and Experience

  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) or PhD in economics, law, governance, anthropology, social science, political science, international development, international affairs, business management, or related discipline(s);
  • Minimum 2 years research experience for Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) or minimum 3 years research experience for PhD in documenting human rights or social development themes and issues;
  • 2 years of work experience related to business and human rights is desirable;
  • Demonstrated understanding of socio-political situation and experience in Malaysia, on a wide range of business and human rights issues, with various types of stakeholders (e.g. government, NHRIs, businesses, civil society);
  • Demonstrated capacity to conduct multi-discipline, cross-sectoral research;
  • Expertise in planning, writing and documenting research reports, issue or policy briefs.

 

Skills

  • Demonstrable research skills;
  • Results-driven, initiative-taking, ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines;
  • Ability to work independently or with very limited guidance.
  • Highly motivated with a positive attitude and problem-solving approach;
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills.

 

Language

  • Proficiency in English and Bahasa Malaysia.

 

DOCUMENTS TO BE INCLUDED WHEN SUBMITTING THE PROPOSALS

Interested individual applicants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:

  1. Document 1 :Annex 1:Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability at http://www.my.undp.org/content/dam/malaysia/docs/Procurement/Letter%20of%20Interest%20_Annex%201.docx?download
  2. Document 2: Technical Proposal: Brief description of why the individual considers themselves as the most suitable for the assignment, and a methodology on how they will approach and complete the assignment. 
  3. Document 3:Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template provided.  If an Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP under Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP. The consultant should also indicate any travel and related costs for meetings etc. The template at https://my.undp.org/content/dam/malaysia/docs/Procurement/Financial%20Proposal1.docx   
  4. Document 4: Personal CV or P11 including areas of expertise and past experiences in similar projects and at least three (3) references at http://www.my.undp.org/content/dam/malaysia/docs/Procurement/P11%20for%20SC%20&%20IC.doc?download
  5. Document 5: Three (3)  samples of previous publications;
  6. Please submit this information in one file as Document 1, 2, 3, 4  and 5.The system will only accept one attachment , please merge all documents and submit as one file.
  7. Applicants must reply to the mandatory questions asked by the system when submitting the application.
  8. Candidates who fail to submit all the information requested above will be disqualified.


How to Apply:

  • Kindly download the Letter of Confirmation of interest and availability, Financial Proposal Template?and General Terms & Conditions mentioned below;
  • Read and agree to the General Terms & Conditions (refer to below link);
  • 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 procurement.my@undp.org. The clarification question deadline is three (3) days before the closing. When emailing for clarification questions, please put "MyIC/2020/049"as the subject matter.

 

General terms & conditions to be downloaded:

  • The General Terms & Conditions?for Individual contract is available at: http://www.my.undp.org/content/dam/malaysia/docs/Procurement/General%20Conditions%20of%20Contract%20for%20IC.pdf?download

Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA): A legal instrument between UNDP and a Company/institution, according to which, the latter? ? makes available the services of an individual delivering time-bound and quantifiable outputs that are directly linked to payments

  • The General Terms & Conditions for Reimbursement Loan Agreement is available at:http://www.my.undp.org/content/dam/malaysia/docs/Procurement/Reimbursable%20Loan%20Agreement%20_%20Terms%20&%20Conditions.pdf?download? 

Incomplete proposals may not be considered. Only short-listed candidates may be contacted, and successful candidates will be notified.

 

Criteria for Selection of the Best Offer

Evaluation Method and Criteria

Only candidates which are responsive and compliant will be evaluated, Individual Consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology;

 

Combined Scoring method:

The award of the contract shall be made to the candidate whose offer has been evaluated and determined as a) responsive/compliant/acceptable; and b) having received the highest score out of set of weighted technical criteria (70%) and financial criteria (30%).

  • The technical criteria consist of qualification review (education, experience, language) [max. 100 points]
  • A financial score shall be computed as a ratio of the proposal being evaluated as the lowest priced qualified proposal received by UNDP for the assignment will be based on a maximum 30 points.

 

Technical Criteria for Evaluation (Maximum 100 points)

  • Criteria 1: Education – Max 15 points;
  • Criteria 2: Working experience – Max 40 points
  • Criteria 3: Analytical, research and writing abilities – Max 35 points
  • Criteria 4: Excellent command of English – Max 10 points

 

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70 points for technical criteria (approx. 70% of the total technical points) would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.

 

For those passing the technical evaluation above, offers will be evaluated per the Combined Scoring method:

            a)  Technical evaluation (70%)

            b)  Financial evaluation (30%)

 

The application receiving the Highest Combined Score will be awarded the contract.

 

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



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