Consultant for development of Malaysia’s Second Voluntary National Review (VNR) of SDG Progress

Localidad : Home-Based with travel to Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur where required, Malasia
Fecha límite de postulación :02-Dec-20 (Medianoche Nueva York, Estados Unidos)
Tipo de contrato :Individual Contract
Nivel de puesto :National Consultant
Idiomas requeridos :
Fecha de comienzo del contrato :
(Fecha en que se espera que comience el candidato seleccionado)
Duración del contrato inicial :07 December 2020 and will end on 30 Jun 2021
Duración esperada del puesto :07 December 2020 and will end on 30 Jun 2021

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At the 70th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly held on 25 September 2015, the Members States adopted the post-2015 sustainable development agenda together with a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Malaysia was among the Member States committed to implement this action plan by acting through collaborative partnership with all stakeholders to deliver inclusive and sustainable development.

The 2030 Agenda was developed out of a participatory and widespread consultation process over two years, taking into account voices of diverse communities from all walks of life. The Economic Planning Unit (EPU) Malaysia under the Prime Minister’s Department with the support of the UN Country Team (UNCT) organized participatory consultations across the country on the post-2015 agenda in 2014. These national consultations were taken into consideration in the 2030 Agenda and the 11th Malaysia Plan.

Malaysia has taken steps towards the implementation of the SDGs through various initiatives from the government. The efforts saw the mainstreaming of SDGs into the government planning process, which led to the development of the SDG Roadmap Phase 1. The country also acknowledges the importance of quality, accessible, timely and reliable disaggregated data, and with the support from the UNCT, an SDG Progress Monitoring System has been established ( by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM). DOSM has also conducted several SDG indicator assessment ( .

The annual High-level Political Forum (HLPF) plays a central role in overseeing the follow-up and review processes at the global level and facilitates sharing of experiences from countries and providing political guidance and recommendations for follow-up. The Voluntary National Review (VNR) process is key to this function, whereby member states are requested to periodically report on progress on the SDG agenda. This includes reviewing of SDG performance (current data versus indicator targets) and means of implementation to deliver the goals within national contexts (covering issues of governance, service delivery, enabling partnerships and resourcing).  While VNR rounds adopt a particular theme and a restricted number of SDGs for in-depth analysis (see below), reporting countries are expected to also provide performance data for all the SDGs and targets (where available and applicable).

Malaysia participated in the HLPF held in New York from 11 to 20 July 2016 under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council, whereby the Economic Planning Unit under the Prime Minister’s Department (EPU) submitted the country’s first Voluntary National Review (VNR). Malaysia has this year, committed to submit its second VNR to the 2021 HLPF (,Agenda%20in%20the%20context%20of), which will be held as follows:

  • The meeting of the HLPF in 2021 will be held from Tuesday, 6 July, to Thursday, 15 July 2021, under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council.
  • This includes the three-day ministerial meeting of the forum from Tuesday, 13 July, to Thursday, 15 July 2021 as part of the high-level segment of the Council.
  • The theme will be "Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the Decade of Action and Delivery for Sustainable Development".
  • The Forum will also consider the integrated, indivisible and interlinked nature of the Sustainable Development Goals, and hence requires a full account of performance and a stock-take of means of implementation plans and challenges.  For guidance on content follows in later sections.  
  • At country level, VNR development should be an inclusive and open process.  Reporting countries are strongly encouraged to engage with civil society, private sector actors, and to reach out to the general public.
  • For HLPF 2021, the discussion requires in-depth analysis of the following SDGs, in line with the overall theme:
    • SDG1 – No poverty
    • SDG2 – Zero hunger
    • SDG3 – Good health and well-being
    • SDG8 – Decent work and economic growth
    • SDG10 – Reduced inequalities
    • SDG12 – Responsible consumption and production,
    • SDG13 – Climate action
    • SDG16 – Peace, justice and strong institutions
    • SDG17 – Partnerships 

This process will be led by the EPU as the SDG focal point for the country.  It is underlined that the VNR process also presents national Governments with an opportunity to raise the national profile and engage in global development policy debates, with considerable spin off gains.

The proposed governance structure is based on the arrangements for the previous VNR but refined in the light of experiences. It will include the following entities:

  1. The National Steering Committee (NSC), Co-chaired by EPU DG/EPU DDG(M) and UN Resident Coordinator, whose members include Co-chairs of the TWGs and relevant ministries/agencies and a representative of the Department of Statistics  Malaysia (DOSM) as the lead SDG data provider.
  2. The Technical Working Committee, Chaired by EPU DDG(M)/ EPU Director of BEASSA, whose members include TWG members and relevant ministries/agencies responsible for each cluster
  3. Technical Working Groups (TWGs) to be established based on the SDGs in focus for the 2021 HLPF that are proposed to be co-chaired by relevant EPU Divisions/Ministries and UN agencies with members comprising key stakeholders (government, academia, civil society, experts):
  • TWG 1: Poverty and Nutrition (SDGs 1 and 2)                    
    • Proposed Co-chairs: EPU (BEQT) & UNICEF
  • TWG 2: Covid-19 Health Recovery (SDG 3)                          
    • Proposed Co-Chairs: EPU (Social), Ministry of Health (MOH) & WHO
  • TWG 3: Inclusive Economic Growth (SDGs 8 and 10)       
    • Proposed Co-chairs: EPU (BIP) & UNDP
  • TWG 4: Sustainability and Climate Change (SDGs 12 and 13)
    • Proposed Co-Chairs: EPU (BEASSA), KASA & UNDP
  • TWG 5: Governance, Social Cohesion and Partnership (SDGs 16 and 17)
    • Proposed Co-Chairs: EPU (BKKA, BKA) & UN RCO
  1. Project Management Unit (PMU) comprising relevant EPU and UN RCO officials, who would work with the consultant during the VNR preparation process and in finalizing the text.


Diagram showing proposed governance structure for the preparation of the VNR Report. Please download at

Deberes y responsabilidades

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of work

The consultant will develop an evidence based VNR report and act as project coordinator for all activities involved in preparing for this VNR, including obtaining the required data, organizing required meetings, stakeholder engagement and consultations. The consultant will be working closely with EPU, the Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator for Malaysia (RCO), and other relevant stakeholders, including DOSM, Government Ministries and agencies, ESCAP and UN agencies of the UN Country Team (UNCT). While formally reporting to the UN RCO, the consultant will be responsible to EPU for driving the VNR process, and for developing a product that meets their expectations and that they can present and later defend at the HLPF. This dual hatted role requires a flexible approach and careful management of relationships. EPU will take the lead role in ensuring that the relevant stakeholders are consulted and involved in the process, with the consultant as a supporting role.


Key tasks

The consultant will draft Malaysia’s Voluntary National Review (VNR) Report to the HLPF 2021 in close consultation with Government and the UN. The VNR Report will comprise an estimated 70-120 page full report; main messages to be submitted in advance; executive summary; statistical and data inputs; and presentation materials; based on inputs from Government, UN agencies, multiple stakeholders, the Technical Working Groups (TWGs), Technical Working Committee and National Steering Committee (NSC). The format of the VNR Report will be guided by EPU, UN guidlines (e.g., ESCAP tools etc.).

The consultant will be responsible for employing his / her own team of experts as needed, under each of the five proposed TWGs, to deliver the following outputs:

Output 1: The first deliverable will include:

  1. VNR Roadmap with clear timelines and milestones for the preparation of the VNR that is developed in close consultation with EPU and the UN RCO (Project Management Unit/PMU), including insights from previous VNR process.
  2. Proposed annotated structure and outline of the VNR Report, including proposes “storyline” for review by the NSC; and
  3. Terms of Reference (TORs) for the TWGs.
  4. Provide timeline for output 1

Output 2: The second deliverable will include:

  1. Organization of the Kick-off meeting, hosted jointly by EPU, UNESCAP and the UN in Malaysia.
  2. Methodology of the data assessment and rules for judging target analysis, including setting of way point values and progress (above track/ on track/ below track) at SDG and potentially target level.
  3. Organization of multi-stakeholder engagements and consultations and TWG meetings.
  4. Concept notes with design and programmes for the effective organisation of multi-stakeholder engagements, consultations and TWG meetings to be submitted in advance to the PMU.
  5. Minutes and/or reports from the multi-stakeholder engagements and consultations and TWG meetings.
  6. Provide timeline for output 2.

Output 3: The third deliverable will include the following:

  1. A clear structure of the VNR, and the initial main messages (which requires early submission to HLPF). This represents a summary/ forward to the VNR and should be developed in consultation with Government, with inputs from the NSC.
  2. first draft of the VNR for submission to the PMU and TWGs with compilation of data and inputs from EPU; DOSM; Government Ministries and agencies at federal and local government levels.
  • The consultant will have to compile and analyze inputs from stakeholders and all the data required for the VNR, following the theme for 2021 HLPF and especially in-depth for the above-mentioned SDGs.
  • Data and analysis for all relevant targets (indicators, waypoint values assessment of progress – i.e. above track/ on tack/ below track).
  • Comprehensive analysis of progress since the 1st VNR, means of implementation, gaps, challenges, recommendations for the way forward, and inter-linkages between the SDGs and the risks and other parameters of progress.
  • Follow-up elements from the first VNR (e.g. using ESCAP toolbox).
  • The draft should be in line with HLPF requirements, UN Guidance documents (e.g.; and other guidance and inputs provided by the PMU and ESCAP.
  1. Interim draft of the VNR incorporating feedback from the Government.

Output 4 The fourth deliverable will consist of the following that are submitted according to the timelines set and approved by the NSC:

 1) Final VNR Report, with data annexes (approximately 70-120 pages – depending on what is determined by SC and TWC) with fully designed and incorporate executive summary; also annexes if required).

2) Main messages to be submitted in advance, and

3) High-quality presentation materials.

  • The consultant will work with UN Senior Economist (editor), the TWGs and the PMU on finalizing the content etc.
  • The consultant will work closely with a publisher (that will be appointed) to ensure appropriate design, with suitable and attractive infographics and pictures.

The final VNR Report will be made available in print as well as electronically and should be suitable for a broad audience (e.g. UN member states, policy makers and other key stakeholders).

  • A summary text in the Malay language may also be prepared after publication for wider circulation (as part of a separate assignment).
  • Presentation slides / audio visual presentation depending upon decision of SC/EPU top management.


Preparation of the VNR Report

The VNR is to take stock of achievements thus far, enabling environmental factors, challenges, barriers and bottlenecks and reflect on best practices, lessons learned, and areas that would need support. The VNR is to review the nine SDGs mentioned above in-depth and in line with national priorities, but also provide data and an assessment of Malaysia’s progress against all targets within the 17 SDGs. The VNR will also need to relate to the 12th Malaysia Plan development process.


Key Deliverables, Timeline and Terms of Payment

The consultant is expected carry out the activities over a period of 7 months, taking into consideration time required for review of deliverables by the EPU and relevant partners.

Key Deliverables

Estimated Timeline

Terms of Payment

1. VNR Roadmap with detailed work plan, milestones and timeline; Structure and Outline of VNR; Terms of Reference for the Technical Working Groups

December 2020


2. Kick-Off Seminar; and Methodology of the Data Assessment and Rules

December 2021

- January 2021


3. Organization of consultations and stakeholder engagements; TWG & meetings etc.; Reports of consultations and Minutes of TWG

February 2021


4. Main Messages to be submitted

March 2021


5. First draft of VNR Report: to include key components based on the UN guidelines and areas agreed with stakeholders, and all required data and analysis.

April 2021


6. Interim draft of VNR Report incorporating feedback submitted by Government

May 2021


7. VNR presentation slides / audiovisual submitted to PMU

May 2021


8. Final VNR Report endorsed by the NSC for HLPF submission

 June 2021



The deliverables and outputs are expected to be:

  • Evidence-based and high-quality analysis and text, in technical/ policy level English.
  • Consistent with UN and government standards and following all relevant formats, guidelines and requirements.
  • Visible and reliable in its findings:
    • To employ truthful and relevant data.
    • To make available the list of references and data used in preparing the required analysis.


The consultant is expected to:

  • Maintain confidentiality of the project findings and outputs at all times.
  • Organise and act as secretariat for meetings of the TWGs, NSC the UN system, government ministries etc. as required.
  • Present the reports/findings as requested.
  • The consultant and his/her expert team must organise and participate in all the meetings of the five TWGs which are clustered according to the priority SDGs for the HLPF 2021:
  • TWG 1: Poverty and Nutrition (SDGs 1 and 2)                    
    • Proposed Co-chairs: EPU (BEQT) & UNICEF
  • TWG 2: Covid-19 Health Recovery (SDG 3)                          
    • Proposed Co-Chairs: EPU (Social), Ministry of Health & WHO
  • TWG 3: Inclusive Economic Growth (SDGs 8 and 10)       
    • Proposed Co-chairs: EPU (BIP) & UNDP
  • TWG 4: Sustainability and Climate Change (SDGs 12 and 13)
    • Proposed Co-Chairs: EPU (BEASSA), Ministry of Environment & UNDP
  • TWG 5: Governance, Social Cohesion and Partnership (SDGs 16 and 17)
    • Proposed Co-Chairs: EPU (BKKA, BKA) & UN RCO
  • Work closely and in consultation with the PMU, TWGs, UN Senior Economist and ESCAP.
  • Participate and follow-up on requests for clarification and additional information about the findings.
  • Ensure that the format of the text of the reports, tables, footnotes and presentation of data are of expected standards and follow necessary guidelines.
  • Direct any questions or clarifications to the focal points of the UN and EPU.
  • Work closely with the editor(s), peer reviewers (if any), publishers who may be employed for this project.
  • To review previous VNR Reports for HLPF 2020 as reference, particularly those from countries that have been identified as strong reports by UN HQ.



The project is expected to commence from 07 December 2020 and will end on 30 June 2021 or until such time that the final reports and all other required materials are accepted by EPU and UNCT and submitted to the HLPF 2021.


  • Strong and proven skills in qualitative and quantitative analysis methods.
  • Strong capacity in designing and writing reports, using a wide range of evaluation approaches and toolsets.
  • Strong management, facilitation, interview skills and demonstrated ability to deliver quality results within strict deadlines.

Habilidades y experiencia requeridas


  • Advanced degree or equivalent in relevant areas of studies such as international development, economics, statistics and public administration.



  • At least 7 years of relevant professional experience in carrying out complex policy and analytical work, evaluations on development policy / programme analysis and in multiple areas relevant to the SDGs.
  • Deep knowledge of Malaysia’s economic and social context is considered a strong asset.



• Excellent written and spoken language skills in English and Malay are required.



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

  1. Document 1 : Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability at;
  2. Document 2: Cover page (max. 2 pages) how candidate’s qualification and experience in research makes them suitable for the work and can lead towards the successful deliverable of the objectives of this consultancy within the required timeframe.
  3. Document 3: Personal CV / P11 including areas of expertise and past experiences in similar area of work and at least 3 referees at 
  4. Document 4: Financial Proposal (at Proposal- VNR Consultant.docx)  all inclusive and takes into account various expenses the candidate expects to incur during the contract, including:
    • The daily professional fee;
    • The cost of travel from the home base to the duty station (UNDP Office, Putrajaya) and vice versa;
    • Communications, utilities and consumables; and
    • Life, health and any other insurance.
  5. Please submit this information in one file as Document 1, 2, 3,  and 4. Kindly note that the system will only accept one attachment , please merge all documents and submit as one file.
  6. 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;
  • 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/2020/055" as the subject matter.


General terms & conditions to be downloaded:

           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


Evaluation Criteria

The offers that will be received shall be evaluated based on the Combined Scoring method – where the qualifications and methodology will be weighted a maximum of 70% and combined with the price offer which will be weighted a maximum of 30%.



  1. Incomplete applications will not be considered for shortlisting.  Only shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview. The interview date will be informed to the shortlisted candidates directly.
  2. 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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