United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Lead Research Consultant (Impacts of Criminal Markets on Both, Host and Refugee Communities)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Job Description

  Project Background:

The People’s Republic of Bangladesh (GoB) has an estimated population of 161 million. The majority of the population is young: approximately 75 million are under 25 (27% 0-14 and 38.14% 15-24). Among those, 46.40% are women (approximately 35 million). The Cox’s Bazar (CXB) district is located in Bangladesh’s Chittagong Division, a coastal area bound for Myanmar and the Bay of Bengal. CXB is home to 2.3 million Bangladeshi nationals and approximately 900,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, hosted by the GoB in 34 camps. Due to the lack of available land, the camps remain highly congested, giving rise to a plethora of unmet Basic Needs. These areas are also beset with other problems such as malnutrition, disease and violence as well as continued vulnerability to trafficking, prostitution and drug peddling among other social problems. The overall population of Cox’s Bazar district has also become vulnerable to increasing criminological phenomena related to serious crimes, where different forms of organized crimes overlap and intertwine. The area is and has been vulnerable to arms, narcotics, human trafficking and smuggling of migrants, armed robbery against ships, money laundering and transnational crime. The population in camps also appears to be affected by such a criminal environment due to the proximity of the porous border with Myanmar. The port city of Chittagong makes the district more attractive to criminals as the port can be used as an entry/exit point for all types of illicit trafficking.

Bangladesh is also a destination and transit country for illicit drugs – particularly methamphetamines locally known as ‘yaba’, smuggled through the porous Myanmar-Bangladesh border. There has been a sharp increase in the supply of, and demand for, synthetic drugs across East and Southeast Asia and in Bangladesh. According to the latest trends and patterns of ATS, seizure data has indicated the movement of significant and increasing quantities of methamphetamine tablets being trafficked from Myanmar to Bangladesh. This is bound to affect communities in and around CXB. The westward flow of methamphetamine tablets from Myanmar to Bangladesh has increased continually in the past 10 years. The Bangladesh-Myanmar border can be marked with vulnerabilities and sources of national security concerns for the GoB. In conclusion, this particular border region has become a global flashpoint due to a large-scale influx of population originating from Northern Rakhine State in Myanmar, illegal trade in goods, narcotics, small arms and light weapons (SALW), and human trafficking and smuggling of migrants from Myanmar to Bangladesh destined also for India, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Challenges relating to drugs and crime are a source of insecurity not only for Cox’s Bazar, but also the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) and Bangladesh as a whole. There is a need to examine the situation further in order to ensure timely and appropriate action to address the mentioned criminal impacts. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), as guardian of bedrock UN conventions against crime and corruption, and as a lead provider of assistance to implement the drug Conventions and the global counter-terrorism instruments, as well as UN standards and norms on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, helps countries address acute threats to peace and security and achieve progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. UNODC has been delivering technical assistance in the South Asia region for over two decades, covering six countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Such assistance has been delivered in Bangladesh, through its Programme Office in Dhaka. As the UN’s key agency on Drug Control and crime prevention, UNODC is well-positioned to undertake this project, in close collaboration with UNHCR, the GoB, civil society, and concerned UN Agencies.

Overall Objective of the Assignment

The overall objective of the assignment, which falls under Pillar I of the project on generating evidence on the drug and crime situation and expanding the evidence base for policy and operational decisions, is to support the conduct of qualitative research on various impacts of criminal markets on both host and refugee populations in Cox’s Bazar. Specifically, along with a Junior Research consultant, oversee, guide and lead the desk review and qualitative research is to be conducted, including focus group discussions, key informant interviews, ethnographic participant observation, and workshops, etc. The desk review should include Analysis of administrative data on the criminal markets, trends, external factors, impacts on communities, and results in Cox’s Bazar. In addition, the desk review should map the different actors involved in the operation of criminal markets and any research already conducted on the drugs and crime situation, or related crime situations within large refugee communities and their interactions with host communities.

Specific Objectives

  • Provide overall guidance and technical direction to desk research, in particular, to develop tools for collecting information and data on impacts of criminal markets in Cox’s Bazar concerning both the refugee and host populations, incorporating human rights and gender dimensions and undertake the desk research. To review the findings from desk research and compile all other findings into a draft report (jointly with the Junior Research consultant and with supervision from the Programme Office in Dhaka and HQ Research Branch);
  • Liaise with government and non-government counterparts, central and local level officials and community and civil society leaders, to identify various aspects of criminal markets in operation;
  • Identify various impacts of criminal markets including economic, social, political, legal, employment patterns, criminological phenomena, demographic patterns, etc. on both host and refugee communities;
  • Review the initial findings, incorporate feedback, and produce the final report

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work and Expected Outputs/ Deliverables

As part of the project activities, UNODC would like to engage a Lead Research consultant, to work jointly with a Junior Research consultant, to roll out the qualitative research through undertaking a desk review, collect data and information through various methodologies, ethnographic participants observation, conduct workshop and adopt other mutually agreed methodologies, data analysis, and interpretation and final report preparation. The desk review should identify the overall crime situation, map the different actors associated with crimes and outline the various impacts on host and refugee communities. The final report will include detailed findings of various impacts of criminal markets on both host and refugee populations. The assignment will require several visits to Cox’s Bazar region. This research will complement the qualitative study that has been conducted and the quantitative survey which is currently underway.

Specific Deliverables and Payment Terms

Inception report describing the plan to conduct the research and primarily identified tools for collecting information and data on criminal markets and trends in Cox’s Bazar concerning both the refugee and host populations. The report will also include preliminary findings from the desk review.

12 w/d 20% End of August 2021 Outline of the research report based on liaison with central and local level officials, stakeholders and civil society leaders.

8 w/d 50% End of October 2021 Draft research report including outline of findings gathered through various methodologies to identify various impacts of criminal markets on both host and refugee communities in Cox’s Bazar.

20 w/d Final research report incorporating findings, recommendations, feedback/ suggestions received from the UNODC Headquarters, the Regional Office for South Asia and the Programme Office in Bangladesh 10 w/d 30% End of December 2021 Note:
  • Technical Proposals must include a timeline, methodology, and specific plan of action;
  • The necessary field travel budgets will be supported separately from the proposal;
  • Any kind of miscellaneous charges i.e. Internet, phone etc. would not be reimbursed;
  • Please note proposals without a financial proposal will not be considered.


  • A good understanding of the local context and cultural sensitivity, specifically in the areas of drugs and crime;
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc.);
  • Good planning and organizational skills;
  • Proficient in writing, editing, and oral communication skills in English and excellent communication and drafting skills in Bangla

Required Skills and Experience

Experience and Qualifications Required

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in the field of social sciences, criminology, statistics, or an alternative relevant field;
  • At least 7 years of experience in carrying out research or surveys in the national context of Bangladesh, including 2-3 years in relevant field;
  • Proven understanding of qualitative and quantitative methodologies, including interviews, focus groups, observations, written responses, crime and victimization surveys, etc.;
  • Experience working with government officials in the South Asian region, with a focus on Bangladesh.
Time Frame

The contract will be for 50 working days tentatively starting from 15 July to 31 December 2021.

Travel & DSA Clause

All the required travel-related expenses will be supported separately, therefore, do not need to be included in the financial proposal.

Reporting and Communication

The Lead Research consultant will work with the support of the Junior Research consultant, and under the overall supervision of the Representative/Deputy Representative UNODC Regional Office for South Asia, the direct supervision of the National Programme Coordinator, UNODC Programme Office in Bangladesh, in close Coordination with and oversight of the Research Officer, Crime Research Section, Research and Analysis Branch, UNODC Headquarters, and in coordination with the project team in the UNODC Programme Office for Bangladesh.

Technical Criteria Weight - 70 marks

  • Educational Qualification - 20 points
  • Proven experience in carrying out research or surveys in the national context of Bangladesh - 20 points
  • Proven understanding of qualitative and quantitative methodologies, including interviews, focus groups, observations, written responses, crime and victimization surveys - 20 points
  • Experience of working with government officials in the South Asia region, with particular focus on Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh – 10 points

The individual contractor will be evaluated based on the following methodology: Cumulative analysis: The candidates will be evaluated through Cumulative Analysis method. The award of the contract will be made to the individual contractor whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:
  1. Responsive/compliant/acceptable, and
  2. Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.
Only individual contractors, obtaining a minimum of 49 points in the technical evaluation, would be considered for financial evaluation.

Financial Evaluation (Total 30 marks)

The total weightage for the financial proposal will be 30.  The maximum points (30) will be assigned to the lowest financial proposal. All other proposals received points according to the following formula: p = y (µ/z) Where: p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated y = maximum number of points for the financial proposal µ = price of the lowest priced proposal z = price of the proposal being evaluated  DOCUMENTS TO BE INCLUDED WHEN SUBMITTING PROPOSALS:

Interested individuals must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:
  • Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template provided by UNDP;
  • Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references.
  • http://www.bd.undp.org/content/bangladesh/en/home/operations/jobs/
  • Brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment and a methodology on how they will approach and complete the assignment.
  • Technical proposal
  • Financial Proposal: The Financial Proposal has to be submitted through a standard interest and availability template which can be downloaded from the link below:
  • http://www.bd.undp.org/content/dam/bangladesh/docs/Jobs/Interest%20and%20Submission%20of%20Financial%20Proposal-Template%20for%20Confirmation.docx
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