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Risk Management Specialist


  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Jordan
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Accounting (Audit, Controlling)
    • Internal audit, Investigation and Inspection
    • Disaster Management (Preparedness, Resilience, Response and Recovery)
  • Closing Date: 2024-06-26


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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.

Job Purpose

The Risk Management Specialist will be responsible for conducting due diligence for existing and prospective partners with a view to offer risk management analysis and advice, to foster the development of risk management practices, and to focus on learning and knowledge management.  The role extends to risk analysis and advice, ensuring compliance with UNDP policies and procedures, adherence to partner requirements, and contributing to risk management systems' development and knowledge sharing. Additionally, the Specialist will facilitate risk management learning initiatives and remain updated with advancements in risk management methodologies.

UNDP adopts a portfolio approach to accommodate changing business needs and leverage linkages across  interventions to achieve its strategic goals. Therefore, UNDP personnel are expected to work across units, functions,  teams, and projects in multidisciplinary teams in order to enhance and enable horizontal collaboration. 

Organizational Context

Syria is one of the most complex and dynamic humanitarian crises in the world. Since March 2011, over 400,000 Syrians have been killed and over one million have been injured. The humanitarian context has been further challenged by economic crisis. Overall, 13 million people needed some form of humanitarian assistance in 2021. This includes close to 6 million people estimated to be in acute need. 6.1 million people remain internally displaced while 5.6 million people have fled their homes, the vast majority to neighbouring countries.

The crisis led UNDP to significantly redesign its activities to support the UN’s large scale humanitarian response. As the lead of the Early Recovery and Livelihood (ERL) Sector, UNDP plays a critically strategic role in the UNCT and in the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT).  The ERL sector currently provides the UN with the most effective intervention modalities to address negative socio-economic and humanitarian trends and their potential ramifications on peace and security. These interventions are reflected in UNDP Syria’s three core workstreams: 
1.  Access to basic services: Essential service rehabilitation projects help increase resilience of vulnerable communities while decreasing social tensions linked to competition over basic services. 
2.  Livelihoods and Economic Recovery: Interventions to boost sustainable income generating activities in both rural and urban areas are designed to provide decent economic opportunities to marginalized Syrians. 
3.  Social Cohesion and Local Governance: Based on a careful assessment of entry points, these initiatives more directly address sensitive community security and protection issues.

Recognizing the paramount importance of understanding and managing risk in this endeavour, the Country Office underscores the need for accelerating and scaling development impact through improved risk-informed programming. Central to this approach is the acquisition of timely and actionable data and analysis, which serve as foundational elements for effective decision-making. Moreover, Syria current CPD places a strong emphasis on resilience-building to better address the compounding and interrelated risks that confront us. Simultaneously, it aims to fortify data analysis and mitigation strategies tailored to the Syrian context, which are pivotal in supporting programming guided by a thorough understanding of risk.

Within this context, this position for the role of the Risk Management Specialist specifies the scope and responsibilities of this function. That will have the role of supporting the Country Office, particularly in the domains of due diligence and risk assessment.

The Risk Management Specialist will work closely with the NOC Risk Management specialist based in Damascus and the Integrated Risk Management Unit (IRMU) based in Beirut that is established by the Resident Coordinator Office (RCO).

Duties and Responsibilities

1). Risk Management Analysis and Advice:

  • Perform due diligence to identify, assess, and manage contextual, programme and operational and business risk.  This includes the ability to analyze and interpret complex information and data collected, accurately identify issues and trends, make appropriate judgments, and provide relevant recommendations.
  • Identify the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into respective parts.
  • Conduct desk review of documents, including partners capacity assessment, partners profile and other relevant documents and documentary evidence of the key personnel and decision-making body as well as undertake his/her own research on due diligence to make specific recommendations to the UNDP management in Syria.
  • Collect, analyze, and evaluate information from a variety of public sources, including UN Security Council, investigation reports, regulatory bodies and law enforcement, or geographic information systems to complete risk profiles. 
  • Identify key contextual, strategic and operational risks and mitigating factors of potential development and humanitarian interventions. 
  • Respond to ongoing requirements on verifications, allegations and fact checks and provide recommendations and advise accordingly.

2). Development of Risk Management Practices:

  • Plan and contribute to the development of risk management systems in accordance with international standards on Risk Management.
  • Contribute to the establishment and enhancement of best practice in the area of risk management. 
  • Lead risk management discussions and contribute to common tools and practices across the UNDP, UN, and other partners. 
  • Contribute to the dissemination of best practices within the aid community in Syria, and more broadly with the UNDP/UN in a ‘community of practice’.

3). Learning, Knowledge Management and Self Development:

  • In coordination with the RMU team, contribute to the development and enhancement of class-based and online risk management courses in the context of Managing Project Risk and other technical assistance products (guidance notes, etc.) to support capacity building. 
  • Facilitate, deliver, and oversee risk management learning curricula to the UN, NGOs, CSO’s and other partners.
  • Provide risk management related technical assistance to the UN and its stakeholders, and in collaboration with the RMU team.
  • Ensure self-development and remain up to date with new and innovative developments in risk management.

4). Promote partnership and coordination

  • Liaise with donors on due diligence and vetting of potential vendors as per the approved SOP. Brief Donors about Due Diligence practices in Syria to maximize resource mobilization opportunities and initiatives.
  • Prepare background documents on CO’s Risk Management framework and practices. Seek CO Management clearance prior to consultations with donors.
  • Supports negotiation of financing agreements with donors.
  • Participate in the interagency risk management working group and contribute to enhancing the risk management practices of UNDP and other UN agencies operating in Syria.
  • Coordinate risk management activities across different partners engaged in implementation of risk management practices in Syria.
  • Support the development and coordination for key donor and partner engagement strategies.
  • Support the process of identifying, coordinating and managing inputs to products on issues relating to risk and partnerships.

The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of  the Office and the Organization.


Core Competencies: 

  • Achieve Results: LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact 
  • Think Innovatively: LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems 
  • Learn Continuously: LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences
  • Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands 
  • Act with Determination: LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results
  • Engage and Partner: LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies  

  • Business Management: Risk Management: Ability to identify and organize actions around mitigating and proactively managing risks 
  • Business Management: Portfolio Management: Ability to select, prioritize and control the organization as programmes and projects, in line with its strategic objectives and capacity; ability to balance the implementation of change initiatives and the maintenance of business-as-usual, while optimizing return on investment.
  • Business Management: Communication: Ability to communicate in a clear, concise and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience. Ability to manage communications internally and externally, through media, social media and other appropriate channels
  • Audit & Investigation: Procurement concepts, processes, and management:  Knowledge of procurement processes and management
  • Partnership Management: Relationship Management: Ability to engage with a wide range of public and private partners, build, sustain and/or strengthen. 
    working relations, trust and mutual understanding
  • Business Direction and Strategy: System Thinking: Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system.
  • Communication: Crisis and Reputational Risk: Ability to prepare for and respond to potential issues that may negatively impact UNDP's reputation

Required Skills and Experience

  • Advanced University degree (master’s Degree or equivalent) in Finance, Auditing, Business Law, International Affairs, Economics, Development Studies, Social Sciences, or other related area is required. or
  • A first-level university degree (bachelor’s degree) in aforementioned field of study in combination with an additional two years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the advanced university degree.
  • Minimum of 5 years (with master’s degree) or 7 years (with bachelor’s degree) of relevant experience at the international level in risk management and/or due diligence and partnership development is required.  
  • Experience in due diligence and risk assessment for partners and suppliers is required. 
  • Demonstrated experience in providing high quality service delivery is required.
  • Experience in crisis settings is desirable.
  • Prior Experience with the UN is advantageous.
  • Prior experience in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries is highly desirable.


  • Fluency in English is required.
  •  Working Knowledge of Arabic is highly desirable. 

Note: Please upload copies of your academic qualifications and 3 latest Performance Evaluations (if applicable)



Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment. 

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.


UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.  

UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status. 

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