Peace & Development Advisor
The UN Department of Political Affairs and the United Nations Development Programme have partnered to strengthen support to the UN’s work in building national capacities for conflict prevention. Such support is extended through the deployment of Peace and Development Advisors (PDAs) to provide Resident Coordinators (RCs) and UN Country Teams strategic guidance and support for the implementation of conflict prevention initiatives that involve national counterparts in order to build, strengthen, and sustain nationally-owned and driven efforts to mediate, resolve, and transform tensions, with a view to preventing violence and building peaceful societies. In 2019, an Interim Peace and Development Specialist will be deployed to Ecuador for a limited period to provide surge capacity to the Office of the RC/UNCT to address the situation in the northern border zone (NBZ), from a conflict prevention perspective.
The northern border zone (NBZ) of Ecuador includes four of the country’s 24 provinces (Esmeraldas, Carchi, Imbabura, and Sucumbíos), representing 15 per cent of the country’s geographic area. The NBZ is home to 800,000 people, with high percentages of Afro-descendant and indigenous peoples. It faces a complex mix of conflict factors, including consequences of the conflict and peace process in Colombia; armed violence perpetuated by criminal groups; and a range of environmental and natural resources disputes. The conflict dynamics in the NBZ are also consequence of social and economic vulnerabilities, which are in turn perpetuated by conflict itself. These include the historic and continuing marginalization of the region, widespread poverty and limited social services.
In terms of human mobility, approximately 40 per cent of refugees, mainly from Colombia, have settled down in the provinces along the border. The country is also both a destination and transit point for Venezuelan migrants. The provinces of Esmeraldas, Carchi and Sucumbíos are affected by the highest levels of armed violence in Ecuador, closely linked to the activities of organized and semi-organized criminal groups, including trafficking of persons, drugs, and arms. The Government has stepped up efforts to control and secure the zone and has requested international cooperation support to additional conflict prevention efforts.
Ecuador and Colombia have a well-established relationship for their bilateral cooperation. A Binational Border Integration Development Plan 2014-2022 was adopted and includes five axes: 1. Equality, and social and cultural cohesion; 2. Comprehensive security and human mobility; 3. Productive and commercial complementarity; 4. Connectivity and infrastructure; and 5. Environmental sustainability. On the Ecuadorian side, the National Development Plan 2017-2021 ratifies the commitment to contribute to the Colombian peace process and calls for a binational collaborative work in the border area for peace, security and development.
Since 2000, the work of the United Nations System in the NBZ has moved on from an early stage of humanitarian assistance to development actions and conflict prevention, integrating human security approaches, gender and human rights. The actual context provides opportunities for UN engagement and complementary efforts for conflict prevention and peacebuilding in the NBZ.
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the direct supervision of the Resident Coordinator and in close collaboration with the country team, the interim PDA will:
- Provide strategic and analytical support to the UN leadership at country level - the Resident Coordinator in his/her relations with high-level government officials, academia, civil society including women’s and indigenous networks, and with the wider political and civic leadership;
- Provide continuous analysis to RC, UNCT and HCT on political developments and conflict dynamics, with a view to identifying appropriate ‘entry points’ for conflict prevention and recommending appropriate strategic responses for the UN system, ensuring gendered dimensions of conflict are captured in both analytical efforts and reflected in UNCT programming initiatives as well as the human security approach;
- Foster coherence and support the articulation of already existing UN initiatives in the northern border as well as ensuring a conflict prevention approach in their implementation:
- Coordinate related peace-promoting activities, in the framework of the joint programs in the northern border to strengthen local capacities (government, CSOs and academia) for dialogue and conflict prevention;
- Provide strategic guidance to the implementation and articulation of UN interventions in the northern border: PBF program, UE IcSP program and other UN joint programs in the area.
- Establish and strengthen strategic partnerships with key national stakeholders, regional and international actors and development partners;
- Establish networks and strategic partnerships for peace building related strategies and initiatives with local actors;
- Liaise closely with national, regional, and local stakeholders from Government and civil society including women’s networks and key international actors to foster dialogue and strengthen strategic alliances and partnerships for conflict prevention.
- Maintain close contact with relevant staff in UN Headquarters including relevant focal points at UN/DPA;
- Strengthen capacity of the UNCT to undertake conflict analysis, mainstream conflict sensitivity and the human security approach in regular programming, ensuring that gender and intercultural dimensions are reflected in both analysis and programming:
- Support the UNCT for identifying entry points for mainstreaming of conflict prevention and conflict sensitivity, within the framework of UNDAF 2019-2022 and UN joint programs in the NBZ;
- Support an integrated programmatic approach across the UNCT in the context of SDG 16 – Peace Justice and Strong Institutions;
- Conduct training for UN Country Team staff and key national partners on conflict analysis, conflict prevention and/or conflict-sensitive development, ensuring that the gendered dimensions of conflict are adequately reflected through analysis produced and meaningfully addressed through programmatic efforts.
Ability to make new and useful ideas work
Ability to persuade others to follow
Ability to improve performance and satisfaction
Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform
Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement
Knowledge of methods and experience of supporting communities to achieve greater inclusiveness, more civic participation and creating opportunities for upward mobility
Peacebuilding and Reconciliation
Ability to support peace processes to facilitate recovery and development
Ability to use methods and tools to monitor conflict triggers and determine impact of various dynamics in conflict-prone situations
Political Economy Analysis
Knowledge of the interaction of political and economic processes in a society; including distribution of power and wealth between groups and individuals, and the processes that create, sustain and transform these relationships over time, and how these dynamics both affect, and are affected by, UNDP's development support
Ability to efficiently handle and share information and knowledge
Ability to engage with other parties and forge productive working relationships
Ability to identify and organize programmes and projects to implement solutions and generate resources
Required Skills and Experience
Advanced university degree (Master’s Degree) in political science, sociology, international relations, international economics, law, public administration, or other related social sciences. In lieu of an Advanced degree, a Bachelor university degree with additional years of experience.
- Minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible experience in conflict analysis, policy, and strategy development, development and/or conflict prevention in a governmental, multilateral or civil society organization;
- Extensive experience in research and project development;
- A proven policy, advisory and advocacy experience and track record of engagement with senior levels of government, United Nations, and donors;
- Experience in national and community-level conflict prevention and peacebuilding initiatives and programming;
- Sound knowledge of and extensive experience in Latin America, including in dialogue and conflict prevention initiatives, is an advantage.
Fluent written and spoken Spanish and English required
Important applicant information
All posts in the GS categories are subject to local recruitment.
Applicant information about UNDP rosters
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