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Spotlight Project Assistant, Spotlight Initiative regional programme for Central Asia and Afghanistan

Almaty (Kazakhstan)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Almaty (Kazakhstan)
  • Grade: SB-2 (SC3/SC4), Service Contract, Local Contractors Agreement - Administrative support
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Administrative support
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
  • Closing Date: 2020-01-26

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Funded by the European Union and managed from Kazakhstan (Almaty) in cooperation with all participating countries, the Spotlight Initiative (SI) regional programme for Central Asia will harness the collective expertise, experiences challenges and energy of gender equality advocates from the five Central Asian countries as well as Afghanistan. This will be done with the purpose of advancing legislative reform, policy dialogue and advocacy, technical assistance in adaptation of most effective measures to address sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and social norm changes necessary to prevent and respond to SGBV and harmful practices such as bride kidnapping, child, early and forced marriage. 
Mobilizing the UN country teams (UNCTs) in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, as well as in partnership with Afghanistan, the SI seeks to fill a vital vacuum in the region. Namely, the absence of any Central Asian consensus around SGBV, and the absence of any institutional forum for such consensus to be generated. 
Through collective thinking and collective advocacy, governments, parliamentarians, civil society, human rights and women’s activists, survivors as well as women from marginalized groups will develop Central Asia-specific models for legislative, policy and institutional reforms. These Central Asia-specific models will be grounded in the international norms and standards guiding work on SGBV, including the CEDAW, and the Council of Europe (CoE)’s Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence – also known as the Istanbul Convention. In addition, the Models will reflect the importance of gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) methodologies – including costing – to ensure prevention and response to SGBV is robust.
Under the oversight and supervision of the SI Programme Coordinator, the SI Project Assistant provides support to the effective management of programme components managed by the three UN Recipient Organizations, i.e. UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women in the Spotlight Initiative regional programme by actively assisting the day-to-day implementation of activities. In this context, the Project Assistants provide logistical and administrative support to the project in compliance with appropriate policies and procedures. The Project assistant works in close collaboration with the other Project assistant hired under the same project, the project team as well as Programme and Operations Units.
The Project Assistant is responsible for the day-to-day implementation and operational support of project activities to ensure timely and efficient support to programme related activities.

Duties and Responsibilities

Substantive Project Support:
  • Provide operational support to the project and programme management;
  • Prepare requests for direct payment, cash advances, reports on expenses, budget revision and other required supporting documentation for all financial transactions; records these transactions accordingly;
  • Provide logistical support and prepares background materials for use in workshops, seminars, training sessions, meetings, visiting missions, field trips, etc.;
  • Establish and maintains accurate and up-to-date filling system for the documents, keeps information and reference material in a manner which allows easy retrieval;
  • Contribute to the preparation of status and progress reports by collecting information, preparing tables and drafting selected sections;
  • Draft and/or types correspondence, notes, documents, reports, prepares required contracts, keeps the necessary flow of correspondence;
  • Receive telephone calls and visitors concerning the projects, responding directly where appropriate;
  • Prepare unofficial translations and acts as an interpreter.
Mission logistics and Workshop logistics:
  • Assist in organizing meetings, workshops, conferences and missions.
Travel arrangements:
  • Coordinate and assist in making travel arrangements for participants of events, projects staff in connection with their domestic and international project-related travels;
  • Prepare Requests for Services and Payments in accordance with RUNO rules and procedures.
Communication support:
  • Draft external correspondence with projects’ partners and stakeholders, maintain files and assist in the preparation of documentation in advance of and following meetings;
  • Assist in acquisition of letters of co-financing and support from stakeholders.
  • Assist in procurement and recruitment processes; assist the project team in preparation of ToRs for the consultants;
  • In accordance with the Work Plan arrange for procurement of equipment, supplies and services;
  • Create and manage e-requisitions in ATLAS;
  • Arrange for equipment maintenance and insurance as required;
  • Ensure that contractual processes follow the stipulated RUNO procedures;
  • Physically clear and ensure delivery of equipment and supplies procured for the various programme sites;
  • Maintain records over project equipment inventory.
Project documentation and filling:
  • Assist in compilation of regular project status reports;
  • Maintain general office files and keep information and reference material in a manner that allows easy reference retrieval.
  • Perform all necessary secretarial services such as photocopying, collection and distribution of incoming mail, dispatching outgoing mail; locating files, etc.;
  • Perform other duties as may be required.
Impact of Results:
Specific impact should be achieved through smooth implementation of the project activities and attainment of projects results as well as active dialogue and coordination with the national stakeholders and on project activities implemented. Among others, the project is expected to contribute to:
The work of the programme will contribute to the implementation of SDG 5, SDG 3 and SDG 16 in particular.  Through these processes, and in developing a region-wide Alliance, the SI Regional Programme for Central Asia and Afghanistan will support the strengthened knowledge and skills of partners to development and implement innovative and effective actions to eventually end SGBV.   


Corporate Competencies:
  • Demonstrates integrity and fairness by modelling UN values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of the UN;
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Equality Issues and /or SGBV issues.
  • Solid knowledge of administrative and secretarial work; understanding of financial processes and accounting;
  • Good communication skills, including the ability to convey complex concepts and recommendations, both orally and in writing, in a clear and persuasive style tailored to match different audiences;
  • Ability to interact, establish and maintain effective working relations with a culturally diverse team, as a team member, to build trust, and to manage in a deliberate, transparent and predictable way;
  • Ability to work towards continuing personal learning, act on learning plan and apply newly acquired skills;
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills for preparation of presentations and reports – in English and Russian.
Development and Operational Effectiveness:
  • Excellent coordination skills to facilitate internal and external collaboration;
  • Builds strong relationships with stakeholders, focuses on result and responds positively to feedback;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure;
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities;
  • Identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required.
Knowledge Management and Learning:
  • Ability to synthesize the lessons learnt and choose the best practices;
  • Shares knowledge and experience and contributes to the achievement of the project development objectives;
  • Promotes knowledge management and a learning environment across projects and countries; trough active participation and contribution to RUNO social and knowledge networks;
  • Demonstrates excellent oral and written communication skills.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in social sciences, human rights, gender/ women’s studies, international development, public administration or a related field is required.
  • At least 3 years of relevant administrative or project support experience at the national or international level; 
  • Knowledge of UN Standard Operational Procedures and Atlas is an asset;
  • Proven working experience related to communications and use of (social) media is an advantage;
  • Ability to work in an environment requiring liaison and collaboration with multiple actors including government representatives, donors and other stakeholders;
  • Excellent inter-personal, communication and organizational skills;
  • Ability to work to tight deadlines and to handle multiple concurrent project components;
  • Excellent computer skills (especially Microsoft office applications) and ability to use information technology as a tool and resource.
Language Requirements:
  • Fluency in Russian and English with proven drafting and presentation skills;
  • Knowledge of Kazakh is desired.


Important applicant information

All posts in the SC categories are subject to local recruitment.

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