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Peace & Development Specialist

Nouakchott (Mauritania)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Nouakchott (Mauritania)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Peace and Development
  • Closing Date: 2021-05-10

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Background

Peace and Development Specialists (hereafter PDA) work with national stakeholders to build, strengthen, and sustain nationally owned and driven efforts to prevent violent conflict and build just and peaceful societies. The range of countries to which PDAs are deployed vary considerably, with some deployed to countries emerging from conflict, others where violence is escalating, and others to countries where there is no violent conflict but underlying structural causes of conflict are present. PDAs are also deployed in countries where political and developmental challenges exist around issues related to elections and constitutional processes, exclusion and inequality, environment, climate change and natural resource management.
  
PDAs are deployed through a partnership between the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), under the Joint UNDP-DPPA Programme on Building National Capacities for Conflict Prevention.  PDAs support Resident Coordinators (RC) and UN Country Teams (UNCTs) in their efforts to work with national partners on conflict prevention and sustaining peace. They support early warning and risk management measures, and ensure that UN assessments, frameworks (mainly UN Cooperation Frameworks), strategies and programmes are conflict-sensitive and informed by high quality analysis. They are located in the Resident Coordinators’ office, with a direct reporting line to the RC, and a secondary reporting line to the UNDP Resident Representative and DPPA-DPO regional divisions.  
 
In 2021, PDAs will have been deployed into more than 50 countries through the Joint Programme. While most PDAs are deployed at country-level, there are a number of PDAs who cover multiple countries.  In some contexts, PDAs are part of a small Peace and Development Advisory team composed of a PDA and a substantive national or international officer/analyst. PDAs also receive additional support from a Joint Programme secretariat based at UN Headquarters in New York, from UNDP and DPPA technical advisors/specialists globally, and from a cadre of regional programme specialists supporting their regions from Amman, Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Dakar, Istanbul and Panama.  
 
Given the broad range of skills and experience required by PDAs, the Joint Programme encourages applications from individuals with a combination of expertise spanning sustainable development, political affairs, peacebuilding, sustaining peace, conflict prevention/resolution, community engagement, justice, reconciliation, dialogue, mediation, and humanitarian-development-peace nexus among other relevant areas. While UN experience is a major asset, it is not a requirement for this position. Moreover, the skills of diplomacy, dialogue and facilitation, analysis, advocacy, networking, capacity development and coordination are critical elements of a PDA’s work.
 
 
 

Duties and Responsibilities

There are three broad functions of the position: 
  1. Undertake conflict analysis and provide strategic advice to the Resident Coordinator in his/her engagement with high-level government officials, academia, civil society including youth and women’s networks, UN Country Teams, HQ, and other relevant stakeholders. Submit the analysis and reporting to the RC, UNDP RR and DPPA-DPO Division.
  2. Identify opportunities to build national capacities for conflict prevention including areas of strategic, programmatic and policy engagement with national stakeholders, and support the RC and the UNCT action in areas of conflict prevention, peacebuilding, human rights, humanitarian-development-peace (HDP) nexus, Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) among others.
  3. Establish and strengthen strategic partnerships with key national stakeholders, regional and international actors and development partners on issues related to Sustaining Peace and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
 
 
 
PDAs have a primary reporting line to the Resident Coordinator, and secondary reporting lines to the DPPA-DPO regional division and the UNDP Resident Representative. Under their guidance and agreed workplan, and in close collaboration with the country team, the PDA will:
 
  1. Undertake conflict analysis and provide strategic advice to the Resident Coordinator in his/her engagement with high-level government officials, academia, civil society including youth and women’s networks, UN Country Teams, HQ, and other relevant stakeholders. Submit the analysis and reporting to the RC, UNDP RR and DPPA-DPO Division.
  • Provide risk-informed analysis to the RC and the broader UNCT (and in some contexts, the Humanitarian Country Team) as well as the UN Headquarters (and regional level as relevant) on political and socioeconomic developments and conflict dynamics. This would also require identifying appropriate ‘entry points’ for conflict prevention and sustaining peace, proposing concrete, actionable and timely recommendations for consideration by the UN leadership;
  • Strengthen and support the capacity of the UNCT, including through training, to undertake conflict, context and political economy analysis, ensuring that gendered and human rights dimensions are reflected in both analysis and programming; and inform early warning and response mechanisms;
  • Provide updates to the UN Headquarters (and regional level as relevant) in line with the Joint Programme’s reporting guidelines with advice on political and socioeconomic developments and conflict dynamics.  
  • Support the regular update of the Common Country Assessment (CCA), which informs the design and implementation of the UN Cooperation Framework, including lead the conflict analysis part of the CCA;
  • Regularly brief the UNCT on political developments, and provide strategic advice on integrated approaches across the UNCT in the context of SDG 16 – Peace Justice and Strong Institutions;
  • Facilitate the linking of political economy considerations, conflict and political analysis and strategies as well as risk-informed approaches to the UN’s programmatic and policy engagement at the country-level; and
  • Engage with academia and think tanks in research and analyses on peace and conflict related themes, including areas such as climate-related security risk.

2.Identify opportunities to build national capacities for conflict prevention including areas of strategic, programmatic and policy engagement with national stakeholders, and support the RC and the UNCT action in areas of conflict prevention, peacebuilding, human rights, humanitarian-development-peace (HDP) nexus, Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) among others.

  • Provide strategic and technical advice, and support the design and initiation of peace-promoting initiatives or engagements in areas such as conflict prevention and sustaining peace; infrastructures for peace; dialogue processes; confidence-building measures, electoral violence prevention; social cohesion; reconciliation; countering violent extremism; and stabilization;
  • Support the design and facilitation of national multi-stakeholder processes, building national and local capacity for negotiation, mediation and dialogue; and strengthening networks of mediators and facilitators (including female mediators) at national and local levels;
  • Identify opportunities and options for UN preventive diplomacy engagement as required;
  • Support connecting local and national level conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts, as well as regional and/or cross-border initiatives as appropriate;
  • Identify and engage civil society actors in the peace and development agenda supported by the UN and work with other UN entities, including OHCHR and UN Women, to protect human rights and expand civic space;
  • Support the UNCT in their efforts on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and gendered dimensions of peacebuilding and SCR 1325 (and related resolutions) as well as Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) and SCR 2250; 
  • Support the design and implementation of strategies for identifying entry points for mainstreaming of conflict prevention and conflict sensitivity in the work of the UNCT (including within the CCA, Cooperation Framework, Country Programme Documents (CPD), etc.); and where relevant, support UN’s resource mobilization efforts for conflict prevention;
  • Support the RC and the UNCT in the implementation of the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel in Mauritania and in cross-border areas in cooperation with relevant regional entities; 
  • Undertake necessary activities to build/strengthen/apply/sustain national capacities/ institutions/ processes to prevent crisis and mainstream conflict prevention interventions throughout the work of UN agencies at country level;
  • Provide strategic guidance and quality assurance to the design and implementation of programmes funded by the UN Peacebuilding Fund (PBF), where applicable, and engage closely with PBF governance mechanisms; as well as with DPPA regional divisions and UNDP Country Offices and HQ on the implementation; and 
  • In contexts of a UN Mission transition, work closely with relevant stakeholders to ensure that the activities of the UNCT incorporate a conflict prevention dimension to sustain the peacebuilding gains achieved during the mission’s presence.
3.Establish and strengthen strategic partnerships with key national stakeholders, regional and international actors and development partners on issues related to Sustaining Peace and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • Establish and maintain networks and strategic partnerships for sustaining peace related strategies and initiatives and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and national SDG plans;
  • Liaise closely with national, regional, and local stakeholders including civil society, academia, think tanks, women’s and youth networks and key international actors (including International Financial Institutions and regional organizations) to identify entry points, foster dialogue and strengthen strategic alliances and partnerships on conflict prevention, trust- and confidence-building, and reconciliation initiatives;
  • Maintain close liaison with relevant development partners, the diplomatic corps, regional organizations and other actors supporting the UN’s conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts; 
  • Maintain close contact with relevant staff in UN Headquarters as well at the regional level including relevant focal points at UNDP, DPPA-DPO, DCO and work closely with the regional programme specialists based in the region;
  • Maintain close contact with Special Envoys, Special Representatives of the Secretary-General, political missions and offices where relevant;
  • Liaise with the DPPA-Peacebuilding Support Office together with the respective DPPA-DPO regional division in countries where PBF activities are being developed and/or implemented; and 
  • Contribute to the results-based management efforts of the Joint UNDP-DPPA Programme, including through setting up mechanisms to assess and measure impact of peace and development initiatives and providing the Joint Programme secretariat with inputs on progress at the country level.
 

 

Competencies

Core

 

Innovation

Ability to make new and useful ideas work

Level 5: Creates new and relevant ideas and leads others to implement them

Leadership

Ability to persuade others to follow

Level 5: Plans and acts transparently, actively works to remove barriers

People Management

Ability to improve performance and satisfaction

Level 4: Models independent thinking and action

Communication

Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform

Level 5: Gains trust of peers, partners, clients by presenting complex concepts in practical terms to others

Delivery

Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement

Level 5: Critically assesses value and relevance of existing policy / practice and contributes to enhanced delivery of products, services, and innovative solutions

Social Cohesion

Knowledge of methods and experience of supporting communities to achieve greater inclusiveness, more civic participation and creating opportunities for upward mobility

Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Peacebuilding and Reconciliation

Ability to support peace processes to facilitate recovery and development

Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Conflict-Sensitive Programming

Ability to use methods and tools to monitor conflict triggers and determine impact of various dynamics in conflict-prone situations

Level 5:Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Conflict and Political Economy Analysis

Knowledge of the interaction of political, social 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, UN's development support

Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Knowledge Management

Ability to efficiently handle and share information and knowledge

Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Relationship Management

Ability to engage with other parties and forge productive working relationships

Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Gender

Knowledge of gender issues and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations, including analysis of projects from a gender perspective

Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

 

 

 

Required Skills and Experience

 
Education
  • Advanced university degree (Master’s Degree) in conflict resolution, peace studies, political science, human rights, sociology, international relations, economics, law, public administration, or other related social sciences. 
 
 
Experience
  • Minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible experience in conflict analysis, strategy development, risk informed/conflict sensitive development and/or conflict prevention and sustaining peace in a governmental, multilateral or civil society organization; 
  • Proven policy, advisory and advocacy experience and track record of engagement with senior officials, such as in the United Nations, government and external partners;
  • Experience in programming and project management, such as programme design and results monitoring, in areas related to conflict prevention, peacebuilding and/or development; 
  • Experience in national and community level conflict prevention and peacebuilding initiatives and programming; with experience in gendered dimensions of peacebuilding being an asset.
  • Experience working within a UN Agency/Fund/Programme or Department and field experience would be a major asset.
  • Experience working in the Northern Africa region would be an asset.
 
Langage:
  • Fluent written and spoken English and French is required. Knowledge of Arabic is an advantage. 
 
 
Qualified female candidates are especially encouraged to apply.
 

Disclaimer

Important information for US Permanent Residents ('Green Card' holders)

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.

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