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Peace & Development Specialist  - Joint UNDP-DPPA Programme - Chisinau, Moldova

Chisinau (Moldova)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Chisinau (Moldova)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Peace and Development
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
  • Closing Date: 2021-05-13

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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 are deployed to 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. - UN PDDA.

Moldova’s context
The Republic of Moldova is a small landlocked country of an estimated 2.61 million people that lies between Romania and Ukraine, at the cultural, geographical, and economic crossroads between Europe’s East and West. Moldova’s population consists of 51.8 per cent women and 48.2 per cent men, and almost 11 per cent of the whole population are people aged over 65. Moldova is a diverse and multi-ethnic country: at least 25 per cent of its population belong to mostly Russian-speaking minorities. Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Eastern Europe. Overall social cohesion in the country is fragile, according to the UN Moldova Social Cohesion and Reconciliation Index (SCORE). High rates of migration and resultant brain drain, repressive attitudes towards women, and poor social tolerance continue to impact on overall social cohesion, as does the protracted Transnistria Region conflict.
Prior to 2009, political power in Moldova was concentrated in the hands of the Communist Party, which fluctuated between seeking stronger ties with Russia to prioritizing European integration. In 2009, pro-European political forces came to power and Moldova made significant progress towards integration with the EU. In 2014, the European Union and Moldova signed an Association Agreement, which, among other things, created a ‘Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area’, opening the European market to Moldovan goods. During the same period, an oligarchy developed into a powerful political and economic force, controlling most levels of state power behind the scenes, under the façade of promoting closer ties with the West. In late 2014, an unprecedented large-scale financial theft was organized by these actors involving over $1 billion (equivalent to 14 per cent of Moldova’s GDP) from three banks, that undermined Moldova’s efforts towards European Integration and severely compromised its national development objectives and exposed severe governance and rule of law challenges.
The most recent Presidential Election took place on Sunday, November 15, 2020 and Maia Sandu, former Prime Minister and former head of the PAS party, was declared the winner with 57.75% of the vote compared to 42.25% for Igor Dodon, the former president and current head of the Socialist Party. The overall turnout in the elections was 52.78% or 1,650,131 participating voters.
The conflict in the Transnistria Region took place from March 1992 and lasted until an uneasy, yet lasting ceasefire was established on July 22, 1992. As part of that agreement, a three-party Joint Control Commission was created to supervise the security arrangements in the demilitarized zone, comprising twenty localities on both sides of the river. Since 2005, the OSCE has been chairing the negotiation process between the sides in a 5+2 format that includes the OSCE, Russia, Ukraine, the European Union, and the United States as mediators and observers. The UN does not have a political or formalized role in the Transnistria Settlement Process but seeks to support the wider enabling environment around the OSCE-facilitated Process. The UN seeks to support the OSCE, the sides, and the other key actors by focusing on confidence-building measures between the sides and in the strengthening of human rights on the two banks.
There continues to be a genuine risk that the depth and breadth of the compound political crisis, coupled with the impact of the pandemic, will have deep and lasting effects on Moldova. Given the UN’s position and mandate, the organization is well placed to continue to strongly support the country in its complex recovery and development process. Managing the manifold risks of this process as well as navigating political complexities at all levels will require the continued presence of a Peace and Development Advisor (PDA) - to provide an on-going analysis of the prevailing political and socio-economic situation and an objective eye as to programmatic exposure and mitigation opportunities.
There are strategic opportunities for the UN to work with the Republic of Moldova on the strengthening of social cohesion and on continuing the support to confidence building between people and communities on both banks of the Nistru River. The PDA would also be supporting efforts to ensure that UN programme design and implementation in Moldova is undertaken in a conflict-sensitive and context-cognizant manner. The PDA would also ensure that analysis and conflict-sensitivity inform the development of future strategic planning for the country.

Duties and Responsibilities

There are three broad functions of the position:

1. Undertake conflict and context analysis and provide strategic advice to the Resident Coordinator (and where appropriate and necessary the UNCT Heads of Agency) in their engagement with high-level government officials, academia, civil society, including youth and women’s networks, UN Country Teams, OSCE, HQ, and other relevant stakeholders. Submit the analysis and reporting to the RC, UNDP RR and DPPA-DPO Regional Division and other UNCT Heads of Agency.

2. Support the strengthening of UN and national capacities for conflict sensitivity, strengthening social cohesion and conflict prevention and identify and support 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.

In line with the trilateral agreement, 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 and context analysis and provide strategic advice to the Resident Coordinator (and where appropriate and necessary the UNCT Heads of Agency) in his/her engagement with high-level government officials, academia, civil society, including youth and women’s networks, UN Country Teams, OSCE, HQ, and other relevant stakeholders. Submit the analysis and reporting to the RC, UNDP RR and DPPA-DPO Regional Division and other UNCT Heads of Agency.

  • Using a risk-informed lens analyze the local and regional context and provide ad hoc and regular monthly reporting to the RC and the broader UNCT as well as the UN Headquarters (and regional level as relevant) on political and socioeconomic developments and on the social cohesion situation and potential conflict dynamics.
  • Based on the above analysis identify appropriate ‘entry points’ for strengthening social cohesion, conflict prevention and sustaining peace, confidence and peace-building, 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 any 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 the social cohesion situation and possible or potential conflict dynamics.
  • Support the regular update of the Common Country Assessment (CCA), which informs the design and implementation of the UN Cooperation Framework, including leading the political and the conflict analysis part of the CCA;
  • Provide regular briefings to the UNCT on political developments at the national level and regional level (in case of neighbouring regional conflicts), 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.
  • Support to RC/UNCT on public communications in consultation with DPPA-DPO regional division, as needed.

2. Support the strengthening of UN and national capacities for conflict sensitivity, strengthening social cohesion and conflict prevention and identify and support 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.

  • Build UN staff and management capacity in conflict analysis, conflict sensitivity, strengthening social cohesion, conflict prevention, and peacebuilding.
  • 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 with an enhanced perspective on female participation, including building national and local capacity for negotiation, mediation and dialogue; and strengthening networks of mediators and facilitators (including female mediators) on both banks of the Nistru;
  • 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 policy and programme development 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 ensuring the conflict sensitivity of the work of the UNCT (including within the CCA, Cooperation Framework, Country Programme Documents (CPD), Conflict Risk Dashboard, SCORE, etc.); and where relevant, support UN’s resource mobilization efforts for conflict prevention;
  • 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.
  • Support the work of the Transnistria Region Task Team.
  • Manage the duties and enhance capacities of the National Peace and Development Officer.

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 on both banks of the Nistru River;
  • Maintain close liaison with relevant development partners, the diplomatic corps, regional organizations (including OSCE) 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
  • Build a network with PDAs in the region who are also working in context of non-government-controlled territories;
  • Maintain close contact with Special Envoys, Special Representatives of the Secretary-General, political missions and offices where relevant and as needed;
  • If necessary, 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 Competencies

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

Technical/Functional Competencies:

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 conflcit-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 Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States region would be an asset.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluent written and spoken English is required. Knowledge of another UN language is an advantage.
  • Knowledge of Romanian or Russian is an advantage.

Other:
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.

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