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Senior Programme Manager

Male (Maldives)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Male (Maldives)
  • Grade: IICA-4, International Individual Contractors Agreement - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2021-09-25

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Background Information - Job-specific

UNOPS supports partners to build a better future by providing services that increase the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of peace building, humanitarian and development projects.  Mandated as a central resource of the United Nations, UNOPS provides sustainable project management, procurement and infrastructure services to a wide range of governments, donors and United Nations organizations.

The New York Service Cluster (NYSC) supports the United Nations Secretariat, as well as other New York-based United Nations organizations, bilateral and multilateral partners in the delivery of UNOPS mandate in project management, infrastructure management, and procurement management. The Sustainable Development Cluster (SDC) supports diverse partners with their peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations. It was formed by combining the following portfolios: Grants Management Services (GMS), UN Technology Support Services (UNTSS), Development and Special Initiatives Portfolio (DSIP) It provides Services to partners' programmes that are designed, structured, and managed with a global perspective and primarily serving partners that are headquartered in New York.  SDC has a footprint of approximately 125 countries.

Thousands of suspected foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) and hundreds of children and their caregivers have been captured in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan by state armed forces and non-state armed groups and transferred to detention. An additional tens of thousands of foreign women and children fled areas once controlled by ISIL/Da’esh, with approximately 31,100 Iraqi and 11,400 foreign women and children from more than 50 other countries still in camps in northeast Syria. Ninety per cent of the children in the camps are under the age of 12 and 50 per cent are under age five. Hundreds of additional foreign women and children with alleged links or family ties to ISIL-Khorasan Province, have also been detained in Afghanistan. All these individuals have limited access to food, medical care, clean water, and other basic services. Living conditions are dire, as the population suffers from a lack of adequate shelter, food, sanitation, education opportunities, healthcare, legal assistance and remedies, and prevailing insecurity and violence – all of which has been magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic. The protracted humanitarian situation in the camps and detention facilities in northeast Syria and Afghanistan is not sustainable, resulting in the deprivation of human rights and heightened vulnerability for those foreign nationals that remain.

In response to this situation and to support Member States in addressing the protection imperatives, political sensitivities, legal complexities, and security concerns regarding the repatriation and reintegration of nationals with associations to ISIL/Da’esh, in 2020, the UN developed a Global Framework for UN Support on Syria/Iraq Third Country National Returnees (Global Framework). This Global Framework is intended to support Member States to 1) protect and address the needs of returnee victims, including children, and 2) to develop comprehensive and tailored prosecution, rehabilitation, and reintegration strategies for individuals suspected of committing terrorist acts or offenses, as outlined in resolutions 2178 (2014) and 2396 (2017). Such strategies must be undertaken in accordance with international human rights law, international refugee law, and as applicable, international humanitarian law, be gender-responsive and age-appropriate. 

The Global Framework enables a coordinated “whole-of-UN” response to the situation of individuals returning from Iraq and Syria, mainstreaming, and integrating human rights-based, age-appropriate, and gender-responsive approaches to address the needs of men, women, boys, and girls. The Global Framework also emphasizes that human rights considerations, protection needs, and a solid gender analysis, will need to be integrated and mainstreamed into every proposed action, backed, and supported by dedicated human rights and gender experts, grounded in national legal frameworks and fully compliant with international law, including human rights, humanitarian, and refugee law.

To further its understanding of where and how it can apply the Global Framework to further support the Government of Maldives (GoM) with the return of Maldivian Nationals from northeast Syria and Afghanistan the UN plans to conduct a comprehensive Joint Scoping Exercise (JSE). The JSE will bring together UN legal, human rights, gender, security, children protection and humanitarian expertise to identify needs and develop a risk-informed joint framework for the UN and GoM which articulates the principles and minimum conditions, resource mobilization strategies, and programmatic direction and activities for the provision of UN support.

The United Nations is seeking a senior consultant to coordinate the JSE. 

This position will be recruited through the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), an operational arm of the United Nations, which supports the successful implementation of its partners' peacebuilding, humanitarian, and development projects around the world. UNOPS supports partners to build a better future by providing services that increase the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of peace building, humanitarian and development projects.  Mandated as a central resource of the United Nations, UNOPS provides sustainable project management, procurement, and infrastructure services to a wide range of governments, donors, and United Nations organizations.

UNOPS has signed an agreement with the United Nations Office for Counter Terrorism to implement the project activities for UN Global Framework on Individuals Returned from Syria and Iraq.

This three-month consultancy will be based in Male, Maldives and may require travel nationally. In case of travel restrictions at the international or national level due to the prevailing COVID19 pandemic, work will be undertaken remotely.

The incumbent of this consultancy will be personnel of UNOPS, under its full responsibility.

Functional Responsibilities

Under the supervision of SDC Head and in collaboration with the Resident Coordinator (RC), and the UN Reference Group (RG) of the UN Country Team (UNCT) in Maldives and the Global Framework Steering Committee, the Senior Consultant will coordinate a JSE to determine the principles and minimum conditions, resource mobilization strategies, and relevant programmatic activities and risk mitigation strategies required to support the protection, prosecution, rehabilitation, and reintegration of Maldivian nationals returning from camps in northeast Syria and detention facilities in Afghanistan, including those who have alleged or actual links or family ties to designated terrorist groups. 

The Senior Programme Manager will support the work of UNCT and RG and will be responsible for the following:
  • Conduct and coordinate a desk review and analysis of existing reports, assessments, evaluations, mapping exercises, legal and operational documents, policies and strategies, programme documents, lessons learned, and data gathering exercises (in line with the standard Methodology and Terms of Reference for the exercise). 
  • Conduct and coordinate an inventory and analysis of relevant existing systems, legal frameworks, policies, and practices applicable to Maldivian citizens returning/returned from Syria and Afghanistan, including but not limited to the application of due process, individual case assessment, provision of services, protection against inhuman treatment and arbitrary detention, community-based reintegration, criminal justice, juvenile justice and non-justice based approaches of individuals with perceived affiliation with ISIL, and other human rights, child rights, and gender considerations.
  • Coordinate data collection through questionnaires, consultations, key informant interviews, and focus groups (internal and external) through field visits and/or virtual meetings.
  • Coordinate and support the collection of gender-sensitive and human rights focused context analysis to provide the basis for a shared understanding of opportunities, risks, and needs, in collaboration with OHCHR and dedicated human rights and gender experts.
  • Map existing programmes in support of Maldivian returnees across all relevant Global Framework areas of interventions (UN and non-UN). 
  • Coordinate the analysis of the engagement, political will, interests, and capacities of national and local authorities and stakeholders relevant to the Global Framework.
  • Coordinate the analysis of the needs of returnees, authorities, and programmatic gaps (to include funding gaps) across all relevant Global Framework areas of intervention.
  • Propose, consult, and stress-test recommendations regarding programmatic support required for differentiated human rights-compliant approaches for specific individuals or communities that could be provided in Maldives, highlighting applicability and requirements of the UN’s Human Rights Due Diligence Policy.
  • Lead the drafting of the JSE report, for consideration by the RC/UNCT and the Global Framework Steering Committee.
  • Based on the findings and analysis of the JSE, lead the development of a joint United Nations - Government of Maldives Framework articulating the: objectives, principles, conditions, roles and responsibilities of the UN and GoM for expanded support, and recommended human rights-based and compliant, gender-responsive, age-appropriate, and needs-based programmatic support and safeguards to be put in place to enable the voluntary return and sustainable reintegration of Maldivian Nationals from northeast Syria and Afghanistan.
  • Develop a risk management matrix (legal, political, security, reputational, etc.) detailing risk, minimum conditions, and mitigating measures specific at the Project, Country, and Global levels, related to current and future UN support, with a specific focus on risks related to, inter alia, human rights violations, conflict sensitivity, ‘Do No Harm’ principles, and the rights of children. 

Education/Experience/Language requirements


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) preferably in political science, law, international relations, international security, journalism, or another relevant field is required; Or
  • A first-level university degree in combination with 2 years of additional experience is required.


  • A minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience, interalia, in countering violent extremism, reintegration, post-conflict programmes, or any other related field. is required.

Desired Experience (The following experience is optional. Candidates who do not have it are welcome to apply):
  • Experience in strategic planning, and inter-agency coordination is desirable.
  • Experience with the United Nations or other International Organizations is essential.
  • Experience in developing proposals for donors is desirable.
  • Experience on counter-terrorism and preventing and countering violent extremism conducive to terrorism policy is desirable.
  • Experience in conflict resolution and consensus building is desirable.


  • Fluency in oral and written English is required. 
  • Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an asset.


Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.
Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: Individual Contractor Agreement  - ICA retainer modality. A retainer contract is issued for a period of time during which the services of the individual contractor are required intermittently. The individual contractor agreement on retainer basis will specify a “unit price” per day worked. For budgetary purposes, a monetary cap will be determined when the contract is awarded and issued. Please note that the retainer contract will not provide for a minimum, and payment will be made only after completion of work

Contract level: IICA-4/ ICSC-12 
Contract duration: Short-term ICA – Maximum duration 3 months (retainer) 

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: 

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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