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Democratic Governance and Human Rights Strategy Development Specialist (NPSA-10)


  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Kyiv
  • Grade: NPSA-10, National Personnel Services Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
    • International Relations
    • Human Rights
    • Democratic Governance
    • Public Policy and Administration
  • Closing Date:
UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.
UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

Human Rights for Ukraine (HR4U) Project (2019 – 2023) funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and implemented by UNDP Ukraine is a nation-scale 5-year initiative. The project is an integral part of UNDP’s democratic governance portfolio that strengthens accountable and responsive public institutions and trust in state-society relations, respect of the rule of law and human rights. The Project’s overall goal is to promote human rights through strengthening capacities of the national actors and effectively integrate human rights-based approach (HRBA) into the national and local policies all over Ukraine. HR4U is focused on further strengthening the Secretariat of the National Human Rights Institution (NHRI’s Secretariat), including the functioning of its regional network, effective monitoring of human rights situation, and parliamentary oversight on the implementation of the international human rights instruments.

The human rights situation in Ukraine remains challenging due to numerous interlinked reasons. Since the ‘Revolution of Dignity’ in 2014, many reforms were initiated in nearly every sphere including through the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. However, political instability, weak political will, and the need to run reforms have slowed or halted the implementation of such reforms affecting human rights situation. Moreover, in 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated all existing inequalities and made the challenges to human rights, tolerance, and non-discrimination even more visible, especially for vulnerable groups.

The full-fledged Russian military aggression on Ukraine launched on 24 February 2022 resulted in an unprecedented loss of life, damage, destruction and displacement. The territories affected by hostilities are facing disastrous humanitarian consequences, destroyed infrastructure and houses, causing the displacement of millions of people. 18 million people, or half of the population, are projected to become affected, including already over 4,1 million refugees who have crossed into neighbouring countries, and at least 7,7 million people who are internally displaced, with the majority being women and children.

The ongoing war jeopardizes the safety and human security of all Ukrainians, with specific implications for those in vulnerable situations. Women and girls are increasingly facing gender-based violence, including CRSV, human trafficking, loss of livelihood, and violation of their rights. These impacts are quite high among displaced populations as well as in host communities of western Ukraine that appeared to be overloaded and suffering from economic and social hardships due to the increased burden on the social infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the NHRI's Secretariat proved to be one of the accelerators of the human rights reform agenda through the implementation of its wide and extensive mandate. On 31 May 2022, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted Regulation 2294-IX and proclaimed a motion of no confidence in the NHRI. This is the first time ever that the NHRI in Ukraine has been dismissed from the office. The dismissal of the NHRI during martial law provides a considerable challenge to the human rights agenda. Meanwhile, the NHRI’s Secretariat continues its operations in a transitional mode.

In such circumstances, the NHRI's Secretariat faces the need for the development of a clear strategic vision with identification of the priorities of work both in its transitional period prior to the election of the new Ombudsperson and in anticipatory response to emerging challenges during martial law and post-war recovery.

In this regard, UNDP is recruiting a Democratic Governance and Human Rights Strategy Development Specialist with relevant experience and a track records.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the Human Rights for Ukraine Project Coordinator/Human Rights Team Lead, the Democratic Governance and Human Rights Strategy Development Specialist will be responsible for the following key tasks:

Support strengthening capacities of the NHRI’s Secretariat to ensure more effective contributions towards the human rights agenda and effective responses to war-related human rights challenges:

  • Provide expert advice on strategic directions of development of the institution in the conditions of martial law and during a crisis of NHRI’s change. This will include contribution to the development of the strategic vision and identification of the priorities of the NHRI’s Secretariat activities, including the development of respective concept notes, strategies and action plans. In frame of this activity transitional period (before election of the new NHRI) of the NHRI’s Secretariat functioning should be considered as well as update of the plans and strategies on the regular basis to address new challenges and priorities;
  • Provide expertise regarding the role of the NHRI in the conflict and post-conflict settings, including proposals for amendments in legislation, regulations, and internal rules of the institution;
  • Provide input to the strategic vision of the professional development of NHRI’s Secretariat staff with respective planning taking into account the war-related challenges; design and coordinate the training programme of NHRI’s Secretariat staff in close cooperation with other development partners; hold trainings to staff on different topics of human rights, conflict and post-conflict issues, CRCV etc.
  • Provide advice and support in conceptualization of the NHRI’s Secretariat work with the development partners and development of its internal regulatory framework as regards cooperation with the development partners;
  • Strengthen capacities of the NHRI’s Secretariat on effective usage of international technical assistance;
  • Provide advice regarding further development of the NHRI’s regional network and development of the strategic vision on it’s functioning under the Ombuds Plus Model without additional donor support;
  • Provide expertise regarding the development and amendment of the monitoring and evaluation framework of the NHRI’s Secretariat activities, including revision of the existing system of data collection with further recommendations regarding strengthening the existing system based on the best practices of data accumulation, analysis and desegregation;
  • Assist the NHRI’s Secretariat in enhancing gender and HRBA expertise, reporting and monitoring of the human rights challenges with relevant focus on gender equality.

Provide technical support, expert advice, and policy representation to support in developing policy documents and regulatory guidance:

  • Conduct analysis of international standards and best practices and provide recommendations regarding further enhancing NHRI’s mandate considering specific of actioning in conflict and post-conflict situations
  • Provide comments and further recommendations regarding amendment of the legislation on NHRI in accordance with the Paris Principles, GANHRI recommendations and international best practices;
  • Support UNDP Ukraine Country Office (UNDP CO) in promoting the corporate policy on NHRI, including preparation of analytical papers, legal position and inputs to communication materials regarding NHRI’s functioning/election/dismissal
  • Participation in and facilitation of discussions on legislative initiatives regarding strengthening of the NHRI’s mandate;
  • Promote UNDP’s mandate as a gender-responsive organization with zero tolerance for any kind of discriminatory and abusive behaviour, including sexual harassment, sexual exploitation and abuse.
  • Review project proposals developed by UNDP teams and provide practical advice on programmatic interventions regarding strengthening of NHRI and human rights promotion
  • Provide inputs for preparation of work-plans, periodic narrative progress reports and expenditures status reports for all relevant projects;
  • Prepare records/briefs/documents on relevant UNDP CO-led activities, issues, and risks;
  • Gather all information necessary for monitoring and reporting on activities from the planning to the evaluation stages;
  • Provide sectoral advice and report to UNDP, whenever requested;
  • Perform other duties as necessary

Measurable outputs of the work assignment

  • Monthly/quarterly/annual/ad hoc debriefs are prepared;
  • Donors/partners visits are initiated and facilitated;
  • Concept notes, advisory notes, memos, meeting debriefs, topical briefs, and activity plans produced;
  • Substantial support to the project activities related to strengthening awareness of the national stakeholders on UNGP provided;
  • Topical news-feed regularly produced and streamlined;
  • All assignments performed in a quality and timely manner.

Performance Indicators for evaluation of results

  • Project-related analytical materials are timely prepared and disseminated;
  • Programmatic activities in the human right area are duly overseen, timely enhanced, and properly reported.

Institutional Arrangement

The incumbent will work under the direct supervision of Human Rights for Ukraine Project Coordinator/Human Rights Team Lead in close cooperation with other project personnel. 


Core Competencies

Achieve Results:

LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact

Think Innovatively:

LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems

Learn Continuously:

LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences

Adapt with Agility:

LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands

Act with Determination:

LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results

Engage and Partner:

LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration

Enable Diversity and Inclusion:

LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity

Cross-Functional & Technical Competencies

Thematic Area



Business Management


Ability to communicate in a clear, concise and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience

Business Management

Partnerships Management

Ability to build and maintain partnerships with wide networks of stakeholders, Governments, civil society and private sector partners, experts and others in line with UNDP strategy and policies

Business Direction and strategy

Strategic Thinking

Ability to develop effective strategies and prioritized plans in line with UNDP’s objectives, based on the systemic analysis of challenges, potential risks and opportunities; linking the vision to reality on the ground, and creating tangible solutions

Business Direction and strategy

Effective Decision Making

Ability to take decisions in a timely and efficient manner in line with one’s authority, area of expertise and resources

Business Direction and strategy

Negotiation and Influence

Ability to reach an understanding, persuade others, resolve points of difference, gain advantage in the outcome of dialogue, negotiates mutually acceptable solutions through compromise and creates win-win situations

Business Direction and strategy

System Thinking

Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system

2030 Agenda : Peace


People with Disability

Required Skills and Experience
  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Public Administration, Economy, Management, Political Science, Law, Social Science or related fields. 
  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field with additional two years of relevant experience will be given due consideration in lieu of Master’s degree.
  • Minimum 5 years (with Master’s degree) or 7 years (with Bachelor’s degree) of professional work experience at the national and/or international level, on issues of human rights within the civil society organization or any other institution working on human rights promotion in Ukraine with a special focus on democratic governance, or related areas. 
  • Experience in the area of gender equality will be considered a strong asset.
  • Experience working with governments and civil society on Human Rights is an asset.
  • Experience in working with NHRI will be considered a strong asset.
  • Experience in elaborating strategic documents, and analytical papers/research is an asset.
  • Practical experience with M&E frameworks and reporting for international organizations in the area of human rights will be a strong asset.


  • Fluency in English and Ukrainian is required (both spoken and written).

Required Skills:

  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Strong organizational and time management skills.

Desired Skills:

  • Knowledge of office software packages (Word, Excel etc.), handling web-based management systems.
  • Working with Evidence and Data.
  • Communication/Social Media Management.

The following documents shall be required from the applicants:

  1. Personal CV or P11, indicating all past positions held and their main underlying functions, their durations (month/year), the qualifications, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate, and at least three (3) the most recent professional references of previous supervisors. References may also include peers.
  2. A cover letter (maximum length: 1 page) indicating why the candidate considers him-/herself to be suitable for the position.
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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