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Conflict Prevention Specialist

Freetown Sierra Leone

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Freetown Sierra Leone
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Conflict prevention
    • Peace and Development
  • Closing Date:

BACKGROUND

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.

The Presidential, Parliamentary, and Local council elections in Sierra Leone will be held on 24 June 2023. The Election Commission of Sierra Leone (ECLS) and other election management bodies (EMBs) have advanced the preparation for the elections increasing venues for multi-stakeholders engagement in the electoral process. The electoral environment in Sierra Leone remains fragile raising the state institutions and stakeholders’ commitment for further promoting the organization of inclusive, and fully transparent elections in 2023. Misinformation and hate speech used in the electoral process had been considered principal factors undermining the conduct of peaceful elections in Sierra Leone.

Despite significant achievements made in improving the electoral legislation and other related regulatory policies, and frameworks in Sierra Leone, the EMBs and other state actors engaged in the administration of elections require technical assistance for enhancing administrative processes to deliver peaceful and credible elections. Over the years, UNDP Sierra Leone was instrumental in providing electoral support to the EMBs and advancing the engagement of vulnerable groups such as women, youth and persons with disabilities in electoral processes. Promoting coordination and strengthening of conflict prevention mechanisms in the electoral process were the primary objectives of the UNDP technical support projects. Following the request made by the ECSL, a new UN Needs Assessment Mission (NAM) was deployed to Sierra Leone in December 2020 which recommended the United Nation’s engagement in a number of electoral areas including providing of technical assistance to the ECSL and the Political Party Registration Commission (PPRC) and strengthening of early warning and conflict prevention mechanisms established under the management of national security sector.

The UNDP Election Project “Fostering Peaceful, Credible and Inclusive Elections in Sierra Leone 2022-2023” (election project) was established in June 2022 to assist the EMBs in the organization of peaceful and inclusive elections in Sierra Leone. The project includes a component funded under the UN Peacebuilding fund (PBF) aimed at promoting a peaceful environment towards the elections and supporting state institutions and security sector institutions to mitigate and prevent conflicts before and after the elections. The PBF project is jointly implemented with UNICEF, under the overall oversight of the Resident Coordination’s Office (RCO).

The UNDP election project is seeking to engage a conflict prevention specialist with the overall objective of providing support to implement the activities included in the Peace component of the project and the PBF project.  Under the direct supervision of the CTA on election, the specialist is expected to support state institutions in the implementation of activities related to early warning early response and other conflict prevention mechanisms including preventing hate speech and misinformation in elections.

Ensure Collaborative Leadership and Dialogue (CLD)

  • Coordinate implementation of the Peace component of the project in line with the project documents;
  • Ensure to maintain close coordination and collaboration with the peace and development advisor (PDA) to the RC and UNCT;
  • Work with civic, government leaders at both central and local levels;
  • Develop capacity through support for mentoring, and coaching as these skills are applied to key contemporary issues;

Mainstreaming Conflict Sensitivity into UNDP and Government election programming, policy, and processes (CS):

  • Work with the national state institutions to coordinate the project activities designed to enhance the peaceful conduct of the 2023 elections;
  • Facilitate the process to ensure that national state institutions in Sierra Leone are equipped with the tools and know-how in integrating conflict sensitivity in their policies and in projects activities;
  • Promote a way UNDP and government programs and projects are designed and implemented using a conflict-sensitive approach;

Early Warning and Early Response (EWER) to localized conflict:

  • Support national state institutions and the security sector in the strengthening of early warning and early response mechanisms for the upcoming elections;
  • Support a government-led, civil society-supported EWER system to enable a move towards pro-active, inclusive, dialogue-based prevention engagements;
  • Support the creation of a system that will involve building of accurate, timely conflict detection and analysis capabilities among relevant local and national government and civil society stakeholders and a mechanism to share these effectively with responders and to plan action;
  • Promote to build appropriate types of conflict response capacity among local government and civil society leaders and link such capacities into local and national mechanisms for their effective, coordinated deployment;
  • Coordinate the provision of all projects’ training programs aimed at increasing the capacity of state institutions and other stakeholders in negotiation and mediation.
  • Coordinate the implementation of the project activities designed to prevent hate speech and misinformation in the electoral process.

Operationalize the National Electoral Response Group (NERG) and the situation rooms:

  • Facilitate the operationalization of the National Electoral Response Group (NERG) and the situation room to serve as an effective platform to manage, prevent and reduce election-related conflict;
  • Assist the situation room to serve as a base for coordination and information gathering on election-related conflict information;
  • Enhance collaborative partnership, and proactive advocacy with Civil Societies to ensure rapid response to conflict associated with the 2023 electoral process
  • Promote UNDP’s approach towards adopting a coherent and coordinated approach to ensure that development efforts are conflict-sensitive so that they minimise unintended negative consequences and maximise their development and peacebuilding impact;

Project Reporting:

  • Provide technical input, draft policy documents, and required briefs/ documents/ reports related to the propjet activities;
  • Prepare progress reports related to the peace component of the project and the PBF project in collaboration with UNICEF and the project M&E and Communication specialist. Ensure timely submission of narrative and financial reports (as per PBF template) of the PBF to the RCO/PDA.
  • Participate in the project board and technical committee meetings to report on the progress made on the implementation of the peace component. This will include identification of potential risks affecting timely implementation of the project activities

COMPETENCIES

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

People Management Competencies

  • UNDP People Management Competencies can be found in the dedicated site.

Cross-Functional & Technical Competencies

Business Direction and Strategy : Strategic Thinking

  • Ability to leverage learning from a variety of sources to anticipate and respond to future trends; to demonstrate foresight in order to model what future developments and possible ways forward look like for UNDP.

Negotiation & Influence: Negotiation

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

Build Capability: Empowerment

  • Identify and develop talent in individuals, providing positive support to enable them to achieve their potential
  • Foster learning or development of others by giving feedback, guidance, and support; support career development of others

Show Managerial Courage: Managerial Skills

  • Address conflict in a timely manner, not allow conflicts in teams linger
  • Help others through emotional or tense situations, tactfully bringing disagreements into the open and finding solutions all can endorse

Knowledge Generation: Knowledge

  • Ability to research and turn information into useful knowledge, relevant for content, or responsive to a stated need

UNDP Representation: Representation

  • Ability to represent UNDP and productively share UNDP knowledge and activities; advocate for UNDP, its values, and mission and work with various constituencies

Risk Management: Risk

  • Ability to identify and organize action around mitigating proactivity managing risks

QUALIFICATIONS

Education:

  • Master’s degree in development, political sciences international relations, public administration, and management or other relevant fields.

Experience, Knowledge, and Skills

  • Minimum 7 years of relevant experience in international development with a focus on good governance, conflict prevention, peacebuilding, and/or mediation.
  • Experience working with UNDP or other international organizations supporting peacebuilding and/or conflict prevention programmes will be an asset
  • Knowledge and understanding of crisis prevention, preparedness, response and recovery; resilience; stabilization; transition; etc. will be an asset
  •  International crisis response architecture (including humanitarian system; peacekeeping operations; special political missions; etc. will be an asset
  • Work experience with security sector institutions will be an asset.
  • Gender equality in the context of programming in humanitarian and early recovery settings) and relevant policy and tools will be an asset

Language Requirements:

  • Proficiency in oral and written English.

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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. 

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