Programme Specialist/ Senior Field Officer
The ongoing crisis in Myanmar is a complex mix of political and economic crises that is exacerbating, and escalating humanitarian and human development needs and has already placed basic needs of the people at risk. After a decade of strong economic growth, the recent political setbacks coupled with the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, threaten Myanmar’s chances of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A recent UNDP report (April 2021) warns that up to 25 million people (48.2% of the population) may end up below the poverty line by early 2022. These estimates were further confirmed in UNDP’s latest survey that shows that urban poverty will triple, and rural poverty increase by a third. Furthermore, after a period of relative peace, contested ethnic areas— in particular Chin, Kayah, Kachin and Shan states and Sagaing region—have witnessed a resumption in armed conflict. The formal peace process is considered stalled, and 295,000 people have been displaced by insecurity since February 2021, adding to the 370,000 people already displaced by conflict before 2021 (UNOCHA Myanmar Humanitarian Snapshot, December 2021). The consequences of these trends are catastrophic. Major gains over the past 10 years on good governance and economic inclusion are at risk. This context, and the uncertain political situation in Myanmar is driving a simultaneous humanitarian and development crisis that threatens hard-won socio-economic gains.
While meeting critical and immediate humanitarian needs where they appear is vital, these actions must be underpinned by simultaneous efforts to address rapidly growing multi-dimensional vulnerabilities, enhance resilience to shocks, protect development gains and invest in local capacities of civil society as an important agent of change in sustainable development. Furthermore, urgent efforts are needed to protect basic human rights like education, health, work, housing and food, to address exclusion, intergenerational poverty that will further exacerbate the crises. In response to the current context and challenges UNDP has launched a number of initiatives under the “Community First Programme” that aims to enhance resilience of vulnerable communities by working directly at the community level.
Rakhine is the second poorest of Myanmar’s states and regions, with a poverty headcount of 41.6% compared to 24.8% nationally. Rakhine has an ethnically diverse and mostly rural (84%) population of 3.2 million, which comprises Rakhine, Rohingyas, other Muslims, as well as other minority groups. The State faces protracted challenges rooted in geographical remoteness, historical tensions and mistrust between communities, extreme poverty, conflict, and under-development.
The five-year (2022 – 2026) joint project (JP) ‘Responding to underdevelopment, protracted displacement, and poverty in Rakhine through a Humanitarian-Development-Peace nexus approach’ will be implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and partners in Rakhine State. It will build on existing interventions to provide area-based, integrated humanitarian, peacebuilding, and development assistance to reduce vulnerability, create an environment more conducive to durable solutions for internally displaced persons, refugees, and stateless populations, and to contribute to the long-term development of Rakhine. It will address issues faced by all communities and emphasize gender equality and women empowerment. The JP is aligned with the Rakhine Advisory Commission recommendations, and with the UN long-term engagement strategy towards Rakhine and Myanmar.
Under the direct supervision of the Head of Office, Rakhine/Project Manager of the Rakhine Triple Nexus Project, the Programme Specialist/Senior Field Officer is responsible for ensuring the direction and coordination across the technical areas of project activities and the achievement of project targets and results. S/he plans, implements, monitors and reports on projects’ activities with the relevant technical teams and supports the day-to-day implementation of the programme. S/he works in close collaboration with and maintains effective working relationships with national and local stakeholders, Implementing Partners (IPs), donors, civil society, and other partners, such as UN agencies, to support successful implementation of the project.
As a Senior Field Officer of an area-based project, s/he also is responsible for driving integration of work at all levels, identifying risks and mitigation strategies, providing inputs for reporting, partnerships and communication purposes. In exercising these roles, s/he will work with a team of international and national staff and will work effectively with additional long and short-term expertise as required to ensure effective and efficient programme implementation.
The Programme Specialist/Senior Field Officer is based in Sittwe with travel, as necessary, to other locations.
The purpose of this position is to lead the planning, coordination and implementation activities of the Rakhine Triple Nexus Project and identify risks and mitigation strategies.
1)Planning, coordination and implementation of the Rakhine Triple Nexus Project across the state
2)Smooth functioning of the Rakhine office, including its sub-office in Maungdaw
3)Sound technical advice related to project risks, implementation opportunities, constraints and potential partnerships
4)Knowledge building, information sharing and strategic communication activities
5)Assist, coordinate, liaises on incoming missions (UN, donors, diplomatic, NGOs etc.) as well as on other parts of the country office
6)Support Head of Office and other personnel on security, operational context
1.Support the planning, coordination and implementation of the Rakhine Triple Nexus Project across the state
- Coordinate and leads planning activities related to the RTNP
- Risk assessment and identification of key project partners and IPs, including development of Roster of NGOs and CSOs
- Coordinate with key partners and stakeholders on the preparatory, implementation and follow-up phases of the project activities
- Explore opportunities for new initiatives/partnerships, etc.
2. Support the smooth functioning of the Rakhine office, including its sub-office in Maungdaw
- Support the Head of Office (HoO) in the daily management of the field presences in Rakhine; backstops the Head of Office in his/her absence
- Support the HoO and other team members on budgetary issues, payments, and other administrative related processes, including tracking of programme and operational budget and expenditure, and submitting regular substantive reports.
- Support and facilitate audits, donor evaluations, and reporting.
- Support the Head of Office in creating a conducive gender-sensitive environment, free from all forms of discrimination
3.Provide sound technical advice related to project risks, implementation opportunities, constraints and potential partnerships
- Leads and contributes to the assessment of political and operational risks for the project activities, and maintain regularly updated Project Risk Log.
- Monitors the perception of UNDP at the local level and suggests media activities that positions UNDP more strategically and effectively as a neutral broker for local development and social cohesion
- Actively identify and propose mitigation measures that would enable UNDP to implement across Rakhine, in line with its mandates and priorities
4.Facilitate knowledge building, information sharing and strategic communication activities
- Produce and provide inputs for communication materials, through reports, photos, footages, etc.
- Support the office in the design and implementation of a strategic communication strategy
- Ensures effective and proactive communication between project teams and project partners.
5.Assist, coordinate, liaise on incoming missions (UN, donors, diplomatic, NGOs etc.) as well as on other parts of the country office
- Support the HoO and the teams in the preparation, coordination of incoming visits by diplomatic delegations, donors, UNDP CO senior management, etc.
- Support the HoO in preparation of mission reports and briefs.
6.Support Head of Office and other personnel on security, operational context
- Act as back-stop to the Head of Office
- Act as back-up to the Security Focal Point
- Support the HoO on operational and security issues related to the Rakhine context
- Provides liaison with key interlocutors that are critical for programme implementation as well as for the safety and security of UNDP presence in Rakhine
- Coordinate and facilitate Travel Authorizations for programme implementation and staff travel
Supervisory/Managerial Responsibilities: Supervises staff, including technical experts, and, as required, provides oversight to the presence in Maungdaw (ex during RR cycles of the head of sub-office; personnel gaps etc.). Ensures maintenance of the proper performance management and staff development systems; Reviews training needs, develops a training plan and makes recommendations to Management for its implementation taking into consideration resources available
- 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 (Insert below standard sentence if the position has direct reports.)
- UNDP People Management Competencies can be found in the dedicated site.
- S/he is not afraid to take decision and action when and as needed; Provide positive and constructive feedback; Create a working environment where people are engaged and want to do their best; empower and enables team members to perform and have a positive workplace experience; Align people and resources with organizational vision, strategy, objectives; Address conflict in a timely manner, not allow conflicts in teams linger.
Cross-Functional & Technical competencies
- Crisis and Fragility Policy and Engagement-Humanitarian-Development-Peace (HDP) Nexus Identifies, designs and oversee implementation of area-based activities that advance the triple nexus approach across Rakhine
- Crisis management / Country Management- Support Resilience based programming-Identifies, designs and oversee implementation of area-based activities across the spectrum of resilience programming
- Effectiveness-Development Partnership Architecture-Liaises and coordinates with other development stakeholder to ensures complementarities and joint efforts, as appropriate
- Effectiveness-Performance and analysis programming-Monitors, analyses and assesses the impact of programmatic activities, while recommending courses of action
- SDG Integration-Rapid integrated assessment-Designs, coordinates and takes part in integrated assessments with UN and non-UN partners
- Conflict Prevention, Peacebuilding and Responsive Institutions Community engagement for prevention, response, and social cohesion-Liaises and interacts with key interlocutors to build relationships and trust that enable programme implementation and creates opportunities for dialogue and conflict prevention
- Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery-Conflict Sensitive DRR-Provides advice and support to DRR activities, while also identifying opportunity for social cohesion and conflict prevention
- Master’s or Bachelor’s degree in Development Studies, Business Administration, Social Sciences, Public Administration, Economics, Law or a related field.
Experience, Knowledge, and Skills
- A minimum of 5 years with Master’s degree or 7 years with Bachelor degree of progressively responsible experience in development in government, or an international/bilateral development organization
- 3-5 years of proven management experience in an organization of similar size and complexity
- Experience of working with UNDP or another UN agency would be an asset,
- Knowledge and experience of the Rakhine context will be an added advantage, desirably in Rakhine
- Proven ability to work effectively in multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams.
- Sound understanding and capability to support and develop the capacity of national staff
- Strong interpersonal and written and oral communication skills
- Strong command of written and spoken English and Myanmar language