Conflict & Political Economy Specialist at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), helps developing countries attract and use aid effectively. In all our activities, we encourage the protection of human rights, capacity development and the empowerment of women.

We invite applications from suitably qualified candidates to fill the position below:

Job Title: Conflict & Political Economy Specialist

Job ID: 25916
Location: Maiduguri, Borno
Practice Area – Job Family: Management – Conflict and Political Economy
Grade: P3
Vacancy Type: FTA International
Posting Type: Common System
Contract Duration: 1 Year with possibility for extension

  • Millions of civilians continue to grapple with extreme adversity across north-east Nigeria and the rest of the Lake Chad region where a recent surge in violence has uprooted tens of thousands more people, exacerbating an already dire crisis situation. An intractable extremist insurgency that has left tens of thousands of people dead, approximately 2.5 million displaced, and more than 10 million people in the region affected and in need. It is unlikely that security responses alone will be sufficient to address the complex factors that gave rise to the insurgency, and which continues to sustain it. There is increasing consensus that military efforts must be coupled with significant investments in complementary stabilisation activities to benefit the local population with both local and Lake Chad Basin (LCB) regional levels, if the security-humanitarian-development nexus around Lake Chad is to be effectively addressed.
  • While robust national and multi-national military operations have re-taken territory previously controlled by Boko Haram, a new approach is required to consolidate these gains and establish the conditions necessary to transition from military to civilian responsibility for security, and from the provision of humanitarian assistance to the resumption of stalled development processes.  To this end, UNDP has launched Lake Chad Basin Regional Stabilization Facility, supporting four Lake Chad Basin countries (i.e., Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, and Chad) as well as LCB regional institutions, such as the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC).
  • The Facility will act as a rapid-response package–delivering within 90 days of target area selection – that relevant authorities can sequence with military operations as necessary, to ensure immediate follow-up in specific locations and curtail the ability of armed opposition groups to re-infiltrate and exploit any security vacuum or community perceptions of non-responsive Government by extending an organised and effective civilian security umbrella, consolidating military progress with development ‘dividends’ for the local population. 
  • The National Window of the Regional Stabilization Facility for Nigeria aims to address the needs of immediate stabilization in the target areas in North-East Region of Nigeria with high degrees of insecurity, promoting the phased transition of insecure areas toward greater security, and the reduction of current volatility whereby previously secure areas have become more rather than less vulnerable.
  • In advance of intervention in each selected target area, a rapid local conflict analysis needs to be undertaken in order to map the situation at the granular level necessary, ensuring that the proposed intervention is appropriate and fully conforms with the principle of “do no harm.” The analysis should also identify immediate stabilization needs to design catalytic interventions.  It is vital to avoid exacerbating any existing tensions, or – wherever possible – being seen to work through, or otherwise favour, those who have previously abused power and put a constant surveillance mechanism to detect any signs of negative impacts of UNDP’s interventions. It is also essential that a local conflict analysis encompasses gender and social exclusion analyses in each target area to identify the actors and working methodology for equal access to the benefits of the programme interventions.  The analysis will be prepared for each target area during the six-week period of the inception period of the immediate stabilization activities. 
  • To this end, UNDP Nigeria is seeking for qualified personnel to lead conflict and political-economy analyses under the Stabilization Facility programme, focusing on the target geographical areas as well as the NE Nigeria or Lake Chad basin Region as a whole. The Specialist will also guide contracted experts or NGOs/CSOs to assure the quality of conflict analysis and other socio-economic assessments and ensure coordination with other specialists, UDNP staff, government officials and NGOs/CSOs to consolidate the analyses and disseminate the assessment results to relevant stakeholders.  S/he will provide pertinent advice to UNDP senior management for designing and implementing immediate stabilization activities under the Stabilization Facility for North-East Nigeria.
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the direct supervision of NE Head of Stabilization, the Conflict and Political Economy Specialist will be responsible for the following functions and tasks:

Summary of Key Functions
  • Design and implement the programme strategies and project activities with strong technical soundness to conduct conflict and political economy analyses and provide accurate information on the latest conflict dynamics and trends including socio-economic situations;
  • Lead day-to-day activities on conflict and political economy analyses and community conflict surveillance mechanism to capture early-warning signs for harmful factors for the programme interventions, including technical guidance to local and international consultants and NGO/CSO partners and coordination with other programme teams and the key stakeholders;
  • Provide policy advice and technical inputs to the Stabilization Facility Team and UNDP senior management as well as the respective stakeholders for designing effective immediate stabilization interventions, monitoring impacts (both positive and negative) of stabilization interventions in the beneficiary communities as well as the NE Nigeria and Lake Chad Basin Region as a whole.
Specific Functions/Results expected
Ensure effective formulation and implementation of programme strategies for conflict and political economy analyses throughout the programme management cycle of the Stabilization Facility:
  • Lead to undertake thorough analyses and researches on the political, social and economic, and conflict situations in the NE Nigeria as well as the programme target communities and provide substantive inputs to the Stabilization Facility and other related programmes/projects in the CO;
  • Identify the areas for support and interventions on conflict analysis, conflict surveillance mechanism, and conflict mitigation in line with the current context of NE Nigeria; 
  • Develop a methodology, approach, and workplan to analyze the conflict context dynamics in the target communities/areas in North-East Region of Nigeria and regularly update the analysis results and data;
  • Design the detailed implementation plan of the identified interventions for conflict and political economy analyses, including identification of potential implementing partners, methodologies, and coordination mechanisms;
  • Establish a mechanism to constantly capture information on conflict dynamism and other socio-economic trends in the target communities and consolidate the analyses;
  • Liaise and coordinate with experts/staff in relevant projects in CO, to ensure collaboration and sharing of the analysis activity results and lessons learnt.
Ensure effective leadership of the day-to-day activities on conflict and political economy analyses and community surveillance mechanism, focusing on result management, quality assurance and oversight of the conflict analysis activities:
  • Support NE Stabilisation Facility Team trough providing technical support to ensure the project activities are implemented in a conflict sensitive manner and promptly report to the Senior Management of the Stabilization Facility and relevant actors whenever the issues that require their attention arise;
  • Lead to design and undertake conflict and political-economy analysis activities through community mobilization, establishing community consultation groups, including vulnerable target population (e.g., women, disability, social minorities etc.) and promoting consultations with relevant parties to identify the need gaps and UNDP’s entry points for catalytic effects;
  • Provide technical support to design conflict and political-economy analyses in an inclusive and participatory manner with all concerned parties and manage the conflict analyses and surveillance mechanisms;
  • Provide technical advice to national/international consultants and NGOs/CSOs for conflict analyses and implementation of project activities;
  • Support selection, recruitment and training of local volunteers on conflict surveillance, dispute resolution and mediation, including Sexual & Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and human rights in the target communities;
  • Prepare reports, information materials, and publications on the conflict and political-economy analysis activities.  
Provide top quality advisory services to the Programme Team, UNDP Nigeria, Government, donor partners and other key stakeholders and ensure facilitation of knowledge building and management:
  • Provide policy advice and technical inputs to the Stabilization Facility Team and UNDP as well as the respective stakeholders for designing conflict sensitive stabilization interventions, monitoring impacts of the interventions and undertaking necessary counter-measures;
  • Ensure timely and effective dissemination of analysis results on the latest trends in conflict, political and socio- economic situations and other relevant areas that can have an impact on the delivery of the project results;
  • Support organization of roundtable discussions, briefing sessions, and presentation to internal and external audiences on conflict/socio-economic trends in the target communities, NE Nigeria, and Lake Chad Basin Region;
  • Undertake outreach activities and coordinate with UN System actors and other organizations in the field of conflict analysis and peace-studies to create synergies and collaboration including participation in Task Forces and other ad-hoc internal working groups on cross-cutting themes as requested,;
  • Provide policy advice to strengthen synergies and partnerships with other actors, such as CSOs/NGOs, the governments, academic institutions and the international organizations for greater positive impacts of conflict analysis/assessment activities;
  • Provide technical support to strengthen the capacity of staff and community groups for advocacy, communications, and tools on conflict analysis and monitoring, including utilization of social media and other innovative communication tools;
  • Engage in Community of UNDP Practice within the area of crisis management, conflict analysis and peace-building to support knowledge sharing and documentation of best practice.
Impact of Results:
  • The key results have impact on effective positioning of UNDP in NE Nigeria through sound conflict and political economy analyses, which informs the design and implementation of area-specific, conflict responsive and flexible programming.

  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work
  • Conceptualizes and analyses problems to identify issues, underlying problems and how they relate
  • Contributes creative, practical ideas and approaches to deal with challenging situation
  • Strives for quality client-centered services (internal/external) when making decisions and taking actions.
  • Ability to persuade others to follow
  • Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback
  • Excellent analytical and organizational skills required
  • Ability to plan own work, manage conflicting priorities, report on work progress and delivery outputs in a punctual manner
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities
  • Sets clear performance goals and standards; execute responsibilities accordingly.
People Management:
  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction
  • Ability to plan own work, manage conflicting priorities, report on work progress and delivery outputs in a punctual manner
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities
  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform
  • Strong communication (spoken and written) skills and ability to articulate ideas in a clear, concise style
  • Demonstrates good oral and written communication skills
Ability to get things done:
  • Plans and produces quality results to meet established goals
  • Ability to lead strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes and projects, mobilize resources
  • Ability to formulate and manage budgets, manage transactions, financial analysis and reporting.

Result-Based Management:
  • Experience on result-based project management, M&E and reporting
  • Experience on capacity and functional building support for crisis management and coordination in the governments
  • Understanding project implementation cycle and relations between programme and operations departments during project implementation
  • Experience on partnership building and resource mobilization for crisis response and early recovery projects.
Government Capacity Building:
  • Experience on capacity and functional building support for crisis management and coordination in the governments
  • Experience in developing national frameworks and institutions for disaster and crisis management
Communications and Interpersonal Skills:
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills, ability to foster good working relations with various persons, good working knowledge of information and computer technology.
  • Understanding the challenges of working in a multi-cultural environment and working in  a  crisis setting
  • Excellent writing skills in English. Proficiency in French is an asset.

Knowledge Management:
  • Ability to efficiently handle and share information and knowledge
  • Demonstrates substantive and technical knowledge to meet responsibilities and post requirements with excellence
  • Uses ICT and web-based management systems effectively as a tool and resource
  • Is motivated & demonstrates a capacity to pursue personal developments & learn.
Partnership Management:
  • Excellent inter-personal skills and ability to motivate staff and mobilize colleagues and partners in the best interest of achieving results;
Stress Management:
  • Ability to work under pressure and oversee and manage multiple activities and processes simultaneously and Ability to make difficult priorities and sharpen focus to achieve results.
Required Skills and Experience
  • Minimum of Master's Degree in International Conflict/Peace Studies, International Development/Relations, Economics, Political Science, with a focus on peace and conflict studies.
Professional Experience:
  • Minimum of 7 years of experience in designing and implementing local level and/or national level context analysis mechanisms and early warning programs related to conflict affected environments
  • Extensive experience in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding in conflict affected areas;
  • Relevant experience in fieldwork and research of the country socio-political and development dynamics. Previous experience in Africa or Lake Chad Region is an asset
  • Excellent analytical and writing skills, including political/context analysis skills;
  • Extensive experience in strategy and programme development in conflict settings. Previous experience in UNDP or other UN agencies is an advantage;
  • Well-developed skills and demonstrated experience in the following areas: facilitation, consensus-building, multi-stakeholder dialogue processes, mediation, negotiation and dispute resolution;
  • A high degree of political and cross-cultural sensitivity;
  • Understanding of the political, social and cultural background of the Nigeria and Lake Chad Region is greatly desirable;
  • Functionally-related professional management skills including remote office management;
  • Strong leadership and team-building skills in complex and conflict settings
  • Plan and prioritize work activities to meet organizational goals and organizes and oversees work processes efficiently to achieve quality results;
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.) and advance knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages, as well as experience in the handling of web based management systems.
Language Requirements:
  • Fluency in spoken and written English is a requirement. The ability to communicate effectively in French is an asset.
Application Closing Date
15th September, 2019. (Midnight New York, USA)

How to Apply

Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online
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