Chief of Service, Civil Affairs, D1

UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Bamako, Mali

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
Above 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
23rd March, 2017

Job Description

Assessment Period
All applicants should regularly check the United Nations HR Portal at or their "My Upcoming Test Schedule" page in Inspira for any updates/changes after the closing of this job opening, particularly during the week before the scheduled testing dates.
Please note that applicants who apply as rostered candidates are not subject to any further assessment and accordingly, will not be invited to participate in the SPT or any other assessments (including any written exam, interview, etc.) throughout the selection process. For more information about the assessment process, please visit the United Nations HR Portal.

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Special Notice
Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.
Extension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and/or the availability of the funds.
Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfill the lateral move(s) or geographical requirements as set out in ST/AI/2016/1 to be eligible to apply for this job opening. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral or geographical move(s) in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover note.

Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in Bamako. Bamako is classified as a “C” hardship duty station and a non-family duty station. The Chief of Service, Civil Affairs reports directly to DSRSG-Political.
Mandate The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) was established by Security Council resolution 2100 of 25 April 2013 to support political processes in that country and carry out a number of security-related tasks. By unanimously adopting resolution 2295 of 29 June 2016, the Council further decided that the Mission should focus on duties, such as ensuring security, stabilization and protection of civilians; supporting national political dialogue and reconciliation; and assisting the reestablishment of State authority, the rebuilding of the security sector, and the promotion and protection of human rights in that country. For more information on the mission mandate visit:

Within the limits of delegated authority the Chief Civil Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
Core profile:

  • Contributes to the development of the strategic vision for the overall Mission and UN effort, and ensures that Civil Affairs work is clearly conceptualized in support of this, in line with the evolving situation on the ground and in accordance with the DPKO/DFS Civil Affairs Policy Directive.
  • Formulates and implements the substantive work programme of Civil Affairs, in consultation with key partners inside and outside the Mission, taking account of gender considerations and ensuring that the component functions as one part of a coherent overall UN effort to support the peace process.
  • Designs and institutes effective partnership and information-sharing arrangements with both relevant Mission and non-Mission actors, including the UN Country Team (UNCT).
  • Oversees and ensures effective cooperation and coordination on the ground with all partners by Civil Affairs component staff.
  • Ensures that all Mission and non-Mission partners are clear about the role and contributions of the Civil Affairs component.
  • Ensures that the Mission and its mandate is effectively and consistently represented to relevant interlocutors at the sub-national level by the Civil Affairs component (and other Mission actors where appropriate), and that the perceptions and concerns of all sectors of the population are accurately fed into Mission-wide situation analysis and planning processes.
  • Ensures that the Mission is provided with high-quality information and consistent analysis concerning conflict dynamics at the sub-national level and progress with or obstacles to the peace process countrywide, including via identification of critical peacebuilding gaps.
  • Advocates for, and provides contextual advice to the Mission on, adherence to the principle of local ownership in the execution of its mandate.
  • Undertakes or oversees the programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of Civil Affairs, including; preparation of budgets, reporting on budget/programme performance, evaluation of staff performance, evaluation of candidates, and preparation of inputs for results-based budgeting. Ensures an appropriate balance of skills and specializations is recruited to the Civil Affairs component, in accordance with (and where possible anticipating) evolving requirements over time.
  • Fosters team spirit among Civil Affairs staff ensures they are provided with the requisite guidance and training to fulfil their tasks (including mission-specific induction and skills training), oversees the systematic identification of lessons and good practice and the sharing of these with Civil Affairs components in other Missions, and encourages free and active participation by all component staff in the online Civil Affairs Community of Practice.
  • Performs other duties as required by DSRSG-P, in line with the DPKO/DFS Policy Directive on Civil Affairs.
  • Conflict Management:
  • Provides leadership and vision for the development of a Civil Affairs or (where appropriate) Mission wide conflict management strategy, including mechanisms for information-sharing, consistent conflict mapping, crisis response and protection of civilians as needed.
  • Promotes a culture of peace and reconciliation by identifying appropriate domestic actors and/or processes and designing strategies for the Civil Affairs component to support them at both national and sub-national levels.
  • Convenes or oversees support to national level dialogue and negotiation between groups in conflict at the local level. Facilitates, enables, or mediates dialogue where appropriate.
  • Forges partnerships with relevant actors to advocate the protection and empowerment of excluded and/or threatened groups in full respect of humanitarian and international law. Works to ensure the inclusion of women and youth in the peace and reconciliation process.
  •  Identifies and coordinates a response to specific conflict drivers countrywide, including by mobilising a response from other actors where appropriate.
  • Support the restoration and extension of state authority:
  • Provides leadership and vision for the development of a Civil Affairs or (where appropriate) Mission wide strategy to support the restoration and extension of state authority at the sub-national level with a view to; strengthening local ownership of the peace process, building capacity, promoting cooperation between authorities and relevant community and social actors, as well as supporting operations, policy and decision-making processes as appropriate.
  • Forges partnerships with other actors in ibis area, including the UN Country Team (UNCT) and particularly UNDP
  • Oversees work with national / local authorities and other partners to identify critical support needs of local authorities and to design strategies for responding to them either through Civil Affairs support or though mobilisation of other actors and resources.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Professionalism: Knowledge of peacekeeping and of UN rules and procedures. Ability to evaluate international political situations. Ability to manage and coordinate (at) many different levels. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations.
Integrity: Demonstrates the values of the United Nations in daily activities and behaviours; acts without consideration of personal gain; resists undue political pressure in decision-making; does not abuse power or authority; stands by decisions that are in the Organization’s interest, even if they are unpopular; takes prompt action in cases of unprofessional or unethical behaviour.
Respect for Diversity: Works effectively with people from all backgrounds; treats all people with dignity and respect; treats men and women equally; shows respect for and understanding of diverse points of view and demonstrates this understanding in daily work and decision-making; examines own biases and behaviours to avoid stereotypical responses; does not discriminate against any individual or group.
Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
Planning and Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
Managerial Competencies:
Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.
Managing Performance: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision making authority; makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; appraises performance fairly.

Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in political science, international relations, public administration, social science, law, or related field. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience
A minimum of fifteen (15) years of progressively responsible experience in Civil Affairs, Political Affairs, Public Administration, or related field is required. A minimum of five years of experience in a National or International NGOs, international bilateral organisations, or related field is required. A minimum of five years in a management position with responsibility for developing and implementing a strategic programme with both personnel and resource management responsibilities is required. Experience working in the West Africa and Sahel region is desirable. Experience working in a conflict or post-conflict setting is desirable.
A minimum of five years of experience in a position requiring conflict management, facilitation, mediation or negotiation skills, with an emphasis on analytical and strategic planning functions is highly desirable. Experience in facilitating structured dialogue events between different parties, and reconciliation activities and processes is desirable.
A minimum of five years in working on governance, support to core government functions, or related areas is highly desirable. Experience in policy advice in the areas of institution strengthening and governance support in post-conflict settings is desirable.

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English and French is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.

Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview. Core values and competencies will be assessed throughout the evaluation process.

How to apply:
United Nations Considerations
       According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity, including but not limited to, respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to, whether they have committed or are alleged to have committed criminal offences or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.
Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the At-a-Glance on "The Application Process" and the Instructional Manual for the Applicants, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.
The screening and evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications, including but not limited to, their education, work experience, and language skills, according to the instructions provided on inspira. Applicants will be disqualified from consideration if they do not demonstrate in their application that they meet the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations. Applicants are solely responsible for providing complete and accurate information at the time of application: no amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.
Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at midnight (New York time) on the deadline date.

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