Database Consultant

United Nations Development Programme, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Skill Required:, IT and ICT
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
25th June, 2019

Job Description


The Senior Human Rights Advisor Unit is a component of the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator and is responsible for providing advice, technical expertise, situational assessments and analysing human rights issues to the UN Resident Coordinator and the UN Country Team (UNCT) in Sri Lanka as well as OHCHR, the UN Human Rights Mechanisms (Charter and treaty based), and when requested and appropriate, other UN Agency headquarters or UN Secretariat Departments; building the capacity (training and other) of the UNCT to integrate a human rights based approach into on-going and envisaged humanitarian, recovery and development work of the UN: supporting the UNCT in convening relevant working groups on human rights and protection issues, supporting and/or undertaking relevant projects as is appropriate and possible on human rights issues. The other key function and current priority of the Senior Human Rights Advisor in Sri Lanka is support the Government of Sri Lanka in designing a comprehensive transitional justice strategy to address the legacy of past based on four pillars including accountability, truth seeking, reparation and institutional reform, based on its commitment made during 30th session of the Human Rights Council in September 2015 (resolution 30/1 on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka).

In this regard the Government of Sri Lanka introduced a bill to establish the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) on 22 May 2016 and Parliament adopted the Office on Missing Persons (Establishment, Administration and Discharge of Functions) Act No. 14 of 2016 on 23 August 2016. The Office on Missing Persons is an independent and permanent body dedicated to the search for and tracing of missing persons and the clarification of the circumstances in which they went missing. A central function of the OMP is to centralise data including from existing records held by other institutions.

This project seeks to ensure the physical preservation of historical records relating to disappearances and the missing; digitise and archive these records comprehensively; create a basic taxonomy and index records; develop an archive database of scanned materials for the OMP to enter metadata of historical records and save scanned materials; and develop the framework for a permanent database.


The scope of the assignment is to advise the OMP, working closely with the Archiving Team, to:

  • Design, test, pilot, operationalise and deploy an archive database with a user-friendly interface for data storing and retrieval based on the input of a cohort of users and the Principal Project Coordinator to store the metadata of the historical records and the scanned images. Data will be saved on to the database on a regular basis and a backup of the database will be maintained;
  • Advise on the design and piloting of a separate permanent database for the OMP;
  • Develop standard operating procedures, a user manual and a training module for the new users of the archive database;
  • Conduct training on the new database platform for Archiving Assistants, the Principal Project Coordinator and the Research and Archiving Officer as well as relevant OMP officials.

Duties and Responsibilities


With this background, the Database Consultant will work under the direct supervision of the Principal Project Coordinator, report to the Commissioner of the OMP on a day-to-day basis and to the Senior Human Rights Advisor and will be responsible for the tasks listed above; as well as undertake any other task assigned by the Principal Project Coordinator.

Expected results:

  • The framework for a permanent, user friendly database is designed and the process for designing such a database commences based on the technical input of the OMP Commissioner, the Principal Project Coordinator and all relevant officials;
  • Selection of an archive database and development of standard operating procedures, a user manual and a training module developed for the new users of the database;
  • A training program is conducted for Archiving Assistants, the Principal Project Coordinator and the Research and Archiving Officer as well as relevant OMP officials.



The consultant should have excellent professional experience in the design, testing, operationalising and deployment of databases for scanned and digitised records.


Technical skills

  • Excellent expertise in relation to database design and record management;
  • Knowledge and expertise in human rights documentation and archives is preferable.


  • Maturity and confidence in dealing with senior members of the OMP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Excellent database design and record management skills;
  • Excellent coordination skills and results-oriented collaboration with colleagues.


  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP and OHCHR.
  • Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback.
  • Good team player that has ability to maintain good relationships.

Required Skills and Experience

Required Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent in IT/Computer science or related fields;
  • A minimum of 5 years of demonstrable experience and knowledge in the field of web-based database development and system running, testing, operationalisation and deployment / record management; specific knowledge of SQL and/or other Web page development software, as well as knowledge on IT hardware.
  • Demonstrated strategic technical and intellectual skills in the substantive area;
  • Excellent communication (both oral and written) and partnership building skills with multi-dimension partners, people skill for conflict resolution and negotiation;
  • Computer proficiency especially related to professional office software packages (Microsoft Office);
  • Proficiency in English and Sinhala. Proficiency in Tamil language is desirable.


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