Programme Associate -Independent Commission

UNDP - United Nations Development Programme, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
3 to 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
6th August, 2017

Job Description

Following many changes in context in Sri Lanka since 2015, and the universal commitment made in September 2015 to ensure the achievement of sustainable development by 2030, UNDP embarked on a process of re-defining the alignment and strengthening the design of its access to justice/ rule of law, human rights, Parliamentary support and peacebuilding portfolio.
UNDP will from 2017 support Sri Lanka with innovative programmatic and operational design and implementation of priority actions identified in key policy frameworks and plans, including the Sri Lanka Peacebuilding Priority Plan (PPP). To this end, UNDP will work in collaboration with several stakeholders, including government, semi-government, civil society, private sector, UN agency and development partners and through increased engagement with the people of Sri Lanka, on the above mentioned inter-linked and complementary thematic areas of focus, to provide integrated and high quality technical advisory and support services.
Against this backdrop, UNDP aims to recruit four Project Associates to support smooth management of its work focusing on a) Independent Commissions b) access to justice c) Parliamentary support (embedded within the Parliament of Sri Lanka) and d) peacebuilding and reconciliation
The Project Associates will work as part of a dynamic team, that will not only focus on the above-mentioned portfolio, but also support UNDP Sri Lanka’s overall Country Programme. The team will be led by a Programme Manager, and comprise of individuals with a wide set of skills and knowledge, including complementary technical expertise on inter-linked thematic areas of programming, and on monitoring, evaluation, knowledge management, communications and operations.
Working under the overall guidance of the Programme Manager, and supervision of the Technical Coordinator/Specialists, and in overall coordination with other team members will be responsible to support; coordination efforts; research, reporting and monitoring to ensure quality assurance and effective documentation and communication of project results and support resource mobilization efforts; and for administration, financial management, efficient procurement and logistical services, and ICT to ensure consistency of operations with UNDP rules and regulations and compliance with donor requirements.
In the event of changes in context, strategies, results framework, project priorities, available financial resources, etc., the management arrangements relating to this position and the scope of work to be undertaken, may be revised to ensure the most suitable arrangements are in place to enable the achievement of quality results.

Duties and Responsibilities
Summary of Key Functions:

Support effective and efficient management of the Project, which entails inter alia:

  • Support the implementation of the Project, including delivery of outputs and activity results as per the project document and/or Project Board decisions, working under the direct guidance of the Programme Manager and Technical Coordinator/Specialists;
  • Support coordination efforts with other implementing partners.
  • Support to ensure compliance of project and operations activities with UN/UNDP rules, regulations and policies; implementation of project and operations strategies;
  • Support maintenance of up-to-date files and records of all project documentation, working together with the Project team;
  • Provide logistical support and documentation support for Project Board meetings, workshops, and other meetings as required for the project.
  • Ensure the timely and smooth implementation of the project, working in coordination with relevant UNDP team members supporting operations, financial resources management, human resources management, efficient procurement and logistical services to ensure successful and timely operationalization of the project;
  • Support maintenance of finance and procurement records for the Project in compliance with UNDP internal control requirements using systems such as ATLAS and PROMPT;
  • Support preparation and consolidation of the overall budget, and support monitoring expenditure in accordance with UNDP financial rules and cost-recovery policies.
  • Support forward-looking information and communication management.
  • Perform any other tasks assigned by the Programme Manager and Technical Coordinator/Specialists, and support back-stopping arrangements for members of the team as and when required;
  • For positions embedded within partner institutions such as the Parliament of Sri Lanka, the Project Associate will work in close consultation, and guidance of the Secretary General of Parliament.

Support Monitoring, Reporting and Communications

  • Support the timely preparation and submission of annual work plans, progress reports, project reviews, risks analyses, financial reports, audit reports, project evaluations, and any other required reports.;
  • Support the preparation and update of project work plans, donor briefs and other documents as necessary in consultation with the Programme Manager and Technical Coordinator/Specialists to ensure Project Board recommendations are implemented;
  • Support the formulation of the project monitoring and evaluation framework and plan.
  • Undertake data collection against indicators to ensure results produced by the project are accurately documented;
  • Support the preparation of advocacy, communications and outreach materials, as required by the project;
  • Participate in meetings, workshops, seminars, etc., organized by UNDP or partners as required and document key content.

Provide Technical Assistance and Support Knowledge Management:

  • Support the provision of technical assistance and substantive inputs for primarily assigned thematic area of focus;
  • Undertake research required for implementation, new intervention/project design and resource mobilization;
  • Support to liaise/coordinate with, and source technical support and policy advice from, the UNDP Regional Hub to further enhance the quality of the technical assistance provided to the Project;
  • Stay updated on key policy and other developments relevant to the project at national and international level by regularly monitoring national and international media;
  • Support knowledge-building and management, documentation and dissemination of lessons learned, and good practices.

Impact of Results:The above key results will ensure effective management of the project, the timely implementation of interventions and quality achievement of activity results and outputs against the agreed work plan; as well as effective monitoring of outcomes. The key results will help secure strong partnerships with key actors, resource mobilization, and contribute towards maintaining a strong relationship between UNDP and respective partners.

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism;
  • Fulfils all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment.

Functional Competencies:

  • Knowledge of financial resources management, procurement, and general  administration;
  • Fully proficient computer skills and use of relevant software and other applications, e.g. word processing, spreadsheets, internet, power point and experience in handling of web-based management systems;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, proven networking, team-building, organizational and   communication skills;
  • Seeks and applies knowledge, information and best practices inside and outside UNDP;
  • Ability and sensitivity to work with a wide cross-section of partners, including        Government, I/NGOs and private sector;
  • A self-starter, able to inspire and influence action and work under pressure.
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities.
  • Ability to handle sensitive information with confidentiality.

Technical Competencies:

  • Ability to undertake extensive research;
  • Demonstrates strong analytical oral and written communication skills;
  • Ability to contribute to effective monitoring and evaluation of project results;
  • Ability to engage effectively with other implementing agencies supporting the respective   project partners, UNDP, other UN agencies, development partners, civil society organizations, the private sector, etc;
  • Good understanding of the governance structure and systems in Sri Lanka, including the current political economy context;
  • Knowledge on peacebuilding and reconciliation, access to justice/rule of law, the Parliament of Sri Lanka, and Independent Oversight Commissions (as relevant to the above mentioned areas of focus).

Required Skills and Experience

  • Secondary Education (G.C.E. Advance Level) with 7 years including 3 years’ experience in supporting the implementation of projects, with preference on peacebuilding, access to justice and/or governance related projects.
  • University Degree in Political Sciences, Law, Social Sciences, Business or Public Administration, or Economics with preference on peacebuilding, access to justice and/or governance related projects with 3 years’ experience in supporting the implementation of projects, with preference on peacebuilding, access to justice and/or governance related projects is desirable.


  • Proven ability to work independently;
  • Evidence of strong research and analytical skills;
  • Usage of computers and office software package (MS Word, Excel etc.) and knowledge of database packages and experience in handling of web based management systems is preferred;
  • A consistent track record of self-motivation and achievement;
  • Prior experience with the UN system/UNDP would be considered an advantage;
  • Experience handling general project administration and management of logistics;
  • Demonstrated capacity to undertake assigned responsibilities and work under pressure;
  • A team player with excellent inter-personal skills.

Language Requirements: Fluency in English and Sinhala and/or Tamil with excellent written and oral communication skills is essential.


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