Project Assistant

United Nations Development Programme, Ankara, Turkey

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
3 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
7th March, 2019

Job Description


The IPA II Indicative Strategy Paper for Turkey (2014-2020), which was revised in August 2018 targets the improvement of the capacities of institutions, including CSOs, in charge of protecting and guaranteeing the respect and defence of fundamental rights. Developing the capacity to conduct independent, impartial and effective investigations into allegations of misconduct by security forces is thereby defined as one of the actions to achieve this result. In addition, strengthening the cooperation between institutions and stakeholders engaged in the area of human rights is fundamental to overcome the challenges in the field. Turkey’s New EU Strategy also states that the implementation of legal arrangements in the security sector is among the primary objectives for ensuring the full enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms. The 2014 Action Document on “Support to Fundamental Rights” also refers to the need for enhancement of the administrative capacities of the authorities concerning the implementation of legislation in order that rights are respected in full and in practice, with proper accountability and control systems which involve the civil society.

The importance of the transformation of civil–military relations with a focus on civilian/democratic oversight of the internal security sector has also been emphasised in EU Progress Reports, acknowledging the contribution of the first two phases of the Project. The 2018 EU Progress Report recognised the revision of the legal framework governing civil-military relations and the increase of the powers of the executive over the military as significant, thereby strengthening civilian oversight. However, it was also noted that improvements are needed for Parliamentary, administrative and judicial oversight and accountability of security and intelligence forces. In addition, the effectiveness of the law enforcement oversight commission needs to be increased.

A set of measures for reform in the field of expanding human rights and a zero-tolerance policy against torture and ill-treatment have been adopted by Turkey since 2002. Broad modifications of the competence areas of the Police and the Gendarmerie, and annulment of the Protocol on Cooperation for Security and Public Order that was conflicting with the law on public administration are among the important steps taken by the Government.

The Project for the Civilian Oversight of Internal Security Sector Phase I, which was implemented jointly by Ministry of Interior and UNDP in 2007-2010, aimed to raise the awareness of the MoI about the concept of civilian oversight. That Project, which can be considered to be the conceptual phase of the current phase, also assessed the gaps vis-à-vis EU standards in MoI and developed the concept of “local governance of ISFs”.

As a result of the first phase of the Project (2007-2010), an enabling environment was promoted which resulted in:

  • the promotion of a common understanding on the basics and scope of civilian oversight through knowledge management tools,
  • the strengthening of structured relations between the security forces,
  • the establishment of pilot “local boards for crime prevention and security” in pilot provinces/districts (Niğde, Erzurum, Eyüp and Kadıköy) that permit citizens to voice their priorities and concerns as well as to develop a partnership approach to prevention of crime,
  • the promotion of the rights of the civilian authorities for the oversight of the internal security sector, which has been used broadly by the District Governors and Governors all around Turkey.

The Project's second phase, implemented in 2012-2014, was designed to expand and institutionalise the introduced approaches and piloted structures of Phase I. Second Phase was implemented from the perspective of improving (1) the capacity of MoI staff and provincial-sub provincial administrators to exercise oversight of policing and the homogeneity of the laws regulating the internal security forces; (2) the coherence of oversight arrangements that govern interactions between, on the one hand, the civilian administrators at provincial levels, sub provincial levels and, on the other hand, the Police and the Gendarmerie and Coast Guards; and, (3) the temporary coordination and consultation mechanisms by the Governors and District Governors so that the current oversight systems can expand rights and freedoms enjoyed by citizens. Phase II of the Project resulted in below main substantial achievements:

Local Prevention and Security Boards (LPSBs) were established in 8 districts (Eyüp, Kadıköy, Üsküdar, Fatih, Çeşme, Yeşilyurt, Hekimhan, Vakfikebir, Şahinbey) and put into function. Local security plans of the referred Boards were developed and their implementation started during the lifetime of the Project. The Boards which aim at engaging citizens (through civil society organisations, muhtars and media) into decision-making processes to improve the services provided by the law enforcement agencies, also foster a culture of collaboration and partnership, effective use of resources and increase the impact of prevention programs. Besides, following the joint determination of the pilot districts, the steps followed throughout the process included the conducting of security analysis of the district (considering crime rates, muhtar’ and NGOs views, feedbacks from public meetings and focus groups held with groups), determining security priorities, and developing preventive action plans to be implemented in partnership with relevant stakeholders.

A draft law was prepared in 2014 to enable the government to scale-up the pilot LPSBs in other districts / provinces and implement them at the national level with proper legal foundations. It is a key deliverable of the project and a major breakthrough in the centralised public administration of Turkey, especially considering the fact that many EU countries are still not equipped with such a mechanism.

Improve parliamentary oversight of ISFs, build on the recent establishment of reporting mechanisms for intelligence police and of a committee to oversee internal security forces.

Phase II of the Project also resulted in a set of recommendations and lessons learned that can be summarised below

  • Reform projects that simultaneously work with both the central government (and other Internal Security stakeholders) and local authorities (and other stakeholders from civil society) on policy issues and on improving the internal services provided to the population are extremely desirable initiatives that are recommended to be improved and scaled up,
  • Strengthen MoI at central level: establishment of a strategy unit, of a crime prevention unit, and Human Rights Office at MoI,
  • Put emphasis on protection of human rights of citizens by MoI itself at the central level by raising its institutional capacity and specialisation of units on that issue,
  • Deepen Phase II results in terms of organisational changes for the participation of citizens in local security policies, put LPSBs into practice in 10 provinces of Turkey, provide state funds to those boards.

Parallel to the Civilian Oversight Projects Phase I and II, Turkey also realised other focused initiatives with the EUD, United Nations and bilateral partners to lay the groundwork for a transition from a narrowly conceived, bureaucratically and legalistically managed oversight of policing to a system of security sector governance based on a human centred understanding of security and public safety: The Twinning Project “An Independent Police Complaint Commission and Complaints System for the Turkish National Police, Gendarmerie and Coast Guard” implemented by the HAUS Finnish Institute of Public Management and the MoI and the Project “Turkish Political Criteria Programme Phase 2“ of the Police Inspectorate with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs are examples of such an approach.

In May 2016, a Law on Establishing the Law Enforcement Oversight Commission and Amending Various Laws were adopted. The referred Commission aims to record and monitor in a central registry system the acts and actions that have been performed or need to be performed by the administrative authorities with regard to offences/acts, attitudes and behaviours requiring disciplinary penalty allegedly committed by law enforcement personnel. Though the Law on the establishment of the Commission was enacted, it is not functional at the moment. Its roles and functions need to be reviewed in line with the recent changes in the overall structuring of the ISFs in Turkey.

Building on the results of these two phases, the third phase of the Project is designed to deepen Phase I and II results in terms of organisational changes and put pilot local boards into practice in most provinces of Turkey. The 3rd Phase will also support the Government in establishing the best model for ISF and its effective functioning under MoI in line with international principles and best practices in the EU. This new Phase is also in conformity with the priorities of the Accession Partnership and EU/Commission policies by supporting the ongoing work of Turkey. Assessment of various progress reports of the European Commission along with the policy endeavours of Turkey to address gaps in the civilian oversight and the outputs of the partnership of Turkey jointly achieved with UNDP and the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey (EUD) are the basis of the Project.

The two phases of the Project under IPA I (2007-2013) have identified the main requirements for an effective and human centred civilian oversight mechanism over the internal security sector. The 3rd Phase then is based on the recommendations of Phase I-II and the changed structure of the internal security system, especially in the aftermath of the coup attempt of July 2016. The Project (CO III) is accepted under the 2014 Action Document for Fundamental Rights Sub-Field prepared by the Directorate for EU Affairs (DEUA) Department of Political Affairs under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the Lead Institution. The target groups of the Project is the Ministry of Interior, including provincial administrations and internal security forces and the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. The MoI General Directorate for Provincial Administrations is the main beneficiary of the Project, whereas the UNDP will provide technical assistance to the MoI for efficient and effective implementation of the Project.

The Project is composed of 4 components:

  • Legislative and Institutional Framework: This component aims to improve, the training curriculum, strategies and the basic legislative and regulatory framework governing the Police, Gendarmerie and Coast Guard as well as the Local Security System in the light of civilian/democratic oversight and accountability principles. It is also planned that the performance evaluation system of MoI over ISFs will be strengthened through the Project.
  • Parliamentary Oversight: This component aims to develop a strategy to systematically oversee the work of ISFs through the work of relevant Commissions of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.
  • Scaling Up of the Pilot Security Governance Structures: This component aims to scale up the pilot security governance structures nationwide and support their effective functioning through capacity development and technical assistance.
  • Individual and Institutional Capacity Building: This component aims to build institutional and individual capacities of the Governors, District Governors and citizens to enhance the understanding and internalisation of citizen-focused security services.

To implement the project activities in an effective and efficient way and achieve the expected results of the Project, composed of a Chief Technical Advisor and 2 (two) Key Experts; a Technical Assistance Team (TAT) will be established within the scope of the Project. The CTA will hold the overall responsibility for development of the project results whereas the key experts will mainly be responsible for component-based activities. A Project Manager, a Project Associate and a Project Assistant will be mobilized within the scope of the Project for delivery of project outputs in a timely and effective manner.

Objectives of the Assignment

The Project Assistant will be responsible for the day to day Project support, travel arrangements for the Project team and administration. She/he will provide support to the preparation of required documentation and any administrative activities that Project management may require. S/he will also provide support to the preparation of field missions and visibility events. Project Assistant will report to the Project Manager.

Duties and Responsibilities

Project Assistant is expected to assume the following tasks:

Measurable Outputs

Key Results Expected/Major Functional Activities

Support provided to implementation of Project activities, including the organization of visibility events and missions

  • Assist the Project team in the administration and implementation of the daily project activities;
  • Provide administrative and logistical support for the organization of events, workshops and meetings
  • Assist the Project team, including consultants, in making the necessary project related travel arrangements (i.e. travel tickets, hotel reservations, DSAs, etc.)
  • Provide soft assistance to the Project team during procurement, contracting, financial and human resource processes as required and when necessary,
  • Perform any other administrative and logistical duties as requested by the Project Manager.

Support provided to reporting and communication activities

  • Translate documents from English to Turkish and vice versa
  • Develop initial drafts of the reports/minutes of meetings in Turkish and (if deemed necessary) in English;
  • Provide assistance to the Project team in filing related information, documentation and correspondences;
  • Facilitate communication and Project activities among the project partners as requested by the field coordinator
  • Assist in telephone inquiries, mail and e-mail transmissions and co-ordination of appointments.

Reporting Structure

The Project Assistant will report to the Project Manager.

Performance Indicators for Evaluation of Results

  • Qualitative and quantitative inputs prepared to project reports; high-quality correspondence, briefs, reports prepared.
  • Timely and qualitative inputs prepared to procurement process; canvassing carried out correctly according to UNDP rules
  • (Visibility) events, workshops, field missions organized in a timely manner;
  • Communication activities provided with timely support.


  • Demonstrates commitment to UNDP’s mission, vision and values.
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Demonstrating/safeguarding ethics and integrity
  • Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment
  • Self-development, initiative-taking
  • Acting as a team player and facilitating team work
  • Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively
  • Creating synergies through self-control
  • Managing conflict
  • Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others.
  • Informed and transparent decision making

Required Skills and Experience

Minimum Requirements



  • Bachelor’s Degree in economics, finance, business management, administrative sciences or other relevant field
  • Master’s Degree in economics, finance, business management, administrative sciences or other relevant field


  • Minimum 3 years of relevant working experience (SB2)
  • Minimum 3 years of experience in supporting project management in public, private and non-profit sector contexts
  • Experience in assisting in organizing events and activities
  • Experience with assisting administrative work (i.e. finance, procurement, accounting etc.) of Project
  • Strong English and Turkish language reporting skills
  • Former work experience in working for international organizations
  • Former work experience with EU funded projects

Language Requirements: Fluent written and spoken English and Turkish

Computer Skills: Microsoft Office, Windows-based applications, integrated web-based management systems, spreadsheets and databases

Nationality: Turkish


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