Project Assistant

United Nations Development Programme, Ankara, Turkey

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
2 years of relevant work experience
Closing Date for Applications: 
1st April, 2019

Job Description


UNDP Turkey works for progress in four core areas:

  • inclusive and democratic governance;
  • inclusive and sustainable growth;
  • climate change and environment;
  • Syria crisis resilience and response.

In addition to these core areas, UNDP Turkey is emphasizing the role of women, private sector, capacity development, and information and communication technology in its policies and programmes. To achieve progress in these areas, UNDP seeks to establish partnerships with the central government, local administrations, civil society, academia and private sector to strengthen its contribution to Turkey's development. UNDP works closely with line ministries to support the efficient implementation of development projects and programmes. UNDP Turkey also collaborates with other UN agencies present in Turkey to maximize the impact of the UN's activities in the country, including through joint initiatives on women, youth, internally displaced persons and the Sustainable Development Goals.

As of February 2019, Turkey hosts over 3,6 million Syrian refugees.[1] Syrian refugees are mainly located in the Southeast Anatolia region bordering Syria, but as the crisis continued, the population has expanded to other regions as well. Turkey hosts the largest refugee population in the world and has demonstrated strong national ownership of the response. The Government of Turkey provides a rights-based legal framework through the Temporary Protection regulation, which offers access to education, health care, employment and social security to Syrians. According to the Government of Turkey, it spent 30 billion USD over the last 5 years on the response to the Syria crisis.

Currently, out of the 3,6 million registered Syrian refugees, more than 3,4 million refugees live amongst Turkish host communities.[2] 40% of the 3,6 million refugees are concentrated in 4 provinces in the South East. Within these provinces, there are four municipalities in Turkey that are particularly impacted, each hosting more than 100,000 Syrians. In these cities, the ratio of the Syrian population to that of host communities is higher than 15%, including Kilis, Hatay, Gaziantep and Şanlıurfa.[3] Populations have either reached or exceeded 2023 population projections. Kilis, for instance, hosts almost as many Syrian refugees as its local population.

UNDP supports the Government of Turkey to respond to this large-scale displacement through its Syria Crisis Response and Resilience Programme in Turkey to strengthen the resilience of refugees, host community members, local municipalities and relevant national institutions to cope with and recover from the impact. UNDP’s resilience response strategy is to invest in existing national and local systems to ensure they can adequately serve both host and refugee communities.

As part of this programme, UNDP will implement the EU-UNDP Turkey Resilience Project (2018-2019) (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Project), funded by the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis (EUTF Fund). The Project consists of three main components: Component 1 on Employment Creation, Component 2 on Municipal Service Delivery and Component 3 on Adult Language Training. The overall budget for the Project is 50 million euros to be implemented in 2018-2019. UNDP will recruit a Project management team for the Project. Each Project Component will be Managed by a Project Manager.

  • Official data Directorate General for Migration Management, Turkey, November 2017.
  • Mostly in the South East, particularly Gaziantep, Kilis, Sanliurfa, and Hatay
  • DG of Migration Management, TURKSTAT (DGMM 2017)

Living Conditions:

Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country’s second largest city following Istanbul with the population of 4.5 million people. Centrally located in Anatolia, Ankara is an important commercial and industrial city. It is the seat of the Turkish government and houses all foreign embassies. The city is strategically located at an important crossroads for trade in proximity of Turkey’s highway and railway networks. Visas are required for entry into Turkey. It is therefore strongly recommended to check with the local Turkish Embassy or Consulate before traveling. Nationals of EU member states and a limited number of nations are eligible for visas-on-arrival at international air termini and certain border crossing points.

  • Security: The current security level in Ankara is minimal –Ankara is considered a generally a safe city, where normal use of common sense and acting responsibly takes one a long way. The public transport is safe to use. There are no direct threats towards United Nations and its staff in Turkey.
  • Medical Services: No special vaccinations are required for a travel to Ankara. Medical services available are of high quality, and health care services are available also in English.
  • Housing: Apartments and flats are easily available and generally of good condition, with well working services (gas, electricity, water). The cost of housing is reasonable, although smaller apartments and certain locations close to foreign embassies and the UN House tend to be more expensive. Some UN Volunteers opt for house sharing. Upon arrival, UN Volunteers will reside in a hotel until they find permanent housing. UNV Field Unit can provide assistance to UN Volunteers in identifying suitable housing.
  • Cost of living and services: Housing is the largest monthly expense, and the cost of living is otherwise very affordable. Daily food and products are inexpensive, as are many services.Imported goods and many non-essential services and products tend to be more expensive. The provision of goods and services in general is very good. Local transportation ranges from buses, mini-busses called “dolmuş” to taxis, which are all affordable. The subway lines are very limited in the scope.
  • Weather: The city has a mean elevation of 938 metres. It has cold, often snowy winters due to its elevation and inland location, and hot, dry summers. Because of Ankara's high altitude and its dry summers, nightly temperatures in the summer months can be cool.
  • Language: Turkish is the only official language. English is widely spoken in touristic areas, but less commonly in Ankara. In supermarkets and shops, few Turkish words are useful. There are Turkish language schools and tutors available in Ankara.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Under the direct supervision of Project Manager the national UN Volunteer will undertake the following tasks:

  • The key function (KF) of the Project Assistant is the provision of managerial, operational and administrative support for the smooth implementation of the Project’s activities. In this sense, the Project Assistant is expected to perform the following tasks and duties as demonstrated below:
  • He/she should assist the Project Team in carrying out their functions for the efficient and timely administration and implementation of the project activities.
  • He/she will maintain high standards of service delivery, including adherence to deadline, quick response time, accuracy and completeness of information and sensitivity to project needs and UNDP rules and procedures.

Specific Tasks and Responsibilities:

Under the direct supervision of the Project Manager, the UN Volunteer is expected to perform the following tasks;

  • Support the project team in the administration and implementation of the daily project activities,
  • Support the project team during procurement, contracting, financial and human resources processes as required,
  • Organizing the events, workshops, meetings, trainings and conferences,
  • Translate documents from English to Turkish and vice versa,
  • Develop initial drafts of the reports/minutes of meetings in Turkish and in English with the supervision of Project Associate and Assistants,
  • Making the necessary program related travel arrangements (travel tickets, hotel reservations, DSAs, etc),
  • Provide assistance to the project team, in keeping related information, documentation and correspondences including filing and archiving purposes,
  • Assist in keeping close contact with relevant consultants and experts,
  • Perform any other administrative and logistical duties as requested by the Project Manager
  • Travel to the fields may be requested.

Furthermore, UN Volunteers are encouraged to:

  • Strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the concept of volunteerism by reading relevant UNV and external publications and take active part in UNV activities (for instance in events that mark International Volunteer Day);
  • Be acquainted with and build on traditional and/or local forms of volunteerism in the host country;
  • Reflect on the type and quality of voluntary action that they are undertaking, including participation in ongoing reflection activities;
  • The Duty Station is Ankara. If the UNV is required to travel outside of Ankara, assignment-related travel and accommodation costs will be borne by UNDP upon submission of documentation, only for the trips that are requested by the project management.

Results/Expected Output:

  • The Volunteer is expected to provide support on creating a database for on going project acitivities for reporting, monitoring and evaluation purposes
  • The Volunteer is expected to organize events, workshops, meetings, trainings and conferences by taking care of the necessary logistic and administrative arrangements,

Required Skills and Experience University degree (BA/BS) in social sciences, administrative sciences or other relevant field is required. Relevant higher university degree (i.e., Master) is an asset.


  • Minimum 2 year of work experience
  • Full proficiency in Turkish and a good command of written and spoken English is required,
  • Analytical skills and ability to coordinate numerous ongoing initiatives is required,
  • Familiarity to UN and UNV rules and procedures is an asset,

Computer skills: Microsoft Office, Windows-based applications, integrated web-based management systems, spreadsheets and databases. Knowledge of Adobe CS programs are a great assest.


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