Senior Peace and Development Advisor

UNDP, Suva, Fiji

Skill Required:, Policy/ Advocacy and Campaign
Preferred Experience: 
Above 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
6th December, 2019

Job Description


The Pacific is a region facing cross-cutting challenges which affect regional peace and security, governance and development. The impact of climate change threatens the very existence of some countries and carries security threats as scarcity of land and resources increases. Manifested by rising sea levels and increased severe weather events, it hampers the already limited economies in the Pacific, and sets back progress made in development. Migration could overburden weak public service delivery systems and exacerbate ethnic divisions. The region’s ability to mitigate the risk of conflict is likely to be further tested as tensions with the private sector have the potential to grow over natural resource exploitation. Democratic transitions in some countries are yet to be consolidated and would benefit from technical assistance to maintain the positive trajectory, while other countries experience political instability from frequently changing or unstable coalition governments. In addition, political instability combined with human rights concerns and governance challenges are barriers for sustainable development. Cross-country familial, community and historic links contribute to the risk of regionalising tensions. Women’s political participation in the Pacific is among the lowest in the world, and violence against women remains unacceptably high.

The Resident Coordinator (RC) based in Suva heads a multi-country office covering ten countries: Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The Resident Coordinator also leads in the partnership with regional organisations, including the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), its Secretariat and the Council of Regional Organizations in the Pacific (CROP).

The regional dynamics are very complex and require an in-depth analytical understanding for the development of effective support strategies. The Pacific Islands Forum, headquartered in Suva, as well as the CROP agencies are undergoing a process of reform. The PIF realignment, its interest in working closer with the United Nations, and its work towards a strengthened regional security framework present an opportunity for the UN to strengthen its regional partnership with the PIF, as the UN is working towards strengthening the capacity in the region to build and sustain peace and security in the Pacific, and to address risk factors.

The PDA, with UNCT support, will help deepen UN engagement with national Governments and the PIF to build stronger regional and national capacities for peacebuilding, good governance, and conflict prevention. The PDA will support the UN in strengthening its partnership with the PIF, work with national partners to build national capacities to prevent conflict, and to engage on regional issues affecting peace, governance and sustainable development in the Pacific.

In this context, the PDA will be an indispensable instrument for the UN to support the region to strengthen its capacity in peacebuilding, conflict prevention and good governance; to help create space for dialogue, and to produce analysis to better inform entry points for the UN leadership in relevant countries. The RC and the UNCT will be able to strengthen their partnerships with the Government, the PIF and related Pacific regional organizations to help better address regional challenges emanating from environmental, identity, land and other resources issues, and to help consolidate and expand gains in democratic governance in the region.

The PDA, with UNCT support, will help deepen UN engagement with national Governments and the PIF to build stronger regional and national capacities for peacebuilding, good governance, and conflict prevention. The PDA will support the UN in strengthening its partnership with the PIF, work with national partners to build national capacities to prevent conflict, and to engage on regional issues affecting peace, governance and sustainable development in the Pacific.

The PDA will also help develop UN strategies for supporting long term sustainable solutions based on building the capacity of national actors (Government, business, civil society, academia) to carry out conflict prevention, peacebuilding and social cohesion initiatives. Through the building of relationships and credibility, the PDA will support resource mobilization and the positioning of the UN with key multilateral and bilateral donors concerned and engaged across the Pacific.

As the UN builds up its programme of regional engagement in the Pacific, the PDA will support the UNCT and national partners to strengthen conflict sensitive programming with a special focus on the security related impact of climate change and help design and focus conflict prevention and peacebuilding initiatives to be effective in the local and regional context. The PDA’s presence will support policy continuity on this critical set of challenges. The PDA will draw on global and local best practices and enable partners in the Pacific to better access the expertise across the UN to ensure that the complex resources, environmental, societal, governance and political factors are addressed for sustaining peace and stability in the Pacific.

Duties and Responsibilities

PDAs have a primary reporting line to the UN Resident Coordinator, and secondary reporting line to DPPA-DPO regional division and UNDP Resident Representative. Under their guidance, and close collaboration with the country team, the PDA will:

Provide strategic and analytical support to the RC in his/her relations with government officials, academia, civil society, and with the wider political and civic leadership, including through:

  • Close liaison with key regional players such as PIF and others;
  • Participating, on behalf of the RCs, in relevant regional and national fora and representing the UN system where necessary;
  • Providing substantive leadership for strategic initiatives on conflict sensitivity, conflict prevention and dialogue, including convening, on behalf of the RC, dialogue processes; assisting social cohesion/conflict resolution activities in high risk communities; building skills for negotiation and mediation for leadership at local government and community level, and for the relevant branches of government as deemed necessary; establishing and extending the capacities of networks of mediators and facilitators at the regional, national and local levels;
  • Under the direction of the RC, engage with other regional and national institutions and initiatives in order to promote regional approaches and build regional capacity on peacebuilding and conflict prevention and other relevant efforts. In some circumstances, these interactions may be on behalf of the RC with senior officials particularly at the regional level;
  • Provide continuous analysis to RC and UNCTs as well as to UN headquarters on regional and national political developments, with a view to identifying appropriate ‘entry points’ and recommending appropriate strategic responses for the UN system;
  • Provide support to the development and implementation of community and national-level initiatives based on regional strategies to strengthen confidence in local development capacities, including through the promotion of local dialogue capacities for non-violent conflict resolution at local and/or national levels.
  • In close consultation with the RC, maintain regular communication with UN headquarters, in particular UNDP and DPPA.

Identify areas of strategic and programmatic engagement with regional stakeholders, and support the RC in the preparation of the UN response to government requests, related to peacebuilding, conflict prevention, social cohesion, and governance at the national levels:

  • Lead related social cohesion activities such as: designing high-level dialogue processes; facilitating national multi-stakeholder processes; skills building for negotiation, mediation and alternative dispute resolution processes; support to capacities of networks of mediators and facilitators at national and local levels; strengthen women’s initiatives and groups in social cohesion and non-violent resolution of disputes processes; undertake/ support confidence-building measures; training and capacity-building workshops for national stakeholders at all levels; and other inter-group process, as required;
  • Undertake necessary activities to build/strengthen/apply/sustain national capacities/ institutions/ processes to prevent violence and mainstream conflict prevention interventions throughout the work of the UNCT;
  • Identify and engage civil society actors across the Pacific region working in peacebuilding and conflict prevention to support the UNCT’s work.

Establish and strengthen strategic partnerships with key regional, international and national actors and development partners:

  • Establish and maintain networks and strategic partnerships at the regional and national levels for conflict prevention and peacebuilding related strategies and initiatives in the Pacific;
  • Liaise closely with key regional and national stakeholders from Governments and civil society and key international actors to identify entry points, foster dialogue and strengthen strategic alliances and partnerships on conflict prevention, peacebuilding and social cohesion initiatives.
  • Maintain close liaison with relevant donors and other actors supporting UNDP’s and other agencies’ conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts. These interactions may be on behalf of the RC with senior regional and national officials;
  • Support the RC in mobilizing resources for conflict prevention, peacebuilding and social cohesion initiatives;

Strengthen the capacity of UNDP and UNCTs to undertake conflict analysis and mainstream conflict sensitivity and conflict prevention strategies into regular programming:

  • Provide analytical and strategic support to UNCTs based on regional and national trends and strategies for peacebuilding and conflict prevention;
  • Define/implement strategies for identifying entry points for mainstreaming of conflict prevention and conflict sensitivity in the UNCT, including within the framework of common country planning processes (UNPS/UNSDCF, CPD, etc.) based on linkages with regional strategies for reduction of conflict and violence;
  • Conduct training for UN Country Team staff and key national partners on conflict analysis, conflict and violence prevention and/or conflict-sensitive development.


  • Expanded partnerships with regional counterparts in government, civil society, academia, and think-tanks/ research institutions (including senior intergovernmental and civic officials);
  • Enhanced capacity of UNCTs, regional and national partners for context and peacebuilding analysis;
  • Enhanced cohesiveness in national strategies for peacebuilding, as well as conflict and violence prevention with stronger linkages to regional level strategies;
  • Relevant international comparative experiences with regard to conflict prevention, peacebuilding and multi-sectoral security reform adopted into regional strategies and implemented by national stakeholders;
  • Enhanced strategic capacity of UNCTs and RC to contribute effectively to the sustained development and application of regional and national capacities for sustaining peace;
  • Strengthened capacities at the community, local government, national and regional levels for dialogue, social cohesion, mediation, facilitation, prevention of violent responses to disputes, confidence and peacebuilding.


Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of the UN/UNDP/DPPA;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality, and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Good knowledge of UN/UNDP/DPPA rules, regulations, policies, procedures, and practices;
  • Good understanding of the UN system,
  • Treats all people fairly without favouritism.

Functional Competencies:

  • Strong political acumen and extensive experience of providing policy analysis and advice;
  • Well-developed skills and demonstrated experience in facilitation, consensus-building, multi-stakeholder processes and negotiation;
  • Excellent analytical skills. Experience and specialist knowledge in building national capacities in good governance and building national reconciliation;
  • Proven high-level facilitation, training, networking, coordination, team-building, consensus-building and organizational skills;
  • Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting;
  • Possesses specialist knowledge in the area of conflict prevention, peacebuilding, social cohesion, dialogue and governance reform or related areas, as well as in-depth practical knowledge of inter-disciplinary development issues;
  • Excellent communication and inter-personal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and working relationships with internal and external parties in a multi-cultural environment;
  • In-depth knowledge of situation in the Pacific at the regional and national level;
  • Ability to advise and oversee formulation, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of projects and programmes;
  • Sound understanding and capability to empower and develop the capacity of national counterparts;
  • Proven ability to incorporate relevant international comparative practices into his/her work;
  • Experience in developing UN conflict prevention and peacebuilding strategies.

Management Competencies:

  • Excellent and proven team-building, diplomatic, and interpersonal skills. Resourcefulness, initiative, and maturity of judgment;
  • Very strong leadership capacities to guide dialogue activities among mixed groups;
  • Strong communication and advocacy skills;
  • Sound time management and organizational skills with the ability to handle and delegate multiple tasks;
  • Ability to build strong relationships with clients and external actors;
  • Focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Capacity to work under pressure, manage stress and adapt to rapidly evolving situations

Behavioral Competencies:

  • Team player, self-motivated and initiative taking, dedicated, creative, resourceful, flexible, energetic and sound judgment;
  • Builds strong relationships with partners, focusing on impact and results;
  • Demonstrates creativity, openness to change and ability to manage complexities;
  • Demonstrated objectivity, integrity and impartiality;
  • Possesses positive and constructive attitudes to work;
  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development.

Required Skills and Experience

Education: Advanced university degree in political science, sociology, international relations, international economics, law, public administration, or other related social sciences.


  • At least 10 years of experience in political analysis, policy, and strategy development, peacebuilding and/or conflict prevention in a governmental, multilateral or civil society organization;
  • Prior experience working in, and excellent knowledge of the Pacific, including relevant sub-regional organisations, is highly desirable;
  • Experience in developing and implementing dialogue, conflict prevention and peacebuilding initiatives and strategies.
  • Proven policy, advisory and advocacy experience and track record of engagement with senior levels of government, United Nations, and donors;
  • Experience in programme and project development in multilateral setting required;
  • Experience working with the United Nations or other inter-governmental organisation, particularly in a conflict/post conflict/negotiation context, would be an asset.

Language Requirements: Excellent standard of written and spoken English.


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