Senior Technical Specialist

UNDP - United Nations Development Programme, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Skill Required:, Policy/ Advocacy and Campaign
Preferred Experience: 
7 to 10 Year
Closing Date for Applications: 
28th November, 2018

Job Description


UNDP in Sri Lanka is reorganizing internally and moving to an integrated collaborative business model. Internally, an energetic and innovative team will converge around the planning, design, implementation and quality assurance of an integrated programme in a fast-paced environment. Fostering strategic partnership and alliances with different stakeholders will require a team which consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude and has a strong client orientation. Strong UN partnerships are valued for Delivering Together in a true spirit of collaboration and teamwork.

UNDP has been supporting the justice sector since 2004. Building on results and partnerships, UNDP proposes to take forward its work to strengthen access to justice and rule of law in specific areas in collaboration with key state and non-state actors in the sector. This service line of the Governance and Peacebuilding portfolio contributes to improved ability of justice sector institutions to deliver people-centered services, especially upholding the rights of excluded and vulnerable groups. The portfolio builds on UNDP’s long-standing work and partnerships with national justice sector institutions and service-providers, both state and non-state. It also integrates UNDP’s ongoing support for post-war justice. In keeping with the recognition of the crucial role of the private sector in achievement of the SDGs, this service line extends to working with businesses to adopt and implement the UN Guiding Principles on Businesses and Human Rights.

The key outputs expected from this service line are as follows:

  • Baselines established/updated, and policy dialogue, policy adoption and implementation increased on access to justice, with a focus on excluded and vulnerable groups.
  • State and non-state justice sector actors strengthened to deliver victim-centric services on areas including SGBV and victims and witness protection.
  • State and non-state justice sector actors have increased access to progressive international principles, standards and good practices on access to justice.
  • Technical needs met for establishment of post-war justice mechanisms, with an emphasis on public outreach and responsiveness to excluded and vulnerable groups including women and youth.
  • UN Guiding Principles on Businesses and Human Rights adopted and implemented.

Against this backdrop, UNDP aims to recruit a Senior Technical Specialist Access to Justice , Rule of Law and Human Rights to lead the design, and to provide substantive inputs towards the implementation of projects supporting Access to Justice, Rule of Law and Human Rights in Sri Lanka. The Senior Technical Specialist will also be expected to provide technical inputs, as and when required, to the overall portfolio of projects, across service lines. Depending on the workload, the Senior Technical Specialist may particularly be asked to provide technical inputs to the service line on Parliament and Independent Commissions.

The Senior Technical Specialist will be responsible to coordinate the support provided to the identified institutions, for the design of innovative interventions to achieve development results, provide technical advisory support to UNDP and to its partners, ensure quality documentation of data/knowledge generated, support to form creative partnerships, Joint Programming and resource mobilization efforts with partner UN agencies and work in overall coordination with relevant internal and external stakeholders

The Senior Technical Specialist will work as part of a dynamic team, that will contribute to UNDP Sri Lanka’s overall Country Programme. He/she will work under the overall guidance and supervision of the Project Manager, and in close collaboration with the Policy and Design Specialist (Governance and Reconciliation). He/she will also work closely with the Programme teams across the Country Office. ,.

The scope of this job description may change to cater to the evolving context on the ground.

Duties and Responsibilities

Lead on providing high quality and cutting edge technical expertise for the effective implementation of activities.

  • Provide high quality technical input to the design of activities, and dedicated technical advisory support to the key partner institutions (i.e. government, civil society, UN agencies and where relevant private sector etc).
  • Lead on providing technical assistance for the implementation of the activities, enabling high quality delivery of outputs and activity results as per the resource mobilization proposals, portfolio/project documents and/or Project Board decisions.
  • Lead on providing technical support to the Project Manager and implementing team to analyze results and lessons learned and recommend strategies for improved delivery of project activity results and outputs.
  • Liaise with, and source technical support and policy advice from, the UNDP HQ and Regional Hub, and other national and international technical and academic institutions/think tanks to further enhance the quality of the technical assistance provided to partners.
  • Ensure synergies with/between UNDP portfolio/projects other areas of Programming, to ensure strengthening the achievement of integrated results and promoting Sustainable Development.
  • Facilitate knowledge-building. Ensure that project lessons learned and best practices are documented and periodically shared to inform wider policies.
  • Analyze the country and global context, assess impact upon the thematic areas of focus, and identify any issues that requires the attention of UN/UNDP leadership, and prepare succinct reports containing recommendations for course adjustments, for discussion.
  • Represent UNDP in relevant events and networks related to the specific scope of work.

Provide technical expertise for project implementation and delivery of quality results

  • Lead/contribute to designing new projects activities and other interventions. Contribute towards risk analyses, and ensure application of relevant principles relating to gender, conflict and environment as cross-cutting factors in every aspect of activity implementation and management.
  • Provide technical input to the preparation of annual and quarterly work plans, in consultation with the Project Manager and ultimately the Project Board, and ensuring complementarity with other thematic areas of programming.
  • Provide technical input towards the development of terms of reference for implementation of key activities and support the quality assurance of services received from consultancy services obtained for these activities.
  • Support the selection of appropriate government and civil society partners in the implementation of activities, in keeping with UNDP Rules and Regulations.
  • Provide high quality inputs to reporting, in a timely manner.
  • Based on the M&E frameworks, help develop and refine indicators, baselines and targets for the effective implementation of the project.
  • Undertake field visits as required, submit timely follow up technical reports, and undertake required follow up actions.

Advocacy, Partnerships and Resource Mobilization, which entails inter alia:

  • Represent UNDP and strengthen existing partnerships, while developing creative and new partnerships, including with UN Agencies, government institutions, development partners, civil society organizations, private sector, etc., with a view to achieving development results
  • Strengthen partnerships between government entities and civil society organizations, including through improved planning and policy-making.
  • Advocate consistently around the core UN principles, including the sustainable development agenda.
  • Work with other relevant UNDP Technical and Communications colleagues to develop required advocacy messages, strategies and materials.
  • Strengthen Joint Programming efforts with UN agencies, with a view to moving towards a One UN Approach.
  • Analyze and research information on partners, prepare substantive briefs on possible areas of cooperation, identify opportunities for initiation of new interventions, and proactively contribute to the overall UNDP effort in resource mobilization, from traditional and non-traditional development partners.

Impact of Results

The key impact will be that anticipated results from key activities will be achieved with a high degree of quality and sustainability, and in line with UN principles and good practices. In addition, the results will secure strong partnerships with key actors, and enable resource mobilization. Advocacy, management and technical assistance provided by the incumbent will contribute towards tangible progress in achieving sustainable development for the country.


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.

Technical Competencies:

  • Excellent knowledge of the constitutional and legal system in Sri Lanka, including a thorough understanding of the role and functions of different institutions
  • Excellent understanding of the challenges in accessing justice in Sri Lanka, especially with a focus on access to justice challenges faced by women and child victims of Sexual and Gender Based Violence.
  • Excellent knowledge on human rights-based approaches to programming, particularly in the justice sector.
  • Strong analytical skills and comparative knowledge on justice sector reforms
  • A good understanding of the Lessons Learnt Reconciliation Committee(LLRC) Report Recommendations, the National Action Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights, National Policy Framework on Social Integration and the National Action Plan on Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Sri Lanka.
  • Knowledge of key current concepts and principles, including the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and Goals, especially in relation to Goals 5, 10 and 16.

Functional Competencies:

  • Capability to deliver timely results
  • Demonstrates good judgment
  • Ability to plan own work and use time efficiently, manage conflicting priorities and work under pressure of tight and conflicting deadlines
  • Flexible and agile in responding to changes in context/new developments.


  • Builds strong relationships with all partners, focuses on impact and results for the client, and responds positively to feedback
  • Consistently approaches work with energy as well as a positive and constructive attitude
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities
  • Displays strong conflict resolution skills
  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills
  • Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure.
  • Proven networking, team building, organizational and communications skills.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of information and records.

Knowledge Management and Learning

  • Promotes knowledge management and a learning environment in the office through leadership and personal example.
  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development in relevant practice areas and applies newly acquired skills and knowledge.

Required Skills and Experience

Education & Experience:

  • Attorney-at-Law with a Master’s Degree and 7 years of progressively responsible work experience in Law, Development Studies, Political Science, Social Sciences or other relevant field, with experience facilitating access to justice for the most vulnerable and marginalized groups.
  • Relevant research and published material an asset.
  • Extensive experience dealing with a diverse range of partners, including at a senior level.
  • Strong diplomatic skills and acumen in handling counterpart relations.

Language Requirements: Fluency in English written and oral communication, and the ability to work in Sinhala and/or Tamil.


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