Technical Specialist - Peace Building and Reconciliation

UNDP - United Nations Development Programme, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Skill Required:, Finance and Accounts
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 a number of 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 a Technical Coordinator to lead the design, and delivery of its integrated package of support  for the peacebuilding and reconciliation process in Sri Lanka.
The Technical Specialist will work as part of a dynamic team, that will not only focus on the above-mentioned area of work, 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 and supervision of the Programme Manager, the Technical Specialist will be responsible to design and implement innovative interventions to achieve development results, provide technical advisory support to UNDP and to its partners, ensure quality documentation of data/knowledge generated, put in place effective coordination arrangements with the relevant UN agencies including the Resident Coordinator’s Office, 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.
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 in order to ensure the most suitable arrangements are in place to enable the achievement of quality results.

Duties and Responsibilities

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

  • Ensure that proper risk analyses are conducted, and ensure application of relevant principles relating to gender, conflict and environment as cross-cutting factors in every aspect of activity implementation and management.
  • Ensure programme and operations activities are compliant with UN/UNDP rules, regulations and policies; establish management targets; and monitor the achievement of results.
  • Lead the preparation of annual and quarterly work plans, in consultation with the Programme Manager and ultimately the Project Board, and ensure complementarity with other thematic areas of programming.
  • Support the Programme Manager to prepare budgets, budget forecasts, budget revisions and financial reports.
  • Prepare terms of reference for implementation of activities, and ensure the efficient implementation of activities and achievement of the expected results, including monitoring and quality assurance of the work of sub-contractors and technical consultants to ensure delivery of quality work.
  • Monitor the day-to-day progress of the project based on work plans, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework and regularly update the risk logs.
  • Support to monitor timely procurement actions for the project as per approved procurement plans.
  • Manage the selection of appropriate government and civil society partners in the implementation of activities, in keeping with UNDP Rules and Regulations.
  • Prepare high quality progress reports as well as other reports, in a timely manner for UNDP, donors and other stakeholders, as per Project requirements.
  • Based on the M&E frameworks help develop and refine indicators, baselines and targets for the effective implementation of the project.
  • Assist the team in preparing for mandatory Project reviews with relevant stakeholders, at a minimum annually.
  • Provide necessary support during periods of operational and financial audits and evaluations (both internal and external).
  • Undertake field visits to monitor implementation of activities, submission of timely follow up technical reports, and undertake required follow up actions.
  • Working with the Project team, ensure proper documentation of Project information (i.e. correspondence, Project Board documents, key meeting minutes, data from Project monitoring etc.).
  • Support UNDP to organize regular Project Board meetings.
  • Ensure Project related information (i.e. progress against indicators, risks) and documentation is a minimum quarterly updated in UNDP’s Management system (ATLAS) and Intranet.
  • Provide back-stopping support to the Project team, as and when required.
  • Provide effective staff supervisory support as required.
  • Undertake any other tasks assigned by the Supervisor in support of efficient implementation.

Technical Assistance and Knowledge Management, which entails inter alia:

  • Analyze the country and world context, assess impact upon the thematic area 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.
  • 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, facilitate and provide technical assistance for the implementation of the activities, enabling high quality delivery of outputs and activity results as per the resource mobilization proposals, project/programme documents and/or Project Board decisions.
  • 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 programmes/projects/ other areas of Programming, to ensure strengthening the achievement of integrated results and promoting Sustainable Development.
  • Facilitate knowledge-building and management. Ensure that project lessons learned and best practices are captured, documented and periodically shared to inform wider policies and programmes.
  • Analyze results and lessons learned, and recommend strategies for improved delivery of project activity results and outputs.
  • Participate in relevant events and networks related to the specific scope of work.

Coordination, Advocacy and Partnerships, which entails inter alia:

  • Maintain regular communication and coordination with relevant partners, to implement activities in a timely manner.
  • Facilitate a good working relationship and collaboration between key government partners and UNDP.
  • Support to strengthen partnerships between government entities and civil society organizations, including through improved planning and policy-making.
  • Lead and facilitate coordination efforts with other implementing partners (with specific emphasis on the partner UN agencies such as OHCHR, UNWOMEN, UNICEF and IOM) providing support for the reconciliation and TJ processes.
  • Maintain a strong working relationship with the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, the UN Peacebuilding Fund Secretariat and work closely with the UN Reconciliation and Development Advisor.
  • Work with the relevant UNDP Technical and Communications colleagues to develop the required advocacy messages, strategies and materials.
  • Consistent advocacy around the core UN principles, including the sustainable development agenda.
  • Work in overall coordination with UNDP team members, and ensure maintaining effective team collaboration. 

Partnership Building and Resource Mobilization, which entails inter alia:

  • Under the overall guidance of the Programme Manager, 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 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 above key results will ensure 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. 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 result in tangible progress in UNDP support for achieving sustainable development in the country and the timely identification and initiation of support for new developments.

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:

  • Development and Operational Effectiveness;
  • Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting;
  • Knowledge of human and financial resources management, procurement, and general administration;
  • 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.

Management and Leadership

  • 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;
  • Leads teams effectively and shows mentoring as well as 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;
  • Proven problem solving skills.

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.

Technical Competencies:

  • Extensive development experience with demonstrated knowledge of programming on peacebuilding and reconciliation;
  • Experience conducting conflict analyses;
  • Knowledge on strengthening the peace and development nexus;
  • Proven knowledge of and experience working in transitional justice processes, including a sound understanding of the transitional justice process in Sri Lanka;
  • Prior experience working with key stakeholders working on peacebuilding, reconciliation and transitional justice in Sri Lanka;
  • Experience facilitating dialogue between diverse stakeholders including Government, Civil Society and private sector;
  • Excellent understanding of evidence based peacebuilding programming.
  • Excellent knowledge on participatory and human rights based approaches to programming
  • Strong analytical skills and comparative knowledge on peacebuilding and reconciliation processes, including reforms required to strengthen such processes;
  • A good understanding of the relevant key national and international policy and legal developments;
  • Ability to design and prepare strategies to ensure engagement of women and youth in peacebuilding and reconciliation;
  • Knowledge of key current concepts, including the 2030 Sustainable   Development Agenda and Goals, especially in relation to Goals 5 and 16.

Required Skills and Experience
Master’s Degree in peace and development studies, law, political sciences, international law, economics, or related disciplines; AAL   with 2 years relevant experience at the national or international level working on peacebuilding, reconciliation,  human rights, access to justice,  providing management and technical advisory services, hands on experience in design, implementation and monitoring of projects in the development sector and working directly with government and international institutions.


A Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, AAL, with a minimum of 5 years relevant work experience at the national or international level working on peacebuilding, reconciliation,  human rights, access to justice,  providing management and technical advisory services, hands on experience in design, implementation and monitoring of projects in the development sector and working directly with government and international institutions.  will be considered in the absence of a Master’s.


  • Prior experience working in the areas of peacebuilding, reconciliation, human rights, and/or access to justice, in Sri Lanka is essential;
  • Prior experience with the UN system/UNDP would be considered an advantage;
  • Strong analytical skills and proven ability to work independently;
  • Usage of computers and office software package (MS Word, Excel etc.) and knowledge of database packages;
  • A consistent track record of self-motivation and achievement;
  • Substantial experience in design, implementing and monitoring projects
  • Ability to provide high quality technical and policy guidance on above mentioned thematic subjects;
  • Knowledge of, or exposure to the human rights based approach to programming;
  • A genuine interest in and understanding of the problems facing disadvantaged groups in accessing justice and engaging in peacebuilding efforts;
  • A team -player with excellent inter-personal skills ;
  • A consistent track record of self-motivation and achievement.


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