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Chief Technical Adviser Rule of Law and Human Rights at UNDP

  • Full Time
  • Lilongwe
  • Applications have closed
  • Salary: 00


Job Description

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


UNDP’s work in the area of governance in Malawi contributes to the aim of the UN Development Assistance Framework [2019-2023] to address root causes of poor governance, through supporting governance institutions at all levels to harmonize policy, legal and organizational frameworks; strengthen data systems and oversight institutions for enhanced accountability; strengthen gender and human rights frameworks, institutional systems, civic engagement; and improve participation and early warning systems.

While governance is pivotal to all other pillars of the UNDAF, UNDP’s work focuses on contributing to the achievement of three outcomes: 1) Rights holders access more accountable and effective institutions at the central and decentralised levels that use quality disaggregated data, offer integrated service delivery and promote civic engagement, respect for human rights and rule of law; 2) Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls enhanced; and 3) Malawi has strengthened institutional capacities for sustaining peace, inclusive societies and participatory democracy.

Further, the new Governance Portfolio has been developed around three main pillars: Pillar I – Effective, Accountable and Responsive Institutions; Pillar 2 – Civic Engagement and Empowerment; and Pillar 3 – Oversight, Human Rights and Rule of Law.

The UNDP’s current Country Programme Document considers Good Governance as the core to ensuring poverty reduction and sustainable development. It looks at Governance as having a maximum multiplier effect on achieving the SDGs and a leverage point for development. Governance has also been one of the strategic pillars in the development agenda of Malawi’s government. The national development strategy considers governance to be the “the backbone for an efficient and effective public sector” and acknowledges the extent to which mind-set changes and behavioural shifts are needed to sustain profound transformations.

Within this context, UNDP Malawi is developing its programming under Pillar 3 – Oversight, Human Rights and Rule of Law, particularly in the areas of anti-corruption, human rights, access to justice and rule of law, and security sector reform.

Position Purpose:

Under the direct supervision of the Deputy Resident Representative, and in coordination with the Portfolio Manager, Governance, the Chief Technical Adviser (CTA) will provide strategic and technical advice to justice sector counterparts (Ministry of Justice, Judiciary, Police, Prisons, Legal Aid Bureau) to advance justice sector reform. The CTA will also be expected to support the Portfolio Manager with technical, managerial and resource mobilization support and oversight of other institutions relevant to the justice sector, namely Parliament, Ministry of Homeland Security, the Office of the President and Cabinet, civil society organizations and accountability institutions. S/he will be based in UNDP Malawi Country Office, with regular operations within the justice sector institutions.


Effective results-based project management:

  • Leads the establishment and overall management of an Access to Justice, Rule of Law and Human Rights Program within the Governance Portfolio;
  • Ensures the achievement of outputs and project results for Pillar 3 – Oversight, Human Rights and Rule of Law under the Governance Portfolio in line with the approved work plan through the day-to-day planning, management coordination and implementation of activities.
  • Effectively coordinates partnerships with other development partners, justice institutions on overall justice sector reform.
  • Manages the human and financial resources to achieve quality results as outlined in the project document, on time and on budget.
  • Analyses and monitors progress and advises on timely corrective actions for proper delivery.
  • Leads the preparation and implementation of annual work plans.
  • Coordinates project activities with related and parallel activities both within UNDP and with external agencies.
  • Develops, oversees and maintains the monitoring, evaluation and communication frameworks.
  • Ensures timely preparation of quarterly and annual reports for UNDP, and donor progress and impact reports as required.
  • Represents the project in Project Board and UNDP project review and project management meetings.
  • Ensures identification of risks and timely updating of risk logs in ATLAS and to the Project Board
  • Ensures project quality assurance activities and undertaken in a timely manner

Provide technical advisory and policy development support to justice sector institutions within the Governance Portfolio:

  • In coordination with the Portfolio Manager, Governance, leads the development of the strategic vision for rule of law, access to justice and human rights programming of the Governance Portfolio;
  • Provides strategic and technical advice to the Governance Portfolio Manager and internal UN stakeholders as required;
  • Conducts thorough and high-quality research and analysis of the justice sector, identifying priority reform areas;
  • Provides timely and context specific technical advice on emerging strategic policy issues including access to justice, legal aid and institutional performance;
  • Designs and develops policy/options papers and proposals to enable justice sector reform;
  • Proposes strategic approaches and priorities for reform implementation, including definition of baselines, performance indicators and monitoring and evaluation;
  • Develops pilot initiatives for functional partnerships between justice sector institutions and non-governmental organisations, local media and the public;
  • Provides advice, coherence and connectivity between planned and ongoing justice sector reforms and other ongoing reforms in the area of democratic governance (ie. administrative reforms, parliamentary reforms);
  • Proposes ways to ensure that UNDP rule of law, access to justice and human rights activities are better linked as part of efforts to bridge gaps in justice sector provision between formal and informal mechanisms, union, state/ regional and grassroots levels etc;
  • Provides inputs into the development of regional justice strategies for rule of law, access to justice, human rights;
  • Ensures technical work undertaken across the output is in line with international good practice and adapted to the local context;
  • Integrates and promotes a human rights-based approach to the rule of law, ensuring the mainstreaming of initiatives for the promotion and protection of human rights and gender equality;
  • Contributes to preparation of Terms of Reference and design for such events as training (curricula, courses, schedules), study tours, conferences and workshops, and to advise UNDP on the joint approval and sign-off of these documents;
  • Contributes to the formulation/improvement of an effective monitoring and evaluation system of the output and reports on progress, including reporting to UNDP, development partners and national stakeholders on progress;
  • Effectively coordinates with other UN agencies who work on justice issues (UNICEF, UNHCR, UNODC, UNFPA, OHCHR) to develop inter-agency synergies.

Build strategic partnerships with government, civil society and development partners throughout Malawi and mobilise resources for the expansion of Pillar 3 and broader Governance programming:

  • Ensures project stakeholders are continuously engaged and facilitate coordination and synergies in line with the project document.
  • Maintains continuous dialogue with the government and other key partners to provide knowledge-based advisory services and to ensure proper integration and co-ordination of other related development efforts.
  • Advocates and promotes awareness, clarity and understanding of issues and responses related to the role UNDP plays in strengthening access to justice, rule of law and human rights processes in Malawi.
  • Liaises with other UN agencies and with donors to promote partnership and collaboration for the effective management of law enforcement in Malawi.
  • Identifies synergies with other partners and projects to maximize impact and results.
  • Lead resource mobilization effort for Pillar III programming – Rule of law, human rights and anti-corruption.
  • Contributes to the overall resource mobilization efforts of the project and Country Office to secure additional cost-sharing resources from the government, donors and regional partners.

Effective Knowledge Management:

  • Leads in the creation and dissemination of knowledge products related to national and international know-how in the rule of law and human rights subject area.
  • Works with partners and practitioners within UNDP’s global networks, leadership of the practice and sub-practice teams in BDP, BCPR, Regional Centers and other related Bureaux;
  • Ensures close and integrated collaboration with key stakeholders in the development and delivery of high-quality technical advice and support;
  • Ensures the substantive quality of all knowledge products, reports and services, and ensures effective integration and compatibility with other effective governance practice areas;
  • Contributes to the production of strategic papers, think pieces, reports and publications, and serves as a peer reviewer;
  • Raises visibility of UNDP’s rule of law, access to justice, human rights programme strategies through knowledge sharing and well-developed communication materials;
  • Selects and brings lessons learnt to help achieve the outputs of the programme and facilitating the use of global knowledge networks in the field;
  • Shares programme results, including through reviewing programme publications and by taking responsibility for knowledge networking with national agencies and UNDP’s global community.


Core Competencies

Achieve Results: LEVEL 4: Prioritize team workflow, mobilize resources, drive scalable results/strategic impact

Think Innovatively: LEVEL 4: Easily navigate complexity, encourage/enable radical innovation, has foresight

Learn Continuously: LEVEL 4: Create systems and processes that enable learning and development for all

Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 4: Proactively initiate/lead organizational change, champion new systems/processes

Act with Determination: LEVEL 4: Able to make difficult decisions in challenging situations, inspire confidence

Engage and Partner: LEVEL 4: Construct strategic multi-partner alliances in high stake situations, foster co-creation

Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 4: Create ethical culture, identify/address barriers to inclusion

People Management

UNDP People Management Competencies can be found on the dedicated site.

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies:

Business Direction & Strategy – Strategic Thinking: Ability to develop effective strategies and prioritized plans in line with UNDP’s objectives, based on the systemic analysis of challenges, potential risks and opportunities; linking the vision to reality on the ground, and creating tangible solutions; Ability to leverage learning from a variety of sources to anticipate and respond to future trends; to demonstrate foresight in order to model what future developments and possible ways forward look like for UNDP

Business Direction & Strategy – Effective Decision Making: Ability to take decisions in a timely and efficient manner in line with one’s authority, area of expertise and resources

Business Development – Knowledge Generation: Ability to research and turn information into useful knowledge, relevant for content, or responsive to a stated need.

Business Development – Integration within the UN: Ability to identify, and integrate capacity and assets of the UN system, and engage in joint work; knowledge of the UN System and ability to apply this knowledge to strategic and/or practical situations

Business Management – Partnerships Management: Ability to provide managers and key stakeholders with regular feedback on the consistency or discrepancy between planned and actual activities and programme performance and results.

2030 Agenda: Peace – Rule of Law, Security and Human Rights: Human Rights Institutions/compliance

2030 Agenda: Peace – Rule of Law, Security and Human Rights: Access to Justice.



  • Master’s degree or equivalent in law, political sciences, international relations or any related field.


  • Minimum 10 years of relevant professional experience in rule of law and access to justice including at least five years in a senior position in an international development role in judicial or law reform;
  • Experience in assisting with designing sector wide approaches to justice reform, including experience developing a nationally owned justice strategy;
  • Experience in access to justice in developing and/or transition contexts;
  • Understanding of protocols and cultural norms related to change processes of the justice sector including judges, lawyers, police, and prison officials;
  • Excellent analytical and interpersonal skills including oral and written communication;
  • Excellent team player with an ability to work in a multi-cultural team split across multiple locations;
  • Experience of working in a technical advisory role in a justice institution is an advantage;
  • Demonstrated programme management skills including: results-based orientation, preparation of work plans, monitoring and evaluation is an advantage;
  • Previous experience in UNDP and Southern Africa would be an advantage.

Language Requirements

  • Excellent command of written and spoken English essential.


Please note that continuance of appointment beyond the initial 12 months is contingent upon the successful completion of a probationary period.

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Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

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