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Project Specialist at UNDP

  • Full Time
  • Lilongwe
  • Salary: 00

UNDP

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) works in more than 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience to sustain development results.

UNDP has been present in Malawi since 1964. Working closely with the Government of Malawi, civil society and the private sector, UNDP’ s work aims to contribute to economic growth, sustainable environmental management, and democratic governance and accountability in Malawi. UNDP’s Country Programme Document is closely aligned to the Malawi 2063 aspirations and supports Malawi’s vision to be prosperous, self-reliant, inclusively wealthy and industrialized country by 2063.

UNDP’s work in the area of governance in Malawi contributes to the aim of the UN Development Assistance Framework [2024-2028] to enhance institutional and human capacity to deliver quality, rights-based age and gender sensitive public services at local and national levels; improve systems and policies that engage and empower citizens to actively participate in government decision-making and advocate for an improvement of their rights; Contribute to people and institutions equipped with strengthened digital capabilities and opportunities to benefit from inclusive digital societies.

Project Context
UNDP has been supporting the operationalization of National Peace Architecture (NPA) since the Government of Malawi established the NPA secretariat at the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) in 2012. The Malawi Government, through an Act of Parliament, established the Peace and Unity Commission (MPUC) in November 2023 as the highest umbrella body and focal point of peacebuilding and conflict prevention, management, resolution, and transformation in Malawi. The MPUC shall be an independent body responsible for coordination and engagement in peacebuilding mechanisms, decision making and implementation of the National Peace Policy. The work of the MPUC shall be guided by independence, non-partisanship and non-discrimination in terms of ‘race, colour, sex language, religion, political or other opinion, nationality, ethnic or social origin, disability, property, birth, or other status.

As MPUC is newly established, it requires operational and technical support to activate its work in the field of conflict prevention and peacebuilding. As part of its support to the MPUC, UNDP Governance Portfolio intends to engage the services of a Project Specialist, Support to MPUC who will be based in the MPUC office to support MPUC to achieve its mandate by supporting day to day administration affairs of the Commission.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the chairperson of the Peace and Unity Commission with the technical support from UNDP Governance Portfolio Manager, the successful candidate will be responsible for performing the following:

1.Operational and administrative advice to the Commission

  • Provide all necessary logistical and administrative support for day-to-day operations and management of the commission, including fund management, scheduling activities and meetings;
  • Actively participates with the Commission in fully establishing the Secretariat by facilitating staff recruitment in close coordination with relevant government entities;
  • Actively participates the Commission in administering and implementing the Peace and Unity Act and the relevant government policies in peacebuilding and conflict prevention;
  • Providing necessary policy and technical support to the commission on conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peacebuilding;
  • Liaise with key stakeholders to be accountable regarding its administrative and financial rules on issues related to human resources, IT, travel, security, procurement, general administration and other tasks.

2. Programme and project development and management

  • Participate with the Commission in developing and implementing strategies, workplans and concept notes for the activities and report on progress to the Commission;
  • Plan and organize peacebuilding training, workshops and dialogue meetings and provide logistical and technical support to the activity;
  • Advise the chairperson in the coordination of fundraising support;
  • Research and analyze thematic issues, gaps and emerging issues and advise the Commission for their decision making.

3. Coordination and partnerships

  • Identifying and establishing opportune events, networks, and partners that provide the commission with the platform for establishing mechanisms for fostering peace and unity in Malawi;
  • Establishing and maintaining a network of local, national, and international stakeholders, peace actors, CSOs, traditional leaders, and religious or faith-based communities as identified by the commission;
  • Coordinate programmes, projects, and initiatives that promote peaceful conflict resolution mechanisms at national, regional and community levels;
  • Actively participate in knowledge management and sharing of good practices on conflict prevention and peacebuilding; ensure that stories and lessons learned are shared with key stakeholders;
  • Perform an array of duties that support coordination and effective programme implementation for the commission.
Institutional Arrangement

Under the direct supervision of the Chairperson of the Peace and Unity Commission and the Commission, the MPUC Coordinator shall support the running of day-to-day operations and management of the commission as the focal point of peacebuilding and conflict prevention, management, resolution, and transformation in Malawi.

Competencies
CORE
  • Achieve Results: LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact
  • Think Innovatively: LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems
  • Learn Continuously: LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences
  • Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands
  • Act with Determination: LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results
  • Engage and Partner: LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies 

Business Direction and Strategy: System Thinking

  • Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system

Partnership Management: Strategic Engagement

  • Ability to capture and sustain attention, interest and agreement of high-level, influential policy and decision makers and secure their buy-in of high-level vision and objectives.

Business Management: Knowledge Facilitation

  • Ability to animate individuals and communities of contributors to participate and share, particularly externally.

Business Management: Project Management

  • Ability to plan, organize, prioritize and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals.

Business Management: Portfolio Management

  • Ability to select, prioritize and control the organization as programmes and projects, in line with its strategic objectives and capacity.
  • Ability to balance the implementation of change initiatives and the maintenance of business-as-usual, while optimizing return on investment.

Business Management: Result-based Management

  • Ability to manage programmes and projects with a focus on improved performance and demonstrable results.

Business Management: Client Satisfaction/Management

  • Ability to respond timely and appropriately with a sense of urgency, provide consistent solutions, and deliver timely and quality results and/or solutions to fulfil and understand the real customers’ needs. Provide inputs to the development of customer service strategy. Look for ways to add value beyond clients’ immediate requests.
  • Ability to anticipate client’s upcoming needs and concerns.
Required Skills and Experience
Education:
  • Advanced University Degree (Master’s Degree or equivalent) in Public Policy, Political Science, Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies, International Relations or related area; OR
  • A first-level university degree (bachelor’s degree) in combination with an additional two years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the advanced university degree
Experience:
  • A minimum of 7 years (with Master’s degree) or 9 years (with Bachelor’s degree) of relevant experience in programme management and project implementation at the national or international level in the field of conflict prevention and peacebuilding;
  •  A minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible experience in conflict analysis, peace infrastructure development/or conflict prevention in a government, multilateral, or civil society organization is required;
  • Demonstrative experience in project/programme management is required;
  • Experience in coordinating high-level government officials, development partners and/or CSOs is required;
  • Extensive experience in analysis, research and sound drafting is required;
  • Experience in national and community-level conflict prevention and peacebuilding initiatives is required;
  • Proven experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc) is required;
  • In-depth knowledge of and extensive experience in (country/region), including in dialogue and conflict prevention initiatives, and awareness and familiarity of key actors and stakeholders across the political, economic, and development spheres alongside knowledge of government, civil society, and other non-state actors.
  • Field experience in the country and region is desirable;
  • Experience in drafting concept notes and proposals in the field of conflict prevention and peacebuilding.
Language Requirement(s):
  • Fluency in English is required.
  • Fluency in Chichewa or another local language is required.

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