8 Feb 2021

Peace & Development Advisor at UNDP

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Job Description


Peace and Development Specialists (hereafter PDA) work with national stakeholders to build, strengthen, and sustain nationally owned and driven efforts to prevent violent conflict and build just and peaceful societies. The range of countries to which PDAs are deployed vary considerably, with some deployed to countries emerging from conflict, others where violence is escalating, and others to countries where there is no violent conflict but underlying structural causes of conflict are present. PDAs are also deployed in countries where political and developmental challenges exist around issues related to elections and constitutional processes, exclusion and inequality, environment, climate change and natural resource management. PDAs are deployed through a partnership between the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), under the Joint UNDP-DPPA Programme on Building National Capacities for Conflict Prevention. PDAs support Resident Coordinators (RC) and UN Country Teams (UNCTs) in their efforts to work with national partners on conflict prevention and sustaining peace. They support early warning and risk management measures, and ensure that UN assessments, frameworks (mainly UN Cooperation Frameworks), strategies and programmes are conflict-sensitive and informed by high quality analysis. They are located in the Resident Coordinators’ office, with a direct reporting line to the RC, and a secondary reporting line to the UNDP Resident Representative and DPPA-DPO regional division.

In 2021, PDAs are deployed to more than 50 countries through the Joint Programme. While most PDAs are deployed at country-level, there are a number of PDAs who cover multiple countries. In some contexts, PDAs are part of a small Peace and Development Advisory team composed of a PDA and a substantive national or international officer/analyst. PDAs also receive additional support from a Joint Programme secretariat based at UN Headquarters in New York, from UNDP and DPPA technical advisors/specialists globally, and from a cadre of regional programme

specialists supporting their regions from Amman, Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Dakar, Istanbul and Panama.

Given the broad range of skills and experience required by PDAs, the Joint Programme encourages applications from individuals with a combination of expertise spanning sustainable development, political affairs, peacebuilding, sustaining peace, conflict prevention/resolution, community engagement, justice, reconciliation, dialogue, mediation, and humanitarian-development-peace nexus among other relevant areas. While UN experience is a major asset, it is not a requirement for this position. Moreover, the skills of diplomacy, dialogue and facilitation, analysis, advocacy, networking, capacity development and coordination are critical elements of a PDA’s work.

Ghana’s context

Ghana stands at a critical point, especially following its presidential and legislative elections of 7 December 2020. A number of ongoing issues require close and intentional engagement during the coming 18 months. In the immediate post-electoral period, the resolution of disputes from the closely contested 7 December elections and efforts to foster national cohesion will be a priority. While polling was overall conducted in a peaceful manner, a few pockets of violence occurred resulting in the death of five persons. The election results as announced by the Electoral Commission (EC) on 9 December, declared incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) the winner of the presidential election with 51.29% of votes against 47.36% for the main contender, former President John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). The EC also announced the results of the parliamentary elections for the 275 seats, where the NPP won 137 seats and the NDC won 136 seats; an independent candidate won one seat, while one seat (Sene West Constituency) remains outstanding. The EC has yet to announce the final results of the parliamentary elections. On 10 December, NDC’s presidential candidate, John Mahama, rejected both results, accusing the EC of rigging the elections, explaining that the EC itself had admitted to some technical discrepancies, and that he intends to file a case with the Supreme Court to contest the results.

The EC’s inability to declare the results within 24 hours as it had initially committed to, combined with its explanation on the discrepancies of votes cast, contributed to the perception of fraud by the opposition candidate. However, the Coalition of Domestic Elections Observers (CEDEO), in its 10 December statement said its own parallel vote tabulation matched the estimates of the EC. Meanwhile, ECOWAS, AU, EU and the Commonwealth electoral observation missions in their preliminary statements commended the conduct of the elections, while sharing concerns over the security incidents. On 14 December, the EC issued a press release in which it that some parliamentary seats in a number of constituencies are being contested by both the NPP and NDC, entreated political parties to use laid down processes established by law to seek redress to their concerns, and informed of its ongoing work to finalize pending issues regarding the Sene West Constituency results, in order to enable the transparent, fair, credible and peaceful conclusion of the process.

COVID-19 has exacerbated a sense of conflict and insecurity, especially in the Northern Region. A recently completed UN study (undertaken by UNDP) identified a range of conflict-triggers across the country. The study noted that nationally, although Ghana was experiencing accelerated economic growth, inequality is deepening leading to increased frustration with the state. Additionally, political polarization has affected security governance, creating a deficit of meritocracy and public trust as well as a lack autonomy from politics for law enforcement agencies. At the societal level, the key drivers of conflict were identified as politics, chieftaincy disputes, inter-religious struggles and interests of business elites. Other sub-national factors relate to ruptures in social cohesion, poor resource management and the effects of climate change. Natural resource (mis)management has become the fulcrum around which several conflicts revolve. On social cohesion, especially in the North, the state was found to be ‘in retreat,’ with crime and the fear of crime on the ascendency. The North has emerged as a challenging area for security and governance due to a combination of political and cross-border factors and has recorded a number of violent incidents.

Continued regional insecurity across the Sahel region is impacting Ghana’s peace. Degeneration of conflict in neighboring Burkina Faso, heightened political tension and conflict in Cote d’Ivoire, and continued border security issues along the Togo-Ghana border continue to be cause for concern. UNODC and UNDP are undertaking actions to build on the report findings and recommendations of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTCED) report, but there has been limited capacity to follow-up and implement the requisite legislative and judicial reforms, improve border management and improve coordination across the security architecture in the country. Recent deployments of military to the border have also heightened tensions as opposition factions have alleged this is to intimidate and repress citizens on the one hand, while agencies, such as IOM, report uncoordinated efforts at the border, leading to concerns about the growing threat of violent extremism in the North, as well as the spill over implications for conflict arising from violent extremism in Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire, especially in relation to forced displacement which could trigger a migrant and refugee crisis. In addition, the Gulf of Guinea presents significant challenges on piracy as well. Working on the Accra Agreement, with UNOWAS, ECOWAS and other actors to strengthen coordination and see to progress in the implementation of the recommendations of the CTC Report on Ghana from CTED conducted in 2019 will be critical.

Growing inequality is an increasing fundamental national challenge. While there has been marked improvements in key areas such as primary school enrollment and access to preventative healthcare, the benefits of economic growth and poverty reduction are not equally distributed. Youth unemployment constitute a major socio-economic and political challenge; and analysis of income inequality in relation to gender indicates that women are more likely to be poor in comparison to men, particularly in the northern region and rural areas. The lack of job opportunities for the growing youthful population increases their vulnerability and makes them susceptible to social vices as well as constitutes a source of conflicts and civil disorders.

Against this backdrop, the PDA should have experience in working on elections, supporting mediation processes, and coordinating with the Government, political parties, electoral management bodies, and civil society, and other stakeholders on ways to mitigate political and social tensions going forward.

The PDA will be located in the Office of the Resident Coordinator (RC), will help to build the RCOs capability to work across the tranche of areas needed to contribute to peace and security in the country, and in this regard strengthen the capacity of the UN Country Team (UNCT) in Ghana to understand the political and conflict dynamics underlying the country’s peace and development prospects, particularly around the context of elections, and to support national stakeholders in leading appropriate responses and preventive initiatives.

Given the ongoing challenges, capacities for analysis, advice, early warning and programming in the areas of prevention and sustaining peace will be sought after. The need for a continuous understanding of political, social and conflict dynamics in a gendered and human rights focused manner is crucial to help the UN set a risk and resilience informed and conflict-sensitive strategies.

Duties and Responsibilities

While the nature of the PDA role varies according to country and regional context, there are three broad functions of the position: 1. Undertake conflict analysis and provide strategic advice to the Resident Coordinator in his/her engagement with high-level government officials, academia, civil society including youth and women’s networks, UN Country Teams, HQ, and other relevant stakeholders. 2. Identify opportunities to build national capacities for conflict prevention including areas of strategic, programmatic and policy engagement with national stakeholders, and support the RC and the UNCT action in areas of conflict prevention, peacebuilding, human rights, humanitarian-development-peace (HDP) nexus, Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) among others. 3. Establish and strengthen strategic partnerships with key national stakeholders, regional and international actors and development partners on issues related to Sustaining Peace and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

PDAs have a primary reporting line to the Resident Coordinator, and secondary reporting lines to the DPPA-DPO regional division and the UNDP Resident Representative. Under their guidance and agreed workplan, in close collaboration with the country team, and assuring leadership of the Peace and Development Unit, the PDA will: 1. Undertake conflict analysis and provide strategic advice to the Resident Coordinator in his/her engagement with high-level government officials, academia, civil society including youth and women’s networks, UN Country Teams, HQ, and other relevant stakeholders.

  • Provide risk-informed analysis to the RC and the broader UNCT, as well as the UN Headquarters (and regional level as relevant) on political and socioeconomic developments and conflict dynamics. This would also require identifying appropriate ‘entry points’ for conflict prevention and sustaining peace, proposing concrete, actionable and timely recommendations for consideration by the UN leadership;
  • Strengthen and support the capacity of the UNCT, including through training, to undertake conflict, context and political economy analysis, ensuring that gendered and human rights dimensions are reflected in both analysis and programming; and inform early warning and response mechanisms;
  • Provide updates to the UN Headquarters (and regional level as relevant) in line with the Joint Programme’s reporting guidelines to provide advice on political and socioeconomic developments and conflict dynamics.
  • Support the regular update of the Common Country Assessment (CCA), which informs the design and implementation of the UN Cooperation Framework, including lead the conflict analysis part of the CCA, and the regular monitoring of risks;
  • Regularly brief the UNCT on political developments, and provide strategic advice on integrated approaches across the UNCT in the context of SDG 16 – Peace Justice and Strong Institutions;
  • Facilitate the linking of political economy considerations, conflict and political analysis and strategies as well as risk-informed approaches to the UN’s programmatic and policy engagement at the country-level. Analysis should take into account the sub-regional dynamics and their impact on Ghana; and
  • Engage with academia and think tanks in research and analyses on peace and conflict related themes, including areas such as climate-related security risk, local peacebuilding initiatives, prevention of violent extremism.

2. Identify opportunities to build national capacities for conflict prevention including areas of strategic, programmatic and policy engagement with national stakeholders, and support the RC and the UNCT action in areas of conflict prevention, peacebuilding, human rights, humanitarian-development-peace (HDP) nexus, Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) among others.

  • Provide strategic and technical advice, and support the design and initiation of peace-promoting initiatives or engagements in areas such as conflict prevention and sustaining peace; infrastructures for peace; dialogue processes; confidence-building measures, electoral violence prevention; social cohesion; reconciliation; prevention of violent extremism; and stabilization;
  • Support the design and facilitation of national multi-stakeholder processes, building national and local capacity for negotiation, mediation and dialogue; and strengthening networks of mediators and facilitators (including female mediators) at national and local levels;
  • Identify opportunities and options for UN preventive diplomacy engagement as required;
  • Support connecting local and national level conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts, as well as regional and/or cross-border initiatives as appropriate;
  • Identify and engage civil society actors in the peace and development agenda supported by the UN and work with other UN entities, including OHCHR and UN Women, to protect human rights and expand civic space;
  • Support the UNCT in their efforts on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and gendered dimensions of peacebuilding and SCR 1325 (and related resolutions) as well as Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) and SCR 2250;


Method of Application

Submit your CV and Application on Company Website : Click Here

Closing Date : 21 Feb. 2021





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