EXTERNAL RELATIONS SPECIALIST
||UNDP/ELECT, Kabul, AFGHANISTAN
|Application Deadline :||13-Aug-12|
|Type of Contract :||FTA International|
|Post Level :||P-4|
|Languages Required :||
|Duration of Initial Contract :||One Year|
UNDP Global Mission Statement:
UNDP is the UN’s global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with national counterparts on their own solutions to global and national development challenges.
UNDP Afghanistan Mission Statement:
UNDP supports stabilization, state building, governance and development priorities in Afghanistan. UNDP support, in partnership with the Government, the United Nations system, the donor community and other development stakeholders, has contributed to institutional development efforts leading to positive impact on the lives of Afghan citizens. Over the years UNDP support has spanned such milestone efforts as the adoption of the Constitution; Presidential, Parliamentary and Provincial Council elections; institutional development through capacity-building to the legislative, the judicial and executive arms of the state, and key ministries, Government agencies and commissions at the national and subnational levels. UNDP has played a key role in the management of the Law and Order Trust Fund, which supports the Government in developing and maintaining the national police force and in efforts to stabilize the internal security environment. Major demobilization, disarmament and rehabilitation and area-based livelihoods and reconstruction programmes have taken place nationwide. UNDP Programmes in Afghanistan have benefited from the very active support of donors. UNDP Afghanistan is committed to the highest standards of transparency and accountability and works in close coordination with the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan and the UN system as a whole to maximize the impact of its development efforts on the ground.
Years of conflict have damaged Afghanistan’s economic, political, physical, social and institutional structures. Reconstruction demands a secure environment in which there is credible leadership and enforced rule of law. Strong, legitimate and effective public administration structures, responsive to the needs of ordinary citizens - including the poor – are a precursor to any sustainable development. To this end, UNDP supports Afghan electoral institutions so that they can become more effective vehicles for development.
The UNDP Enhancing Legal and Electoral Capacity for Tomorrow (ELECT) project phase I (2006-2011) lent technical and operational assistance to Afghan electoral bodies throughout the 2009 Presidential and provincial council elections and 2010 parliamentary elections. This included the establishment of Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) offices throughout Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.
The ELECT II project, commencing in January 2012, provides long-term assistance to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of Afghanistan, focusing on institutional strengthening and capacity consolidation. The overarching objective of ELECT-II is to support the national electoral institutions to plan and conduct credible future elections with minimal external support.
Continuing long-term assistance through support to capacity building of national electoral authorities beyond 2010 is in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1974 (2011). This assistance is closely coordinated with UNAMA, UNDPKO and EAD.
The three key outputs for ELECT II are:
- Output 1: Operational and technical capacity of the IEC is developed to ensure well organized, future Afghan-led electoral processes.
- Output 2: The quality of the national voter registry is improved.
- Output 3: Capacity of the IEC to encourage broader democratic participation is strengthened
Note: UNDP Afghanistan 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 Afghanistan at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and education requirements.
Duties and Responsibilities
The External Relations Specialist will support the IEC to design, implement, manage and monitor its External Relations strategy, in order to enhance the effectiveness of its day to day communications to the general public, as well as to further develop its capacity to engage with key electoral stakeholders. The External Relations Specialist will aim to build the capacity of the IEC to develop a regular and transparent communication mechanism with key stakeholder groups and strategic partners, underscoring inclusivity and broad support for the democratic election process. In addition, the External Relations Specialist will support the IEC media and communications strategy to further develop effective conveyance of key election-related information and targeted messages, ensuring a gender component at both strategic and implementation stages. Activities will facilitate inclusive participation in the election process, underscoring the importance of electoral governance to the democratic process through at all key stages.
The External Relations Specialist will be part of a team of advisors supervised and guided by the Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) and will report on delivery to the Senior Technical Advisor – Output 3. S/He will be embedded with the IEC and will be responsible for continuously providing technical advice and help to develop the technical capacity of IEC in the relevant areas. The 2011 Independent Election Commission (IEC) Lesson Learnt Report and Capacity Building Plan will be an informative source for implementing duties.
S/he will work closely with the IEC External Relations Unit through the following activities:
- Supporting the IEC as an electoral institution to identify external relations goals that underscore effective electoral governance (and ultimately enhance the reputation and credibility of the IEC, and its ability to conduct elections); and capacity building efforts to regularly and systematically identify and convey key messages;
- Supporting the IEC to formulate an official external relations strategic plan as a means to effectively communicate key messages to the widest public audience;
- Supporting the IEC to plan external relations activities, including rationale, budget and other required resources, timeline and delegation of responsibilities;
- Supporting the IEC to implement external relations activities; advise and assist as necessary;
- Advising the IEC in developing a targeted, structured and regular dialogue with election stakeholders and partners, including: political actors; governmental agencies; Civil Society Organizations (CSOs); media; etc.
- Advising the IEC External Relations Unit on their media and communications strategy;
- Advising to the IEC on strategic communications aimed at female voters, as well as other sectors of the electorate with special needs for information;
- Supporting the IEC to identify key performance indicators (KPIs);
- Supporting the IEC to produce regular evaluative reports, drawing on these KPIs and including narrative and analysis; and to adapt strategy and implementation as and when necessary;
- Consulting with the IEC, in liaison with the UNDP ELECT Capacity Development Specialist, to assess needs of staff and to organize opportunities for training and education, as appropriate;
- Work in close cooperation with the IEC External Relations Unit, as well as ensuring harmonized efforts with the Public Outreach Unit, in close cooperation with the UNDP ELECT Public Outreach Specialist;
- Contribute to ELECT II regular reporting and progress updates, and document ELECT II capacity building support.
- 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;
- Encourages and strengthens team work;
- Treats all people fairly without favoritism.
Knowledge Management and Learning:
- Promotes a knowledge sharing and learning culture in the office;
- In-depth knowledge on development issues;
- Ability to advocate and provide policy advice;
- Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development in one or more practice areas, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills.
Development of Operational Effectiveness
- Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting;
- Ability to lead formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development programs and projects, mobilize resources;
- Good knowledge of the Results Management Guide and Toolkit;
- Strong IT skills;
- Ability to lead implementation of new systems (business side), and affect staff behavioral/attitudinal change.
Management and Leadership
Prince2 training and certification, RMG would be an advantage.
- Focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
- Leads teams effectively and shows conflict resolution skills;
- Consistently approaches work with energy and positive, constructive attitude;
- Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills;
- Builds strong relationships with clients and external actors;
- Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure;
- Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities.
Required Skills and Experience
- Master’s Degree in a relevant field.
- Minimum 7 years of relevant professional experience – media/ communications / spokesperson – in the election context;
- Knowledge of electoral processes and the interests of electoral stakeholders in supporting the process;
- Experience working in Afghanistan or a demonstrable knowledge/understanding of the current political context;
- Experience building staff capacity;
- Leadership qualities, including the ability to motivate others, involve all members of a team, inspire a sense of ownership and responsibility among staff, and elicit consistently high-quality output;
- Ability to meet challenges, constructively and creatively;
- Ability to quickly adapt to change, and to remain calm under pressure;
- Time management and organizational skills, with the ability to undertake multiple tasks;
- Diplomatic skills, cultural and political sensitivity.
- Fluency in English and excellent writing skills are required; in addition to another UN language;
- Fluency in Dari/Pashto is an asset.
Incomplete applications or applications received after the closing date 27 June 2012 will not be given consideration. Please note that only applications who are short-listed will be contacted.
For more detailed information about UNDP Afghanistan please visit our website at www.undp.org.af
Successful candidates must be prepared to start work within 3 weeks of the offer of appointment.
Internal candidates who have served a minimum of 12 months in the current assignment are invited to apply.
Female candidates are highly encouraged to apply.
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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.