UNDP’s democratic governance practice focuses on fostering inclusive participation, strengthening responsive governing institutions, and promoting democratic principles. Inclusive participation expands equal opportunities for engagement by the poor, women, youth, indigenous people, and other marginalized groups who are excluded from power. Efforts in this area aim to strengthen opportunities for civic engagement in the core channels linking people and the state, at the national, regional and local levels.
Work on governing institutions has traditionally emphasized the design and functions of the core pillars of the state, including the legislative, executive and judicial branches, at national, regional and local levels. Strengthening responsive governing institutions entails promoting the core channels of representation and accountability in the state at the national, regional and local levels. Responsive institutions mean that the state reflects and serves the needs, priorities, and interests of all people, including women, the poor, youth, and minorities.
Supporting national partners to strengthen democratic practices grounded in human rights, anti-corruption and gender equality require UNDP leadership in promoting integration, coordination and information-sharing of policies, practices, and strategies strengthening democratic governance within and outside of the UN family.
In order to provide timely and quality policy advisory services and knowledge products in democratic governance, the Democratic Governance Group (DGG) has organized its work and its staff along these three main key results areas.
A core group of policy advisers representing capacity along these three key results areas are based in New York with a specific mandate of providing policy advisory services, knowledge management as well as partnership building and advocacy. As part of the practice architecture, which allocates decentralized capacity to the Regional Service Centers, a number of democratic governance policy advisers are based in Johannesburg and Dakar (for Africa), Bangkok (for Asia and the Pacific), Panama (for Latin America and the Caribbean), Bratislava (for Europe and CIS) and Cairo (for Arab States).
UNDP provides support to countries to develop electoral laws, processes and institutions that strengthen inclusive participation and professional electoral administration. Elections are about much more than what happens on election day. Support includes the conceptual and programming guidance to the UN and national stakeholders alike in using an electoral cycle approach that grounds electoral administration and assistance in democratic governance. Global planning is led by BDP/DGG in close coordination with the Department of Political Affairs’ Electoral Assistance Division (EAD).
Thus far, UNDP’s global support to electoral assistance has relied on discrete resources from the Global Cooperation Framework and other funding sources to support activities in an ad hoc manner, year to year. Regional activities have been implemented through the various regional programmes without a common thread among them. And country-level basket funds have independently mobilized resources from in-country donors for electoral processes on an as-needed basis. These three levels of programming have tended to follow their own cycles, to take a piecemeal approach and to operate fairly independently of each other, without profiting from potential synergies, lessons and joint programming. Given the number of countries worldwide that are demanding assistance in the area, the need for an integrated approach within the UN and with external partners, and the high level of locally mobilized resources devoted to electoral assistance, this compartmentalized approach is no longer rational, feasible or sustainable.
To respond to the growing demands and ensure global coherence while balancing and responding to regional and country realities, UNDP has developed a Global Programme for Electoral Cycle Support (hereafter, ‘GPECS’).
The overall goal to which the GPECS is contributing is that of deepening democracy and accelerating human development. In contributing to this larger and longer-term goal, the GPECS focuses on the intermediate UNDP Strategic Plan outcome of “electoral laws, processes and institutions strengthen inclusive participation and professional electoral administration.” The GPECS seeks to achieve the outcome by:
- Providing leadership, advocacy and capacity development in the field of electoral cycle support at the global level;
- Supporting South-South cooperation and promoting regional knowledge development, exchanges and capacity;
- Supporting electoral cycle development and lessons learned in key countries at the national level; and
- Fostering inclusive participation and women’s empowerment.
The GPECS is a three-year (2009-2012), $50 million initiative. It entails a significant amount of human and financial management, as well as donor liaison, reporting and policy advisory services. UNDP requires the services of several Regional Electoral Advisors to deliver the regional and country-level outputs of the programme.
The Regional Electoral Advisor position falls institutionally within the Democratic Governance Group in the Bureau for Development Policy, the headquarters of which is in New York. However, the Advisor will be physically located within the Regional Service Centre in Cairo. As such he/she will report both to the Democratic Governance Practice Leader in the Regional Centre in Cairo (who in turn reports primarily to the Deputy Regional Director, RBAS) as well as to the GPECS Programme Manager based in Brussels (who in turn reports to the Democratic Governance Group Director, BDP). His/her main focus will be to deliver on the regional components of the Global Programme for Electoral Cycle Support and provide support to the country-level components. He/she will also be expected to liaise continuously with the DGG/BDP Electoral Advisor and other GPECS Electoral Team (GPECS Policy Specialists and GPECS Global Gender Advisor based in New York; and the UNDP representatives of Joint EC UNDP Task Force based in Brussels).
In addition, as part of the global policy advisory cadre, the Regional Electoral Advisor of GPECS will contribute to a multi-disciplinary democratic governance team responding holistically to country needs and contributing his/her particular area of expertise to the team, and leveraging relevant cutting edge knowledge.
1. Provide policy and programming advice to country offices and national stakeholders in the region under the rubric of the Global Programme for Electoral Cycle Support (GPECS) and in response to country office needs in the sub-region. In collaboration with the lead DGG/BDP Electoral Advisor and Policy Specialists based in New York, GPECS Programme Manager based in Brussels, the Democratic Governance Practice Leader in the Regional Centre, the Regional Electoral Advisor will advise on the design, management, implementation, monitoring and reporting of the GPECS activities at the country level. In particular:
a) support to drafting process of GPECS Expressions of Interest (EoIs), and coordinate the inputs of different GPECS team members so that country offices can prepare the final draft of the EoIs;
- Provide policy advice to the Country Offices, Governments and the Arab States Regional Governance Programme on electoral policies, norms and standards and other substantive issues; define substantive dialogue and technical assistance;
- Advise on design, implementation oversight and results, including M&E for electoral assistance projects in the region;
- Provide direct technical advice to Country Offices in advising government counterparts on how to position the practice area’s initiatives within their local context (this may include reviewing how past efforts in assessing capacity can be leveraged);
- Advise Country Offices in leading consensus building and stakeholder management activities with government counterparts;
- Promote the utilization of financial resources mobilized and allocated for electoral support in regional and country programmes;
- Develop terms of references for commonly required services and joint formulation missions (budgeting, risks assessments and planning);
- Coordinate the Country Level component of GPECS in the region, including:
b) contribution to the analysis of different EoIs considered, with the aim of supporting GPECS Programme manager in the final submission of the EoIs to GPECS’ Steering Committee.
- Prepare terms of reference, and oversee the recruitment and selection of subcontractors and project consultants.
- Liaise with UNDP BDP, Regional Center and UNDP Country Offices for the implementation and monitoring of GPECS funded Expressions of Interest, identify challenges and propose solutions;
- Ensure the submission of monthly updates on the status of the on-going EoIs;
- Ensure the smooth and quality implementation of GPECS regional component for Arab States:
- Monitor consultants/subcontractor performance to ensure that the technical quality of consultants/subcontractors output meets the requirements of the GPECS.
- Advise and undertake as needed technical reviews and needs assessment missions to countries in the region to formulate, review and monitor electoral assistance projects.
- Evaluate expressions of interest submitted by country offices for support by the GPECS.
- Disseminate to the wider UNDP Democratic Governance Practice and beyond lessons learned, tools and other material developed by the GPECS at regional level.
- Actively participate in global tools and processes, including the ACE Electoral Knowledge Network and BRIDGE initiatives.
- Codify practices, lessons learned and stimulate the building of knowledge from the region.
2. Play a strong role in research and content development of the service area of electoral assistance from a regional perspective. Including:
- Analyze data, case evidence and research findings to distill relevant lessons;
- Generate, based upon research and analyses, innovative operations concepts aimed at widening UN/UNDP policy/programming options;
- Contribute to GPECS and HQ development, testing and roll out of tools and methodologies in elections to provide “how to” guidance and ensure standards, including region-specific materials.
- Share knowledge-based tools, such as policy positions/practice notes/concept papers and other research papers to help influence/advance policy dialogue in the practice service area and present such material at global and regional forums;
- Support the Practice Leader at the Regional Service Centre (RSC) in serving as the UNDP substantive focal point for the practice mandate by providing him/her with up-to-date information and analysis on the GPECS and other electoral initiatives;
- Lead implementation of the regional components of the GPECS;
3. Facilitate policy development, knowledge management and coordination in electoral assistance, in particular through GPECS contributions to the Service Delivery Platform. Functions also include actively supporting knowledge sharing through inputs to comparative experiences and lessons learned at regional and global levels and participation in relevant fora. Indicative activities include:
- Advice on corporate policy and guidance in focus areas. Recommend alignments and quality assurance in electoral assistance in order to bring coherence and consistency to operational activities in the region while at the same time taking into account country-specific differences and needs;
- Provide substantive inputs to international fora to help shape global and regional development strategies, policies, norms and standards;
- Develop strategic partnerships with global and regional networks of electoral administrators through the implementation of GPECS regional component;
- Contribute global, regional and local experiences and case evidence into formulation of global policies, norms and standards with Practice Directors in BDP HQ;
- Liaise continuously with the lead Electoral Advisor in BDP DGG on policy development, knowledge management and coordination in particular;
- Support the definition and communication of UN/UNDP’s global policy positions in electoral assistance.
4. Other related duties, as required.