United Nations Volunteers Programme
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in tackling development challenges, and it can transform the pace and nature of development. Volunteerism benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer by strengthening trust, solidarity and reciprocity among citizens, and by purposefully creating opportunities for participation. UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for recognition of volunteers, working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing an increasing number and diversity of volunteers, including experienced UN volunteers, throughout the world. UNV embraces volunteerism as universal and inclusive, and recognizes volunteerism in its diversity as well as the values that sustain it: free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity.
UNV engaged 7,303 UN volunteers in 2011, on a total of 7,708 assignments. With an average age of 38 years and the requisite professional skills and qualifications of some 5 to 10 years relevant experience, UN volunteers served in 132 countries in 2011 and came themselves from 162. The majority – 81 per cent – come from developing countries themselves. One third of UN volunteers served in their own countries, with the others carrying out international assignments. The financial equivalent of programme activities exceeds US$235 million annually.
UNV is headquartered in Bonn, Germany and has approximately 150 staff positions – with the majority in Bonn and some positions with different UN peacekeeping and political missions, and in other Headquarters locations (e.g. New York and Tokyo). The major organizational groups within UNV are:
- The Office of the Executive Coordinator (OEC) comprising the Evaluation Unit (EU) and the Corporate Planning and Performance Unit (CPPU);
- The Volunteer Programming and Management Group (VPMG) comprising the Peace Division (PD) and the Development Division (DD), Volunteer Recruitment Resources Section (VRRS), Quality Assurance Unit (QAU), Volunteer Knowledge and Innovation Section (VKIS);
- The Partnerships and Communications Division (PCD) comprising the Partnerships Section (PS) and the Communications Section (CS);
- The Management Services Division (MSD) comprising the Information and Communication Technology Section (ICTS), Finance Section (FS), Human Resources Section (HRS), and the Administration Unit (AU). Additionally the Common Services Unit (CSU) provides support to the UN presence in Bonn.
The UNV Peace and Development Divisions oversee and implement UNV’s programme strategy. They advocate for the integration of volunteerism in peace and development at global, regional and national levels, targeting specific focus areas in which the role of volunteerism adds significant value.
They mobilize volunteers to support the peace and development agenda of UNV partners, including national volunteerism interventions as well as proactive mobilization of UNV and other volunteers. They ensure quality volunteer management of UNV volunteers.
They work to promote advocacy for volunteerism, and support the documentation of the contribution of volunteerism to peace and development and will target national development fora, governments and parliaments with a view to influencing national policies, legislation, statutory frameworks and budget in order to promote volunteerism for peace and development.
Both Divisions focus on both “Development” and “Peace” issues and areas. However, the Development Division oversees the “predominantly development” countries, and the Peace Division oversees the “predominantly peace countries.
The Development Division supports UNV Programme activities in priority and strategic countries which are predominantly in development phase and more specifically in the following focus areas:
- Strengthening local governance;
- Primary health care and HIV/AIDs;
- Non-formal education;
- Disaster risk reduction;
- Early recovery including livelihoods;
- Local conflict resolution/reconciliation/human rights;
- Community-based natural resource management and sustainable biodiversity conservation;
- Community-based adaptation to climate change;
- Food security through sustainable livelihoods.
UNV recently completed a review of UNV’s youth schemes in the context of its youth mandate and recommended the development of a unified Youth Strategy which will be implemented through a Youth and Volunteerism global programme based on three pillars: the UN Youth Volunteers modality; global advocacy and partnerships; and capacity strengthening to nationally and regionally owned youth schemes.
The programme objectives will focus on the three pillars:
- UN Youth Volunteer Mobilization: Design, implement and manage the UN Youth Volunteers modality with UN system and other partners. The recommendations of the University and UN Volunteers Intern review will be addressed, including UNV staffing, enhancing youth volunteer recruitment and management skills, volunteer living allowance, youth appropriate support and training, appropriate descriptions of assignment, host agency expectations, etc. The modality will be designed to serve Member Countries and the UN system.
- Global Advocacy and Partnership: Position UNV as the leader in youth volunteering within the UN system and with outside partners by engaging with volunteer sending organizations, civil society, governments and other UN agencies to promote active participation of youth as volunteers in the Rio+20, MDGs and post MDGs agenda.
- Capacity Development: Strengthen national and regional capacities including policy and legislative frameworks for governments, civil society, and other partners to develop and sustain youth volunteer schemes, through technical assistance, knowledge sharing, and collaborative programming.
Under the general guidance of the Chief of the Development Division, the Programme Specialist is responsible to provide technical and high level operational support to UNV on all aspects of youth programing, advocate for youth volunteerism and to interface regularly with external partners, including the wider voluntary involving organization community and internal stakeholders. The Programme Specialist will oversee the successful coordination and implementation of the Youth strategy and program, coordinating work deliverables with staff and liaising with other key program stakeholders and partners.
Specific duties include the following:
1. Programme Management:
- Lead the development of the UNV youth strategy and UN Youth Volunteer Programme document.
- Supervise and coordinate the activities of consultants contracted by UNV for development of the UNV youth modality.
- Support the recruitment of new program staff as and when required.
- Support and coordinate the development of a Youth and Volunteerism Trust Fund.
- Provide guidance and oversight to UNV staff implementing the strategic youth plan and programme to maintain the momentum and sustainability of the project.
- In coordination with the Partnerships Section, prepare relevant documentation to promote the programme with potential donors/partners towards mobilizing the needed resources for programme implementation through a trust fund.
- Lead all activities related to reporting and work planning.
- Monitor the implementation of the programme, managing risks and logs issues, consult with the Youth Advisory Team as necessary and recommend corrective action to the programme board.
- Monitor and ensure that all programme and budget allocations/targets are on track.
- Prepare background documents, briefs, issues papers, and progress reports for the Programme Board meetings.
- Follow-up on the implementation of the programme board decisions and recommendations.
- Supervise procurement of goods and services including preparation of equipment specifications, Terms of Reference (TORs) and Request for Proposals (RFPs) according to approved UNDP procedures.
- Facilitate knowledge building, management and networking.
2. Advocacy and partnerships:
- Identify and build relevant alliances within the UN System to programme the UN Youth Volunteer Modality and identify relevant programme and projects relevant for UN Youth Volunteer assignments in collaboration with Development and Peace Divisions.
- Maximize partnership opportunities with relevant UN entities, including mobilizing resources for system wide initiatives.
- Work with a wide array of partners such as UN system, Government counterparts and NGOs, and youth networks and organizations at all levels to foster on-going strategic alliances and to enlist their support and contribution for the development and implementation of UNV global youth programme.
- Actively engage with the UN System through effective participation in relevant networks in particular the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development (IANYD) to position UNV in the area of youth volunteerism.
- Provide advisory support in the area of Youth and Volunteerism for national/regional initiatives.Contribute substantively to relevant practice networks to share UNV’s experience and knowledge in the area of youth and volunteerism and stimulate knowledge sharing among the different country initiatives by initiating discussion and coordinating the development of relevant knowledge products.
Any other tasks as assigned.
Building Strategic Partnerships
- Effectively networks with partners seizing opportunities to build strategic alliances relevant to UNV’s mandate and strategic agenda.
- Sensitizes UN Partners, donors and other international organizations to the UNV’s strategic agenda, identifying areas for joint efforts.
- Develops positive ties with civil society to build/strengthen UNV’s mandate.
- Identifies needs and interventions for capacity building of counterparts, clients and potential partners.
- Displays initiative, sets challenging outputs for him/herself and willingly accepts new work assignments.
- Takes responsibility for achieving agreed outputs within set deadlines and strives until successful outputs are achieved.
Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing
- Makes the case for innovative ideas documenting successes and building them into the design of new approaches.
- Identifies new approaches and strategies that promote the use of tools and mechanisms.
- Develops and/or participates in the development of tools and mechanisms, including identifying new approaches to promote individual and organizational learning and knowledge sharing using formal and informal methodologies.
Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise
- Understands more advanced aspects of primary area of specialization as well as the fundamental concepts of related disciplines.
- Serves as internal consultant in the area of expertise and shares knowledge with staff.
- Continues to seeks new and improved methods and systems for accomplishing the work of the unit.
- Keeps abreast of new developments in area of professional discipline and job knowledge and seeks to develop him/herself professionally.
- Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments.
- Demonstrates comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the current guidelines and project management tools and utilizes these regularly in work assignments.
Promoting Organizational Change and Development
- Assists in the development of policies, communications, and change strategies.
- Performs appropriate work analysis and assists in redesign to establish clear standards for implementation.
Strategic Alignment of Management Practice (HQ & RSCs)
- Forms partnerships with managers and staff providing advice and solutions that integrate various management areas to enable them to meet their needs.
- Adapts best management practices to the requirements of the organization and/or organizational units to facilitate the achievement of strategic objectives.
- Builds capacity for management practice in organizational units throughout the organization by providing appropriate tools and advising and coaching managers.
Design and Implementation of Management Systems
- Carries out research into existing systems to identify best practice and make recommendations to management on applicability to UNV.
- Refine and enhances existing systems by leading and coordinating systems development.
- Makes recommendations regarding design or operation of systems or programmes within organizational units.
- Identifies and recommends remedial measures to address problems in systems design or implementation.
- Conducts system assessment to improve development of systems design and operation.
- Anticipates client needs.
- Works towards creating an enabling environment for a smooth relationship between the clients and service provider.
- Demonstrates understanding of client’s perspective.
- Keeps the client informed of problems or delays in the provision of services.
- Uses discretion and flexibility in interpreting rules in order to meet client needs and achieve organizational goals more effectively.
- Solicits feedback on service provision and quality.
Promoting Accountability and Results-Based Management
- Provides inputs to the development of organizational standards for accountability and results-based management.
- Develops and applies tools and techniques in assessing the application of programme and/or administer the policies and procedures.
- Undertakes ad hoc analysis of issues emanating from policy application reviews.
- Promoting ethics and integrity, creating organizational precedents.
- Building support and political acumen.
- Building staff competence, creating an environment of creativity and innovation.
- Building and promoting effective teams.
- Creating and promoting enabling environment for open communication.
- Creating an emotionally intelligent organization.
- Leveraging conflict in the interests of UNDP & setting standards.
- Sharing knowledge across the organization and building a culture of knowledge sharing and learning.
- Fair and transparent decision making; calculated risk-taking.