Application Deadline :08-Feb-13
Additional CategoryManagement
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-3
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :one year


The objective of the Directorate is to support the Bureau Director and Assistant Administrator to lead strategic policy direction of UNDP with its mandate for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (CPR) – including the implementation of specific projects/ programmes and management of the UNDP Thematic Trust Fund (TTF) for CPR. The Directorate oversees strategic management and coordination of the Bureau ensuring efficient implementation and coherence through, inter alia, information sharing, convening and managing internal and cross-Bureau meetings, joint trainings and intra-Bureau planning events.

The Directorate is headed by a Chief of Staff who reports to the Bureau Director. The Chief of Staff ensures coherence and coordination of all Directorate staff, including assistants to senior management in substantive divisions and Geneva. Within the Directorate an ‘External Relations Team’ – managed directly by the Chief of Staff – takes the lead on CPR donor relations, resource mobilization and donor reporting (in close liaison with UNDP’s Partnership Bureau) and overall external communications and advocacy for the Bureau

Under the overall supervision of the Assistant Administrator and Director, Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, the Special Assistant will provide day-to-day support in implementing the Bureau’s mandate on crisis prevention and recovery. This is accomplished by providing strategic support to strengthen the country teams, in collaboration with the Regional Bureaux and the UN system, in their capacity to respond to crisis situations, as well as disaster prevention and mitigation and post-conflict recovery.

The Special Assistant is the primary point of contact for all meetings, missions, conferences, etc. and related reporting undertaken by the Bureau Director.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions:

  • Serves as focal point for the Executive Office
  • Manages the daily calendar and schedule of the Assistant Administrator and Director, BCPR
  • Conducts research, review and analysis of key documentation for the Director
  • Attends meetings, coordinates special projects and travels with the Director, as needed, on official visits
  • Drafts correspondence, notes-to-the-file and contribution to the preparations of speeches, reports, presentations, etc.

Serves as focal point for the Executive Office, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Primary point of contact for UNDP’s Executive Office on all issues related to Crisis Prevention and Recovery
  • Coordination of briefs, inputs to briefs and position papers for the Administrator and Assistant Administration, ensuring completeness and coordination with the UNDP Bureaux

Manages the daily calendar and schedule of the Assistant Administrator and Director, focusing on the achievement of the following results:

  • Careful review (in conjunction with the Executive Associate) of the daily calendar and schedule of the Assistant Administrator and Director, ensuring at all times that the Director’s day-to-day schedule is well planned and serviced in terms of background briefs and issues to be covered in the meetings
  • Regular contacts with the relevant Bureaux/Divisions in UNDP to obtain briefs, background documents and related material
  • Collaboration in resolving conflict situations and ensuring that all meetings have adequate representation from the substantive units as well

Conducts research, review and analysis of key documents for the Director, focusing on the achievement of the following results:

  • Review and analysis of the key documentation for the Director
  • Review of the briefs to ensure comprehensiveness of input
  • Background research done and inputs obtained from focal points as required
  • Research and all background documentation obtained for the meetings attended by the Director
  • Research on topics as assigned, information synthesized and summarized for the Bureau Director to facilitate decision-making
  • Background documentation and briefing notes prepared

Attends meetings, coordinates special projects and travels with Director, as needed, on official visits, focusing on the achievement of the following results:

  • Attendance with the Director at meetings with senior government officials and senior United Nations officials and all levels of staff within UNDP
  • Discussions held with in-house expertise the issues to be raised, providing relevant feedback to the Director
  • Coordination of special projects and assignments on behalf of the Director, frequently involving senior managers of the Bureau as well as a broader constituency
  • Travel with the Director, as needed, on his official visits to UNDP country offices/United Nations system meetings and donor and intergovernmental meetings
  • Timely preparation of all following reports and correspondence, including reports for the Administrator
  • Participation as Secretary in the Bureau’s TLG meetings and identification of key issues for TLG discussions
  • Development of agenda for meetings, chaired by the Director
  • Full responsibility for communication and implementation of decisions made by that body
  • Regular contacts with the Office of the Administrator and the Directorates of other Bureaux
  • Liaison and correspondence with Missions to the UN, IGOs and NGOs on issues related to conflict prevention and recovery

Drafts correspondence, notes-to-the-file and contributes to the preparations of speeches, reports, presentations, etc., focusing on the achievement of the following results:

  • All follow-up correspondence, notes-to-the-file drafted
  • Provision of feedback/exchange information with the focal points in the Bureaux/Divisions
  • Timely follow-up action taken and that the Director’s commitments and agreements appropriately reflected.
  • Careful review of correspondence drafted for the Director’s signature to ensure clarity and that the Director’s position is clearly reflected

The results of the work of the Special Assistant impact on the effectiveness, accuracy and timeliness of the Director’s communication and information flow with his senior managers and staff, other Bureau Directors, Office of the Administrator as well as external parties.


Functional Competencies:

  • 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


  • 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


  • Continues to seek new and improved methods and systems for accomplishing the work of the unit
  • Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments


  • Demonstrates understanding of client’s perspective
  • Keeps the client informed of problems or delays in the provision of services

Core Competencies: 

  • Ethics & Values: Demonstrating / Safeguarding Ethics and Integrity.  Is familiar with and acts in accordance with the standard of conduct for international civil servants, ethics and UN/UNDP values
  • Organizational Awareness: Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment.  Understands the structure and hierarchy of UN/UNDP, process flows throughout the organization, products and services, their measures of effectiveness, and perceptions of clients.
  • Developing & Empowering People/Coaching and Mentoring: Self-development, initiative-taking. Seeks new challenges and career opportunities including lateral moves and special assignments. 
  • Working in Teams: Acting as a team player and facilitating team work.  Works collaboratively with team members sharing information openly and displaying cultural awareness and sensitivity. 
  • Communicating Information and Ideas: Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively.  Facilitates open exchange of information and ideas encouraging team members to share their views, thoughts and feelings. 
  • Self-Management & Emotional Intelligence: Creating synergies through self-control Fosters a positive outlook and maintains focus during period of stress and heavy work load, inspiring and guiding others towards goal achievement. 
  • Conflict Management/Negotiating & Resolving Disagreements: Managing conflict.  Remains calm, composed and patient, regardless of his/her own state of mind in the face of conflict. 
  • Knowledge Sharing & Continuous Learning: Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others.
  • Demonstrates commitment to ongoing professional development and keeps abreast of new developments in his/her professional field. 
  • Appropriate and Transparent Decision-making: Informed and transparent decision making.  Accepts responsibility and accountability for the quality of the outcome of his/her decisions

Required Skills and Experience


  • A minimum of a Master’s degree or equivalent in development, business administration, including international relations, public administration or related fields.


  • At least 5 years of professional experience with the United Nations system, of which two in the field
  • Knowledge of the UN/UNDP system procedures
  • Experience in working as Special Assistant desirable
  • Experience in crisis prevention and recovery situations, an asset

Language Requirements:

  • Fluent in English, both oral and written, is required; working knowledge of other UN official language is an asset.

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