TECHNICAL SPECIALIST, INCLUSIVE AND PARTICIPATIVE POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS
|Application Deadline :||24-Apr-12|
|Additional Category||Democratic Governance|
|Type of Contract :||FTA International|
|Post Level :||P-4|
|Languages Required :||
Arabic English |
|Duration of Initial Contract :||1 year|
|Expected Duration of Assignment :||1 year|
UNDP's Democratic Governance Group (DGG) is focusing on enhancing the capacity of the state to make it more responsive, capable, and inclusive. The genuine participation of all citizens in political processes is a cornerstone of democratic governance. UNDP fosters inclusive participation and civic engagement, placing high priority on under-represented segments of society such as the poor, women, indigenous peoples and minorities. Vibrant and vigorous democracies are developed and sustained through inclusive participation, which also advances achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The presence of an effective parliamentary institution is strongly correlated with the existence of a viable democracy and an open society. Parliaments are fundamental to representing the people’s will, establishing the rule of law, protecting human rights, overseeing transparent governance processes, and ensuring compliance with international obligations. UNDP provides technical assistance to more than 70 parliaments around the world in their efforts to: build the capacity of legislators and technical staff; promote institutional reform, political dialogue and conflict prevention ; strengthen parliaments' relationships with the executive and judiciary branches of government and with civil society; improve access to parliamentary information for the population and the media, and enhance the effectiveness of women’s role and participation among parliaments through internal reforms and exchanges.
UNDP’s parliamentary development portfolio comprises activities rooted at the global, regional and national levels. Strategic support to national parliaments, promoting inclusive and participative political institutions and engaging parliaments on key MDG’s and crisis prevention issues are at the core of UNDP’s activities, with a dedicated focus on women and youth. At the regional level, UNDP supports parliamentary working groups to develop new avenues for dialogue on sensitive topics and agree on regional benchmarks. Globally, web-based social networks invite the exchange of information and ideas. Two cutting-edge tools are iKNOW Politics (www.iknowpolitics.org) for the political empowerment of women and Agora (www.agora-parl.org), the portal for parliamentary development. UNDP also works with its partners to develop regional and global benchmarks for democratic parliaments and to create cutting-edge knowledge products on parliamentary development.
Among the vehicles that UNDP uses to support its parliamentary development activities is the Inclusive and Participative Political Institutions in Select Arab States, which includes a range of activities at the global and select countries within the Arab Region.
Political parties and parliaments are important actors in a transition to democracy, to prevent conflict and to address fragility; they play a particularly critical role in rebuilding trust and reconnecting citizen’s - state society relationship in such environments, therefore supporting political settlements and reducing the potential for renewed conflict. The fall of the different regimes in the Arab region has proven that population’s inclusive participation in decision making processes through inclusive and effective democratic institutions to be essential, even when economic development seems to be strong but unfortunately not shared with the (entire) population.
There is clearly a need for more inclusiveness in the work of parliaments and political parties as democratic institutions, a need to strengthen the representativeness of the assemblies as well as a necessity to rebuild citizens’ trust in state institutions and their ability to improve citizens’ lives. Engaging with parliaments and political parties on a neutral manner will help foster inclusive political and economic participation and rebuild resilient state-society relations and prevent conflict. The Inclusive and Participative Political Institutions in Select Arab States Project is seen as a new approach to UNDP’s work on political process reform through an integrated approach to support to parliaments and political parties in select Arab States through joint support from BDP / DGG parliamentary development team and the BCPR crisis & governance team. . The outputs will meet important milestones for parliaments and political parties that have the structure, legal framework and capacity to engage all citizens in the political process and are able to be positive actors in preventing conflict.
In four select Arab States, the Inclusive and Participative Political Institutions in Select Arab States Project aims to (i) support the establishment of parliamentary internal regulations and parliamentary groups that promote inclusiveness and citizen participation; (ii) work with political parties to create legal frameworks that promote citizen participation; (iii) provide virtual knowledge support through online expert peer-to-peer networks and a dedicated Arab language social media site for parties and parliaments; and (iv) empower women and youth to become active leaders within political parties.
This project will be implemented jointly by the Democratic Governance Group of BDP and the Governance Unit of the BCPR within UNDP.
Under the daily management of the Inclusive and Participative Political Institutions in Select Arab States Programme Manager, and guidance from the Parliamentary Development Adviser (DGG), the DGG Practice Leader in Cairo and the BCPR Senior Advisor (Crisis and Governance), the Technical Adviser will be based in Cairo, Egypt. The post will provide long-term technical advice to national parliaments and political parties in four countries in the Arab Region selected for technical support.
Duties and Responsibilities
Support to Country Offices:
The technical advisor will provide policy advice and technical assistance to UNDP country offices in select countries in the Arab States and ensure that the highest caliber advisory and consulting services are provided to project-supported programmes in the Arab Region, in close collaboration with the respective parliamentary development and governance and conflict teams, where they exist. Specific duties include providing policy advisory (with inputs from the PD and CPR advisors) and technical services to support the implementation and backstopping of country programmes on:
- Support to Constituent Assemblies, political parties and women’s political participation in the region
- Review of parliamentary internal regulations
- Support multi-party dialogues to promote conflict and crisis resolution
- Promote a greater role for women and youth within political parties
- Conflict prevention and peace-building, including mechanisms for dialogue and reconciliation;
- Building institutional capacities for citizen participation within political parties;
- Strategic planning and reform of legal frameworks including reform of substantive, procedural and institutional legislation;
Knowledge development and management:
- Prepare brochures, publications, press releases for dissemination of UNDP assistance and experience;
- Prepare professional articles and papers;
- Disseminate the information on best practices and be active member of the UNDP global and regional networks;
- Liaise with the DGG and BCPR, Regional Centres Knowledge Management Teams for effective dissemination of knowledge products, lessons learned;
- Liaise with the Parliamentary Development team for sharing news from Political Institutions in the Arab region, lessons learned and key documents on AGORA and Teamworks.
Play a strong advocacy role in fostering democratic governance for development with a view to deepening political commitment and reforms in this area, including partnership building and resource mobilization.
- Represent the project vis-à-vis UNDP Resident Representatives, Speakers of Parliament, Secretary Generals of Parliament, academia, donor governments and other international development agencies.
- Present the project and its activities in parliamentary conferences and other such international events.
- Liaise and work with donor agencies to mobilize additional resources for the project work
Other related duties, as required.
- Embodies UN values.
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
- Strong analytical, conceptualization and communication skills
- Strong knowledge and expertise in UNDP’s programming policies and processes
- Substantive knowledge and understanding of development cooperation and theory and practice of management for development results (RBM/MfDR)
- Ability to link broader strategic vision and direction with policy formulation and operational objectives;
- A sound global network of institutional and peer contacts;
- Expertise in effective programming in complex and changing environments
Knowledge Management and Learning
- Demonstrated ability to understand clients' needs and concerns;
- Demonstrated ability to collaborate effectively in cross-functional / thematic teams;
- Promotes knowledge management in UNDP and a learning environment in the office through personal example;
- Seeks and applies knowledge, information and best practices from within and outside of UNDP.
- Knowledge and expertise in governance, legislative strengthening and democratization and in particular in strengthening responsive and accountable legislative institutions.
- The candidate should have significant experience in providing practical advice to policy makers; be able to work well with counterparts in government, civil society, the private sector and the donor community; and know how to contribute to building national capacity for development.
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills,
- Ability to foster networks and partnerships, and good working knowledge of information and computer technology.
- While representing UNDP views, the candidate should also be able to provide coordination among the UN family of agencies
Required Skills and Experience
- Master's Degree in relevant social / political sciences, law or related discipline.
- Minimum seven years specialized experience in international context in governance, parliamentary strengthening and democratization, majority of which must be in parliamentary development and fragile contexts.
- Strong technical knowledge of the field of parliamentary development, as well as a general knowledge of cross-cutting democratic governance issues that are often addressed through parliamentary development programs.
- Extensive practical experience in designing, managing, and monitoring parliamentary development programmes in developing countries, preferably also in fragile contexts and with UNDP programmes.
- Strong networks within the international parliamentary development community, and demonstrated leadership in the field of parliamentary development.
- Fluency in English and Arabic.
- Knowledge of another UN language an asset.
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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.