Ombudsperson (UNDP/UNFPA/UNICEF/UNOPS)


Location : New York, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Application Deadline :13-Apr-07 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :100 Series
Post Number :8206
Post Level :D-1 (ICS-13)
Languages Required :
English  

Background

*** How to Apply ***

Please do not apply via this website; please follow the instructions below

  • Candidates must complete a United Nations Personal History form (P.11 - click here to download P-11 form).   UNFPA will be responsible for receiving applications for this position and as such, please send your application via e-mail to: va-021-07@unfpa.org. In your subject heading, please indicate the post title and the vacancy number.  
  • Only those applicants under serious consideration will be contacted. 
  • Women and nationals from developing countries are encouraged to apply.

The Ombudsperson system is the informal voluntary conflict-resolution procedure established within UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and UNOPS whereby Ombudsperson(s) may address employment-related matters of individuals.  Individuals can contact the Ombudsperson, at any stage, for assistance in the resolution of any employment-related problem where an independent and impartial perspective outside of formal channels would be helpful.

The objective of the procedure is one of conciliation between parties to a conflict by seeking mutually acceptable solutions through informal means.  The purpose of such an informal procedure is to foster a harmonious and productive work environment; thereby contributing to greater organizational and operational efficiency.

The services of the Ombudsperson are available to staff members and non-staff personnel (holders of contracts other than Letters of Appointment administered under the UN Staff Regulations and Rules) from UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNOPS and related funds and programmes on active duty, and to former staff normally during a period of one year following separation from service or the end of their contract.  No person who brings a matter to the attention of the Ombudsperson or provides information to the Ombudsperson shall be subject to reprisals because of such action.

The Ombudsperson is a designated neutral individual with direct access to the highest authority in the organizations, i.e. the UNDP Administrator, UNFPA Executive Director, UNICEF Executive Director and UNOPS Executive Director.


Duties and Responsibilities

The Ombudsperson shall:

  • Act in the joint interest of the individual and the employing organization on matters arising from employment with UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNOPS and related funds and programmes.
  • Address, through informal means, matters brought to his/her attention by all such individuals.
  • Operate by fair and timely procedures to aid in the resolution of a complaint or problem.
  • Function by such means as: (a) conducting an inquiry, (b) fact-finding and reporting findings, (c) developing, evaluating, and discussing options available to affected individuals, (d) facilitating, negotiating, and mediating, (e) making recommendations for the resolution of an individual complaint or a systemic problem to those persons who have the authority to act upon them, (g) educating, (h) issuing periodic reports, and (i) advocating on behalf of affected staff when specifically authorized by the charter.
  • Assist and advise staff and non-staff personnel of their respective rights, obligations and privileges and assist in identifying appropriate remedies available to them in their relations with the employing organization for resolution of their problems.
  • Be readily accessible to all staff and non-staff personnel regardless of geographical location and be available to travel to country offices as required.
  • Suggest solutions, if necessary, but has no power of decision.  The Ombudsperson may be consulted on policy issues where her/his views and experience may prove useful.
  • Prepare an annual report reflecting the type and number of matters handled as well as recommendations for changes in policies and procedures, in particular where systemic issues appear to have contributed to the problem.  The annual report shall preserve the right to confidentiality of individuals who have been in contact with the Ombudsperson and shall be posted on the Ombudsperson intranet site.
  • Liaise and cooperate with other ombudspersons and mediators of the United Nations common system and Bretton Woods institutions and actively seek ways in which to strengthen the inter-agency approach to informal dispute resolution.
  • Maintain professional contacts with the informal dispute resolution practice community, seeking to update skills and share best practices through professional associations, seminar, workshops and other training opportunities.


Competencies

The Ombudsperson shall be guided by the following principals:

  • Independence.  The Ombudsperson shall be independent of any official, office, division, bureau or other entity of any of the participating organizations.
  • Impartiality and Objectivity.  The Ombudsperson shall carry out inquiries objectively and neutrally, acting as advocate for neither management nor staff and shall be guided by the highest principles of ethics including by the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice developed by the International Ombudsman Association.
  • Confidentiality.  The Ombudsperson shall treat all matters brought to him/her with strict confidentiality.  No action is taken on a complaint without the complainant’s concurrence.  Information retained by the Ombudsperson is kept secure.  However, the concurrence of the complainant, such information may be carried forward by the Ombudsperson to a relevant party.  To guarantee absolute confidentiality, the Ombudsperson shall be immune from any demand from any level of the organization to disclose any information or document regarding a client; except at the sole discretion of the Ombudsperson, when there appears to be an imminent threat of serious harm.  The individuals seeking the services of the Ombudsperson are also expected to observe the same degree of confidentiality as that guaranteed by the Ombudsperson.
  • Privilege.  The Ombudsperson shall be protected from any obligation to testify as a witness in any formal proceeding before the Disciplinary Committee, Joint Appears Board or United Nations Administrative Tribunal (UNAT).
  • Justice.  The Ombudsperson shall be guided by a concern for and commitment to justice and fairness.  The Ombudsperson shall be guided by the UN Charter, the UN Staff Regulations and the Staff Rules, as well as the ICSC Standards of Conduct for the International Civil Service.


Required Skills and Experience

  • Advanced university degree, preferably a Masters degree in social sciences, political sciences or public policy
  • A minimum of 15 years of international experience in conflict resolution, mediation and conciliation.  Recognized relevant professional certification would be an asset.  Excellent communication and writing skills.
  • Fluency in English with proficiency in another UN official language

Appointment and Contractual Status

The Ombudsperson will be appointed for a period of two years under a UNDP Letter of Appointment. In the event that it is decided to extend his/her appointment, the total term of office of the Ombudsperson shall not exceed five years. The Ombudsperson shall be ineligible to hold any other post in any of the four organizations after his/her term expires.

*** How to Apply ***

Please do not apply via this website; please follow the instructions below

  • Candidates must complete a United Nations Personal History form (P.11 - click here to download P-11 form).   UNFPA will be responsible for receiving applications for this position and as such, please send your application via e-mail to: va-021-07@unfpa.org. In your subject heading, please indicate the post title and the vacancy number.  
  • Only those applicants under serious consideration will be contacted. 
  • Women and nationals from developing countries are encouraged to apply.


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