National Expert on Civil Society

Location : Abuja, NIGERIA
Application Deadline :12-Nov-10 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Management
Type of Contract :Service Contract
Post Level :SB-4
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :1 year with possibility of yearly renewal
Expected Duration of Assignment :1 year with possibility of yearly renewal


Democratic governance is a concept that emerged from the principles that are based on the understanding that an effective system of democratic governance is one which is based on representative, equitable (across gender and other categories), transparent, accountable and inclusive institutions; a vibrant, responsible and capable media; and a dynamic civil society which is engaged in the political process. The overall goal of the Democratic Governance for Development (DGD) Project in Nigeria is to help develop the capacity of national and sub-national institutions, networks and processes, whether governmental or non-governmental, as a contribution to the further entrenchment of democratic governance in Nigeria.
Efforts on the electoral cycle reinforce national efforts to build the norms, practices, mechanisms and institutions that can foster active citizenship and stronger democratic accountability, in keeping with the stated objectives of Government policy. The project provides technical assistance to the Electoral Institute of the Independent National Electoral Commission and State Independent Electoral Commissions. In addition, the project works with civil society and other democratic institutions to help them maximize public participation and confidence in the outcome of elections.
Work on broader issues of democratic governance helps build the norms, practices and institutions that can underpin the development of democratic governance in Nigeria over the medium- to long-term whilst also supporting near-term action on pressing issues such constitutional and electoral reform. The project primarily provides technical assistance and financing for capacity development linked to practical outcomes in a number of areas: legislature, election management bodies, political parties, civil society, media, gender equality in politics. Nigeria’s next general elections are due in 2011. With the support made available through a joint donor fund established to provide assistance to Nigerian democratic institutions, the UNDP Project Management Unit commenced the Initiation Plan in October 2009. The IP will end on March 31, 2010.  Contributors to this fund are the European Commission, the UK Department for International Development (DFID),) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). A Project Management Unit (PMU) runs the project under the leadership of the UNDP. The larger program of the Support to Democratic Governance for Development which is the second Joint Donor Basket Fund: “Partnership for Support to the Electoral Cycle and the Deepening of Democracy in Nigeria, 2010-2015” hopes to commence in April 2010.

Under the strategic direction of the Project Director, and reporting to the Civil Society Programme Specialist, the incumbent will provide support to the coordination of DGD projects with CSOs. Particularly, he/she will directly establish and maintain relationships with implementing partners (CSOs, local government partners, and UN Agencies) and ensure substantive and financial reporting (monthly, quarterly and annually), contract monitoring, capacity assessment and capacity building for CSOs, and reporting is undertaken in order to meet UNDP standards and requirements. As such, s/he will be required, inter alia, to:

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of key functions:

  • Support the management of the Civil Society component of the DGD project (Pillar 4);
  • Support the programmatic and institutional capacity building of civil society organisations in the DGD project;
  • Maintain and manages the CSO roster process;
  • Temporarily coordinate the Monitoring and Evaluation of CSOs implemented projects;
  • Carries out any other duties as assigned by the Civil Society Specialist and Project Director.

Function / Expected Results:

Under the supervision of the Civil Society Specialist to support the management of the Civil Society component of the DGD project

  • Support the co-ordination of  all activities relating to the CSO component of the project;
  • Provide support to the preparation of  work-plan, timelines and budget for  CSO activities;
  • Provide support to the drafting terms of reference (ToRs) for calling proposals from CSOs for specified activities;
  • Provide support to the Service Centre and DGD programmes in organising pre-bid and implementation briefings;
  • Provide support to the management of agreements with CSOs for specified services and objectives.

Under the supervisionof the Civil Society Specialist tosupport the programmatic and institutional capacity of civil society organizations in the DGD project;

  • Carry out direct programmatic and capacity building activities for civil society organisations in the DGD project and provide feedback to the Civil Society Programme Specialist;
  • Support the Civil Society Programme Specialist in the identification of sources of information related to civil society and democratization issues;
  • Support the Civil Society Programme Specialist in the identification of best practices and lessons learnt directly linked to programme country policy goals.
  • Provide training for contract monitoring associates and other project monitoring staff on UNDP monitoring and reporting requirements.

 Under the supervision of the Operations Coordinator to Maintain and manage the CSO roster process:

  • Review and assess all EOI applications for the CSO roster;
  • Ensure prequalified CSOs are notified of capacity assessment visits and requirements from capacity assessment team;
  • Coordinate the capacity assessment of implementing partners and consolidate capacity  assessment reports of CSOs;
  • Develop and manage a comprehensive E-CSO Roster for all DGD thematic areas;
  • Develop and manage CSO Roster matrix to identify thematic and geographical areas with limited CSO coverage.

  • Impact of Results

    The key results impact positively on the overall efficiency of the DGD project including improved business results and client services.  Accurate representation and linkages provided with the individual in line with the information and a client-oriented approach enhances UNDP’s capability to effectively and efficiently manage program and projects



    Corporate Competencies:

    • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
    • Promotes the shared vision, mission and strategic goals of the partners supporting the initiative;
    • Displays strong cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
    • Treats all people fairly without favouritism.

    Functional Competencies:

    • Proven competence in the field of democratic governance, well-informed on both electoral and broader democratic governance issues such as legislative development, the role and potential of mass and community media, civil society in emerging democratic societies, and the participation and role of women in politics. Comfortable with full range of sub-sectors within the project, although possibly more knowledgeable and experienced in some areas. S/he should have a strong grasp of the strategic, policy and nuts-and-bolts issues involved in capacity development in the area of democratic governance;
    • Ability to appreciate and respond productively to the challenges faced in leading a high-risk initiative in a politically challenging environment. Ability to maintain calm and poise in high pressure and sometimes provocative situations as well as apply skills in mediation and consensus-building;
    • Solid academic background and demonstrated abilities in analysis of complex political situations and providing strategic advice, while maintaining personal detachment;
    • Proven managerial experience in an international context and ability to lead teams. Proven ability to make sound decisions in delegation of responsibilities and in finding a balance between a focus on detail and keeping an eye on the big picture. Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
    • Strong inter-personal communications and diplomatic skills, with an ability to listen, understand and respond effectively to different and divergent points of view expressed by a wide range of stakeholders. Ability to build strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
    • Ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor work plans. Proven ability to work under pressure and produce output that is accurate, timely and of high quality. Ability to manage conflicting priorities;
    • Ability to understand and apply tools such as the logical framework, results-based approaches like UNDP’s RBM and PRINCE2. Solid knowledge and experience of project management. Ability to support and provide oversight to strategic planning, results-based management and reporting;
    • Resourcefulness, good interpersonal skills and ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity. Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain effective work relationships with and between different levels and types of project personnel and counterparts.


    Required Skills and Experience


    • Advanced university degree (Masters or Phd)  in political science, international relations,development, economics or democratic governance


    • A minimum of 2 years of experience in planning and implementing CSO activities in relation to electoral reforms and democratic  process;
    • Progressively responsible work experience in democratic governance, including electoral issues, dealing with: (a) policy dialogue and advisory work; (b) leadership and management of research and analysis; (c) design and execution of capacity development programmes; (d) project management, including the leadership of multi-disciplinary expert teams, preferably funded by development partners (UN or other); and (e) promotion of stakeholder/community awareness of and participation in democratic governance.
    • A good understanding of the social, economic, political and historical trends underpinning African and, ideally, Nigerian governance and electoral processes.
    • Skills in training, process facilitation, strategic planning, and partnership-building.
    • Ability to prepare high quality policy briefs, analytical reports, and technical research reflecting global good practice in democratic governance.
    • Excellent PC user skills: word processing, spreadsheets, databases and web-based research.
    • Ability to travel within Nigeria and overseas.
    • Proven track record of advising, organizing and supervising public awareness activities partnering with CSOs, including that of CSOs capacity-building projects.
    • Excellent knowledge of election procedures and frameworks. 
    • Ability to work harmoniously with people from different cultural backgrounds.
    • Familiarity with the civil society landscape in Nigeria.

    Language Requirements:

    • Strong skills in written communications in English particularly in preparing issue-based papers or reports.
    • Excellent spoken English is also required.

    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.

    UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

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