Research Associate - Local Governance and Development, Democratic Governance

Location : Bratislava, SLOVAK REPUBLIC
Application Deadline :08-Feb-11 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :FTA Local
Post Level :GS-6
Languages Required :


The Research Associate shall work in the UNDP’s Bratislava Regional Centre – Local Governance and Decentralization sub-practice (LGD sub-practice), Democratic Governance Practice.  The Research Associate will support the group of specialists/advisors of the LGD sub-practice and will work under the supervision of the LGD sub-practice leader. The research associate will also support other sub-practices in Democratic Governance Practice as needed following the functional areas mentioned below.  The Research Associate works in close collaboration with UNDP HQ and external clients (donors, consultants, UNDP Country Offices, etc) as required for programming and research-related issues and exchange of information.

Duties and Responsibilities

Country Office Support/ Technical backstopping

  • Provide technical backstopping for the sub-practice members in the context of country office support activities, including substantive and comparative research and advisory support in specific areas, expert search, information sharing.

Support to Knowledge Management activities

  • Assist with the facilitation of the regional Community of Practice, including liaising with LGD focal points in the country offices, facilitating network discussions virtually and at face-to-face meetings, supporting the development of tools for knowledge management and maintaining the sub-practice workspaces and online presence. Assist in production of LGD sub-practice communication tools including online newsletters, booklets, etc.
  • Assist with management of the experts’ roster including regular maintenance and the new experts selection process.

Co-ordination of LGD sub-practice activities and projects

  • Assist in the development and co-ordination of LGD sub-practice activities, organizing sub-practice events, maintaining the sub-practice database and support corporate or regional reporting/monitoring requirements as needed.
  • Coordination and implementation of regional projects including recruitment, drafting of proposals and report, etc.
  • Assist in formulation of various programming activities i.e. corporate strategic plans, rolling strategies, etc for LGD sub-practice and DG practice.
  • Participate in the Regional UNDAF peer review support group activities.

Direct support to LGD sub-practice leader

  • Substantively contribute to the preparation of knowledge products and other required documentation.
  • Support preparation of reports and use of internal information systems by keeping track of various activities. Prepare talking points and presentations on a wide range of issues, briefing notes from relevant meetings and events, draft Terms of References as required. 
  • Maintain regular contacts with internal and external partners working on the joined or related projects/programmes. Provide both internal and external partners (such as international organizations, academic institutions, donors, think-tanks, civil society organizations) with timely and adequate support/information on programme activities.
  • Assist LGD sub-practice leader in resource mobilization efforts when needed.
  • Take active part in relevant international events and processes

Substantive research input

  • Provide substantive research input and coordinate the response to the relevant requests on the regional and global networks.

The key results have an impact on the overall performance of the Democratic Governance Practice and success in policy advice and programme development and implementation.  Accurate analysis, data entry and presentation of information ensure proper policy advice and programme implementation.


Corporate Competences:

  • Demonstrates commitment to UNDP`s mission, vision and values.
  • Displays cultural, gender, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.

Functional Competences:
Development and Organizational Effectiveness:

  • Ability to perform a variety of specialized tasks related to Results Management, including support to design, planning and implementation of the programme, managing data, reporting.
  • Ability to provide input to business processes re-engineering.

Leadership and Self-Management:

  • Focuses on result for the client and responds positively to feedback.
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and positive, constructive attitude.
  • Remains calm, in control and good humor even under pressure.
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities.
  • Sense of initiative and willingness to embrace additional responsibilities in team work.

Key Competences:

  • Good knowledge of democratic governance and international development related issues, with emphasis on local governance and decentralization.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in an independent manner, ability to organize work efficiently and deal with a heavy workload.
  • Excellent problem-solving and communication skills.
  • Clear and convincing writing style.
  • Confirmed ability to adjust to new situations quickly, to work efficiently under pressure and to meet deadlines.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Secondary education. Master’s Degree in a development related field; e.g., development studies, public administration, public policy and management, international affairs, political science, law, economics or sociology or other related discipline would be asset  but it is not a requirement.


  • 5 to 7 years of relevant experience working in a development or public administration related work position    
  • Knowledge/experience in the area of Local Governance and Local Development  e.g. Decentralization, Planning, Budgeting, Service Delivery, Municipal management, Municipal cooperation, etc.
  • Knowledge of  inter-disciplinary approaches and instruments including Sustainable Local Development, Integrated Local Development, Area Based Development, Community Development is an asset
  • Experience in data collection, codification and analysis, situation analysis, comparative research, facilitation, monitoring and evaluation
  • Project Management and coordination skills are an asset
  • Knowledge of performance oriented methods is an asset
  • Proficiency in corporate software and IT skills, including experience in handling of web based management systems
  • Knowledge of Web 2.0 platform is an asset

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English is a must (both excellent writing and communication skills)
  • Knowledge of Russian is an asset.

Please note that this is both internal and external announcement, however external candidates will be considered only if possible internal candidates are not found suitable for the post.

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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