CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Democratic Governance Roster for Electoral Systems Experts

Location : Varies from home-based to assignments in headquarters/ regional centres or country office
Application Deadline :31-Oct-11 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :Varies from a few days to several months
Expected Duration of Assignment :Varies from a few days to several months


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN’s development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. UNDP supports over 132 countries around the globe in the areas of Poverty Reduction, Democratic Governance, Environment and Energy, Capacity Development, Gender, HIV/AIDS and Crisis Prevention and Recovery. The Bureau for Development Policy (BDP) is UNDP’s policy bureau. BDP plays a key role in helping country offices accelerate human development through UNDP’s programmes and initiatives.
The Democratic Governance Practice (DGP) is the largest practice area in UNDP/BDP. It works on building effective and capable states that are accountable and transparent. The principal areas of work are organized around 3 clusters: Inclusive Participation, Responsive Governing Institutions, and International Norms and Principles.
  • The Inclusive Participation cluster supports efforts for expanding opportunities for civic engagement – particularly of the poor, women, youth, indigenous people, and other marginalized groups – in the channels of interaction with the state, at national, regional and local levels.
  • The Responsive Institutions cluster promotes the development of institutional capacity, and accountability, in the area of access to justice, rule of law and security, public administration and local governance at the national, regional and local level to ensure these institutions reflect and serve the needs, priorities, and interests of all people. Programme priority is given to strengthening the mechanisms of responsiveness and public accountability to the concerns and interests of poor people, women, and other vulnerable or excluded groups.
  • The International Norms and Principles cluster promotes integration of UN principles, policies, practices, and strategies (on human rights, anti-corruption and gender) within and outside the UN family
In the area of electoral processes and systems, UNDP supports countries to develop electoral laws, processes and institutions that strengthen inclusive participation and professional electoral administration that help build this real and perceived credibility. But because elections are about much more than what happens on Election Day, UNDP uses an electoral cycle approach to its work. This addresses longer-term issues of capacity development; institutional strengthening; participation of women and other groups; and the use of technology in electoral processes.
Supporting elections is an important element of UNDP’s work and the indelible symbol of citizens’ participation in selecting their government; however the organization has made the shift to providing electoral assistance around the electoral cycle concept, which incorporates the election event as one of many elements that go to the quality and magnitude of citizens’ participation including electoral system design, electoral law reform, voter registration methodologies, civic and voter education, building the capacity of electoral management bodies, working with political parties and the media around election-related issues. As a result, UNDP provided electoral assistance to 60 countries in all regions in 2010, and over half of all such initiatives focus on the electoral cycle approach.
In order to respond to this demand, UNDP/BDP/DGG is soliciting highly qualified experts (individuals, not firms) to be considered for inclusion in the Democratic Governance (DG) roster as elections experts. In particular, UNDP is seeking individuals with expertise in one or more of the following areas:
  • Voter and civic education
  • Training: including drafting of training manuals, planning and implementation of cascade training for polling officials, media and other electoral stakeholders.
  • Gender mainstreaming in electoral management bodies and women’s participation in electoral process.
  • Electoral Legislation, including legal reform, drafting of legal procedures.
  • Boundary delimitation
  • Information Technology in Elections, including expertise in biometrics,  data centres, voter registration, polling operations, results transmission and  management of results.
  • Other operations, including ballot design, printing expertise, chronogram development.
  • Electoral violence/conflict and electoral dispute resolution.
  • External relations and/or public outreach.
  • Logistics, including drafting of material specifications.
  • Capacity development for EMBs

Duties and Responsibilities

The following range of tasks would typically be expected from a consultant (one or more):

  • Advisory Services and Programme Management: Project design and formulation, project implementation, advisory services on substantive electoral issues, coordination among stakeholders and project quality assurance.
  • Operations Management: Electoral procurement, human resource, financial management and logistical support.
  • Capacity Development: Capacity assessment, planning and implementation of Institutional reform and delivery of training events.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation: M&E matrix design, preparation of project document and mid-term/final project evaluation.
  • Research and Knowledge Development: Research and literature reviews; conducting lesson learning exercises, developing knowledge products and tools.


  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN's values and ethical standards
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Strong interpersonal skills, communication and diplomatic skills
  • Openness to change and ability to receive/integrate feedback
  • Ability to work under pressure and stressful situations
  • Ability to manage workload with minimum supervision
  • Strong analytical, reporting and writing abilities

Required Skills and Experience

  • Master’s degree in political science, law, international relations, development studies or any other relevant subject.
  • Minimum 5 years of experience in the area of democratic governance or relevant field, with a minimum of 3 years of experience working on elections.
  • Experience with the drafting  of user-friendly knowledge products such as books, articles, research papers, toolkits, guides, methodologies, analytical documents, policy papers and notes, project and program documents, baseline studies, desk reviews, comparative studies, etc. is an asset.
  • Experience in management of post-conflict interventions is an asset.
  • Knowledge of high-level governance, capacity and public communication support is an asset.


  • Fluency in both spoken and written English is a must.
  • Working level knowledge of Arabic, French, Russian and/or Spanish is a strong asset.
Computer skills:
  • IT literacy and ability to operate with on-line web-based applications.
Evaluation of Applicants
  • Applicants will be screened against qualifications and the competencies specified above.
  • Short listed candidates will be invited to participate in an interview and/or assessment.
  • Candidates’ references –including past employers- will be verified and confirmed.
  • Selected candidates will be invited to create a profile in the roster; where they can be considered for consultancy opportunities as needs arise.
Contracting Arrangements
Successful candidates will be included in UNDP’s Democratic Governance Vetted Experts Roster for a period of 2 years. Inclusion in the expert roster does not guarantee a contract with UNDP.  When a request for services arises, the hiring unit/office shall:
  • Contact the roster manager or search the roster to select at least three qualified experts.
  • Send the procurement notice and ToRs for the assignment to the selected experts with a request to confirm      availability and submit a financial proposal for the assignment within 3-5 business days.
  • Review the submissions and financial proposals.
  • Select an expert for the assignment based on the ‘Best value for money’ approach.
  • Issue an Individual Contract to the expert;
  • Notify the roster manager of the decision and of the duration of the contract issued to the expert.
  • Submit an evaluation of the expert to the roster manager once the assignment is completed; and before the final payment is issued.
  • The contracting unit/office will provide a specific Term of Reference (ToR) outlining the outputs for each assignment and issue an Individual Contract (IC) to the consultant, detailing the time frame, and frequency/modality of payments.
  • Conditions of a particular assignment may be negotiable. 
Payment/s shall be made following certification by UNDP that the services related to each deliverable, as specified in the contract, have been satisfactorily performed and the deliverables have been achieved by or before the due dates specified, if any.
Please note that an evaluation of the expert must be submitted by the hiring unit before issuance of the last payment on the assignment.
Application Procedure
Qualified candidates are requested to apply online via the UNDP website.  This call for applications is specifically directed at Elections Experts. Interested candidates are advised to carefully review this ToR and ensure that they meet the requirements and qualifications described above.  Experts can apply to more than one expert roster. Candidates interested in being considered for other thematic rosters should submit a separate application, in response to the specific vacancy announcement for that thematic area.
All Democratic Governance Vetted Experts Roster announcements are accessible below:
Experts must submit all materials requested for each thematic area of interest.  Applications (for each roster) should contain:
  • A brief cover letter, clearly identifying the sub-area(s) of interest and expertise for which the applicant wishes to be considered. Please paste the letter into the "Resume and Motivation" section of the electronic application.
  • A current completed and signed P11 form/ UN Personal History Form in English (blank form can be downloaded from; please upload the P11 instead of your CV.); .
  • Contact details for 3 references. Please note that your previous employers could also be contacted.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you provide all requested materials
  • The deadline for submission of applications is 14 October 2011.
Qualified women and members of social minorities are encouraged to apply. Due to the large number of applications we receive, we are only able to inform the successful candidates about the outcome or status of the selection process.

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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