CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Democratic Governance Roster for Experts in Rule of Law, Access to Justice, Security, and Legal Empowerment of the Poor

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 :
English   French  
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

Rule of law is a core pillar of UNDP’s work – falling within the focus areas of both Democratic Governance and Crisis Prevention & Recovery. UNDP’s work on rule of law, access to justice and security seeks to enhance physical and legal protection of people and communities, ensuring legal representation, access to justice services and empowerment of communities and civil society to claim their rights. Programme work includes supporting the development of a constitutional, legal and policy framework, developing the capacities of legal, justice and law-enforcement institutions, both formal and informal, and ensuring that security providers are subject to civilian oversight. It also involves support for legal empowerment and transitional justice mechanisms to address the legacy of large scale human rights abuses. With an in-country presence in over 90 countries worldwide, spanning developing contexts, and conflict-affected and fragile situations, UNDP assumes a pivotal role in providing rule of law assistance to address a spectrum of key challenges to development.

From a democratic governance perspective, the strategic objective of UNDP work in this area is to support “effective, responsive, accessible and fair justice systems promoting the rule of law, including both formal and informal processes, with due consideration to the rights of the poor, women and vulnerable groups”. The focus is on the right of the individual to seek redress through adequate, timely and equitable justice and security services based on a balanced approach that marries bottom-up demand with strategic national capacity building and reform planning at the institutional level. The aim is to increase people’s legal protection, opportunities and choices so that they are empowered to defend themselves and improve their lives and livelihoods. Rule of law, access to justice and security is a central pillar of democratic governance and creates an enabling environment for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

UNDP provides strategic technical support to states which are engaged in reform and development of a constitutional and legal framework, justice and security service providers, and accountability and oversight mechanisms, including transitional justice processes. In complement, assitance also responds to the rights and needs of poor and vulnerable people through supporting legal empowerment and community security. This may take the form of legal empowerment and legal assistance to address key legal areas such as land and property, employment and economic empowerment. It also includes a focus on community or partnership policing to mitigate the fear of crime and increase education and economic options for young people.

Regionally and globally, groups of practitioners are engaged in developing a rule of law community of practice, in order to build an evidence base of best practices and ensure that what works at country level is used to influence policy and dialogue regionally and globally. Themes vary from region to region, but in all cases UNDP is encouraging exchanges between practitioners, governments and civil society in the global south on all aspects of rule of law, access to justice, security and legal empowerment of the poor.

In order to respond to growing requests for UNDP support on the range of issues in the area of rule of law, access to justice and security including policing, and legal empowerment, we are looking for expertise in programme design and conceptualisation, needs assessment, strategic planning, policy research, analysis and drafting, legal drafting, technical advice and support, programme management and capacity development.

Duties and Responsibilities

The range of tasks that would typically be expected from a consultant includes:

  1. Needs assessment and strategic planning, policy research, analysis and drafting, legal drafting, programme design, conceptualisation and management (including the development of monitoring and evaluation tools).
  2. Technical advice and capacity development of national actors in the assigned areas outlined below.
  3. Knowledge sharing, partnership building and inter-agency coordination.
  4. Designing, implementing and/or evaluating projects/programmes in the assigned areas:
  • Constitution-making/constitutional reform: including constitution-making processes and technical assistance and advice on constitutional drafting and reform.
  • Legal Empowerment of the Poor andeconomic and social justice: including legal barriers to realization of the MDGs, laws and policies affecting micro-enterprises.
  • Legal assistance and awareness raising: including paralegal services and community-based organizations.
    Justice sector assessments,: including judicial capacity, integrity, accountability and oversight. 
  • Civil and criminal law and procedure reform
  • Policing including strategic planning, community policing, recruitment, training and human resource management, specialized policing skills e.g. response to violence against women, small arms control, organized crime, border control etc.
  • Security sector reform including accountability, governance and oversight of the security sector.
  • Informal justice mechanisms: including alternative dispute resolution
  • Citizen/community security: including community policing and community-based organizations and violence prevention
  • Women’s legal empowerment: including access to justice, security and gender-based violence
  • Transitional justice: including the support to complementarity with the ICC Statute through national criminal justice reform.
  • Land rights and governance: including land, property rights, housing and urbanization
  • Justice for children: including juvenile justice, family law and social protection
  • Rule of law and public administration: including civil identification, citizenship and statelessness
  • Islamic law
  • Family law and Inheritance


  • Strategic vision and strong technical capabilities
  • Strong analytical, drafting and reporting abilities
  • 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 

Required Skills and Experience

  • Minimum of Master’s degree (or equivalent degree) in governance related field (or equivalent work experience) including: Law, Economics, Public administration, Business Administration, Public Policy, Social Science, Political Science.
  • Fluency in spoken and written French, or English is obligatory.
  • Working knowledge of Russian, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic is an advantage.
  • Minimum 5 years of experience in rule of law, justice, security/policing, governance, development or closely related field. (Depending on the complexity of the assignment, consultants will need minimums of  between 5 and 15 years of professional experience.
  • Experience of public service delivery and organizational change management in public institutions an advantage;
  • Proven experience working in a developing context.
  • Demonstrated experience from working in conflict, post-conflict, transitional and fragile environments is an advantage;
  • Proven experience in evaluating, designing, or managing multi-year development programmes is required, with experience in a UNDP or UN agency context desirable;
  • Strong understanding of risk management and mitigation in relation to conflict sensitivity an advantage.
  • Experience of drafting 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.
  • Knowledge of high-level governance, capacity and public communication support is an 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, including for emergency deployments.
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 Rule of Law, Access to Justice, Security and Legal Empowerment of the Poor 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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