Research and Archiving Officer (Preservation and Digitisation of Records on Reconciliation) - Sri Lankan Nationals only

Location : Colombo, SRI LANKA
Application Deadline :14-Aug-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
Expected Duration of Assignment :11 Months


The Senior Human Rights Advisor Unit is a component of the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator and is responsible for providing advice, technical expertise, situational assessments and analysing human rights issues to the UN Resident Coordinator and the UN Country Team (UNCT) in Sri Lanka as well as OHCHR, the UN Human Rights Mechanisms (Charter and treaty based), and when requested and appropriate, other UN Agency headquarters or UN Secretariat Departments; ?building the capacity (training and other) of the UNCT to integrate a human rights based approach into on-going and envisaged humanitarian, recovery and development work of the UN: supporting the UNCT in convening relevant working groups on human rights and protection issues, supporting and/or undertaking relevant projects as is appropriate and possible on human rights issues. The other key function and current priority of the Senior Human Rights Advisor in Sri Lanka is support the Government of Sri Lanka in designing a comprehensive transitional justice strategy to address the legacy of past based on four pillars including accountability, truth seeking, reparation and institutional reform, based on its commitment made during 30th session of the Human Rights Council in September 2015 (resolution 30/1 on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka).

In this regard the Government of Sri Lanka introduced a bill to establish the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) on 22 May 2016 and Parliament adopted the Office on Missing Persons (Establishment, Administration and Discharge of Functions) Act No. 14 of 2016 on 23 August 2016. The Office on Missing Persons is an independent and permanent body dedicated to the search for and tracing of missing persons and the clarification of the circumstances in which they went missing. A central function of the OMP is to centralise data including from existing records held by other institutions.

This project seeks to ensure the physical preservation of historical records relating to disappearances and the missing; digitise and archive these records comprehensively; create a basic taxonomy and index records; develop an archive database of scanned materials for the OMP to enter metadata of historical records and save scanned materials; and develop the framework for a permanent database.



The Research and Archiving Officer will report to the Senior Human Rights Advisor with day-to day guidance from the Commissioner of the OMP and under the direct supervision and guidance of the Principal Project Coordinator.


Specific objectives of the assignment include:

  • Contribute to the initial assessment of the historical records to determine the quality of the documents, the scale of the task and possible time frame;
  • Contribute to the development of Standard Operating Procedures for the overall workflow using international and national good practices, bearing in mind the need for accuracy, efficiency, confidentiality and reliability of the process;
  • Contribute to the development of a tagging and filing system, using international and national good practices, to ensure that the contents of the scanned files are easily accessible and searchable;
  • Contribute to the development of the archiving database by the Database Consultant;
  • With regard to the scanning of documents, conduct random checks to ensure the accuracy of scanned images and the tagging and devise measures to ensure accuracy of scanned documents and tagging.


Duties and Responsibilities


The Research and Archiving Officer should contribute to the physical preservation historical records related to disappearances, through the following outputs:


  • Strategy for archiving is developed based on the assessment of historical records;
  • Standard operational procedures and tagging and filing systems are developed for effective operationalisation of the scanning, database development and archiving of documents;
  • All scanned documents are accurately tagged and archived in a permanent database.


Accordingly, the following deliverables are expected:

1st Deliverable – Submission of work plan developed together with the Principal? Project Coordinator within 15 days of start date with regards to the various tasks indicated above; in coordination with the Technical Specialist, UNDP and the Senior Human Rights Advisor, OHCHR.


2nd Deliverable – after 2 months; report against the activity plans and updating the plan as required.


3rd Deliverable – after 3 months; reporting against the activity plans and updating the plan as required.


4th Deliverable – after 4 months; reporting against the activity plans and updating the plan as required.


5th Deliverable – after 5 months; reporting against the activity plans and updating the plan as required.


6th Deliverable – after 6 months; reporting against the activity plans and updating the plan as required.


7th Deliverable – after 7 months; reporting against the activity plans and updating the plan as required.


8th Deliverable – after 8 months; reporting against the activity plans and updating the plan as required.


9th Deliverable – after 9 months; reporting against the activity plans and updating the plan as required.


10th Deliverable – after 10 months; reporting against the activity plans and updating the plan as required.


11th Deliverable – after 11 months; reporting against the activity plans and updating the plan as required.


12th Deliverable – final report against the activity plans.





The consultant should have excellent background and experience in research, documentation, databases, in addition to substantive knowledge in human rights and transitional justice.




Technical skills

  • Excellent expertise in relation to record management, databases/digitisation, human rights, rule of law and transitional environment in which it operates.
  • Expertise in archives is desirable.



  • Maturity and confidence in dealing with senior members of the OMP;?
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Excellent archiving, digitalisation and record management skills;
  • Excellent coordination skills and results-oriented collaboration with colleagues – especially during digitisation process.



  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of OHCHR.
  • Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback
  • Good team player that has ability to maintain good relationships.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Master’s Degree or equivalent in law, social sciences development studies or related fields;
  • Minimum of 4 years of demonstrable experience and knowledge in the field of record management, data collection/processing and research. Experience in archiving desirable;
  • Demonstrated strategic technical and intellectual skills in the substantive area, notably human rights, rule of law;
  • Excellent communication (both oral and written) and partnership building skills with multi-dimension partners, people skills for conflict resolution and negotiation;
  • Computer proficiency especially related to professional office software packages (Microsoft Office);
  • Proficiency in English and Sinhala or Tamil, and knowledge of the other is desirable.



The envisaged time frame of the extended consultancy is up to 11 months from the start date of the assignment.




The application should contain:

  • Cover letter explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for the advertised position and a brief methodology on how you will approach and conduct the work.
  • Updated CV to include qualifications/competencies and relevant past experience in similar projects and contact details of 3 professional referees who can certify your competencies, professionalism, quality of writing, presentation and overall suitability to this TOR
  • Individual consultants will be evaluated based on a combination of factors including cover letter, the credentials on offer and brief interview (optional) and the offer which gives the best value for money for the UNDP.
  • Please send the Financial Proposal separately to the following e-mail address: ??stating the vacancy number/position in the subject line.



All Inclusive Lump Sum Fee: LKR


All Inclusive Daily Fee: LKR


Amount in words: Rs.

Note: Payments will be based on invoices on achievement of agreed milestones i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR and certification of acceptance by the UNDP. The applicant must factor in all possible costs in his/her “All Inclusive Lump Sum Fee” including his/her consultancy and professional fee, travel (economy class flights is required to and from the Duty Station) honorarium, board and lodging, and any other foreseeable costs in this exercise. No costs other than what has been indicated in the financial proposal will be paid or reimbursed to the consultant. UNDP will only pay for any unplanned travel outside of this TOR and Duty Station on actual basis and on submission of original bills/invoices and on prior agreement with UNDP officials. Daily perdiums and costs for accommodation/meals/incidental expenses for such travel shall not exceed established local UNDP DSA rates.

For an Individual Contractor who is 65 years of age or older, and on an assignment requiring travel, be it for the purpose of arriving at the duty station or as an integral duty required travel under the TOR, a full medical examination and statement of fitness to work must be provided. ?Such medical examination costs must be factored in to the financial proposal above. Medical examination is not a requirement for individuals on RLA contracts.



Payments will be made monthly upon of the receipt of the works done for the month contributing to the outputs mentioned above, certified by the Commissioner of OMP and approved by the Technical Specialist of UNDP.

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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