Violent conflict has been ever-present in the Highlands region of Papua New Guinea (PNG). It has been on an increasing trajectory over the last 30 years seeing thousands of deaths, large numbers of displaced persons and widespread damage to property. This is placing substantial pressure on social stability and human development. Protracted conflicts have resulted in weak social systems, rudimentary service delivery and civil unrest. The political economy is deeply polarized and has undermined the legitimacy of Government and confidence in public institutions. Ultimately, these challenges have reinforced a culture of violence and threatened sustainable livelihoods. Exacerbated by poor governance, these highly fragile conditions pose complex challenges to achieving broad-based development in a country with systemically low development indicators overall.  

The United Nations in PNG has designed a three-year Highlands Joint Programme (HJP) for Peace and Development. This programme will pursue three objectives. These are to:

  1. Support the creation of peaceful conditions to enable achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in the Highlands.
  2. Catalyse greater investments in equitable human development activities by the PNG Government, development partners and the private sector.
  3. Support local aspirations for inclusive peace and development.

The HJP will initially target locations in Hela and Southern Highlands Provinces. Activities will be implemented in Enga subsequent to available resources. In Hela, communities in five priority LLGs identified in the Road Map will be targeted. These are:

  • Komo Rural LLG (Komo-Magarima District)
  • Hulia Rural LLG (Komo-Magarima District)
  • Tagali Rural LLG (Tari-Pori District)
  • Hayapuga Rural LLG (Tari-Pori District)
  • South Koroba Rural LLG (Koroba-Kopiago District)

In Southern Highlands Province, Kagua-Erave, Nipa-Kutubu, and Mendi-Munihu districts have also been prioritized.

The HJP will be coordinated by UNDP. It will be delivered in close partnership with other UN agencies under the leadership of the United Nations Country Team and the UN’s Resident Coordinator. The Highlands Joint Programme is convened and implemented under overall strategic guidance from the UN Resident Coordinator through the Steering Committee and other relevant mechanisms. UNDP will be accountable for the coordination of programme activities, delivering a range of technical inputs, and reporting and administrative functions where necessary. The Programme Coordinator (Interim) will support a Programme Steering Committee which will be convened to provide strategic oversight of the HJP. To support these functions, UNDP is seeking a Programme Coordinator (Interim). This consultancy will provide limited specific inputs for a short period to allow the HJP to proceed following a range of operational and administrative disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Working directly with the HJP’s participating UN organizations (PUNO) and in close coordination with the Provincial Governments of Hela and Southern Highlands, the Programme Coordinator (Interim) will lead the field-based Programme Coordination and Management Team (PCMT). This team will facilitate the joint planning of activities, their delivery and the governance and monitoring of the overall HJP.

This consultancy will be based at the UN’s Highlands Joint Field Office in Mendi (Southern Highlands) with significant time spent in Hela province as well.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Programme Coordinator (Interim) will among other tasks, be responsible for the following as a minimum:

Programme Management:

  • Organize biannual Programme Steering Committee meetings with the PCMT providing secretariat support and programmatic inputs as required.
  • Lead the PCMT to monitor results in close coordination with PUNOs.
  • Provide coordination support on cross-cutting programmatic issues.

Field Coordination:

  • Lead PCMT to directly support all PUNOs to ensure synergies between the programme components/sub-projects.
  • Organize and facilitate regular programme implementation, coordination and planning meetings in the field with PUNO focal points.
  • Support PUNO’s apply a cross-cutting approach to their efforts while maintaining neutrality and impartiality, and doing-no-harm.
  • Facilitate key stakeholder coordination with respective development, humanitarian and private sector actors operating in HJP target locations (i.e. province, district, LLG, ward).
  • Establish and strengthen HJP/UN linkages with partner provincial governments through respective Provincial Coordination and Monitoring Committees (PCMC).
  • Maintain situational awareness of the operational environment including through establishing an informal information network to facilitate information sharing.
  • Act as interim coordination focal point as required on possible humanitarian issues supporting surge capacity.


  • Coordinate joint communications’ efforts including leading the PCMT to develop a range of core supporting material - reports, communications, briefings, case studies and presentations.
  • Oversee the integration of community engagement in programme implementation including establishing community feedback mechanisms on programme design and implementation.

Programme Reporting

  • Coordinate drafting and dissemination of regular field situational reports (with UNDP, UN RC, UNCT, and PUNOs) including information regarding conflict monitoring and mapping, and early warning of emerging risks.
  • Ad hoc reports as required or requested by, or through UNDP’s Resident Representative.  


Key milestones or deliverables


Report due


Payment Percentage


Review and Approvals

Payment upon submission and acceptances of progressive report for the month of June, 2020



UNDP Resident Representative or designate

Payment upon submission and acceptances of progressive report for the month of July, 2020



UNDP Resident Representative or designate

Payment upon submission and acceptances of progressive report for the month of August 2020 and final report



UNDP Resident Representative or designate

Resources Provided

UNDP will provide office accommodation. The Consultant shall provide his/her own working equipment (hardware and software) except in situations where specialized equipment is required in-country (e.g. satellite phone, office printing). In such instances, this will be provided by UNDP.


 - High level planning, organizational and time management skills, including flexibility, attention to detail and the ability to work under pressure to meet challenging deadlines.

- Fluency in Tok Pisin and a working knowledge of local dialects and/or languages is highly desirable.

- Analytical and problem-solving skills of a high order, including the ability to formulate recommendations and advise senior management on tackling difficult scenarios.

- Demonstrates integrity by modelling UN values and ethical standards.

- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.

-  Displays sound judgement and strategic analysis.

Required Skills and Experience

Education and experience

  • Advanced University degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in political or social science, international development, peace and conflict, conflict studies, international relations, humanities or a related field.
  • Minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible professional experience in complex settings, peacebuilding, coordination of humanitarian affairs, crisis management, political affairs, development, operational planning and coordination or related field.
  • At least seven (7) years of experience in the Pacific context (specifically Papua New Guinea).


Submission Instructions

Completed proposals should be submitted to , no later than  1st June, 2020. For any clarification regarding this assignment please write to 

Please be guided by the instructions provided in this document above while preparing your submission.

Incomplete proposals and failure to comply with proposal submission instruction will not be considered or will result in disqualification of proposal.

UNDP looks forward to receiving your Proposal and thank you in advance for your interest in UNDP procurement opportunities.