Peace and Development Advisors (hereafter PDA) work with national stakeholders to build, strengthen, and sustain nationally owned and driven efforts to prevent violent conflict and build just and peaceful societies. The range of countries to which PDAs are deployed vary considerably, with some deployed to countries emerging from conflict, others where violence is escalating, and others to countries where there is no violent conflict but underlying structural causes of conflict are present. PDAs are also deployed in countries where political and developmental challenges exist around issues related to elections and constitutional processes, exclusion and inequality, environment, climate change and natural resource management.
PDAs are deployed through a partnership between the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), under the Joint UNDP-DPPA Programme on Building National Capacities for Conflict Prevention. PDAs support Resident Coordinators (RC) and UN Country Teams (UNCTs) in their efforts to work with national partners on conflict prevention and sustaining peace. They support early warning and risk management measures, and ensure that UN assessments, frameworks (mainly UN Cooperation Frameworks), strategies and programmes are conflict-sensitive and informed by high quality analysis. They are located in the Resident Coordinators’ office, with a direct reporting line to the RC, and a secondary reporting line to the UNDP Resident Representative and DPPA-DPO regional divisions.
In 2020, PDAs are deployed to more than 50 countries through the Joint Programme. While most PDAs are deployed at country-level, there are a number of PDAs who cover multiple countries. In some contexts, PDAs are part of a small Peace and Development Advisory team composed of a PDA and a substantive national or international officer/analyst. PDAs also receive additional support from a Joint Programme secretariat based at UN Headquarters in New York, from UNDP and DPPA technical advisors/specialists globally, and from a cadre of regional programme specialists supporting their regions from Amman, Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Dakar, Istanbul and Panama.
Given the broad range of skills and experience required by PDAs, the Joint Programme encourages applications from individuals with a combination of expertise spanning sustainable development, political affairs, peacebuilding, sustaining peace, conflict prevention/resolution, community engagement, justice, reconciliation, dialogue, mediation, and humanitarian-development-peace nexus among other relevant areas. While UN experience is a major asset, it is not a requirement for this position. Moreover, the skills of diplomacy, dialogue and facilitation, analysis, advocacy, networking, capacity development and coordination are critical elements of a PDA’s work.
Zambia is a relatively stable landlocked country in the Southern Africa and Great Lakes region. Ranking 143 in the UN Human Development indicators in 2019, Zambia currently faces multiple and at times inter-related socio-economic, political, regional security, as well as climatic risks and challenges. These require concerted and coordinated UN cross-pillar support and advocacy, including early warning and risk mitigation efforts, especially in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with debt sustainability issues, is posing severe challenges on Zambia’s economy and the livelihoods of the population. While Zambia is known for its relatively peaceful elections and transition of power, the political environment in the run up to tripartite elections in August 2021 has been marked by growing polarization, rising political tensions and increasingly constrained political and civic space. Regionally, Zambia’s cross-border tensions with the Democratic Republic of Congo have at times resulted in military incidents and violence, raising the need for protection of refugees and border communities. Moreover, climate change, including drought, are impacting food security, thereby exacerbating fragilities and reducing resilience.
In this context, the United Nations in Zambia has developed a socio-economic response to COVID-19 as a contribution to the Government of Zambia’s multi-sectoral contingency plan and recovery efforts. UNDP is currently supporting the election process, as well as dialogue and mediation efforts through its “Democracy Strengthening” Project which has two main components: (1) Electoral Institutions and Processes Strengthening for key democratic institutions including the Electoral Commission of Zambia, Zambia Police, Judiciary, Human Rights Commission (HRC), political parties, media and civil society and (2) Programming for Peace aiming to enhance conflict prevention and mitigation mechanisms to support the peaceful conduct of elections. However, with the aforementioned stress factors likely to escalate socio-political tensions, there is a need for a multi-pronged nationally-led conflict prevention strategy, and inclusive dialogue efforts, harnessing Zambia’s legacy of peace and enhancing the political participation of women and youth.
It is against this background that services of Peace and Development Advisor (PDA) are being sought to work in country alongside national stakeholders to build, strengthen, and sustain nationally-owned and driven efforts to mediate, resolve, and transform tensions, with a view to preventing electoral violence and building a peaceful society. The PDA will also offers political and programmatic advisory services to the larger UNCT and UNHQ on the UNSG Prevention Agenda. The PDA will further work closely with the UNDP Governance team to sustain the on-going work with the GRZ and other stakeholders. The PDA reports to the Resident Coordinator with a secondary reporting line to the UNDP Resident Representative, as well as the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and the Regional Bureau for Africa of UNDP in New York.
While the nature of the PDA role varies according to country and regional context, there are three broad functions of the position:
- Undertake conflict analysis and provide strategic advice to the Resident Coordinator in his/her engagement with high-level government officials, academia, civil society including youth and women’s networks, UN Country Team, HQ, and other relevant stakeholders. Submit the analysis and reporting to the RC, UNDP RR and DPPA-DPO Division.
- Identify opportunities to build national capacities for conflict prevention including areas of strategic, programmatic and policy engagement with national stakeholders, and support the RC and the UNCT action in areas of conflict prevention, peacebuilding, human rights, humanitarian-development-peace (HDP) nexus, Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) among others.
- Establish and strengthen strategic partnerships with key national stakeholders, regional and international actors and development partners on issues related to Sustaining Peace and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
PDAs have a primary reporting line to the Resident Coordinator, and secondary reporting lines to the DPPA-DPO regional division and the UNDP Resident Representative. Under their guidance and agreed workplan, and in close collaboration with the country team, the PDA will:
(1) Undertake conflict analysis and provide strategic advice to the Resident Coordinator in his/her engagement with high-level government officials, academia, civil society including youth and women’s networks, UN Country Teams, HQ, and other relevant stakeholders. Submit the analysis and reporting to the RC, UNDP RR and DPPA-DPO Division.
- Provide risk-informed analysis to the RC and the broader UNCT (and in some contexts, the Humanitarian Country Team / Disaster Management Consultative Forum) as well as the UN Headquarters (and regional level as relevant) on political and socioeconomic developments and conflict dynamics. This would also require identifying appropriate ‘entry points’ for conflict prevention and sustaining peace, proposing concrete, actionable and timely recommendations for consideration by the UN leadership; in line with reporting guidelines established by the Joint Programme, submit the analysis and reporting to the RC, UNDP RR and DPPA.
- Strengthen and support the capacity of the UNCT, including through training, to undertake conflict, context and political economy analysis, ensuring that gendered and human rights dimensions are reflected in both analysis and programming; and inform early warning and response mechanisms;
- Provide updates to the UN Headquarters (and regional level as relevant) in line with the Joint Programme’s reporting guidelines with advice on political and socioeconomic developments and conflict dynamics.
- Support the formulation and regular update of the Common Country Assessment (CCA), which informs the design and implementation of the upcoming UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, including lead the conflict analysis part of the CCA;
- Regularly brief the UNCT on political developments, and provide strategic advice on integrated approaches across the UNCT in the context of SDG 16 – Peace Justice and Strong Institutions;
- Facilitate the linking of political economy considerations, conflict and political analysis and strategies as well as risk-informed approaches to the UN’s programmatic and policy engagement at the country-level; and
- Engage with academia and think tanks in research and analyses on peace and conflict related themes, including areas such as climate-related security risk.
(2) Identify opportunities to build national capacities for conflict prevention including areas of strategic, programmatic and policy engagement with national stakeholders, and support the RC and the UNCT action in areas of conflict prevention, peacebuilding, human rights, humanitarian-development-peace (HDP) nexus, Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) among others.
- Provide strategic and technical advice, and support the design and initiation of peace-promoting initiatives or engagements in areas such as conflict prevention and sustaining peace; infrastructures for peace; dialogue processes; confidence-building measures, electoral violence prevention; social cohesion; reconciliation; countering violent extremism; and stabilization;
- Support the design and facilitation of national multi-stakeholder processes, building national and local capacity for negotiation, mediation and dialogue; and strengthening networks of mediators and facilitators (including female mediators) at national and local levels;
- Identify opportunities and options for UN preventive diplomacy engagement as required;
- Support connecting local and national level conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts, as well as regional and/or cross-border initiatives as appropriate;
- Identify and engage civil society actors in the peace and development agenda supported by the UN and work with other UN entities, including UNDP and OHCHR, to protect human rights and expand civic space;
- Support the UNCT in their efforts on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and gendered dimensions of peacebuilding and SCR 1325 (and related resolutions) as well as Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) and SCR 2250;
- Support the design and implementation of strategies for identifying entry points for mainstreaming of conflict prevention and conflict sensitivity in the work of the UNCT (including within the CCA, Cooperation Framework, Country Programme Documents (CPD), etc.); and where relevant, support UN’s resource mobilization efforts for conflict prevention;
- Provide strategic guidance and quality assurance to the design and implementation of programmes funded by the UN Peacebuilding Fund (PBF), where applicable, and engage closely with PBF governance mechanisms; as well as with DPPA regional divisions and UNDP Country Offices and HQ on the implementation; and
(3) Establish and strengthen strategic partnerships with key national stakeholders, regional and international actors and development partners on issues related to Sustaining Peace and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
- Establish and maintain networks and strategic partnerships for sustaining peace related strategies and initiatives and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and national SDG plans;
- Liaise closely with national, regional, and local stakeholders including the National Development Coordinating Committee, civil society, academia, think tanks, women’s and youth networks and key international actors (including International Financial Institutions and regional organizations) to identify entry points, foster dialogue and strengthen strategic alliances and partnerships on conflict prevention, trust- and confidence-building, and reconciliation initiatives;
- Maintain close liaison with relevant development partners and the diplomatic corps including through the Cooperating Partners’ Group (CPG), regional organizations and other actors supporting the UN’s conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts;
- Maintain close contact with relevant staff in UN Headquarters as well at the regional level including relevant focal points at UNDP, DPPA-DPO, DCO and work closely with the regional programme specialists based in the region;
- Maintain close contact with Special Envoys, Special Representatives of the Secretary-General, political missions and offices where relevant;
- Liaise with the DPPA-Peacebuilding Support Office together with the respective DPPA-DPO regional division in countries where PBF activities are being developed and/or implemented;
- Contribute to the results-based management efforts of the Joint UNDP-DPPA Programme, including through setting up mechanisms to assess and measure impact of peace and development initiatives and providing the Joint Programme secretariat with inputs on progress at the country level; and
- Advise and support the RC on engagement with the regional Southern African Development Community (SADC), in coordination with the DPA SADC Liaison Team, with a view to ensuring complementarity and alignment of support in Zambia.
Ability to make new and useful ideas work
Ability to persuade others to follow
Ability to improve performance and satisfaction
Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform
Ability to get things done
Knowledge of methods and experience of supporting communities to achieve greater inclusiveness, more civic participation and creating opportunities for upward mobility
Peacebuilding and Reconciliation
Ability to support peace processes to facilitate recovery and development
Ability to use methods and tools to monitor conflict triggers and determine impact of various dynamics in conflict-prone situations
Conflict and Political Economy Analysis
Ability to analyse socio-political dynamics influencing power and influence through various lenses (i.e. national, local, communal levels and ethnic, demographic, etc.)
Ability to efficiently handle and share information and knowledge
Ability to engage with other parties and forge productive working relationships
Knowledge of gender issues and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations, including analysis of projects from a gender perspective
Advanced university degree (Master’s Degree) in political science, sociology, international relations, international economics, law, public administration, or other related social sciences. In lieu of an Advanced degree, a Bachelor’s university degree with two additional years of may be considered.
- Minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible experience in conflict analysis, strategy development, risk informed/conflict sensitive development and/or conflict prevention and sustaining peace in a governmental, multilateral or civil society organization;
- Proven policy, advisory and advocacy experience and track record of engagement with senior officials, such as in the United Nations, government and external partners;
- Experience in programming and project management, such as programme design and results monitoring, in areas related to conflict prevention, peacebuilding and/or development;
- Experience in national and community level conflict prevention and peacebuilding initiatives and programming.; Experience in gendered dimensions of peacebuilding.
- Experience working within a UN Agency/Fund/Programme or Department and field experience would be a major asset.
- Sound knowledge of and extensive experience in Southern Africa subregions, including in dialogue and conflict prevention initiatives, is an advantage.
Fluent written and spoken English is required. Knowledge of of another UN language is an advantage.
UNDP Zambia promotes a green workplace and diversity. Qualified female candidates and persons living with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.
UNDP Zambia is a non-smoking environment.
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