DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES
The Senior Context Sensitivity Advisor will support a Country Office that more effectively leads the operationalization of the HDPN – with a focus on social cohesion and sustaining peace – through early recovery programming at the strategic, programmatic and operational level. The position will ensure more direct social cohesion and peace outcomes from early recovery programming in Syria, in particular programming implemented by UNDP. The position will also support Country Office efforts in anticipation and prevention.
Within UNDP Syria’s Strategic Policy Unit (SPU), the Senior Context Sensitivity Advisor will lead the work of the CST, providing strategic and policy guidance for the efficient implementation of UNDP Syria’s 2022-2023 context sensitivity strategy. S/he will lead the identification and production of strategic context analyses at the local level as well as on key issues to inform context sensitive early recovery programming from both a do no harm and a peace-responsive perspective. A strong emphasis in anticipation and prevention will underpin analytical efforts. The Advisor will leverage the analytical capacities and field knowledge of UNDP personnel, in particular the analysts of the CST. S/he will also ensure to draw from the collective knowledge of Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) field personnel, empowering them to be drivers of knowledge and expertise to inform context sensitive programming. In addition, the Advisor will lead the CST’s efforts on capacity building and institutionalization of context sensitive programming and operations. The former will have an HCT-wide focus while the latter will be more focused on UNDP. S/he will work closely with the Country Office’s Risk Management Specialist in efforts for internal institutionalization of risk management and context sensitivity to contribute to effective anticipation and prevention of risks. Finally, the Advisor will work closely with Partnerships and with Senior Management to lead advocacy around context-sensitive early recovery with diverse internal and external audiences, including donors.
In all these efforts, the Advisor will work closely with the new Resilience Advisor and the Risk Management Advisor at the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office (RCO), ensuring the work of the CST supports RCO efforts to strengthen risk management and conflict sensitivity across the UNCT. The Advisor will actively participate in key, coordination platforms, such as the Risk Management Working Group, the Returns and Reintegration Working Group, the Accountability to Affected Populations Working Group, the Humanitarian Access Working Group, the Early Recovery Sectors meetings, and other relevant spaces.
The Advisor will work under the overall supervision of the SPU Team Leader and provide close, advisory support to the Resident Representative and the Deputy Resident Representative as well as team leaders, project managers and area managers. Frequent travel to the field is expected, as is travel abroad for engagement with key partners.
Key duties and accountabilities include:
Evidence Generation and Analysis: Lead the production of high-quality context analysis products to inform UNDP and partner early recovery programming and operations as well as donor policies and strategies on early recovery in Syria:
- Identify and facilitate the production of high impact context analysis products, including local context analyses of high priority areas for UNDP and/or the HCT as well as thematic context analyses (e.g., gender and prevention, water and prevention, displacement and prevention, etc.). All analysis must be geared towards either informing programme design and operations (see function 2 below) or shaping Syrian response policies (see function 3 below), with a strong focus on anticipation.
- Ensure the quality of all analytical products produced by the CST.
- Build and maintain analytical networks with UN entities, I/NGOs, think tanks and other research institutions to inform the quality of CST research and analysis.
- Manage partnerships with key CST analytical partners and service providers.
Institutional Support: Lead efforts to institutionalize context sensitive processes and approaches in programming and operations in UNDP and to build capacities for context sensitive early recovery programming in partner organizations:
- Advise the RR and DRR on the design of context sensitive CO programmatic strategies. Advise portfolio, area and project managers on the design of context sensitive programmes and projects, with a special focus on supporting participatory, area-based programming.
- Work closely with the Risk Management Specialist and Operations Manager to further institutionalize context sensitivity and do no harm in UNDP operations, with a special focus on contracting (e.g., human resources, procurement, implementing partners, etc.).
- In close coordination with the Resilience Advisor at RCO and OCHA, promote context sensitivity capacity building at the UNCT and the HCT – both in Damascus and in the field – through the delivery of high-quality capacity building activities (e.g., trainings, development of guidance material and best practices, coaching and accompaniment, etc.)
- Support UNDP engagement in interagency platforms and processes of strategic value to advancing a context sensitive approach to early recovery in Syria (e.g., Returns and Reintegration Working Group for the roll out of the Area Based Returns Support approach; Risk Management Working Group for improved, common risk management focused on high stakes context sensitivity risks, etc.).
Advocacy and Outreach: Lead UNDP advocacy and outreach on conflict sensitive early recovery with key stakeholders inside and outside the country:
- Build and maintain networks with key stakeholders shaping the international response to the Syria crisis – including donors, think tanks, research institutions, CSOs, diaspora groups, etc – to advocate for a scaling up of context-sensitive early recovery programming that advances an HDPN approach in Syria.
- Support UNDP, ERLS, UNCT and HCT advocacy efforts on early recovery, ensuring a strong focus on social cohesion and sustaining peace.
- Prepare high quality advocacy products based on CST analysis and evidence of high impact context sensitive early recovery.
- Supervisory/Managerial Responsibilities: The Context Sensitivity Advisor will lead and manage UNDP Syria’s Context Sensitivity Team (CST), currently comprised of three national staff.
- Achieve Results: LEVEL 4: Prioritize team workflow, mobilize resources, drive scalable results/strategic impact
- Think Innovatively: LEVEL 4: Easily navigate complexity, encourage/enable radical innovation, has foresight
- Learn Continuously: LEVEL 4: Create systems and processes that enable learning and development for all
- Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 4: Proactively initiate/lead organizational change, champion new systems/processes
- Act with Determination: LEVEL 4: Able to make difficult decisions in challenging situations, inspire confidence
- Engage and Partner: LEVEL 4: Construct strategic multi-partner alliances in high stake situations, foster co-creation
- Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 4: Create ethical culture, identify/address barriers to inclusion
People Management Competencies:
- UNDP People Management Competencies can be found in the dedicated site.
Cross-Functional & Technical Competencies:
General (across the functions): Public relations
- Ability to build and maintain an overall positive public image for the organization, its mandate and its brand, while ensuring that individual campaigns and other communications and advocacy initiatives are supported in reaching the public
Business Direction and Strategy: Strategic Thinking
- Ability to develop effective strategies and prioritized plans in line with UNDP’s objectives, based on the systemic analysis of challenges, potential risks and opportunities; linking the vision to reality on the ground, and creating tangible solutions. Ability to leverage learning from a variety of sources to anticipate and respond to future trends; to demonstrate foresight in order to model what future developments and possible ways forward look like for UNDP
Business Development: Knowledge Generation
- Ability to research and turn information into useful knowledge, relevant for context, or responsive to a stated need
Business Management: Change Management
- Ability to prepare, support, and help individuals and teams in designing and implementing organizational change
2030 Agenda – Peace: Conflict Prevention, Peacebuilding and Responsive Institutions
- Conflict Analysis and conflict sensitivity
- Social Cohesion
External Relations & Advocacy: Strategic engagement
- Ability to capture and sustain attention, interest and agreement of high-level, influential policy and decision makers and secure their buy-in of high-level vision and objectives.
- Master’s degree in International Relations, Peace and Conflict studies, International Development, Law, Political Science or any other relevant field.
Experience, Knowledge, and Skills:
- Minimum 7 years’ experience in development and/or humanitarian fields related to social cohesion, sustaining peace or crisis resolution.
- At least 3 years’ experience directly related to prevention, peacebuilding or context sensitivity and ‘Do No Harm’ approaches, preferably with some experience in mainstreaming these concepts into humanitarian and early recovery organisations.
- At least 3 years’ experience working in a crisis setting.
- Direct experience in the design and/or implementation of early recovery programmes.
- Prior field experience with UNDP or another UN entity will be an asset.
- Prior experience managing a multicultural team will be an asset.
- Experience in training and development of modules on peacebuilding, conflict sensitivity and ‘Do No Harm’ approaches will be an asset.
- Proven strong analytical and strategic planning skills.
- Proven strong interpersonal skills, particularly focused on ability to build and maintain personal and institutional relations.
- Proven strong written skills evidenced in the ability to produce high quality written documents.
- Proven ability in cultural and political sensitivity and the ability to exercise sound judgment.
- Proficiency in oral and written English.
- Working knowledge of Arabic is will be asset.