Policy & Legal Officer (NPSA-8)

  • Location:
  • Salary:
    negotiable / YEAR
  • Job type:
  • Posted:
    2 weeks ago
  • Category:
    Legal Affairs
  • Deadline:


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core principles at UNDP:  we value diversity as an expression of the multiplicity of nations and cultures where we operate, we foster inclusion as a way of ensuring all personnel are empowered to contribute to our mission, and we ensure equity and fairness in all our actions. Taking a ‘leave no one behind’ approach to our diversity efforts means increasing representation of underserved populations. People who identify as belonging to marginalized or excluded populations are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about working at UNDP including our values and inspiring stories.
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.
Project Description

The Rule of Law and Access to Justice Initiative (Initiative) at UNDP Tajikistan implements three projects:

  1. “Strengthening Rule of Law and Human Rights to Empower People in Tajikistan, Phase III”, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland
  2. “Access to Justice Project in Tajikistan, Phase III”, funded by the Swiss Development Corporation
  3. “Supporting Women’s Legal Education in Tajikistan”, Internally funded Project.

The projects have some overlap, in particular with their support of access to justice and focus on vulnerable groups. Overall, within the Initiative, UNDP assists the Government of Tajikistan to improve the policy and legal framework to be compliant with the Constitution and international commitments and to promote and protect the rights of vulnerable people. The Initiative also builds the capacity of CSOs, particularly of those representing women and people with disabilities, to participate in the policy making process and to advocate for mainstreaming human rights and gender equality.

Since 2014, UNDP Tajikistan has supported the establishment of a government managed legal aid system that provides out of court consultations (called primary legal aid) and also in-court representation (secondary legal aid).  Current key issues facing the legal aid system include service gaps in the legal aid law that limit access to justice for vulnerable people in the criminal justice system, and challenges related to human resource management.

The Initiative also supports a number of capacity development efforts for government, civil society actors, and universities.  Significantly, the Initiative is supporting the Supreme Court in implementing the E-Justice project, digitalizing its case management system, and enhancing its capacity to adhere to international fair trial standards.  Under two of the Initiative’s projects, UNDP is also providing support to the legal education system in the country, focusing on human rights education and the education of women law students.

Duties and Responsibilities

Analysis and Development of Legal Policies and Practices:

  • Advice on better aligning the Rule of Law Initiatives’ activities with the global indicator framework for Sustainable Development Goal 16 and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • Contribute to the creation of a national platform/mechanism among stakeholders, develop a monitoring and evaluation framework, and report on progress/challenges towards achievement of SDG 16 and its targets.
  • Contribute to strategic thinking in the subject areas of the Rule of Law Initiative, taking into account the needs of Government, local authorities, non-government and development partners.
  • Provide analysis of the relevant national legal policies and practices and legislation to identify their compliance with international standards in the area of rule of law and access to justice.
  • Contribute to the development of innovative access to justice methods, initiate and facilitate discussions and inputs on innovative approaches with stakeholders.
  • Engage with the State Agency for Legal Aid Centers at the Ministry of Justice as an Officer.
  • Contribute to the development of strategic synergies between other projects at UNDP Tajikistan to maximize impact.
  • Evaluate the data, used by the country in its national reports on main UN treaties (UPR, ICCPR, ICESR, CEDAW, CAT etc.) submitted to treaty bodies (selectively and relevant), and give expert analysis.
  • Prepare and propose subjects for the Rule of Law Policy Dialogue meetings and for the National Rule of Law Forum organized by the Ministry of Justice and carry out preparatory review and research on the selected topics to inform the discussions.
  • Participate in state initiated working group sessions/workshops dealing with Rule of Law Reforms to provide substantive expert support.
  • Advise on best practices on the development of the justice system, including state run legal aid, alignment of judicial practices with international best practices and fair trial principles judicial decisions, openness of judiciary.
  • Provide substantive contributions in the rule of law, access to justice, governance, and human rights area through identification of key policy issues and formulation of best possible and alternative policy and programme options at regional and national levels.
  • Map on a consistent basis the legal issues in the country, covering the situation and strategic opportunities in the form of professional papers and reports.
  • Prepare plan of action for legal policy development and project development.
  • Ensure highest UNDP standards in the provision of technical and advisory inputs, organization of workshops, seminars and trainings, and ensure timely reporting by beneficiaries, review them and provide feedback, if needed.

Support for Delivery of Programme Results:

  • Contribute to preparing the results framework and establish performance and impact assessment indicators.
  • Provide support to manage delivery of results by using up-to-date best practices and knowhow in the subject areas and accordingly assist in planning delivery of resources for the performance year.
  • Provide substantive programmatic support to the Project Manager in planning and implementing activities in accordance with the project document.
  • Preparing Terms of Reference (TORs) for consultants, experts and service providers and support in selection, recruitment and development of mission programmes of international and local experts, as required according to UNDP rules and regulations.
  • Compile and analyze information in the subject areas of programme assistance to national partners, contribute to drafting programme documents and work plans and prepare tables and statistical data as required.
  • Collect, classify, summarize and evaluate data and information, carry out technical review of programme documents (proposals, activity plans, financial forecasts).
  • Maintain regular productive working relations with state agencies and CSOs active in rule of law and access to justice.
  • Explore and advise to the Rule of Law Initiative on the development and implementation of innovative justice related initiatives.
  • Put in place gender equality mainstreaming indicators to raise gender.
  • Prepare Project Reports according to the requirements of the donor, government and UNDP.


  • Support the Project Manager in monitoring the progress of the activities related to the policy reform activities through regular site visits, meetings with beneficiaries and/or participating government agencies and CSO as well as collecting and compiling quantitative and qualitative data and monitoring reports.
  • Monitor the process of implementing legal policy reform and development services, and design consultatively with relevant stakeholders a sound and comprehensive monitoring and evaluation mechanism for all activities of the Rule of Law Initiative.

Advocacy, Networking and Communication:

  • Assist the Rule of Law Initiative in maintaining trustful relationships and maintaining continuous and constructive dialogue with the government, civil society, local communities, donors and other partners to maximize consistency and synergy on rule of law reform and access to justice initiatives, and to maximize impact and results.
  • Liaise with relevant government justice institutions and local partners to have them engaged in regular government — civil society policy dialogue meetings on rule of law reform and implementation at national, regional and local levels.
  • Network and build credible working relations with related government agencies and UN.
  • Ensure that activities and support to government and civil society is coordinated and synergies are utilized to assist in attaining the Programme’s outputs and outcomes.
  • Facilitate and contribute in media coverage of the programme work.
  • Disseminate information on best practices and actively participate in UNDP global and regional networks.
  • Contribute to the preparation of visibility materials, publications, press releases for dissemination of UNDP assistance and experience; and provide support to the Rule of Law team on internal and external communication of outcomes.

Partnership and Resource Mobilization:

  • Assist the Project Manager in preparing proposals for mobilization of human, technical or financial resources from international development organizations, non-government organizations and the private sector.
  • Support the development and implementation of partnerships with sister UN agencies and with other UNDP Tajikistan projects to deliver activities; and contribute to close coordination of activities with stakeholders and ensure that collaboration and cooperation is in place at the national, regional, local and district levels.
Core competencies:
  • Achieve Results: LEVEL 2: Scale up solutions and simplifies processes, balances speed and accuracy in doing work
  • Think Innovatively: LEVEL 2: Offer new ideas/open to new approaches, demonstrate systemic/integrated thinking
  • Learn Continuously: LEVEL 2: Go outside comfort zone, learn from others and support their learning
  • Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 2: Adapt processes/approaches to new situations, involve others in change process
  • Act with Determination: LEVEL 2: Able to persevere and deal with multiple sources of pressure simultaneously
  • Engage and Partner: LEVEL 2: Is facilitator/integrator, bring people together, build/maintain coalitions/partnerships
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 2: Facilitate conversations to bridge differences, considers in decision making

People Management Competencies

UNDP People Management Competencies can be found in the dedicated site.

Cross-Functional & Technical Competencies

  • Legal analysis skills
    • The ability to digest a large amount of information and facts in order to frame and understand an issue, apply the legal framework to the particular set of facts and present a coherent and comprehensive analysis of the situation presented in order to deliver practical and meaningful advice. This skill includes the ability to provide an objective assessment of the case, the organization’s best arguments for proceeding and a recommended course of action. It also includes the capacity to think creatively and flexibly, within the applicable legal framework.
  • Rule of Law, Security and Human Rights  
    • Access to Justice
  • Gender
    • Gender Issues and Analysis
  • Negotiation and Influence 
    • Ability to reach an understanding, persuade others, resolve points of difference, gain advantage in the outcome of dialogue, negotiates mutually acceptable solutions through compromise and creates “win-win” situations
  • Knowledge Generation 
    • Ability to research and turn information into useful knowledge, relevant for context, or responsive to a stated need
  • Monitoring
    • Ability to provide managers and key stakeholders with regular feedback on the consistency or discrepancy between planned and actual activities and programme performance and results
  • Partnerships Management 
    • Ability to build and maintain partnerships with wide networks of stakeholders, Governments, civil society and private sector partners, experts and others in line with UNDP strategy and policies
Required Skills and Experience
  • Master’s degree in law, political science, international relations, governance or other related discipline.
  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field with 2 years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of Master’s degree.  
  • Up to 2 years (with Master’s degree) or minimum 2 years (with Bachelor’s degree) of experience in policy or legal advice in the area of rule of law, justice, human rights and/or experience in law making.

Required Skills:

  • Proficiency in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.).

Desired Skills:

  • More than five years’ experience working at national or international level on rule of law, human rights, or justice sector issues will be an advantage.
  • Demonstrated experience working in justice sector organizations.
  • Demonstrated experience working in civil society organizations on justice sector issues.
  • Evidence of work on current justice sector reform efforts.
  • Experience working with the UN, international organizations, government institutions and/or civil society on rule of law, access to justice or human rights.
  • Demonstrated strong analytical, communication and advocacy skills evidenced by presentations at conferences, publications of articles, or reports.
  • Proven experience on gender equality issues.


  • Fluency in Tajik, English and Russian (written and spoken) is required.
  • Knowledge of another UN language is desirable.

Institutional Arrangement

The Policy and Legal Officer under the direct supervision of the Project Manager and overall guidance of UNDP Team Leader, Governance, Rule of law and Human Rights, is responsible for the implementation of activities related to rule of law and access to justice policies and reforms. The Policy and Legal Officer is expected to support the work of the Rule of Law Initiative in all three projects, primarily to inform and guide the Project’s work with strategic policy guidance, legal analysis and relationship management.  The Officer will work in close partnership with the Capacity Development Officer, Project Associate and will supervise consultants and interns working at the Initiative as requested by the Project Manager.

Required Documents

  • Personal CV or P11, indicating all past positions held and their main underlying functions, their durations (month/year), the qualifications, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate, and at least three (3) the most recent professional references of previous supervisors. References may also include peers.
  • A cover letter (maximum length: 1 page) indicating why the candidate considers him-/herself to be suitable for the position.
  • Managers may ask (ad hoc) for any other materials relevant to pre-assessing the relevance of their experience, such as reports, presentations, publications, campaigns or other materials.
Applicant information about UNDP rosters
Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.
UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.
UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.
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