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The insurgency in the Lake Chad Basin, including Northeast of Nigeria has been longstanding and has caused undesirable consequences in terms of loss of lives, created multi-tiered intergenerational grievances, destroyed socio-cultural and socio-economic systems, and remains a threat to immediate, medium and long-term transformation of the affected territories in Nigeria, including Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States. Borno has seen a significantly higher impact, nonetheless the effects are far reaching and go beyond national territories. Recent humanitarian data, the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan cited that the population in need was over 8 million coming into the 13th year of the conflict. Of this population, over 2.2million remained internally displaced. Additionally, over 200,000 were living as refugees across the three Lake Chad Basin Countries. While close to 4 million community members remained vulnerable and fragile, similarly requiring significant attention
By 2021 and into 2022, the insurgency in Northeast of Nigeria had taken an unprecedented turn leading to large number of individuals exiting the conflict and presenting themselves to security authorities, largely in Borno State, but also in neighboring countries. Moreover, sustaining this momentum of exits presents challenges to effective process of their handling and in treatment of the individuals as is led by government authorities and in ensuring their reintegration into communities amidst an ongoing conflict, an internal displacement situation and significant intergenerational grievances stemming from the longstanding conflict.
As a response to the mass exits, in 2021, the State Government of Borno, passed a “Policy on Community-Based Reconciliation and reintegration” premised on the Vision for long term transformation of the State to contribute to peace and stability. Additionally, the Borno State Government has developed and is implementing the ‘Borno Model’. This is a state-led programme for integrated management of those that have exited the insurgency and includes key community level interventions aligned with the CBRR approach on a community-oriented reintegration process while at the same time incorporating targeted reconciliation, healing and long-term transformation perspectives. It is also aligned with the regional priorities under the Regional Stabilization Strategy for the Lake Chad Basin. At the Federal level the Presidential Committee on Repatriation, Return and Settlement of Displaced Persons in the Northeast has elaborated an action plan with a financing and partnership framework that includes: a) A strategic roadmap which outlines a clear exit strategy for the protracted crises in the North-East and the restoration of sustainable peace and development in the North-East; b) An immediate plan for repatriation, returns, resettlement displaced persons and restoration of livelihoods; c) A plan to strengthen existing programmes for repentant Boko Haram members (Operation Safe Corridor (OPSC) and the Borno Model focusing on voluntary exits from the conflict.
UNDP is supporting the Federal and State Government to make operational these responses as aligned with the international normative framework and UNDP policy orientations for effective implementation of community-based reconciliation and reintegration. The UNDP/UNICEF/IOM “Support for Reconciliation and reintegration of Former Armed Non-State combatants and Boko Haram Associates (S2R) project” is funded by EU and aims to achieve the following objectives: a) Reduced rejection and stigmatization of former associates; b) Increase community reconciliation and healing; c) Increase sustainable alternatives to violence and increase social cohesion; d) Strengthen policy responses on demobilization non-state security providers; and e) Strengthen trust between citizens and Government.
The premise is that community-based reconciliation and transitional justice processes are important for peacebuilding and prevention. Besides establishing a minimum level of safety and security in the community, action is required to strengthen individual livelihoods, community social and productive infrastructure and public services for sustainable reintegration. Additionally, comprehensive approaches are important as they lay the foundations for sustainable reintegration through a community-driven, government-owned and a whole of community focus. The first phase of this project is currently completing, and the design of a successor project underway in development.
In this respect, UNDP seeks to recruit a Reconciliation and Social Cohesion Specialist (Project Manager) to lead and coordinate the implementation of UNDP-specific component of the Action. S/He will work closely with other UN partner agencies to deliver on the day-to-day activities of the joint Actions. S/He will coordinate all UNDP-specific reconciliation/social cohesion activities of the project, ensuring effective implementation and achievement of all intended outputs and results relating to the UNDP component of the project. S/He will work closely with the State Government, UN agencies, and CSOs operating in the project areas. S/He will specifically:
- Provide strategic direction and leadership in the programme area of reconciliation and reintegration;
- Ensure adherence to the UNDP corporate and CO standards for effective and efficient project management;
- Support partnership building and resource mobilization for UNDP in the programme area:
- Promote UNDP mandate and corporate policy and provides senior high level policy advice to government and other partners:
- Ensure knowledge building and management focusing on achievement of the following results:
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the direct supervision of the Programme Specialist, the Reconciliation and Social Cohesion Specialist provides strategic direction and leadership in the programme area of reconciliation and reintegration:
- Support the implementation of the UNDP-specific reconciliation and social cohesion activities of the project.
- Ensure close coordination with relevant partners, design and conduct process for a national and localized conflict analysis that aims to gain a comprehensive and shared understanding of potential or ongoing violent conflicts to identify key threats to the security, reconciliation, and social cohesion of communities.
- Support the review and assessment of existing local mechanisms for peace, reconciliation, and social cohesion and the formulation of relevant recommendations for the development of a coordinated and consistent approach for local peace/reconciliation infrastructures.
- Engage with civil society to catalyze and build upon existing initiatives for conflict management and dialogue.
- Undertake a rapid assessment with a view to identify risk factors for violence, including gender-based violence, and confidence-building opportunities to calibrate UNDP engagement on dialogue with various stakeholders
- Design and lead the implementation of activities aimed at strengthening community reconciliation, social cohesion and social contract between the Government and citizens
- Analyze the youth/civil movement in the project areas, to develop strategies to engage a wide range of key stakeholders, including youth and identify the gaps for UNDP to respond through project interventions in short and mid-term.
- Analyze the intertwined issues of religion, politics, and security in the context of North-East Nigeria to identify entry points within existing and new programming to work on reconciliation and social cohesion issues related to youth (both young women and men), which may include but not be limited to, participation and representation of both women and men
- Monitor the tendency for the escalation of violence, including gender-based violence and based on the analysis, advise the UNDP CO on possible actions in the context of social cohesion and dialogue efforts, including assisting in the setting-up of dialogue platforms as deemed appropriate and identifying dialogue entry points with key stakeholders
- Support local dialogue, confidence-building, and trust-building within communities, and between them and the authorities through joint decision-making, public consultation, and hearings.
- Assist the authorities on the local, district and oblast levels to develop conflict-sensitive communication strategies and public awareness approaches
- Liaise with the UNDP monitoring system and ensure that its information and analysis inform the Governance, Peace and Security activities
- Perform other functions as deemed essential for effective results.
The Reconciliation and Social Cohesion Specialist will be held accountable for adherence to the UNDP corporate and CO standards for effective and efficient project management:
- In close consultation with the Programme Specialist and Senior Programme Management Team, overseeing the elaboration of coherent work plans and budgets for all activities in the programme portfolio and the continuous monitoring of project work plans
- Ensures timely and adequate reporting against plans in consultation with Programme Specialist and Senior Programme Management Team
- Preparation of high-quality project documents and proposals, and encouraging adequate peer review of the same through established mechanisms
- Integrity of financial and administrative operations in the programme area by oversight of financial and budgetary aspects of the projects, under advice of the Operations staff
- Strict and consistent application of UNDP rules and regulations and ensuring the implementation of clear accountability mechanisms throughout the programme portfolio
- Cost recovery for services provided by the CO to projects, in collaboration with the Programme Management Support Team
- Participates in internal control mechanisms for adherence UNDP rules and regulations in contracts, assets, procurement, recruitment, etc. as required
- Approval of financial transactions for the project in ATLAS/Quantum, up to the designated level.
The Reconciliation and Social Cohesion Specialist supports partnership building and resource mobilization for UNDP in the programme area:
- Supports resource mobilization for the programme in close consultation with the Programme Specialist and Senior Management and is responsible for reaching the yearly fund mobilization and delivery targets.
- Advocates for UNDP with government counterparts, donor community, international financial institutions and the UN
- Liaises continually with and forges close linkages with other UN agencies, programmes, and entities, and other international and national stakeholders concerned with or providing assistance on reconciliation and reintegration issues to Nigeria
- Promotes joint programming and UN reform, and collaborates effectively in established frameworks for UN and other international coordination
- Contributes to the harnessing of effective partnerships and competitive selection of partners for implementation of UNDP projects.
The Reconciliation and Social Cohesion Specialist promotes UNDP mandate and corporate policy and provides senior high level policy advice to government and other partners:
- Promotes results of the reconciliation and reintegration interventions in close cooperation with the UNDP practice and regional, headquarter partners, ensuring maximum and appropriate levels of visibility and public awareness on results and ongoing activities.
- Provides high level senior policy advice to UNDP senior management, Government counterparts, donors and other partners on issues related to reconciliation and reintegration.
- Represents UNDP as requested by Senior Managers or Resident Representative.
- Manage sensitive issues with great tact and positions UNDP as a neutral actor with high quality policy advice, in particular the handling and treatment of project beneficiaries.
The Reconciliation and Social Cohesion Specialist ensures knowledge building and management focusing on achievement of the following results:
- Promotes identification and synthesis of best practices and lessons learned from the programme area for organizational sharing and learning as well as external information.
- Actively participates in the knowledge networks and takes advantage of best practices and lessons learned that are available in the region and globally, and encourages staff in the programme area to do so by creating a culture of knowledge and learning
- Promotes the participation of UNDP Nigeria in regional programmes and regional activities related to the programme area as appropriate
- Supports capacity- and knowledge building of national and local counterparts
- Promotes a knowledge sharing and learning culture in the CO and, in particular, within the Early recovery, Stabilisation and other components of the reconciliation and reintegration portfolios.
Supervisory/ Managerial Responsibilities:
The reconciliation and social cohesion specialist supervises project staff established under the project. People Management is required competency for this assignment. The incumbent should aspire to create an enabling workplace, manage performance and ensure accountability, building capability of the team, motivating and directing the team to work towards a common vision and goal that is shared by the Country office and work of the suboffice.
Achieve Results: LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact
Think Innovatively: LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems
Learn Continuously: LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences
Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands
Act with Determination: LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results
Engage and Partner: LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration
Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity
- Cross-Functional & Technical competencies:
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 Direction & Strategy – Effective Decision Making: Ability to take decisions in a timely and efficient manner in line with one’s authority, area of expertise and resources.
Business Development – 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.
Business Management – Resource Management: Ability to allocate and use resources in a strategic or tactical way in line with principles of accountability and integrity.
Business Development – Knowledge Generation: Ability to research and turn information into useful knowledge, relevant for context, or responsive to a stated need.
Business Management – Results Based Management: Ability to manage programmes and projects with a focus on improved performance and demonstrable results.
Business Management – Results-based Management: Ability to manage programmes and projects with a focus at improved performance and demonstrable results.
Required Skills and Experience
- Master’s degree or equivalent in social sciences with a focus on peace and conflict studies, international relations, political science, development studies or a related field is required
- Minimum 7 years’ experience at national and/or international level in advisory and analytical positions is required
- Extensive experience coordinating activities in social cohesion, reconciliation, peacebuilding, conflict resolution and management, consensus-building, dialogue processes, collaborative decision-making, and leadership is desired
- Excellent conflict analysis and reporting skills, experience in bilateral and/or multilateral negotiations is desired
- Practical experience in capacity-building, negotiation, facilitation and training skills, leadership development, and strategy development is desired.
- Strong experience in conflict sensitive programming
- Previous experience in planning and operationalizing development programming in post-conflict environment
- Prior experience in facilitation and/or coaching in negotiation processes and dialogue activities
- Knowledge of the programming of the United Nations (One UN), particularly in the context of crisis and post-crisis is desired
- Knowledge of M&E systems, and results and performance-based management and reporting
- Experience in partnership building and resource mobilization in conflict context is required
- Has a clear intellectual interest in the development process of national reconciliation and social cohesion
- Excellent computer skills (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Internet, etc.).
- Proactive sharing of knowledge and experience
- Experience in special development situations in Africa would be an asset, as well as previous experience working in the Lake Chad region.
- Proficiency in Oral and Written English language.
Please note that continuance of appointment beyond the initial 12 months is contingent upon the successful completion of a probationary period.
Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment.
UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.
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