Job categories: Programme Management
Vacancy code: VA/2021/B5004/21291
Department/office: NYSC, SDC, Development and Special Initiatives Portfolio
Duty station: New York , United States of America
Contract type: International ICA
Contract level: IICA-2
Duration: 1 May 2021 – 1 August 2021 (Lumpsum)
Application period: 23-Feb-2021 to 09-Mar-2021
Applications to vacancies must be received before midnight Copenhagen time (CET) on the closing date of the announcement.
Background Information – Job-specific
UNOPS supports partners to build a better future by providing services that increase the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of peace building, humanitarian and development projects. Mandated as a central resource of the United Nations, UNOPS provides sustainable project management, procurement and infrastructure services to a wide range of governments, donors and United Nations organizations.
New York Service Cluster (NYSC) supports the United Nations Secretariat, as well as other New York-based United Nations organizations, bilateral and multilateral partners in the delivery of UNOPS mandate in project management, infrastructure management, and procurement management.
Sustainable Development Cluster (SDC) supports diverse partners with their peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations. It was formed by combining the following portfolios: Grants Management Services (GMS), UN Technology Support Services (UNTSS), Development and Special Initiatives Portfolio (DSIP) It provides Services to partners’ programmes that are designed, structured, and managed with a global perspective and primarily serving partners that are headquartered in New York. The SDC has a footprint of approximately 125 countries.
UNOPS has signed an agreement with the United Nations to implement the activities for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)
United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) is an initiative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, which responds to a broad consensus across nations, cultures and religions that all societies are interdependent, bound together in their development and security, and in their environmental, economic and financial well-being. The Alliance seeks to forge collective political will and to mobilize concerted action at the institutional and civil society levels to overcome the prejudice, misperceptions and polarization that militate against such a consensus. UNAOC hopes to contribute to a coalescing global movement which, reflecting the will of the vast majority of people, rejects extremism in any society.
The complex, demanding dialogue of civilizations, cultures, and religions is necessary, possible, and fruitful. It is a critical tool against isolation, mistrust, and confrontation and it is also the most powerful incentive for understanding, and tolerance. History has shown that dialogue is not a simple process, but that if we fail to teach and cultivate it, the situation can give way to a monologue or to mutism, which is conducive to conflict and violent extremism.
The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations was created to serve as a soft-power political tool of the United Nations Secretary-General for conflict prevention and conflict resolution. It is a coalition against extremist forces; a movement to advance mutual respect for cultures, traditions and religious beliefs, and a platform to bridge divides and overcome prejudice, misconceptions, misperceptions, and polarization. The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations was intended to promote collective action in society as a means of addressing the threats that emerge from the hostile perceptions that foment violence, overcoming cultural and social barriers, reducing tensions and improving relations between societies and communities with diverse cultural and religious backgrounds, and combatting violent extremism.
During its more than fourteen years of existence, UNAOC has pioneered a range of approaches and activities across its four priority areas namely, Youth, Education, Media and Migration. The impact of many of its projects on the ground has been significant and measurable particularly those implemented with civil society organizations (CSOs) and youth-led organizations. Nonetheless, the context of the current global challenges is more complex than ever before. The multidimensional nature of the scope of today’s conflicts requires a new approach to conflict resolution and conflict prevention. Around the world, there has been a rising wave of violent extremism conducive to terrorism, growing intolerance, hate speech, xenophobia and discrimination, posing a threat to international peace and security. These new approaches are reflected in the UNAOC Action Plan 2019-2023. It builds on and develops existing UNAOC programming activities and suggests new focus areas that strengthen the Alliance’ ability to fulfill its mandate in a more effective and measurable way. The Plan further suggests new approaches for institutional development and political advocacy that should provide a viable framework for the way we respond to the current global challenges. Institutionally, the plan re-affirms the important role played by all stakeholders, including state and non-state actors, in developing and implementing national plans and regional strategies to promote intercultural and interreligious dialogue, the mainstay of the Alliance. The framework aims to expand and consolidate the global scope of UNAOC in Africa, Asia, Europe, MENA and Latin America.
This is a position in UNOPS for supporting the implementation of UNAOC. The incumbent of this position will be personnel of UNOPS under its full administrative and financial responsibility.
Guided by the principle that youth are key actors to achieve peace and prevent violent extremism, as stated in the UN Security Council Resolutions 2250 and 2419 and the United Nations Secretary General’s Plan of Action on Preventing Violent Extremism, UNAOC develops educational programming to enhance the ability of young civil society leaders to foster mutual respect, understanding and long-term positive relationships between peoples of different cultures and religions. One of those initiatives is Young Peacebuilders which is a peace education programme that UNAOC implements in different regions of the world to offer peace competence development to young civil society leaders. Learning objectives include, among others:
- Learn about other cultures and worldviews within and beyond the group to foster intercultural cohesion and collaboration.
- Learn about negative stereotypes and how to critically analyze them to reduce their prevalence.
- Understand different perspectives in identity-based conflict and gain tools to develop solutions at local, national and regional level and transform conflicts peacefully.
- Identify push and pull factors creating conditions conducive to violent extremism.
- Develop competencies to use different forms of media or expressive arts as a way to create alternative narratives, reduce polarization and promote social inclusion.
- Reflect on how to increase meaningful youth engagement in their region.
- Learn how to successfully design and run a project.
The aim is to support the growth of networks of young peacebuilders who are equipped with the tools to address stereotypes, prejudice, social exclusion and polarization (both within and between their communities and countries) in order to build more inclusive and peaceful societies in their communities and globally.
- Part 1: online phase (2 months). Participants access the course through an online collaborative platform provided by UNAOC. UNAOC and other trainers facilitate the first few modules of the curriculum, giving an opportunity to participants to get to know each other prior to their first in-person meeting. They also start getting exposed to tools and concepts, engage in discussion and start reflecting on their individual and joint action.
- Part 2: face-to-face workshop (1 week). All participants travel to complete an intense in-person training, including field visits. They also work on their own action plans.
Part 3: implementation phase (3/4 months). Participants stay connected through the online platform, improve their action plans and report on the implementation of their interventions. This part consolidates the network and follow-up mechanisms, ensuring the members of the group continue to support each other after the end of the programme.
- Part 4: final symposium (1 day). Participants are invited to participate in a symposium in a still to be determined country in the target region during which they share their experience, lessons learned, achievements and recommendations with a broader audience of practitioners, policy makers, media and the general public. They also engage with this audience on topics related to intercultural dialogue, peace and security.
After several successful editions of Young Peacebuilders (1st edition in West-Africa; 2nd, 3rd and 4th edition in the MENA region and upcoming 5th edition in Latin America), UNAOC would like to take stock of the pedagogical materials and methodologies it has used and convert those in an innovative UNAOC training handbook for peace educators (in English).
Some guiding principles for the development of the training handbook are:
- This handbook targets peace education facilitators dedicated to strengthening the peacebuilding and leadership skills of youth leaders and youth-led organizations that aim to consolidate peace in their communities.
- The handbook mainly focuses on non-formal peace educators. Non-formal education is a planned learning process in which the learners take part intentionally and voluntarily. It is a participatory process where the participants learn from their own experiences, are not judged or graded, but led through a process of self-reflection and deliberation of how they wish to make use of the lessons in their lives. Teachers in a formal setting should also be able to use some of the tools, activities, methodologies, etc.
- The handbook should contribute to UNAOC’s mandate:
- UNAOC promotes collective action in society as a means of addressing the threats that emerge from the hostile perceptions that foment violence, overcoming cultural and social barriers, reducing tensions and improving relations between societies and communities with diverse cultural and religious backgrounds, and combatting violent extremism.
- Peaceful and inclusive societies are achieved through dialogue between civilizations, cultures, and religions; as it bridges divides and overcomes prejudice, misconceptions, misperceptions, and polarization.
- Guided by the principle that youth are key actors to achieve sustainable peace and prevent violent extremism, they are a key stakeholder in leading the dialogues. They request to be provided with more opportunities for capacity building.
- The handbook should be hands-on and consist of concrete and practical tools, exercises, materials and methodologies that facilitators can use in their peace education trainings, but at the same time include a part that makes the facilitators reflect on their own stereotypes and prejudices.
- The handbook should have a learner-centered, experiential approach.
- Recognizing that every person learns differently, the handbook should vary the different forms of learning (visual, intra-personal, interpersonal, problem-solving, critical thinking, linguistic, artistic, socio-emotional, etc.) so as to ensure that all users gain something from it.
The incumbent, responsible for developing the training handbook, will work remotely and tentatively start on May 1, 2021. Evaluation of qualified candidates will include an assessment exercise, which will be followed by a competency-based interview. The incumbent of this position will be personnel of UNOPS under its full administrative and financial responsibility.
In close collaboration with the UNAOC Project Management Specialist – Youth and Education, as well as the former and current trainers and participants of Young Peacebuilders, the author will:
- Take stock and analyze the pedagogical materials, tools and methodologies used in previous and current editions of UNAOC Young Peacebuilders (1st edition in West-Africa, 2nd, 3rd and 4th edition in the MENA region)
- Collect input of former and current trainers and participants of Young Peacebuilders.
- Research, collect and analyze additional relevant material, reports and guides to fully help in the development of an innovative training handbook as a tool to assist educators in organizing peace trainings.
- Draft the outline of the handbook (based on step 1 and guiding principles described above) and share with UNAOC for review and contributions and ensure their integration (deliverable 1).
- Share a draft of the training handbook with UNAOC for review and contributions and ensure their integration into a consolidated version of the draft (deliverable 2).
- Submit fully developed training handbook (deliverable 3).
Monitoring and Progress Controls
- Deliverable 1: Outline of the handbook by 1 June 2021
- Deliverable 2: First draft of the training handbook by 1 July 2021
- Deliverable 3: Final handbook by 1 August 2021
FEMALE CANDIDATES ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO APPLY
*CANDIDATES WITH NO UNITED NATIONS OR UNOPS EXPERIENCE ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO APPLY.
- Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) preferably in education, political science, international relations, social sciences, law, public administration, or a related field
- First level university degree with a relevant combination of academic qualifications and 2 years of work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. Any additional qualification in the fields of Social Sciences or Education, or a Ph.D. in one of the above disciplines is an asset.
- A minimum of five years of work experience in research and development of high-quality publications such as handbooks, guides, reports, articles, etc. is required.
- Experience in international development cooperation, obtained at the international level is required.
Desirable experience (the following experience is optional candidates who do not have it are welcome to apply)
- Knowledge of UN Issues and Frameworks including those relating to Education and Youth is highly desirable.
- Experience in the field of peace education, prevention of violent extremism (PVE), promotion of youth development, is desirable.
- Field experience is an asset.
- Experience in drafting and developing high-quality UN guidance materials is highly desirable.
- Fluency in English is required.
- Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.
- Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long-term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.
- Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
- Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as a positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
- Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
- Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
- Open to change and flexible in a fast-paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
- Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
- Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.
Contract type, level and duration
Contract type: Individual Contractual Agreement (ICA)
Contract level: International ICA-2
Contract duration: 1 May 2021 – 30 August 2021 (Lumpsum)
For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:
- Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
- Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
- Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
- Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
- UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
- Work life harmonization – UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
- For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
- For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.
- The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.
It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.
Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.
Background Information – UNOPS
UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.
UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.
Working with us
UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.
With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.
Work life harmonization
UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.