Conflict & Political Economy Specialist at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the United Nations’ global development network. It advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life for themselves. It provides expert advice, training and grants support to developing countries, with increasing emphasis on assistance to the least developed countries. It promotes technical and investment cooperation among nations.

Headquartered in New York City, the status of UNDP is that of an executive board within the United Nations General Assembly. The UNDP is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from UN member states. The organization operates in 177 countries, where it works with local governments to meet development challenges and develop local capacity.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Conflict & Political Economy Specialist

Job ID: 32448
Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Practice Area – Job Family: Capacity Development – CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
Education & Work Experience: I-Master’s Level Degree – 5 year(s) experience
Grade: NOC
Vacancy Type: FTA Local
Posting Type: Common System
Contract Duration: 1 Year with possibility for extension


  • Nigerians continue to grapple with extreme adversity across the North-East Nigeria and the rest of the Lake Chad region where a recent surge in violence has uprooted tens of thousands more people, exacerbating an already dire crisis situation. An intractable extremist insurgency that has left tens of thousands of people dead, approximately 2.5 million displaced, and more than 10 million people in the region affected and in need. It is unlikely that security responses alone will be sufficient to address the complex factors that gave rise to the insurgency, and which continues to sustain it. There is increasing consensus that military efforts must be coupled with significant investments in complementary stabilization, peacebuilding and recovery activities to benefit the local population with both local and Lake Chad Basin (LCB) regional levels, if the security-humanitarian-development nexus around Lake Chad is to be effectively addressed.
  • While robust national and multi-national military operations have re-taken territory previously controlled by Boko Haram, a new approach is required to consolidate these gains and establish the conditions necessary to transition from military to civilian responsibility for security, and from the provision of humanitarian assistance to the resumption of stalled development processes.  To this end, UNDP has launched Lake Chad Basin Regional Stabilization Facility, supporting four Lake Chad Basin countries (i.e., Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, and Chad) as well as LCB regional institutions, such as the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC).
  • The Facility will act as a rapid-response package–delivering within 90 days of target area selection – that relevant authority can sequence with military operations as necessary, to ensure immediate follow-up in specific locations and curtail the ability of armed opposition groups to re-infiltrate and exploit any security vacuum or community perceptions of non-responsive Government by extending an organized and effective civilian security umbrella, consolidating military progress with development ‘dividends’ for the local population.
  • The National Window of the Regional Stabilization Facility for Nigeria aims to address the needs of immediate stabilization in the target areas in North-East Region of Nigeria with high degrees of insecurity, promoting the phased transition of insecure areas toward greater security, and the reduction of current volatility whereby previously secure areas have become more rather than less vulnerable.
  • There is need to undertake regular and sustained granular analysis of conflict risks and factors of resilience to ensure that the proposed interventions are appropriate and fully conforms with the principle of “do no harm.” A sustained political-economy analysis of conflicts  will also identify immediate stabilization and peacebuilding needs as a basis for  designing catalytic interventions.
  • To this end, UNDP Nigeria is seeking qualified personnel to support conflict and political-economy analyses efforts with a focus on the North East but with extended support to other Northern States of Nigeria and the Lake Chad basin Region as a whole.
  • The Specialist will also work alongside contracted experts or NGOs/CSOs to assure the quality of conflict analysis and other socio-economic assessments and ensure coordination with other specialists, UDNP staff, government officials and NGOs/CSOs to consolidate the analyses and disseminate the assessment results to relevant stakeholders.
  • S/he will provide pertinent advice to UNDP senior management for designing and implementing immediate peacebuilding and stabilization measures including within the Stabilization Facility for North-East and related integrated conflict prevention and recovery programmes in Northern Nigeria.

Duties and Responsibilities
Under the direct supervision of Crisis Prevention and Recovery Advisor, the Conflict and Political Economy Specialist will be responsible for the following functions and tasks:

  • Support the design and implementation of sound conflict and political economy analyses and provide accurate information on the latest conflict dynamics and trends and socio-economic implications;
  • Support day-to-day activities related to conflict and political economy analyses and community conflict surveillance mechanism to capture early-warning signs for harmful factors for the programme interventions, including technical guidance to local and international consultants and NGO/CSO partners and coordination with other programme teams and the key stakeholders;
  • Provide policy advice and technical inputs to the Stabilization Facility Team and UNDP senior management as well as the respective stakeholders for designing effective immediate stabilization interventions, monitoring impacts (both positive and negative) of stabilization interventions in the beneficiary communities as well as the NE Nigeria and Lake Chad Basin Region as a whole.

Specific Functions/Results Expected
Ensure effective formulation and implementation of programme strategies for conflict and political economy analyses throughout the programme management cycle of the Stabilization Facility and related initiatives:

  • Undertake thorough analyses and researches on the political, social and economic, and conflict situations in the NE and Northern regions of Nigeria including in programme target communities and provide substantive inputs to the Stabilization Facility and other related programmes/projects in the CO;
  • Identify the areas for support and interventions on conflict analysis, conflict surveillance mechanism, and conflict mitigation in line with the current context of Northern Region;
  • Develop a methodology, approach, and workplan to analyze the conflict context dynamics in the target communities/areas in Northern Region and regularly update the analysis results and data;
  • Design the detailed implementation plan of the identified interventions for conflict and political economy analyses, including identification of potential implementing partners, methodologies, and coordination mechanisms;
  • Establish a mechanism to constantly capture information on conflict dynamism and other socio-economic trends in the target communities and consolidate the analyses;
  • Liaise and coordinate with experts/staff in relevant projects in CO, to ensure collaboration and sharing of the analysis activity results and lessons learnt.

Support day to day activities related to conflict and political economy analyses and community surveillance mechanisms, focusing on result management, quality assurance and oversight:

  • Support NE Stabilisation Facility and cohesion building programmes through providing technical support to ensure the project activities are implemented in a conflict-sensitive manner and promptly report to the Senior Management of the Stabilization Facility and relevant actors whenever the issues that require their attention arise;
  • Support the design and undertake conflict and political-economy analysis activities through community mobilization, establishing community consultation groups, including vulnerable target population (e.g., women, disability, social minorities etc.) and promoting consultations with relevant parties to identify the need gaps and UNDP’s entry points for catalytic effects;
  • Provide technical support to design conflict and political-economy analyses in an inclusive and participatory manner with all concerned parties and manage the conflict analyses and surveillance mechanisms;
  • Provide technical advice to national/international consultants and NGOs/CSOs for conflict analyses and implementation of project activities;
  • Support selection, recruitment and training of local volunteers on conflict surveillance, dispute resolution and mediation, including Sexual & Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and human rights in the target communities;
  • Prepare reports, information materials, and publications on the conflict and political-economy analysis activities.

Provide top-quality advisory services to the Programme Team, UNDP Nigeria, Government, donor partners and other key stakeholders and ensure facilitation of knowledge building and management:

  • Provide policy advice and technical inputs to the Stabilization Facility Team and ongoing Peacebuilding, Social Cohesion and Recovery programmes as well as the respective stakeholders for designing conflict sensitive interventions, monitoring impacts of the interventions and undertaking necessary countermeasures;
  • Ensure timely and effective dissemination of analysis results on the latest trends in conflict, political and socio- economic situations and other relevant areas that can have an impact on the delivery of the project results;
  • Support organization of roundtable discussions, briefing sessions, and presentation to internal and external audiences on conflict/socio-economic trends in the target communities, Northern Regions, NE Nigeria, and Lake Chad Basin Region;
  • Undertake outreach activities and coordinate with UN System actors and other organizations in the field of conflict analysis and peace-studies to create synergies and collaboration including participation in Task Forces and other ad-hoc internal working groups on cross-cutting themes as requested;
  • Provide policy advice to strengthen synergies and partnerships with other actors, such as CSOs/NGOs, the governments, academic institutions and the international organizations for greater positive impacts of conflict analysis/assessment activities;
  • Provide technical support to strengthen the capacity of staff and community groups for advocacy, communications, and tools on conflict analysis and monitoring, including utilization of social media and other innovative communication tools;
  • Engage in Community of UNDP Practice within the area of crisis management, conflict analysis and peacebuilding to support knowledge sharing and documentation of best practice.

Impact of Results:

  • The key results have impact on effective positioning of UNDP in the broader Northern States of Nigeria including the North East through sound conflict and political economy analyses, which informs the design and implementation of area-specific, conflict responsive and flexible programming.

Requirements, Skills and Experience

  • Nigerian national with a minimum of Master’s Degree in International Conflict / Peace Studies, International Development / Relations, Economics, Political Science, with a focus on peace and conflict studies.

Professional Experience:

  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in designing and implementing local level and/or national level conflict and context analysis; strengthening early warning systems and programs in conflict-affected environments
  • Extensive experience in undertaking action research, socio-political analysis of development dynamics in conflict contexts
  • Rich understanding of and previous working experience in Nigeria’s North East and the Lake Chad Basin
  • Understanding of the political, social and cultural background of the Lake Chad Region is critical
  • Excellent analytical and writing skills, including political/context analysis skills;
  • Extensive experience in strategy and programme development in conflict settings including Prevention of Violent Extremism.
  • Knowledge of analytical tools employed in crisis-affected/fragile contexts.
  • Expertise in incorporating political economy analysis   learning into program design, monitoring, evaluation, indicator development, impact analysis, and collaborative learning
  • A high degree of political and cross-cultural sensitivity
  • Experience drafting user-friendly knowledge products such as toolkits, methodologies, analytical documents, policy papers, project and program documents, baseline studies, desk reviews, and comparative studies.
  • Functionally related professional management skills including remote office management;
  • Strong leadership and team-building skills in complex and conflict settings
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.) and advance knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages, as well as experience in the handling of web-based management systems.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in spoken and written English, Hausa or  Kanuri is a requirement.


Innovation – Ability to make new and useful ideas work:

  • Conceptualizes and analyses problems to identify issues, underlying problems and how they relate
  • Contributes creative, practical ideas and approaches to deal with challenging situation
  • Strives for quality client-centered services (internal/external) when making decisions and taking actions.

Leadership – Ability to persuade others to follow:

  • Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback
  • Excellent analytical and organizational skills required
  • Ability to plan own work, manage conflicting priorities, report on work progress and delivery outputs in a punctual manner
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities
  • Sets clear performance goals and standards; execute responsibilities accordingly.

Communication – Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform:

  • Strong communication (spoken and written) skills and ability to articulate ideas in a clear, concise style
  • Demonstrates good oral and written communication skills.

Delivery – Ability to get things done:

  • Plans and produces quality results to meet established goals
  • Ability to lead strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes and projects, mobilize resources
  • Ability to formulate and manage budgets, manage transactions, financial analysis and reporting.

Primary – Communications and Interpersonal Skills:

  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills, ability to foster good working relations with various persons, good working knowledge of information and computer technology.
  • Understanding the challenges of working in a multi-cultural environment and working in  a  crisis setting
  • Excellent writing skills in English.

Secondary – Knowledge Management:

  • Ability to efficiently handle and share information and knowledge
  • Demonstrates substantive and technical knowledge to meet responsibilities and post requirements with excellence
  • Uses ICT and web-based management systems effectively as a tool and resource
  • Is motivated & demonstrates a capacity to pursue personal developments & learn.

Partnership Management:

  • Excellent inter-personal skills and ability to motivate staff and mobilize colleagues and partners in the best interest of achieving results.

Application Closing Date
13th September, 2020.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

Important Applicant Information / Notice

  • 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 is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.
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  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
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