Head of Stabilization 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: Head of Stabilization

Job ID: 32450
Location: Maiduguri, Borno
Practice Area – Job Family: Crisis Prevention and Recovery – STABILIZATION, Management
Education & Work Experience: I-Master’s Level Degree – 10 year(s) experience
Grade: P5
Vacancy Type: FTA Local
Posting Type: Common System
Contract Duration: 1 Year with possibility for extension


  • This year, 2020, marks the 11thanniversary of the extra-judicial killing of Mohamed Yusuf in police custody in Borno State, Nigeria, and the advent of a new and deadly phase in the evolution of Boko Haram. Since 2015, the Nigerian military has been successfully prosecuting Operation Lafiya Dole, with concerted and coordinated support from the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), resulting in the gradual opening up and easing of access to previously occupied areas.
  • By March 2018, two main insurgent factions were still active, and continued to wage an insurgency campaign against the government: Jama’atuAhlis Sunna Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad (JAS), a Non-State Armed Group (NSAG), labelled by the media and commonly referred to as “Boko Haram”, operating mainly out of southern Borno State; Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), which split from Boko Haram in 2016, and which is based largely close to Lake Chad itself, and along Nigeria’s northern border with Niger.
  • Since 2016, ISWAP has differentiated itself from JAS through the development of strategy and tactics that mark it as potentially a more sophisticated and formidable opponent. Unlike JAS, ISWAP seeks to avoid unnecessary violence and exploitation against civilian populations, and has introduced a level of governance, including administration of justice, control of commodities and provision of social welfare An April 2019 Global Initiative for Civil Stabilisation (GICS) report identifies the main success of ISWAP as its ability to effectively appeal to and co-opt local networks, while blending a globalist caliphate messaging with local grievances, competently using it to establish legitimacy in the eyes of local communities.
  • ISWAP launched a major offensive in January 2019 that has resulted in the overrunning of a number of military bases, large-scale displacement of local populations and an expansion of the territory under ISWAP’s nominal control where the Nigerian government and military are not present. In addition, it is likely that the attacks have increased the insurgents’ capability still further, given the amount of Nigeria Armed Forces (NAF) weapons, ammunition, vehicles and other equipment that are reported to have been lost.
  • In another reverse, the JAS faction overran and destroyed the refugee town of Rann near the border to Cameroon in January 2019, displacing its inhabitants yet again. Thousands of the Nigerian refugees were forcibly returned by the Cameroonian authorities. In total, Militant attacks in northeastern Nigeria have forced almost 60,000 people to flee since November, the largest number for more than two years, more than half of them as a result of the Rann incident.
  • Changes in ISWAP tactics, growing concerns of coordination between the ISWAP and JAS factions, and external support from Islamic State and Al Qaeda, and the increased number of violent incidences since the last quarter of 2018, is raising fears that the security situation is once again deteriorating, and that urgent action is required to prevent a significant resurgence of the crisis.
  • At least 35,000 people have been killed since the inception of the conflict, and UN OCHA ranks the humanitarian emergency as one of the four worst humanitarian crises globally, with 2.4 million people displaced, 5 million food insecure people at crisis and emergency levels, and millions of civilians subjected to extreme hardship. In the four Lake Chad countries, 17.4 million people live in areas affected by the crisis and 10.7 million are in need.
  • Recent figures indicate 226,000 Nigerian refugees in neighbouring Lake Chad countries, and nearly 2 million people (440,000 women, 364,000 men, 614,000 girls and 516,000 boys) currently internally displaced, 80 per cent of them in Borno State. New waves of displacement occurred in 2018, affecting a weekly average of 4,500 individuals. More than 40 IDP sites across 12 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Borno State are currently in ‘high congestion’ status resulting in many individuals having no access to shelter and forced to sleep in overcrowded spaces or outside.
  • Physical insecurity remains a significant challenge in many places. With the absence of effective safety and security at the community level, vigilante groups have until now provided the link between the security agencies and communities, their numbers increasing and roles widening in response to the insurgency, operating without a clear legal framework while providing intelligence, checking civilians, screening internally displaced persons (IDPs) and in some cases resolving local-level disputes
  • The conflict has also resulted in massive destruction of basic infrastructure, health and educational facilities, commercial buildings, private houses and agricultural assets. In Nigeria, in the three Boko Haram-affected States of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, the total damage is estimated at USD 8.93 billion with the bulk of the losses (79%) attributed to agriculture (USD 3.7 billion) and private housing (USD 3.32 billion). Damage to private enterprises is also significant at USD 0.9 billion or 10 percent of total damages. Two thirds of health facilities have been damaged. The conflict has also affected access to education with an estimated 1,200 school facilities destroyed, 1500 schools closed for over two years and 952,029 school-age children with no access to education.
  • The situation facing women and children is particularly dire. Violence against women and girls, including sexual violence, and exposure to trafficking and abduction is widespread but underreported. At least 49,500 girls and boys have been exposed to recruitment by armed groups and other grave child rights violations. Of the women and girls abducted by non-State Armed Groups many are raped, forced into marriage and labour, abused physically, sexually and/or emotionally, exposed to sexually transmitted diseases, and often impregnated by their captors. Anecdotal reports point to women and girls forced into survival sex in order to sustain themselves and their families. A 2016 UNDP livelihoods assessment of 3,500 households in the three states revealed that 23 percent are headed by a woman, highlighting the importance of targeted support to this highly vulnerable population group.
  • The Nigerian Government launched the Buhari Plan in 2016 as a means to provide a framework for engagement in the Northeast of the country. This framework was followed by the establishment of Operation Safe Corridor to provide rehabilitation and reintegration support to low-risk Boko Haram-associated persons, and, very recently, the May 2019 inauguration of the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) to tackle the root causes of the crisis.
  • With the support of the African Union and UNDP, the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) prepared a Regional Strategy for the Stabilization, Recovery and Resilience of the Boko Haram-affected Areas of the Lake Chad Basin, approved by the Member States in August 2018 and endorsed by the AU Peace & Security Council on in December 2018. It seeks to establish a common approach and an inclusive framework for all stakeholders to support a timely, coordinated, and effective transition from stabilization to medium and longer-term recovery, peacebuilding and development processes.
  • LCBC presented the Strategy at the High-Level Conference on the Lake Chad Region hosted by Germany, Nigeria, Norway, and the UN (OCHA and UNDP) in Berlin, September 2018. The conference marked a new chapter in the new way of working as humanitarian, peacebuilding and development needs were all part of the conference, departing from the strictly humanitarian approach of the previous Oslo conference on Lake Chad. The combined approach was well-received and resulted in an increase in funding for both humanitarian and development interventions.
  • The overall objective of Facility intervention in Nigeria is to achieve ‘immediate’ stabilisation of the Boko Haram-affected States of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. Building on UNDP experience in Iraq and elsewhere, the following three outputs are understood as the basis of successful stabilisation: (i) Security & the Rule of Law strengthened; (ii) Essential Infrastructure & Basic Services functioning; and (iii) Livelihood Options available.

Duties and Responsibilities
Under the direct supervision of the Resident Representative, the Head of Stabilization is responsible for performing the following functions:

Manage the Stabilization Facility and its timely implementation:

  • Leads the project teams and works closely with a wide array of partners to ensure that the projects under stabilization directly respond to the UNDP country programme strategy;
  • Supervises the project staff, provides coaching to staff and effective leadership;
  • Develops, oversees and monitors work plans and budgets for all activities in the project portfolio;
  • Ensures timely and adequate reporting against plans, including timely and articulate progress reports;
  • Identifies risks and challenges to the ongoing operations of the projects and provides advice to the Resident Representative on mitigation strategies;
  • Ensures appropriate levels of visibility and public awareness on results and ongoing activities;
  • Ensures the integrity of financial and administrative operations in the project area through financial oversight, under advice of UNDP Operations staff;
  • Strict and consistent application of UNDP rules and regulations and ensuring the implementation of clear accountability mechanisms;
  • Participates in internal control mechanisms for adherence to UNDP rules and regulations in contracts, assets, procurement, recruitment, etc., as required;
  • Manages day to day administrative matters for the project with support from administrative staff and the performance of consultants and specialist advisers.

Promote UNDP’s mandate and corporate policy and provides senior high-level policy advice on stabilization:

  • Promotes early stabilization approaches and provides policy advice to UNDP Senior Management, government counterparts, donors and other partners on issues related to stabilization;
  • Thorough analysis of political/social and economic situation of the country/ region and identify strategic areas of support for UNDP in stabilization and its transition to recovery;
  • Builds solid relationships with key national partners and identifies institutional development and capacity building opportunities and priorities, where relevant;
  • Ensures the integration of cross-cutting issues, such as gender, peace building, human rights and resilience into stabilization and post crisis response;
  • Liaises closely with other UNDP programs and ensure smooth transition of stabilization to longer term development programmes;
  • Ensures systematic and effective analysis, project monitoring, including but not limited to regular field visits, as appropriate, and participation in Project Board Steering Committee and Technical Committee;
  • Represents UNDP and perform any other tasks as assigned by the Resident Representative.

Support partnership building and resource mobilization for UNDP’s Stabilization Programme:

  • Ensures sufficient resource mobilization for the project in close consultation with Senior Management and is responsible for reaching the annual resource mobilization targets;
  • Advocates for UNDP’s work and represents UNDP with national authorities, the donor community, and international financial institutions, where requested;
  • Liaises regularly and forges close linkages with other UN programmes, agencies and entities, as well as other international and national stakeholders concerned with or providing assistance on early recovery or stabilization issues in Nigeria;
  • Ensures high-quality and timely reporting to government partners and donors involved in the project;
  • Contributes to the harnessing of effective partnerships and competitive selection of partners for implementation of UNDP projects;
  • Collaborates effectively in established frameworks for UN and other international coordination.

Ensure Knowledge Management:

  • Promotes identification and synthesis of best practices and lessons learned from the project area for organizational sharing and learning as well as external information;
  • Actively participates in UNDP knowledge networks and takes advantage of best practices and lessons learned that are available in the region and globally, and encourages project staff to do so by creating a culture of knowledge sharing and learning;
  • Uses and promotes the use of the Regional Service Center;
  • Promotes the participation of UNDP Nigeria in regional programmes and regional activities related to the project area as appropriate;

Impact of Results:

  • The key results have an impact on the overall success of the stabilization programme and reaching CPD outcomes.  In particular, the key results have impact on the design, operation and programming of activities, creation of strategic partnerships as well as reaching resource mobilization targets.

Qualifications, Required Skills and Experience

  • Master’s degree in conflict resolution, peace studies, political science, human rights, sociology, international relations, economics, law, public administration, or other related social sciences, or other relevant social science fields.


  • At least 10 years of relevant experience of which at least five years in senior management position;
  • Proven experience in Resource Mobilization,
  • Proven policy, advisory and advocacy experience and track record of engagement with senior officials, such as in the United Nations, government and external partners;
  • Experience in national and community level conflict prevention and peacebuilding initiatives and programming is an asset
  • Experience in working in crisis or conflict country;
  • Experience working in a multi-cultural and/or international work environment.
  • Functionally-related professional management skills;
  • Plan and prioritizes work activities to meet organizational goals and organizes and oversees work processes efficiently to achieve quality results;
  • 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;
  • Previous UN Experience – Experience from previous UNDP assignments and/or UN agencies or multilateral banks (World Bank, African/Asian Development Bank, etc.) and bi-lateral aid organizations would be an asset.

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism.

Functional Competencies:
Knowledge Management and Learning:

  • Promotes a knowledge sharing and learning culture in the office through personal example;
  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development in one or more Practice Areas, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills;
  • Keeps abreast of new developments in own occupation/profession;
  • Actively seeks to develop oneself professionally and personally;
  • Contributes to the learning of colleagues and subordinates;
  • Shows willingness to learn from others.

Development and Operational Effectiveness:

  • Ability to apply conceptual models in support of implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes and projects;
  • Strong IT skills;
  • Ability to lead implementation of new systems (business side), and affect staff behavioural/attitudinal change;
  • Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients ” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view;
  • Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect;
  • Identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions;
  • Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems;
  • Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects;
  • Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to clients.

Management and Leadership:

  • Focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills;
  • Remains calm, in control and good humor even under pressure;
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities;
  • Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority;
  • Makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member;
  • Accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills;
  • Monitors progress against milestones and deadlines;
  • Regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in the English both written and oral

Application Closing Date
21st September, 2020.

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

Important Information for US Permanent Residents (‘Green Card’ holders)

  • 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.


  • Qualified Female candidates are strongly encouraged to Apply
  • 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.
  • Workforce diversity: 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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