Political Affairs Officer
Application deadline 2 months ago: Wednesday 20 Jul 2022 at 00:00 UTCOpen application form
This is a UNV International Specialist contract. This kind of contract is known as International UN Volunteer. It is normally internationally recruited only. More about UNV International Specialist contracts.
Assignment is renewable on an annual basis (1 July - 30 June) up to a maximum of 4 years. Contract renewals are granted based on Mission mandate, availability of budget, operational necessity and satisfactory performance.
Duty station can change in the course of an assignment based on operational necessity; UN Volunteers may be required to work and travel anywhere in the area of operations of the host organization, including in remote locations.
The UN Volunteer Political Affairs Officer will report directly to the Director of the Political Affairs Division or a designated officer and will be responsible for the following duties:
1) Political Analysis and Advice
- Provide country-specific and regional analysis on the impact of developments in CAR and in the region and make policy recommendations for UN response.
- Identify, analyze and monitor political developments and emerging issues with respect to the
- implementation of the Mission’s mandate assesses implications and make recommendations on policies, strategies and other measures to address the issues of concern and to advance mandated objectives.
- Provide support to the follow-up and implementation of the Political Peace Agreement signed on 6 February 2019.
2) Reporting and Information Management
- Prepare summary and analytical reports including, but not limited to, daily and weekly situation reports, briefing notes, options papers, code cables and input for the reports of the Secretary-General to the Security Council, General Assembly or other bodies.
- Prepare contextual information material, such as background notes, political profiles, and databases of relevance to the assigned portfolio.
- Manage information to ensure its accessibility and utility.
3) Planning, Coordination and Facilitation
- Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with UN Common System colleagues and counterparts, Government representatives, civil society actors, military and law enforcement actors, academic and research institutions, and other national and international partners on information sharing, policy and coordination matters.
- Support prefectural efforts to develop inclusive political dialogue through the follow-up and implementation mechanisms of the Political Peace Agreement to address root causes of conflict with all main stakeholders, including signatories.
- Consult and cooperate with partners to develop strategies.
• Integrity and professionalism: demonstrated expertise in area of specialty and ability to apply good judgment; ability to work independently under established procedures in a politically sensitive environment, while exercising discretion, impartiality and neutrality; ability to manage information objectively, accurately and confidentially; responsive and client-oriented. • Accountability: mature and responsible; ability to operate in compliance with organizational rules and regulations. • Planning and organizing: effective organizational and problem-solving skills and ability to manage a large volume of work in an efficient and timely manner; ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor (own) work; ability to work under pressure, with conflicting deadlines, and to handle multiple concurrent projects/activities. • Teamwork and respect for diversity: ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and harmonious working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity and gender; • Communication: proven interpersonal skills; good spoken and written communication skills, including ability to prepare clear and concise reports; ability to communicate and empathize with staff (including national staff), military personnel, volunteers, counterparts and local interlocutors coming from diverse backgrounds; capacity to transfer information and knowledge to a wide range of different target groups; • Flexibility, adaptability, and ability and willingness to operate independently in austere, remote and potentially hazardous environments for protracted periods, involving physical hardship and little comfort, and including possible extensive travel within area of operations as may be necessary; • Genuine commitment towards the principles of voluntary engagement, which includes solidarity, compassion, reciprocity and self-reliance; and commitment towards the UN core values.
political affairs, diplomacy, conflict resolution, development, disarmament or related field. Experience in political analysis and outreach, solid report writing skills (on political issues) is required, and relevant experience in international organization or nongovernmental organization- in a conflict or post-conflict setting is highly desirable.
The Central African Republic is a non-family duty station with a difficult security and working environment. Security instructions from the UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) need to be strictly complied with in all duty stations. The country security level is 4, restricting movement to official travel only. Currently a curfew applies from 10 pm to 5 am.
The country is landlocked, with very limited travel possibilities, and surrounded by countries with volatile and security problems (Cameroon, Chad, DRC, Sudan, South Sudan). There is an unstable socio-political situation and social unrest and grievance, in particular in the capital city Bangui, with frequent civil servant strikes causing interruption of health, education and civil service, due to years of unpaid salaries. Power cuts are a norm, causing insecurity in the city. The population in Bangui, including the expatriates, is concerned about increasing crime as a direct result of the March 2013 coup by the SELEKA, a coalition of rebel groups, and events in December 2013 that carried the country into chaos, and the recent creation of the Coalition of Patriots for Change, regrouping some existent armed groups. The country is entirely dependent on the Cameroon seaport, situated 1500 km away, causing regular shortage of basic domestic goods. Travel time for a truck from Douala in Cameroon to Bangui averages a week because of bad roads and roadblocks along the way.
This situation puts tremendous stress on personnel. There are very limited medical infrastructures and services do not function properly. Living conditions are difficult due to the high cost of living and the scarcity of basic products and food. Supermarkets having a variety of food and consumer goods are available, but are costly. Fresh vegetables and fruits are available in the market.
There is no MINUSCA guesthouse in Bangui. Private accommodation possibilities are limited and getting a house that is compliant with UN security measures can take several weeks. UN personnel in Bangui live on the local economy by renting apartments and houses. In comparison to a few years ago, more accommodation is available now, but at high cost. Sharing accommodation is recommended. Currently all serving UN Volunteers have access to decent accommodation ensuring minimum standards of comfort. The average monthly cost for accommodation varies from around 1000 USD for a small apartment with basic furniture, but no power generator and interrupted running water supply, to 2,000+ USD with all commodities.
Accommodation in all CAR duty stations outside of the capital Bangui is mandatorily inside the MINUSCA camps. In most cases, this is in the form of containerized accommodation with an individual bathroom, with 24/7 running water, electricity and wifi. This costs US$ 200 per month and is automatically deducted through the monthly payroll. When no self-contained accommodation is available immediately upon arrival, newly arriving personnel are housed in a container with a common bathroom until a self-contained container frees up.
A UN dispensary provides basic medical care for UN personnel and a UN hospital has been operational since August 2014. A Level II Hospital run by a military medical team exists as well.
A Rest & Recuperation (R&R) scheme has been re-established since August 2013 and maintained for all CAR duty stations at a 6-week frequency.
The Central African Republic is a unique country and MINUSCA is a unique operation. It provides for an interesting and enriching environment, but also requires a mature level of cultural and security awareness, as well as more stamina and commitment than elsewhere to make life comfortable and affordable. Therefore, flexibility and the ability and willingness to live and work in harsh and potentially hazardous conditions, involving physical hardship and little comfort, are essential.