Chief Technical Advisor (Elections)

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  • Location : Nairobi, KENYA
    Application Deadline : 14-Feb-16
    Type of Contract : FTA International
    Post Level : P-5
    Languages Required :
    Starting Date :
    (date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
    Duration of Initial Contract : One Year
    Expected Duration of Assignment : Renewable, Subject to Performance.
    The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) completed the development of it Country Programme Document (CPD) for the period 2014-2018. The CPD defines the programmatic support to the Government of Kenya towards realization of objectives spelt out under the Vision 2030 as well as the second Medium Term Plan II of the Vision 2030. The UNDP support towards transformative governance forms one of the main areas of UNDP’s engagement in Kenya, specifically: ‘Devolution and Accountability’. This particular priority area aims at entrenching a sustainable democratic culture characterized by the respect for human rights and rule of law leading to responsive and equitable public service delivery in the context of a devolved system of governance. In achieving this goal UNDP will provide innovative and strategic support towards: (i) Building responsive and accountable public institutions and (ii) Fostering inclusive and rights based processes at both national and county levels.

    As part of the CPD, UNDP together with other Development Partners provided assistance to the National Electoral Management Body the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to design an integral electoral assistance project for Kenya. The Strengthening the Electoral Processes in Kenya project (SEPK 2015-2018) was designed to consolidate and build on the gains made from the constitutional transition process and the 2013 elections. The project would strengthen and develop sustainable and just election institutions, systems and processes. This project grounds electoral assistance within the democratic governance framework and the electoral cycle. This approach envisages elections as a critical element of a much larger process, where issues with different stakeholders or in a different part of the process, directly affect the quality of the rest of the process. This project starts in Years 1 and 2 with institutional and professional capacity building of EMBs, of completing the legal and regulatory frameworks, consolidating gains and strengthening key processes that were problematic in 2013. This includes strengthening the participation of women, youth and marginalized groups; the professionalism of electoral reporting; and the electoral security and dispute resolution processes. Year 3 focuses on support geared towards strengthening implementation and participation in the 2017 general elections, and Year 4 is then a year of reflection and support for any further reforms or strengthening needed for the next cycle of elections. The project followed a request by the Government of Kenya to the United Nations (UN) to provide electoral assistance. This follow-on project builds on the SERP project and takes into consideration the findings the SERP project evaluation, lessons learned by the IEBC, and recommendations from national and international observers. It follows a series of consultations with a broad range of stakeholders including the IEBC, the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP), political parties, civil society, judiciary, donors, other electoral assistance providers, and stakeholders. The design of this project is also responsive to the IEBC Strategy Plan of 2011-2017 and takes into consideration the revised strategic plan covering the period 2015 to 2020 and the specific areas identified by the IEBC, ORPP and others as needing support.

    The project is funded by a number of development partners and coordinated by UNDP as a basket-fund. The project is implemented by UNDP as part of the Direct Implementation Modality with the assistance from development partners provided considered as an extension of, and a complement to, national resources and is intended to support national management and coordination structures, in the spirit of development assistance coordination. A Project Management Unit (PMU) has been established and tasked with the daily management of the project, coordination of different actors and financing. The PMU will consist of key international/national technical officers and administrative personnel. The PMU functions will be fully complemented by the UNDP Country Office team responsible for electoral support as well as the UNDP operations team in a DIM project context.

    A Chief Technical Advisor (Elections), is therefore required under the project to assume the overall responsibility for advisory assistance to the IEBC on strategic electoral issues, and provide coordination, management, substantive backstopping and monitoring of the UNDP elections project. He/she will be responsible for ensuring the overall realization of the objectives of the project. He/she will provide strategic advice to the IEBC during the implementation of the project towards the realisation of the overall of free, fair and credible elections. He/she will work under the overall guidance of the Country Director and the day-to-day supervision of the Assistant Country Director/Head of Programme.

    Duties and Responsibilities
    Summary of the main functions:

    • Expert Electoral Technical Advice;
    • Capacity Development Oversight;
    • Quality assurance support to project work plans, reports, and activities;
    • Partnership management;
    • Monitoring and Evaluation Oversight;
    • Communication, Knowledge Sharing and PMU staff Mentoring.

    Assesses the overall situation and provides Technical Advice to the IEBC and UNDP focusing on achieving the following results:

    • Stimulate strategic thinking in electoral management and processes and bring best practices on electoral management in fulfilling aspiration of the IEBC Strategic Plan and the Elections Operation Plan;
    • Advises IEBC and UNDP on all aspects of sound electoral cycle management practices and point out areas for further strengthening;
    • Provide intellectual or substantive leadership in managing issues related to electoral management and processes;
    • Provide technical advice to the IEBC and other partners to help meet the needs of a free and fair elections;
    • Ensure highest standards in the provision of technical and advisory inputs, organization of workshops, seminars, training and delivery of outputs;
    • In conjunction with the gender advisor and UNWomen, identify strategic entry points for gender mainstreaming in the work of the IEBC and for the empowerment of women and other marginalized groups in political processes.
    • Assess the technical substance, policies and strategies on elections and advises on the design, organization and implementation of project activities;
    • Coordinates the conduct of any studies/reviews/analysis on conflict, gender, human rights and other dimensions related to elections and their discussions with IEBC and UNDP;
    • Provide Capacity Development Oversight focusing on achieving the following results:
    • Play a leading role in the development and implementation of a capacity development strategy for the project that identifies priorities, needs and interventions to address those needs within the IEBC;
    • Provide support to the IEBC in ensuring the sustainability of project management capacities and in building sustainability into project activities from the outset;
    • Provide technical advice to enhance the capacity of IEBC directorates in their role of managing free and fair elections;
    • Contribute to development of effective materials and training for the IEBC;
    • Advice on development of strategies and contribute to capacity building efforts for the IEBC, media and other elections stakeholders.

    Provide quality assurance support to project work plans, reports, and activities focusing on achieving the following results:

    • In coordination with the IEBC, provide guidance to national and international short term experts/consultants;
    • Assist the IEBC in ensuring the technical soundness of project activities ;
    • Provide substantive advisory inputs, as requested by the IEBC and UNDP in relation to project objectives;
    • Guides the project management team on coherence of interventions under the project in order to ensure technical soundness of project activities;
    • Provide expert contributions to the development of periodic results based work plans and results frameworks;
    • Help ensure delivery of relevant periodic project reporting to UNDP;
    • Reviews Terms of Reference for specific activities as directed and assist in the identification of short-term experts;
    • Ensures the alignment of project activities with UNDP rules and regulations by providing appropriate advice to the IEBC in this regard.

    Provide strategic advice on Partnership management focusing on achieving the following results:

    • Assist the IEBC in establishing, developing and maintaining mutually beneficial strategic partnerships with Development Partners and other stakeholders in electoral processes in accordance with the vision expressed in the strategic plan and the Elections Operations Plan;
    • Review and/or design a project funding strategy and options for fundraising;
    • Plays a key role in mobilizing and realizing South-South cooperation with key institutions as in support of achieving project results;
    • Help set up a framework to foster and monitor partnership around the project and to realize the project;
    • Support the IEBC in managing information related to partnership activities.

    In consultation with the UNDP Programme Oversight and Management Unit (POMU) provide project specific Monitoring and Evaluation Oversight focusing on achieving the following results:

    • Advice the project on design and follow up on a sound project monitoring framework for the project integrated within the monitoring system for the Corporate/Strategic Plan;
    • Advice IEBC on strengthening M&E systems as defined in the strategic plan of the organization;
    • Ensure the design of monitoring frameworks demonstrates progress and achievement on key project results, and provide technical advice to develop baselines and indicators for monitoring and evaluation;
    • Advise the PMU on preparing project reports focused on capturing results, lessons learned and good practices.

    Communication, Knowledge Sharing and PMU staff Mentoring focusing on achieving the following results:

    • Promote the adoption of suitable knowledge management approaches as relating to project activities and in support of IEBC strengthening;
    • Support the IEBC in the internal and external communication efforts and the dissemination of information around project objectives and activities;
    • Supports the project and UNDP in communicating to its stakeholder including development partners on all aspects of project implementation;
    • Function as a mentor and coach to PMU staff as may be observed and requested in support of achievement of project results;
    • Participate in and contribute to global UNDP knowledge networks on electoral assistance;
    • Ensure the application of relevant global good practices and actively search for solutions that can benefit Kenya’s electoral processes.

    Ability to make new and useful ideas work. Level 5: Integrate & Empower (Strategic Advisor)

    Ability to persuade others to follow. Level 5: Integrate & Empower (Strategic Advisor)

    People Management
    Ability to improve performance and satisfaction. Level 5: Integrate & Empower (Strategic Advisor)

    Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform. Level 5: Integrate & Empower (Strategic Advisor)

    Ability to get things done. Level 6: Transformational Visionary  (Recognized World Class Expert)


    Advocacy/Advancing  a Policy- Oriented Agenda

    • Performs analysis of political situations and scenarios, and contributes to the formulation of institutional responses.
    • Theoretical and practical knowledge of elections management, democratic governance, human rights and project management.
    • Dialogues with national counterparts and other stakeholders to strengthen communication efforts with National Government and Stakeholders; Strong understanding of dynamics in government, civil society and the donor community in developing countries

    Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing

    • Promotes knowledge management in UNDP and a learning environment in the office through mentoring and personal example;
    • Promotes knowledge building and sharing with regards to management and operations, organization of project staff trainings, synthesis of lessons learnt/best practices and sound contributions to UNDP knowledge networks and communities of practice.
    • Developing tools and mechanisms
    • Makes the case for innovative ideas documenting successes and building them into the design of new approaches
    • Identifies new approaches and strategies that promote the use of tools and mechanisms

    Building Strategic Partnerships

    • Identifies needs and interventions for capacity building of national partners, Implementing partners and potential partners
    • Aptitude in communicating effectively with different partners involved
    • Effectively networks with partners seizing opportunities to build strategic alliances relevant to UNDP’s mandate and strategic agenda
    • Focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to    critical feedback
    • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude
    • Demonstrates strong writing, facilitation, and presentation skills
    • Builds strong relationships and networks with clients and external actors;
    • Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure

    Management and Leadership

    • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
    • Builds strong relationship with clients, focusses on impact and results for the client and responds positively to feedback, timely response to queries;
    • Demonstrates good oral and written communication skills;
    • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities;
    • Demonstrates strong administrative skills and results oriented approach to work;
    • Provided inspiration and leadership to project staff as well as all the partners;

    Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise

    • In-depth knowledge and expertise of the subject-matter
    • Demonstrable expertise in the areas of democratic governance and key reform areas including governance, law, human rights, devolution and access to justice
    • Proven knowledge and experience of the civil society sector in Kenya
    • Demonstrable expertise in grants assessment and reviews
    • Demonstrates comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the current guidelines and project management tools and utilizes these regularly in work assignments
    • Program management and basic financial skills especially in the area of financial review of grantee reports
    • Strong drafting and report writing skills
    • Knowledge of Natural Resource Management concepts, principles and policies e.g. Extractive Industries
    • Ability to ascertain need, plan, design, and execute training
    • Uses ICT and web-based management systems effectively as a tool and resource
    • Ability to prepare quality reports
    • Ability to plan, organize, and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals
    • Ability to lead and coordinate a team

    Client Orientation

    • Anticipates client needs;
    • Works towards creating an enabling environment for a smooth relationship between the clients and service provider
    • Aptitude for working with deadlines and based on results, demonstrating initiative, drive and proactive behavior
    • Solicits feedback on service provision and quality
    Required Skills and Experience

    • At least a Master’s degrees in either of the following areas: Law, Political Science, Economics, Social Sciences, Development Studies, Economics, international relations, public policy and administration, or other relevant field.


    • A minimum of ten (10) years demonstrated experience in the successful implementation of international development activities.


    • Excellent proven written and spoken English, as well as excellent communication and facilitation skills


    • Demonstrated experience working with an electoral management body or equivalent, or with a body that provides technical assistance in the area of electoral design, management and operations;
    • Strong hands on advisory, strategic, operation planning and implementation of field activities in electoral processes such as voter registration and elections;
    • Experience in elections management and coordination, institutional analysis and design, development planning, programme design and implementation, monitoring and evaluation of electoral programmes;
    • Experience working in countries which are politically polarized and which require strong experience in electoral work in a highly politically sensitive environment;
    • Knowledge of sound electoral practices and the ability to advise on options;
    • Experience in engaging with Government at senior level on policy issues;
    • Sound knowledge of organizational management, asset management, information and communication technology, administration, financial and human resources management, preferably with the UN/UNDP;
    • Advanced computer skills and knowledge of office software packages essential, experience in handling of web based management systems;
    • Experience working with project teams and knowledge of project cycle management;
    • Demonstrated experience in cultivating and sustaining working relationships with diverse stakeholders including government, civil society, communities, and the private sector;
    • Experience working in a decentralization environment and understanding of local governance in a developing country context;
    • Understanding of discourses on justice and security sector development, statebuilding and stabilization, peacebuilding, governance and of the international policy environment in which these issues are addressed may be an added advantage;
    • Experience working with the UN or other multilateral agencies is an added advantage;
    Click here for important information for US Permanent Residents (‘Green Card’ holders).
    UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.
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