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Project Assistant for Youth Participation, Social Cohesion and Resilience Building
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
SB3 Associate Full-time Locallly Recruited
Job Expired 17 Jul 2022
Expired
Posted 1 month ago
Job Description

The Position:

Under overall guidance and supervision of the HoO and direct supervision of the SRH and Youth Analyst and in close dialogue with the Population Dynamics Analysts, the Project Assistant  for Youth Participation, Social Cohesion and Resilience Building  will provide technical and strategic guidance in the development and implementation of quality activities  and  ensuring  that UNFPA’s l priorities and programming guidelines are taken into account at the country-level including through  programming and coordination processes  within the Joint Programme.

This includes supporting the planning, management and monitoring of activities, facilitating regular project monitoring and field missions, and managing contractual matters. 

The Project Assistant applies established systems and procedures and assists in the creation of substantive knowledge by compiling, synthesizing and analyzing information relevant to youth issues, social cohesion, and stability at national and local levels, supporting development of demographically resilient society inclusive of all people and all generations. He/she also works in close collaboration with CO Administrative/financial, programme and project staff for addressing Project-related issues and information delivery, to ensure smooth Project implementation in line with UNFPA rules and regulations.

Planned activities will require establishing some new partnerships and expanding the existing ones with decision makers, educational institutions and media at all levels, local self governments, youth organizations and organizations working with youth, grassroot organizations, influencers.

How you can make a difference:

UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. UNFPA’s strategic plan (2022-2025), reaffirms the relevance of the current strategic direction of UNFPA and focuses on three transformative results: to end preventable maternal deaths; end unmet need for family planning; and end gender-based violence and harmful practices. These results capture our strategic commitments on accelerating progress towards realizing the ICPD and SDGs in the Decade of Action leading up to 2030. Our strategic plan calls upon UN Member States, organizations and individuals to “build forward better”, while addressing the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on women’s and girls’ access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, recover lost gains and realize our goals.

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In a world where fundamental human rights are at risk, we need principled and ethical staff, who embody these international norms and standards, and who will defend them courageously and with full conviction.

UNFPA is seeking candidates that transform, inspire and deliver high impact and sustained results; we need staff who are transparent, exceptional in how they manage the resources entrusted to them and who commit to deliver excellence in programme results.

Job Purpose:

UNFPA Serbia is in the second year of implementation of the Country Programme 2021-2025, structured around the vision that by 2030, society benefits from inclusion, equality of opportunity as well as capability of all members to make informed healthy choices, fulfill their potential, participate in decision-making and contribute to development. Country programme is particularly focused on youth, as one of three main outputs is dedicated to empowerment of young people, especially vulnerable girls,  to make informed reproductive choices, prevent violence and engage in policy and decision-making. The measures  envisaged to achieve this CPD output directly contribute to increased political support for life-skills education and youth engagement; strengthened capacity of the education to deliver life-skills training and increase competences and increased demand for life-skills education among young people, strengthened youth volunteerism and engagement in communities, including in emergency settings, and increased availability of disaggregated data on youth engagement, youth health and gender-based violence at central and municipal levels. The programme aims at strengthening partnerships with local governments, the private sector, sports and media influencers to create more opportunities for changing behavior for transforming the lives of people, particularly vulnerable women and youth and increasing accountability of duty-bearers. It addresses cross-boundary and regional issues that impact the country, such as migration, gender-based violence, early marriages, as well as youth, peace and security.

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According to the estimate of the Statistical Office of Serbia, in 2020 there were 1.132.902 young people (15-30) in the country, which makes 16,4% of total population. Despite a developed normative framework related to youth at the national level, research shows that there are gaps in social, economic and political inclusion of young people  and/or their participation in political and civic life.  According to the  findings of the Report on the rights of young people in the Republic of Serbia 2020, young people still face various challenges in exercising their rights, including rights to employment, education, freedom of movement, information, and health, particularly since the outbreak of COVID 19. The epidemic only deepened the vulnerability of young people, especially of youth from vulnerable groups.  Unfamiliarity with their own rights, limited access to and opportunities to exercise their rights, especially for the vulnerable categories, negative images about youth through public life are push effects that should be eliminated in order to ensure a safe, inclusive, and sustainable society for everyone. According to the Alternative Report on the Position and Needs of Youth in the Republic of Serbia 2021, representation of young people within national and local self-government is low. Only 0.7% of young participants believe that the political system completely allows the influence of young people on political processes and decisions. Most young people feel that they are not adequately involved in the decision-making process at the national level (75%), or in the local community (73%). Young people rarely have opportunities to be trained and act as leaders or as advocates in the process of decision making, even when these decisions  affect their lives and their human rights.

Over the past three decades, the region has witnessed significant change and undergone major processes of transformation, including collapse of the former Yugoslavia and accompanying conflicts. Several peace agreements and constitutional arrangements successfully helped transition most parts of the region out of conflict. Authorities have also embarked on ambitious socio-economic, administrative and governance reforms, and have committed themselves to the EU accession path.

Yet, certain challenges to peace and regional stability remain. In many critical domains there is limited constructive dialogue, while differing narratives about the past, present and future prevail. Divisive narratives are taking place on the internet, particularly on social media, as well as in public debate, political rallies, sporting events, and in everyday social interaction, and have the potential to aggravate regional dynamics, mistrust and grievances. Youth are particularly  impacted by divisive narratives and stereotypes passed on from one generation to another, and prevailing  in the media. Youth reported hate speech on- or off-line as the most common form of violence or discrimination. Young people across the region are also concerned about the spread of fake news and conspiracy theories online. The degree of internet and cell phone penetration in the region, combined with COVID-19 social restrictions, offer massive platforms for narratives to propagate. Within the region witnessing high numbers of youth emigration, young people, particularly those who remain in the region, continue to experience legacies of the past in the societies that are facing rapid demographic changes and actually require adequate, prompt and forward looking response.

Echoing global trends, ethnic - or nationalist-based discourse has the potential to negatively affect good neighborly relations in many areas. These challenges across the region and within countries and territories have been intensified due to issues relating to permanent flow of refugees and migrants, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. The increase in divisive narratives and rhetoric has highlighted the need for more constructive, fact-based narratives and respectful public discourse within and across communities, countries/territories in the region.

Existing data show that there are various  opportunities to work directly with a diversity of young women and young men, understand their priorities and interests, support young people’s agency and create space for sustainable reconciliation and overall stabilization. There are also the opportunities to support the capacities and skills of existing youth-led organizations and emerging new civic actors to engage in reconciliation efforts and to increase overall understanding of the ongoing demographic trends. A recent extensive study found that young people in the region recognize that they have an important role in effectuating change. While less than 20 percent participate in civic activities, over 65 per cent report an interest in being more actively involved – showing a huge potential for civic engagement.

To address the identified issues and to use the existing opportunities,  some of the UN agencies working in the region joined forces in the Joint initiative focused on strengthening the role of youth in promoting  mutual understanding, constructive narrative, respect for diversity, and trust regionally. It will be implemented as a joint program (JP) of UNDP, UNFPA, UNESCO and UN Women, with the support of relevant resident/development coordinator offices and relevant national counterparts, funded by UN Peacebuilding Fund (PBF).

The Joint Programme will be implemented through two components, reflected in the two outputs,  interconnected on many different levels of implementation. Output 1 focuses on  collaborative youth platforms to advance dialogue, mutual understanding and gender equality across the region, while 

output 2 focuses on youth journalists and activists across the region who create and promote constructive and gender sensitive narratives in the media and through education, culture and sport.

Joint Programme is in line with and wili contribute to the implementation of the UNFPA CPD 2021-2025 activities related to youth, especially to the increased youth skills and competences and increased youth participation and engagement in various aspects of society  development. 

In order to support the implementation of this Joint Programme and the priorities envisaged in UNFPA CPD 2021-2025, the UNFPA CO is engaging a Project Assistant, by Service Contract modality to support Country Office in increasing youth skills and competencies and engagement  in societal processes with a focus on strengthening the role of youth in promoting mutual understanding, constructive narrative, and respect for diversity, to support development of the cohesive and inclusive society, resilient to demographic trends.

You would be responsible for:

The Project Assistant will support the office in the four substantive areas

  1. Youth Programme Management  Support 
  • Monitor and analyze  the political, socio-economic environment relevant to UNFPA activities, and assist in identifying opportunities for UNFPA assistance and intervention, especially in relation to youth empowerment, youth engagement and increased participation in decision making and societal processes, including those related to creation of equal, inclusive and resilient society.
  • Provide substantive inputs to the design and formulation of new programme initiatives related to youth, including in providing background data and developing new interventions and project ideas;
  • Promote the role of youth in strengthening mutual understanding and trust, constructive narrative, respect for diversity, gender equality, intergenerational cooperation and cohesive and inclusive society resilient to demographic trends;
  • Support partnerships with the Government, youth organizations and other CSOs working with youth, development partners and all other relevant stakeholders working on youth issues
  • Coordinate implementation of planned UNFPA  project activities within the implementation of the entire Joint Programme funded by PBF.
  • Provides technical guidance, program oversight and management for the overall PBF project, including monitoring implementing partners (IP’s), supervision of field implementation and IPs capacity for effective program delivery;
  • Provides logistical support to projects by coordinating review meetings and other project related workshops and event;
  • Ensure monitoring of PBF project activities, managing and using established monitoring and implementing mechanisms to systematically assess the achievement of results: by conducting field visits, when relevant, participating in review meetings and preparing regular inputs to status and progress reports, including narrative and financial reports and tables and statistical data.
  • Continuously evaluate the project results, analyze basic factors affecting the achievement of results, recommend corrective action and coordinate follow up on recommendations;
  • Contributes to the knowledge sharing by synthesizing and documenting findings and lessons learned, success stories and best practices, strategies and approaches of the Country Office and drafting relevant materials for dissemination;
  • Maintain collaborative relationships with other PBF project partners including government counterparts, local self governments, individual experts, youth organizations, and other UN agencies to facilitate timely and efficient delivery of project inputs;
  1. Financial Management Support 
  • Use an online management system  Atlas/Quantum
  • Be familiar with and closely monitor the youth related CO  and   IPs projects’ budget to support the operation team in determination of unutilized funds, operational and financial closure of the projects.
  1. Administrative support related to youth activities
  • Develops tools and mechanisms for effective and efficient monitoring of project budget, coordinates compilation of financial data and provides accurate and up-dated financial information to Admin/Finance Associate on a continuous basis;
  • Support  procurement processes for the office as needed.
  • Supports the administrative and financial reporting of IPs in line with segregation of duties as per internal policy and is instrumental in supporting implementation of activities under direct UNFPA execution and direct payments;
  • Collect Vendor Forms and relevant documents;
  1. Supports knowledge building and knowledge sharing in the CO focusing on achievement of the following results:
  • Participate in the training for the operations/ projects staff on programme.
  • Contribute to the knowledge networks and communities of practice.
  • Contribute to the creation and sharing of knowledge by synthesizing and documenting findings and lessons learned, success stories and best practices, strategies and approaches of the UNFPA Office and drafting relevant materials for dissemination.

Education:  

  • First level university degree in international development, law, development studies,  international affairs, peace studies, gender, social sciences, political sciences, social work and/or other related fields. A Masters Degree will be considered as an asset.

Knowledge and Experience: 

  • 2 years of working  experience in coordination, administrative, financial and management  support of development programmes /projects;
  • years of professional experience and good understanding of  youth related activities, peacebuilding, social work, women or youth empowerment, intergenerational cooperation, community mobilization to build social cohesion, social inclusion or other related areas;
  • Knowledge of monitoring indicators for youth development and participation,  population  development, demographic trends and gender;
  • Strong communications and writing skills in English;
  • Ability to work in partnership with various stakeholders: experts, partners, governments, on various sensitive issues related to youth, peace and security;
  • Work experience within the UN system is an asset as well as good understanding of the Agenda 2030;
  • Proficiency in MS Office (MS Word, Excel and Outlook) software applications. Knowledge of financial and web management programmes would be an asset.

Languages: 

Fluency in English and the local language is required

Other Desirable Skills:

Experience in working with ATLAS or any other management system would be an asset.

Required Competencies: 

Values:

  • Exemplifying integrity, 

  • Demonstrating commitment to UNFPA and the UN system, 

  • Embracing cultural diversity, 

  • Embracing change

Core Competencies: 

  • Achieving results,

  • Being accountable,

  • Developing and applying professional expertise/business acumen,

  • Thinking analytically and strategically,

  • Working in teams/managing ourselves and our relationships,

Functional Competencies:

  • Results-based programme development and management – Contributes to achievement of results through primary research and analysis and effective monitoring of programme/ project implementation. Uses analytical skills to identify opportunities for project development and participates in formulation of proposals ensuring substantive rigour in the design and application of proven successful approaches.
  • Innovation and marketing of new approaches – enhances existing processes and products. Documents and analyzes innovative strategies, best practices and new approaches. Adapts quickly to change.
  • Leveraging the resources of partners/ Building strategic alliances and partnerships – Establishes, maintains and utilizes a broad network of contacts to keep abreast of developments and to share information. Analyzes selected materials for strengthening strategic alliances with partners and stakeholders

Compensation and Benefits:

This position offers an attractive remuneration package including a competitive net salary plus health insurance and other benefits as applicable.

Disclaimer: 

UNFPA does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Fraudulent notices, letters or offers may be submitted to the UNFPA fraud hotline http://www.unfpa.org/help/hotline.cfm

In accordance with the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations, persons applying to posts in the international Professional category, who hold permanent resident status in a country other than their country of nationality, may be required to renounce such status upon their appointment.

 
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