Electoral Conflict Prevention (junior consultant)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • Location
    Brussels, Belgium
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Jan 22

Position description

Credible electoral processes are essential for conferring legitimacy to the national and local governments and, when successful, they offer the means of channelling social conflict into respectful and constructive debate. On the other hand, elections are often a critical stress test for the peaceful management of country’s political, economic and social divisions and, if this stress is not managed properly, it can lead to conflict and violence with long-lasting consequences.

Recognizing this important nexus between elections and conflict prevention, EU and UNDP launched a “Sustaining Peace through Elections” project in early 2018, with the aim of supporting joint projects on electoral conflict prevention and mitigation. The project – undertaken jointly by the European External Action Service/Prevention of conflicts, Rule of law/Security Sector Reform, Integrated approach, Stabilisation and Mediation (EEAS/PRISM), the European Parliament (EP), the European Commission (DG DEVCO) and the UNDP, coordinated by the EC-UNDP Joint Task Force on Electoral Assistance (JTF) – developed a toolbox of options for use in project design and implementation stages, containing practical examples and solutions on the ways to integrate conflict prevention/mitigation concepts into programmes and projects activities. 

As both organizations strive towards more responsive and fit-for-purpose democratic governance and peace-building mechanisms, the toolbox identified various options for strategic programming that can help to anticipate and prevent conflicts. Moreover, the toolbox is also intended as a source of knowledge for numerous stakeholders, including election practitioners, justice and security institutions, civil society, political parties, media and others to improve design, planning and implementation of electoral conflict prevention measures.

The research and development phase conducted through 2018 included desk reviews, country missions, development of a perception survey and culminated with the global conference held in Brussels on 8-10 October 2018. The conference gathered more than 200 electoral stakeholders, including electoral management bodies (EMBs), parliamentarians, civil society organisations (CSOs), media and international organizations from over 60 countries. Ultimately, the toolbox will be housed on a dedicated website, accompanied by a publication and an E-learning platform, to be launched in January 2019.

Organizational Context

EU and UNDP are now looking to build upon their 2018 achievements and maintain the momentum of this initiative. For the toolbox to remain a practical tool, it must be a living document which is periodically updated based on the feedback from the field and further analysis.  With this in mind, several pilot-projects are already planned for late 2018 and early 2019, where the toolbox will be used for the first time. Based on the feedback from the projects the tools will be further edited and expanded.

Against this backdrop and as the next step, the JTF will continue the project aiming at: 1) maintaining and expanding the toolbox, ensuring it remains a relevant and practical tool for the EU and UNDP in designing and implementing electoral conflict projects; 2) supporting development and implementation of joint EU-UNDP projects dealing with prevention of electoral conflict; and 3) providing limited, targeted funding for country-level projects.

Therefore, particular focus of the follow-up project will be on expanding and further developing this strategy, based on a premise that societies with strong democratic institutions are more resilient to electoral conflict. Consequently, prevention of electoral conflict cannot be limited to any single electoral period, be it pre-electoral, electoral or post-electoral; rather, it must be implemented throughout electoral cycle. A democratic strengthening approach attempts to view assistance through a wide-angle lens, to include all the stakeholders in a comprehensive, long-term vision to strengthen the resilience of the democratic system as a whole, including electoral authorities, judiciary, parliaments, civil society organizations, media and others.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall guidance of the UNDP Senior Electoral Advisor of the Joint EC-UNDP Task Force on Electoral Assistance (JTF) in close cooperation with the other team members, the Junior electoral conflict prevention consultant will:

  • Support content development of the Sustaining Peace through Elections Activity Toolbox: (1) update existing content on the basis of reports, surveys and interviews on activities implementation, (2) identify new activities to be included the toolbox through consultations with practitioners and review of project documents, (3) pursue research work to identify, assess and include new resources to the toolbox.
  • Support the implementation of early warning systems through electoral conflict prevention projects by (1) assisting in establishing a baseline electoral risks analysis based on risks assessment and categorization; (2) assisting in setting up, hosting and customizing the monitoring platform; (3) assist in conducting follow-up analysis along the project on the basis of the data collected to inform country offices’ projects strategies and future projects’ scopes; (4) provide regular reports on the activities of various projects based on the input from the field.
  • Support the maintenance of the Sustaining Peace through Elections website and oversee the content display in close cooperation with the IT support company developing the website.
  • Assist in finalizing the Sustaining Peace through Elections e-learning module in close cooperation with the IT company providing technical solutions and ensure content update based on feedbacks.
  • Assist in providing ongoing support to all EU-UNDP electoral project formulations in close cooperation with UNDP Country Offices. Project support will include: (1) assist project formulation teams on analysis and assessments on potential risks of electoral violence, (2) advise and support formulation and drafting od project components, (3) design of tailor-made democracy strengthening activities, and (4) support monitoring and evaluation processes.
  • Provide assistance in planning and implementation of relevant meetings, conferences and other events organized by the JTF.
  • Assist the JTF in drafting and developing regular and ad-hoc reports, as well as other documentation as required.



  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission and strategic goals of the UN system;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.


  • Experience with working in international institutions
  • Experience in designing, evaluating or implementing projects/activities in election/human rights/ conflict prevention/security
  • Demonstrated ability to produce high-quality, detailed research in the form of reports and publications;
  • Experience working with EU institutions;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, ability to foster networks and partnerships;
  • Ability to set and meet deadlines;

Ability and willingness to work as part of a dynamic, multi-tasking team.

Required Skills and Experience


Advanced university degree (MA) in the field of International relations, Law, Political Science or related subject. Significant experience may be considered in lieu of an advanced university degree.


  • At least two years of relevant experience, preferably in the field of elections/human rights/conflict prevention
  • Strong experience with research and/or report writing
  • Familiarity with EU and/or UN/UNDP electoral assistance project and inter-agency coordination an asset.
  • Experience in designing, implementing or evaluating projects dealing with prevention or mitigation of electoral conflict a strong asset.


  • Candidates must have the legal right to live and work in EU countries.
  • Fluency (written and spoken) in English and French is required.
  • Knowledge of other UN languages an asset.

Application instructions

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