Job Vacancies United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Position: E-GOVERNANCE RESEARCH ASSISTANT
Location: United States of America ( The ), New York
Closing Date: Friday, 15 June 2012
Since the early 1990s, UNDP has promoted the use of ICTs as a catalyst for development and, starting in 2001, it has increasingly focused on fostering e-governance and access to information to advance democratic governance as a pillar and goal of development. The strategic approach centers on enhancing stakeholder participation in democratic processes and enhancing delivery of basic services to the poor and marginalized– both closely related to the Millennium Declaration adopted in 2000 and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) this set to achieve by 2015.
The role of ICTs particularly in advancing citizen engagement and participation in the public sphere has been underlined in events across the globe. Governments everywhere are facing increasing pressure for open, inclusive, transparent, effective, accountable governance. As state-society relations shift in the face of such pressure, the engagement of development experts and agencies with their constituencies also shift. There is increasing pressure on all involved to beef up efforts even as financial and other resources become increasingly constrained. As 2015 nears, and as current trends suggest that some countries may not meet specific MDG targets by that date, this pressure becomes increasingly acute.
The e-governance sub-practice constantly responds to shifts in development terrain just as it keeps in step with evolutions in the ICT field. One challenge it recognizes and manages in this context is how to advance UNDP approaches among partners and stakeholders across sectors, fields, and sphere as communications channels, platforms, and tools evolve. The rapid spread and uptake of mobile devices and social media, in particular, have presented both opportunities and challenges at all levels, and the sub-practice has adjusted its own communications approaches in particular in this light.
To effectively manage its engagement with partners and stakeholders and effectively deliver services, the sub-practice needs to constantly enhance its data and information bank and the way it shares and advocates for innovative approaches. It requires focused work involving significant time commitment, thus it needs a Research Assistant to support its core team.
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the supervision of the e-governance and Access to Information Advisor of the Democratic Governance Group in the Bureau for Development Policy, the Research Assistant is expected to provide primarily research support to work currently undertaken by UNDP. Specifically, the Research Assistant will contribute towards the development and execution of the sub-practice’s communications plan, which includes the building of a data bank and information resource, the identification and compilation of materials to enhance its knowledge base, and the development of a various products enhancing knowledge and understanding of ICT for development among constituencies.
The consultant is expected to undertake the following tasks:
Help build a collection of quantitative data relevant or related to e-governance (surveys, country data, mobile uptake, etc.). This collection should be developed on a platform (e.g., wiki) to enable quick access for all members of the team;
Support the development of reports and information products by providing data from the Unit’s data bank and other sources;
Help build a collection of contacts and experts relevant to e-governance (academics, youth, NGOs, media, etc.) to serve as ready resource for conferences, help respond to requests from Country Offices for experts in specific fields, help ensure the Unit knows key actors in the field, etc
Help identify, list, and monitor events (conferences, meetings, etc.) relevant to e-governance and flag key messages, statements, commitments, etc. (to keep the Unit in step with developments and help the Unit shape engagement in the field);
Help maintain social media presence by helping monitor social media traffic on e-governance and flagging key issues as they arise (as well as help frame messages when necessary);
Assist in various communications efforts as may become necessary. Also assist in various program needs as requested by the Policy Advisor.
The consultant will be home-based and expected to come to the office frequently upon request from the Supervisor.
Solid experience in research and communications (should be able to demonstrate solid understanding of and adeptness in rules and conventions that apply to research and communications);
Excellent writing and analytical skills;
Knowledge of statistics including familiarity with standard software such as Stata, SPSS or similar;
Expertise in the use of spreadsheets, graphics and desktop publication tools, presentation software, and database management;
Demonstrated ability to work in a multicultural environment and to conduct self in professional manner.
Required Skills and Experience
Master’s degree is required (preferably in one of the social sciences with a focus on development and international relations (background in Communications a plus).
At least three years of relevant professional experience (experience directly related to ICT for development and to communications highly preferred);
Knowledge of UN policies and principles;
Familiarity with living and working in a developing country.
Fluent and proficient in English; knowledge of at least one other UN language strongly desirable.
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.
United Nations Development Programme 304 East 45th Street New York Telephone: (212) 909-7940
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