The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research—an autonomous institute within the United Nations—conducts research on disarmament and security. The Institute explores current issues pertaining to a variety of existing and future armaments, global diplomacy, and local tensions and conflicts. Working with researchers, diplomats, government officials, NGOs and other institutions since 1980, UNIDIR acts as a bridge between the research community and Member States. 

UNIDIR’s Managing Exits from Armed Conflict (MEAC) Project seeks to understand how and why people exit armed groups, disarm, and fully and sustainable transition into civilian life. MEAC’s work advances UNIDIR’s mandate, particularly with regard to enhancing the international community’s knowledge of micro-disarmament and the interventions that promote it.

The objective of this consultancy is to conduct qualitative research in the Lake Chad Basin countries of Cameroon, Chad and Niger. This qualitative research will bolster MEAC’s research and its outputs and complement the new panel of surveys to be launched in the Lake Chad Basin. The linkages between climate, insecurity, and displacement in the Lake Cad Basin have featured in MEAC’s quantitative research, and further qualitative research will serve to address a persisting knowledge gap. 

Responsibilities and outputs 

Under the direct supervision of the MEAC Project Lead, the consultant shall deliver the following services:

  1. Conduct a field research trips to Niger*, Cameroon, and Chad each. During each trip, the consultant will conduct:
    • 10-20 Key informant interviews (KIIs) and 6-8 focus groups per country per trip with community members, community leaders, reintegration practitioners, government officials, ex-combatants, and other key stakeholders. Depending on security situations, and access, the methodology may have to shift. 
  2. Provide detailed and translated transcripts of the KIIs focus groups
  3. Draft two-policy orientated analytical outputs based on the KIIs and focus groups – exact topics to be agreed.

*Should the security situation in Niger make it impossible to travel there, the research activities will be revised in agreement with the MEAC team.

Expected duration, renumeration and payment terms of assignment  

The non-resident consultant will: 

  • Be engaged from 17 June 2024 to 16 December 2024. 
  • Receive lump-sum payments based on the successful delivery of key deliverables expected for the duration of this assignment:
    • Follow up round of focus-group discussions and key informant interviews.
    • The drafting of two policy-oriented analytical products.
  • The payments are subject to certification of timesheets and satisfactory delivery of service by the MEAC Head of Project. The consultant is also required to submit invoices indicating the Exact title or description of work.

Tangible and measurable outputs of the consultancy

The consultant shall provide UNIDIR with the following outputs:

  • Field research for the MEAC Lake Chad Basin countries of Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
  • Substantive research outputs (including findings reports).

Schedule for the proposed assignment

An implementation timeline with milestones for deliverables will be established with the MEAC Project Head at the start of the assignment.

Performance indicators for evaluation of services provided: 

Assignments described above are completed to the satisfaction of MEAC’s Project Head and the Institute’s Senior Management. The non-resident consultant will be evaluated at the end of the contract. Performance indicators include:

  • Deadlines for delivery of agreed outputs are met.
  • Outputs are provided in the form and quality requested by UNIDIR.
  • Key deliverables are addressed to the satisfaction of UNIDIR. To this end, the non-resident consultant shall keep the Head of Project informed at agreed regular intervals as to how the delivery of work is progressing. 
  • Progress and performance will be measured against a work schedule, which the non-resident consultant shall provide to and agree on with UNIDIR management at the start of the assigment. Over the course of the consultant’s work, reviews, updates and drafts of the work as it stands shall be provided in a timely manner if requested.
  • Professional engagement is cooperative and positive. In this regard, the non-resident consultant will work under and consult with the Senior Researcher and MEAC Team, operating under the Head of Project, to manage unexpected events.


The non-resident consultant is to demonstrate at all times the core values of the United Nations: Professionalism,Integrity, and Respect for Diversity.

In addition, in this role, the non-resident consultant will demonstrate the following competences:

  • Planning & Organizing:  Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
  • Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.
  • Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
  • Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Qualifications and Experience

a. Education 

Advanced university qualification (Master’s degree or equivalent) in international law, social science, public administration, disarmament and arms control, international security or a related field is required.

b. Work Experience 

  • A minimum of 5 years of progressively responsible experience in action research related to Niger, Cameroon and Chad. 
  • Experience in the design testing, and delpoyment of surveys is required.  
  • A track record in project management and extensive experience in the process of reviewing and revising project outputs is required.
  • Computer competency, including but not limited to Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), is required.
  • Proven experience in coordinating research activies and managing relationships with multiple stakeholders, including with government officials,  is required.
  • Existing relationships in Niger, Cameroon and Chad with practitioners, policymakers, and researchers working on reintegration, reincroporation, and criminal group desistance processes, including regional organizations and UN agencies is desirable.

c. Languages

For this assignment, fluency in English (both written and oral) is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is desirable.


Travels are anticipated as part of this assignment. 


All outputs will be edited, fact-, and language-checked by UNIDIR. UNIDIR retains copyright of all documents, as well as ownership of the intellectual property resulting from work carried out under this assignment. The consultant warrants that all written outputs are original works or that where they incorporate copyrighted material from another source, this information is cited correctly and the necessary permission for its use is obtained. The consultant is to provide UNIDIR with written documentation, where applicable, together with the written outputs.

How to apply

The applicant should submit:

  • A cover letter
  • CV or UN Personal History Profile (PHP) created via Inspira
  • Name and contact details of three references

Applications should be sent as email attachments, with the subject line “Application: MEAC – Non-Resident Researcher” to No applications will be accepted by post. Deadline for submission of applications is May 15, 2024. Closing date is midnight Geneva time.

Subject line Application: MEAC – Non-Resident Researcher

Please note

Please note that due to the high volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Should you move forward in the process, you may be contacted for further assessment.

UNIDIR promotes the core values of the United Nations: Integrity, Professionalism and Respect for Diversity. Women are encouraged to apply.

Contact Details


Dr. Siobhan O’Neil

Head of the Managing Exits from Armed Conflict (MEAC) Project



Ms. Maliha Khan

Executive Officer