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 advance MEAC’s research in Iraq and its collaboration with key stakeholders working in Iraq. The particular objective of this consultancy is to lead a follow up study with different populations of interest in Iraq, including current and former residents of Jeddah-1 camp, communities of return, and key stakeholders working to support reintegration in the country.
Responsibilities and outputs
Under the direct supervision of the MEAC Project Lead, the consultant shall deliver the following services:
- In anticipation of new rounds of surveys in late 2024, adjust MEAC surveys and qualitative research tools to address different aspects of the study; oversee their translation; and engage with UN partners to ensure their needs are addressed by the contextualized tools.
- Establish positive relationships with project partners and proactively communicate with them around fieldwork logistics and permissions as well as with project updates.
- Oversee and liaise with the local survey firm that administers the survey – from enumerator training to backend data monitoring during data collection.
- Lead and oversee the qualitative fieldwork and coordinate with local research partners and collaborators on the research components.
- Lead the engagement of local research partners (e.g., Iraqi universities).
- Lead in the analysis of the resulting data sets, focus group/interview transcripts, and any translations of these transcripts.
- Co-lead the participatory components of the study, coordinate with the implementing partners of the photography intervention, and co-administer the youth researcher programme.
- In the event, an event around the photographs is requested, lead in the organization and facilitation of such an event.
- Lead the drafting and final editing of five reports throughout the year.
- Present findings at a UN event(s) and contribute to forward-facing outputs (e.g., op eds).
- Provide regular progress updates to the MEAC team to ensure effective communication and coordination.
Tangible and measurable outputs of the consultancy
The senior non-resident consultant shall provide UNIDIR with the following outputs:
- The provision of substantive advisory, support and capacity-building activities and services to include overseeing the contextualization of MEAC assessment tools and supervision of research activities (e.g., survey roll out, focus groups, and key informant interviews).
- Finalized data sets resulting from surveys
- Transcripts resulting from KIIs and focus groups discussions
- Photographs and transcripts resulting from the participatory components
- Five analytical outputs for MEAC
- Presentations to UN and Iraqi audiences at MEAC and related events
Performance indicators for evaluation of services provided
Assignments described above are completed to the satisfaction of MEAC’s Head of Project 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.
In addition, in this role, the senior 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.
The senior non-resident consultant is to demonstrate at all times the core values of the United Nations: Professionalism,Integrity, and Respect for Diversity.
Qualifications and Experience
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 field research.
- Experience in the design testing, and delpoyment of qualitative prompts and 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 UN officials, is required.
- Existing relationships in Iraq with practitioners, policymakers, and researchers working on return and reintegration, including UN agencies is desirable.
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.
Budget for the contract
The consultant is required to submit invoices indicating (1) Exact title or description of work and (2) Number of days worked to UNIDIR’s Finance, Budget and Administration section.
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
- Name and contact details of three references.
Applications should be sent as email attachments, with the subject line “Application: MEAC Senior Non-Resident Consultant, Iraq Case Study Coordinator” to email@example.com. No applications will be accepted by post. Deadline for submission of applications is 19 December 2023. Closing date is midnight Geneva time.
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.
Dr. Siobhan O’Neil
Head of the Managing Exits from Armed Conflict (MEAC) Project
Ms. Maliha Khan