International Consultant-Specialist in Conflict Prevention

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OSCE - Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe


Background:

Note: This is home-based assignment with visits to the HCNM office and  possible on-site field visits in the OSCE region.

The OSCE has a comprehensive approach to security that encompasses politico-military, economic and environmental, and human aspects. It therefore addresses a wide range of security-related concerns, including arms control, confidence and security-building measures, human rights, combating human trafficking, national minorities, democratization, policing strategies, counter-terrorism and economic and environmental activities. All 57 participating States enjoy equal status and decisions are taken by consensus on a politically, but not legally binding basis. 

The OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM) promotes conflict prevention and integration of diverse societies. HCNM was established to identify and seek early resolution of ethnic tensions that might endanger peace, stability or friendly relations between OSCE participating States. 
The mandate of the HCNM, as outlined in the OSCE framework, is to “assess at the earliest possible stage the role of the parties directly concerned, the nature of the tensions and recent developments therein and, where possible, the potential consequences for peace and stability” within the OSCE area. This mandate encapsulates a dual focus: firstly, to contain and de-escalate emerging tensions, and secondly, to provide early warning and, where applicable, early action if such tensions threaten to evolve into significant crises or conflicts.

The HCNM’s strategy integrates a comprehensive approach combining continuous engagement with stakeholders, thematic analysis, and programmatic initiatives. A diverse array of activities and interventions are deployed, characterized by a multifaceted approach to implementation that leverages both in-house capacities and external resources. The engagement with stakeholders involves confidential, country-specific, or interstate consultations and advice, aimed at defusing potential crises. Thematic work encompasses the development and dissemination of the Recommendations and Guidelines for policy-makers and other stakeholders on recurring national minority issues, while programmatic activities focus on targeted interventions designed to foster long-term stability and inclusion, and are based on specific HCNM advice for the participating State.

Established post-Cold War, the context in which HCNM operates has evolved and its engagements have sought to adapt to the changing conflict dynamics and international frameworks. Since HCNM’s establishment, there has also been an increase in knowledge and understanding of how change comes about, which has led to the development of new methods, processes, and tools for designing and implementing strategies and programmes related to conflict prevention. For example, greater emphasis is now placed on local ownership, inclusive approaches, and sustainability of interventions, as strategies take into account that change comes through local actors at different levels and that impact is most likely achieved through a pathway of separate but connected results over a longer term. At the same time, the costs of conflict and post-conflict rehabilitation are prohibitively high, and the need and urgency for conflict prevention still remains.

A comprehensive evaluation of HCNM’s work is proposed with the aim to better understand how to optimize the utilization of resources and capacities within current yet evolving contexts, needs and challenges, and thereby contribute to the enhancement of the HCNM’s effectiveness in delivering on its mandate.

Objectives of Assignment: 

1.   Comprehensive Evaluation: Conduct in-depth analysis of HCNM’s strategy, interventions, and their collective impact on the organization’s mandate                 within the changing geopolitical context.
2.    Strategic Insights and Learning: Utilize internal and external benchmarks to enhance HCNM’s strategic approaches to conflict prevention.
3.    Organizational and Functional Assessment: Review HCNM’s structural and operational effectiveness and propose strategic improvements.
4.    Resource Utilization: Recommend methods for optimal resource allocation to enhance efficiency, effectiveness and strategic importance.
 

The evaluation will be conducted by a team comprised of a Lead Evaluator, a Specialist in Conflict Prevention, and a number of Local Field Evaluators. Each member will play a crucial role in ensuring a comprehensive and effective evaluation process, tailored to meet the outlined objectives. An internal HCNM’s Evaluation Reference Group will provide guidance and support to the entire evaluation process.

Tasks and Responsibilities:

Under the guidance of a Project Advisor, who will seek to coordinate with the HCNM Evaluation Reference Group, and in close co-ordination with the Lead Evaluator, the Consultant Specialist in Conflict Prevention will perform the following tasks:

1. Initial Planning and Inception:
       •   Take part and provide specialized input to the planning and inception phase in order to 1) align on the evaluation’s objectives, methodologies,                        timelines and stakeholders to be included, as well as on roles and focus areas; 2) tailor the evaluation methodology to meet the specific needs                      for comprehensive evaluation of HCNM’s conflict prevention strategy;    

2.    Stakeholder Engagement:
       •    Participate in stakeholder consultations and in participatory workshops with HCNM staff, facilitated by the Lead Evaluator, to gather initial insights                  for the evaluation and offer specialized knowledge for organizing the discussions and consultations.

3.    Data Collection and Analysis:
      •    Participate in collection of data through surveys, interviews, document reviews organized and overseen by Lead Evaluator, and information                            provided by field Evaluators and provide in-depth analysis on the content-related aspects of the evaluation including conduct of thematic reviews                  focusing on conflict prevention effectiveness.

4.   Generate Insights:
     •   Lead on generating insights during facilitated discussions with HCNM staff to harness internal experience and knowledge on HCNM approaches                   and  working methods in conflict prevention.

5.    External Benchmarking

     •    Based on the gaps and opportunities identified during the internal collaborative phase take a lead role in benchmarking HCNM’s strategy and                        working  methods against some of the existing practices offering specialized knowledge on effective frameworks and emerging approaches in                        conflict  prevention.

6.    Reporting and Recommendations :
       •    Provide input to the Draft Evaluation Report 
       •    Integrating key strategic insights gained from both internal reflections and external benchmarking of conflict prevention frameworks to develop                      comprehensive and actionable recommendations to support future strategy development by HCNM.

7.    Dissemination and Follow-up:
      •    Support the Lead Evaluator with preparing presentations and material for sharing results of the evaluation.
     

The tasks of the Evaluation will be further specified at the outset of the assignment as the methodology will be reviewed and modified based on the input of the Evaluation Team and the HCNM’s Evaluation Reference Group.

A follow-up and evaluation utilization phase might take place following the conclusion of the evaluation process and receipt of the Final Evaluation Report. An advisory role in monitoring and implementation of recommendations might be expected from the Lead Evaluator and Specialist in Conflict Prevention to assist HCNM in interpreting relevant findings, integrating the recommendations into strategic planning and where needed operational adjustments, as well as in developing a monitoring framework to track the implementation of recommendations and the impact of strategic adjustments made as a result of the evaluation. This phase however will be part of future efforts by HCNM in implementation of evaluation results and does not represent integral part of the contact made under the framework of this vacancy notice.

Duration of Assignment:

30 working days in July 2024 – January 2025

 Deliverables:

  1. Inception Report: Detailed methodology and work plan.

  2. Internal Insights and External Benchmarking: Workshop, report on the results and develop an External Benchmark where gaps identified.
  3. Draft Evaluation Report: Preliminary findings and recommendations. 

  4. Final Evaluation Report: Refined and validated findings and actionable recommendations.
  5. Presentation Materials: For dissemination of findings and recommendations.

    For more detailed information on the structure and work of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, please see  https://www.osce.org/hcnm.

Necessary Qualifications:

  •  University degree in political science, sociology or law, preferably with specialization in conflict prevention and /or management of diverse               societies, inter-ethnic relations;
  •  Minimum 10 years of continued professional experience in the field of early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management, post-conflict rehabilitation, and peace process management. Experience (governance and policy advice) in management of diverse societies, dealing with issues of national minorities and inter-ethnic relations is preferable; familiarity with the OSCE security framework and multilateral working experience in the OSCE area is also an advantage;
  • Excellent analytical, drafting and research skills, including experience in research, analysis, and elaboration;  
  • Professional fluency in English language, both oral and written;
  • Gender awareness and sensitivity, and an ability to integrate a gender perspective into tasks and activities;
  • Ability to work accurately, confidentially, both independently and in a team.

 Remuneration Package:

Remuneration will be based on the selected consultant’s/expert’s qualifications, experience, the tasks and deliverables for this position and in accordance with the OSCE established rates.

If you wish to apply for this position, please use the OSCE’s online application link found under https://vacancies.osce.org/.

 

The OSCE retains the discretion to re-advertise/re-post the vacancy, to cancel the recruitment or to offer an appointment with a modified job description or for a different duration.

 

Only those candidates who are selected to participate in the subsequent stages of recruitment will be contacted.

 

The OSCE is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all religious, ethnic and social backgrounds to apply to become a part of the Organization. 

 

Candidates should be aware that OSCE officials shall conduct themselves at all times in a manner befitting the status of an international civil servant. This includes avoiding any action which may adversely reflect on the integrity, independence and impartiality of their position and function as officials of the OSCE. The OSCE is committed to applying the highest ethical standards in carrying out its mandate. For more information on the values set out in OSCE Competency Model, please see https://jobs.osce.org/resources/document/our-competency-model.

 

Please be aware that the OSCE does not request payment at any stage of the application and review process.

Additional Information
  • Issued by: OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities
  • Requisition ID: HCN000029
  • Contract Type: Special Service Agreement (SSA) / Consultant
  • Grade: No grade
  • Job Level: Senior Professional
  • Job Type: Consultant
  • Number of posts: 1
  • Location: HCN – OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, The Hague
  • Issue Date: May 31, 2024
  • Closing Date: Jun 21, 2024
  • Employee Status: Short-Term
  • Schedule: Part-time
  • Education Level: Bachelor’s Degree (First-level university degree or equivalent)
  • Job Field: Project Management
  • Target Start Date: as soon as possible

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