Junior Researcher

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • Location
    Brussels, Belgium
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Mar 05

Position description


Conflict not only tears countries apart but also leads to divided societies plagued by political and social tensions and grievances. Violence and armed conflicts undermine efforts to foster inclusive, peaceful societies and prevent countries from establishing robust and stable democratic institutions needed for peace and development. Indeed, if not tackled adequately and quickly, initial societal unrest and tensions can degenerate into prolonged conflict causing many victims and widespread devastation. Moreover, the socio-economic costs related to post-conflict reconstruction are often enormous, making the investment in prevention a far better option.

Credible electoral processes are essential for conferring legitimacy to the national and local governments. When successful, electoral processes offer the means of channelling social conflict into respectful and constructive debate and provide the opportunity to citizens to voice their preference and elect their representatives. They can offer a safe, predictable, rule-bound method for arbitrating political and social conflict through the selection of representatives and confer the legitimacy garnered by the consent of the people for programs and policies. On the other hand, precisely because the elections are about the competition for political power, they can be catalysts of existing conflict in society.

While there are different sources and types of conflicts, political events such as elections, particularly in fragile states, have the potential to trigger conflicts and violence. Indeed, all stages of the electoral cycle pose a risk of sparking violence, including political intimidation before and during voting, escalation of social tensions when approaching the election day, or political crises that may emerge after the elections. Experiences from around the world show that elections, which are simultaneously exercises of human rights, freedom of expression, and a key element of democratic governance, can be a catalyst or accelerator of conflict. Therefore, there is a clear urgency to understand the complicated nexus between elections and conflict prevention.

Organizational Context

The EC UNDP Joint Task Force in Electoral Assistance (JTF) was established in 2007, to further strengthen and facilitate the already existing EC-UNDP partnership in the field of electoral assistance and improve the overall efficiency and adherence of the projects to the common EC-UNDP strategic approach. The JTF monitors and supports the EC-UNDP Partnership in Electoral Assistance, which, since 2004, has seen over $1 billion of EU funds support UNDP-implemented electoral assistance projects in approximately 50 countries

While the EC-UNDP Joint Task Force on Electoral Assistance will lead the overall coordination and support, the entire process (studies/toolbox/workshops/pilot) is expected to be driven in equal parts by all relevant EU and UN entities, including UNDP, European External Action Service (EEAS), European Commission, European Parliament and other relevant EU and UN entities. They will provide input and expertise at all stages of the development and review of the toolbox. Moreover, their experience, analysis and expectations will be the main driving force behind the process. As such, this project is envisaged and designed to be a close collaborative effort at the institutional level between the EU and the UN.  

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 Consultant will support the work of the Senior Consultant and undertake the following tasks:

  • Assist with the research and drafting of the policy and research studies of the existing UN/UNDP and EU policy framework, outlining relevant documents, experiences and best practices regarding electoral conflict;
  • Support the Senior Consultant in the analysis of the existing architecture of conflict prevention and elections within the EU (DEVCO/EEAS) and UN (secretariat)/UNDP, as well as providing an overview of other actors (governments, international organizations, NGOs, media, etc.) in the electoral conflict prevention.
  • Assist the Senior Consultant in drafting a research paper for presentation at the conference, presenting the tools at the disposal of EU and UN for electoral conflict prevention and mitigation; 
  • Assist with the drafting of a thematic research study to provide an insight on various key areas linked to conflict prevention and mitigation, such as the role of civil society organisations, media, political parties, dialogue, electoral dispute resolution, early warning mechanisms
  • Support the conduct of in-depth regional studies, including desk reviews, possible field visits and interviews (in person and remotely – to be confirmed) with key stakeholders, on the issue of electoral conflict prevention in five regions (Europe/CIS, Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America);
  • Based on the research studies and feedback from the Country Offices and EU Delegations, assist the Senior Consultant in producing a first draft of the toolbox of options for the use by UNDP projects, EU Delegations, Election Management Bodies and other stakeholders in preventing and mitigating electoral conflict;
  • Support the planning and organization of a large international conference, expected in June in Brussels. This will include logistics arrangements, administrative details (booking of the rooms, speakers, catering, etc…)



  • At the end of each month, the consultant must submit a progress report to be approved by the management.
  • Final report must be submitted and approved by the management prior to making the final payment.

Institutional Arrangements

  • This assignment is Brussels-based. The consultant must have a legal right to live and work in Belgium. Please note that the office unfortunately cannot provide any assistance in obtaining a work or residency permit.

Payments will be made upon submission of a detailed time sheet, respective deliverables and certificate of payment form, and approval and confirmation by the Senior Electoral Advisor. 



  • 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 in conducting research and analysis in the field of elections, law, international relations or related studies;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Excellent interpersonal and diplomatic skills;
  • Ability to set and meet deadlines;
  • Ability and willingness to work as part of a dynamic, multi-tasking team.

If required, willing and able to conduct short missions in the UNDP country offices world-wide.

Required Skills and Experience


  • University degree in the field of International relations, Law, Political Science or related subject. Research experience a plus.


  • At least one previous post and/or internship, preferably in the field of elections/politics/international affairs/human rights and with proven research activities.
  • Experience with research and/or report writing
  • Familiarity with EU and/or UN/UNDP project and inter-agency coordination an asset.


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

Evaluation of Applicants

Application Evaluation Process

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the cumulative analysis methodology (weighted scoring method), where the award of the contract will be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

Technical Criteria weight: [70%]

Financial Criteria weight: [30%]

Only Individual Consultants obtaining a minimum of 49 points (70%) on the Technical evaluation will be considered for the Financial Evaluation.

Technical Criteria - 70% of total evaluation – max. 70 points:

  • At least one previous post and/or internship, preferably in the field of elections/politics/international affairs/human rights (20 points)
  • Experience with research and/or report writing (20 points)
  • Familiarity with EU and/or UN/UNDP electoral assistance project and inter-agency coordination an asset. (20 points)
  • Knowledge of other UN languages an asset (10 points)

Application instructions

Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on Globaljobs.org

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