The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the United Nations’ global development network. It advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life for themselves. It provides expert advice, training and grants support to developing countries, with increasing emphasis on assistance to the least developed countries. It promotes technical and investment cooperation among nations.
Headquartered in New York City, the status of UNDP is that of an executive board within the United Nations General Assembly. The UNDP is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from UN member states. The organization operates in 177 countries, where it works with local governments to meet development challenges and develop local capacity.
We are recruiting to fill the position of:
Job Title: PVE Expert Consultancy
- Location: Nigeria (with expected travel within Nigeria)
- Type of Contract: Individual Contract
- Post Level: National Consultant
- Languages Required: English
- Starting Date: 19-Apr-2020 (date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
- Duration of Initial Contract: Forty (40) Working Days
- Expected Duration of Assignment: Forty (40) Working Days
- Violent extremism caused an estimated 33,300 fatalities in Africa between 2011 and 2016, causing economic devastation and a humanitarian catastrophe. This not only poses a significant threat to global security, but also threatens the development gains made by many countries for generations to come.
- Violent extremism comes in different forms and takes different expressions depending on the context in which it grows. As stated in the UN Plan of Action on Preventing Violent Extremism, “Violent extremism is a diverse phenomenon, without clear definition. It is neither new nor exclusive to any region, nationality or system of belief.” The lack of a clear definition entails a need for further investigating violent extremism in its different forms, its drivers and root causes.
- The operations of extremist groups have mostly been followed by militarized counter-terrorism response. Such an approach may temporarily halt the most radical manifestations but has proven to be an ineffective long term strategy in addressing the complexities behind the drivers of extremism.
- The need to articulate a development response is made evident by the linkage between poverty, marginalization, weak governance, conflict and recruitment to violent extremist groups. Thus there is a need to strengthen the linkages between development interventions and the prevention of violent extremism in the work towards achieving the Agenda 2030.
- Development interventions in countries affected by violent extremism (VE) that have not been specifically designed in response to it may reference VE as part of the overall delivery context and rationale, but do not envisage explicit intended results in regard to preventing or countering it.
- Some thematic domains relevant to the root causes and drivers of violent extremism are; employment, education, rule of law, food and nutrition security, water and sanitation. In addition, the role of gender dynamics on the factors that drive or create conditions conducive to violent conflict and violent extremism need to be taken into consideration.
- These thematic areas are addressed through several of UNDP’s development programmes, albeit without making the link between the program objectives and how these contribute to the prevention of violent extremism (PVE). There is therefore suboptimal use of the potential to enhance PVE-sensitivity of essentially PVE-relevant programs.
- The Consultant will work under the direct supervision of the UNDP Nigeria Knowledge Hub Coordinator and in close collaboration with the UNDP Knowledge Hub and UNDP PBSO Team, the research team working on the larger conflict analysis in the Middle Belt region, as well as other relevant Project Technical Teams, regional, national and local stakeholders.
- UNDP Nigeria’s interventions operate in a context highly affected by VE as well as a diverse and continuously changing conflict landscape. To ensure that its development interventions are optimally leveraged to contribute towards preventing and responding to violent extremism, a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics and risks of violent extremism as well as identifying PVE-relevant interventions, requires that it be first analysed within the overarching landscape, including the socio-economic, cultural and political dynamics.
- Once the potential manifestations and impact of violent extremism is identified within this comprehensive context, the linkages between UNDP’s development programming and associated PVE-relevance components can be better established.
- While suboptimal interlinking between PVE indicators and other ongoing development programming has been mainly due to a lack of instruments to assess the current PVE relevance of these programmes, UNDP Nigeria will now employ the recently developed ODA-PVE Toolkit: To Enhance the PVE relevance of ODA programs (herein referred to as the PVE toolkit) by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). UNDP Nigeria is with this seeking to pilot the PVE toolkit methodology and assess the PVE relevance of two of its existing interventions in the Nigeria’s Middle Belt region.
As a first step to ensuring a deep understanding of the dynamics of the Middle Belt region is gained, UNDP Nigeria will mobilise a research team to conduct a comprehensive conflict analysis. For the purposes of this research, the states in the Middle Belt region include Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Kogi, Kwara and Niger states. The main objectives of the conflict analysis are as follows:
- To gain a deepened understanding of the socio-economic and political developments in the Middle-Belt States by identifying emerging conflict, residual risks and resilience factors that need to be managed, including an assessment of the risks and potential synergies that could give rise to/impacted by violent extremism, and leveraged respectively to promote inclusive peace in the short, medium and long term;
- The provision of strategic recommendations to enhance the theory of change guiding the implementation of the integrated UNDP led support to peacebuilding projects. Such recommendations should pay attention to possible emerging trends including efforts towards the prevention of violence extremism;
- The provision of strategic recommendations that identify areas of engagement for UNDP and development partners in the Middle Belt region;
- Mechanism for regular monitoring and tracking of context-specific conflict risks to strengthen engagement efforts, promote coherence in programmatic and policy objectives towards peace consolidation by States, Federal Government, the UN and development partners;
- Building a shared narrative that could underpin future programmatic responses to peacebuilding needs and lay a foundation for sustainable peace in the Belt.
- This consultancy, therefore, seeks the services of a PVE expert to be part of this conflict analysis team with the specific objective to contribute toward ensuring that PVE components are identified and thoroughly analysed within all objectives of the conflict analysis outlined above.
- Second, the Consultant will apply the PVE toolkit to assess the current and possible emergence of interactions between two of UNDP’s projects and VE (in the Middle Belt). Lastly, the Consultant will compile the lessons learned and provide recommendations on adapting the PVE toolkit for development interventions, including those of UNDP Nigeria. This will also feed into the lessons learned for UNDP wide interventions globally.
The PVE Expert Will Undertake the Following Tasks
As part of the conflict analysis team, ensure that the anaylsis functionally integrates, in all aspects (deisgning of tools, methodology, analysis and final report) a PVE lens:
- With the Middle Belt conflict analysis team, the Consultant will conduct an extensive analysis of the research objectives outlined above through the lens of preventing and responding to violent extremism so as to ensure the resulting conflict analysis is holistic and comprehensive.
- The analysis will also be informed by field research. The analysis will result in a synthesized chapter which specifically addresses the potential drivers, impact and/or risk of violent extremism within the overall current and emerging conflict context of the Middle Belt.
Assess the PVE relevance of two pilot projects:
- Guided by the overall conflict context of the Middle Belt, the Consultant will then apply the PVE toolkit on two of UNDP Nigeria’s ongoing projects in the Middle Belt region.
- The objective of this task is to identify the PVE relevance of the two projects including an assessment of the (potential) connections to risk of radicalisation into VE and to identify opportunities/existing activities that contribute to preventing and responding to VE through the implementation of the project activities.
- The selected projects are Fostering Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in the Savanna Zones of Northern Nigeria and Integrated Approach to Building Peace in Nigeria’s Farmer-Herder Crisis. These projects are different in nature; the first aiming to improve and increase sustainability of food security in Nasarawa, Benue, Adamawa, Gome, Katsina, Kano and Jigawa States.
- The second project aims to build peace among the farmers and herders in Nasarawa, Benue and Taraba States through the establishment of gender sensitive peacebuilding structures and integrating the livelihood of farmers and herders. Neither of the projects were designed to specifically address prevention of violent extremism.
- However, they both operate in areas where violent extremism is present and include interventions addressing unemployment, weak institutions, rule of law and food insecurity, which are known as root causes and drivers of violent extremism. The projects’ development activities are therefore likely to contribute to PVE outcomes. However, this synergy effect has yet to be identified.
- For the sake of this pilot exercise, meant as a learning process to adapt the PVE toolkit to UNDP, the PVE toolkit assessments will focus on UNDP operations in Adamawa, Benue and Nasarawa States as the two selected projects have activities in these locations. However, as outlined above, the conflict analysis will cover the wider Middle Belt region as defined above to include Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kogi, Kaduna, Kwara and Niger States.
Recommendations on methods to adapat the PVE toolkit:
- Detailing the lessons learned through piloting the PVE toolkit, the Consultant will provide methodological recommendations on how to adapt the PVE toolkit in order to enhance the interlinking between existing UNDP projects and PVE indicators.
- For both the conflict analysis and assessment of the pilot projects using the PVE toolkit, the Consultant along with the research team will agree on and employ a sound methodological approach that incorporates both desk review as well Key Informant Interviews (KII) and focus group discussions.
- The analysis should also build on available research, relevant reports and documentation from UNDP and external sources. Furthermore, the analysis should use a gender sensitive lens and include perspectives on the disparate dynamics on women and men.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Consultant will travel within Nigeria for planning and information gathering/data collection purposes. The below outlines the activities and the estimated number of days:
- Inception meeting (2 days in Abuja): Meeting with all research team members and UNDP Nigeria to agree upon a method of collaboration and engagement as well as to ensure the objectives of the research and deliverables are well understood by all team members.
- Field research to administer KII and FGD (20 days): Along with the research team, the Consultant will travel to all Middle Belt states identified to
- Validation workshop (1 day in Abuja): The Consultant will attend and present findings during a validation workshop with partners, stakeholders and the UNDP team.
The Consultant will be expected to deliver the following reports:
- Inception report detailing the methodology that will be employed. This report will be produced after thorough consultation and collaboration with the wider research team to ensure that the same overarching methodologies are used, including for KII and FGDs, and timelines detailed, outlined and synchronised.
- A comprehensive and holistic chapter synthesising the potential drivers and synergies, impact and/or risk of violent extremism within the overall current and emerging conflict context of the Middle Belt.
Annexed to this will be a comprehensive literature review including:
- The drivers and motivations of joining violent extremist groups, including the dynamics of the socio-economic, cultural and political environments of those that are recruited/or where violent extremism is prevalent;
- Push & pull factors, enabling factors in the political and institutional environment;
- The conflict actors in Nigeria, including the dynamics between groups within and outside the country, trends on geographical reach and spread of violent extremist groups;
- Current and emerging trends of violent extremism in the country, including its reach in Middle Belt states;
- Other factors as outlined in the ODA-PVE Toolkit methodology
Findings from the assessments of the pilot projects using the PVE toolkit, including:
- Recommendations on how the two selected projects can incorporate findings from the conflict analysis into their existing programme design, highlighting how existing activities and goals currently contribute to PVE and how existing activities and goals of the project can be expanded into a longer-term programmatic approach with conscious PVE approach.
- Identification of research and data gaps in Nigeria which hinders monitoring and in-depth conflict analysis at subnational levels, including a gender sensitive lens; and
- Recommendations for future consideration with regards to areas of engagement and research
- Recommendations on methods to adapat the PVE toolkit: Detailing the lessons learned through piloting the PVE toolkit, the Consultant will provide methodological recommendations on how to adapt the PVE toolkit in order to enhance the interlinking between existing UNDP projects and PVE indicators, including on how to identify PVE relevance of new and existing UNDP programmes and to enhance PVE mainstreaming throughout programme activities.
- Proven experience in conducting conflict analysis with a PVE lens and ability to translate findings to policy recommendations;
- Experience in conflict settings and familiarity with the academic and policy literature surrounding the causes and consequences of violent conflict;
- Excellent knowledge and expertise on the dynamics, drivers and root causes of violent extremism in Africa.
- Deep knowledge of Nigeria and the Lake Chad region
- Knowledge of UN’s programmes and approaches in the region is preferred
Research Methodology And Analysis:
- Proven experience conducting field research in the form of KII and FGDs;
- Ability to lead the conflict analysis and to combine local field-based research findings with broader analytical trends and observations. This work includes explaining and applying findings and recommendations following the assessment.
- Working understanding of gender and gender analysis.
- Proven experience writing procedure documents and analysis reports for an international audience.
- Excellent command of English
Required Skills and Experience
- Master’s degree or equivalent in Peace and Conflict studies, Development studies, International Relations, Sociology/Anthropology, or other relevant field.
- Minimum 7 years relevant experience conducting research and working on topics related to violent
- Extremism in West Africa, peace building and conflict prevention, including conducting conflict analysis
- Proven experience working in/on the conflict context in Nigeria and surrounding region
- Experience with UNDP or other UN agencies
- Strong analytical skills, proven experience in applying research methodology.
- Strong communication skills in spoken and writtenEnglish, particularly in report writing.
- Master’s degree or equivalent in Peace and Conflict studies, Development studies, International Relations, Sociology/Anthropology, or other relevant field – 15 points
- Minimum 7 years relevant experience conducting research and working on topics related to violent extremism in West Africa, peace building and conflict prevention, including conducting conflict analysis – 25 points
- Proven experience working in/on the conflict context in Nigeria and surrounding region – 40 points
- Experience with UNDP or other UN agencies – 10 points
- Strong analytical skills, proven experience in applying research methodology, in spoken and written communications in English particularly in report writing – 10 points.