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Kenya Job: United Nations, Director, Political Affairs, D2

Category: United Nations Jobs in Kenya
Posted: Mar 6, 2017

Employment in the United Nations as Director, Political Affairs

The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization to promote international co-operation. A replacement for the ineffective League of Nations, the organization was established on 24 October 1945

Assessment Period

All applicants should regularly check the United Nations HR Portal at or their “My Upcoming Test Schedule” page in Inspira for any updates/changes after the closing of this job opening, particularly during the week before the scheduled testing dates.

Please note that applicants who apply as rostered candidates are not subject to any further assessment and accordingly, will not be invited to participate in the SPT or any other assessments (including any written exam, interview, etc.) throughout the selection process. For more information about the assessment process, please visit the United Nations HR Portal.

Self-Assessment Questionnaire

Is a career at the United Nations right for you? Take the voluntary self-assessment questionnaire and get valuable insight into the working environment of the United Nations as well as the Political, Peace and Humanitarian Network (POLNET). This questionnaire is anonymous and has no impact on your potential candidacy for this position. Upon completion, you will receive feedback to help you decide if working in the United Nations is right for you.

Start Questionnaire.

Special Notice

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

Extension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and/or the availability of the funds.

Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfill the lateral move(s) or geographical requirements as set out in ST/AI/2016/1 to be eligible to apply for this job opening. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral or geographical move(s) in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover note.

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region in Nairobi. Nairobi is classified as a “B” family duty station. The incumbent reports to the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General.

The Director Political Affairs is responsible for the provision of general direction and coordination of the Mission’s activities related to political analysis, strategy, outreach and reporting. S/he promotes key aspects of the mandates of the Special Envoy and the Office through direct engagement with national and international partners in the Great Lakes region. S/he leads the work of the Mission’s Political Affairs Unit in the coordination and assessment of the implementation of the PSC Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the region, particularly, supporting the Special Envoy’s engagements on the national and international commitments of the Framework and other relevant Resolutions of the Security Council.


Under the overall guidance of the Special Envoy and within limits of delegated authority, the Director will perform the following duties:

Political Analysis and Advice:
• Identify, analyze and monitor political developments and emerging issues related to the mandates of the Special Envoy and the Office.
• Assess their implications and make recommendations to the Mission leadership on possible strategies, policies and other measures to advance mandated objectives, including plans of action for immediate and long range solutions to political problems.
• Devise a political strategy in support of the implementation of the Mission’s mandate. Support the Special Envoy’s good offices, and confidence building initiatives in the region, including the conduct of peaceful, transparent and inclusive elections and related dialogue processes.
• Develop appropriate strategies and advise on addressing the root causes of conflicts in eastern DRC and their impacts on the region

Outreach and Partnership:
• Engage national authorities in the DRC and the region, and other partners to propose an integrated strategy on ways to address the political and security situation in the region.
• Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with the national authorities of the region, political and community leaders, civil society actors, the UN Country teams and other national and international partners on political and policy matters.
• Consult and cooperate with partners to develop strategies and plans of action to address political challenges, in pursuit of mandated objectives.
• Monitor, evaluate and report on the implementation of the O/SESG Roadmap and the Great Lakes Regional Strategic Framework. Liaise with the Executive Secretariat of the ICGLR, SADC, the AU and other regional organizations as appropriate on the implementation of the PSC Framework.

• Ensure regular, timely and high quality reporting on developments and issues pertaining to the mandates in particular on political issues. Oversee the preparation of timely reports, reviews and analyses as well as periodical reports such as the Secretary-General’s reports to the Security Council, briefings to the Security Council and other such documents on developments pertaining to the implementation of the PSC Framework and other mandate related issues in the region, including the conduct of peaceful, inclusive and transparent elections and dialogue processes.
• Lead preparations of summary and analytical reports, including situation reports, briefing notes, notes on meetings and code cables, as well as statements and speeches. Oversee the preparation of contextual information materials, such as background notes, position papers and political profiles.

Internal Guidance and Coordination:
• Provide guidance for the political work of all Mission components and ensure that they are in accordance with the overall political strategy of the Mission.
• Liaise with MONUSCO on a regular basis to ensure complementary with the activities of O/SESG including the good offices of the Special Envoy, and support to MONUSCO on issues related to the DRC, including through participation in regional mechanisms, as appropriate.

• Formulate and manage the implementation of the section’s programme of work, determining priorities and activities that are in accordance with the mandate. Supervise, mentor, and evaluate staff; Participate in the selection of new staff.
• Perform other relevant duties requested by the Special Envoy.


Professionalism: Knowledge of working on or in the Great Lakes region. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.

Integrity: Demonstrates the values of the United Nations in daily activities and behaviours; acts without consideration of personal gain; resists undue political pressure in decision-making; does not abuse power or authority; stands by decisions that are in the Organization’s interest, even if they are unpopular; takes prompt action in cases of unprofessional or unethical behavior.

Respect for Diversity: Works effectively with people from all backgrounds; treats all people with dignity and respect; treats men and women equally; shows respect for and understanding of diverse points of view and demonstrates this understanding in daily work and decision-making; examines own biases and behaviours to avoid stereotypical responses; does not discriminate against any individual or group.

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.

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.

Managerial Competencies

Vision: Identifies strategic issues, opportunities and risks; clearly communicates links between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals; generates and communicates broad and compelling organizational direction, inspiring others to pursue that same direction; conveys enthusiasm about future possibilities.

Judgement/Decision-making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in Political Science, International Relations, Social Science, Law or a related field. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

Over 15 years of progressively responsible experience in political or diplomatic work at national level, international or multilateral organizations is required. Extensive experience in political outreach, analysis, reporting and negotiation in a national or an international setting is required. Experience in leading or representing an Office, Department or Organization at senior level is required. Experience of managing a large and multidisciplinary team or office is required. Experience of working in a conflict or post-conflict setting at, national level or in international NGOs, regional or international organizations, or bilateral international assistance programmes is desirable. Experience of the political and security context of the Great Lakes region in a substantive capacity in political affairs, diplomacy or a related field is desirable. Experience in leading complex political initiatives and processes, as well as effective contribution to mediation, political negotiations or dialogue processes is desirable. Effective contribution and field experience in implementing peace agreements is an advantage.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English or French is required. Knowledge of the other language is an advantage.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview. Core values and competencies will be assessed throughout the evaluation process.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity, including but not limited to, respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to, whether they have committed or are alleged to have committed criminal offences or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment

How to Apply

Interested and qualified? Go to:

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