Transition Specialist – UNDP


Job Description

OrganizationUnited Nations Development Programme
TitleTransition Specialist
Job ID1883
Practice AreaUN Coordination
Posting Date12/21/2021, 08:26 PM
Apply Before01/21/2022, 06:59 AM
LocationsKhartoum, Sudan
Education & Work ExperienceMaster’s Degree – 7 year(s) experience
Required LanguagesEnglish
Desired Languages Arabic
Vacancy TypeFixed Term
BureauRegional Bureau for Arab States
Contract Duration1 Year with Possibility for extension
Mobility required/no mobilitymobility required


UN transitions are high on the agenda as a number of UN Peacekeeping Operations and Special Political Missions are currently planning for or undergoing drawdown, reconfiguration and withdrawal processes that greatly affect the presence and work of the wider UN Country Team in these countries. Missions and UNDP Country Offices in Haiti, Darfur, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are preparing for or undergoing transitions, in line with evolving situations on the ground and within political contexts that are often fragile. It is critical that these processes are planned and managed in a joint and coherent manner by UN actors and partners on the ground with Headquarters support to avoid precipitous and ill-designed transitions that jeopardize previous peacebuilding gains.

In response to increased requests from UN field presences for transition related support, UNDP, DPO, DPPA and DCO are implementing the joint ‘UN Transitions Project – Sustaining Peace and Development Beyond Mission Withdrawal’. The Project’s overall objective is to ensure that host nations are better equipped to consolidate peacebuilding gains, supported by a nimbler UN that adjusts its strategy and footprint in line with changing circumstances, national peace and development priorities, and in cooperation with key national, regional and international partners.

The Project, which has entered its third phase (July 2020- June 2023), is built around three pillars that correspond to recurring transition challenges: (i) proactive and integrated planning; (ii) transition financing and programming; and (iii) strengthening national ownership and regional engagement. Across these three themes, the project (1) provides integrated planning support to field presences engaged in a transition process and their respective HQ counterparts; (2) conducts integrated capacity development initiatives to increase planning skills and other capacities related to transitions; (3) carries out joint exercises to enhance organizational knowledge and guidance; and (4) engages Member States, host governments, key UN stakeholders and relevant partners with a view to ensure their pro-active support to UN transition processes.

On 3 June 2020, the Security Council established the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) through resolution 2524. The Mission has four strategic objectives: assist the political transition, progress towards democratic governance, in the protection and promotion of human rights, and sustainable peace; support peace processes and implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement and future peace agreements; assist peacebuilding, civilian protection and rule of law, in particular in Darfur and the Two Areas; support the mobilisation of economic and development assistance, and coordination of humanitarian and peacebuilding assistance. The Security Council also requested the cooperation between UNITAMS and its integrated United Nations country team (UNCT) partners to be underpinned by an Integrated Strategic Framework (ISF) or equivalent, as well as for UNITAMS and the UNCT to establish an appropriate mechanism for joint and coordinated peacebuilding support in Darfur and the Two Areas (Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile).  

The engagement of the UNCT in transition planning process is critical for the continued UN support in key peacebuilding areas. The experience from previous transitions, however, has shown that additional planning capacity in the Resident Coordinator’s Office (RCO) as well as among the UNCT is critical. The Transition Specialist will therefore support the RCO for UNCT wide transition planning and management efforts guided by the Secretary-General’s Planning Directive, the Integrated Assessment and Planning Policy, and the UN Transition Policy.

The Transition Specialist shall have a primary reporting line to the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General / Resident / Humanitarian Coordinator through the Head of Integrated Office, related to the substantive work and its supervision, and an administrative reporting line to the UNDP Resident Representative, which includes legal, human resources, duty of care and other administrative matters. To ensure a system-wide approach, the Transition Specialist shall work through the established integrated UN coordination mechanisms.


Provide guidance and support to the RCO on integration and transition planning for the UN system.

  • Support and facilitate strategic and pro-active engagement by the RCO and UNCT in integration mechanisms and transition planning.
  • Provide guidance to the Resident Coordinator and the UNCT on integration and transition.
  • Support and coordinate relevant integration mechanisms between UNITAMS and the UNCT.
  • Actively support and engage in the joint UN transition planning process with the Mission, including through participation in established coordination structures.
  • Strengthen integrated transition planning and management efforts by ensuring frequent coordination and information exchange between mission and UNCT senior and technical staff, and where needed support the establishment of appropriate coordination mechanisms and structures.
  • Provide advice to Mission staff and members of the UNCT on (entity specific) transition planning products.
  • Ensure that gender and human rights concepts and issues are fully integrated throughout the transition planning process.
  • Facilitate, at the request of the Resident Coordinator, consultations with the Government, other national stakeholders and UN partners, including IFIs, regional and bilateral partners, on transition related issues.
  • Ensure appropriate linkages are made to other ongoing strategic planning processes and initiatives – e.g. SDG planning and implementation, HDP Nexus programming, the preparation of the national budget, or donor strategies.
  • Identify entry-points for and provide advisory support to joint mission-UNCT programming efforts.
  • Advise the Resident Coordinator and UNCT on transition financing issues, trends and opportunities.
  • At the discretion of the Resident Coordinator, support capacity building efforts on transition planning and management among national stakeholders.
  • At the request of the Resident Coordinator, represent the RCO in various national and UN meetings.

Lead the development of an integrated UN transition approach/strategy in coordination with mission and UNCT members. This will include, but is not limited to:

  • Contribute to capacity mapping of Government, UNCT and regional organizations.
  • Outline of the transition process including mission/government structures, internal coordination structures, timelines, plans and assessments.
  • Contribute to UNCT post transition portfolio based on a needs and risk assessment and comparative advantage analysis.
  • Suggest offices (re-) configuration for UN presence in country. Support requirements may include admin/logistics/human resources (for transition process and for post transition portfolio).
  • Develop resource mobilization and transition financing strategy.
  • Formulate communication and partnerships strategies.
  • Outline HQ role and requirements prepared in collaboration with HQ.
  • Develop a transition action plan (in the form of a matrix) for the UNCT, including actions, roles, UNCT structures, benchmarks, and timelines.
  • Formulate a risk register.

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Contribute to the identification of lessons learned, knowledge sharing and practice building on UN transitions and integration

  • Draw upon other UN experiences, lessons learned and knowledge networking to provide contributions to the integration and transition planning process.
  • Facilitate and support the identification of lessons learned and good practices associated with integration and the transition process.
  • Contribute to knowledge sharing and practice building through briefings, guidance notes, meetings amongst mission and UNCT staff on transition issues.
  • Support the UN Transitions Project in the facilitation and organization of in-country transition trainings.
  • Participate in peer-to-peer exchange and community of practice network meetings, organized by the UN Transitions Project.

Provide regular progress reports on the transition planning process and the implementation of the Secretary-General’s Planning Directive

  • In close liaison with the UN Transitions Project, the DPPA/ DPO Regional Division at HQ, and the UNDP Regional Desk, prepare and submit update reports every two months as well as a consolidated annual report on the transition planning process and the implementation of the Secretary-General’s Planning Directive. Based on the lessons from the implementation of the Secretary-General’s Planning Directive, propose revisions of the Directive to improve its implementation.
  • Participate in bi-weekly Transition Specialist update calls organized and facilitated by the UN Transitions Project
  • Contribute to country-specific briefings, notes and donor reports related to the transition process, as requested by the UN Transitions Project.  

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Core Competencies


  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work


  • Ability to persuade others to follow

People Management

  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction


  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade, and transform


  • Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement

Technical / Functional Competencies

Strategic planning:

  • Ability to make decisions that align with strategy, vision and mission

Capacity development:

  • Ability to support partner countries’ capacity to manage ODA resources effectively and harmonize with national policy and financing frameworks

Sustainable Development Goals:

  • knowledge of the SDGs and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations

Conflict analysis and risk assessment:

  • Knowledge of conflict analysis and risk management concepts and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations

Collaboration and partnerships:

  • Ability to develop, maintain, and strengthen partnerships with others inside or outside the organization. Set overall direction for the formation and management of strategic relationships contributing to the overall positioning of the UN

Facilitation and knowledge exchange:

  • Ability to harvest country voices for global policy dialogues on policy and financing frameworks


  • Ability to effectively communicate intentions and requirements to internal and external stakeholders

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  • Advanced university degree (Master’s Degree) or equivalent in in development, political science, international development and/or management and coordination, economics or related fields.


  • Minimum of 7 years of progressive experience in development, political and/or transitional operations.  At least four years work experience in the field, ideally in a conflict affected or post-conflict setting with an integrated UN mission presence.
  • Demonstrable experience in UN strategic planning and assessment and UN system-wide development coordination.
  • Proven experience in UN transition planning and coordination between Mission and UNCT and/or programming in the context of a transition, is highly desirable.
  • Expertise in resource mobilization/financing/(national) capacity building/knowledge exchange/context analysis/ capacity mapping/peacebuilding and conflict prevention/human rights analysis/ rule of law.
  • Strong knowledge of gender equality and proven ability to ensure gender mainstreaming throughout UN planning and programming efforts.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the Sudanese context is desirable.
  • Solid knowledge of special political missions and UNCT mandates is strongly desired.
  • Good understanding of the UN system, procedures and operational activities in integrated mission settings.
  • Strategic vision and strong planning and analytical capabilities.
  • Good political judgment.
  • Excellent organizational, management and strong planning skills.
  • Ability to negotiate at decision-making level.
  • Ability to handle effectively multiple tasks without compromising quality, team spirit and positive working relationships.
  • Ability to operate effectively in a changing and complex environment, and to produce results under stress.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Knowledge of results-based management, monitoring and evaluation

Language Requirements

  • Proficiency in English required.
  • Proficiency in Arabic is desired.


Candidates selected pursuant to this vacancy may be subject to UNDP’s policy on Probation upon assignment.

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