The UN system in Zambia supports development operations in the country through the activities of UN system agencies represented on the ground. The UN Resident Coordinator’s Office (RCO) in Zambia is responsible for managing the overall coordination of the UN system’s support to national development objectives. These include support to UN reform efforts towards ‘Delivering as One’ (DaO), UN inter-agency coordination and performance management under the Zambia-UN Sustainable Development Partnership Framework 2016-2021 (Partnership Framework) and joint programmes, monitoring, policy analysis and advocacy on the Sustainable Development Goals, engagement on the national development agenda and promoting UN collaboration with relevant state and non-state partners.
The UN Country Team (UNCT) in Zambia decided in 2017 to take a new and strengthened approach on disability mainstreaming, in line with the commitment to Leave No One Behind enshrined in Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. The approach was informed by the 2016 visit to Zambia, and subsequent recommendations, of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as efforts at national level to strengthen rights of persons with disabilities, such as the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in 2010, the enactment of the Disability Act (2012) and the approval of the National Policy on Disability (2013). The new 7 th National Development Plan 2017-2021 (7NDP) continues the momentum by placing emphasis on reducing vulnerabilities and inequalities, including for persons with disabilities.
Assignment And Project Description
As a first step to implement the new approach on disability, the UNCT established an inter-agency project to promote disability inclusion in Luapula Province, for which full funding of USD 400,000 was received from the third funding round of the UN Partnership for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD). The title of the approved programme is “Promoting disability inclusion in HIV, sexual and reproductive health and social protection in Luapula Province”, and it will be implemented jointly by ILO, UNFPA, UNDP, WHO, UNICEF, and UNAIDS. The duration of the project is 30 months and the total budget is approximately USD 900,000, including in-kind contributions from participating agencies. Luapula Province was selected as the focus province because it has the highest disability prevalence rate in the country (9.7%) and overall low human development indicators.
The project seeks to capitalize on the existing normative environment, which protects the right to health and well-being of persons with disabilities to strengthen the structural features already in place and build a sustainable approach to disability inclusion that later can be scaled up to national level. The project will focus on changing attitudes and building capacity within communities, among traditional and religious leaders, service providers as well as organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) to provide accessible services in the selected districts in Luapula. The project will also engage with the provincial administration in providing support to broader disability inclusion at the provincial level. A good foundation exists for multiple synergies with other existing or planned interventions, with the UN, central and local government, civil society, the disability sector, the private sector and international organizations. The Luapula project will serve as an entry point for the UN in Zambia to strengthen disability inclusion and mainstreaming across all programmes and operations.
For this purpose, the RCO is looking for a motivated young professional – UNV Coordination and Partnerships Officer – who can support the effective strategic level coordination and communication of the Luapula disability project as well as the conceptualisation and implementation of a coherent UN-wide approach to mainstreaming disability rights. The Coordination and Partnerships Officer will work under the direct supervision of the UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative and as a member of the wider RCO team. The Coordination and Partnerships Officer will also collaborate closely with the Project Coordinator for the Luapula project, based in Mansa, and the inter-agency technical team and other partners in Lusaka. Through the position, the young professional will gain: 1) hands on experience in UN Delivering as One coordination and in promoting multi-stakeholder collaboration in the context of the SDGs and Leave No One Behind, 2) hands on experience in policy and advocacy work in a multicultural environment, and 3) in-depth knowledge of international and national frameworks on rights of persons with disabilities and experience in how to advance their practical realization at the country level.
Duties And Responsibilities
Under the supervision of the UN Resident Coordinator, the Coordination and Partnerships Officer will undertake the following tasks:
Coordination, Strategic Planning And Reporting
- Support the establishment of an UN inter-agency technical team on disability to promote strengthened disability mainstreaming across agencies;
- Assist the RC and UNCT to develop and implement a coherent approach/strategy to disability mainstreaming, learning from the Luapula disability project and regional and global best practices and frameworks;
- Support coordination, planning and reporting support to the Luapula disability project, as deemed necessary by Project Coordinator and implementing technical team.
Partnerships And Communcations
- With the UN inter-agency technical team on disability, support regular dialogue with key national and international partners in Lusaka in order to raise awareness about the Luapula disability project, build new partnerships on disability and identify opportunities for funding and programmatic synergies;
- Facilitate joint communication, advocacy and information sharing across UN agencies and partners on progress of the Luapula disability project, as well as more broadly on disability conventions and frameworks, as well as data and statistics in Zambia.
- Research and identify training and capacity development initiatives to strengthen UN and partner’s capacity in disability mainstreaming, and in addressing needs of other vulnerable and marginalised groups.
- Support overall coordination work in the RCO, as necessary, as a member of the team, especially in relation to reporting, communications and partnerships building
- Carry out other tasks as identified by the UN Resident Coordinator and RCO.
Furthermore, Participants In The Talent Programme Are Required To
- Strengthen their knowledge on the SDGs and the United Nations Development System
- Strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the concept of volunteerism by reading rele-vant UNV and external publications and take active part in UNV activities (for instance in events that mark International Volunteer Day);
- Contribute articles/write-ups on field experiences and submit them for UNDP and UNV publica-tions/websites, newsletters, press releases, etc.;
- Promote or advise local groups in the use of online volunteering, or encourage relevant local individuals and organizations to use the UNV Online Volunteering service whenever technically possible.
- Supported the RC and UNCT to conceptualise and implement a coherent approach/strategy on disability mainstreaming in line with the SDGs and international and national frameworks;
- Provided effective coordination, planning and reporting support to the Luapula disability project, contributing to its successful implementation;
- Established and maintained productive partnerships with national and international partners relating to disability, enhancing the leave no one behind agenda in the country;
- Identified and facilitated capacity building on disability mainstreaming and leaving no one behind among UN agencies and partners.
- Integrity: Personal initiative and ability to take ownership; willingness to accept wide responsi-bilities and ability to work independently under established procedures in a politically sensitive environment, while exercising discretion, impartiality and neutrality; ability to manage infor-mation objectively, accurately and confidentially; responsive and client-oriented.
- Accountability: mature and responsible; ability to operate in compliance with organizational rules and regulations.
- Commitment to continuous learning: initiative and willingness to learn new skills and stay abreast of new developments in area of expertise; ability to adapt to changes in work environ-ment.
- Planning and organizing: effective organizational and problem-solving skills and ability to man-age work in an efficient and timely manner; ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor (own) work; ability to work under pressure, with conflicting deadlines, and to han-dle multiple concurrent projects/activities.
- Teamwork and respect for diversity: ability to operate effectively across organizational bounda-ries; ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and harmonious working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity and gender;
- Communication: proven interpersonal skills; good communication skills, including with national and international staff, volunteers, counterparts and local interlocutors coming from very di-verse backgrounds; ability to maintain composure and remain helpful but objective, without showing personal interest.
- Genuine commitment towards the principles of voluntary engagement, which includes solidarity, compassion, reciprocity and self-reliance; and commitment towards the UN core values.
Required Skills And Experience
To be eligible to apply to the UNDP-UNV Talent Programme for Young Professionals with Disabilities, candidates should:
- Be no more than 35 years of age;
- Be a person living with a physical or sensorial (hearing or visual) disability;
- Hold a Bachelor or Master level, degree or be enrolled in a university degree at Bachelor or Master level in a field related to UNDP’s work areas;
- Strong coordination, organisation and writing skills;
- Interest in the UN and adaptability to a multicultural environment;
- Strong commitment to working for sustainable development and human rights, and especially the leaving on one behind agenda;
- Knowlege of local Zambian languages, especially Bemba, would be an advantage.
- Work experience will be an advantage, but not a requirement;
- Experience in communication and advocacy work in a multicultural environment;
- Previous experience or knowledge of disability mainstreaming and international disability frameworks, especially the UN
- Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), is considered an advantage.