Democracy Strengthening in Zambia (DSZ) is a three-year multi-donor project designed to address recently identified, evolving challenges and builds on previous electoral interventions as Zambia enters its next electoral cycle to the run-up to general elections to be held in 2021.
The DSZ is developed based on the recommendations of the Needs Assessment Mission (NAM) conducted by the United Nations in 2018 and is aligned and supportive of Zambia’s Sustainable Development Partnership Framework, UNDP Strategic Plan and Country Programme and the 7th National Development Plan 2017-2021 (7th NDP); the latter, in which the government pledges to “promote transparency, accountability, citizen participation as well as strengthen governance institutions”. Indeed, the 7th NDP recognizes that practice of good governance and promotion of a stable political framework are the foundation of sustainable development. The outcomes, outputs and activities are in response to and the result of detailed discussions with the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), cooperating partners and other national stakeholders.
The DSZ consists of two interlinked result areas:
- Electoral institutions and processes strengthened and,
- Programming for Peace in support the Zambian electoral cycle.
These two result areas are expected to derive into the following six key results:
- Inclusive and participatory decision-making
- Strengthened responsive and accountable institutions
- Transparent institutions with improved access to information
- Improved technical and organizational capacities of national electoral stakeholders
- Credible and legitimate institutions work with integrity, and
- Enhanced conflict prevention and mitigation mechanisms.
In the light of the recommendations of evaluations of past electoral assistance programmes implemented by UNDP in Zambia, emphasis is placed on an effective programme management with a particular focus on the impact of the project on beneficiaries and on the electoral process in its entirety. DSZ will also aim to provide sustainable institutional development support in order to transfer knowledge and know-how throughout the electoral cycle. As a result, a Project Management Unit (PMU), headed by the Senior Advisor Peaceful Elections and Democratic Strengthening, will be established to oversee all project-related endeavours according to best practices and advise institutional partners on electoral matters.
Duties and Responsibilities:
Under the overall guidance of the Resident Representative and the direct supervision of the Deputy Resident Representative, the Senior Advisor, Peaceful Elections and Democratic Strengthening will take the overall technical lead to deliver UNDP’s contribution to this highly complex and sensitive project.
The Senior Advisor will provide high level technical advice and support to the ECZ and to coordinate the implementation of the project in close collaboration with UNDP Assistant Resident Representative – Governance, and a range of cooperating partners and stakeholders that work on the electoral assistance in order to contribute to credible and peaceful elections, counter hate speech and promote non-discrimination.
This will ensure that UNDP interventions will be focused on achieving the outcomes of the DSZ project in line with NAM recommendations.
The key responsibilities of the Senior Advisor will include:
- High level technical support to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ)
- Provide technical advice and take a lead on project quality management
- Facilitate cooperating partners coordination, partnership and resource mobilization and
- Support knowledge management to build capacity and knowledge of national counterparts
High level technical support to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) focusing on the following results:
- Provide technical advice and substantive support to the ECZ, including advice on electoral best practices, reform to electoral laws, by-laws and regulations, strategic planning, capacity-building through the democracy strengthening approach with parliamentary actors, in close coordination with other electoral assistance providers to ensure complementary technical assistance
- Support the ECZ, in close consultation with other partners, to ensure inclusive participation, capacitating law enforcement agencies to maintain electoral security, to facilitate the participation of women in electoral processes and to enhance the monitoring/implementation mechanisms of voter education and informal dispute resolution
- Coordinate the development of early warning systems under the framework and guidance of the EC-UNDP joint task force on electoral assistance
- Support the ECZ to engage effectively with the media in discharging its mandate and in dispelling misinformation regarding the electoral process; and
- Support engagement of the ECZ with stakeholders, cooperating partners, other government entities involved in the electoral process to strengthen the project implementation.
Ensure effective project management and leadership in the project quality management, focusing on the following results:
- Exercise overall responsibility for the day to day management, coordination and implementation of the project operations and personnel
- Provide leadership as the Head of the Project Management Unit (PMU), which serves as the Secretariat of both Technical and Steering Committees, leading the organization of the project level technical working groups and coordination meetings, including the drafting of substantive and technical inputs, the preparation of presentations and contribution to discussions
- Provide support to the national partners to coordinate their activities with other administrations and authorities, especially to enhance the quality of elections
- Liaise with the ECZ, the Ministries of Justice and Home Affairs, the other national stakeholders, UN agencies, cooperating partners as well as global/regional UN/UNDP electoral advisors, including UNDP expertise from the Global Policy Network (GPN) and Brussels office, on all matters concerning the implementation and evaluation of the project.
- In collaboration with UNDP Senior Management, Programme and Operations team, lead the project planning process to develop annual and quarterly workplans (AWP/QWPs) to ensure a proper planning of the project’s human resource, procurement actions, disbursement, travel and M&E plans, identification of risk and issue logs, etc. It includes the provisions of conceptual and written inputs to budget formulation as requested while ensuring cross cutting issues are well reflected
- Provide advice on the implementation of the results-monitoring system of the project such as the formulation of annual targets, analysis and interpretation of data (qualitative and quantitative) as well as the formulation of inputs to results-reports and other periodic reports
- Draft reports and documents related to the project activities and conduct briefings to interlocutors including the project’s partners, including inputs and drafting support to project-related strategy papers, new project concepts and funding proposals, quality-assured project knowledge outputs and lead the periodic project reviews, assessments and evaluations, the production of monthly reports to the EC-UNDP joint task force on electoral assistance
- Ensure compliance with UNDP policies, rules and procedures in managerial and operational aspects
- Contribute to enhancing project performance by proposing alternative and/or new approaches towards achievement of project results
- Communicate with project partners and cooperating partners to explain and clarify technical, management and substantive issues under the guidance of UNDP Senior Management
- Represent DSZ project at meetings, workshops and conferences as requested.
Facilitate cooperating partners coordination, partnership and resource mobilization focusing on the following results:
- Act as the focal point in supporting the national partners such as the ECZ, the Ministry of Justice, the Zambian Police Force (ZPB) in their efforts to coordinate cooperating partners community support to institutions and to the electoral process, including resource mobilization.
- Participate in information-sharing meetings of the Election Sub-Working Group (ESG), and keep updated the UNDP Senior Management, EC-UNDP joint task force on electoral assistance on electoral developments and trends
- Monitor and assess trends and activities which might affect the political situation and pose a risk to peaceful and credible elections
- Advise on potential risks and mitigation tools to diminish any risk factors;
- Build professional and reliable working relations with ECZ, the Ministries of Justice and Home Affairs, the Zambian Police Force (ZPF), other national stakeholders, cooperating partners, UN agencies and the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs)
- Coordinate with cooperating partners to better integrate UNDP’s and others’ interventions to avoid duplication of assistance
- Support the Governance and Sustainable Peace Programme in mobilizing additional necessary resources to support the work on promoting peaceful and credible elections, countering hate speech and promoting non-discrimination.
- Support knowledge management to build capacity and knowledge of national counterparts:
- Promote the identification and synthesis of best practices and lessons learned from the project for organizational sharing and learning as well as external information
- Actively participate in UNDP knowledge and learning events and take advantage of best practices and lessons learned that are available in the region and globally
- Creates a culture of knowledge sharing and learning in the project
- Supports capacity building and knowledge building of national counterparts through knowledge sharing sessions, publications etc.
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