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6 Dec 2020

Political Affairs Officer

Job Description

Job Family
Political Affairs

Job Opening Number
20-Political Affairs-UNMISS-146009-J-Juba (M)

Staffing Exercise

Org. Setting and Reporting

This post is located in the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) in Juba. Juba is classified as an “E” duty station and a non-family duty station. The incumbent will report to a Senior Political Affairs Officer, and/or the Head of the Political Affairs Division, as required.


Within delegated authority, the Political Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties:

Political and operational analysis and advice

  • Identify, analyze and monitor political, economic and operational developments, trends and emerging issues in South Sudan, particularly on issues of regional relations, bilateral relations with Sudan and post-secession negotiations, the political dimensions of armed insurrections and inter-communal violence, and threats to national security, as relevant within the area of assignment.
  • Assess implications and make recommendations on possible policies, strategies and other measures to address issues of concern and to advance peace consolidation and other mandated objectives.
  • Monitor and analyze legislative and constitutional trends and developments which may affect the political situation ;
  • Monitor and assess the implementation of political strategies in support of mandate implementation.

Reporting and Information Management

  • Prepare a range of reports and briefing papers including, but not limited to, situation reports, notes to file, briefing notes, options papers, code cables and input to reports of the Secretary-General to the Security Council.
  • Prepare contextual information materials, such as background notes, political profiles and databases of relevance to the assigned portfolio; Manage information to ensure its accessibility and utility.
  • Provide up-to-date information on key political and legislative developments in South Sudan
  • Maintain information and undertake analysis on sources of insecurity to support implementation of the Mission’s conflict management strategy.

Planning, Coordination and Facilitation

  • Assess trends which might affect the political situation in the Mission area.
  • In consultation with relevant partners, propose plans of action for immediate and medium-term solutions to political issues.
  • Support the compatibility of Mission priorities with the transitional political timeline of the Government of South Sudan.
  • Provide political input to mission concepts and planning documents.
  • Develop and maintain liaison at the appropriate level with Government representatives, including the Transitional Government of National Unity and the Transitional National Assembly, civil society actors, political parties, military and law enforcement actors, academic and research institutions, and other national and international partners on information-sharing, policy and coordination matters.
  • Develop and maintain contacts with other sections and components of the Mission, international partners and other Missions in the region, such as OSESSUD, UNAMID, MONUSCO and UNISFA, and government authorities on coordination and policy matters.
  • Consult and cooperate with partners to develop strategies and plans of action to address political challenges, in pursuit of shared objectives; Monitor, evaluate and report on implementation.
  • Facilitate and coordinate, as appropriate, activities related to outreach and peace agreement implementation with local stakeholders and civil society at sub-national level.
  • Support preparations for official meetings, events and visits, including through the provision of Secretariat services and by drafting talking points and speeches for senior UN officials.
  • Prepare written summaries of meetings/visits and assist with follow-up activities, as appropriate.
  • Participate in fact-finding and other missions, as required.
  • Liaise with Mission counterparts at the State-level to understand centre-periphery linkages.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned.


  • Contribute to the formulation and implementation of the Section’s programme of work;
  • Perform other duties as required


Professionalism: Demonstrated in-depth understanding and ability to evaluate political, legal and constitutional developments and assess their political implications for the mission and work of the United Nations; Strong analytical and evaluate skills combined with good judgement; Shows ability to complete in-depth studies and reach conclusions on possible causes and solutions to political problems in specific areas and/or countries. Shows ability to relate to various issues and perspectives to political, social, economic and humanitarian programmes in affected countries and areas. 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. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

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.

Planning and Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; Identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; Uses time efficiently.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in political science, international relations, international economics, law, public administration or other related. 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

  • A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in political affairs, diplomacy, conflict resolution, international relations, law, or related field, is required.
  • Experience in political outreach, facilitation, analysis, advice, and reporting is required.
  • Experience working in international organizations or non-governmental organizations in a conflict or post-conflict setting in Africa is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English (both written and oral) is required. .


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

  • This position is initially available for six (6) months .. If the selected candidate is a staff member from the United Nations Secretariat, the selection will be administered as a temporary assignment.
  • While this temporary assignment may provide the successful applicant with an opportunity to gain new work experience, the selection for this position is for a limited period and has no bearing on the future incumbency of the post.
  • Subject to the funding source of the position, the eligibility for this temporary job opening may be limited to candidates based at the duty station.
  • This temporary job opening may be limited to “internal candidates,” who have been recruited through a competitive examination administered according to staff rule 4.16 or staff selection process including the review of a central review body established according to staff rule 4.15.
  • Staff members of the United Nations common system organizations who will reach the mandatory age of separation or retirement within the duration of the current temporary need period are not eligible to apply.Submitting an application or selection for the current temporary job opening does not delay or increase the mandatory age of separation.
  • Retirees above the mandatory age of separation who wish to be considered for the current temporary job opening must indicate the reason for their last separation as “retirement.” Such retirees shall not be employed by the Organization, unless (a) the operational requirements of the Organization cannot be met by staff members who are qualified and available to perform the required functions; and (b) the proposed employment would not adversely affect the career development or redeployment opportunities of other staff members and represents both a cost-effective and operationally sound solution to meet the needs of the service.

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