Durable Solutions Specialist

UNDP Careers

Job Description


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core principles at UNDP: we value diversity as an expression of the multiplicity of nations and cultures where we operate, we foster inclusion as a way of ensuring all personnel are empowered to contribute to our mission, and we ensure equity and fairness in all our actions. Taking a ‘leave no one behind’ approach to our diversity efforts means increasing representation of underserved populations. People who identify as belonging to marginalized or excluded populations are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about working at UNDP including our values and inspiring stories.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

Job Purpose And Organizational Context

Many regions in Ethiopia have been challenged by large scale displacement due to natural hazards, conflict [1] and impacts of climate change, with approximately more than 4 million internally displaced people (IDPs) in the country. In Northern Ethiopia alone, more than 2.4 million people were internally displaced in 2021-2022 due to conflict. Returning of IDP to their place of origin have recently been recorded in parts of Amhara, Afar, Tigray following OCHA, as well as in Somali and other regions, seeking for durable solutions. Ethiopia is designated as a priority country for the implementation of the June 2022 United Nations Secretary-General’s Action Agenda on Internal Displacement.

There are real opportunities to facilitate solutions, going beyond treating internal displacement as only a humanitarian problem and recognizing it as a priority for development, peace, and climate action, working towards nationally and locally owned solutions ensuring that IDPs, along with other members of the local community, are protected and supported and empowered as rights-holding citizens and residents of their country. Adopting a more integrated approach will require concerted efforts from across the UN system. Recently an IDP proclamation was drafted and is expected to be presented to the parliament and adopted in the future. The IDP law will solidify Ethiopia’s national strategy and policy on IDP solutions.

Building on its strengths and expertise, UNDP aims to contribute towards a more predictable and systematic development solutions approach to address internal displacement in Ethiopia. With the SDG Decade of Action, adoption of the Global Compact on Refugees and the UN Secretary-General Action Agenda on Internal Displacement, UNDP is increasing its engagement and programming on inclusive and gender-responsive development solutions to internal displacement by accelerating and scaling up innovative and successful initiatives. Through working with governments in the most affected locations and communities to strengthen regional, national and local solutions for displaced populations as well as host communities; UNDP’s strategy on development solutions to forced displacement is based on four strategic pillars/inputs:

  • Promoting a development approach to solutions
  • Integrated prevention and solutions programming
  • Focused development solutions financing.
  • Extended engagement and partnerships

The five pathways to ending internal displacement focus on strengthening governance institutions, boosting socio-economic integration through access to jobs and services, restoring security, enhancing participation, and building social cohesion. UNDP will also work closely with partners on solutions to internal displacement.

In this regard, the Durable/Development Solutions Specialist –will work under the Inclusive Economic Transformation Unit as well as the strongly supporting and in alignment with the Peace Support Program (PSP) contributing towards sustainable development solutions for IDPs in the PSP project target areas. The DS specialist will report to the IET unit team leader but also support the PSP facility using a matrix reporting line. The specialist is expected to work in close collaboration with wide range of stakeholders including but not limited to other Team Leaders(TLs) at UNDP Country Office(CO), the resilience hub in Nairobi, relevant regional bureaus and offices in target regions, other UN development and humanitarian agencies and I/N NGOs and local communities in support of UNDP’s institutional strategy and strategic plan in support of the government of Ethiopia’s policies and strategies for sustainable solutions to internal displacement. The required qualifications and experiences are described in the sections below

Duties And Responsibilities

Active participation in the National (Durable/development) Solutions Working Group (N-DSWG) for strong policy advocacy and influencing on decision making.

  • Represent UNDP Ethiopia CO, participate in and co-chair the N-DSWG meetings and activities, leading the operationalization of IDP policies and solutions from Nexus strategy perspective.
  • Collaborate with IOM, UNHCR and other UN agencies to effectively lead the federal SWG and make it functional towards designing and executing concrete durable solutions interventions and actions both in Northern Ethiopia and Somali region.
  • Support and facilitate the collaboration and coordination of federal-level DSWG with regional DSWG to advance practical solutions on the ground. This will be done in close collaboration with and under the guidance of both Federal and Regional SWGs and local authorities, and potentially the Recovery and Rehabilitation (R&R) Offices supported by UNDP.
  • Providing guidance and technical support to the Regional -DSWGs, which are operationalizing return plans and strategies, and IDPs solutions at the regional level.
  • In collaboration with other UN agencies, facilitate the ratification of IDP proclamation as well as development of IDP or Durable Solutions Strategies in each of the target regions.
  • In collaboration with others, advocate and influence policy to find lasting political solutions to address the root causes of particularly conflict driven displacement in Ethiopia and to accelerate return or relocation and reintegration of IDPs.
  • Engagement at the policy level to support the integration of IDPs into development plans and programs to ensure permanent solutions and end displacement in line with UNDP’s broader support of the UNSG action agenda on Internal displacement.

Thought leadership and technical Support on Development/Durable Solutions

  • Provide technical advice to UNDP Country Office Team on sustainable solutions in displacement situations, enhancing UNDP’s thought-leadership in convening and participating in coordination platforms and working groups and other forums to develop sustainable development responses and solutions to the IDPs in Ethiopia.
  • Support the CO in developing solutions data analysis and policy, through follow up on the JIPs scoping mission and by linking developmental profiling and assessments, data, and policy to better understand facts and experiences of IDPs, host and affected communities and local governments disaggregated by gender and age, in the target regions.
  • Support the CO leadership in strengthening the development approach to displacement solutions in regional strategies and assessments, in the short, medium, and long terms to address potential and existing protracted displacement (plan and budget).
  • Support the implementation of the UNDP engagement strategy and programmatic approaches to sustainable solutions to displacement, in response and recovery processes, in complement with and alongside humanitarian assistance.
  • Support mainstreaming the response to IDPs across all sectors, complementary to humanitarian IDP return packages, and in the peace support facility.
  • Develop relevant documentation on solutions programming for donors and potential opportunities for resource mobilization, in particular concept notes on climate finance approaches to mitigating climate induced displacement in Somali and Afar regions.

Solutions Programming Development and Implementation Support

  • Technical support for UNDP engagement with Ministry of Planning and Regional President’s offices to facilitate the integration of IDPs into national and regional development plans and programs
  • Support efforts to strengthen capacity of the Government, including for the RRR offices in northern Ethiopia to integrate sustainable IDP return and reintegration into the RRR monitoring framework.
  • Support the CO teams in developing solutions programmes with governments/ communities to reinforce local solutions, restore social contract between institutions and citizens/ displaced communities while supporting social cohesion and socio-economic integration.
  • Support the identification and proposal to government integrated financing frameworks (INFFFs) for solutions and SDGs, with oversight mechanisms by displaced and host populations.
  • Coordinate and support the implementation of the UN agencies joint program on Internal Displacement Solutions’ Fund program
  • Ensure adherence of UNDP-supported work to safeguards: HACT, ESS, human rights, ‘leaving no one behind’, and ‘doing no harm’, updates risks and risk mitigation, to inform future plans and progress on implementation.
  • Forge close and practical working relationships with the humanitarian cluster system to ensure that HDP nexus issues are addressed on the ground,
  • Ensures that approaches to gender equality are integrated into all aspects of planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.

Multi-stakeholder Partnerships, networking and Resource Mobilization

  • Update the UNDP Ethiopia engagement strategy on development/durable solutions.
  • Identify strategic development partners and support the design of joint-program collaboration to build national capacities and infrastructure for solutions, including with the World Bank.
  • Facilitate and strengthen national and local government-led or co-led platforms and capacity on solutions to forced displacement, in close coordination with human rights, humanitarian, development, and peace-building actors such as the return working groups in Tigray and Afar and Amhara, and protection clusters.
  • Help develop relevant documentation on solutions programming for donors and potential opportunities for resource mobilization, including possible partnerships with private sector.

Information sharing, knowledge management and data analytics on IDPs

  • Based on the technical support and guidance of JIPs, work in collaboration with JIPs, IOM and respective government offices for Ethiopia to have an up to date data on IDPs
  • Facilitating information sharing and joint planning/programming, particularly within the framework of the Peace Support Facility within the UNDP and other development members of the WG and beyond.
  • Support the setup of a centralized document folder with easy access to available data and information on solutions in the different regions, including UNHCR’s protection monitoring, IOM DTM data, ToRs of Regional SWG, as well as useful reports and plans on recovery and reconstruction efforts in Tigray and other regions.
  • Support CO leadership in strengthening a development approach to national durable solutions strategies, in the short, medium, and long terms to address protracted displacement as a national development priority, plan and budget.

Institutional Arrangement and Reporting Lines

The Durable Solutions Specialist will work under the overall guidance and direct supervision of the Team Leader – Inclusive Economic Transformation.

Core Competencies

  • Achieve Results: LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have a lasting impact
  • Think Innovatively: LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems
  • Learn Continuously: LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences
  • Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands
  • Act with Determination: LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results
  • Engage and Partner: LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate the complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 3: Appreciate the benefits of a diverse workforce and champion inclusivity

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies

  • Business Direction & Strategy: System Thinking – Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system
  • Business Development: Knowledge Generation – Ability to research and turn information into useful knowledge, relevant for context, or responsive to a stated need
  • Business Management: Project Management – Ability to plan, organize, prioritize and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals
  • Business Management: Partnerships Management – Ability to build and maintain partnerships with wide networks of stakeholders, governments, civil society and private sector partners, experts and others in line with UNDP strategy, policies and priorities
  • Business Management: Risk Management – Ability to identify and organize action around mitigating and proactively managing risks
  • Business Management: Working with Evidence and Data – Ability to inspect, cleanse, transform and model data with the goal of discovering useful information, informing conclusions and supporting decision-making
  • 2030 Agenda: Peace Justice, Rule of Law, Security and Human Rights – Human Rights Institutions/compliance; Justice institutors/access; effectiveness; Transitional justice


Required Skills and Experience

  • Advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent) in social works, political science, development studies, economics or other social sciences or related fields of study is required. A first-level university degree in similar fields in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


Required Skills

  • At least five years with master’s degree or seven years with bachelor’s degree of progressive experience in implementation and management of multi-donor and multi-sector post-conflict recovery and development programmes/projects focusing on IDPs at national or international levels is required.
  • Experience in use of offices software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc), Advanced knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages will be considered as an asset. Excellent inter-personal skills.

Desired Skills

  • At least five years of progressively responsible professional development experience in related areas in Ethiopia
  • Experience in designing and delivering peace support, post conflict recovery programmes/projects or related areas
  • Experience working in UNDP and UN system policies & programming
  • Knowledge and experience of working in target regions (Afar, Amhara and Tigray is an advantage).


  • Fluency in spoken and written English and local language of the duty station is a requirement.


Important information for US Permanent Residents (‘Green Card’ holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment.

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Applicant Information About UNDP Rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.


UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.

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