Methodological Framework on Localized Needs Assessment and Local Development Plans for Syria, Beirut, Lebanon At Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia


Closing date: Wednesday, 16 August 2023

Posting Title: Methodological Framework on Localized Needs Assessment and Local Development Plans for Syria

Department/Office: Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia

Duty Station: BEIRUT

Posting Period: 10 August 2023 – 16 August 2023

Job Opening Number: 23-Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia-215876-Consultant

United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Result of ServiceNAFS is seeking to further develop the methodology for Local Needs Assessments (LNAs), including an assessment and understanding of the challenges, needs, gaps, conflict sensitivities, and the political economy of a specific area. The methodological framework will be a uniquely effective approach and contribute to the wider framework for the multisectoral approach conflict analysis, participatory planning approaches, and good governance at the local level.

Work LocationRemotely

Expected duration5 months

Duties andResponsibilities

Background: As part of its mandate to promote human development and democratic transition in the Arab region, and as a response to the dire conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN- ESCWA) launched the National Agenda for the Future of Syria (NAFS) in 2012, to serve as a trusted platform for dialogue for a network of Syrian stakeholders coming from different walks of life and from across the political spectrum. Since its inception, inclusivity, Syrian ownership, impartiality, conflict sensitivity, advocacy, and relevance have been the key principles guiding the work of NAFS. Its inclusive and technical approach has set the Programme apart from other platforms and has enabled it to succeed in bringing together a wide spectrum of Syrians to develop policy alternatives on the most pressing economic, social, and governance issues, in the spirit of UN Security Council Resolution 2254. The conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic has radically transformed all aspects of Syrian society and significantly deteriorated the country’s socioeconomic indicators. Syria entered the conflict as a lower-middle-income country, ranking 109th global HDI rankings in 2012, and dropping to 150 as of 2021 following significant deterioration of all socioeconomic indicators. With the worsening economic crisis and rising food insecurity amidst a protracted conflict, Syria is on the verge of an irreversible disaster. To address such challenges in conflict settings, Local actors, with the support of the international community, look into developing early recovery interventions that will contribute to strengthening the resilience of people and prevent many of today’s key drivers of community tensions. This can be achieved by developing adaptive capacities, developing livelihoods, and coping mechanisms at the local level to provide essential services to citizens, all the while strengthening the social fabric. In 2020, the NAFS Programme initiated the Localized Needs Assessments as a tool to assess the dire socioeconomic situation and needs at the city level in Syria. Given the nature of NAFS’ work and its inclusive platform for technical dialogue, the process involves engaging diverse local actors in the contextual analysis, to unpack multi-layered needs and define responses to the changing dynamics of a city. Within the context of an urban recovery for Syria, the developed LNAs contributed to city profiling, strengthen the conditions for inclusive urban recovery and returns, and develop community engagement initiatives and programming inside the country. This approach feeds into the area-based approach and strengthens local ownership and resilience as part of the early recovery phase in Syria. To date, NAFS has developed eight local needs assessments (LNAs) and fed them into local development plans for cities and areas in Syria. Duties and Responsibilities: Under the supervision of the Programme Manager of the National Agenda for Syria Programme, the consultant/s will be responsible to produce a methodological framework, tool kit, and training plan LNAs and a wider framework in conflict-affected and fragile contexts: 1. Review of the literature on needs assessment and political economy analysis tools and methodologies. 2. Examine and compile case studies and lessons learned from existing NAFS LNAs and methodology. 3. Identify the elements and key factors for the community-based approach to development and recovery method. 4. Collaborate with other consultants to incorporate key aspects related to Political Economy Analysis and conflict-sensitive strategies. 5. Work with NAFS PM and consultants to develop the guidebook for local community organizations and INGOs that includes a training toolkit.

Qualifications/special skillsA bachelor’s degree in political Science, political economy, urban planning, International Relations, International Development, project management, and Business Administration or any other related area is required. A master’s degree is desirable. All candidates must submit a copy of the required educational degree. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. A minimum of fifteen years of experience working with international development, local development, or humanitarian agencies is required. Demonstrated strong experience in conducting research, capacity-building, training, methodology design, and writing reports is desirable. Proven knowledge of the Syrian and established publications record on conflict and fragile contexts is desirable. Extensive experience in working on projects related to conflict-sensitive, political economy analysis and inclusion methodologies and frameworks is desirable.

LanguagesEnglish and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat; and Arabic is a working language of ESCWA. For this position, Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of Arabic is desirable. Note: “Fluency” equals a rating of ‘fluent’ in all four areas (speak, read, write, and understand) and “Knowledge of” equals a rating of ‘confident’ in two of the four areas.

No FeeTHE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.

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