Project Assistant, Damascus At UNDP – United Nations Development Programme

Closing date: Thursday, 21 September 2023

Job Identification : 13508

Locations : Syria

Posting Date : 09/06/2023, 08:44 AM

Apply Before : 09/21/2023, 03:59 AM

Job Schedule : Full time

Agency : UNDP

Grade : NPSA-5

Vacancy Type : National Personnel Service Agreement

Practice Area : Crisis management / Country Management Support

Bureau : Regional Bureau for Arab States

Contract Duration : 1 Year

Education & Work Experience : Bachelor’s Degree – 2 year(s) experience OR High School certificate- 5 year(s) experience

Required Languages : English, Arabic

Vacancy Timeline

2 Weeks

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.

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

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.

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at or follow at @UNDP

In the midst of Syria’s challenging economic landscape marked by conflict and crisis and other contributing factors, the UNDP’s Economic Recovery Project (ER) emerges as a fundamental context-sensitive and people-centred initiative for inclusive, equitable, and sustainable recovery and resilience in Syria. This comprehensive initiative is structured into three principled and interconnected tasks, each designed to address distinct facets of economic recovery, private sector revitalization, human capital development, and active labour market.

Task 1: Enabling Business Environment and Private Sector Development:

In pursuit of an inclusive and sustainable private sector, the project embarks on setting up a policy framework that creates an enabling business environment. Central to this effort is the development of a national strategy for private sector engagement and partnership. This strategy encompasses a range of focal areas, from private sector engagement to strategies for access to finance, making markets work for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and supporting social entrepreneurship and MSMEs.

The project doesn’t stop at policy formulation. It actively engages the private sector in dialogues that shed light on its pivotal role in fostering economic opportunities for vulnerable groups such as women, persons with disabilities (PWDs), and youth. These dialogues include private-private exchanges between diverse private sector networks, as well as public-private engagements that pave the way for effective policies and regulatory environments.

Task 2: Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Support and recovery:

The project recognizes the significance of MSMEs as drivers of economic resilience. To enhance their recovery and growth in both rural and urban areas across Syria, the project will employ a multi-pronged approach and local solutions for MSMEs to address inequalities and vulnerabilities. This includes capacity-building initiatives for both MSMEs and Business Membership Institutions (BMIs), bolstering the national ecosystem that supports micro, small, and medium enterprises. Moreover, it support pro-poor market interventions and establishes business centers, hubs, incubators, and accelerators, creating networks that provide non-financial business services and upgrade support.

Financial support and financial inclusion also a critical avenue for MSME recovery. The project channels funds through these business centers and hubs, specifically targeting climate-sensitive revitalization of crisis-affected micro and small businesses while respecting the principle of “do-no-harm”. This support extends to women-led businesses and the promotion of social enterprises, fostering a diversified and resilient economic landscape.

Task 3: Active Labor Market and Inclusive Economic Opportunities:

Addressing the staggering unemployment and poverty rates and crisis-induced gaps human capital and skills in Syria, the project forges ahead with a comprehensive approach to labour market enhancement. It focuses on strengthening the capacity of key stakeholders in national and sub-national labour market governance, ensuring equal and inclusive access to labour market opportunities and information. This includes conducting assessments, developing strategies, and fostering decent work conditions while combatting child labour.

The project tackles the re-activation and modernization of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TEVT) system, aligning it with inclusivity and demand-driven principles. This encompasses not only policy and accreditation efforts but also the gender-responsive re-activation of crisis-affected TEVT centers through sustainable and innovative approaches.

Equally crucial is the project’s focus on enabling equal and inclusive access to quality employment and self-employment opportunities for improved livelihoods. It establishes employment hubs, digitalizes support services, and enhances the capacities of entrepreneurship trainers and mentors. This will also introduce specialized initiatives targeting the empowerment of youth, women, and persons with disabilities, scaling-up innovation, and fostering a vibrant ecosystem of equal and quality employment, entrepreneurship, and start-up development.

In summary, the UNDP Syria Economic Recovery Project stands as a holistic endeavor that weaves together policy formulation, private sector engagement, MSME growth support, labour market enhancement, and inclusive opportunities. In the midst of adversity, it paints a picture of resilience, empowerment, and sustainable economic recovery for the people of Syria.

Duties and Responsibilities

Support the project team to ensure effective project planning and implementation

  •  Assist in compiling and summarizing information and data for the formulation of project work plans. In consultation with project team, draft annual/quarterly budgets, proposals on implementation arrangements, and on other specific project related topics or issues.
  •  Support project implementation in accordance with the project documents, annual work plans and other agreements between UNDP and responsible partners. Review project documents for completeness and compliance with relevant rules and procedures and identify inconsistencies for referral to supervisor. Compile, summarize and present basic information/data on a specific project and related topics or issues;
  •  Contribute to and support data collection for gender analysis and gender mainstreaming at the project level.
  •  Provide administrative and logistical support to ensure successful project delivery that includes organization/coordination of project events, procurement and finance-related activities, contract management, recruitment, and coordination of field visits and project-related missions.

Support partnerships and resource mobilization.

  •  Establish and maintain contacts and cooperation with the relevant UN Agencies, government institutions, and other partners and relevant stakeholders. Provide support in updating database of the relevant public and development partners, and other stakeholders who are counterparts for the project.
  •  Support regular communication with partners, project counterparts, stakeholders, and beneficiaries.
  •  Support dissemination of high-quality information and visibility of the project activities among the stakeholders.
  •  Assist project team in identifying and gathering information on opportunities for resource mobilization.

Provide support to the effective monitoring, evaluation, and reporting on progress of project implementation

  •  Support implementation of the project monitoring system in alignment with its Monitoring and Evaluation framework to facilitate effective information sharing on project status and achievement of targets.
  •  Collect, analyze and present information for monitoring and evaluation of project implementation against project targets as well as for audit purposes. Assist team in the design and conduct of internal evaluations and surveys. Identify gaps in implementation and provide support in bridging those gaps in consultation with supervisor and partners.
  •  Support the organization of progress meetings, field, and study visits to monitor project implementation and support organization of workshops, roundtables, and conferences within the project.
  •  Assist in implementation of effective risk management for the project with a well-documented risk mitigation plan in place. Support monitoring of previously identified and emerging risks. Update the status of risks in relevant project risk logs and/or databases.
  •  Monitor project budget, financial resources, and accounting for effective and transparent use of available resources and to ensure accuracy and reliability of data/information used in financial reports.
  •  Support the preparation of weekly, quarterly, annual, and other requested project reports in line with monitoring and reporting guidelines and donor requirements.

Support knowledge building and knowledge sharing relevant to the assigned project.

  •  Participate in training on internal procedures for the project staff and provide support to the organization of training and other capacity building activities as needed.
  •  Make sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice.
  •  Maintain organized records of project data, field activities, case studies, human-interest stories, photographs, and other relevant documents that can be drawn upon in support of knowledge sharing and advocacy.

The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the Office and the Organization.


Core Competencies

  •  Achieve Results: LEVEL 1: Plans and monitors own work, pays attention to details, delivers quality work by deadline
  •  Think Innovatively: LEVEL 1: Open to creative ideas/known risks, is pragmatic problem solver, makes improvements
  •  Learn Continuously: LEVEL 1: Open minded and curious, shares knowledge, learns from mistakes, asks for feedback
  •  Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 1: Adapts to change, constructively handles ambiguity/uncertainty, is flexible
  •  Act With Determination: LEVEL 1: Shows drive and motivation, able to deliver calmly in face of adversity, confident
  •  Engage and Partner: LEVEL 1: Demonstrates compassion/understanding towards others, forms positive relationships
  •  Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 1: Appreciate/respect differences, aware of unconscious bias, confront discrimination

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies

  •  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
  •  Digital Awareness and Literacy: Ability and inclination to rapidly adopt new technologies, either through skillfully grasping their usage or through understanding their impact and empowering others to use them as needed
  •  Customer Satisfaction / Client Management: Ability to respond timely and appropriately with a sense of urgency, provide consistent solutions, and deliver timely and quality results and/or solutions to fulfil and understand the real customers’ needs. Provide inputs to the development of customer service strategy. Look for ways to add value beyond clients’ immediate requests. Ability to anticipate client’s upcoming needs and concerns.
  •  Communication: Ability to communicate in a clear, concise, and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience. Ability to manage communications internally and externally, through media, social media, and other appropriate channels.
  •  Monitoring: Ability to provide managers and key stakeholders with regular feedback on the consistency or discrepancy between planned and actual activities and programme performance and results.
  •  Budget Management: Ability to support budgetary aspects of work planning process, drawing and management of team budgets
  •  Event Management: Support projects with event management including venue identification, accommodation, logistics, catering, transportation, and cash disbursements, etc.

Required Skills and Experience


  •  Secondary education is required, or University Degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, or equivalent field will be given due consideration, but it is not a requirement.


  •  Minimum of 5 years (with high school diploma) or 2 years (with bachelor’s degree) of progressively responsible administrative or project experience is required
  •  Experience in the use of computers, office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.) and web-based management systems, and advanced knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages is required.
  •  Experience in preparation of financial reports and overviews is desirable.
  •  Knowledge of monitoring and evaluation tools is desirable.
  •  Knowledge of project management processes is desirable.
  •  Knowledge of procurement procedures of national / international organizations is desirable.

Language Requirements:

  •  Fluency in written and spoken English and Arabic

Female Candidates are highly encouraged to apply.


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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September 2023