Project Manager

United Nations Development Programme, Ethiopia

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
7 to 10 Year
Closing Date for Applications: 
24th July, 2019

Job Description


Since 1995, Ethiopia has adopted a multiparty parliamentary system and a federal structure devolving power to nine regions and two city administrations. The Constitution established a bi-cameral parliamentary form of government with two houses. The framework of governance includes a system of political representation based on the holding of local (every 2.5 years) and nation-wide elections (every 5 years), and formation of a set of legislative institutions at all levels including, at the apex`, the two houses of the national parliament (the House of Peoples Representatives (HoPR) and the House of Federation (HoF).

Under the current constitution, the country held five general elections, the last being in May 2015. Among all elections, only the 2005 election was characterized by improved political space and competition between political parties. The opposition increased parliamentary seats from 2% to 33%. The election results however were highly contested and consequently violence erupted which claimed hundreds of lives. In the aftermath of the elections, the government enacted highly contested laws (such as the Charities and Societies proclamation, the Anti-Terrorism Law, the Media Law, the Electoral Law) that effectively shut-down the then already narrow political space. In the 2010 general election, EPRDF and its affiliates claimed 99% of parliamentary seats. In the 2015 general elections, the last in a row, EPRDF and allied parties claimed 100% of parliamentary seats.

Ethiopia has embarked on a path of reforms and political renewal. With the new leadership of Dr. Abiy Ahmed, the government has systematically invested in the opening of the political space and has lifted many of the restrictions that were placed on political participation. The most notable development was the lifting of ‘terror labels’ of several previously outlawed political parties. The return of opposition parties has enriched the political debate and has been a clear indication of the Government and the Ruling Coalition to engage in open and more inclusive political process. This is expected to have direct bearing on the upcoming general elections planned for 2020.

The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) has recently seen its leadership changed. Former Judge Birtukan Mideksa was appointed in November 2018 as the new Chairwoman of NEBE. The change of NEBE’s leadership reconfirmed the Government’s commitment to reform the institution and enhance its credibility within the political sphere but also among the general public. NEBE has faced reputational challenges and was heavily criticized for being biased and partial in conducting previous elections. Investment in the Board’s integrity, professionalism and effectiveness has been included in the policy priority areas that were captured in the ‘New Horizon of Hope’ document, issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) following the most recent Cabinet reshuffle.

In response to the request by the Government of Ethiopia and with the view to support the reforms and general elections, the United Nations has performed a Needs Assessment Mission (NAM), which confirms that conditions were favourable for the United Nations to design and activate an elections programme/project of support. UNDP supported the development of the ‘Supporting Elections for Ethiopia’s Democratic Strengthening (SEEDS)’, which is currently in a soft launch phase and awaiting formal approval from the Government of Ethiopia.

UNDP intends to recruit a Project Manager to

Senior Elections Expert to provide advice and guidance to the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) and to support the Country Office in the finalization of the anticipated electoral assistance project/programme. Under the overall authority and supervision of the UNDP Resident Representative and the Chairwoman of the Board, the Senior Elections Expert will be responsible for providing high level advisory services to NEBE and the Secretariat as NEBE prepares for the upcoming elections. S/he will work in close consultation with the UNDP Governance and Capacity Development Unit, the electoral management bodies and other stakeholders in order to promote approaches and tools ensuring a credible, fair, transparent and inclusive electoral process. UNDP supported the development of the ‘Supporting Elections for Ethiopia’s Democratic Strengthening (SEEDS)’, which was launched in June 2019.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Effective and timely implementation of project activities;
  • High performance of the project activities ensuring operational compliance with UNDP rules, regulations and requirements;
  • Transparency and accountability in project implementation;
  • Efficient and sound financial accountability.

Supervision and Coordination

  • Provide support for the supervision and coordination of project staff, particularly in the absence or by delegation of the CTA;
  • Liaise with NEBE, other UN Agencies and international partners, to coordinate Project management’s requirements;
  • Participate in UNDP Country Office and other meetings and represent the Project in the absence of the CTA or as and when directed/delegated to do so for all matters pertaining the management of the Project.
  • Project Management and Implementation

In close coordination with the CTA and the UNDP CO operations team


  • Ensure technical soundness of the activities and achievements of Project’s outputs and outcomes;
  • Lead and facilitate the preparation and implementation of the annual results-based work plans and result frameworks in close consultation with the project team and relevant cluster of UNDP;
  • Contribute to the preparation of Project documents, annual workplans, results reporting by providing advice and analysis of programming areas, identifying potential risks, impacts, expected results, indicators, constraints and opportunities;
  • Oversee and facilitate the day-to-day functioning of the Project Management Unit team. Manage the human and financial resources in consultation with the CTA and UNDP CO for achieving result in line with the outputs and activities in the project document;

Monitoring and Reporting

  • Organize quarterly and annual review of the project and prepare highlights including issues and recommendations as input into program review;
  • Contribute to the formulation and implementation of programme strategies focusing on achievement of results, including grant management and reporting;
  • Present information for audit and support for implementation of audit recommendations;
  • Ensure maintenance SEEDS of internal expenditures control system; manage resource mobilization; track and reporting on mobilized resources; review of contributions agreement and managing contributions in Atlas.


  • Manage and coordinate Atlas activities including creation of a project in Atlas, creation and updating of log frames, preparation of required budget revisions, revision of project award and project status, determination of unutilized funds, operational and financial close of a project.;
  • Supervise the secretarial responsibilities of the Project vis-à-vis the Project Management Board and other government arrangements related to the UNDP SEEDS project;
  • Ensure good coordination and collaboration with suppliers, senior beneficiaries and other implementing partners.
  • Assist and prepare external agreements with service providers – consultants/contractors and other suppliers.
  • Establish, in coordination with the CTA, close cooperation and coordination with relevant national stakeholders and other partners to achieve project objectives;
  • Perform other relevant duties as required by the CTA.

Required Skills and Experience:

Education: Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Political Sciences, Law, International Relations, Social Sciences, Public Administration or a related field. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.


  • A minimum of seven years with masters and nine years with bachelors degree of progressively responsible experience in project management, of which at least two in areas such electoral or political affairs with a strong managerial background.
  • Professional experience of managing relationships with high-level counterparts such as diplomatic representations, government representatives and electoral authorities.
  • Experience of working with UN administration and familiarity with UN policies of electoral assistance and understanding of UN/UNDP programming arrangements.
  • Experience in managing a diverse team.
  • Extensive experience in drafting official documents to be circulated at senior level.
  • Prior experience of working in transitional and emerging democracies.

Language Requirements: Proficiency in English


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