Research Consultant

United Nations Development Programme, Sri Lanka

Skill Required:, Research and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
2 years of relevant work experience
Closing Date for Applications: 
18th October, 2019

Job Description

Office on Missing Persons (OMP) established under the Office on Missing Persons (Establishment, Administration and Discharge of Functions) Act No. 14 of 2016 has a primary mandate to provide an appropriate mechanism for searching and tracing of missing persons, and to clarify the circumstances in which such persons went missing and their fate. The OMP’s mandate extends to persons that went missing in connection with the conflict which took place in the Northern and Eastern Provinces or its aftermath, in connection with political unrest or civil disturbances or as an enforced disappearance. The OMP’s mandate further includes members of the armed forces or police who are identified as missing in action. The OMP’s mandate requires it to collate data relating to missing and disappeared persons obtained by processes presently being carried out or which were previously carried out by other institutions, organisations and Government departments.

Scope and Objectives

Under the guidance and direct supervision of the Chair of the OMP, the Research Consultants are expected to collate and analyse existing, publicly available documents relating to missing and disappeared persons. The assignment will be desk based in Colombo and will not require any travel to the field.

Duties and Responsibilities

Research Consultants will be required to:

  • Collate documents including court records, media reports, governmental and non-governmental reports, academic literature, maps and images related to circumstances in which disappearances have occurred in Sri Lanka.
  • Prepare comprehensive background reports and short research memos, that includes an analysis of the contexts and circumstances in which disappearances have occurred. Such reports may include pattern analysis of the circumstances of disappearances, and an analysis of social and environmental factors relevant to the circumstance of disappearance.
  • Provide recommendations related to the research findings.
  • Research Consultants will be required in some circumstances to work under the direction and supervision of a Senior Research Consultant.


The timeframe of the assignment is 12 months, with the possibility of an extension of the term depending on the OMP’s requirements.

Institutional Arrangement

  • Chairperson and/or delegated Commissioner of the Office on the Missing Persons will directly supervise the Consultant.
  • The Consultant will be based at the Office of on Missing Persons Office in Colombo.
  • Consultant is expected to maintain a time sheet, and submit a monthly progress report (approved by the direct Supervisor) to the Programme Cooridnator of UNDP.


The prospective consultant should have the following functional and technical competencies;

  • Knowledge of court system, judicial proceedings and documents generated during judicial proceedings;
  • Experience as an intern or apprentice at a legal chamber or with a practicing lawyer; and or research experience related to the OMP, human rights or disappearances;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to work in multi-cultural teams and work in different cultural contexts;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Computer proficiency including professional office software packages (Microsoft Office);

Required Skills and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in law, and knowledge in the field of human rights and or disappearances;
  • Attorney-at-Law preferable;
  • Minimum of 2 years of legal or research experience;
  • Proficiency in English and Sinhala or Tamil, and knowledge of all three is desirable.


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