United Nations University (UNU)

Colombia Case Study Manager

United Nations University (UNU)

Job Description

For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing global problems of human survival, conflict prevention, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 13 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of the 17 SDGs, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions across the globe.

UNU Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR)

The United Nations University Centre for Policy Research in New York is an independent think tank within the United Nations system. We combine research excellence with deep knowledge of the multilateral system to generate innovative solutions to current and future global public policy challenges. For more information on UNU-CPR and its work, please visit http://cpr.unu.edu.

Managing Exits from Armed Conflict (MEAC)

The United Nations University Centre for Policy Research’s Managing Exits from Armed Conflict (MEAC) initiative is a multi-year collaboration to develop a unified, rigorous approach to examining how and why individuals exit armed conflict and evaluate the efficacy of interventions meant to help support their transition to civilian life. The project is generously supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and being run in partnership with DPO, UNDP, UNICEF, IOM, and the World Bank. The MEAC initiative aims to fill existing knowledge gaps about how and why individuals exit conflict today and what types of interventions are likely to ensure their transitions to civilian life are sustainable. It will create a first-of-its-kind collaboration to rigorously and longitudinally study the sources of resilience, challenges, and obstacles to exiting armed conflict. The system it will launch will combine quantitative, qualitative and experimental approaches that will be synthesised and analysed over a multi-year period. The MEAC case study in Colombia will focus on tracing the historical trajectories of individuals out of armed groups, current programme beneficiaries’ reintegration progress, and assessing the impact of various reintegration support programmes (or lack thereof). Combining quantitative and qualitative assessment approaches employed over the course of a 10-month period (the initial study), the Colombia case study will allow for an understanding of changes to reintegration programming and policy decision-making over time, as well as the evolution of specific aspects including the “differential focus” approaches used for children, indigenous and Afro-Colombian groups, women and girls, people with disabilities, and others. UNU-CPR’s work in Colombia will be participatory in its approach and ensure that these groups, and programme participants and affected communities more broadly, are treated as partners, rather than passive research subjects and programme beneficiaries. The results and lessons learned will be used to support the Colombian government as it continues to design and implement reintegration processes with new groups in the future.

Colombia Case Study Manager

This role leads MEAC’s case study in Colombia. Working under the supervision of the MEAC management team, the Colombia Case Study Manager will lead the following streams of work:
  • help finalise the research design of the Colombia case study for MEAC in line with the MEAC Framework and assessment tools and produce Colombia specific versions of the surveys, interview scripts, and related guidance for piloting there
  • interview, hire, and oversee a local research team in Colombia
  • build and nurture relationships with government, research, local and UN partners in Colombia working on conflict transitions and conduct related outreach
  • stand up and oversee a data collection infrastructure in Colombia to track and study formerly associated individuals exiting armed groups and assess the impact of related programming
  • contribute to cross-case analyses for MEAC and other MEAC strategic products
  • document project rollout in Colombia for use in guidance for MEAC tools
  • produce periodic findings reports and other analytical products (and oversee their translation and design) for a variety of practitioner, policymaker, and general audiences
  • lead fundraising for Phase II of the Colombian case study and prepare donor reports as required
  • present research findings and help practitioners work through their programmatic implications at UNU-CPR workshops – including possible workshops in Colombia and New York – and other related events
  • some travel – including international travel – will be required for this position


Qualifications include:
  • an advanced degree in social sciences, social work, law, or related field. PhD candidates are encouraged to apply
  • at least 7 years relevant professional experience working on issues related to armed conflict transitions and resolution, DDR, and child reintegration.
  • field research or work experience in Colombia, or other parts of South and Latin America
  • professional experience with the United Nations, INGOs, or governments, including permanent missions to the UN, is an asset
  • ability to work effectively within a team and in a multicultural environment
  • strong writing and presentation skills
  • strong organisational and networking skills
  • fluency in English and Spanish, and a capacity to communicate clearly with different audiences
  • fluent English-language and Spanish-language drafting skills
UNU is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities to apply and become part of the organisation. UNU has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNU, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination.


Remuneration will be commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate.

Starting date

15 June 2020.


10-month initial contract, with potential to extend 8-12 months. The successful candidate will not hold international civil servant status nor be a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations. Interested applicants should submit their applications by email to MEAC@unu.edu and must include the following:
  • a cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position
  • a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11); please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations
  • an updated curriculum vitae
  • full contact information of three (3) referees (e-mail, phone number, and relationship)
  • an indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2020/UNU/CPR/PSA/CSM/18)

Vacancy Announcement: UNU-CPR Colombia Case Study Manager (212.5 KB PDF)

By email : MEAC@unu.edu
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