The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which is universal, transformational and people-centred, aims to leave no one behind. Acknowledging that traditional means of implementation need to be complemented by participatory mechanisms that facilitate people’s engagement, the 2030 agenda explicitly names volunteer groups as actors in their own right among the means of implementation. Volunteers can facilitate and support people’s engagement in planning, implementing and monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), thereby fostering local ownership and leveraging innovative development solutions from the ground up.
Volunteerism has a rich history in Sri Lanka and it is deeply woven into the socio-cultural fabric of the country. This is reflected in the National Survey on Volunteerism which states that over 40% of the population in each province is engaged in volunteering activities. In 2014 UNV Sri Lanka launched “Sri Lankan Youth: Volunteering to Make a Difference” which captures different dimensions on youth and volunteerism in Sri Lanka. According to the survey, 74% of respondents believe that volunteering contributes to the development of Sri Lanka.
In a dynamic national and international context, volunteerism is well positioned to be a tool to achieve SDGs. In this respect, volunteers can widen dialogue spaces, design innovative models for stakeholder engagement and support the data revolution by tapping on peoples’ experiences as a new form of data.
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organisation that supports sustainable human development globally through the promotion of volunteerism, including the mobilisation of volunteers. It values free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity which are the foundation of volunteerism.
Under the direct supervision of the Programme Associate and overall guidance of the UNV Programme Officer the national UN Volunteer will undertake the following tasks:
- Pre-assignment: Facilitate the identification, selection and recruitment of UN Volunteers; supporting completeness of Description of Assignments (DOA), creating and diseminating job postings, long-listing of candidates, organizing/participating at interviews and preparing interview reports, conducting reference checks, generating offers, securing government/visa clearance and organising logistics for international UN Volunteers.
- On-boarding: Support the on-boarding of UN Volunteers; preparation of contract documentation, hiring, organising briefing and orientation programme including preparation of briefing kits, providing guidance on completing documents and forms, ensuring identity cards (UN, UNV etc) are processed, supporting securing of permanent residence and residential visa for international UN Volunteers, supporting international UN Volunteers in opening bank accounts etc.
- During assignment: Open/maintain/archive personal files of all UN Volunteers. Maintaining personal files and contact information lists/mailing groups of serving UN Volunteers, provide guidance on the UNV Conditions of Service when required, absence management, processing payments (SIG, entry medical, learning etc).
- End of assignment: Liaise with UNV HQ on repatriation authorisation, inform UN Volunteers on the end of assignment and exit formalities, coordinate with Travel Desks to arrange repatriation travel of international UN Volunteers, processing payments (RSA, shipment, terminals etc) and terminating assignment.
- Payroll; provide support on validating the monthly payroll results, generating/uploading payslips, liaising with relevant staff to resolve PVR errors and discrepancies and preparing banking list for national UN Volunteers.
- Raising e-requisitions for travel and procurement.
- Processing regular payments through raising of AP vouchers.
- Assist the team in securing cash advances and replenishment following due process including raising APJVs.
- Outreach Events: Support the organising of training (APT, CDLF) and events and actively participate.
- Asset Management: Support procurement of equipment, maintain asset register, coordinate disposal of assets.
- Monitoring Missions: Provide necessary inputs and prepare plan for monitoring missions, support logistics, secure TRIP, TA, visas as required, prepare materials/docket.
- Assist the UNV FU with any other related duties as may be assigned.
Furthermore, UN Volunteers are required to:
- Strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the concept of volunteerism by reading relevant UNV and external publications and take active part in UNV activities (for instance in events that mark IVD);
- Be acquainted with and build on traditional and/or local forms of volunteerism in the host country;
- Reflect on the type and quality of voluntary action that they are undertaking, including participation in ongoing reflection activities;
- Contribute articles/write-ups on field experiences and submit them for UNV publications/websites, newsletters, press releases, etc.;
- Assist with the UNV Buddy Programme for newly-arrived UN Volunteers.
- Promote or advise local groups in the use of online volunteering, or encourage relevant local individuals and organizations to use the UNV Online Volunteering service whenever technically possible.
- Pre-assignment and onboarding process of mobilising UN Volunteers are completed.
- Well maintained documentation and support provided to serving UN Volunteers.
- End of assignment and exit formalities of departing UN Volunteers completed.
- Financial payments and procurement is completed in an effective and timely manner.
- A final statement of achievements towards volunteerism for development during the assignment, such as reporting on the number of volunteers mobilized, activities participated in and capacities developed.
- Excellent coordination and organizational skils.
- Excellent skills in interpersonal relations, networking and communication.
- Strong diplomatic skills and capacity to build and maintain partnerships with a number of stakeholders (UN Agencies, Government entitities, other development partners and the private sector).lent skills in interpersonal relations, networking, and communication.
- Willingness to contribute and work as part of a team.
- Flexible and open to learning and new experiences.
- Proactive attitude with capacity to propose new initiatives and think “outside the box”.
- A bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Economics, HR, Finance or related field is required.
- At least 2 years of relevant experience.
- Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.) and knowledge of spread sheet and database packages, experience in handling of web based management systems is highly desirable.
- Strong spoken and written English skills is essential; Sinhala and/or Tamil would be an advantage.
- Demonstrated capacity to undertake assigned responsibilities and work under pressure.
- Very high attention to detail.
Conditions of Service for national UN Volunteers
A 7 - month contract; with subsequent contract extensions subject to availability of funding, operational necessity and satisfactory performance. However, there is no expectation of renewal of the assignment.
Travel to duty station (if applicable) and a Settling-In-Grant will be provided in the event duty station is not within commuting distance from the place of recruitment. A Volunteer Living Allowance (VLA) of LKR 59,650 is provided monthly to cover housing, utilities and normal cost of living expenses. Life, health and permanent disability insurance are included (health insurance for up to 3 dependents), as well as final repatriation (if applicable) and a resettlement allowance for satisfactory service.
United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme which welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture.
United Nations Volunteers reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this opening for other openings with United Nations Volunteers with similar assignment description, experience and educational requirements.
Contract Duration: 7 months (with a possibility of extension), Full Time Position