Project Assistant

  • Added Date: Friday, 15 March 2019
  • Deadline Date: Thursday, 04 April 2019

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Main duty station for the National UN Volunteer vacancy is Adana, Turkey (Antakya is indicated as the duty station above due to internal technical system limitations)

UNDP Turkey works for progress in four core areas:

1) inclusive and democratic governance;

2) inclusive and sustainable growth;

3) climate change and environment;

4) Syria crisis resilience and response.

In addition to these core areas, UNDP Turkey is emphasizing the role of women, private sector, capacity development, and information and communication technology in its policies and programmes. To achieve progress in these areas, UNDP seeks to establish partnerships with the central government, local administrations, civil society, academia and private sector to strengthen its contribution to Turkey's development. UNDP works closely with line ministries to support the efficient implementation of development projects and programmes. UNDP Turkey also collaborates with other UN agencies present in Turkey to maximize the impact of the UN's activities in the country, including through joint initiatives on women, youth, internally displaced persons and the Sustainable Development Goals.

As of February 2019,, Turkey hosts over 3,6 million Syrian refugees.[1] Syrian refugees are mainly located in the Southeast Anatolia region bordering Syria, but as the crisis continued, the population has expanded to other regions as well. Turkey hosts the largest refugee population in the world and has demonstrated strong national ownership of the response. The Government of Turkey provides a rights-based legal framework through the Temporary Protection regulation, which offers access to education, health care, employment and social security to Syrians. According to the Government of Turkey, it spent 30 billion USD over the last 5 years on the response to the Syria crisis.

Currently, out of the 3,6 million registered Syrian refugees, more than 3,4 million refugees live amongst Turkish host communities.[2] 40% of the 3,6     million refugees are concentrated in 4 provinces in the South East. Within these provinces, there are four municipalities in Turkey that are particularly impacted, each hosting more than 100,000 Syrians. In these cities, the ratio of the Syrian population to that of host communities is higher than 15%, including Kilis, Hatay, Gaziantep and Şanlıurfa.[3] Populations have either reached or exceeded 2023 population projections. Kilis, for instance, hosts almost as many Syrian refugees as its local population.

UNDP supports the Government of Turkey to respond to this large-scale displacement through its Syria Crisis Response and Resilience Programme in Turkey to strengthen the resilience of refugees, host community members, local municipalities and relevant national institutions to cope with and recover from the impact. UNDP’s resilience response strategy is to invest in existing national and local systems to ensure they can adequately serve both host and refugee communities.

As part of this programme, UNDP will implement the EU-UNDP Turkey Resilience Project (2018-2019) (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Project), funded by the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis (EUTF Fund). The Project consists of three main components: Component 1 on Employment Creation, Component 2 on Municipal Service Delivery and Component 3 on Adult Language Training. The overall budget for the Project is 50 million euros to be implemented in 2018-2019. UNDP will recruit a Project management team for the Project. Each Project Component will be Managed by a Project Manager.

[1]              Official data Directorate General for Migration Management, Turkey, November 2017.

[2] Mostly in the South East, particularly Gaziantep, Kilis, Sanliurfa, and Hatay

[3] DG of Migration Management, TURKSTAT (DGMM 2017)


Main duty station for the National UN Volunteer vacancy is Adana, Turkey (Antakya is indicated as the duty station above due to internal technical system limitations)

Living Conditions:

Adana is the 6th largest city in Turkey and the second largest city in the Mediterranean region with 2.2 million population. Adana has experienced the influx of Syrian refugees right after the catastrophic events in Syria. Currently 220,000 Syrians under temporary protection (SuTP) live in Adana. There is one temporary protection center in which 25,000 SuTP reside. Host community and SuTP live in harmony in the city. Recently efforts are in place to enhance livelihood opportunities for SuTP as well as host community members. 

Located in Çukurova, one of the world’s most fertile plains, Adana has become the cradle of agriculture and agro-industry, along with other industrial sectors, particularly food, manufacturing, textile, automobile, chemistry and metal industry. Adana is also at the cross-roads of energy hubs. In addition to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline, two new forthcoming projects, namely Ceyhan Energy Specialization Industrial Region and Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant projects, may play a critical role in boosting local economy in the near future. Other prominent issues about Adana can be summarized as follow:

  •  Security: Adana is considered as a safe city. The public transport is safe to use. There are no direct threats towards United Nations and its staff.
  •  Medical Services: No special vaccinations are required for travel to Adana. There is one university hospital and other governmental and private hospitals as well as medical centers where high quality health care services are provided.
  •  Housing: Housing is not a big deal in Adana. Apartments and flats are easily available and generally of good condition with well working services (gas, electricity, water, internet, etc). Cost of housing is reasonable.
  • Cost of Living and Services:  Housing is the largest monthly expense, and the cost of living is otherwise very affordable. Daily food and products are inexpensive, as are many services.
  • Imported goods and many non-essential services and products tend to be more expensive. The provision of goods and services in general is very good. Local transportation ranges from buses, mini-busses called “dolmuş” to taxis, which are all affordable. The subway lines are very limited in the scope.
  • Weather: Adana has mild winter conditions. It is often rainy in autumn and winter. Summers are always very hot, sometimes reaching to 50+ centigrade degrees. The inhabitants of Adana therefore, usually go to highlands in summer. It is not possible to live without air conditioning system in summer.
  • Language: Despite the presence of US Air Base in İncirlik and two universities, English is not widely spoken in the city. There are Turkish language courses in Adana.
  • Cultural Environment: Adana has a very vivid cultural environment. It hosts more than 20 festivals every year. Adana International Film Festival, Orange Blossom Festival, Adana Delight Festival are just a few of them.

Description of tasks:

Under the direct supervision of Project Manager the national UN Volunteer will undertake the following tasks:

The key function (KF) of the Project Assistant is the provision of managerial, operational and administrative support for the smooth implementation of the Project’s activities. In this sense, the Project Assistant is expected to perform the following tasks and duties as demonstrated below:

- He/she should assist the Project Team in carrying out their functions for the efficient and timely administration and implementation of the project activities.

- He/she will maintain high standards of service delivery, including adherence to deadline, quick response time, accuracy and completeness of information and sensitivity to project needs and UNDP rules and procedures.

Specific Tasks and Responsibilities:

Under the direct supervision of the Project Manager, the UN Volunteer is expected to perform the following tasks;

  • Support the project team in the administration and implementation of the daily project activities,
  • Provide soft assistance to the project team, , during procurement, contracting, financial and human resources processes as required.
  • Provide administrative and logistical support for the organization of events, workshops, meetings, trainings and conferences,
  • Translate documents from English to Turkish and vice versa
  • Develop initial drafts of the reports/minutes of meetings in Turkish and (if deemed necessary) in English with the supervision of the project team.
  • Making the necessary program related travel arrangements (travel tickets, hotel reservations, DSAs, etc),
  • Provide assistance to the project team in keeping related information, documentation and correspondences,
  • Assist in telephone inquiries, fax, post and e-mail transmissions and co-ordination of appointments,
  • Assist in keeping close contact with relevant consultants and experts,
  • File and archive all relevant correspondence;
  • Perform any other administrative and logistical duties as requested by the Project Manager and Field Coordinator
  • Frequent travel to Mersin may be required.

Furthermore, UN Volunteers are encouraged 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 International Volunteer Day);
  • 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;
  • The Duty Station is Adana. If the UNV is required to travel outside of Adana, assignment-related travel and accommodation costs will be borne by UNDP upon submission of documentation, only for the trips that are requested by the project management.

Results/Expected Output:

  • The Volunteer is expected to provide support on capacity development activities in the field.
  • The Volunteer is expected to provide support on creating a data base for on going project acitivities for reporting purposes
  • The Volunteer is expected to organize events, workshops, meetings, trainings and conferences by taking care of the necessary logistic and administrative arrangements,
  • The Volunteer is expected to provide assitance in telephone inquiries, fax, post and e-mail transmissions and co-ordination of appointments
  • The Volunteer is expected to provide support on file and archive all relevant correspondence

Competencies and values:

  • Professionalism: demonstrated understanding of operations relevant to UNDP; technical capabilities or knowledge relevant or transferrable to UNDP procedures and rules; discretion, political sensitivity, diplomacy and tact to deal with clients; ability to apply good judgement; ability to liaise and coordinate with a range of different actors, especially in senior positions; where appropriate, high degree of autonomy, personal initiative and ability to take ownership; resourcefulness and willingness to accept wide responsibilities and ability to work independently under established procedures; ability to manage information objectively, accurately and confidentially; responsive and client-oriented;
  • Integrity: demonstrate the values and ethical standards of the UN and UNDP in daily activities and behaviours while acting without consideration of personal gains; resist undue political pressure in decision-making; stand by decisions that are in the organization’s interest even if they are unpopular; take prompt action in cases of unprofessional or unethical behaviour; does not abuse power or authority;
  • Teamwork and respect for diversity: ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries; excellent interpersonal skills; ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and harmonious working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, mixed-gender environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity; sensitivity and adaptability to culture, gender, religion, nationality and age; commitment to implementing the goal of gender equality by ensuring the equal participation and full involvement of women and men in all aspects of UN operations; ability to achieve common goals and provide guidance or training to colleagues;
  • Commitment to continuous learning: initiative and willingness to learn new skills and stay abreast of new developments in area of expertise; ability to adapt to changes in work environment.
  • Planning and organizing: effective organizational and problem-solving skills and ability to manage a large volume of work in an efficient and timely manner; ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor (own) work; ability to work under pressure, with conflicting deadlines, and to handle multiple concurrent projects/activities;
  • Communication: proven interpersonal skills; good spoken and written communication skills, including ability to prepare clear and concise reports; ability to conduct presentations, articulate options and positions concisely; ability to make and defend recommendations; ability to communicate and empathize with staff (including national staff), military personnel, volunteers, counterparts and local interlocutors coming from very diverse backgrounds; capacity to transfer information and knowledge to a wide range of different target groups;
  • Flexibility: adaptability and ability to live and work in potentially hazardous and remote conditions, involving physical hardship and little comfort; to operate independently in austere environments for protracted periods; willingness to travel within the area of operations and to transfer to other duty stations within the area of operations as necessary;
  • Genuine commitment towards the principles of voluntary engagement, which includes solidarity, compassion, reciprocity and self-reliance; and commitment towards UNDP’s mission and vision, as well as to the UN Core Values.


  • University degree (BA/BS) in social sciences, administrative sciences or other relevant field is required. Relevant higher university degree (i.e., Master) is an asset
  • Experience: Minimun 2 year of work experience
  • Full proficiency in Turkish and a good command of written and spoken English is required,
  • Analytical skills and ability to coordinate numerous ongoing initiatives is required,
  • Familiarity to UN and UNV rules and procedures is an asset,
  • Computer skills: Microsoft Office, Windows-based applications, integrated web-based management systems, spreadsheets and databases. Knowladge of Adobe CS programs are a great assest.
  • Written and spoken Arabic is a great asset.


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.

A contract till December 31, 2019 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 approximately TRY 3,944.83 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 resettlement allowance for satisfactory service.


Contract Duration: Until 31 December 2019

This vacancy is archived.

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