Project Officer – Strengthening Efficiency of and Access to Justice in Moldova (A2J) Project – UNDP Moldova

Vacancy End Date: 09/02/2020 (Midnight New York, USA)


Reform in the justice sector is a key area in Moldova’s national development policies and plans. Despite important steps towards improving the respect and protection of human rights and access to justice, one of the key issues is the lack of progress and coherence in the implementation of rule of law, justice, security and human rights related reforms; little progress is felt by men and women in particular, at the local level, and the coherent coordination mechanisms among law enforcement, security and justice institutions for effective administration of justice seem to be lacking at both national and local levels. Men and women, particularly from marginalized or minority groups, are not able to claim their rights and access justice effectively. Forensic institutions remain a weak link in the justice chain, not able to consistently provide trustful evidence on particular cases due to a limited support in their modernization endeavours.

Lack of effective and fair justice service delivery, coupled with the low trust in governance institutions, reinforces a culture of civic passivity while a weak social cohesion is feeding deep societal divides and inequities along urban/rural, income level, ethnic and linguistic lines. This is particularly relevant at the subnational level, where the levels of civic engagement and legal empowerment are low, the civil society organizations are weak or not capacitated to ensure a proper monitoring and oversight of justice delivery in their community and are not able to engage with the justice chain actors in a constructive manner.

In this respect, the overall objective of the project is to contribute to an increased efficiency of justice services and to improved access to justice of men and women in Moldova, in particular from vulnerable and marginalized groups, through enhanced capacities of forensic institutions to provide qualitative justice services, strengthened capacities of the justice sector actors in the selected pilot areas to provide coordinated response to men’s and women’s justice needs and strengthened civil society able to claim the respect of rights and engage in a constructive dialogue with the justice chain actors.

Understanding effective access to justice requires a focus on the ability of people to address their justice problems in a fair, cost efficient, timely and effective manner. Therefore, the project will prioritize the support to the implementation of reforms at sub-national level in a number of pilot areas for a more efficient and transparent administration of justice process, better coordination between justice agencies and increased and inclusive justice service delivery for the most marginalized and vulnerable segments of the population. The Project will explore and experiment with innovative solutions, developed and tested at the grass-root level, while empowering and working with civil society organizations to enhance access to justice for the population, as well as communication between diverse actors in the justice and law enforcement sector. 

Moreover, recognizing the important role of forensics in ensuring a fair access to justice, the Project will employ a holistic approach to reinforcing the forensic system by developing better capacities of experts, more transparent and efficient institutional processes, standardization in line with ISO requirements and automation of internal workflows.

The Project will operate both at the national and sub-national levels, being focused on delivering various type of assistance: capacity building activities, research and analytical products, ICT solutions, support to civil society organizations, legal empowerment, etc. Interventions at the national level will focus on building stronger forensic institutions but will also engage in the elaboration of mechanisms ensuring strong institutional linkages between justice sector actors to identify entry points for sector wide planning and to create the foundations to implement comprehensive and coordinated reforms. At the sub-national level, project interventions will target four pilot areas, representing different regions of the country – North, Centre, South and Gagauzia. The pilot areas will be selected during the inception phase of the Project using a number of socio-economic data (2014 Small Area Deprivation Index[1], 2018 territorial statistics[2]) combined with the new judicial map of Moldova, aiming at engaging with the most deprived areas.

Under the overall guidance and supervision of the Project Manager, the Project Officer contributes to the effective and efficient implementation of the project components, activities, events and other types of interventions through a range of actions contributing to planning, implementation, and monitoring of the corresponding activities. The incumbent applies and promotes the principles of results-based management (RBM), as well as a client-oriented approach consistent with UNDP rules and regulations. He/she is responsible and accountable to the Project Steering Committee for the implementation of assigned project components and activities and achievement of project results. 

The Project Officer works (when delegated) in close collaboration with the Programme, Operations, Communications and other project teams in the Country Office (CO) for effective achievement of results, anticipating and resolving complex programme/project-related issues and information delivery.

The incumbent is expected to exercise full compliance with UNDP programming, financial, procurement and administrative rules, regulations, policies and strategies, as well as implementation of the effective internal control systems.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall supervision of the Project Manager, the Project Officer will contribute to the effective and efficient implementation of the Project, as well as will undertake any other justice and human rights related activities/tasks which might be assigned to him/her. The Project Officer might be assigned to lead a team of short-term experts.

The incumbent will ensure the provision of development services and products (commensurate with the scope of the project) of the highest quality and standards to national counterparts and clients through applying Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA) and gender equality (GE) approaches. More specifically:

  • In close coordination with the Project Manager, assume the responsibility for the effective and efficient implementation of project activities and resources (human, financial, physical / material assets, etc) under the assigned project components, in order to meet expected results;
  • Build, motivate and lead a high performing team consisting of short-term experts;
  • Ensure all project actions assigned are fully compliant with UNDP policies and procedures;
  • Within the project framework agreed with the national counterparts, contribute to the preparation and implementation of the joint work plans that reflect the scope of activities, timing, sequencing, cost and other inputs for the implementation of the project(s) activities; 
  • Liaise (when assigned) with the national partners, donors and the UNDP Office to ensure that project(s) results are achieved, and project(s) resources are managed efficiently and effectively; 
  • Work with the project team to present work-plans, periodic narrative progress and final reports and expenditure status reports to the Project Board and UNDP Country Office; 
  • In collaboration with the Project Associate and under the overall guidance of the Project Manager, manage efficiently the financial resources of the assigned project components, including budgeting and budget revisions, as well as expenditure tracking and reporting;
  • Initiate and lead on the procurement activities under the assigned Project component with the support of the Project Associate and under the overall guidance of the Project Manager;
  • Undertake performance appraisals for the experts coordinated;
  • Assist the Project Manager in the development of the annual activity and procurement work plans as well as budgets based on expected year-end targets, and assist in developing periodical project and other reports and close monitoring of activities and disbursements;
  • Apply UNDP programming tools and policies as explained in the Results Management Guide. Keep abreast of UNDP programming practices and maintain an optimum level of knowledge by continuous learning;
  • Contribute to the wide dissemination and visibility of project(s) achievements. Support mechanisms for exchange of information, experience and lessons learned at the local and national levels;
  • Engage with relevant donors (when delegated) and contribute to the UNDP resource mobilization efforts;
  • Promote information sharing within the Effective Governance Cluster and other CO teams, with national and local stakeholders and the relevant donor community by initiating and/or participating in consultative meetings and preparing briefs on justice sector developments and activities;
  • Provide regular reports to the Project Manager and flag any deviations from the work plans immediately;
  • Perform any other duties connected directly with the implementation of the project(s) as required.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s Degree or equivalent (5-year university education) in law, human rights, public administration or other closely related fields.


  • At least five (5) years of relevant professional experience at the national level in the design, management and implementation of project-based activities related to justice and human rights areas and/or working in a relevant position to this post;
  • Experience in working with justice chain institutions (judiciary, prosecution, police, legal aid, etc.) is a strong advantage;
  • Previous experience in development assistance or related work for a donor organization, governmental institutions, NGO or private sector / consulting firm is a strong advantage;
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.) and advance knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages, experience in handling of web-based management systems.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in oral and written English and Romanian, working knowledge of Russian;
  • Knowledge of one or more minority languages relevant for Moldova, including Romani, Gagauzian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian and sign language, is an asset.


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