Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Job posting: Somalia

Editors note: will on occasion post job and conference announcements, so long as they seem relevant to our mission. Below is a new announcement from NDI.

The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) seeks to hire a lawyer or legislative staff professional with international law/legal experience to provide legal expertise in implementing the constitutional development components of its Somalia program. NDI is expanding its ongoing governance activities in support to Somalia’s legislative and executive branches as these transitional institutions develop their capacities. The position would be based in Nairobi, Kenya, with travel to Djibouti, Somalia and the broader region. This position is funded for one year with possible extension contingent upon availability of funding. The position would start October-November 2009.

NDI has been active in Somalia since late 2005 with programming supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs aimed at building the core governance and parliamentary capacities of the Transitional Federal Parliament and the Transitional Federal Government. The Institute has worked with the Offices of the President and Prime Minister and the Speaker of Parliament, political and administrative heads of more than 30 ministries, and nearly 400 members of parliament (MPs) including two-dozen female MPs to develop governance and parliamentary capacities. With funding from USAID, the program will build the capacity of the Transitional Federal Institutions and independent commissions to develop constitutional-related legislation and engage the Somali public on constitutional issues. The program will focus on assisting Somalia’s Independent Federal Constitutional Commission (IFCC), Ministry of Constitutional Affairs and relevant parliamentary committees which are tasked with drafting a referendum law to support the broader participatory constitutional development process while working with a broad range of international actors. The program will also include civic education activities and public outreach including a public opinion research element intended to reflect the will of the populace and the unique political, social and economic circumstances of the region.

Primary Responsibilities:

§ Provide technical advice on the development of the referendum law, and help ensure that Somalis engage in a broad-based, informed dialogue on the political system to be adopted;

§ Provide technical advice on the constitutional process to members of the IFCC, Ministry of Constitutional Affairs, relevant parliamentary committees and the Constitutional Consortium as well as other key leaders and national actors;

§ Improve the technical capabilities of the IFCC in drafting sections of the constitution on human rights including women’s, minority, and community rights;

§ Provide legal input to the constitutional process, including suggestions on language and formulation and comments on the overall cohesiveness of constitutionally-related documents;

§ Provide legal assistance in drafting transitional legislation – as defined and mandated in the Transitional Federal Charter – including laws on the constitutional referendum;

§ Provide comparative studies and options related to human rights to assist local partners in deciding what is appropriate for the Somali context;

§ Develop manuals when needed to facilitate activities, workshops, training sessions, etc;

§ Help identify consultants – international and Somali – to assist with the program and help oversee their work and activities;

§ Build and maintain relationships with counterparts in the Constitution Consortium, key Somali officials, civil society actors and other stakeholder groups;

§ Help draft field reports that monitor and measure program performance, results and political developments; and

§ Ensure programmatic goals are achieved and reporting requirements are adhered to. Qualifications § Law Degree (JD, LLB, LLM, etc.) and background strongly preferred;

§ Minimum of twelve (12) years relevant work experience in international development, community organizing, political campaigns, organizational development and/or legislative affairs;

§ Living or working experience outside of the U.S. preferred especially in extremely challenging political environments including the Middle East or Africa and/or experience working in conflict or immediate post-conflict environments;

§ Knowledge of and comparative experience in constitutional development, civic participation and political processes;

§ Experience in implementing programs funded by USAID and other bi- and multi-lateral donors;

§ Proven ability to communicate skills and experience to others as a trainer, advisor, or consultant;

§ Excellent networking skills, as well as the ability to conduct professional political relationships;

§ Excellent interpersonal skills and cultural sensitivity to effectively interact with all levels of staff, U.S. and foreign government personnel, members of donor organizations, funders, and policy makers;

§ Excellent oral and written communications skills to effectively present information, respond to questions and negotiate;

§ Oral and written fluency in English required;

§ Conversational, foreign language ability applicable to region preferred;

§ Proven analytical skills for interpreting complex program and political issues and to think innovatively and introduce new concepts;

§ Ability to inspire and motivate staff where results are clearly beneficial;

§ Working knowledge of PC-based word processing and spreadsheet applications with seasoned budget and accounting skills; and

§ Ability and willingness to travel to regional locations, which are often remote and difficult to reach.

The Resident Program Director will work with the Resident Program Manager and Resident Program Officer as well as full- and part-time national staff and will be supported by NDI’s Nairobi and Washington-based staff. This position reports to the Resident Director in Nairobi. Salary range is commensurate with experience. Benefits and a housing allowance are provided. The position currently is an accompanied post. Please visit our website to apply online at or for more information contact Suzy Foster, ext. 6337,


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