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Researcher – Assessment of UN peacekeeping mission corruption risks

Task Summary

Transparency International – Defence and Security is seeking a researcher to conduct an assessment of the corruption risks within UN peacekeeping missions at the headquarters level. The assessment should look at the weaknesses in the oversight and control mechanisms that govern UN peacekeeping operations at this level, while also providing recommendations to improve these anti-corruption systems. The research should include an initial review of the assessment framework and scope for data collection; research into existing UN documentation and media and public sources; and interviews, which should be coordinated and conducted by the researcher. The assessment should conclude with a report detailing the corruption risks identified, including any relevant case studies of consequent corruption in UN peacekeeping missions, and a short summary of recommendations for the UN.

Project Rationale

Corruption threatens international security; it can destroy the legitimacy and effectiveness of governments and the defence and security sector, hinder economic development, and provide a powerful call to arms for violent extremist movements. It can also dramatically impair the effectiveness of security operations and peacekeeping missions.

In order to effectively tackle this corruption, a deeper understanding of the weaknesses of oversight mechanisms and anti-corruption systems is necessary, so we can provide peacekeeping institutions with appropriate and effective recommendations to improve their anti-corruption efforts.

The Task

The objectives of this assessment are to firstly better understand the weaknesses in oversight, control, and anti-corruption systems governing UN peacekeeping operations at the headquarters level, and secondly to make recommendations concerning improvements to these anti-corruption systems and to guide TI’s policy recommendations to the UN. The research should be framed around five main risk areas, including political risks, personnel risks, procurement, finance, and operations. The researcher will be expected to approach the assessment with an open mind, and be prepared to identify and analyse challenges, good practice, and existing gaps.

Research Methodology and Desired Output

The methodology will include an initial review phase, wherein the researcher is expected to draw upon their understanding of UN peacekeeping missions in order to refine the assessment framework and define the scope of the data collection. Subsequently, the assessment should include desk research into existing UN documentation, which may include consultations with DPKO and other relevant UN agencies, and a review of media and public sources. The researcher is also expected to coordinate interviews with relevant experts and officials; the researcher will select appropriate interviewees, design the questions for each interview, and transcribe the answers for subsequent analysis.

The desired output of this project includes:

  • A report detailing the corruption risks identified, including analysis for each risk area and an introduction or summary;
  • Where possible, case studies showing examples where the risks have led to cases of corruption and a negative impact on UN missions;
  • A short summary of recommendations for the UN.

Researcher qualifications


  • Proven expertise in designing and implementing research projects to a high standard
  • Experience carrying out similar projects
  • Native-level fluency in English
  • Excellent analytical and drafting skills
  • Willingness to travel and ability to travel to the United States


  • Proven understanding of corruption and governance issues
  • Understanding of UN systems and peacekeeping operations

Remuneration and time involved

The timeline for the research is foreseen to take 35-50 days over a period of 5-6 months, with final delivery of outputs in May. The researcher can work from their preferred location and will be responsible for their own working days and time, but must commit to regular communication and will be responsible for delivering all phases of research to deadlines agreed with TI-DS.

Remuneration will be a total of £7,500, and will be paid as follows:

20% on delivery of final research plan and scope rationale

30% on completion of data collection and analysis

50% on delivery of final report to satisfactory standard

TI-DS will also reimburse travel expenses and other reasonable expenditures incurred in the process of carrying out the research, provided they have been pre-approved by TI-DS, and that they comply with the TI-DS Consultant Guidelines.

The research will be overseen by a TI-DS project manager, with regular progress reports. The researcher will also need to interact with peer reviewers appointed for the study, and to incorporate comments and suggestions made by the peer reviewer if required.

How to apply

Please send a CV, a cover letter detailing any experience relevant to this project, and a writing sample in English to jobs@transparency.org.uk by midnight on Sunday 3rd December 2017. Please refer to the position you’re applying for in the subject line.

Please note that due to the large volume of applications we receive, only those shortlisted will be contacted. If you haven’t heard from us in two weeks after the deadline, please assume you application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.

Thank you for your interest – we look forward to seeing your application.


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