UNDP Around the world

Peace and Development Advisors (PDA) Fellowship Programme

Oslo Governance Center (OGC) in partnership with the Joint UNDP-DPA Programme has established a residential Peace and Development Advisors (PDA) Fellowship Programme in 2016. This Programme consists of several cohorts, each involving between 3-4 PDA over a period of about two weeks. The Fellowship Programme will involve guided reflections to help draw out the PDA’s experience on pre-identified conflict prevention and peacebuilding issues. 

PDAs are a unique cadre of UN staff possessing hands-on experience and knowledge of conflict, peace and development and are often seen to be a personification of the inherent linkages of the UN’s political and developmental arms.  

The purpose of this Programme is mainly to capture and disseminate the rich insights of these practitioners; gauge their views and experiences; strengthen exchange amongst PDAs and the broader community of practice; and finally to encourage PDAs to explore the impact of their work and learn from their peers. It will also help focus on substantive and operational challenges, ultimately contributing to a more effective support of PDAs to national partners and UN Country Teams. 

1st cohort on ‘Inclusive Dialogue’: 14 - 25 November, 2016, Oslo

The first cohort is being jointly organized by UNDP and the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) with the support of the Joint UNDP-DPA Programme. 

The Fellowship will be designed to allow PDAs to reflect on the current practice of dialogue processes, with a specific focus on the inclusiveness aspect, drawing on their concrete experience from various regions in the world.

It builds on the work of the PDAs in supporting dialogue efforts in their country of deployment, engaging with local communities and national stakeholders to build collaboration and consensus to address recurrent conflicts and violence, such as those related to governance systems, contested political transitions and elections, marginalization or exclusion, disputes over natural resources, among others. 

The selection of the thematic focus was informed by a survey done with PDAs earlier in the year, as well as in consultation with colleagues in UNDP and DPA. 

Below please find the details of each of the participating PDAs.

Lucy Wanjiru Ndungu 

is the UN PDA in the Resident Coordinator’s Office in Uganda and provides strategic guidance to the UNCT on politics, peace and development of Uganda and the region as well as to support the development of coherent and functioning peace infrastructure in the country. Currently, she is providing technical leadership to the Steering Committee of the National Dialogue process in the country. Prior to joining the UN, Lucy served as the National Coordinator for Partnership for Peace and Security, a national civil society network in Kenya, playing a crucial role in development of the Peace Infrastructure in Kenya credited with the peaceful referendum in 2010, and peaceful elections in 2013. She has consulted for UNDP and the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary General to the Great Lakes in building national capacities for peace and has over 13 years of combined experience in the Eastern and Southern Africa and the Great Lakes Region.


Gita Sabharwal 

works at the UN Resident Coordinator's Office as the Peace and Development Adviser to progress reconciliation and support sustainable peace in Sri Lanka. She has over 18 years of development experience having worked with bilateral, multilateral and civil society organizations and engaged at the highest levels of government to develop and influence development policy and practice. She brings depth and breadth of development practice from across countries in Asia, including Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Sound political acumen and ability to build relationships with political leaders, backed by technically sound and politically feasible development approach has been a particular strength. Her decade long experience with Department for International Development, a global leader in development policy and practice, has equipped her with the skills to work across a range of sectors and aid instruments, guided by the principles of aid effectiveness.

Rebecca Adda-Dontoh (known as Becky by friends and colleagues

is the PDA with the UN in Malawi, supporting the UN RC and Country Team. She has a combined 27 years’ experience from public service, NGOs and the UN including 15 years of public service work with Ghana’s National Commission on Culture where she acquired hands-on mediation experience. She founded the civil society organization ‘Mothers for Active Non-Violence’ (MOFAN-V) in 2005 and has been active in promoting women and youth involvement in peacebuilding and peace processes in Northern Ghana. Working as a consultant for UNDP Ghana, she was involved in the establishment and training of Ghana’s nascent National Peace Architecture and its Regional and District Peace Councils. In Mindanao, Philippines and North Eastern Nigeria respectively, she worked in support of local peacebuilding organisations in some of the worst conflict affected areas of these places.

Gregory Attila Connor

is the Sr. Regional PDA covering Cameroon and the neighbouring sub-region and works closely with national governments, UN Country Teams, the UN Department of Political Affairs, the UN’s special political mission, UNOCA, and other partners. Prior to this he served as the PDA in Timor-Leste, where, together with the UN SG’s Special Adviser, helped ensure a peaceful transition of political power while repositioning the UN in its new post-mission context. Before that, Gregory supported the National Dialogue in Libya, risk management in Central Asia, and served as a PDA in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Previously, Gregory was Chief Technical Specialist for a Joint UN Programme on conflict prevention & peacebuilding and served as a Regional Adviser for UNDP covering Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Gregory has served in Director positions for an international think tank in Brussels and New York and has worked for international organizations (including The World Bank and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) and NGOs working on conflict prevention.