The Gambia nationals: Project Support Specialist

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Banjul, The Gambia 🇬🇲

Background

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 47 least developed countries. With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.

 UNCDF’s financing models work through two channels:

  • Inclusive digital economies, connecting individuals, households, and small businesses with financial eco-systems that catalyze participation in the local economy and provide tools to climb out of poverty and manage financial lives;
  • Local development finance that capacitates localities through fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance, and structured project finance to drive local economic expansion and sustainable development.

By strengthening how finance works for poor people at the household, small enterprise, and local infrastructure levels, UNCDF contributes to Sustainable Development Goal-SDG 1 on eradicating poverty and SDG 17 on the means of implementation. By identifying those market segments where innovative financing models can have a transformational impact in reaching the last mile and address exclusion and inequalities of access, UNCDF contributes to a broad diversity of SDGs.

The Organization for the Development of the Gambia River (OMVG) was established in 1978 by the Republic of The Gambia and the Republic of Senegal. Guinea and Guinea-Bissau joined the Organization in 1981 and 1983, respectively. OMVG covers the following basins: The Gambia, Kolibal-Corubal and Kayanga-Géba. The surface area of the basins is 118,000 km2, and the population is 6.42 million. The OMVG is a regional cooperation tool with a legal and institutional framework that enables it to carry out its mission of rational and harmonious exploitation of the basins’ common resources, the Gambia, Kayanga- Géba and Koliba-Corubal rivers, particularly through the development of its basins. The Organization has proved its capacity to mobilize its technical and financial partners to design and implement large-scale projects that none of the States, taken individually, could have carried out.

UNCDF, in collaboration with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), accompanies and supports OMVG in the implementation of the Blue Peace Financing Mechanism. This innovative mechanism makes it possible to provide technical assistance to strengthen the institutional capacities of the OMVG in the development of the Integrated Development Master Plan (PDDI) and a common investment plan including local cross-border projects in identified pilot areas. The Blue Peace/OMVG program aims to diversify local projects and subject them to cross-subsidies, which allows low-income projects to benefit from investments. This new financing structure mixing public money and private capital can be used to invest in a new type of financial instrument called Blue Peace Bond. The OMVG will therefore create a Special Purpose Entity (SPV), which will issue the Blue Peace Bond for the OMVG Joint Investment Plan and manage the use of the proceeds. During the implementation phase of the program, UNCDF support to OMVG includes the provision of technical assistance, support for policy and regulatory reforms as well as the design and structuring of the financing mechanism, including the company to specific purpose (SPV) responsible for issuing and servicing the bond, as well as providing credit enhancement mechanisms (e.g. partial credit guarantee). UNCDF will also facilitate institutional and implementation arrangements within OMVG, such as the preparation of legal documentation necessary to operationalize the funding structure.

Beyond offering support of OMVG initiatives, the Project Support Specialist will also contribute to the formulation, implementation and monitoring of projects in the Gambia in support of the 2030 Agenda. This will include, but not be limited to, the coordination of UN activities in the Gambia and in the region, supporting the implementation of toolkits at the local and national levels, working alongside consultants and stakeholders in field missions and day to day progress management, and the organization of workshops between government ministries, agencies and local governments to enable an effective policy environment.

The implementation of these projects requires the recruitment of a Project Support Specialist to monitor the conduct and implementation of activities, while ensuring budgetary and financial monitoring and good coordination with partners.

Scope of Work

Under the operational supervision of the National Country Lead and the strategic supervision of the Senior Technical Advisor for West Africa, the Project Support Specialist will assist in the program management, particularly the Blue Peace project but also country programs implementation. The Project Support Specialist will work with the OMVG teams, national partners as well as the UNCDF teams. These arrangements will enable him/her to effectively coordinate the implementation of all programs planned in the Gambia and provide support for other UN activities in the region. S/he will work on the implementation of the project with a Program Specialist based in New York, an Investment Officer who will cover the financial aspects (structuring of investments, setting up of the financing mechanism), as well as an engineer in charge of the technical aspects of land use planning in the fields of water and energy, based in Dakar.

Duties and Responsibilities

Management of relationships with national actors, participation in dialogue and political initiatives providing advice on funding:

  • Ensure good coordination / transmission of information between technical and financial partners (Geneva Water Hub, SDC, etc.) and stakeholders at local (Municipalities, etc.), national (Ministries, etc.) and regional level (high-level workshops);
  • Monitor and evaluation of program activities and technical and budgetary reporting according to the required formats and highlighting the effects of UNCDF’s intervention on the targets;
  • Communicate the actions carried out by UNCDF in Gambia (specially in targeted localities), in line with the Project’s plan;
  • Facilitate stakeholder relations;
  • Organize and participate in scoping missions and meetings as part of project implementation;
  • Monitor projects’ progress related to established work plans and Project Documents;
  • Represent UNCDF in the various UN instances when required.

Program Management and Business Development:

  • Provide technical support for the overall management of the program, budget and work planning, including the development, daily operation, monitoring and evaluation of work plans, in order to guarantee the execution of the program and in collaboration with the technical and financial partners;
  • Monitor ongoing contracts, consultants and service providers; participate in the process of publication, selection and evaluation of consultants;
  • Monitor the publication of offers;
  • Support in the selection process;
  • Identify risks and possible issues and formulate management responses where relevant.

Enhancing the resilience, accessibility and sustainability of infrastructure assets in developing countries along the belt and road initiative in support of the 2030 agenda:

  • Coordinate UN working group activities of the initiative in the Gambia;
  • Coordinate activities related to the application and revision of refined UN diagnostic tool on infrastructure asset management in 6 selected local governments and national agencies of each beneficiary countries to assess infrastructure asset management at the national and local levels;
  • Provide project support in the implementation of toolkits at the local and national levels, as well as support to new Trainers to ensure effective hand over of such assistance to domestic institutions;
  • Facilitate consultants’ activities (meetings with relevant stakeholders, and accompanying field missions) and ensure day-to-day progress assessment;
  • Coordinate the organization of national workshops with a relevant mix of government ministries, agencies, and local governments aiming to improve the enabling policy environment for asset management, including through new/revised asset management policies, frameworks, processes, and standards.

Other activities:

  • Identify cooperation opportunities with local governments in the Gambia, coordinate and facilitate related activities:
  • Support in implementing joint activities with UN partner agencies in the Gambia.

Institutional Arrangement

The Project Support Specialist will be under the operational supervision of the National Country Lead and the strategic supervision of the Senior Technical Advisor for West Africa.

Competencies

Core

  • Achieve Results:  LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact.
  • Think Innovatively:  LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems.
  • Learn Continuously:  LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences.
  • Adapt with Agility:  LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands .
  • Act with Determination: LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results.
  • Engage and Partner:  LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration.
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion:  LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity.

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies

  • Effective Decision Making: Ability to take decisions in a timely and efficient manner in line with one‘s authority, area of expertise and resources.
  • Financial planning and budgeting: Ability to create and manage processes to achieve UNDP’s long and short-term financial goals, including through planning, budgeting, forecasting, analysing and reporting.
  • Communication: Ability to communicate in a clear, concise and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience; Ability to manage communications internally and externally, through media, social media and other appropriate channels.
  • Knowledge Generation: Ability to research and turn information into useful knowledge, relevant for context, or responsive to a stated need.
  • Monitoring: Ability to provide managers and key stakeholders with regular feedback on the consistency or consistency or discrepancy between planned and actual activities and programme performance and results.
  • Evaluation: Ability to make an independent judgement based on set criteria and benchmarks – Ability to anticipate client’s upcoming needs and concerns.

Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Masters’s degree or equivalent in Business Management or Political Science or related fields.
  • A first level university degree (Bachelor’s) in a relevant field with additional two (2) years of relevant work experience will be given due consideration in lieu of a Master’s degree.

Experience:

  • Minimum 5 years (Master’s degree) or 7 years (Bachelor’s degree) experience in project development/program management, preferably in the Gambia or other least developed countries (LDCs) in the West Africa region;
  • Experience in development programme/project administration is essential;
  • Experience in community participation and development is necessary;
  • Minimum of two years of progressive work experience in programme planning;
  • Excellent writing, organizational and planning skills;
  • Experience in data management and reporting;
  • Experience in local development, decentralization and/or asset management;
  • Knowledge of UNCDF and UNDP rules and procedures is an advantage;
  • Experience with the United Nations and more specifically UNCDF is an asset;
  • Experience in West and Central Africa is desirable;
  • Knowledge of local economic development;
  • Knowledge in cross-border cooperation;
  • Knowledge of WASH and water infrastructure management;

Required Language

  • English

Disclaimer

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

Scam warning

The United Nations does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you receive a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply particular care when submitting personal information on the web.


POSITION TYPE

ORGANIZATION TYPE

EXPERIENCE-LEVEL

DEGREE REQUIRED

IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development