South Africa nationals: Programme Coordinator & SDGs Technical Advisor

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Pretoria, , ZA


The South African National Development Plan (NDP) was approved and adopted by government in 2012. It received strong endorsement from the broader society. Since then, the focus has shifted towards its implementation. In order to assist the government to effectively implement the priorities articulated in the NDP, the Department of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have signed a Project Document to support this new focus. The programme includes three mutually reinforcing components. First, a series of public debates dubbed the OR Tambo Debate Series which brings together a range of partners including UN agencies, the Tambo Foundation (TF), the University of the Witwatersrand School of Governance (WSG) to engage a cross-section of South Africans and institutions on a forward looking discussion on the implementation of the NDP and suggest innovative solutions which the government can adopt to effectively implement its priority programmes enunciated therein. Deliberate efforts are being made to exploit South-South solutions and international best practices which have been tried and tested elsewhere, through the inclusion of international panellists in the debates. The second component of the project, aims to facilitate Roundtable discussions on each of the OR Tambo debate topics for more in-depth scrutiny. Thirdly, the project provides a platform for further research and analysis, a “Deep dive” into specific topics whenever such a need arises to generate innovative solutions, ideas and provide tangible and actionable guidance to the government and its partners on implementing the NDP.

Furthermore, the recent adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 have created an imperative for the government to consider how best to align its national plan to these regional and global goals. A specific OR Tambo debate on the SDGs and the NDP was conducted in June 2016, which proposed an ambitious agenda for action to support government efforts to domesticate the SDGs and Agenda 2063. To this effect, UNDP as the lead UN agency on this initiative, will work and collaborate closely with the other UN agencies to ensure system wide support to the government in this regard. 

As this platform gains momentum there is a need for better coordination of the dialogues and the translation of the outcomes into more concrete policy options and/or programmable actions to enable outcome-oriented interventions to be undertaken by DPME in the fulfilment of its mandate as the central government entity entrusted with overall planning, monitoring and evaluating NDP programmes. There is also an urgent need for the management and use of the expanded knowledge base on NDP implementation culminating from position papers on each of the debates and the rich views and ideas emanating from the roundtable dialogues. The partnership established between the partners on the implementation of the NDP also calls for innovative thinking around prioritisation of implementation options, the allocation of responsibilities and accountability and undertaking further technical analysis on the potential impact of the policy options available to the Government. The United Nations System, through an initial seed-fund, will provide the Programme Coordinator/SDG Technical Advisor to support the DPME on these initiatives on NDP implementation.

Duties and Responsibilities

1.  Carry out day-to-day management and oversight of the programme. The Programme Coordinator and SDGs Technical Advisor will have the primary responsibility for ensuring that the project produces the results specified in the project document to the required standard of quality and within the specified constraints of time and budget. As such, the Programme Coordinator and SDGs Technical Advisor will be responsible for the overall management of the project, including the mobilization of all project inputs, supervision of project staff, consultants and sub-contractors, and acting as a liaison with the Government, UN agencies, private sector partners and other stakeholders, and maintaining close collaboration with donor agencies providing co-financing where relevant.

The Programme Coordinator and SDGs Technical Advisor will report to the Project Steering Committee (PSC) on overall progress of project activities. For on-going administrative and reporting functions, the Programme Coordinator and SDGs Technical Advisor will be responsible to the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) and UNDP for administrative and financial matters. The Programme Coordinator and SDGs Technical Advisor will be based at the offices of DPME in Pretoria, and will benefit from support services of the wider UN system. Such services will include financial reporting, as well as the procurement of consultants for the implementation of specific technical assistance (TA) components of the project. Supervise and coordinate the production of project outputs, as per the project document.

  • Mobilise all project inputs in accordance with procedures for nationally implemented projects
  • Lead the preparation of consultants’ and sub-contractors’ terms of reference, identification and selection of national and international sub-contractors/consultants, cost estimation, time scheduling, contracting, and reporting on project activities and budget, and supervise and coordinate the work of all consultants and sub-contractors;
  • In close liaison with the implementing partners, prepare and revise project work and financial plans
  • Liaise with relevant Government agencies, private partners, and all other project partners for effective coordination of all project activities particularly the Strategic Partnerships and Projects manager at the Wits School of Governance dedicated OR Tambo debate series project manager
  • Oversee and ensure timely submission of all project reports including project implementation progress reports, technical reports, quarterly financial reports, and other reports as may be required by UNDP and other partners
  • Disseminate project reports and respond to queries from stakeholders
  • Report progress of project to the PSC, and ensure the fulfilment of PSC directives
  • Oversee the exchange and sharing of experiences and lessons learned with relevant projects nationally and internationally
  • Ensure the timely and effective implementation of all components of the project
  • Assist relevant Government agencies and implementing partners with development of essential skills through training workshops and on the job training, thereby upgrading their institutional capabilities
  • Undertake other management duties that contribute to the effective implementation of the project.

2.Coordinate and provide high quality technical policy briefs on topical issues to inform choices on debate topics, support the facilitation of the debates in terms of organization and provide a leading role in ensuring debate products including outcome documents are technically presented for dissemination and policy dialogue with relevant policy makers.  The Programme Coordinator and SDGs Technical Advisor will principally ensure coherence and alignment of debate topics and products with national policies and priorities.  This initiative is expected to result in the following results:

  • Development, delivery and mainstreaming into national development initiatives of specific global and regional policy instruments and services, notably the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs, AU Agenda 2063 as well as Human Development Approaches.
  • Identification of areas for continued Government engagement and UN support and interventions to the National Development Plan implementation, especially around the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Provision of advice and interlocution between DPME and the UN System on formulation and adjustments of UN System programmes and projects (including the UN Strategic Cooperation Framework (SCF), Country Programme Documents, and/or other similar frameworks based on sound analysis.  
  • The identification of data gaps impeding sound and timely data analysis for policy, planning and monitoring and evaluation.   This initiative is expected to promote advocacy on the importance of data generation.

3.Ensure provision of top quality and innovative strategic planning and policy advisory services to the DPME and facilitation of capacity development and knowledge building and management in support of national priorities and the NDP, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Collect, analyze and synthesize macro-economic and SDG-related information and best practices, with emphasis on gender, people with disabilities, the youth and other vulnerable groups and propose capacity development options to relevant actors in the implementation of the NDP and other sector-specific plans and strategies.
  • Contribute to alternative policy advice through the preparation, launch and follow-up of national policy briefs, position papers and global approaches to development and promote the mainstreaming of the SDGs in National and provincial plans and strategies.
  • Organize capacity development opportunities including for UN staff and Government officials in the formulation of SDG-consistent policies, plans and programmes, including appropriate reporting frameworks at the national level, and internationally (SDG Reports).
  • Keep abreast of regional and global economic trends and issues and analyse their implications for the realization of the SDGs in South Africa.
  • Sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice, including the development of tools for needs assessments and policy analysis, in close collaboration with UN agencies, the IFIs and other development partners.

Key Results Expected/Deliverables

  • Project management cycle requirements fully met
  • At least two policy briefs per quarter
  • At least four debates/roundtable discussions per year, organised with partners
  • Documentation of key knowledge products emanating from the debates
  • A collation of key policy implications for upstream policy advise and mainstreaming (in Government and partners including UN) policies, plans and strategies.  The Programme Coordinator and SDGs Technical Advisor is required to provide evidence of the impact of policy discourse on Government policies plans and programmes.

Impact of Results

The key results will strengthen the visibility of UN system in South Africa’s contribution to the national policy dialogue and enhance the policy impact of the UN System’s programmes and projects in support of the National Development Plan and other national priorities. In particular, the key results have an impact on the development of policy options and the design of programmes in response to these policy options, the creation of strategic partnerships and bridging the gap between national priorities articulated in the NDP and the SDGs.


Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates commitment to the United Nations System’s mission, vision and values.
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability

Functional Competencies:

Knowledge Management and Learning;

  • Shares knowledge and experience
  • Actively works towards continuing staff coaching and capacity development.

Development and Operational Effectiveness;

  • Ability to perform a variety of specialized tasks related to Results Management, including leading policy discussion and facilitation of SDGs mainstreaming in development policies and plans.
  • Possess excellent communication and report writing skills and ability to sift through voluminous documentation and extract pertinent information
  • Excellent knowledge of project management and Results Based Management
  • Focuses on result for the client and responds positively to feedback
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude
  • Remains calm, in control and good humoured even under pressure
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities
Required Skills and Experience


Master’s degree in economics, with strong emphasis on macro-economic analysis and strong quantitative skills, development economics and economic planning.


Minimum of 7 years post Master’s relevant experience at the national or international level. Substantial experience with poverty reduction strategy processes in developing country contexts and awareness of SDGs related policy matters and aid effectiveness issues.  Experience in sector-wide modelling essential. Extensive experience in research and policy-level analysis, including in formulation, monitoring and evaluation of strategies and development programmes/projects.  Demonstrated experience in the usage of computers and office software packages, experience in handling of web-based management systems and advanced programmes for statistical analysis of data. Excellent writing and presentation skills a must including writing of research reports. Some understanding of the South African governance system.

Language Requirements:

Fluency in English

The position is only open to South African Nationals
Qualified women are encouraged to apply