Policy coherence and system thinking to support strategic planning for SDGs

United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
Home-Based / Remote
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
10+ Years


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Area of Specialization/Thematic Areas

Policy coherence and system thinking to support strategic planning for SDGs

Overview (quick description of the funded project and its context)

The Strategic Implementation of the 2030 Agenda Unit is part of UNITAR’s Division for Satellite Analysis and Applied Research. The Unit is supporting the holistic and evidence-based implementation of the 2030 Agenda and SDGs through training, learning, advisory services and multi-stakeholder engagement. In the context of this initiative, UNITAR is designing and delivering training and stakeholder workshops, offering tailored methodological support and developing and delivering e-learning to support the mainstreaming and implementation of the 2030 Agenda in UN Member States.

One of the main result areas of the Capacity for the 2030 Agenda 2.0 project focuses on promoting policy coherence through national strategic planning by leveraging system thinking and related methodologies by conducting a number of national pilots and delivering regional and global training events. This workteam will leverage the work implemented by UNITAR in partnership with UNDESA, ECLAC and UNDP in 2019 in the area of strategic planning and policy coherence that has led to the development of a joint training toolkit entitled “Integrated policies and policy coherence for SDGs”, as well as the ongoing work to develop a training module on aligning budgeting, and will also involve the development of an additional module on M&E. It will continue benefitting from collaboration between UNITAR, UNDESA and other key UN partners in the pilot countries.

General objectives of the contract:

Under the supervision of the Senior Specialist, Strategic Implementation of the 2030 Agenda Unit, the consultant will be involved in supporting the initial preparation of 1-2 national pilots and the development of additional case studies and materials related to system thinking, policy design and COVID-19.

Responsibilities/description of professional services

The consultant will more specifically be responsible for

  1. Contributing to the development of several case studies and additional content illustrating the use of system thinking based methodologies for policy analysis, scenario development and assessments, and development of integrated startegies (case studies around COVID-19 and several policy nexuses);
  2. Contributing to the design of the process at the national level during discussions between national authroities and UNITAR and other UN partners;
  3. Undertaking desk analysis of national docuemnts and prepare a summary;
  4. Contributing to the development of an online stakeholder survey.

Measurable outputs/deliverables/schedule of deliverables

  • 3 case studies, including 1 on COVID-19, and substantive inputs to clarify the process;
  • Inputs to meetings and pilot planning documents;
  • Summary of main findings from the desk analysis;
  • Inputs to the online stakeholder survey.

Performance Indicators for evaluation of results

  • Case studies and substantive content are relevant to the needs of government officials involved in strategic planning, in particular in developing countries;
  • Methodologies and case studies are clear, effective, talk to policy-makers and realistic inspired by data and evidence from real countries;
  • Content reflects most-up-to-date information and practice;
  • Relevance and quality of inputs in the analysis and design of national pilots;
  • Timeliness of deliverables.

Reporting structure (name of direct supervisor)

The consultant will report to the Senior Specialist, Strategic Implementation of the 2030 Agenda Unit.


Minimum requirements

  • Minimum 10 years of work experience in national strategic/development planning processes, including at least 5 years on applying system thinking in this context.
  • Fluency in written and oral English is required.

Desired requirements

  • Good knowledge of strategic foresight is an advantage.
  • Knowledge of French and/or Spanish are an added advantage.

Starting date

As soon as possible.


General conditions of contracts for the service of consultants and individual contractors apply.