Programme Specialist (MAPS Mission Support)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

New York, NY, US

The Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP’s Strategic Plan, which is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  BPPS staff provides technical advice to Country Offices, advocates for UNDP corporate messages, represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private dialogues, government and civil society dialogues, South-South and Triangular cooperation initiatives, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas.  BPPS works closely with UNDP’s Crisis Response Unit (CRU) to support emergency and crisis response.  BPPS ensures that issues of risk are fully integrated into UNDP’s development programmes. BPPS assists UNDP and partners to achieve higher quality development results through an integrated approach that links results-based management and performance monitoring with more effective and new ways of working.  BPPS supports UNDP and partners to be more innovative, knowledge and data driven including in its programme support efforts. 
The Strategic Policy and Global Positioning (SPGP) Unit within BPPS has primary objective to lead UNDP’s policy research agenda, policy incubation, provide forward-looking analysis, identify emerging development trends in multiple contexts (including crisis) and collaborate with academia and think tanks to advance UNDP’s contribution to global policy debates and the implementation of UNDP’s Strategic Plan.
In September 2015, UN Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda), a universal and transformative set of commitments for ending poverty and protecting the planet. The 2030 Agenda and the SDGs set out concrete aspirations to end hunger and disease; fight inequality and discrimination; and tackle climate change. The SDGs also recognize the importance of peaceful and inclusive societies as a prerequisite and indivisible component of sustainable development. UNDP will support UN Member States and other stakeholders in the implementation of these commitments. This support is framed by the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) common approach to supporting SDG implementation, MAPS, comprising: Mainstreaming of the 2030 Agenda, Acceleration towards the SDGs, and Policy Support drawing on the expertise and programmatic experience of different parts of the UN.  
MAPS Missions
UNDP support for SDG implementation is guided by the common approach adopted by the UN Development Group (UNDG) known as MAPS approach – for SDG Mainstreaming, Acceleration, Policy Support. Responding to the demands of an integrated and indivisible agenda, UNDP has been providing targeted support to a number of priority countries (10 in 2016; an additional 40 planned for 2017) in various contexts, based on country demand and prioritization by UNDP Regional Bureaux. 
Integrated missions are deployed to each of the selected countries, drawing on high-level managers and identifying relevant technical expertise for each country context. Preparatory analysis will be conducted by a support team from UNDP HQ and Regional hubs to assess the state of play as regards SDG implementation and the potential entry points for UN support to move the 2030 Agenda forward, drawing on technical resources and tools from across the organization, and from other agencies or partners as appropriate.  
The missions during 2016 focused primarily on “Mainstreaming,” i.e., actions needed to be taken at the outset to land the 2030 Agenda at the country level. The UNDG Mainstreaming Reference Guide  outlines eight key areas of focus:  
  • Raising Public Awareness  
  • Applying Multi-Stakeholder Approaches 
  • Tailoring SDGs to National, Sub-national and Local Contexts; and
  • Monitoring, Reporting and Accountability 
  • Creating Horizontal and Vertical Policy Coherence  
  • Budgeting; 
  • Assessing Risk and Fostering Adaptability.
Increasingly, the focus is turning to “Acceleration”, to help identify synergies and trade-offs across Goals, finding the root bottlenecks, which if unlocked could accelerate progress across a number of SDGs at the same time. The focus in this regard will need to be on supporting: 
  • Integration (i.e., multi-sectoral solutions); 
  • Last-mile analysis (to help ‘leave no one behind’); and,
  • Risk management (given that shocks, whether economic, linked to natural hazards, to epidemics, or to conflict and violence, often derail development).
2017 Missions
During 2017, based on understanding from and refining the model used in 2016, BPPS will scale up the MAPS mission initiative. A total of 40 additional missions will be undertaken covering all five regions. Financial resources for this purpose have been obtained from core resources (BPPS) as well as non-core resources (ROK). Accordingly, a key priority for 2017 is to ensure effective and efficient management of this cross-cluster initiative, so that they remain at the forefront of delivering approaches for integrated support to countries for SDG implementation. 
Duties and Responsibilities
The incumbent will report to the Lead Advisor on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SPGP Cluster) in supporting the 2017 MAPS missions. Working closely with the Lead Advisor and with the Policy Specialist, Data for Development in the 2030 Agenda Team as well as from the Sustainable Development (SD) Cluster, the incumbent will ensure:
  1. Technical guidance and efficient support for MAPS Missions
  2. Effective Resource Management 
  3. Knowledge Management and Sharing
1. Technical guidance and delivering efficient support for MAPS Missions
  • Coordinated planning and partnership with Regional Bureaux and Regional Hubs: ranging from identification of countries for MAPS missions through final debriefing; 
  • Ensure Quality standards in preparation and follow-up to the MAPS missions, regardless of which team is leading and organizing the mission, providing effective support to the Mission Lead in this respect;  
  • Deliver effectively communication about the missions and their results through preparation of briefs, communications through the intranet and yammer sites on the 2030 Agenda;
  • In collaboration with MAPS team, proactively consolidate mission outcomes and translate them to visibility efforts (briefs, reports and other communication platforms) of the SPU and SDG teams; 
  • Lead the process of defining the details of the mission agendas, technical requirements, etc.;
  • Coordinate the preparation and logistical arrangements leading to successful MAPS missions;
  • With support of Programme Associates, ensure effective arrangements of travels, logistical for the MAPS missions 
2. Effective Resource Management, ensuring efficient delivery of the financial resources allocated for the MAPS missions, including timely oversight and review.
  • Maintain and implement the annual project budget and the recruitment and procurement plans under MAPS missions;
  • Mobilize personnel, goods and services, training and initiate activities, including drafting terms of reference and work specifications and facilitating all contractors’ work;
  • Coordinate the recruitment and selection of the project consultants and other personnel;
  • Monitor and synergize the performance of the project’s staff and experts contributing to MAPS missions;
  • Assist the implementing partners in fulfilling the responsibilities of the project and budget monitoring, using best practices;
  • In cooperation with Programme Associates monitor financial resources and accounting to ensure the accuracy and reliability of financial reports and that all financial and budgetary processes are in accordance with UNDP standards and procedures;
  • Perform regular progress and financial reporting.
3. Knowledge Management and Sharing
  • Timely analysis of lessons learned and sharing knowledge from the MAPS missions;
  • Understanding and dissemination of analytical tools and other resources available for use by MAPS missions;
  • Facilitate and coordinate the formulation and implementation of a comprehensive knowledge management strategies;
  • Document good practices and lessons learned on MAPS missions in development programming;
  • Provide knowledge management services for the team and within BPPS and UNDP, including facilitating knowledge exchange across the different components of MAPS missions and their outcomes, as well as define needs for the development and implementation of related products and services;
  • Contribute to the knowledge building and management efforts of the team on MAPS missions and its contribution to SDGs implementation;
  • Perform any other duties requested by the Lead Advisor.
Core Competencies
  • Innovation: Ability to make new and useful ideas work
  • Leadership: Ability to persuade others to follow
  • People Management: Ability to improve performance and satisfaction
  • Communication: Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform
  • Delivery: Ability to get things done
  • Development and Operational Effectiveness
  • Global Development Finance: Knowledge of global development financial trends, global financial institutions and processes, and ability to apply in strategic and/or practical situations
  • Substantive Networking: Ability to substantively engage and foster networks with academia, research institutions, and think tanks
  • Knowledge Management: Ability to efficiently handle and share information and knowledge
Required Skills and Experience
  • Master’s Degree in international development, development planning or related field. (Doctoral Degree is an asset)
  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience in international development, programme development, partnership building, or analytical work in development issues;
  • Experience in producing and analyzing think pieces and other knowledge products;
  • Experience in coordinating large and complicated processes with multiple different actors; government, civil society and public sector.
Language Requirements:
  • Fluency in English. Knowledge of a second UN language would be advantageous.

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