Programme Specialist on Sustainable Development

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Addis Ababa, , ET

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.  BPPS’s 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. 
Reporting to the Team Leader for inclusive and sustainable growth and development in the Regional Hub in Addis Ababa, the Policy Specialist on Sustainable Development is a lead expert in the area of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the associated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In collaboration with other Advisors and Specialists in the Regional Hub, HQ, Country Offices and Global Policy Centers, s/he is responsible for providing policy and programme advisory services to Country Offices and oversees the utilization of products and tools in this thematic area, including the various tools and guidance notes that UNDP produces to support countries in mainstreaming, implementing/accelerating, and monitoring the SDGs. S/he does this in response to requests from country offices in collaboration with the Country Support team of the Regional Hub and the integration and coordination team. . Working to ensure quality and coherent policy and programme advisory services within their region and across other regions as well as alignment with the Strategic Plan, the Programme Advisor advances the credibility and recognition of the organization’s programmes in this thematic area.  S/he is responsible for:
  • Programme Support Delivery and Policy Advice;
  • Support Policy Research and Development;
  • Partnerships and Resource Mobilization; 
  • Policy Positioning and Representation; 
  • Knowledge Management.
Duties and Responsibilities
1. Programme Support Delivery and Policy Advice:
  • Provide programme support and policy advisory services on the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda to Country Offices, helping them to ensure relevance of the services provided to country and regional context including crisis situations, in close collaboration with livelihoods/economic recovery and environment/NRM specialists; 
  • Deliver technical policy advice and programme support, in collaboration with other teams in the Regional Hubs and HQ, that responds to country office needs on SDG achievement, development planning initiatives and SDG baselines and implementation, including through the provision of capacity building and backstopping;
  • Develop and manage regional programmes and initiatives;
  • Contribute to the review of corporate strategic, planning and programming instruments (Strategic Frameworks, Annual Business Plan, CPDs) to ensure a cross sectoral, cross level approaches to sustainable development.
  • Works closely with colleagues across BPPS to ensure an integrated approach to sustainable development that encompasses governance issues, poverty reduction and environmental sustainability.
  • Identify and recommend to management new opportunities for policy advisory directions and roles; 
  • Collaborate with the UNDP Nairobi Policy Centre to effectively deliver the UNDP-UNEP Poverty Environment Initiative—in particular by assessing the efficacy of PEI supported policy measures to alleviate poverty and reduce environmental degradation and providing policy guidance on the determinants of success and failure;
  • Lead work developing and supporting policy measures that  incorporate environmental considerations into decision making;
  • Contributes to the review of corporate strategic, planning and programming instruments (Strategic Frameworks, Annual Business Plan, CPDs) to ensure a cross sectoral, cross level approaches to sustainable development.
  • Works closely with colleagues across BPPS to ensure an integrated approach to sustainable development that encompasses governance issues, poverty reduction and environmental sustainability;
  • Apply integrated multi-disciplinary approaches to meet policy and programming needs in line with corporate guidance and standards; and
  • Ensure proper coordination with the country support team in the Regional Hub.
2. Support Policy Research and Development:
  • Under the guidance of the Regional Team Leader on Sustainable Development and Inclusive Growth, lead the integration of UNDP’s work on MDG acceleration, the 2030 Agenda, and the Agenda 2063, within the region into a coherent policy and programming framework that encompass livelihoods and environmental sustainability in support of the implementation of the UNDP Strategic Plan, including regional and global work around SDG baselines and target setting;
  • Advise the Team Leader, Regional Director and Chief of Profession on policy gaps and opportunities for development of overall team priorities and workplans; 
  • Design  policy  initiatives for relevant  contexts on  emerging policy agendas  collaborating with policy teams in HQ and communicating and representing perspectives and knowledge from Country Offices and the regions; 
  • Conduct research and development to contribute to the development and implementation of the Centre’s policy and research agenda, in the context of the post-2015 agenda, around the integration of environment and poverty reduction thinking into development strategies that leverage benefits across sectors;
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of policies and tools, in the context of the post-2015 agenda, around the integration of environment and poverty reduction thinking into development strategies that leverage benefits across sectors;
  • Coordinate and conduct analysis of data, case evidence and research findings to distill relevant lessons from projects and programmes to inform policy formulation and guidance pertaining to the poverty environment nexus for sustainable development;
  • Contribute to diagnostic assessments on poverty and environment pertaining to the achievement of various SDGs, to inform policy and finance decisions around the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); 
  • Support the quality assurance of policy services and foster policy innovation around the poverty-environment nexus by reviewing lessons learned and evaluations to enhance programme delivery; and
  • Lead the formulation and application of sustainable development policies that promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth that eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities and protect the environment.
3. Partnerships and Resource Mobilization:
  • Critically assess delivery and performance against emerging trends and thinking in the thematic area;
  • Ensure that Performance Assessments are carried out according to UNDP procedures; 
  • Ensure adherence to the relevant business processes and the delivery of high-quality outputs on time; 
  • In collaboration with BERA, the Team Leader in Addis and the Chief of Profession for Sustainable Development, seek and identify partnership and funding opportunities; and oversee the preparation of funding proposals, donor briefings and presentations in support of resource mobilization efforts; 
  • Establish and maintain an enabling environment for harmonious working relationships and team-building, by promoting consistent and constructive communication, open information sharing, and coordination among all staff.
4. Policy Positioning, and Representation:
  • Mobilize, foster and strengthen strategic partnerships with UN entities and other relevant regional bodies, including UNECA, AU AfDB, and the UNEP,  as well as Regional Economic Communities, as relevant, and provide substantive inputs to those partnerships in support of UNDP initiatives;
  • Coordinate and draft briefing notes and speeches, as required;
  • Represent UNDP, as appropriate, in key growth, environment, and sustainable development for a, including on technical and expert bodies focused on the poverty-environment nexus;
  • Represent UNDP and engage in UN interagency coordination as well as in other fora with the aim to advance UNDP’s strategic agenda in the thematic area; 
  • Advocate policy and positioning of this thematic area in various fora and through programme efforts, including academia and civil society.
5. Knowledge Management:
  • Oversee the knowledge extraction, analysis, documentation, codification of results/lessons learned in the specific thematic area, ensuring that knowledge sharing and content management is in line with guidelines and performed using corporate tools; and
  • Support and coordinate cross-regional exchange of knowledge by collaborating with policy teams in HQ to research, develop and share knowledge-based tools and guidance to help influence/advance policy dialogue in the thematic area and present such material at various fora.
Corporate competencies:
  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work
  • Ability to persuade others to follow
People Management:
  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction
  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform
  • Ability to get things done
Development planning:
  • Knowledge of development planning processes at the national and local level and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
  • Knowledge of the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.
Sustainable development:
  • Knowledge of sustainable development concepts, principles and issues and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations, covering the economic, social and environmental dimensions.
Poverty and human development:
  • Knowledge of poverty, human development and inclusive and sustainable growth issues and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.
  • Ability to productively share UNDP knowledge and activities (at UN and other venues).
Resource Mobilization:
  • Ability to identify and organize programmes  and projects to implement solutions and generate resources.
  • Ability to engage with others and forge productive working relationships.
Trends and emerging areas analytics:
  • Ability to scan the horizon and identify approaches and initiatives to bring into policy and programme design.
Programme Management:
  • Ability to plan, organize, and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals.
Knowledge Management:
  • Ability to efficiently handle and share information and knowledge.
  • Ability to work together to achieve a unified understanding and/or results.
Required Skills and Experience
  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in development economics, business administration, social sciences or related disciplines.
  • 7 years of professional work experience providing policy advice and advancing the development and implementation of sustainable development planning approaches in different country and development contexts;
  • Strong analytical skills, covering socio-economic and environmental issues;
  • Experience with development planning processes, formulation of sustainable development policies and mainstreaming global agendas into local plans is required;
  • Experience with data analysis, and monitoring systems;
  • Knowledge of multi-dimensional poverty measures; experience with livelihoods and jobs creation, and fostering inclusive growth models;
  • Experience working in developing country settings is required.
Language Requirements:
  • Fluency in French and English, both written and oral required. Working knowledge of another UN language relevant to the region an asset.

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