Senior Evaluation (Synthesis) Specialist

United Nations Development Programme
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Oct 27

Position description

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 Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) works to enhance the development effectiveness of UNDP. IEO’s work is guided by the UNDP Evaluation Policy and the Norms and Standards of the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG). The IEO contributes to UNDP’s organizational accountability and learning by conducting strategic, independent evaluations and setting standards and guidelines on evaluation for the organization.

The IEO has five Workstreams: Country Programme Evaluation; Corporate and Thematic Evaluation; Capacity Development and Decentralized Evaluation; and Knowledge and Data Management, and Synthesis and Lessons 
Position Purpose 
The post is located within the Synthesis and Reflections Workstream of the IEO. Under the supervision of the Chief of Section for the Synthesis and Lessons workstream, the Synthesis Specialist will be responsible for designing, conducting, managing, and overseeing UNDP evaluative synthesis work, including joint and system-wide synthesis, the synthesis of findings on achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, s, and the synthesis of evidence on UNDP results at a regional level. The synthesis specialist will also participate and provide methodological rigor to the work of the IEO in generating lessons from evaluations, which are reported through the IEO ‘Reflections’ series. The Synthesis Specialist might also participate in other evaluation activities anchored in other IEO workstreams. 
Duties and Responsibilities 

Lead and support evidence synthesis activities, such as joint and system-wide synthesis, SDG ‘synthesis, and regional synthesis, based on factual evidence and methods that are independent, rigorous and credible. 
Example of Duties: 
Carry out evidence synthesis assignments – in both lead and support capacities. 
Develop the methodological approaches for more rigorous synthesis work at IEO 
Effectively coordinate synthesis and other analyses conducted by/with other staff members and consultants. 
Establish and maintain high professional standards in line with the UNDP Evaluation Policy and the UNEG Norms & Standards for evaluation in the UN system. 
Keep abreast of developments in the area of evaluation and synthesis, applying up-to-date techniques and approaches. 
Collaborate with other UN evaluation and synthesis units and professional bodies 
Ensure that synthesis products are useful, and support follow-up of evaluative findings and recommendations. 
Example of Duties: 
Report on recommendations and lessons learned drawn from synthesis products. 
Organize and participate in meetings, workshops and other discussion fora to promote dialogue on synthesis results. 
Advocate for the use of synthesis results in the design and appraisal of strategies, policies and projects/programmes 
Promote the synthesis function in the Organization. 
Example of Duties: 
Contribute to the development and review of policies, guidance, systems, procedures and tools related to the synthesis of evidence on development results. 
Support synthesis capacity development initiatives within the office. 
Contribute to methodological improvements in IEO synthesis practices. 
Support the effective deployment of human and financial resources of IEO. 
Example of Duties: 
Plan synthesis, including budget preparation. 
Manage effectively and efficiently the use of resources for synthesis’ assignments. 
Select synthesis consultants through competitive processes, in accordance with UNDP contracting procedures. 
Supervise synthesis consultants. 

Supervisory Responsibilities: Lead or support synthesis teams, comprising external consultants TAs, IPSAs and ICs, in the data collection, analysis, and reporting on the scope of synthesis assignments, using established criteria and methods. 
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 

Business Direction and Strategy 

System Thinking 

Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system 

Business Development 

Knowledge generation 

Ability to research and turn information into useful knowledge, relevant to context, or responsive to a stated need 

Collective intelligence design 

Ability to bring together diverse groups of people, data, information or ideas, and technology to design services or solutions 

Business Management 

Project Management 

Ability to plan, organise, prioritize and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals. 


Ability to communicate in a clear, concise and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communications methods depending on the audience. 

Digital awareness and literacy 

Ability and inclination to rapidly adopt new technologies, either through skillfully grasping their usage or through understanding their impact and empowering others to use then as needed. 

Working with evidence and data 

Ability to inspect, cleanse, transform and model data with the goal of discovering useful information, informing conclusions and supporting decision-making. 


Professional Foundations 

Possesses a deep understanding and updated knowledge of evaluation ethics and UNEG Norms and Standards, with the ability to uphold ethics under pressure, and maintain independence and impartiality under pressure. 

Ability to critically analyze current issues in evaluation practice and theory; with excellent knowledge of human rights and gender equality, and is able to ensure that evaluation design, questions and analysis incorporate this knowledge in all settings. 

Technical Evaluation Skills 

Possess knowledge of various types of theories of change and logic models and is able use a systems approach in order to identify, recreate and facilitate the development of theories of change and logic models for complex programmes, policies and initiatives; in order to facilitate evaluative thinking among stakeholders 

Ability to develop high-quality terms of references for complex evaluations, demonstrating a strong ability to prioritize and focus evaluation questions 

Demonstrates capabilities in elaborating designs for complex evaluations, drawing on existing best practices as well as developing innovative approaches 

Excellent evaluation methods knowledge, including the ability to apply and interpret a range of evaluation methods and approaches, both quantitative and qualitative, ensuring that appropriate evaluation data collection and analysis methods are used. Understands and ensures the appropriate use of multiple and mixed methods. 


Application instructions

Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on