Programme Specialist - IPSA 10

United Nations Development Programme
  • Location
    Remote, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Nov 14

Position description

The Joint SDG Fund supports countries as they accelerate their progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It operates through joint programmes (JPs) that provide the mechanism for transformative solutions implemented by governments and national stakeholders and supported by the UN Country Team led by Resident Coordinators (RCs). Strategic direction for the Fund is provided by the Strategic Advisory Group chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General as the chair of UN Sustainable Development Group. The Fund is managed by the Operational Steering Committee, comprised of representatives of UN entities, and with the support from the Secretariat of the Fund. The UN Development Coordination Office (DCO) hosts the Fund and provides for the alignment with the broader UN Development System reforms. The Administrative Agent of the Fund, in charge of financial management, is the Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office (MPTF-O). Official documents (e.g. Terms of Reference and Operational Guidance) of the Fund and information on funding can be found on the Gateway portal.

To advance the dual mandate of supercharging the UN Development System reform to be fit for purpose and, in turn, supporting the acceleration of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Fund incentivizes coherent and coordinated join UN action, anchored in the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks at country level under the leadership of Resident Coordinator (RC). Serving as the catalytic funding to piece together emerging policy priorities and financing strategies, the Fund aims to galvanize the UN Country Teams around integrated policies and identify the fiscal space to overcome the political and financial hurdles to scale and accelerate progress towards the SDGs.

This position will be responsible for:

Supporting the coordination of thematic priorities for SDG transformations and their coherent integration into the broader programmatic approach of the Fund.
Support the Fund’s management and monitoring processes, specifically focusing on its strategic objectives around the UN system reform and risk management.

Support the Head of the SDG Fund Secretariat in liaising with other global interagency pooled funds and UN partners, strengthening alignment across the development, humanitarian and peacebuilding pillars.

Institutional Arrangement

The Programme Specialist will report to the Head, Joint SDG Fund Secretariat.

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work

Working under the supervision of the Head of the Joint SDG Fund Secretariat , the Programme Specialist will;.

Support the Head of the SDG Fund Secretariat in liaising with other other departments and offices in the UN Secretariat (i.e. EOSG, UN-OHRLLS,OCHA, DESA) and UN entities as needed.

Oversee the Fund’s contribution to the cross-pillar consultations process, liaising with DCO’s cross-pillar unit and other global interagency pooled funds.

Coordinate with stakeholders, including UNCTs and the UN Secretary-General’s Global Crisis Response Group, for the finalization and follow-up to the Development Emergency Modality on Food Energy and Finance crisis.

Coordinate with stakeholders in support of the Fund’s initiatives related to Small Island Developing States and the Office and Least Developed Countries.

Support the timely preparation and review of all material, including analytical background research, talking points, background notes and presentations related to the incumbent’s portfolio;

Working closely with the Programme Manager, the Programme Specialsit will support the launch and integration of the thematic windows for SDG transformations by

Contributing to developing and maintaining coordination mechanisms within and across thematic priorities to ensure coherence and alignment of all windows to the Fund’s overall objectives and programmatic standards.
Supporting coordination of the rollout of thematic windows, including selection of joint programmes, and facilitate the involvement of UN agencies and other partners as relevant for each thematic window.

Working closely with the Reporting and Evaluation Specialist, the Programme Specialist willsupport global progress monitoring, reports and evaluations as well as strategic planning efforts by:

Facilitating the engagement with diverse stakeholder groups of the Fund’s strategic planning, monitoring, evaluation and knowledge management efforts and drafting and implementation of the respective strategy, guidance and policies.
Analyzing results and information as well as preparing focused briefs and reports especially around the Fund’s portfolios on SIDS, LDCs and the Development Emergency Modality as part of the Fund’s reporting and communication functions.
Facilitate the management and monitoring of the Fund’s compliance with UN/UNDS rules and policies (e.g. MAF, JP guidance, QCPR) as well as the Fund’s operational guidance note including the regular updating of the Fund’s guidance and policies based on UN-wide policies, audits, evaluations and programmatic lessons learned.
Leading the management and monitoring of the Fund’s enterprise risk register/log and risk management policy supporting the identification and management of emerging risk items, including the escalation and communication of risks between the country, portfolio and global levels and aggregation, analysis and reporting on risks to the Fund’s management and governance.
Supporting the design, development and management of the Fund’s programme and knowledge management systems and tools including the Fund intranet, technical review platforms, programme monitoring and knowledge sharing platforms and publicly facing dashboards and information sharing online assets.
Supporting the planning, implementation and management of decentralized and thematic evaluations including in implementing evaluation plans, reviewing and analysing evaluation reports, aggregating and synthesizing findings and recommendations and support the monitoring of management responses and reporting.
Supporting supervision of programme implementation and monitoring staff including other consultants and UNVs.



Achieve Results:

LEVEL 2: Scale up solutions and simplifies processes, balances speed and accuracy in doing work

Think Innovatively:

LEVEL 2: Offer new ideas/open to new approaches, demonstrate systemic/integrated thinking

Learn Continuously:

LEVEL 2: Go outside comfort zone, learn from others and support their learning

Adapt with Agility:

LEVEL 2: Adapt processes/approaches to new situations, involve others in change process

Act with Determination:

LEVEL 2: Able to persevere and deal with multiple sources of pressure simultaneously

Engage and Partner:

LEVEL 2: Is facilitator/integrator, bring people together, build/maintain coalitions/partnerships

Enable Diversity and Inclusion:

LEVEL 2: Facilitate conversations to bridge differences, considers in decision making

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies

Thematic Area



Business Management


Ability to provide managers and key stakeholders with regular feedback on the consistency or discrepancy between planned and actual activities and programme performance and results

Business Management


Ability to make an independent judgement based on set criteria and benchmarks - Ability to anticipate client's upcoming needs and concerns.

Business Management

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

Business Management

Risk Management

Ability to identify and organize action around mitigating and proactively managing risks.

Business Management


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

Digital & Innovation


Ability to empathise with people's perceptions, motivations, feelings and mental models and craft narratives to build an emotive argument for change accordingly.

Ability to present data, insights or information in compelling ways to mobilise resources, talent or action.

Ability to choose media and channels that is fit for purpose to reach specific target audiences.

2030 Agenda; Engagement & Effectiveness

SDG Integration

SDG Monitoring and Reporting

2030 Agenda: Engagement and Effectiveness


Performance and data analysis and sharing lessons

Required Skills and Experience

Min. Education requirements

Master’s Degree in degree in political science, international relations, social sciences, development studies, law or related field.

Bachelor’s degree with additional of 2 years of experience will be accepted in lieu of the Master degree; Bachelor’s degree to be in political science, international relations, social sciences, development studies, law or related field.

Min. years of relevant work experience

A minimum of 5 years with Master’s degree or 7 years with Bachelor’s degree of progressively responsible experience in providing reporting and coordination support in inter-governmental development organizations is required.

Experience working at regional or global level in multilateral organizations and/or the UN system is required. Specific experience in inter-agency coordination and international organizations is required.

Required skills

Ability to extract, analyse and visualize data (using excel or other tools) to form meaningful insights and aid effective decision making is required.

Knowledge of intergovernmental bodies (General Assembly, ECOSOC, UNDESA, etc.), including respective mandates, ways of working, and negotiation processes is required.

Knowledge of UN country planning processes and documents is required.

Evidence of strong writing skills and the ability to synthesize information is required.

Desired skills in addition to the competencies covered in the Competencies section

Experience working in developing country settings is an asset

Professional experience within governmental domains of development coordination is an asset.

Required Language(s)

Fluent in written and spoken English.

Knowledge of another UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish) is desirable.

Professional Certificates

Application instructions

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