Director, Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development

Istanbul, Turkey
Industry Sector:
International Public Sector
Type of contract:

Director, Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development

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UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy work carried out at HQ, Regional and Country Office levels, forms a contiguous spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan.

Within the GPN, 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, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas. BPPS works closely with UNDP’s Crisis Bureau (CB) to support emergency and crisis response. BPPS ensures that issues of risk are fully integrated into UNDP’s development programmes.

The scope and ambition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), together with the important commitments made in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, are far beyond what international organizations, governments and aid flows can achieve alone. The SDGs demand that markets be fundamentally reshaped to be more inclusive, equitable and sustainable while generating profits, innovation and growth. UNDP is in the final stages of approving the “Making Markets work for the SDGs: UNDP’s Private Sector Development and Partnership Strategy”, which supports governments to align private sector activities and financial investments with the 2030 Agenda. The new strategy recognizes the essential role finance and investors have in achieving the SDGs, while also making it clear that the SDGs are a good business opportunity. The strategy will be implemented in collaboration with other UN agencies and will contribute to the UN development system reform.

UNDP launched in March 2019 a Finance Sector Hub as a finance and innovation platform that draws on a critical mass of UNDP expertise, initiatives, and partnerships to support the mobilization and leveraging of resources for the SDGs and lead the implementation of the new private sector strategy and other initiatives. The Hub is an integral part of both the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) and the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy (BERA), as part of the Global Policy Network (GPN).

The Finance Hub includes the global private sector team located at the Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development (IICPSD), established in 2011 as a partnership between UNDP and the Turkish Government. In this new set-up, the Finance Sector Hub brings together UNDP’s work on public finance to the SDGs and on the private sector, as a way to better link all sources of finance for the SDGs. The IICPSD will lead the implementation of the new private sector strategy. Therefore, the IICPSD will be tasked with the implementation and coordination of the private sector engagement and development strategy and its services lines working with other teams located in regional and central bureaux.

The Centre efforts is a leading center of excellence on engaging the private sector in development globally and will align and create synergies with the work of UNDP’s Country Offices, Regional Hubs and Finance Sector Unit , by focusing on the following objectives: (i) Support the development of inclusive markets and inclusive business models that engage poor people into value chains as producers, employees, consumers and entrepreneurs, with the end goal of poverty alleviation; (ii) Creation of a demand driven set of tools and guidelines for engaging the private sector in development, in key markets that will be used as best practices guidelines; (iii) programmatic private sector partnership for SDG implementation across UNDP, by designing, establishing and monitoring concrete global and national public private partnerships that creates results for development; and (v)global Centre of excellence for dialogue on private sector development by convening business and supporting actors. This could especially have a focus on South-South dialogue;

The IICPSD is governed by an Executive Council (EC), in which Government of Turkey and UNDP (BPPS and RBEC) are equally represented. The EC defines the long-term strategy for the IICPSD, and approves its annual work plan and budget. The IICPSD Director is accountable to the EC for the strategy and annual workplan, while his/her functional reporting on a daily basis is to the Director of the Finance Sector Hub. The Director of the IICPSD has the substantive technical knowledge required to engage the private sector in development, with an emphasis on private sector partnership, foundations, private sector development, inclusive business, Islamic finance and blended finance solutions. S/he is responsible for providing leadership and substantive direction to the IICPSD, as well for the overall management of staff.

The Director of the IICPSD has strong leadership skills, with private sector-oriented thinking, a visionary perspective on development, an ability to inspire and innovate and a strong record in team building and collaboration. S/he must have a strong track record mobilizing large-scale funding and translating strategy into concrete results on the ground. The profile for this post demands strong advocacy and influence skills, analytical abilities and an ability to make strategic decisions while dealing with complexity.

Duties and Responsibilities

Policy Formulation and Development:

  • Provide guidance and support to UNDP senior staff and the IICPSD EC, as part of the Finance Sector Hub in its efforts to make the IICPSD a globally recognized partner of choice and thought leader for the private sector in development and inclusive business in order to influence both public policy and development thinking on the one hand, and business practices on the other;
  • Develop high quality policy options, tools and guidelines to increase the private sector and impact in development, including in conflict and early recovery contexts;
  • Contribute to the Finance Sector Hub with the aspects of private sector and private capital are essential areas for SDG Financing
  • As an integral part of the Finance Sector Hub, build strategic service lines around training, research and capacity and develop flagship products for the Center and mobilize resources either through cost recovery/cost sharing or additional financial contribution to ensure financial sustainability of the Center;
  • Leverage IICPSD value added with the private sector by exploring various innovative opportunities and platforms, drive investment and private sector activities that results in an increase in the role of companies in development;
  • Build a South-South global constituency around private sector- development issues and strengthen linkages between Centre and other institutions to ensure the private sector is able to contribute more effectively to the SDGs;
  • Develop the policy proposition for a better integration of the work of foundations with private sector, particularly corporate foundations;
  • Lead, with the Director of Finance Sector Hub, UNDP corporate strategies, policies and procedures to better engage private sector in development, including the implementation of UNDP’s private sector strategy;
  • Contribute to external and internal networks that permit the effective implementation of strategies for building sustainable partnerships with new global development partners;

Policy Advice/ Programme Support Delivery:

  • As part of the Finance Sector Hub Provide program support to the Regional Bureaux and Country Offices in the area of private sector in development and foundations, in both long-term development and conflict and early recovery contexts, as and when needed;
  • Establish clear internal communication around agreed corporate priorities as well as establishing mechanisms and tracking system to facilitate exchange of information and identification of synergies between IICPSD and the private sector;
  • Act as a resource person to ensure internal coherence in approaching the private sector as part of the Finance Sector Unit, at HQ, Regional and Country-levels;
  • Act as a resource person to ensure internal coherence in approaching the private sector at HQ, Regional and Country levels, as part of the global private sector team in the Finance Sector Hub;
  • Establish and maintain regular forum with two-way feedback mechanism to ensure effective flow of information and communications regarding the dialogue with the private sector across the organization for supporting CO work.
  • Establish and maximize synergies with the Istanbul Regional Hub (IRH), capitalizing on its co-location, and coordinate, when appropriate, external engagement with the IRH.

Overall Management and Resource Mobilization:

  • Develop, in close collaboration with EC members, the Finance Sector Hub and other parts of UNDP, as well as in collaboration with external partners, comprehensive annual work plans for the IICPSD, including the elements of the work plan that fall outside of the EC mandate;
  • Provide to the Finance Sector Hub and the EC, results based planning and performance tracking;
  • Prepare annual reports on the activities and results of the Centre for the EC;
  • Ensure that the IICPSD’s operations and management are in line with UNDP’s rules and regulations and follow the decisions of the EC, and seek operational synergies with IRH;
  • Provide strategic direction to, and oversight of the activities of the Center, in line with the Finance Sector Hub, ensuring integrity and accountability of human resources, financial resources, administration, finance, IT, procurement, and security;
  • Financial management: Ensures the integrity of financial transactions, systems and reports by consistent application of rules and regulations.
  • Human Resources management: Ensures that systems are implemented to perform effective people management for organizational excellence, in accordance to UNDP rules.
  • Facilitate the environment, approve strategies and actively engage in resource mobilization of financial resources.
  • Explore opportunities with new and existing foundations for bringing financial resources to various development causes, particularly the SDGs;

Partnerships, Representation and Advocacy:

  • Identify, initiate and build new partnerships with the private sector in order to expand on current global initiatives and explore opportunities for leveraging financial resources from the private sector to support various development causes;
  • Develop networks of institutional partners (including universities, business intermediaries from the South and North, foundations, content providers) who would contribute to the activities of the Center, when appropriate coordinate with the IRH on developing Turkish based partnerships;
  • Position IICPSD as a leading center of excellence through convening high-level private sector actors and stakeholders to drive agenda setting;
  • Mobilize, foster and strengthen strategic partnerships with the private sector and provide substantive inputs to those partnerships;
  • Develop strategic partnerships with foundations, UN and other relevant bodies and provide substantive inputs to those partnerships;
  • Advocate the importance of the private sector and foundations in the SDGs in various international fora;
  • In coordination with the BERA, BPPS, Finance Sector Hub, Regional Hubs in particular IRH, and UNDP COs, develop and maintain strong relationships with key policy makers and partners, including senior-level officials of the Government of Turkey and representatives of civil society organizations (CSOs), think-tanks and the academic community, private corporations, and the media to promote the work of the IICPSD;

Knowledge Management:

  • Ensure that knowledge creation generated by the Center is promoted and is integrated, via the Finance Sector Hub, into UNDP’s activities;
  • Establish and manage UNDP global community of practice of private sector in development
  • Develop and maintain UNDP’s relations with foundations by providing an engagement framework across the organization in approaching foundations based on sound knowledge about how foundations operate and their contribution to the SDGs;

Required Skills and Experience


A Master’s degree, preferably in international development, international affairs, business administration, development economics, or other relevant field, or extensive compensating experience in the area of private sector in development.


  • A minimum of 15 years of experience in private sector and public sectors (national or multilateral, including UN).
  • Proven track record and high level technical competency in the area of private sector in development with in depth knowledge of inclusive business models and their potential contribution to development ;
  • Proven track record and experience of developing and managing strategic multi-stakeholder partnerships and initiatives in the area of business and development
  • Excellent negotiating and communication skills and ability to mobilize support from a wide range of partners (public, private, academic, civil society, business community leaders)
  • Strong ability and proven experience in fundraising from private sector, foundations and governments for the initiatives in the area of sustainable development
  • Technical competency and expertise in development finance with a significant understanding of private finance and blended finance solutions for achieving SDGs
  • Knowledge or experience in green finance, including climate finance, green bonds, relevant project finance, and impact investing preferred
  • Experience working for UNDP desirable.

Language Requirements:

Fluent and proficient in English is required, with fluency in at least one other UN language strongly desirable.

Application closing date: 31 July 2019

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