Head of Community Research & Ethnographic Solutions Mapping

Location:
Suva, Fiji
Industry Sector:
International Public Sector
Type of contract:
Contract
Salary:
Competitive

Head of Community Research & Ethnographic Solutions Mapping

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Application closing date: 29 June 2019 

Background

The UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021 embraces the complexity of development and commits the organization to helping countries find faster, more durable solutions to achieve Agenda 2030. Important development trends like urbanization, climate change, and inequality pose significant challenges on our path to achieve the 2030 agenda of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

UNDP has begun incubating a number of strategic initiatives aimed at ensuring UNDP is ‘fit for purpose’ to deliver a new generation of solutions in line with the challenges the world faces. One such key strategic initiatives is the Country Accelerator Lab Network. The initiative is a recognition that increasingly interrelated development challenges require going beyond business as usual and single point, linear and silver bullet responses in development. Instead, they call for interdisciplinary approaches and non-linear solutions that leverage the collective efforts of different partners and tap into local insights of people closest to the problems and their potential solutions. The initiative is also building on the momentum among UNDP Country Offices to combine disruptive, cutting edge methodologies with contextual, country-based insights and expertise to accelerate impact and progress toward the SDGs.

Us:

We are building the largest and fastest learning global network of Accelerator Labs (initially setting up 60 labs in 60 countries) embedded within UNDP’s global country office architecture. The new offering builds on the latest thinking from the fields of complexity science, lead user innovation and collective intelligence to accelerate development impact.

Our network will surface and reinforce locally sourced solutions at scale while mobilizing a wide network of actors contributing knowledge, resources and experience. The idea is to transform our development approach by introducing new protocols, backed by evidence and practice, which accelerate the testing and dissemination of solutions within and across countries. This will enable the global community to collectively learn from local knowledge and ingenuity at a speed and at a scale that our societies and planet require. This will be achieved by:

  • Building on locally-sourced solutions, finding things that work and expanding on them;
  • Rapid testing and iteration to implement what works and go beyond the obvious solutions;
  • Combining the best understanding, ideas and expertise to generate collective knowledge;
  • Accelerating progress by bringing expertise, creativity and collective intelligence to bear.

The Accelerator Lab will undertake i) external facing interventions addressing priority development challenges, and ii) internally facing experiments to embed new ways of doing development within the existing UNDP portfolio.

You:11

You have a natural inclination to interdisciplinarity, a cross cultural mindset and cross sectoral experience. You are driven by a strong sense of purpose and commitment to make change happen and a keen eye to identify emerging opportunities and trends. You are open to discovery and exploration, capable of articulating insights and ideas to others, yet are pragmatic and constructive when working with public sector authorities. You are comfortable with ambiguity, capable of zooming out for context and zooming in for execution. You have superb competencies in program and portfolio management, sharp in pursuit of objectives, and fast at adapting and changing course when needed.

You are curious, quirky and fun, a natural strategic thinker and talented designer. You understand systems, and are capable of working within them to make change, leverage technology to enhance and multiply results. You are digitally savvy, and you are keen to be a part of a large global organization exhibiting United Nations values.

Duties and Responsibilities

Lead lab efforts in deep community immersion, collective intelligence and solutions mapping

  • Developing and sustaining positive relationships with a range of local community and citizen groups
  • Identifying and training local volunteers, recruiting Universities and think tanks for sustaining long term community outreach and engagement, identifying lead users and providing training and mentoring
  • Design specific field research and participatory methods to focus on the most vulnerable populations and those not usually engaged in public policy debates on development methods
  • Translation of ethnographic and field research findings into learning and action for the acceleration lab activities
  • Explore, document and increase understanding on emerging methods of tapping into collective intelligence for sustainable development

Convene the processes of solution intake, assessment and designing prototypes

  • Designing and implementing methodology for identifying indigenous knowledge and local solutions, consolidating, screening and describing incoming ideas
  • Designing criteria/metrics for assessing and consolidating incoming local solutions
  • Conducting hands-on field research to determine best methods of making solutions transferable
  • Testing the solutions and potential ideas in real life context to understand potential channels of spreading (including identifying private and public sector venues for uptake)
  • Analysis of system level issues that local solutions address (and don’t address, therefore exposing gaps)
  • Design and implement measures to successfully scale indigenous knowledge, lead user solutions, turning its insights into systemic change
  • Design methods for integrating collective intelligence into UNDP programmes and engage with programme and project managers to translate ideas into concrete practice

Undertake cultural and behavioral analyses for the accelerator lab portfolio of experiments

  • Advise on the accelerator lab’s experiment portfolio to ensure experiments are designed based on people’s knowledge, behaviors and peer to peer methods of managing and diffusing knowledge about sustainable development issues.
  • Ensure ethics framework is implemented for the lab’s portfolio of experiments
  • Design methods to test accelerator ideas for their applicability and diffusion
  • Integrate cultural norms, peer-to-peer methods and behavioral insights into technology-based experiments
  • Convene a broad range of new partners with UNDP including artists, community organizers and emergent movements to explore areas for collaboration on sustainable development

Work out loud and Organizational Learning

  • Lead communication efforts and proactively use blog and social media to share findings from field research
  • Ensure UNDP’s communication efforts respect privacy and ethics considerations
  • Liaise with the broader Accelerator Lab network and the support team to share learnings and insights from the country-specific experience
  • Help embed solutions mapping and user methodology within the CO portfolio, design and provide trainings that include various methodologies and steps to identify and work with lead users

Required Skills and Experience

Education:

Master’s degree in Anthropology, Sociology, Behavioral psychology, Design, Communications or related field and minimum of 3 years of professional experience in development programming or policy; social innovation; partnership building; engagement (public and private sector) and/or resource mobilization

OR

Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, Sociology, Behavioral psychology, Design, Communications or related field and minimum of 5 years of professional experience in development programming or policy; social innovation; partnership building; engagement (public and private sector) and/or resource mobilization

Experience:

  • Demonstrated ability to undertake field research in remote communities and document ethnographic evidence and honor expertise in usual places
  • Demonstrate ability to work in participatory methods, follow the lead of people as experts in their own sustainable development
  • Professional experience in development programming or policy and social innovation.
  • Experience in following areas is desirable but not necessary:
  • Proven professional knowledge and experience in approaches such as Ethnography, Behavioral Insights, Qualitative and Quantitative User Research, Service Journeys or Human-Centered Design
  • Demonstrated ability to work with partners to help surface unarticulated needs
  • Demonstrated ability to undertake field research in remote communities
  • Demonstrate ability to work in participatory methods, follow the lead of people as experts in their own sustainable development
  • Knowledge and willingness to follow and document ethnographic evidence and honor expertise in usual places

Language:

Proficiency in written and spoken English.

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