Programme Specialist – New York

New York, United States
Industry Sector:
International Public Sector
Type of contract:

Programme Specialist – New York

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Application closing date: 18 July 2019 


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. Working in support of the Regional Bureaus, the GPN also aims to provide rapid and integrated support to UNDP country offices, combining policy advice, technical expertise, financial resources, agile tools and procedures, and partnerships. Within the GPN, the Crisis Bureau guides UNDP’s corporate crisis and fragility-related strategies and vision for crisis prevention, response and recovery and lead corporate support in response to crisis.

Support to country operations is coordinated by the Country Support Management Team (CSMT), working closely within the GPN, with the GPN Crisis and Fragility Policy and Engagement Team, the GPN SDG Integrator Team and GPN technical teams. The overall goal of the CSMT is to ensure strong, coherent and coordinated support to country offices (COs), as it relates to crisis and fragility, within the full spectrum of the GPN’s service offer. The CSMT steers the effective interaction of GPN Teams, Regional Bureau/Regional Hub and CO counterparts for integrated country support. It ensures that UNDP corporate support is provided before, during and after crises (in line with UNDP Standard Operating Procedures during the response phase). The CSMT aims to provide regular analytical updates in consultation with Regional Bureaus to support early warning and early action. It also supports and coordinates the GPN crisis response capacity and takes the lead in a UNDP-wide approach to strengthen UNDP capacity in preventing, preparing for, responding to and recovering from crisis.

Under the supervision of the Team Leader for Asia/Pacific, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and the CIS, the Programme Specialist coordinates the Crisis Bureau interventions in these regions in close collaboration with GPN Teams and the Regional Bureau for Asia and Pacific (RBAP) the Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean (RBLAC) and the Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS (RBEC). S/he allocates resources in line with the GPN vision and agreed priorities and to provide strong, coherent and coordinated support to COs in the Asia/Pacific, Latina America, the Caribbean, Europe and the CIS Region.

Duties and Responsibilities

Strategic country support coordination and timely delivery of technical assistance, programme and operational support

  • Ensure timely application of agreed business processes to guarantee predictable country support for COs on crisis prevention, response and recovery issues.
  • Stay abreast of developing crisis in regions in Asia/Pacific, Latin America, the Caribbean Europe and the CIS regions and identify/understand the regional and country support needs as it relates to crisis and fragility.
  • Support prioritisation exercise with RBAP, RBLAC and RBEC to determine region priorities, taking into account local needs, capacities and resources, as well as corporate and partnership crisis related commitments.
  • Contribute to the roll out of the New Way of Working at country level.
  • Coordinate CB’s review of Country Programme Documents in priority countries in consultation with all GPN Teams, ensuring that programmes are crisis/conflict sensitive and reflect crisis-related priorities in fragile contexts.
  • Support effective coordination across the GPN to ensure the provision of crisis and fragility-related synchronized, consistent, coherent and comprehensive support and advisory services.
  • Working with the GPN Teams, contribute to ensuring quality assurance and relevance of crisis prevention, response, stabilisation and recovery programmes and ensuring alignment with corporate strategies and policies, through the review of substantive inputs to established country programming processes (e.g. CCA, UNDAF, CPD, Integrated Strategic Framework and other joint analysis and programming tools).
  • Ensure continuous liaison with RBAP, RBLAC and/or RBEC, Regional Hubs and GPN focal points at the technical level to ensure alignment with regional priorities, integration of the Regional Bureaus’ inputs into GPN/CB country support and coherence with related development practices.
  • Ensure that the country information databases are up to date on crisis and fragility related matters and informed by steady observation and monitoring of events, regular communications with RBAP, RBLAC and RBEC, internal analysis and outside specialized source.
  • Support initiatives to strengthen the capacity of COs for crisis preparedness, response and recovery through organizational learning activities in collaboration with GPN Teams (e.g. training packages and modules, workshops, web-based materials, webinars etc.).
  • Support the continuous collation of lessons learnt and best practices in crisis preparedness, response and recovery.

Timely management and coordination of crisis response

  • Support recovery programming in times of crisis, the implementation of timely, sequenced and appropriate UNDP response and recovery activities, safe and sustainable response actions and timely and commensurate funding allocations.
  • Ensure the secretariat function of temporary support structures, timely organization of coordination meetings, information sharing and proper record of decisions.
  • Support the determination of Level Declaration, composition of the SURGE Planning Team, deployment of First Responders, selection of SURGE Advisors, etc.
  • Coordinate the preparation of all background material submitted to the Crisis Board, including the Exigency Memo, the SURGE Plan, Business Cases and After-Action Reviews.
  • Support crisis response allocations and track timely delivery of the funds.
  • Support the establishment of the Crisis Management Support Team when L2 or L3 crisis have been declared.
  • Follow UNDP rules and procedures and agreed internal business processes for the sourcing, selection, deployment, management and exit of advisor deployed in response to crisis.
  • Support country level post-crisis assessment processes (e.g. recovery and peacebuilding assessments / post disaster needs assessments) from a process design and coordination perspective, working closely with GPN technical teams, RBAP, RBLAC and/or RBEC.
  • Support the development of recovery plans, recovery frameworks, strategic response plans, etc.

Partnership and collaboration with UN and non-UN partners

  • Engagement and liaison with relevant partners, including UN entities, in relation to operational country specific issues in close collaboration with RBAP, RBLAC and/or RBEC.
  • Maintain strong relationships at the technical level within the UN System and collaborates closely with UN system partners on country specific crisis situations, in particular with : (i) DPPA and DPO on issues of integration and mission transition, and in the context of countries with peacekeeping and special political missions; (ii) DPPA/PBF in relation to peacebuilding project development and implementation support; (iii)
  • OCHA on issues related to humanitarian response plans, humanitarian planning at country level and the operationalization of the New Way of Working at country Level; (iv) UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes, to ensure coherent responses.
  • As appropriate, liaise and collaborate with the WB and other IFIs on country-specific issues in particular on PDNA and RPBA in close collaboration with the GPN Crisis and Fragility Policy and Engagement Team.
  • In close coordination with RBAP and/or RBEC, BERA and relevant GPN teams, keep track of the organization of country specific and crisis related International Pledging Conferences and ensure CSMT support as required.

Planning for the Asia/Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and the CIS region and deployment for immediate crisis response

  • Broker prioritization / organizational focus on high-impact crisis support vis-à-vis the broader GPN and Regional Bureau and aligns the use of resources behind these priorities.
  • Support the establishment of work plans for Asia/Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe and the CIS and internal collaboration practices, role modeling how integrated work approaches are translated in UNDP’s crisis support.
  • Support the programme support function for Asia/Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe and the CIS, ensuring that robust systems are in place to monitor the status of Crisis Bureau support together with financial and risk management obligations (i.e. associated budgets and expenditure reports in ATLAS, etc.).
  • Support the contracting and supervision of consultants to support programme development in the Asia/Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe and the CIS Team.
  • Deploy as first responder – within 48 hours after a crisis – to support Country Offices in initial assessment, the setup of appropriate temporary crisis response structures, draft early recovery projects proposals and prepare for the SURGE Planning mission;
  • Participate in UNDP multidisciplinary teams to contribute to the formulation of national and regional strategies in post-conflict settings;
  • Support post-crisis assessment processes (e.g. RPBA / PDNA) from a process design and coordination perspective, working closely with GPN teams;
  • Participate in inter-agency mission and coordinate inputs from various GPN teams;
  • Support country level preparedness planning and programme criticality;
  • Represent CB as part of the SURGE planning team;
  • Ensure that critical cross cutting issues such as gender and conflict sensitivity are mainstreamed in assessments and plans.

Knowledge Development and Management

  • Actively contribute to community of practices to ensure wide dissemination of best practices and lessons learned from the implementation of programmes related to crisis and fragility in Asia/Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe and the CIS;
  • Influence and promote the advance of policy dialogue in thematic relevant to the Asia/Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe and the CIS regions such as disaster risk reduction and recovery through synthesis of knowledge emerging from the implementation of programmes in-country;
  • Support the knowledge extraction, analysis, documentation, codification of results/lessons learned in the implementation of programmed in priority countries, in line with guidelines and corporate tools, including After Action Reviews.;
  • Support the capacity development of UNDP staff in the Asia/Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe and the CIS regions in application of tools and practices related to crisis and fragility.

Required Skills and Experience


A Master’s degree, preferably in international development, law, international affairs, business administration, development economics, or other relevant field


  • 7 years of professional work experience providing policy and programming advice and pioneering approaches in results-based management, knowledge generation and dissemination to advance sustainable agenda at international level. First hand expertise of crisis response, including managing rapid response in crisis settings and complex emergencies;
  • Knowledge and understanding of crisis prevention, preparedness, response and recovery (both disasters and conflicts); resilience; stabilisation; transition; etc.); international crisis response architecture (including humanitarian system; peacekeeping operations; special political missions; etc.); gender equality in the context of programming in humanitarian and early recovery settings);
  • Proven ability to coordinate crisis response with UN entities, including knowledge of UN policies and procedures on crisis response and complex emergencies, as well as related management of information;
  • Knowledge of UNDP’s crisis response, prevention and recovery mandate, policy and tools.
  • Experience working in a crisis context as part of UN Management highly desirable.

Language Requirements:

Fluent and proficient in English and Spanish. Knowledge of other UN

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