Programme Specialist (Local Government) at UNDP July, 2024

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The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 45 least developed countries. With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.  The Local Transformative Finance Practice aims to be a centre of excellence and innovation fund for local government finance. Over a 30-year period the Practice has developed deep expertise in intergovernmental fiscal transfers (IGTF), local development funds, public financial management and performance-based grants. LTF supports policy reforms and advocates for a greater appreciation and use of IGTF and performance based local government financing mechanisms in development finance.
On the basis of this experience, LTF designed and manages the Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility (LoCAL), which is a mechanism to integrate climate change into local authorities’ planning and budgeting through the regular intergovernmental fiscal transfer system using performance-based grants in a participatory and gender-sensitive manner, increase awareness and capacities to respond to climate change at the local level including through ecosystem-based solutions, and increase the quality and number of local investments that address climate change. LoCAL combines performance-based climate resilience grants (PBCRGs), which ensure the programming and verification of change expenditures at the local level, with technical and capacity-building support. It uses the grants and demonstration effect to trigger further flows for local climate action including global climate finance and national fiscal transfers. LoCAL also aims to support private finance for small and medium businesses and municipal finance and public-private partnerships. LoCAL is presently working with 38 countries across Africa, Asia the Caribbean and the Pacific, and has cumulatively mobilised over US$230m for more than 2,500 adaptation projects.  In the Pacific, LoCAL is currently working in Tuvalu and Solomon Islands, with programs under design in a number of other countries.
Scope of Work 

UNCDF seeks to hire a Programme Specialist (Local Government) who will report to the Programme Management Specialist (P4/IPSA11). The Programme Specialist (Local Government) will support the Programme Management Specialist in the overall management of the project, together with other team members.

Duties and Responsibilities
Summary of Key Functions:
  1. Ensure compliance with the strategic direction of project operations focusing on the achievements of the following results.
  2. Support to public finance management and administration at the district level focusing on achievements of the following results.
  3. Support to the set-up and management of the Performance-based Climate Resilience Grants System.
  4. Ensuring efficient support to tasks related to advocacy, programming, monitoring and evaluation, and representation.
  5. Knowledge Management and Sharing.

1.Ensure compliance with the strategic direction of project operations focusing on the achievements of the following results:

  • Ensures compliance of operations with UNCDF and UNDP rules, regulations and policies, implementing project operational strategies and monitoring achievement of results;
  • Provides advice on strategies, policies and plans affecting project operation and implementation, knowledge and learning services in general, and provides extensive input to review and amendment of guidelines and documents pertaining to local authorities with a focus on planning, financial management and reporting, monitoring, evaluation and audits;
  • Contributes to the design of longer-term strategies and approaches to local governance and local development financing mechanisms;
  • Contributes to enhancing the synergies and links between UNCDF activities on local finance activities and other approaches to local public expenditure management and financing of other agencies;
  • Establishes collaborative arrangements with other potential project partners and appropriate operational partnership arrangements;
  • Provide constant monitoring and analysis of the operating environment, quick readjustment of the operations, advice on legal considerations and risk assessments;
  • Ensures timely follow up of routine actions and deadlines.

2. Support to public finance management and administration at the district level focusing on achievements of the following results:

  • Manage the delivery of inputs and outputs in line with the project’s approved work plan;
  • Provides capacity advice and guidance to partners in general and to target districts, for the implementation of the project;
  • Ensure enabling process and policy framework to adopt the best business practices as well as programme management activities while ensuring consistency with the application financial regulations;
  • Administration of the organization’s internal control framework, monitoring financial management including implementation of resource planning, management, tools and reports.

3. Support to the set-up and management of the Performance-based Climate Resilience Grants System:

  • In collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Interior, other government agencies, and UN partners provide support and leadership in the area of fiscal decentralization, for sustainable financing of public service and infrastructure delivery at the local level;
  • Ensure all the disbursement happens in compliance with set rules, regulations and guidelines;
  • Oversees and keeps a record of risk factors and supports any risk mitigation actions to be undertaken by UNCDF;
  • Ensures that funds managed are subject to regular audits;
  • Ensures planning and reporting on activities related to the operation as appropriate;
  • Carries out any other duties as requested.

4. Ensuring efficient support to tasks related to advocacy, programming, monitoring and evaluation, and representation:

  • Promotes identification and synthesis of best practices and lessons learned from the project for organizational sharing and learning;
  • Ensures information sharing that all partners are familiar with technical and logistical issues;
  • Coordinate capacity-building of national counterparts;
  • Ensure appropriate representation of UNCDF and commitment to UN rules, regulations and values;
  • Provide support to monitoring and evaluation activities in general and at the district level in particular.

5. Knowledge Management and Sharing:

  • For all the tasks mentioned above, ensures a transfer of skills to relevant national actors involved in the management;
  • Provide input to knowledge building and sharing with regards to the management and operations of the project;
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of knowledge management strategy;
  • Promote and communicate new corporate knowledge sharing mechanisms, and actively manage the existing community of practice;
  • Implement quality assurance standards for developing knowledge products, documentation of programme challenges, good practices, lessons learnt.

The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the Office and the Organization.

Institutional Arrangement

The Programme Specialist (Local Government) will report to the Programme Management Specialist (P4/IPSA) and works under the overall coordination of the LoCAL Global Programme Manager, P-5, based in Kampala, Uganda as well as works in close collaboration with other LTF and LoCAL colleagues in the regional office/HQ based and country and across the region.


Core Competencies

  • 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.

Functional/Technical competencies

Business Direction & 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 Management: Portfolio Management  

  • Ability to select, prioritize and control the organization’s programmes and projects, in line with its strategic objectives and capacity;
  • Ability to balance the implementation of change initiatives and the maintenance of business-as-usual, while optimizing return on investment.

Business Management 

  • Result-Based Management: Ability to manage programmes and projects with a focus on improved performance and demonstrable results.

Business Management: Communication 

  • 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.
  • Ability to manage communications internally and externally, through media, social media and other appropriate channels.

Business Management

  • Partnership Management: Ability to build and maintain partnerships with wide networks of stakeholders, Governments, civil society and private sector partners, experts and others in line with UNDP strategy and policies.

Partnership Management

  • Multi-stakeholder Engagement and Funding: Knowledge and ability to forge multi-stakeholder partnerships, and remove any obstacles to resource mobilization and multi-stakeholder funding platforms.
Required Skills and Experience
  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in Public Finance, Accounting, Public Administration, Political Science, Economics, Business Administration, or related discipline is required;
  • A first-level university degree in the areas mentioned above in combination with additional 2 years of qualifying experience will be considered in lieu of advanced university degree.
  • Minimum 5 years (with Master´s degree) or 7 years (with Bachelor´s degree) of work experience in the area of finance, administration and project/operations management in a governmental, multilateral or civil society organization in a multicultural setting;
  • Understanding the current economic, social and political dynamics of Tanzania is desirable;
  • Experience in the usage of Quantum is desirable.
Required  skills:
  • Demonstrated skills in coordinating with different stakeholders and facilitating discussions;
  • Work experience with environmental sustainability and climate change and with addressing gender equality as project objective and/or cross-cutting issue in developing countries.
Desired additional skills:
  • Experience with local governance and/or public financial management is desirable;
  • Experience with a UN organization/agency/ International development sector is desirable;
  • Experience in designing, developing, and using knowledge products, mentoring, training, or outreach;
  • Experience in project management, implementation, and monitoring;
  • Understanding of key concepts related to decentralization and local economic development is required;
  • Strong networking capabilities and ability to associate him/herself with a range of actors (inter alia central and local governments; policy makers; regulators, donors, local communities, women and youth) with a view to building relations and facilitating links;
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.) and advanced knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages;
  • Previous experience on policies and plans affecting project operation and implementation, knowledge and learning services in general, and provides extensive input to review and amendment of guideline;
  • Experience in the design of longer-term strategies and approaches to local governance and local development financing mechanisms.
  • Fluency in English and Kiswahili is required.
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Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

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