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Programme Specialist, Head, Programme Management and Support Unit (Nationals Only)

New Delhi

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: New Delhi
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: Closed


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core principles at UNDP:  we value diversity as an expression of the multiplicity of nations and cultures where we operate, we foster inclusion as a way of ensuring all personnel are empowered to contribute to our mission, and we ensure equity and fairness in all our actions. Taking a ‘leave no one behind’ approach to our diversity efforts means increasing representation of underserved populations. People who identify as belonging to marginalized or excluded populations are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about working at UNDP including our values and inspiring stories.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

UNDP has been working in India since 1951 in almost all areas of human development. Together with the Government of India and development partners, we have worked towards eradicating poverty, reducing inequalities, strengthening local governance, enhancing community resilience, protecting the environment, supporting policy initiatives and institutional reforms, and accelerating sustainable development for all. 

With projects and programmes in every state and union territory in India, UNDP works with national and subnational government, and diverse development actors to deliver people-centric results, particularly for the most vulnerable and marginalized communities. As the integrator for collective action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the UN system, we are committed to supporting the Government of India’s national development vision and priorities and accelerating the achievement of the SDGs for the people and the planet.

UNDP India’s Country Programme (2023-2027) builds on our prior work and aims to provide an integrated approach to development solutions in three strategic portfolios:  
•   Strong, accountable and evidence-led institutions for accelerated achievement of the SDGs.
•   Enhanced economic opportunities and social protection to reduce inequality, with a focus on the marginalized.
•   Climate-smart solutions, sustainable ecosystems and resilient development for reduced vulnerability.

South-South cooperation, gender equality and social inclusion are promoted across the three pillars of the Country Programme Document (CPD). The programme is supported by a framework of partnerships and blended finance solutions, strategic innovation and accelerator labs, and data and digital architecture.

You are invited to join a team of development professionals to support India in achieving the national and globally agreed goals. As part of the UNDP team, your focus will be to work with diverse stakeholders to find country-specific solutions that lead to sustainable development and reach those furthest behind first.

Office/Unit/Project Description  

The UNDP Country Office in India established the Programme Management and Support Unit (PMSU) to provide effective and efficient management advisory support services to senior management, programme and operations teams and to align the oversight capacities and capabilities to the CPD to ensure a systematic approach to 6 key areas: people, knowledge, risk management, funding, operational excellence, and impact measurement. The PMSU acts as a quality assurance unit aiming to make the CO more accountable in terms of programme performance and management of results and programme financial resources.

The PMSU is responsible for developing and mainstreaming practical tools and approaches to promote effective and efficient programme planning, implementation, review, monitoring and evaluation, and knowledge management. The Unit also monitors and analyzes the programme financial resources for effective planning and utilisation according to the CO’s overall programme focus and priorities. The Unit will play a key role in ensuring the compliance of the CO with corporate policies, rules and regulations and the alignment of the Country Programme to the Strategic Plan and changes introduced at the corporate level.   These tasks will in turn, facilitate the office’s ability to respond to the fast changing development needs, while maintaining high standards of operation based on corporate policies and procedures in an accountable manner.

The PMSU will report directly to the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative and will work closely with the Operations Manager.

Position Purpose

The Programme Specialist, Head of Programme Management and Support (PMSU) Uni t will lead a dedicated team in the CO to provide centralized performance oversight and compliance on all programmatic and financial aspects to advise and support the Senior Management in performing their functions across all the countries and programmes. The Programme Specialist (MPO) is part of the country office governance structure ensuring management performance and oversight actions in line with the accountability framework and internal controls. He/She ensures support to the Deputy Resident Representative in oversight of the CO performance and in ensuring that objectives are met, development results are well designed and effectively monitored, and resources entrusted to UNDP are efficiently managed.

To succeed in this role, the Programme Specialist (PMSU) needs to have an extensive management background, a broad programme and project management knowledge base, results-based management aptitude, and strong programme support credentials, including advanced project and risk management as analytical skills. S/he should have strong teambuilding, interpersonal and communication skills, be client-oriented, and can look at issues from different angles and find creative solutions. S/he is expected to consistently approach work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude.

The Programme Specialist (PMSU) will deliver several key areas of responsibility, focusing on development and institutional effectiveness. The Programme Specialist (PMSU) will supervise a team focusing on CO performance, development effectiveness, compliance, quality, gender mainstreaming and risk management across programmes and operations.

UNDP adopts a portfolio approach to accommodate changing business needs and leverage linkages across interventions to achieve its strategic goals. Therefore, UNDP personnel are expected to work across units, functions, teams, and projects in multidisciplinary teams in order to enhance and enable horizontal collaboration.

Duties and Responsibilities
  • Ensure effective oversight of programmers’ and projects’ management for optimization of development initiatives:
  1. Lead efficient, client-oriented advice and quality assurance work for CO programme and operations activities and advise senior management in a timely manner of issues, trends, challenges, and risk to enable timely remedial actions.
  2. Review internal control mechanisms/templates and ensure compliance of project and programme management actions, at the design, implementation, and closure stages, to ensure that they are implemented consistently and in accordance with UNDP Programme and Operations policies and procedures (POPP).
  3. Set standard operating procedures and business processes for programme management, quality of the project formulation and implementation, including high-risk, high complexity and vertical fund projects to enable adequate monitoring and oversight.
  4. Ensure inputs to project design, pre-appraisal and quality assurance reviews of the draft project documents to improve the quality of programming, including capacity assessments, risk management, strong governance mechanisms and arrangements etc.
  5. Contribute to the achievement of project outputs and country programme outcomes by carrying out regular oversight review of projects; assess reliability and integrity of information provided in project plans and reports, and the completeness of supporting documents.
  6. Prepare data analysis and reports, with recommendations on control issues requiring CO management’s actions and interventions.
  7. Advise and support programme teams on effective use of tools and methodologies for planning, monitoring and reporting to better orient projects against UNDP corporate and specific donor policies related to project design and management, offering substantive advice and concrete programming options to enhance project compliance, portfolio analysis, review of evaluations, performance analytics, and other available sources of lessons and best practices.
  8. Strengthen transparency and accountability in project implementation and overall programme management and carry out targeted performance reviews to ensure targets are met; and make appropriate recommendations for improvement.
  9. Contribute to the integration of women empowerment and gender equality aspects in programming, including quality assurance of assigned gender markers, as required.
  10. Coordinate with lead Ministry and Departments on issues around programme and project management.
  11. Advisory support to programme oversight mechanisms such as Country Programme Management Board, Outcome Boards
  • Oversee risk management and assessments, for risk-informed programmes and operations:
  1. Lead on the implementation of the enterprise risk management (ERM) policy and procedures, including risk identification, risk assessments, risk analysis for decision making, design and implementation of risk mitigation strategies, actions, risk escalation, etc. 
  2. Oversight and advice on HACT implementation, including Vertical Fund programming and needs assessment tools. 
  3. Lead the targeted spot-checks and QA reviews for selected projects—capacity building on the programme and project management, risk management, and project oversight tools. 
  4. Lead quality assurance of legal documents, including LOA, MoU, RPAs, LVG Agreements, PCA and cost sharing agreements according to UNDP rules and regulations/Advise and prepare funding agreements with donors and ensure compliance with the organization's corporate template/ Effective and efficient clearance and implementation of the cost-sharing trust fund agreements. 
  5. Advise program units and projects on the process of identifying and selecting implementing partners and responsible parties and the process of selecting low-value grant recipients.
  6. Support the effective implementation of the internal control framework in collaboration with operations units.
  7. Perform the function of Country Office Audit focal point and coordinates action across various audit mandated and compliance tasks, including data collection and analysis, follow-up to the audit recommendations and evidence-based reporting.
  8. Ensure effective mechanisms for follow-up to the HACT/DIM and CO audits, analyze audit findings across projects and prepare audit follow up plan, facilitate regular monitoring of audit follow up and preparation of capacity development activities for all projects.
  9. Ensure quality reviews of the Country Office risk registers and advise programme teams to ensure that quality of risks are of good quality and adequately assessed and escalated if need be.
  10. Ensure effective application of the Social and Environmental Standards and facilitates oversight of adequate establishment of safeguards at country level.
  11. Oversee partner risk management mechanisms within the office (Due diligence, vetting, and risk assessments) and determination of residual risks for management.
  12. Responsible for office business processes mapping and development of risk-informed SOPs; identifies opportunities for converting business processes into web-based systems to enhance efficiency, accountability, and risk management.
  13. Oversight of the anti-fraud, AML/CFT policies implementation 
  • Lead the Programme oversight & Compliance, Quality assurance of Program/Project Management and Ensure Monitoring, Evaluation & Reporting
    1. Sustained rigorous programme oversight and compliance and conduct Programme quality assurance 
  1. Establishment of a Results Based M&E system, which ensures quality control of programme operations and results/Effective implementation of RBM and Monitoring and Evaluation of the CO programme 
  2. Guidance on Project Quality Assurance (QA), focusing on results and target setting, monitoring, multi-year work planning, development effectiveness, and efficiency. 
  3. Contribute and support the implementation of the country office action plans with specific analysis and activities assigned (lessons from QA reviews, audits, evaluations, and other datasets). 
  4. Quality Assurance of the certifications, verifications, and validations 
  5. Coordination of the implementation of the evaluation plan, regular updates of the Evaluation Resource Center/ Coordinate decentralized evaluations, thematic evaluations, and Independent Country Programme Evaluations and integrate lessons learned from audits and evaluations in all aspects of programming and operations/ Support the utilization of evaluation findings and recommendations in improving programme quality. 
  6. Establish a quality and accountable reporting system and support and ensure timely and quality reporting to donors. 
  7. Support the implementation of RBM, including oversight of CO Monitoring and Evaluation policies and procedures, provision of quality assurance to the evaluation processes, and representation of UNDP in the UNCT Monitoring and Evaluation Group. 
  8. Lead on corporate reporting International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), Results Oriented Annual Report (ROAR), Integrated Work Plans (IWP), Quality Assurance (QAs) , CO Master Brief, CPD indicators, and quarterly portfolio reviews and any other related monitoring corporate requirements.
  9. Ensuring timely and quality donor reporting 
  10. In close collaboration with Programme Teams, conduct periodic and targeted quality assurance reviews of programme and project documentation and risk management, and making recommendations on improvement to Country Office Senior Management
  • Facilitates the results-based management performance of the Country Office
  1. Perform regular oversight and monitoring actions pertaining to overall management performance of the Country Office and provide advice to the Senior Management on improvement strategies and action plans.
  2. Ensure guidance to programme and operations teams to proactively identify and address management performance trends against set annual targets and corporate KPIs, recognize root causes and address gaps identified by corporate dashboards, audits, quality assurance reviews and oversight, online performance monitoring tools, Vital signs etc.
  3. Conduct periodic quality assurance and oversight of programme and operations management, addressing bottlenecks and deficiencies in issues related to programme and operations and make recommendations for improvement to CO management teams.
  4. Provide advice to the Senior Management and perform quality assurance of the design and implementation of internal control frameworks and oversight processes in the office.
  5. Contribute to stronger coordination between Programme and Operations teams to promote and support synergies for implementation of the programme and assessment of results.
  6. Support DRR in designing and monitoring Country Office performance pulse, integrating programmatic and operational performance metrics, including regional priorities and regional Integrated Work Plan (IWP) / CO Business Plan and Annual Compacts etc.
  7. Ensure necessary follow-up measures to respond to the recommendations from global audits, regional assessments and corporate action plans, etc.
  • Ensure Capacity development and knowledge facilitation
  1. Keep updated knowledge as to changes in UNDP programme and operations policies and procedures. Provides support to programme, operations and project staff on application of corporate rules and procedures.
  2. Ensure needs and capacity assessments are conducted on regular basis and capacity development actions are designed in an efficient manner.
  3. Provide training and facilitates effective knowledge dissemination across the office and projects to ensure colleagues have easy access to resources and tools.
  4. Conducts analysis of COs’ data and case evidence to distil relevant lessons on programme and project management and implementation.
  5. In close collaboration with the Regional Bureau staff, contributes to development and delivery of modular training packages to strengthen COs’ and partners’ capacities in the programmatic and operational oversight and implementation of the CO portfolios.
  6. Contribute to CO capacity building efforts and the planning and delivery of workshops and learning events.
  7. Participate in, and brings CO perspectives into, the implementation of policy and strategic initiatives at the regional and HQ level in her/his areas of responsibility to support the key results, outcomes, and outputs of the UNDP Strategic Plan.
The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the Office and the Organization.
Supervisory/Managerial Responsibilities: The Programme Specialist will be responsible for supervision, performance management and development of the staff members and other relevant personnel in the Management Performance and Oversight unit. 

People Management 


UNDP People Management Competencies can be found in the dedicated site


Cross-Functional & Technical competencies 

Thematic Area Name Definition
Business Direction & Strategy Strategic Thinking

Ability to develop effective strategies and prioritized plans in line with UNDP’s objectives, based on the systemic analysis of challenges, potential risks and opportunities, linking the vision to reality on the ground, and creating tangible solutions.

Ability to leverage learning from a variety of sources to anticipate and respond to future trends; to demonstrate foresight to model what future developments and possible ways forward look like for UNDP

Business Direction & Strategy Effective Decision Making Ability to take decisions in a timely and efficient manner in line with one’s authority area of expertise and resources
Business Management Risk Management Ability to identify and organize action around mitigating and proactively managing risks
Business Management Results-based Management Ability to manage programmes and projects with a focus on improved performance and demonstrable results
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 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
Finance Anti-fraud and anti-bribery and corruption Anti-bribery and corruption: Understand the policy and best practice relating to anti-bribery and corruption controls and ensures these are implemented and widely understood within the organization. Anti-fraud: Understands the fraud risks faced by public bodies and can effectively analyse data to support fraud identification and fraud risk management; understands the fraud risks faced by public bodies and is able to conduct fraud risk assessment and response plan.

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
Required Skills and Experience
  • Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in BusinessAdministration, Project Management, International Development, Public Administration, or a related field is required, or
  •   A first-level university degree (bachelor’s degree) in the above-mentionned field in combination with an additional two years of qualifying  experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the advanced university degree.
  • Professional Certifications in Programme/Project management is advantageous.
 Experience, Knowledge, and Skills
  • A minimum of five (5) years (with Master´s degree) or seven (7) years (with Bachelor´s degree) of relevant experience at the national or international level in providing management advisory services, hands-on experience in design, resource mobilization, advocacy, and monitoring and evaluation of development projects and establishing inter-relationships among international organization and national governments.
  • Previous UN or development field experience is desired. 
  • Experience in overseeing, consulting, or reviewing procedures for programme/project implementation, risk management, safeguarding, and anti-fraud anti-corruption within the UN system or in the private sector is highly desirable.
  • Demonstrated experience in programme/project management and or result-based management,  and or risk management, and or programme finance and or operations management. 
  • Demonstrated experience and knowledge of the UNDP programme and project management policies and procedures is desired.
  • Demonstrated experience and knowledge of ERP platforms such as Oracle Cloud is desired.
  • Fluency in English and Hindi is required.
Please note that continuance of appointment beyond the initial 12 months is contingent upon the successful completion of a probationary period.
Please upload copies of your academic qualifications and 3 latest Performance Evaluations (if applicable)
Applicant information about UNDP rosters

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.


UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.  

UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.

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