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Programme Specialist for ECIS

New York City

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: New York City
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2024-06-26

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 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 Crisis Bureau guides UNDP’s corporate crisis and fragility related strategies and vision for crisis prevention, response, and recovery. The Bureau has the responsibility for support to prevention, crisis response, resilience, recovery, and peacebuilding work under the auspices of UNDP’s Strategic Plan. Crisis Bureau staff provide global strategic advice to UNDP management and technical advice to regional hubs and Country Offices; advocate for UNDP corporate messages, represent UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora, and engage in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas. As part of the Global Policy Network (GPN), the Crisis Bureau works in an integrated manner with UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) ensuring that issues are fully integrated into UNDP’s development programmes. Peace outcomes are delivered in a coherent manner, working across the GPN that includes the Governance team in Bureau of Policy and Programme Support.

The Crisis Bureau (CB) is galvanizing UNDP’s efforts to support countries to build resilience by strengthening capacities to anticipate, prevent, respond to, and recover from the impacts of crises and shocks on progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These efforts are geared towards reducing countries’ reliance on external humanitarian relief and peace interventions, while risk-informing development planning and decision-making to minimize creation of new risks. UNDP seeks to ensure that development perspectives are introduced as early as possible in response and recovery cycles, including approaching recovery as an opportunity to reset development practices onto more resilient, green, and equitable pathways.

UNDP’s corporate Crisis Offer seeks to consolidate and upgrade UNDP’s crisis mechanisms to break the cycle of protracted crisis and fragility; to get ahead of the crisis curve through anticipating and preventing crises; and to sustain development throughout crisis by investing in hope – from jobs to justice. These efforts seek to mitigate potential shocks and disruptions, protect hard-won development gains, and to provide sustained accompaniment throughout crises, and to pursue pathways out of crisis and build longer-term resilience. The CB supports Regional Bureaux (RBx) and Country Offices (COs) to ensure risk-informed and preventive approaches are integrated into development plans, priorities and programmes.

Support to country operations is coordinated by the Country Support Management Team (CSMT), working closely within the GPN, with the GPN Policy, Knowledge and Partnership 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.

In the context of Ukraine crisis, the Programme Specialist will provide targeted support, including travel to the country and the region. 

Position Purpose

Under the supervision of Head of Country Support Management Team, the Programme Specialist coordinates the Crisis Bureau interventions to the regions in close collaboration with GPN Teams and the Regional Bureau for Europe and Central Asia (RBEC). S/he facilitates the channeling of resources in line with the GPN vision and agreed priorities and to provide strong, coherent, and coordinated support to COs in the Europe and Central Asia region.

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 to enhance and enable horizontal collaboration.

Duties and Responsibilities

Strategic country support coordination and timely delivery of technical advisory, 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 Europe and the CIS regions, such as Ukraine, and identify/understand the regional and country support needs as it relates to crisis and fragility. 
  • 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. 
  • Ensure 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, stabilization, 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 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 RBEC, internal analysis and outside specialized source. 
  • Facilitate 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.). 

Timely management and coordination of crisis response 

  • Manage recovery programming in times of crisis, particularly in Europe and the CIS region, such as Ukraine, 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. 
  • Facilitate 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. 
  • Advise on crisis response allocations and track timely delivery of the funds. 
  • Facilitate 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. 
  • Contribute to 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, RBEC. 
  • Facilitate to 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. 
  • 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 on PDNA and RPBA in close collaboration with the GPN Crisis and Fragility Policy and Engagement Team.
  • In close coordination with 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 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. 
  • Advise on the establishment of work plans for Europe and the CIS and internal collaboration practices, role modeling how integrated work approaches are translated in UNDP’s crisis support. 
  • Advise on programme support function for Europe and the CIS, including Ukraine 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.). 
  • Facilitate the contracting and supervision of consultants to support programme development in the Europe and the CIS Team. 
  • Participate in UNDP multidisciplinary teams to contribute to the formulation of national and regional strategies in post-conflict settings. 
  • Advise on 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 Europe and the CIS. 
  • Influence and promote the advance of policy dialogue in thematic relevant to the Europe and the CIS regions such as disaster risk reduction and recovery through synthesis of knowledge emerging from the implementation of programmes in-country. 
  • Facilitate 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.
  • Facilitate the capacity development of UNDP staff in the Europe and the CIS regions in application of tools and practices related to crisis and fragility. 
  • Facilitate the continuous collection of lessons learnt and best practices in crisis preparedness, response, and recovery. 

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


Achieve Results:               

  • Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact. 

Think Innovatively:

  • Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems. 

Learn Continuously:

  • Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences.

Adapt with Agility:

  • Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands. 

Act with Determination:               

  • Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results.

Engage and Partner

  • Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration.

Enable Diversity and Inclusion

  • Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity.

Cross-Functional & Technical:
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 organizations 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 optimising return on investment

Business Management: Partnerships 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.

Business Management: 

Resource Management  

  • Ability to allocate and use resources in a strategic or tactical way in line with principles of accountability and integrity.


  • 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.

2030 Agenda: 

Prosperity - Recovery Solutions and Human Mobility        

  • Economic Transition in post-crisis settings 

 People - Gender               

  • Gender Mainstreaming

Required Skills and Experience


  • An Advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent), preferably in International Development, International Affairs, Business Administration, Development Economics, or other relevant fields is required. OR
  • A first-level university degree (bachelor’s degree) in the areas mentioned above, in combination with an additional two years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  • Minimum 7 years (with master’s degree) or 9 years (with bachelor’s degree) of relevant experience in providing strategic country support advice, coordination, and technical assistance on crisis prevention, response, and recovery issues (both programmatic and operational). 
  • Firsthand expertise of crisis response, including managing rapid response in crisis settings and complex emergencies is required.
  • Prior experience, knowledge and understanding of crisis prevention, response, and recovery (both disasters and conflicts); resilience; stabilization; transition; 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) is required. 
  • At least 5 years of experience in managing large scale projects in crisis context is desired.
  • Experience in SURGE deployment in Crisis Level 3 context is highly desired. 
  • Knowledge and work experience in the ECIS region is an asset.
  • Proven experience in partnerships and resource mobilization in country, regional hub and HQ is desired. 
  • 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 is an asset.
  • Experience and knowledge of UNDP’s crisis prevention, response and recovery mandate, policy and tools is an asset. 


  • Fluency in English is required. 
  • Working knowledge of another UN languages is an asset. 
Please note that continuance of appointment beyond the initial 12 months is contingent upon the successful completion of a probationary period.
Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment. 
UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.
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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.
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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