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START Facility Manager

Kampala (Uganda)


UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 48 least developed countries (LDCs). 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. This last mile is where available resources for development are scarcest; where market failures are most pronounced; and where benefits from national growth tend to leave people excluded.

UNCDF’s financing models work through two channels: savings-led financial inclusion that expands the opportunities

for individuals, households, and small businesses to participate in the local economy, providing them with the tools they

need to climb out of poverty and manage their financial lives; and by showing how localized investments — through fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance, and structured project finance — can drive public and private funding that underpins local economic expansion and sustainable development. UNCDF financing models are applied in thematic areas where addressing barriers to finance at the local level can have a transformational effect for poor and excluded people and communities.

By strengthening how finance works for poor people at the household, small enterprise, and local infrastructure levels, UNCDF contributes to SDG 1 on eradicating poverty with a focus on reaching the last mile and addressing exclusion and inequalities of access. At the same time, UNCDF deploys its capital finance mandate in line with SDG 17 on the means of implementation, to unlock public and private finance for the poor at the local level. By identifying those market segments where innovative financing models can have transformational impact in helping to reach the last mile, UNCDF contributes to a number of different SDGs and currently to 28 of 169 targets.

UNCDF in partnership with the European Union under the 11th EDF is implementing a five year Programme referred to as the Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU). The general objective of the programme is to consolidate stability in Northern Uganda, eradicate poverty and under-nutrition and strengthen the foundations for sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development. The programme aims to steer a paradigm shift from a sector-oriented support to an integrated territorial approach, and 'connect the dots' between key sectors and areas for an inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development of the region. UNCDF contributes to the programme in three areas:

  • Food Security and Agriculture: UNCDF will design and implement a mechanism for providing Business Development Services and seed capital in the form of loans, grants and reimbursable grants to promising projects. Women and youth will be deliberately targeted, and project that aim at reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities (green economy) will be promoted. To support implementation of this component, UNCDF will establish and manage START Facility (Support to Agricultural Revitalization and Transformation in Northern Uganda) designed to finance small and medium agribusinesses.
  • Transport Infrastructure: UNCDF will support rehabilitation and upgrading of selected numbers of priority districts and community access roads within four priority districts (Amudat, Adjumani, Abim, Moyo) to enable implementation of roads rehabilitation programs by districts. To this effect, UNCDF will establish and manage a District Road Rehabilitation Fund. UNCDF will also support districts and communities in road maintenance by providing support to district authorities to improve their capacities to plan investment and maintenance programmes, identify and implement appropriate technologies and approaches such as low cost sealing and labour based methods, draft appropriate technical specifications and prepare designs and manage road assets.
  • Good Governance: UNCDF will use local public financial management systems as the entry point to enhance capacities of local authorities to better fulfil their core and broad mandates (notably in relation to the other sectors targeted by this programme) and better respond to local needs and deliver quality services to its citizens, improving upwards accountability mechanisms. This component includes two funding facilities: Local Government Excellence Fund and District Revenue Mobilization Fund.   

The START funding facility is designed to support the implementation of DINU food security and nutrition component, in particular Activity 1.2.2, which aims at providing seed capital to incubation projects along agricultural value chain as part of its overall objective to increase local production of diversified food. The Facility is intended to offer access to affordable medium-term finance for agricultural value adding projects in Northern Uganda through provision of Business Development Services and seed capital in the form of loans, grants and reimbursable grants. The medium to long-term development objective will be to stimulate pro-poor economic growth in northern Uganda, better retain the economic benefits of agriculture in the North, and improve local food systems and food security. The secondary medium-term objective will be to transform the Facility into a sustainable and adequately capitalized loan/grant facility providing technical assistance and seed capital to small and medium-sized value adding agribusinesses in Northern Uganda with the further intention to scale up its operation and coverage nationally.

START is structured as a blended facility providing a customized mix of Business Development Services, project development and structuring services, and financial products. Accordingly, the START has three lines of business managed by the three participating institutions respectively, the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU), UNCDF and the Uganda Development Bank Limited (UDBL). In addition to managing the line of business that provides project preparation and development services, UNCDF will be responsible for the overall administration of the Facility. To perform this function, UNCDF is looking for a dynamic, experienced and forward-looking manager for the START Facility.  

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the guidance and supervision of the National Programme Manager, DINU and with secondary guidance from the Global Programme Manager, Local Investment Finance Expertise Facility (LIFE), the START Facility Manager will perform the following tasks which are grouped into five functional areas:

Ensures the strategic management of the Facility focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Ensure continued alignment of the Facility operation in terms of the policies and approach with the national objectives, relevant policies and strategies as well as with the DINU programmatic objectives and relevant interventions across all three areas;
  • Ensure that project objectives and activities are well coordinated with, and complement, the activities and operations of other agencies, facilities and funds that support agricultural development and finance in Northern Uganda;
  • Ensure coherence between the Facility partners (PSFU and UDB) and delivery towards the stated common objectives.
  • Provide advice on strategies, policies and plans affecting Facility operations, delivery, knowledge and learning services;
  • Establish collaborative arrangements with other potential partners and appropriate operational partnership arrangements;
  • Constant monitoring and analysis of the operating environment, quick readjustment of the operations, advice on legal considerations and risk assessment;
  • Monitoring and analysis of key developments in the country that are likely to impact on the Facility operations.

Ensures effective and accurate overall management of the Facility focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Prepare and submit for approval the Facility’s annual plans and budgets.
  • Manage the overall Facility governance and implementation mechanisms including organizing the review and approval meetings, field visits, and other specific activities of the Management Board, Project Preparation Facility, Grant Approval Committee, Credit Approval Committee and other entities formally established by the Facility;
  • Serves as the Secretary to the START Management Board, organizes regular Board meetings and keeps the records of the Board’s procedures.
  • Prepare and issue in a timely manner the memoranda of understanding, letters of agreement with the partners and other legal instruments to enable their engagement and implementation of the activities for which they are responsible;
  • Ensure timely financial transfers to the Facility’s lines of business;
  • Prepare and issue, in consultation with the other partners, calls for proposals and the criteria applied for project selection;
  • Ensure timely publication and public access to all relevant information pertaining to the Facility operation, including information on selected beneficiaries and annual progress reports;
  • Prepare inputs concerning START operations to the DINU quarterly and annual reports in accordance with the EU and other donor requirements as well as standalone narrative and financial reports on START operations to the START Management Board, European Union as well as other possible partners/donors;
  • Participate in communication and media activities; ensure the Facility web-site updates; coordinate distribution of the project related information;
  • Ensure visibility of the Donor and Implementing Partners in all project outputs.

Ensures effective quality assurance of the Facility’s operation focusing on the achievement of the following results:

  • Establish an effective tracking system and database for the Facility-supported projects to reflect their financial and physical progress throughout their life cycle from the submission of proposals, to implementation, and evaluation to documentation and closure in compliance with EU and UNCDF M&E requirements;
  • Ensure compliance of all operations and activities with the Facility rules and procedures, including the financial and other requirements for the size and nature of the eligible projects, and the type of support and individual disbursements per project;
  • Collect regular (quarterly and annual) narrative and financial reports from the implementing partners (PSFU and UDB) for submission to the START Management Board and DINU Programme Manager as part of the programme overall monitoring arrangements;
  • Design, in cooperation with the START partners, general key performance indicators for the Facility, assign distinct performance measures, and ensure their continuous monitoring and timely corrective measures in the case of deviation; 
  • Develop in collaboration with the partners and implement START monitoring and evaluation plan, compliance and accordingly utilize the findings as to justify adjustment of the funds disbursement schedules and to introduce corrective measures in the case of deviation;
  • Regularly update the risk log for the Facility and conduct appropriate budget and operation risk management, mitigation and responses.
  • Analyze and monitor the financial situation, present forecasts for the Facility, and monitor for unusual activities and transactions;
  • Support the design, preparation and implementation of regular independent audits of the Facility; prepare management responses and follow up on the audit recommendations as appropriate;
  • Organize field verification and inspection visits by the START Management Board, partners, government officials and other stakeholders.

Establishes and maintains strategic partnerships and implements the resource mobilization strategy for the Facility focusing on the achievement of the following results:

  • Establish and maintain dialogue with government officials, NGOs, partners, donors and communities to provide knowledge and understanding, ensuring accurate interpretation of the Facility’s objectives;
  • Identify areas of cooperation and coordination with other government and non-government partners, financial institutions, development agencies as well as UN agencies for the implementation of joint activities related to the Facility;
  • Support resource mobilization efforts for the Programme.
  • Prepare and implement the strategy and action plan for transforming START into a sustainable and adequately capitalized investment facility providing technical assistance and seed capital to small and medium-sized value adding agribusinesses.

Ensures facilitation of knowledge building and management, focusing on the achievement of the following results:

  • Develop and implement START Visibility Plan to capture the management of the funds as well as the projects being implemented for the purpose of Facility visibility and lessons learnt and, in this regard, periodically publish knowledge products in the START website and other media;
  • Assist in documenting START good practices and lessons learnt.
  • Facilitate learning and experience sharing for government officials, private sector representatives, local community leaders and experts;
  • Contribute to national, corporate and global knowledge networks;
  • Represent the Facility and UNCDF in meetings relating to the Facility;
  • Contribute to UNCDF cross-practice synergies with the development finance interventions at country level.


Advocacy/Advancing a policy-oriented agenda

Analysis and creation of messages and strategies. Uses the opportunity to bring forward and disseminate materials for advocacy work

Results-Based Programme Development and Management

Contributes into results through primary research and analysis. Assesses project performance to identify success factors and incorporates best practices into project work; researches linkages across programme activities to identify critical points of integration; monitors specific stages of projects/programme implementation

Building strategic partnerships

Identifying and building partnerships; identifies needs and interventions for capacity building counterparts, clients and potential partners; displays initiative, sets challenging outputs for him/herself and willingly accepts new work assignments; takes responsibility for achieving agreed outputs within set deadlines and strives until successful outputs are achieved; innovation and marketing new approaches.

Developing new approaches, looks at experience critically, drawing lessons, and building them into the design of the new approaches; identifies new approaches and promotes their use in other situations; documents successes and uses them to project a positive image; creates an environment that fosters innovation and innovative thinking; makes the case for innovative ideas from the team with own supervisor.

Promoting organizational learning and knowledge sharing.

Developing tools and mechanisms. Makes the case for innovative ideas documenting successes and building them into the design of new approaches; identifies new approaches and strategies that promote the use of tools and mechanisms.

Client orientation

Contributing to positive outcomes for the client; anticipates client needs; works towards creating an enabling environment for a smooth relationship between the clients and service provider, demonstrates understanding of client`s perspective.

Job Knowledge/Technical expertise

In-depth knowledge of the subject-matter

Understands more advanced aspects of primary area of specialization as well as the fundamental concepts of related disciplines;

Serves as internal consultant in the area of expertise and shares knowledge with staff;

Keeps abreast of new developments in area of professional discipline and job knowledge and seeks to develop him/herself professionally;

Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments;

Demonstrates comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the current guidelines and project management tools and utilizes these regularly in work assignments;

Required Skills and Experience

Master’s degree or equivalent in Finance, Business Administration, Economics, Public Administration or other related field.

  • At least five years of relevant experience at the national or international level in providing financial management, investment services and/or funds management advisory services;
  • Experience in managing staff and operational systems in accordance with international procedures and standards and establishing interrelationships with international organizations and national governments in the area of governance and development;
  • Experience in Least Developed Countries, particularly in Uganda and East Africa;
  • Knowledge and experience of UNCDF and UN system policies and programming is desirable.
  • Experience in the design, implementation and management of funding facilities providing integrated business development and financial services.
  • Experience in providing project development and investment advisory services to small and medium enterprises, particularly in the agricultural sector.


Important applicant information

All posts in the GS categories are subject to local recruitment.

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.

Workforce diversity

UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Kampala (Uganda)
  • Grade: NO-C, National Professional Officer - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Management, Administration and Finance
  • Closing Date: 2017-10-03

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