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  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Addis Ababa
  • Grade: NO-C, National Professional Officer - Locally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
    • Legal - Broad
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
  • Closing Date: 2018-01-04

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Policy Specialist (Gender, SDGs & Inclusive Growth)

Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)


The global community is beset with the challenge of meeting the SDGs by the end of 2030 and in addressing the gender dimensions of human development, including leaving no one behind, ensuring inclusivity and and promoting rights-based approaches. UNDP advocates for nationally-owned development solutions and helps to make them effective through ensuring a greater voice for poor people, expanding access to productive assets and economic opportunities, and linking poverty alleviation programmes with national priorities articulated in the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) (2015/16-2019/20). UNDP’s vision is to build on its experience to- date to support countries such as Ethiopia to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals underpinned by the principle of leaving no one behind. 
Within this overall mission, and as part of strategic positioning towards substantive policy work, UNDP Ethiopia is reinvigorating its policy advisory services and knowledge development in line with the new Strategic Plan (2017-2021). In support to the implementation of the Country Programme, the Policy Advisory Unit is planning to engage in solid technical analysis, policy advice and support to development programming and to strategically position the UNDP Ethiopia as a partner of choice and thought leader to the country’s development aspirations. In this regard, UNDP Ethiopia is recruiting a qualified Policy Specialist to support policy and programme work towards the implementation of the SDGs and gender mainstreaming across the development streams.
The Policy Specialist (Gender, SDGs and Inclusive growth) will report to the Head of Policy Advisory Unit (PAU) and with strategic guidance from UNDP Country Director. Working in close collaboration with Government counterparts, the Policy Specialist contributes to and manages policy research and analysis, and conducts advisory and advocacy activities relating to Gender Equality and Women Empowerment, Agenda 2030 on sustainable development goals and other inclusive growth issues. He/She is responsible for ensuring that all UNDP programmes, projects and activities are gender sensitive and promotes gender equality, He/She builds relationships and develops dialogue and cooperation with Government counterparts, development partners, national and international research institutions and experts working on similar issues. 
To develop linkages and synergies in policy work and ensure consistency of approach and messaging , the Policy Specialist works in close collaboration with other members of PAU, UNDP programme staff and advisors, the UNCT and the CO Management, Programme and Operations Teams, programme staff in other UN Agencies, UNDP HQs staff as well as with Government officials, donors and Civil Society Organizations. 

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of key functions:
  • Provides evidence-based, high quality advisory services to the Government on economic and social policies and development trends, and contribute to the articulation of policy positions and messages on Gender , 2030  agenda on sustainable development goals and other inclusive issues;
  • Conduct policy research and produce policy papers related to Gender, SDGs  and inclusive growth;
  • Provide effective support to the UNDP/UNCT in preparation and implementation of country programming processes and products, focusing on quality control from formulation to implementation of the country programme;
  • Supports creation of strategic partnerships and developing cooperation with national and international partners;
  • Ensures facilitation of knowledge building and management.
Duties and Responsibilities:
1. Conduct policy research and produce policy papers with findings and recommendations related to Gender Equality and Women Empowerment and implementation, Monitoring and Reporting of SDGs  by  focusing on the following key results:
  • Advise the CO on gender policies and trends and relevant linkages to UNDP programmes, including providing analysis for formulation of strategies and briefings on gender equality, women empowerment and gender mainstreaming;
  • Provide substantive support to the implementation, monitoring and reporting on the Agenda 2030 on sustainable development goals;
  • Thorough analysis and research of the political, social and economic situation in the country and preparation of substantive inputs to CCA, UNDAF, CPD, CPAP and other documents;
  • Follow closely socioeconomic developments in Ethiopia, public debate around them and the policies adopted and implemented by the Government;
  • Develop close cooperation with national counterparts to identify research topics that are of particular importance to Ethiopia and of particular relevance to the UNDP in areas assigned; 
  • Conduct and commission high quality research work on inclusive growth; 
  • Effectively contribute to the various stages of research and drafting processes including - reviewing the quality of various drafts to ensure value added; providing advice for further developing and enriching various (policy-based) research drafts; and ensuring that the final research drafts are of high quality;
  • Ensure dissemination of research findings and recommendations through dialogue with policy makers and other counterparts, conferences and other events, publications and through the production of policy briefs/reports/issues and position papers in areas of responsibility; 
  • Analysis and synthesis of proposals on the areas for support and interventions within the practice area specialization assigned;
  • Develop and maintain in-depth knowledge on strategic social development policy and institutional issues relevant to Gender Equality and Women Empowerment, the achievement of the SDGs and sustainable human development in Ethiopia.
2. Provide effective support to the UNDP/UNCT in preparation and implementation of country programming processes and products, focusing on quality control from formulation to implementation of the country programme achieving the following results:
  • Design and formulation of some parts of country programmes within the area of responsibility, translating UN/UNDP’s priorities into local interventions;
  • Application of conceptual models in support of programme design;
  • Support the coordination of development programming, evaluation and development impact analysis of UNDP country programme;
  • Contribute to the formulation, implementation and evaluation of UN/UNDP programmes and projects by providing substantive inputs and performing as a resource person for project policy related activities;
  • Provide inputs to UNDP/UN documents, presentations and speeches addressing economic and development issues; 
  • Contribute to policy related UN events and launching of UN/UNDP publications; 
  • Participate in and provide inputs to the work of the relevant UN Thematic Working Groups and other task force and teams.
3. Supports creation of strategic partnerships and develop cooperation with national and international partners, focusing on achievements of the following results.
  • Maintain interaction with officials from the Government, representatives from bilateral and multilateral agencies and other international organizations, national and international experts, representatives from the private sector and civil society to exchange information and views in his/her areas of responsibility;
  • Contribute to policy dialogue and advocacy on inclusive growth, post-2015 development agenda   and human development, which are of direct relevance to the mandate of UNDP, with the Government, donors, civil society, private sector;
  • Participate actively in conference and workshops on socioeconomic issues and provide substantive inputs in terms of papers, presentations, panel discussions; 
  • Advise national and international partners on inclusive, pro-poor, human centered policies for socioeconomic development, based on international experience and best-practices;
  • Analysis and research of information on donors, preparation of substantive briefs on possible areas of cooperation, identification of opportunities for initiation of new projects, active contribution to the overall office effort in resource mobilization, in relation to inclusive growth, social inclusion, social protection and human development;
  • Build partnerships with government agencies, civil society organizations, research institutes, local and foreign universities and other organizations to promote research on inclusive growth and development policy.
4. Provides top quality advisory services to the Government on economic and social policies and development trends, and contribute to the articulation of policy positions and messaging  on Gender, SDGs and inclusive growth , focusing on the achievement of the following results:
  • Provide recommendations for policy advice, advocacy messages and programmatic work on socioeconomic issues, particularly from the SDGs  perspectives, based on international best practices;
  • Contribute briefings covering key socioeconomic in the country;
  • Identification of sources of information related to policy-driven issues; 
  • Identification and synthesis of best practices and lessons learned directly linked to programme country policy goals related to inclusive growth and human development;
  • Advise UNDP Senior Management in the areas where UNDP could undertake applied policy-based; research, particularly in strategic areas where there is a good potential for policy breakthroughs to significantly reduce poverty, help achieve the SDGs and promote Gender Equality and Women Empowerment;
  • Ensures facilitation of knowledge building and management, focusing on knowledge generation, synthesizing global best practices and lessons learnt, sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice; and support the development and utilization of KM strategies and tools.
5. Leads the UNDP Ethiopia Gender Equality Seal certification, focusing on achievement of the following results:
  • Coordination of the Gender Seal Certification efforts of the CO;
  • Leads implementation of the CO Gender Equality Strategy;
  • Collection and analysis of data and information on the Seal areas of performance and indicators to feed into the work of country office;
  • Undertake qualitative analysis to identify good practices of other country offices to improve gender equality at the CO;
  • Capture success stories with narratives on results achieved by the CO programmes for dissemination;
  • Communication with HQ to seek guidance and share information on the Gender Equality Seal.


Core Competencies:
Plans and acts transparently, actively works to removes barriers.
  • Creates awareness of substantive opportunities and risks among others;
  • Navigates complex circumstances thoughtfully and is solution-minded.
Communication and Relationship Management:
Gains trust of peers, partners, clients by presenting complex concepts in practical terms to others.
  • Persuades others to embrace new ideas, even when controversial;
  • Empathizes with client perspectives and needs and communicates messages with the clients’ experiences in mind;
  • Creates opportunities for developing new client relationships.
Creates new and relevant ideas and leads others to implement them.
  • Integrates diverse contributions to formulate coherent approaches;
  • Aligns innovation to service delivery components;       
  • Manages prototype / pilot efforts and seeks feedback.
People Management:
Models high professional standards and motivates excellence in others.
  • Coaches team members to appropriately share knowledge across teams;
  • Addresses conflicts in a timely, sensitive manner; escalates to leadership when appropriate;
  • Recognizes members of the team for their efforts and successes;
  • Optimizes individual and team abilities.
Critically assesses value and relevance of existing policy / practice and contributes to enhanced delivery of products, services, and innovative solutions.
  • Anticipates constraints and identifies solutions;
  • Expands capacity of team to deliver on time, on target, and within organizational standards
  • Ensures high quality of work in terms of both substantive depth and adaptive relevance to client needs;
  • Accepts responsibility for implementation / team deliverables / client satisfaction consistent with organizational standards;
  • Exhibits thorough organizational awareness of UNDP’s approach to client service delivery and integrity and accountability;
  • Exhibits sound judgment and the ability to make reasonable decisions in complex situations.
Functional Competencies:
Knowledge Management and Learning:
  • Promotes a knowledge sharing and learning culture in the office;
  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development in one or more Practice Areas, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills;
  • Shares knowledge and experience and contributes to UNDP Practice Areas and actively works towards continuing personal learning and development 
  • Ability to provide top quality policy advice services; 
  • In-depth practical knowledge of inter-disciplinary development issues.
Development and Operational Effectiveness:
  • Ability apply conceptual models in support of formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes and projects, mobilize resources;
  • Good knowledge of the Results Management Guide and Toolkit;
  • Strong IT skills;
  • Ability to lead implementation of new systems (business side), and affect staff behavioral/attitudinal change; 
  • Ability to lead strategic planning and adopt a results-based approach; 
  • Ability to contribute to the formulation and evaluation of development programmes and projects.
Management and Leadership:
  • Focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills;
  • Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure;
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities.

Required Skills and Experience


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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