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Head of Regional Innovation Centre

Bangkok (Thailand)


Across Asia and the Pacific, UNDP helps countries build and share their own solutions to urgent development challenges, supporting coalitions for change and connecting individuals and institutions so they can share knowledge, experience and resources. As countries develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of regional and global partners.

The Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific (RBAP) concentrates its efforts on developing the region’s capacity to promote and accelerate action on its progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  It implements the UNDP Strategic Plan in Asia and the Pacific and delivers on UNDP’s partnerships within the region and with development actors in the region. UNDP has corporately prioritized the implementation of SDG country support platforms as its main value offer in the new strategic plan.  RBAP is actively taking ownership of this agenda and positioning its COs and regional support to achieve these corporate commitments. 

Following several years of implementing innovative approaches in development, UNDP in Asia Pacific has managed to significantly diversify its partner base, develop new skill sets and harness new resources. The Regional Bureau for Asia Pacific decided to establish Regional Innovation Center in Bangkok, Thailand, to spearhead institutionalization of the new way of doing development and provide a safe space for public and development policy experimentation, with access and linkages to private sector expertise. The Center will seek to tangibly explore new means of doing business to ensure sustainability through development programs and initiatives.

The Head of Regional Innovation Center will lead and supervise the Regional Innovation Center project staff, and support the larger UNDP innovation agenda throughout RBAP.  The Head of Regional Innovation Center will work in close collaboration with donors and investors, relevant UNDP program and operations teams; Government officials, innovation advisors and experts, to ensure successful promotion of innovation throughout UNDP programme design, implementation and monitoring/evaluation.

  • S/He is responsible for general management and the successful implementation of the regional innovation center, as well as guiding the roll-out of partnerships within the region that promote innovative practices with governments, the private sector, academia and other development actor;
  • S/He guides the implementation of the project evaluations and advises on the collection of reliable, accurate and coherent information to assess the performance and impact of programmes and projects that promote innovation;
  • S/He provides leadership and strategy development for strengthening the innovation agenda of UNDP in the region, and develops capacities that promote new and innovative development approaches in Country Offices throughout RBAP.

S/He reports to the RBAP Deputy Regional Director and works closely with RBAP Senior Managers. 

Duties and Responsibilities

Strategic management and leadership of the regional innovation center and innovation agenda in RBAP;

  • Leads in formulation of the service offering by the Center and design of the specific service lines to the key clients, such as UNDP COs and national/local governments in the Asia Pacific;
  • Supervises and contributes to the design and management of the Center’s development strategy and associated policies and procedures ensuring needs of various stakeholders are considered;
  • Scans for the Center helping anticipate the clients’ needs as well as spot key trends and partners for responding to emerging needs;
  • Leads in the formulation, oversight of the delivery and adaptation of the training curricula for the clients of the Innovation Center;
  • Oversees and leads the development of key innovation teams and agendas, including those exploring future development trends, emerging growth strategies as well as how to develop innovative solutions for development challenges that Governments face;
  • Leads the capacity building efforts to strengthen innovation efforts in UNDP as well as through training needs identified by the center;
  • Leads, supervises and motivates staff of the Center in a manner that empowers staff to fulfill mission of the Center and being adaptive to changing environment and demands vision into results and are proactive in developing strategies to accomplish UNDP RBAP and Center’s objectives;
  • Manages a distributed network and staff of regional innovation hubs in various countries in Asia Pacific and promotes cross-learning and knowledge management across the distributed network of capacities.

Resource mobilization and building partnerships with key government, private sector and UN stakeholders:

  • Positions the Center as a leading regional innovation space by developing partnerships with the development organizations, government institutions, bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors, financial institutions, private sector, centers of innovation excellence, as well as with relevant think-tanks and academia;
  • Leads analysis, research and knowledge management of innovative partners, and leads the overall resource mobilization for the future sustainability of the center;  
  • Contributes to embedding the Center into the regional and global innovation networks and continuously expands the expertise base available to support Center’s work with its clients;
  • Jointly with the UNDP COs engages with the national and local governments for formulation of pipeline of projects responding to their needs with the view of creation of continuous demand for the Center’s services;
  • Identifies and engages with the relevant private sector partners for bringing in expertise, technology and other private sector resources for the formulation and implementation of the Center’s service lines;
  • Leads on engagement with investors and supports COs in attracting investment into successful prototype projects.

Ensures provision of top quality advisory services and facilitation of knowledge building and management focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Designs and implements the knowledge sharing and communication strategy of the Center, focusing both on the new types of products (virtual and non-virtual) and the ways to convey them to the clients;
  • Ensures the Center ‘works out loud’ by continuously sharing challenges, successes, lessons learnt for knowledge sharing across the clients’ base and for active participation in the regional and global international networks;
  • Ensures contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice promoting innovation;
  • Organizes trainings for staff and relevant clients with the aim at building new skillsets of the staff and the Center’s clients.
  • Organizes knowledge sharing and networking events to advance goals of the Center and strengthen its position in front of the client and partners;
  • Supervises knowledge platform(s) that promotes innovative solutions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).


Level 7: Promotes stakeholder-centered design and appropriate risk-taking approaches for office / programme / division
  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work
Level 7: Positions the organization as a center of expertise and influence Inspires others to reach new heights 
  • Ability to persuade others to follow
People Management
Level 7: Empowers team managers to act independently and takes people management decisions
  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction
Level 7: Reconciles contrasting positions and ambiguous circumstances by communicating a clear path for resolution and progress
  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform
Level 7: Sets strategic goals and builds the means to achieve optimal service delivery and organizational excellence
  • Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement
Level 7: Navigate & Guide: Charts a course for a systems approach to continuous learning, adaptation, and excellence, creating institutional imperatives to realize progress within across the relevant profession
  • Ability to try out / test new ways of engagement and communications. Openness to different and new ways of doing things; willingness to modify one’s preferred way of doing things
Building Strategic Partnerships
Level 7: Navigate & Guide: Charts a course for a systems approach to continuous learning, adaptation, and excellence, creating institutional imperatives to realize progress within across the relevant profession
  • Ability to develop multi-stakeholder partnerships between multilateral/bilateral/IFS, public sector and private sector
Resource Mobilization
Level 7: Navigate & Guide: Charts a course for a systems approach to continuous learning, adaptation, and excellence, creating institutional imperatives to realize progress within across the relevant profession
  • Ability to identify and organize programmes  and projects to implement solutions and generate resources (definition is unclear and not well linked to the stated competency)
  • Ability to set goals and indicators and to interpret and synthesize results into usable information to inform policy, strategy, and/or action
Level 7: Navigate & Guide: Charts a course for a systems approach to continuous learning, adaptation, and excellence, creating institutional imperatives to realize progress within across the relevant profession
  • Ability to productively share UNDP knowledge and activities (at UN and other venues)
Relationship Management
Level 7: Navigate & Guide: Charts a course for a systems approach to continuous learning, adaptation, and excellence, creating institutional imperatives to realize progress within across the relevant profession
  • Ability to engage with other parties and forge productive working relationships

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree in Economics, Business Administration, Public Administration, International Development, Social Sciences or related disciplines PhD in related field would be an asset.


  • Minimum 15 years of increasing responsibility in international organizations in innovative management approaches, public and private sector innovation strategies, and development financing;
  • Proven experience in working with governments or international organizations on innovation;
  • Solid experience in leading, supervising and motivating multinational staff and office management.
  • Demonstrated experience in innovative approached in development work;
  • Knowledge of UNDP or the UN System is desirable;
  • Extensive experience of coordinating international and multi-sector stakeholders including private, public and the civil sectors partners.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English;
  • Other official language of the UN will be desirable.


Important information for US Permanent Residents ('Green Card' holders)

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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  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Bangkok (Thailand)
  • Grade: P-6, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Managerial positions
    • Innovations for Sustainable Development
  • Closing Date: 2018-07-20

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