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Deputy Director, Policy Bureau & Manager, Knowledge & Expertise

New York City (United States of America)


The Deputy Director of the Knowledge & Expertise Unit (K&E) in the Global Policy Network has the responsibility and accountability for the overall management of the technical expertise and substantive content of the SDGs, as well as for the coordination and organization of interactions (formal and informal) between clients, partners and the Policy Function. This Unit is responsible for the “what” and the “how” of the UNDP SDG goals. The K&E Unit is the engine for the collection, generation, analysis, delivery, exchange and dissemination of development knowledge and expertise for systemic change. This Unit depends on the Strategy & Systems Management pillar to be the steward of the PPS workforce, teams, financial resources, systems and tools. The Engagement & Effectiveness pillar is the channel to connect with the broader world of development knowledge. The Deputy Director has a primary reporting line to the ASG of the Policy Bureau and a secondary reporting line to the ASG of the Crisis Bureau. Under the guidance and directives of the Director, the Deputy Director of K&E is required to constantly and consistently interact with the other two Deputy Directors to ensure the seamless integration and coordination of knowledge supply, demand, innovation and growth, as well as the delivery of quality cutting-edge results.
The key functions of the K&E unit include inter alia:
  • Strategy Development Work Planning, Budgeting and Reporting;
  • Strategies to mobilize financial resources and ensure effective utilization by K&E staff:
    • Mobilize, foster and strengthen strategic partnerships with UN and other relevant bodies and provide substantive inputs to those partnerships
    • Manage UNDP relationships with multilateral agreements
    • Represent the K&E Unit in UNDP’s corporate discussions, in inter-agency coordination and in other fora to engage partners in advancing the strategic agenda of the Policy Function
    • Advocate the importance of the SDGs in various international fora.
The Deputy Director of Knowledge & Expertise will be responsible for the following functions:
  • Strategic Planning, Management & Leadership;
  • Policy Development & Dialogue;
  • Overall Management & Resource Mobilization;
  • Partnerships, Representation & Advocacy;
  • Knowledge Management & Knowledge Sharing.

Duties and Responsibilities

1. Strategic Planning, Management & Leadership:
  • Develop and manage the technical, operational and financial strategy for the implementation of Global Policy Network’s global vision and strategy, and the substantive technical and managerial leadership required to implement it.
  • Direct and substantively guide the Unit to achieve and maintain coherent development policies and programming frameworks in support of the implementation of the SDGs and Agenda 2030 in all development situations.
  • Provide authoritative leadership, supervision and guidance to the knowledge domains within the SDGs in their provision of sustainable development policy services to country offices in support of programming and ensuring the relevance of those services.
  • Ensure the delivery of world renowned expertise through the SDG knowledge domains that create global recognition of UNDP as the authority, source of innovation and effective core of the global community on issues of sustainable development.
  • Facilitate the environment and approve strategies to mobilize programme financial resources and ensure the effective utilization of cross-cutting exchange of knowledge and collaborative themes.
  • Champion, influence and promote the advance of policy dialogue in the K&E pillar and the synthesis of knowledge emerging from the development and implementation of projects.
  • In collaboration with the SSM Unit, contribute to the transparent management of the vertical funds, regional and global projects while ensuring the full use and application of the corporate planning and reporting systems.
  • Support corporate partners (BERA, BMS, Regional Bureaux) to contribute to their agenda, upgrade the delivery of development products and services, and ensure collective success in delivering the goals of the Strategic Plan.
  • Serve as a full member of the Organizational Performance Group (OPG) chaired by the Associate Administrator and coordinate GPN-wide inputs to OPG led processes.
  • Represent the Policy Bureau in Deputy-level coordination mechanisms on change management and other policy consultation mechanisms.
2. Policy Development, Management & Dialogue: 
  • Ensure the establishment of management systems that capture, register, codify and assign incoming tasks as well as proposals generated in-house within the SDG knowledge domains.
  • Steer and guide the parameters needed to create multidimensional “response teams” by defining generic roles and responsibilities and a project-based methodology for delivery and completion of tasks. 
  • Lead the creation of the business process design, work plans, work flows and terms of references for the Development Gateway Response Teams (DGRT) with definitions and behavioral indicators for team participation. Ensure the inclusion of skills that contribute to innovation e.g. associative thinking, questioning, observing, networking and expertimenting.
  • Build the case for the creation and maintenance of an architecture that builds a repository of development knowledge (DevKnow) for the organization, that collects metrics on the three demand tracks, and offers one-stop-shop access to finalized pieces and articules of development knowledge such as briefings, concept papers, project document, official communication statements etc.
  • Use Development Gateway data and performance analysis to predict the probability of success and enable technical adjustments on changing priorities. Establishes internal guidelines and supervises the design and formulation for an integrated global network.
  • Directs and substantively guides the cadre of SDG expertise across the GPN. Develops the UNDP position on critical technical and policy issues relevant to the engagement with the entire cadre.
  • Engages in policy development and dialogue with a broad range of internal and external partners and stakeholders on a wide range of sustainable human development issues.
3. Overall Management & Resource Mobilization:
  • Leads, coordinates, and empowers the GPN Hubs and teams across five regional hubs and Headquarters (New York & Geneva), creating an enabling environment for excellence and innovation.
  • Oversee the management of financial, material, human resources, pipeline and portfolio development, management, oversight and reporting, negotiation and liaison with operational partners, as well as directing the preparation, implementation and monitoring of the business plans of the regional/global projects.
  • Facilitates strategies to mobilize financial resources and ensure effective utilization of resources managed by the GPN.
4. Partnerships, Representation and Advocacy:
  • Identify and develop new SDG finance opportunities to optimize programme impact as well as ensuring the financial viability of the unit, including through the systematic identification, appraisal, development, negotiation, and bringing on line of new SDG finance opportunities that can be offered to partner countries. 
  • Ensure effective collaboration within the partnerships of the vertical funds, the World Bank, as well as UN System Agencies, the private sector and non-governmental organizations. 
  • Coordinate and oversee the development of strategic partnerships, working with the Regional and Central Bureaux to ensure the development of a growing global portfolio for the SDGS.
  • Represents UNDP in key policy fora and interactions.
5. Knowledge Management:
  • Oversee and promote the advance of policy dialogue in through cross-regional, cross-thematic exchange of knowledge and collaboration, and synthesize knowledge emerging from the development and implementation of programmes.
  • Deliver high quality intellectual leadership on UNDP’s sustainable human development, including in crisis contexts, knowledge products and services through quality assurance, strategic guidance and oversight.


Corporate competencies:
  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work.
  • Ability to persuade others to follow
People Management:
  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction.
  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform.
  • Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement
Sustainable Development:
  • Knowledge of the Sustainable Development Goals and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.
  • Ability to productively share UNDP knowledge and activities (at UN and other venues).
Project Management:
  • Ability to plan, organize, and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals.
Knowledge Management:
  • Ability to capture, develop, share and effectively use information and knowledge.
Collaboration & Partnerships:
  • Ability to develop, maintain, and strengthen partnerships with others inside (Programmes/projects) or outside the organization who can provide information, assistance, and support. 
  • Sets overall direction for the formation and management of strategic relationships contributing to the overall positioning of UNDP
Management & Coordination:
  • Ability to manage and coordinate campaigns and people with inspiration.
  • Believe in and promote diversity in the workplace and reshaping the workforce to meet need. 

Required Skills and Experience

  • Advanced university degree (Masters) in Development Studies, Physical/Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Economics or related disciplines. 
  • At least 15 years of progressively responsible and relevant technical experience and expertise in sustainable human development in development-related organizations as well as experience in programme and project planning and analysis, business systems, HR management and budgeting;
  • Proven track record of management, technical leadership and resource mobilization skills; 
  • Experience in developing country settings, including those with complex crisis challenges.
Language Requirements:
  • Excellent knowledge of English, both written and oral. 
  • Working knowledge of another UN language is 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.

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: New York City (United States of America)
  • Grade: D-2, Director - Internationally recruited position - Senior Executive level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Legal - Broad
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2018-08-29

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