By continuing to browse this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Read our privacy policy
  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Tirana
  • Grade: SB-4 (SC8/SC9), Service Contract, Local Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Democratic Governance
    • Legal - Broad
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2019-02-19

What does it mean?

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.

Project & Policy Specialist

Tirana (Albania)


STAR2 project is UNDP Albania’s main assistance to local governance, supported by a pooled funding of donors, EU, Sweden, Italy, Switzerland, US(AID) and UNDP as well as the Government of Albania. The project is implemented by UNDP Albania, in partnership with the government counterpart Ministry of Interior. It provides a multi-pronged assistance to strengthening local governance in Albania at two levels: at the local level, on systematic and inclusive capacity building to all local government administrations, on improving public service delivery systems, and on promoting and strengthening local democracy and participation and the overall transparency and accountability of local administrations; at the central level, on operational and organizational support to the counterpart Ministry of Interior and its operational arm, the Agency for Support to Local Government (ASLG).

STAR2 aims to support Government efforts in assuring the well functioning of the newly established Municipalities. This entails supporting the consolidation of the newly established municipalities in critical areas of their mandate and functionality, while taking into consideration the complementarity with other assistance programs under implementation or being developed. In this respect, STAR2 concentrates primarily on service delivery improvement and modernization (adoption of a one-stop-shop delivery system in most municipalities, service delivery assessment, and capacity building); institutional and capacity development for municipal administrations (leadership building, archiving, audit processes, asset management, etc); development of a local benchmarking system; promoting civic engagement (strengthening institutional transparency, accountability, integrity and democratic participation), and to a lesser extent institutional regulatory and management aspects that complement other programs of assistance (especially on human resources). The distinctive feature of STAR2 is its presence in the territory and the work with all Albanian municipalities, with the primary aim of applying or adopting similar standards and approaches for similar local matters.

The project is implemented in a dynamic context and within a renewed framework. Local government in Albania has just recently undergone a profound reorganization reform around 61 new municipalities, all with an expanded territory and an urban- rural mix, bringing about new challenges and opportunities and higher needs for efficient and inclusive management of resources and delivery of municipal services.  The reform has been supported with the development and adoption of several policy developments of key relevance to strengthening the local government institution and local governance in general, worth to mention the Decentralization and Local Governance Strategy, the Law on Local Government, and the Law on Local Finances.

The Crosscutting Strategy on Decentralization and Local Governance 2015-2020, adopted in July 2015, represents the government's vision for strengthening local governance and local democracy through (i) improve the overall efficiency of local government structures, (ii) strengthen local fiscal capacities, (iii) foster sustainable local development, and (iv) deepen good governance and local democracy through participation and civic engagement in decision-making. In a further articulation of the above strategic objectives, the new Law on the Organization and Functioning of Local Government introduces several novelties regarding the definition of local government functions, decentralization of new competencies to the local level, the roles and competencies of the elected and executive levels in the new municipal structures, including the administrative units, new requirements on service provision and the necessity to apply service standards, a new concept of determining the level of local finances and obligations for enhancing local democracy and good governance through improved transparency, accountability and participation.

The above reforms have led to increasing engagement of the international community and the development of several programs of assistance to provide support along the reform cycles from design to implementation. For instance, USAID has been leading in the policy area the formulation of the national Strategy on Decentralization and Local Governance and the new Organic Law on Local Government, following the structural changes brought about by the territorial and administrative reform. USAID is also the most active international player in the area of fiscal decentralization, in support to the Government commitment to reforming this sector. Swiss SDC has been supporting LGUs in northern Albania since 2006 with a focus on strategic planning and budgeting, public finance management, improvement of public services with a focus on urban waste management, and e-governance (one-stop-shops). The Italian Cooperation is active in promoting partnerships between LGUs and Italian civil society organizations through grant schemes for community development infrastructures. 

“Municipalities for Europe” is a particular project funded by the European Union, which aims to increase the knowledge and awareness of local government administrations in Albania about the European integration process and its political, economic and social criteria as well as informing and capacitating local government administrations about EU’s present and future funding programs and opportunities. The project is active in all 61 Albanian municipalities.

The Swiss Development Cooperation’s Strong Municipalities project, aims to strengthen local governments’ capacities in delivering their key functions and making their governance systems more efficient, effective, responsive and accountable to citizens. The project targets all 61 Municipalities and is expected to achieve the following three main outcomes: (1) improved municipal data collection and analysis and development of a municipal statistical system in accordance with Eurostat standards, through collaboration between INSTAT and Swiss Federal Statistics Office, (2) support municipal councils to strengthen their representation and oversight function over local administrations and fulfil their role as key institutions of local democracy, and (3) improved municipal services and citizens’ participation in public decision making processes for service provision. In addition, the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) supports another initiative aiming to improve PFM at municipal level, which has been developed based on a preliminary PEFA (Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability) assessment on a selected number of representative municipalities.

Also within UNDP, there are a number of initiatives that focus on local governance and have the potentail for synergy and collaboration.

UNDP implements the national component of Regional Local Democracy Programme (ReLOaD), an EU-funded regional initiative implemented by UNDP in six Western Balkans countries. The project aims to strengthen participatory democracies and the EU integration process in the Western Balkans by empowering civil society to actively take part in decision making and by stimulating an enabling legal and financial environment for civil society and pluralistic media. Its specific objective is to strengthen partnerships between local governments and civil society in the WB by scaling up a successful model of transparent and project-based funding of CSOs from local government budgets toward greater civic engagement in decision making and improvement of local service delivery.

Leave No One Behind (LNB) programme aims to empower the vulnerable persons in Albania to have equal access to public services and opportunities, to have a voice in public decision-making affecting their lives. Under the umbrella of LNB programme, UNDP and other UN agencies (UNICEF, UNFPA, UN Women) support the establishment of social care services at municipality level in line with new policy and legislative framework. The programme also supports intersectoral   cooperation between central and local governments as well as intra-governmental cooperation in delivering, monitoring, collecting data and reporting delivery of specific social inclusion measures. The LNB programme is committed to achieve three interlinked outcomes: 1) Empowered persons with disabilities, Roma and Egyptians, and vulnerable women, to request and have access to social services, as a pre-condition to improve their lives; 2) Enabled municipalities to effectively manage the provision of rights-based social services and promote social inclusion; 3) Enhanced capacities of national institutions to implement their policy framework, to fund and provide social services.

STAR2 is implemented within this context, it is currently at the peak of implementation, though it will close at the end of 2019. Thus, year 2019 is a critical year for delivery, as a large number of planned activities will have to be completed within tight time limits and with a satisfactory quality, despite the likely decelerating effect of the local elections of June 2019.

The project has a dedicated position, at present vacant, for looking at multi-layered quality assurance as well as coordination and synergies. This position is deemed critical and more in demand in this last year of implementation where the focus is to reach the objectives as well as make use of the experience gained and lessons learned for moving forward. Therefore, UNDP Albania is seeking to hire a qualified individual for the position of Policy and Project Specialist, to play the above role.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Policy and Project Specialist will work under the direct supervision of UNDP’s Governance and Rule of Law Program Officer and in close collaboration with the whole STAR2 team to perform the following duties:

Policy Level within the Governance and Rule of Law Portfolio

  1. Represent when necessary the Governance and Rule of Law Program Officer in coordination meetings and exchange of information / ideas with STAR2 project partners;

  2. In close cooperation with the Cluster Programme Officer, identify and work on new ideas / initiatives and project proposals relevant to the G&RL cluster focus;

  3. Engage in different cluster initiatives and activities.

Quality Assurance:

  1. Review and assess, from a technical viewpoint, various project deliverables and advise on eventual action for their improvement/finalization before such deliverables are shared with external stakeholders;

  2. Provide inputs on various project activities from a substantial/content viewpoint;

  3. Provide inputs on training materials and other tools from a substantial / content viewpoint.


  1. Identify and suggest linkages and synergies among CO projects, contributing to coherence in promotion of democratic governance and rule of law;

  2. Keep the project updated with external ongoing and forthcoming assistance in the local governance area and advise the project and UNDP on ways to coordinate and synergize as well as complement such assistance;

  3. Identify/propose to STAR2 team ways in which lessons and practices coming out of such information-sharing and consultation settings are to be adopted and integrated with project implementation activities

Other project implementation support

  1. Support the preparation/finalization of different ToRs for different positions/processes;

  2. Prepare project briefs to feed the project newsletter, leaflets and/or website with updated information;

  3. Take leadership in designing concept notes for research to be undertaken under the project

  4. Support processes of briefing, coordination and facilitation of the work of various national and international short-term experts; 

  5. Perform other duties of a reasonable nature as and when required


Core and Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;

  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;

  • Communication - Facilitate and encourage open communication and strive for effective communication.

  • Organizational Awareness - Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment.

  • Teamwork - Demonstrate ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment and to maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds.

  • Accountability – Takes ownership of all responsibilities and delivers outputs in accordance with agreed time, cost and quality standards.

Functional Competencies:

  • Ability to work on own initiative as well as a member of a team as well as under pressure;

  • Able to identify priorities and plan/organize efficiently in line with agreed approach/framework

  • Readiness to self-development, sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others;

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills as well as ability to analyze, write, edit and conduct presentations

  • Result oriented and ability to define problem areas, brainstorm solutions, and take decisions based on evidence, consultations and sound analysis

  • Excellent communication, facilitation, presentation and reporting skills;

  • Proficient with standard computer applications

  • Familiarity with the major current public administration reforms at central and local levels as well as the political, economic and social context of country

  • Ability to establish strong working relationships with government and local government officials, civic leaders, business people and international donors.

  • Demonstrated understanding of methodologies appropriate to complex change processes and capacity development

  • Demonstrated ability to assemble, quickly and effectively, and to manage a highly-skilled, interdisciplinary team; to interact with and lead a broad range of governmental and non-governmental actors and institutions across sectors

Required Skills and Experience

The desired ideal candidate’s profile in terms of educational background and minimum required qualifications would be that of an individual with significant hands-on experience in public administration and/or public policy. The candidates will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

Academic Qualifications/Education:

  • Master’s degree in public administration, public policy, economics, development or other related fields

Work Experience:

  • 7 years or more of relevant experience in or contributing to public administration reform through key role within public administration or through project/programme support services
  • 3 years demonstrated working experience and/or knowledge in the fields of public policy analysis and/or research is an advantage
  • Work exposure to areas related to public administration capacity building at central and local level, economic development or similar is an advantage
  • Work experience or interaction with international organizations environment would be an asset.

Language skills:

  • Excellent knowledge of English and Albanian language, both spoken and written

UNDP is committed to building a culturally diverse organization and strongly encourages applications from qualified women, minorities, persons with disabilities or members of other underrepresented groups.


We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

What does it mean?

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.