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Policy and Programme Specialist, Livelihoods and Economic  Recovery, Africa

New York City (United States of America)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: New York City (United States of America)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Poverty Reduction
    • Humanitarian Aid and Coordination
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Legal - Broad
    • Food Security, Livestock and Livelihoods
    • Economics
    • Disaster Management (Preparedness, Resilience, Response and Recovery)
  • Closing Date: 2019-12-10

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UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy work carried out at HQ, Regional and Country Office levels, forms a contiguous spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan. Within the GPN, the Crisis Bureau guides UNDP’s corporate crisis-related strategies and vision for crisis prevention, response and recovery.

The Policy and Programme Specialist, Livelihoods and Economic Recovery, based in Dakar, Senegal, is a member of the Recovery Solutions and Human Mobility global team (RSHM). S/he is responsible for providing substantive policy and programme support, technical expertise, advocacy, relationship building and knowledge to the thematic area of Rural /urban Livelihoods and Economic Recovery within the Global Policy Network and Regional Bureau for Africa. S/he leads UNDP’s policy and programme contributions on economic recovery and development in early recovery contexts in the Africa region including linkages to development policy and programme solutions for migration and displacement. This also includes a focus on regional initiatives such as: resilience building in the Sahel through Alliance Sahel and UNISS Support Plan, contributions to joint UNHCR-UNDP Regional Refugee Response Plans and the Stabilization support plans for the Lake Chad and for the Liptako Gourma regions.  

S/he collaborates with teams across the GPN and in the Regional Hub (and its associated presences) in Africa, in particular within the P- Prosperity group, the SDG Finance Sector Hub (FSH), and others to promote UNDP’s provision of quality policy and programme support and advance UNDP’s credibility as an agent for the early and long term recovery of livelihoods and local economies in post disaster and post conflict situations. This also includes policy and programming towards development solutions for displacement and migration, through engagement with relevant humanitarian, early recovery and development actors, including the private sector. S/he promotes the development, enhancement, and application of corporate recovery and human mobility (migration and displacement) policies and programming guidance and tools relevant to crisis and post crisis situations in the Africa Region.

S/he is responsible for performing and contributing to the following:

  • Programme, Policy and Project Delivery Support;
  • Programme, Policy and Programme Research, Development and Implementation;
  • Substantive leadership for content development and curation of tools for programming;
  • Representation, advocacy, and partner engagement for effective recovery programme and policy positioning in the region;
  • Knowledge management and community of practice networking.

Duties and Responsibilities

1.  Programme, Policy and Project Delivery Support:

  • In collaboration with the GPN teams in the Regional Hub in Africa, support the integration of technical support into programmes and projects that responds to country office needs, including through the provision of capacity building and backstopping on livelihoods, economic recovery and human mobility solutions;
  • Apply integrated multi-disciplinary approaches, including through setting up, coordinating and engaging with other teams, to meet recovery programming needs on jobs/livelihoods, economic recovery and human mobility in line with emerging client needs and corporate standards, and ensuring integration and coherence with relevant thematic areas related to gender, resilience, climate security, stabilization, peacebuilding, rule of law, local governance and conflict prevention, among others;
  • Contributes to the development, update and implementation of the UNDP crisis response packages and other recovery solutions tools, and identification of complementary programmes, policies and guidance to facilitate UNDP’s work on recovery and human mobility in Africa;
  • Supports the Head of the RSHM Team in liaising with the Regional Hub teams to ensure a rapid and well-coordinated response to crisis and conflict situations; and
  • Provide related programming contributions to UNDP SURGE for country offices in the thematic area of jobs/livelihoods, economic recovery, migration and displacement.

2. Programme and Policy Research, Development and Implementation for the Africa Region:

  • Develop relevant guidance and analysis to the micro and macroeconomic and sectoral policies for job-rich growth, with the aim of redesigning or reorienting them to economic recovery programming effectively addressing the unemployment challenge in crisis and post crisis situations;
  • Develop and implement guidance on livelihoods and economic recovery, and related tools for the implementation of regional and global programmes and policy standards, including testing and roll out of tools and methodologies;
  • Develop and implement regional or national programme initiatives for different contexts on key emerging policy agendas in collaboration with policy teams in the Regional Hub, bringing in perspectives and knowledge from Country Offices in the region;
  • Coordinate and conduct analysis of data, case evidence, assessment of outcomes and impact, and research findings to distill relevant lessons from projects and programmes with a livelihoods and economic recovery and human mobility focus, to inform programme and policy formulation and guidance in the region;
  • Develop and support implementation of relevant analysis and guidance, in close collaboration with the GPN entities, or contribute with a livelihoods and economic recovery angle, on emerging issues of regional significance including climate security, resilience and stabilization, and contributes to new research, including through working with the Global Policy Centers;
  • Support the quality assurance of programme and policy services and foster policy innovation for livelihoods and economic recovery and human mobility by reviewing lessons learned and evaluations to enhance recovery programme delivery in crisis and post crisis situations.

3.   Substantive leadership for content development and curation of tools and resources, from across UNDP’s network of expertise:

  • Provide technical expertise in identifying and selecting tools, developing methodologies and producing knowledge management products linked to crisis- and humanitarian-related livelihoods and economic recovery, including migration and displacement;
  • Provide technical expertise on the content development for regional/Country Office knowledge products through the analysis of data, case evidence, and research findings in accordance with corporate standards;
  • Contribute to the identification and scoping of technical issues warranting collaboration with HQ and regional teams to research, develop and share knowledge-based tools, such as programme and policy positions/practice notes/concept papers and other research-based products to influence recovery programmes;
  • Work closely with policy teams in Regional Hubs and HQ to advance research, testing and roll-out of newly commissioned recovery programme and policy initiatives, by providing the regional perspective/specificities as well as experience-based insights on what is of most practical value for national counterparts and regional leaders in crisis and post crisis settings;
  • Design and deliver training on recovery programming tools including by developing training packs for Country Offices to facilitate innovation learning, foster and encourage recovery programme and policy innovation and continuous improvement to enhance delivery.

4.  Representation, advocacy, and partner engagement for effective recovery programme and policy positioning in the region:

  • Advocate the application of ground-breaking livelihoods/economic recovery approaches in crisis and post crisis countries, especially as an integrated approach to achieving the SDGs;
  • Represent UNDP within engagements in interagency coordination on livelihoods, economic recovery, migration and displacement programmes and policies;
  • Provide technical advice on relationship management of regional partners and resource mobilization in line with Regional Bureau and Crisis Bureau priorities and corporate guidelines;
  • Provide technical advice on mobilizing and fostering external partnerships behind regional initiatives;
  • Manage the building of strategic alliances and partnerships, especially with key think tanks and non-governmental organizations at the regional level;
  • Ensure UNDP representation at inter-agency meetings, academic conferences, donor consultations and other events;
  • On behalf of UNDP in the region, engage with relevant stakeholders to develop and, if needed, manage joint livelihoods and economic recovery initiatives with UN system in early recovery programming.

5.   Knowledge management and community of practice networking:

  • Contribute to the continuous analysis, documentation, codification of regional results/lessons learned;
  • Review regional data, case evidence and research findings to distill pivotal lessons for UNDP recovery programming;
  • Advocate and enable South-South facilitation of exchanges and experiences sharing in crisis and post crisis recovery where valuable;
  • Support the capacity development of UNDP staff in application of tools and practices for enhanced recovery programming;
  • Support leadership of the Community of Practices on Poverty & Resilience, and further strengthen linkages with peacebuilding, gender and governance community of practice, both inside and outside of the UN system.



  • 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.

Livelihoods and economic recovery assessments and planning

  • Ability to use methods, tools and regional analysis to determine impact of crisis and inform policy and programmming.

Livelihoods and Economic Recovery:

  • Knowledge of Livelihoods and Economic Recovery concepts and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.

Migration and Displacement Dynamics:

  • Knowledge of impact of migration and displacement issues within a humanitarian-development nexus.

Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Knowledge of the Sustainable Development Goals and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.

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.  

Management & Coordination:

  • Ability to manage and coordinate programmes and projects.

Required Skills and Experience


  • A Master's degree, preferably in economics, development economics, business administration, agricultural or social sciences, other relevant fields, or extensive compensating experience in humanitarian/crisis/fragile settings..


  • A minimum of 7 years of experience in either public sectors (national or multilateral, including UN), private (academia, non-governmental sector, corporate), with increasing level of responsibility;
  • Proven track record and experience in the UN System and other, related to livelihoods, economic recovery, migration and displacement in situations of crisis and fragility;
  • Excellent negotiating and communication skills and ability to mobilize support from a wide range of partners (public, private, academic, civil society, business community leaders);
  • Proven track record of management and resource mobilization skills.

Language Requirements:    

  • Fluent and proficient in French and English are a requirement.


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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