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Digital Partnership Specialist

Nairobi (Kenya)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Nairobi (Kenya)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Peace and Development
    • External Relations, Partnerships and Resource mobilization
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Public, Private Partnership
    • Design (digital, product, graphics or visual design)
  • Closing Date: 2020-01-24

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The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN's global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help build nations that can withstand crisis and support their efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP works in nearly 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. It helps countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.
UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa (RBA) is its largest regional bureau, covering 46 countries, ranging from high middle-income economies to least developed countries, as well as countries in crisis and post-crisis situations. UNDP works with its national counterparts in the Africa region to help implement national development priorities and achieve their national development goals. Its work is guided by global and regional development and normative frameworks to which countries in Africa are signatories, including the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.
Development context:
With the advent of accessible digital technology, international development organizations are seeking new ways of including digital solutions in their programming for improved outcomes. Technological advances have made significant headway in various sectors such as health, agriculture, energy and finance, contributing to more inclusive development outcomes. Today, as a result of technological innovation, communities around the globe are more connected, and underserved populations are reached in a way that has not been possible in the past, improving resilience and supporting poverty eradication efforts. Thus, digitalization, i.e. the use of digital technologies to change an organization’s business model, has spread across all sectors of the economy, encompassing public and private spheres, resulting in the advent of the digital economy.
As part of its renewed offer for the Africa region, UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa seeks to leverage the emerging digital economy to advance progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals in the African continent. Given that Digital Development is a means to support efforts to reach the SDGs, the Africa Bureau seeks to support national digital development and transformation in partnership with the private sector, philanthropic institutions, other UNDP bureaus and UN agencies and, ultimately, governments and national stakeholders in programme countries in Africa. Specifically, the Bureau will work to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development, by forging strategic partnerships, both global and regional, that support efforts to strengthen the digital economy, focusing on digital development which advance the SDGs and result in scalable solutions.
Reporting Structure and Partners:
The Digital Partnerships Specialist will be based in Nairobi, Kenya but will work closely with the Regional Programme and the rest of the RBA team, including units based in New York and those operating out of RBA’s regional hubs, as well as with UNDP’s Bureaux for Policy and Programme Support and External Relations and Advocacy, its Country Offices in the Africa region, and other relevant entities and partners.

Duties and Responsibilities

Key Functions:
The Digital Partnerships Specialist will be responsible for developing strategic partnerships and providing advisory and technical support to UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa in its efforts to leverage digital development in pursuit of the SDGs in the Africa Region. More specifically, the incumbent will be responsible for: 
  1. Advising RBA’s leadership on issues relating to the digital economy and its potential impact in helping accelerate progress towards attaining the SDGs in the Africa region, with a view of positioning RBA as a thought leader in the digital development space;
  2. Developing strategic partnerships at the global and regional level with key actors in the digital economy in support of RBA’s efforts to promote digital development in programme countries;
  3. Providing Technical support to RBA’s units, regional hubs and country offices on issues relating to how to leverage digital development in support of the SDGs;
  4. Facilitating knowledge management and learning.
Duties and Responsibilities:
1.Strategic advice on the regional economy and its impact on the SDGs:
  • Develops RBA’s strategic value proposition for digital development in the African continent and puts forward a concrete action plan for its implementation;
  • Analyzes global and regional trends and dynamics in the digital economy and advises RBA on how these potentially impact the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in the African continent;
  • Seeks opportunities for engagement in the digital economy and advises RBA’s leadership on how to leverage its programme in the African continent to promote digital development for the SDGs;
  • Contributes to the positioning of RBA as a thought leader in the digital economy and its impact on sustainable development in the African continent. 
2.Strategic Partnership Development:
  • Positions UNDP as a partner of choice for actors in the digital space and elsewhere (e.g. donors, development partners) seeking to support efforts to leverage digital development for the SDGs in Africa;
  • Fosters and supports the development of strategic partnerships with leading global and regional actors in the digital space, including in the private sectors, philanthropies, think tanks and academia in support of RBA’s efforts to leverage digital development for the SDGs;
  • Effectively networks with key actors in the digital development space seizing opportunities to build strategic alliances relevant to UNDP’s mandate and strategic agenda, with a focus on Africa;
  • Closely liaises with other RBA units and regional and sub-regional offices, as well as with other bureaus in UNDP to identify opportunities for partnership engagement and development in and for the Africa region in the area of digital development;
  • Liaises with UNDP’s Bureau for External Relations and Advocacy to ensure full alignment with UNDP corporate partnerships policies and strategies;
  • Externally represents RBA on matters pertaining to digital development for the SDGs;
  • Participates in wider UN agency digital development fora, serving as RBA’s digital development liaison and coordinator of digital development priorities.
3.Technical support to RBA offices on digital development for the SDGs:
  • Advises RBA, RBA’s regional hubs and RBA country offices on how to mainstream digital development into UNDP’s regional and country programme in Africa;
  • Leads digital development coordination within RBA ensuring consistent guidance to country offices;
  • Upon request, supports country-level strategic planning and programming to ensure that digital development opportunities to reach the SDGs are leveraged;
  • Coordinates the implementation of RBA’s action plan for Digital Development or the SDGs in Africa;
  • Based on existing analytical frameworks and tools, and in support of the programme cycle, develops trainings to support country analysis of digital development opportunities which support SDGs outcomes;
  • In collaboration with regional and country office advisors and managers, assesses digital development capacities and expertise in RBA, as it relates to supporting public and private digital development strategic plans and investments for the SDGs. 
4.Knowledge Management and Capacity Development:
  • Supports the establishment of a knowledge and information-sharing network between RBA and its regional and country offices on digital development and the SDGs;
  • Supports UNDP efforts to research and advance technical thought leadership and practice on digital development or the SDGs;
  • Advances knowledge and best practices in digital development with other UNDP bureaus and UN agencies;
  • Fosters knowledge sharing and learning between RBA, key research institutions, think tanks, as well as the UNDP Global Policy Network, with the aim of creating an enabling environment that inspires sharing and exchange of knowledge, information, and resources on digital development;
  • Supports UNDP country office’s capacity development and knowledge sharing work with national counterparts by drawing on experiences on digital development and offering services, instruments and potential solutions to key government counterparts across Africa.
5.Other tasks:
  • Performs any other tasks as required by the Chief, Partnerships and Communications.


Ability to make new and useful ideas work .
Level 5: Integrate & Empower (Strategic Advisor).
Ability to persuade others to follow.
Level 5: Integrate & Empower (Strategic Advisor).
People Management:
Ability to improve performance and satisfaction.
Level 5: Integrate & Empower (Strategic Advisor)
Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform.
Level 5: Integrate & Empower (Strategic Advisor)
Ability to get things done.
Level 5: Integrate & Empower (Strategic Advisor).
Strategic positioning:
Ability to strategically position organizations as key partner of choice.
Level 5: Integrate & Empower (Strategic Advisor).
Partnerships development:
Ability to identify, develop and grow partnerships for development.
Level 5: Integrate & Empower (Strategic Advisor).
Strategic Planning:
Ability to make decisions that align with strategy, vision, and mission.
Level 5: Integrate & Empower (Strategic Advisor).
Marketplace Analysis and advice:
Ability to research, discover trends, and make recommendations pertaining to a particular market.
Level 5: Integrate & Empower (Strategic Advisor).
Learning and Development:
Knowledge of enterprise learning and development issues, concepts, and principles, and ability to apply them to enhance the fulfillment and performance of employees.
Level 5: Integrate & Empower (Strategic Advisor).

Required Skills and Experience

  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in information and data science, economics, public policy, business administration, or related fields.
  • A minimum of 7 years of relevant professional experience in relevant fields;
  • Experience with digital development, including capacity building and technical assistance;
  • Experience in programme management at the field level;
  • Experience in digital development with private sector actors would be desirable.
  • Experience with programme strategy development and implementation would be an asset;
  • Experience working in the African context on issues relevant for this position would be desirable;
  • Experience working with UN agencies, development partners and actors on digital development would be an asset.
Language Requirements:
  • Fluency in English is required;
  • Professional level fluency of French is desirable;
  • Knowledge of additional UN languages would be an asset.


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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