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UNRCO - Spotlight Programme Coordinator, Spotlight Initiative regional programme for Central Asia and Afghanistan

Almaty (Kazakhstan)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Almaty (Kazakhstan)
  • Grade: SB-5 (SC10/SC11), Service Contract, Local Contractors Agreement - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
  • Closing Date: 2020-01-26

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Funded by the European Union and managed from Kazakhstan (Almaty) in cooperation with all participating countries, the Spotlight Initiative (SI) regional programme for Central Asia will harness the collective expertise, experiences challenges and energy of gender equality advocates from the five Central Asian countries as well as Afghanistan. This will be done with the purpose of advancing legislative reform, policy dialogue and advocacy, technical assistance in adaptation of most effective measures to address sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and social norm changes necessary to prevent and respond to SGBV and harmful practices such as bride kidnapping, child and forced marriage and early unions. 
Mobilizing the UN country teams (UNCTs) in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, as well as in partnership with Afghanistan, the SI seeks to fill a vital vacuum in the region. Namely, the absence of any Central Asian consensus around SGBV, and the absence of any institutional forum for such consensus to be generated. 
Through collective thinking and collective advocacy, governments, parliamentarians, civil society, human rights and women’s activists, survivors, women from marginalized groups, male champions and young people will develop Central Asia-specific models for legislative, policy and institutional reform. These Central Asia-specific models will be grounded in the international norms and standards guiding work on SGBV, including the CEDAW, the CRC and the Council of Europe (CoE)’s Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence – also known as the Istanbul Convention. In addition, the Models will reflect the importance of gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) methodologies – including costing – to ensure prevention and response to SGBV is robust.
Under the supervision and guidance of the UN Resident Coordinator for Kazakhstan, the Programme Coordinator is responsible for coordinating and ensuring the timely and quality implementation of the Spotlight regional programme for Central Asia which includes coordinating relationships with regional partners and stakeholders, and monitoring and reporting functions, and advising the RC on all operational, financial and human resources matters.  In doing so, the Programme Coordinator will be guided, as the second line of reporting, by the UN Women Representative in Kazakhstan in the latter’s responsibility to assure overall technical coherence of the regional programme. 

Duties and Responsibilities

Manage the Spotlight Initiative Programme:
  • Manage the overall Spotlight Initiative work plan development and implementation according to the regional programme document; Ensure timely implementation;
  • Lead the implementation of a results-based management and accountability approach to programme management;
  • Lead programme oversight and quality assurance;
  • Lead the development of annual programme delivery targets;
  • Liaise with the Programme Technical Specialist in the Spotlight Technical Unit, regional counterparts, participating UN agencies (RUNOs – Recipient UN Organizations), EU Delegation, CSOs and other partners to ensure the Programme results are achieved and resources are managed; 
  • Organize and prepare Steering Committee meetings;
  • Compile, prepare and present work-plans, periodic consolidated narrative progress reports and expenditures status reports; 
  • Establish systems for project planning, implementation and monitoring, in collaboration with partners and with the advice of Data & Monitoring Officer of the Office of UN Resident Coordinator;
  • Record and maintain documents on relevant Programme activities, issues, and risks.
Ensure technical coherence and integrity of the programme:
  • Manage implementation of technical advice and guidance for assuring technical coherence and integrity of the entire programme based on the guidance of UN Women;
  • Provide technical assistance to local partners supporting programme implementation;
  • Develop and implement technical tools, and initiatives;
  • Provide a forum for exchanging experiences; consolidate lessons learned and key outcomes of workshops, webinars and other meetings/events;
  • Analyze emerging needs; 
  • Follow up on technical issues and challenges emerging;
  • Identify capacity building needs of partners and lead the coordination of technical assistance, mentoring, training and capacity development initiatives to partners;
  • Lead collective preparation of a coherent programme reports for submission to the donors, in close collaboration with the participating agencies (RUNO) as required below under #4.
Guide coordination with partners in Central Asia and other stakeholders:
  • Coordinate relationships with regional partners – in particular the members of CSO Regional Reference Group – to support implementation and expansion of the Spotlight Initiative, raise potential problems and provide solutions;
  • Provide guidance to partners on establishment of performance indicators, and monitoring achievement of results;
  • Identify capacity building needs and support partners through technical assistance, mentoring, training, cross-partner learning, and capacity development initiatives.
Coordinate the monitoring and reporting on the Spotlight Initiative:
  • Gather and compile all information necessary for monitoring and reporting on programmes and projects from the planning to the evaluation stages, with the advice of Data & Monitoring Officer of the Office of UN Resident Coordinator in Kazakhstan;
  • Monitor the implementation of activities and the expenditure of funds by partners; conduct regular monitoring visits;
  • Consolidate and write annual and quarterly reports; review and coordinate the submission of implementing partner financial and narrative reports;
  • Provide inputs from Spotlight Initiative programme activities and results to Programme reporting.
Manage financial resources and supervise personnel:
  • Supervise and manage a team of professional and administrative personnel, review performance and mentor/ coach personnel;
  • Prepare budget revisions, and expenditure tracking and reporting;
  • Oversee and monitor the allocation and disbursement of funds to participating partners.
Build partnerships and support in developing resource mobilization strategies:
  • Provide technical support to the development of partnerships and resource mobilization strategies;
  • Identify potential programmatic areas of cooperation, country needs and donors’ priorities and develop the relevant partnerships;
  • Maintain excellent relations with donors and coordinate joint meetings with the agencies as required. 
Advocate and facilitate knowledge building and management and communication:
  • Ensure documentation of the programme implementation process and products produced are in accordance with standards established for the Spotlight Initiative;
  • Represent the UN in meetings and policy dialogues on issues related to Spotlight Initiative as necessary;
  • Oversee the development of advocacy and communication strategies and lead their implementation, with the support of the Spotlight Communications & Monitoring Officer;
  • Oversee the implementation of the Visibility Plan, with the support of the Spotlight Communications & Monitoring Officer;
  • Identify best practices and lessons learned to guide programme improvement and strategy planning;
  • Contribute to the exchange of information and knowledge products internally and externally of the programme;
  • Organize major events, trainings, workshops and knowledge products.
Key Performance Indicators:
  • Timely and quality implementation of Spotlight Initiative activities against set workplans, timelines and budgets, in line with the Strategic Note;
  • Quality and timely reporting;
  • Strong relations with partners and stakeholders;
  • Regular and timely monitoring of activities;  
  • Timely and quality implementation of advocacy events in line with work plan;
  • Enhanced best practices and lessons learned documented and circulated.


Core Values:
  • Respect for Diversity;
  • Integrity;
  • Professionalism;
  • Demonstrating commitment to the UN System.
Core Competencies:
  • Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Equality Issues and /or SGBV issues;
  • Accountability;
  • Creative Problem Solving;
  • Communicating for Impact;
  • Inclusive Collaboration;
  • Stakeholder Engagement;
  • Leading by Example;
  • Working in Teams;
  • Thinking Analytically and strategically.
Functional Competencies:
  • Strong programme formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation skills;
  • Strong budget and finance skills;
  • Strong knowledge of Results Based Management;
  • Ability to synthesize program performance data and produce analytical reports in order to inform management and strategic decision-making;
  • Engaging internal/external partners and stakeholders;
  • Leading, developing and empowering people/creating a culture of performance;
  • Strong analytical skills;
  • Good knowledge of UN programme management systems.

Required Skills and Experience

Education and certification:
  • Master’s degree or equivalent in public administration, law, human rights, gender equality, management, social sciences or other related areas is required;
  • A project/programme management certification would be an added advantage.
  • At least 8 years of progressively responsible experience at the national or international level in managing complex and multi-component programme interventions with national partners, preferably related to thematic area;
  • Experience in managing, coordinating, implementing, monitoring and evaluating development programmes and projects; 
  • Previous experience working in the UN system is an asset.
Language Requirements:
  • Fluency in English and Russian is required;
  • Knowledge of languages of Central Asian countries is an asset.


Important applicant information

All posts in the SC categories are subject to local recruitment.

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.

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