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Project Coordinator - Jaffna

Colombo (Sri Lanka)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Colombo (Sri Lanka)
  • Grade: SB-4 (SC8/SC9), Service Contract, Local Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2020-02-02

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The Capacity Development for Local Government (CDLG) Project of UNDP Sri Lanka is part of larger efforts by the Government of Sri Lanka to strengthen the local governance system in the country. These efforts are supported by the European Union, and the World Bank. The Government of Sri Lanka will implement the Local Development Support Project (LDSP) in four provinces – North, North Central, Eastern, and Uva – to strengthen local service delivery and local economic infrastructure and enhance bottom-up approaches to support public engagement in local decision-making processes, including through participatory planning and feedback mechanisms for service delivery. Specifically, LDSP will focus on developing Local Area Participatory Development Plans (LAPDP) at the LA level, based on aggregated plans from the ward level, and synergized with sector plans of ministries.
The overall objective of the CDLG project is to strengthen the capacities of LAs to be inclusive, responsive, and accountable and be able to plan, enhance resilience, and deliver better services. The capacity development support, coupled with the fiscal support (through Basic Transfers and Performance Transfers provided through LDSP project) for inclusive service delivery and economic investment, is aimed at strengthening the role of elected representatives at the local level. It is about improving local governance systems and making local governments “fit for future”, as well as increase downward accountability of elected officials and local governments. The project also aims to strengthening mechanisms for public engagement in local decision-making processes.
The CDLG project is implemented within the framework of UNDP Sri Lanka’s Flagship Portfolio on SDG16+ on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, which brings together the governance and peacebuilding work under one umbrella. The portfolio intervenes across three inter-related pillars: (1) Parliament and Independent Commissions; (2) Rule of Law and Access to Justice; and (3) Public Sector and Local Governance. The portfolio approach allows UNDP to provide a cohesive and integrated support to the national as well as to all levels of sub-national governments to achieve their governance and development objectives.

Post Context

In this context and under the direct supervision of the Project Manager-CDLG and the overall guidance of the Portfolio Manager- SDG 16, the Project Coordinator is responsible for project implementation in one target province of the project. He/she will also work in close cooperation and collaboration with other members of the CDLG project team. The Project Coordinator is responsible for facilitating collaboration between all relevant stakeholders and is accountable for achieving project objectives in the target province. S/he should promote a client-oriented approach to deliver the capacity development programme. S/he should ensure synergies between CDLG and other UNDP programmes in the target province. S/he should also have strong networking skills and be able to position UNDPs work with all relevant government counterparts, donors and stakeholders in the province. S/he should be open and innovative to test new ideas and approaches to strengthen capacities for local development.  


Duties and Responsibilities

Project management

  • Responsible for day-to-day management and implementation of the project in target province.
  • Responsible for the delivery of and reporting on project work plans
  • Act as the project focal point in the target province and assure excellent communications and working relations with donors, government partners (including Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Local Governments), implementing partners, etc.,
  • Maintain oversight of project expenditures in the target province and ensure both value for money and efficient delivery in line with established targets
  • Organize local capacity development network with relevant stakeholders to inform and coordinate capacity development activities
  • Work closely with project team to engage with different departments to adapt different tools and systems
  • Support review and modification of tools and systems based on user feedback and review of utilization of different tools and systems, in collaboration with the Learning and Knowledge Management specialist.
  • In collaboration with the project team, liaise with LAs and local organizations to promote innovative approaches for co-designing local service delivery solutions, and organize collaborative co-designing workshops
  • Responsible for advocating and promoting the use of new technologies to improve efficiency, transparency and accountability at all levels of sub-national governments.
  • Organize coordination meetings between different levels of government and various stakeholders to develop and provide integrated solutions (including related to data management, mainstreaming disaster resilience, increasing economic resilience)
  • In close collaboration with the project team, design and roll out programmes to promote transparency and accountability in the utilization of local budgets and delivery of services.
  • Responsible for ensuring that all project activities and results are gender sensitive and lead to empowerment of women.
  • Collect and collate data related to project implementation in the target province.

Partnership engagement

  • Responsible for identifying and using approaches to strengthen partnerships between all stakeholders
  • Responsible for establishing spaces for dialogue and discussions on policies related to local governments performance
  • Responsible for identifying and strengthening the capacities of local organizations and local communities (with emphasis on women and youth) to participate in local decision making processes

Knowledge building and management

  • Support project team to collate insights and knowledge from project implementation and share information widely
  • Support project contribution to knowledge networks and communities of practice.
  • Capture and ensure wide dissemination and visibility of Project achievements, particularly with regard to local success stories;
  • Ensure linkages with broader UNDP programmes in target provinces



Competencies and Selection Criteria

Description of Competency at Level Required


Ability to make new and useful ideas work, and openness to the use of new technologies to improve local governance systems

Level 4: Adept with complex concepts and challenges convention purposefully


Ability to persuade others to follow

Level 4: Generates commitment, excitement and excellence in others

People Management

Ability to improve performance and satisfaction

Level 4: Models independent thinking and action


Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform

Level 4: Synthesizes information to communicate independent analysis


Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement

Level 4: Meets goals and quality criteria for delivery of products or services



Local governance and local development           

Knowledge and expertise in democratic governance, and local governance and local development issues in Sri Lanka

Level 4: Apply & Adapt: Contributes skills and knowledge with demonstrated ability to advance innovation and continuous improvement, in professional area of expertise

Political Economy Analysis

Knowledge of the interaction of political and economic processes in a society; including distribution of power and wealth between groups and individuals, and the processes that create, sustain and transform these relationships over time, and how these dynamics both affect, and are affected by, UNDP's development support

Level 4: Apply & Adapt: Contributes skills and knowledge with demonstrated ability to advance innovation and continuous improvement, in professional area of expertise

Capacity development for development effectiveness     

Know how in using capacity development support to transform local development and ensure development effectiveness

Level 4: apply & Adapt: Contributes skills and knowledge with demonstrated ability to advance innovation and continuous improvement, in professional area of expertise

Governance principles

Knowledge and capacity to integrate governance principles (inclusion, non-discrimination, transparency and accountability) as well as gender and human rights into project implementation

Level 4: Apply & Adapt: Contributes skills and knowledge with demonstrated ability to advance innovation and continuous improvement, in professional area of expertise


Level 4: Experience mainstreaming gender into project planning and operationalization at the implementation level.


Required Skills and Experience


  • Master's degree or Bachelor’s in social policy, public policy, politics, economics, development studies or a related area.
  • Master Degree 2 years or Bachelor’s with 5  years of progressively responsible work experience in development sector with experience in local governance and local development.


  • Experience managing and coordinating projects, specifically local governance projects.
  • Experience in supporting capacity development of local government institutions and strengthening systems  
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Experience working in the UN System is an asset.

Language Requirements

  • Fluency in Sinhala and/or Tamil with strong English Communication Skills.



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.

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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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.

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