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Programme Coordinator for Soci

Apia (Samoa)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Apia (Samoa)
  • Grade: SB-4 (SC8/SC9), Service Contract, Local Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Democratic Governance
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2020-02-28

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The UN Joint Programme on Strengthening Resilience of Pacific Islands States through Universal Social Protection (“Social Protection”) is a novel initiative in Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue, & Tokelau that aims to develop evidence-based, nationally owned Social Protection (SP) systems to accelerate SDG progress through integrated programming in national and sub-national development and Leave No One Behind. In line with the principles of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the outcomes of the UNDP Pacific Strategy 2018-2022, the joint programme will implement five strategic interventions that will lead to all families benefiting from universal SP systems, data/evidence, public finance, institutional coordination and information management systems, partnerships and outreach. These interventions are critical in leading to the development and strengthening of a coherent SP policy framework in all four countries which will support either directly or indirectly all 250,000 households across the course of their lives. Inclusive SP systems will include fiscally sustainable social insurance schemes for the active population seeking or holding jobs, self-employed or voluntarily contributing, non-contributive social welfare in the form of child allowance, social safety nets and social services for all people in need as well as labor market interventions to facilitate access to jobs and incomes. SP will be evidence based (including using digital data and innovative data systems), developed and implemented through participatory consultations, have equitable financing mechanisms, forge strong partnerships with stakeholders including faith, community based organizations and the private sector, induce smarter institutional coordination, bolster capacity for implementation, and expand outreach. The 2-year SP Joint Programme is implemented by five Participating UN Organizations (PUNOs), UNDP as the lead/convening agency, ESCAP, ILO, UNESCO and UNICEF. 

The joint programme has four outcomes, all of which UNDP will be contributing to:  
•Outcome 1: Universal, inclusive & equitable SP systems Leave No One Behind. Introduction of SP floors and design of contributive and non-contributive schemes to respond to multidimensional vulnerability;
•Outcome 2: SP floors are efficiently and effectively administered (financial management, institutional framework and capacity, evidence-based planning drawing on robust information management systems). Digital data and information management systems in all four countries will strengthen integrity of the SP system, keep SP equitable, responsive and geared to inclusive distribution of resources while increasing efficiency and effectiveness of delivery set up. Data innovation will be used including through the mechanisms that the Pacific Pulse Lab will develop to measure poverty and address vulnerability of 250,000 people in the four countries;
•Outcome 3: Financial inclusion enables low transaction cost transfers of SP benefits. Payment system for all benefits through banks and involving mobile banking will be designed. Individual accounts will also collect remittances. Monthly revenues will be used to guarantee borrowing for small business start-ups. Efficiency gains due to low transaction costs will be an indirect benefit;
•Outcome 4: Increased resilience as disability, gender, youth and climate related contingencies are being mainstreamed. While SP floors will be developed, emphasis will be placed on labour market integration of job seekers including persons living with disabilities, school dropouts, women and youth more generally. Also, as natural hazards and other climate change-related risks impact the poor more significantly, recognizing the solidarity nature of the SP systems, specific benefits will be designed to help individuals and households recover from disasters. 
The implementation of the joint programme is overseen through the following governance mechanisms:
•Multi-Country Steering Committee;
•Country Technical Committees.
The Multi Country Steering Committee (MCSC) is co-Chaired by the UN Resident Coordinator (RC) with Heads of the designated institutions in each country (Samoa: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Cook Islands: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Niue: Secretary of Government, Tokelau: Office of the Ongoing Government of Tokelau). Members of the MCSC include representatives of the PUNOs, Government representatives and Civil Society Organizations. The MCSC will be convened twice a year to provide strategic direction of the joint programme and evaluate its progress in line with the expected results. 
There are four Country Technical Committees (TCs), one for each of the countries, which focus on the technical components of the SP programme. The TCs are co-chaired by UNDP as the lead agency and the designated implementing ministry in each country. Representatives of the PUNOs and the RC Office (RCO) will be involved in the TCs. TCs will be convened on a quarterly basis to regularly monitor progress and coordination of the joint programme. 
While the RC/RCO is responsible for the overall joint programme leadership, oversight and coordination, the UNDP Project Coordinator will carry out the day-to-day activities of the project as set forth in the Joint Programme Document and any revisions approved by the MCSC. UNDP engages national and international consultants to provide specific technical assistance to the project as needed. Staff in the UNDP Samoa Multi Country Office (MCO) provide support to the Project Coordinator in the administration of the project, including logistics and clerical work. 
The Programme Coordinator reports to the UNDP Assistant Resident Representative (ARR), Governance.and Poverty Reduction. S/he will be responsible for planning, implementing, and reporting on the UNDP components of the SP Joint Programme, and coordinating them with the other participating UN agencies and programme governments. The Programme Coordinator works closely with the UNDP Chief Technical Advisor (CTA), the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office (RCO), the Joint Programme High-level Panel, the Technical Committee and implementing agencies across Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue, and Tokelau, as well as other stakeholders. S/he provides day-to-day technical guidance and oversight for the UNDP components, supports the UNDP Programme and M&E officers in reporting and monitoring, and ensures overall coherence in the implementation of the joint programme.   
The successful candidate needs to demonstrate prior experience in project management and substantive expertise in poverty reduction, social protection, social policy and programming, development economics, gender equality and women’s empowerment, public service delivery, public sector reform or a closely related area. Experience in human-centered design in rethinking and redesigning public services is an advantage. The successful candidate will be expected to manage project activities in order to fulfil the outcomes and objectives as set out in the Joint Programme document, and in accordance with the UNDP standards and best practices. The successful candidate will ensure that project activities are aligned with sustainable development principles and coordinate with other UNDP projects to achieve synergies. 

Duties and Responsibilities

1. Supporting and facilitating effective implementation of the SP Joint Programme:
  • Provide programme guidance, updates, and information to PUNOs, Implementing Partners/Responsible Parties, the RC/RCO and the MCSC;
  • Co-convene the SP Joint Programme Technical Committees and coordinate PUNOs’ technical inputs to the programme across the four countries;  
  • Facilitates consultations about the Joint Programme with stakeholders;
  • Facilitates and contributes to the development and implementation of joint annual work plans, budgets, and annual reports; 
  • Supports M&E to monitor the programme implementation of activities and outcomes;
  • Prepares analytical reviews and systematically captures lessons learnt from implementation;
  • Supports the consolidation and timely submission of Annual Narrative Progress Reports, mid-term progress review and final consolidated narrative report to the Joint SDG Fund Secretariat via the RCO. 
2. Ensuring effective project management of the SPJoint Programme in Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue, and Tokelau by maintaining the delivery of appropriate technical, operational, financial and administrative outputs, while tracking the project’s progress through monitoring, evaluation and reporting:
  • Develops a detailed multi-year work plan that includes all project activities and roles and responsibilities of UNDP and its partners, and sets out corresponding milestones;
  • Manages and coordinates the implementation of the respective activities based on the Joint Programme document, including, as needed, supervision and guidance of consultants and experts with a view to achieving project results;
  • Provides technical advice and support on innovative approaches in achieving programme deliverables;
  • Monitors the progress of implementation of project activities and key event schedules observing the work-plans and set deadlines including monitoring of the financial resources and accounting to ensure accuracy and reliability of financial reports;
  • Mobilizes goods and services to support project activities, including drafting TORs and works/product requirements and specifications;
  • Identifies, manages and monitors project risks, and submits information on new risks and possible mitigating measures to the MCSC for consideration and updating the status of these risks by maintaining a Joint Programme Risk Log;
  • Assumes responsibilities in line with the office Internal Control Framework and act as a `first authority` for Project transactions;
  • Prepares progress reports and ensuring their timely submission to the relevant instances;
  • Manages project tracking in ATLAS in accordance with UNDP procedures;
  • Manages the transfer of project deliverables to national beneficiaries and other project stakeholders;
  • Facilitates audits and evaluations.
3. Maintaining collaborative working relationships among key project partners and projects’ donors, through effective communication, consultation and reporting:
  • Builds and maintains strong relationships with the RCO, PUNOs, Implementing Partners/Responsible Parties, and other relevant partners and donors;
  • Maintains regular coordination and quality assurance of expert inputs and products as well as among partners to ensure coherence and complementarity of activities;
  • Identifies opportunities for deepening the cooperation and recommends adequate approaches to dealing with different stakeholders based on information on all relevant stakeholders gathered during joint programme implementation;
  • Maintains regular communication on relevant project issues with the local and international counterparts, consultants and experts and ensuring quality and timely delivery of all agreed outputs;
  • Maintains effective linkages with current and potential donors;
  • Submits reports to UNDP, the RCO, partners and donors in a quality and timely manner.
4. Aligning the project with UN values and UNDP priorities:
  • Ensures that the principles of gender equality, democratic governance, social inclusion and disaster resilience are effectively reflected in all project activities;
  • Ensures that gender equality is pursued in all project activities and reflected in work plans, budgets, reports, researches, analyses and, where specifically relevant, analyzed in detail;
  • Ensures that accessibility for persons with disabilities is reflected in all project activities;
  • Consults regularly with other UNDP projects on related activities where synergies are possible;
  • Strives to engage groups and communities in programme planning, implementation and M&E; 
  • Communicates project goals and activities clearly to both stakeholders and the wider public.
5. Supporting design, planning, and implementation of Social Protection Joint Programme Communication and Visibility strategies and plans:
  • Supports the RCO to implement the communication and visibility plans and strategies, ensuring a gender and women empowerment perspective;  
  • Contributes to drafting of press releases, policy briefs, pamphlets, talking points, speeches, editorials, branded materials, and other written communications materials.


Core Competencies:
  • Critically assesses established methods;
  • Creates new opportunities for team, not just self to learn and take on new responsibilities;
People Management
  • Demonstrates behaviours of teamwork, collaboration, knowledge sharing, maintaining relationships;
  • Communicates ideas and positions with command and confidence;
  • Embraces complex challenges and opportunities for getting work done.
Technical/Functional Competencies:
  • Knowledge of complex adaptive systems and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical solutions;
  • Knowledge of methods for practical, creative resolution of problems and creation of solutions, with the intent of an improved future result;
  • Ability to plan, organize and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals;
  • Ability to prepare quality reports;
  • Ability to communicate within and at large, participate in peer communities and engage substantively;
  • Knowledge of Sustainable Development Goals and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical solutions;
  • Knowledge of gender issues and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical solutions, including analysis of projects form a gender perspective.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Master's degree in social sciences, gender/women’s studies, international development, development economics, public sector reform, or related field;
  • Bachelor's degree in above areas, or;
  • Programme/Project Management degree or certification would be an advantage.
  • Master’s degree with minimum 2 years of progressively responsible relevant experience at the national or international level in design, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of complex development projects;
  • Bachelor’s degree with minimum 4 years of progressively responsible relevant experience at the national or international level in above areas;
  • Demonstrated substantive work expertise in poverty reduction, social protection, social policy and programming, development economics, gender equality and women’s empowerment, public service delivery, public sector reform or a closely related area is required; 
  • Understanding of poverty dynamics, social protection principles and their application to current national economic and development issues; 
  • Demonstrated knowledge of Results-Based Management;
  • Technical experience in gender equality/empowerment of women is strongly desirable;
  • Experience in human-centered design in rethinking and redesigning public services is an advantage; 
  • Excellent inter-personal communication skills;
  • Strong customer-service skills with demonstrated ability to effectively interact with technical and non-technical end users in a pleasant, cooperative, and helpful manner;
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc) and advance knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages, experience in handling of web-based management systems and ERP financials, preferably PeopleSoft; 
  • Good knowledge in using Office 365 productivity tools is an advantage; 
  • Experience working in the field of knowledge management is an asset;
  • Experience working in the UN System or with Government is an asset;
  • Experience in leading/managing others is an asset;
  • Proven experience in project progress report writing. 
Language Requirements:
  • Fluency in English and Samoan both written and spoken;
  • Knowledge of the national languages of Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau is an advantage.
  • This vacancy is open to Samoan nationals only;
  • Women candidates are encouraged to apply. 


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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