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Policy Experimentation Analyst

Bangkok (Thailand)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Bangkok (Thailand)
  • Grade: SB-4 (SC8/SC9), Service Contract, Local Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Legal - Broad
    • Innovations for Sustainable Development
    • Scientist and Researcher
  • Closing Date: 2020-12-01

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Background

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

The UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021 embraces the complexity of development and commits the organization to help countries to find faster, more durable solutions to achieve Agenda 2030. Important development trends like urbanization, climate change, and rising inequalities pose significant challenges to achieve the 2030 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

UNDP has begun incubating several strategic initiatives aimed at ensuring UNDP is ‘fit for purpose’ to deliver a new generation of solutions in line with the challenges the world faces. One such key strategic initiative is the Country Accelerator Lab Network. The initiative is a recognition that increasingly interrelated development challenges require going beyond “business as usual” and single point, linear and silver bullet responses in development. Instead, they call for interdisciplinary approaches and non-linear solutions that crowd in the collective efforts of a variety of partners and tap into local insights and the knowledge of people closest to the problem and the solutions.

The initiative is also a recognition and investment in the emerging momentum among a growing number of UNDP Country Offices to adopt disruptive, cutting edge methodologies with contextual, country-based insights and expertise to accelerate impact and progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals.

As an upper-middle-income country, Thailand has advanced far beyond having many of the more basic development challenges affecting other nations. However, several challenges remain.  Even in areas where Thailand has advanced and even become a model for other countries, improvements are possible. Those challenges are no longer best solved by conventional approaches and innovation is better suited.

Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic consequences highlight the irrelevance of traditional ways of formulating public policies and delivering public services that are not sufficiently agile, efficient and effective to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

In Thailand, for many years UNDP has been investing in exploring innovation by providing seed-funding to initiatives with the belief that innovation happens through practical explorations of new ways to address old development problems.

To accelerate innovation in public policy and services, UNDP and the Royal Thai Government through the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) see an opportunity to accelerate innovation for policies and public services in Thailand and have entered in an agreement to establish a policy innovation platform “Thailand Policy Lab”  or “TPLab” to connect and build capacities of various stakeholders in Thailand including government; academic; private sector; and citizen, to accelerate the impact of innovation in public policy and services in Thailand, and exchange knowledge and experience with other countries in the Asia Pacific region and beyond. 

The Thailand Policy Lab (TPLab) will provide 3 core capacities to partners in Thailand as follow:

a. Exploration

  • Exploring the strategic risks under uncertainties, horizon scanning in Thailand and to identify under-the-radar trends and outliers and spot future trends that are relevant for policy formulation and public service development.

b. Portfolio Options & Experiment

  • Articulating the possible strategic options against the strategic risks
  • Designing and running multiple policy experiments to build Portfolio Options & Experimentation for accelerating impact in selected priority areas
  • Experimenting evaluation (e.g. RCT, real-time monitoring, big data, lean impact measurement)

c. Learning 

  • Accelerated learning, capacity building, and regional/global positioning for Thailand (e.g. On-the-job learning opportunities for government officials at different levels (line ministry level, local government, and public administration)

To implement various initiatives under the TPLab, UNDP is looking for a Policy Experimentation Analyst. He/She will work closely with government agencies, civil society organizations, academia, NGOs, and citizen and will report directly to Head of TPLab. He/she will work closely with the team of UNDP, operation teams in Thailand and NESDC.

Duties and Responsibilities

1. Experiment portfolio design

  • Work with UNDP and partners to lead mapping the context and nature of development challenges, and current policy in Thailand with a particular focus on understanding systemic issues beyond traditional silos and classifications and identifying drivers of change, and levers for policy intervention at both national and local levels.
  • Mapping systems and assets, identifying levers and logic for policy intervention at both national and local levels, building hypotheses of change that are a fit to the system-level challenges identified.

2. Management of policy prototype experiments for sustainable development challenges

  • Lead the design of policy experiments across to validate the hypotheses and test the effectiveness of identified policy prototypes, including (but not limited to) defining variables, formulating hypotheses, and coordinating experimental protocols.
  • Develop a framework to capture the learning from the policy experiments in such a way that it favours critical reflection and rapid adaptation over static reporting.
  • Provide technical guidance for policy experiment design, roll-out and validation based on the policy experiment conditions, resources available, and requirements.
  • Proactively manage risks within policy experiments including those related to ethics and privacy.
  • Examine the results from the testing of policy prototypes and translate them into recommendation on next steps and implications for improvement, spin-offs and scaling-up where warranted.

3. Undertake cultural and behavioral analyses for the Thailand Policy Lab portfolio of experiments

  • Advise the TPLab’s policy experiment portfolio to ensure experiments are designed based on people’s knowledge, behaviors, and peer to peer methods of managing and diffusing knowledge about sustainable development issues.
  • Ensure ethics framework is implemented for TPLab’s portfolio of policy experiments.
  • Design methods to test accelerator ideas for their applicability and diffusion.
  • Integrate cultural norms, peer to peer methods and behavioral insights into technology-based experiment.
  • Convene a broad range of new partners with the TPLab including artists, community organizers and emergent movements to explore areas for collaboration on sustainable development.

4. Working out loud

  • Proactively use blog posts and social media to share findings from the portfolio implementation.
  • Help UNDP and NESDC disseminate insights from policy experiments via social media platforms as a way to regularly reflect and engage with external audiences.
  • Liaise with UNDP’s network and share learnings and insights from the country-specific experience.
  • Jointly with the UNDP and NESDC, support TPLab’s partners to develop an emerging pipeline of new initiatives, support other activities related to the design and operation of the TPLab.
  • Design and deliver engaging and meaningful methods for reflection on learning from experiments.
  • Lead other activities related to the design and operations of the TPLab.

5. Organizational learning, working out loud and grafting experimentation onto the core business of UNDP and NESDC

  • Working with clients to encourage reflection and capturing of insights from experiments, as they related to the overall portfolio logic.
  • Provide technical consultation and training for NESDC, UNDP and partners through various phases including asset mapping, developing a strategic portfolio logic, experiment design, prototype testing, and evaluation.

Competencies

Core

 

Innovation

Ability to make new and useful ideas work

Level 4: Adept with complex concepts and challenges convention purposefully

 

  • Critically assesses established methods
  • Contributes to prototyping, piloting, and evaluating lessons / feedback

Leadership

Ability to persuade others to follow

Level 4: Generates commitment, excitement and excellence in others

 

  • Creates new opportunities for the team, not just self to learn and take on new responsibilities
  • Actively shares knowledge

People Management

Ability to improve performance and satisfaction

Level 4: Models independent thinking and action

 

  • Demonstrates behaviors of teamwork, collaboration, knowledge sharing, maintaining relationships

Communication

Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform

Level 4: Synthesizes information to communicate independent analysis

 

  • Communicates ideas and positions with command and confidence
  • Finds common ground to solve problems

Delivery

Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement

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

 

  • Embraces complex challenges and opportunities for getting work done
  • Ability to embrace challenges with minimal supervision
  • Works to develop organizational awareness of UNDP’s approach to client service delivery and integrity and accountability
  •  

Technical/Functional

 

Job Knowledge and Technical Expertise

In-depth knowledge of the subject matter

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

Knowledge Management

Ability to capture, develop, share and effectively use information and knowledge

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

 

Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Master’s degree in Economics, Business Administration, Public Administration, International Development, Social Sciences, or related disciplines.
  • Or Bachelor’s degree with two additional years of relevant experience.

Experience:

  • Minimum 2 years (with Bachelor’s) or up to 2 years (with Master’s) of increasing responsibility in public sector, private sector, or international organizations - ideally with experience in public policy process, innovative management approaches, public and private sector innovation strategies, corporate strategies or development financing.
  • Proven experience in working with governments or international organizations on innovation.
  • Solid experience in leading, supervising and motivating multinational staff and office management.
  • Demonstrated experience in innovative approached in development work.
  • Knowledge of UNDP or the UN System is desirable.
  • Extensive experience of coordinating international and multi-sector stakeholders including private, public and the civil sectors partners.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in written and spoken English and Thai.

Disclaimer

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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