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Strategic Policy Unit Team Leader

Damascus (Syria)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Damascus (Syria)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2021-09-23

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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 priorities of UNDP Syria are to enhance the resilience and socio-economic stabilization of individuals and communities through restoring the disrupted livelihoods of the affected communities; restoring, rehabilitating and maintaining sustainable basic services and infrastructures; and strengthening the social cohesion of communities to enable them to lead autonomous local recovery processes. UNDP Syria also leads the Early Recovery and Livelihoods Sector of the Syria Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP).

To effectively lead support to local resilience and early recovery processes at a time of rapidly deteriorating socio-economic conditions, UNDP Syria is strengthening its strategic planning and policy capacity, by pooling together research, assessment and innovation capacities in the Office. By consolidating such capacities, UNDP Syria seeks to more effectively support the formulation of strategies and policies by Senior Management, Portfolio Managers and Area Managers. To this end, a Strategic Planning and Policy Unit has been established, which comprises UNDP Syria’s Context Sensitivity Team, an Economic Research and Assessment Team and which draws from the innovation capacities of the Accelerator Lab. The Unit’s key function is to lead and coordinate UNDP Syria’s knowledge management, research, assessment and innovation efforts to support UNDP programmes and the Early Recovery and Livelihoods Sector in designing high-impact, context-sensitive interventions able to advance sustainable, community-led early recovery processes at the local level.

Under the direct supervision of the Deputy Resident Representative, and the overall guidance of the Resident Representative, the Strategic Planning and Policy Unit Team Leader will be responsible for coordinating research, analysis, knowledge management and innovation efforts across the CO. Based on this research and analysis, s/he will advise senior management on the formulation of early recovery strategies and policies, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Country Office’s Country Programme Document. With the support of the Senior Context Sensitivity Advisor and the Economics Analystt, s/he will monitor key country developments and trends impacting programming, undertake in-depth analysis and research, produce key briefings and reports and contribute to UNDP’s dialogue with partners and stakeholders. 

The Team Leader will work in close collaboration with Programme, Operations, Area Offices, other CO units, and staff in the regional hub in Amman as well as the Global Policy Network (GPN) of UNDP in addition to other UN Agencies and should contribute to inter-agency analysis and work on early recovery, climate change adaptation and mitigation, social cohesion, gender mainstreaming, the SDGs and other relevant topics.


Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of key functions:

  • Facilitate and coordinate knowledge building and sharing on integrated, context sensitive early recovery;
  • Advice UNDP Senior Management, Portfolio Managers and Area Managers on the formulation of context- and gender-sensitive integrated early recovery strategies at the Country and Area Office level to maximize the impact of UNDP context sensitive early recovery interventions;
  • Build and foster strategic partnerships around integrated, context-sensitive early recovery;
  • Advocacy and promotion of UNDP’s mandate and mission.

Facilitation of knowledge building and sharing focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Set strategic priorities for research and analysis for the CO; determine early recovery topics to analyse and information gaps. Develop analysis frameworks, templates and instructions to guide analyses. Coordinate and supervise the development of analysis generated by SPPU.
  • Strengthen knowledge management within the CO, ensuring that knowledge products generated by SPPU, Programmes and Area Offices are adequately utilized to inform strategies, policies and programmes, both at the CO level and at the ERLS and UNCT level.
  • Support the design of integrated early recovery assessment tools that consider the needs and resources of communities to facilitate the development of integrated, area-based early recovery strategies.
  • Streamline methodologies for needs and resource assessments across the Area Offices.
  • Facilitate training and capacity building support for UNDP staff on quality early recovery data collection and analysis for the formulation of integrated, area-based early recovery strategies.

Provides strategic advice and support to UNDP Senior Management, Programmes and Area Offices focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Developing multi-sector, cross-pillar, integrated early recovery strategies at Country and Area Office level.
  • Provision of top-quality analysis and substantive inputs to Country Office strategic documents, including but not limited to the Strategic Framework, the Country Programme Document, the Annual Workplan, etc.
  • Provision of authoritative advice on possible areas for UNDP support and strengthening/adjustment of on-going programmes and projects to ensure that UNDP interventions are context- and gender-sensitive, integrated, sustainable and build the foundation for inclusive local economic recovery and resilience.
  • Formulation and facilitation of UNDP inputs and CO support to UNCT/ HCT early recovery strategies, needs assessments, policy documents, etc.

Participates in the building and fostering strategic partnerships focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Development of partnerships with the UN Agencies, counterparts, bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors, private sector, civil society on strategic goals of UNDP, country needs and donors’ priorities.
  • Production of periodic updates and briefs on country development situation for stakeholders, CO and HQ.
  • Active membership and leadership within UNDP global communities of practice and Country-level interagency working groups on poverty, social cohesion, SDGs, economics, etc.

Advocacy and promotion of awareness of UNDP’s mandate and mission focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Policy advocacy for the Sustainable Development Goals, and leaving no one behind by participating in relevant forums, conferences and trainings.
  • Production of high-quality research papers for UNDP presentation at international workshops and conferences.
  • Support to monitoring progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.




  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work.


  • Ability to persuade others to follow.

People Management:

  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction.


  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform.


  • Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement.


Economic Recovery:

  • Knowledge of Economic Recovery concepts and the ability to apply to strategic and practical situations.


Data and Statistics:

  • Knowledge of data and statistics analysis for 2030 Agenda and the ability to apply to strategic and practical situations.


  • Knowledge of the SDGs and the ability to apply to strategic and practical situations.

Development Planning:

  • Ability to develop business and planning processes at the national and local level and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.

Strategic thinking/Visioning:

  • Ability to analyse the organization’s value proposition and shape visionary/long term plans. Use insight to identify target audiences and partners and to inform communication objectives, messages and solutions.

Collaboration and Partnership:

  • Ability to develop, maintain, and strengthen partnerships with others inside (Programmes/projects) or outside the organization who can provide information, assistance, and support. Sets overall direction for the formation and management of strategic relationships contributing to the overall positioning of UNDP.


Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced (Masters) degree in development studies, economics, sociology, anthropology, or a related social science is required.
  • A PhD in development or a related field is desirable.


  • 7 years of relevant experience working in development at the international level, including 3 years in crisis countries.
  • Extensive experience in research and policy-level analysis.
  • Some experience in design, monitoring and evaluation of early recovery or development projects.
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages. Experience in handling of web-based management systems and advanced programmes for statistical analysis of data is an asset.

Language Requirements:

  • Excellent Proficiency in written and spoken English. Knowledge of Arabic is as 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.

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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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