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Spotlight Initiative Country Programme Coordinator


  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Bishkek
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
    • Gender-based violence
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date:
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.
Job Purpose and Organizational Context

The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, the European Union and the United Nations have launched the Spotlight Initiative (SI), a multi-year programme aimed at addressing all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG), and harmful practices. The Spotlight Initiative (SI) aims to support transformative change on the ground to end VAWG, in numerous countries globally, including the Kyrgyz Republic. The initiative comes with the highest level of commitment globally and will be governed by the UN Deputy Secretary General and the Vice President of the EU Commission.

The SI in the Kyrgyz Republic will apply a comprehensive set of approaches based on social innovation, human rights, multi-sectoral inclusive response and survivor-centered principles to the planning, coordination, implementation and monitoring of interventions across the SI’s six outcome areas. Particular emphasis will be placed on integrating the voices and experiences and solutions of women and girls who face multiple forms of discrimination, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) principle of ‘leaving no one behind’. The SI in the Kyrgyz Republic has sought to reflect on current or common place models of ‘conducting business’ in order to propose innovative alternatives aligned with commitments to gender transformative and community-led approaches guided by adaptive leadership and a joint-One UN systems management approach. 

Under the overall guidance and supervision of the UN Resident Coordinator (UN RC) and in collaboration with the Recipient UN Organizations (RUNOs), the Programme Coordinator will hold overall responsibility for operational guidance and coordination, strategic engagement with the Government counterparts, high-level programme oversight and monitoring, and quality assurance of the programme components, in coordination with the Civil Society National Reference Group (CS-NRG) and the Country Program National Steering Committee (CP-NSC), as well as other programme stakeholders. The Programme Coordinator will work under the overall authority, guidance and supervision of the UN Resident Coordinator and in close collaboration with the assigned representatives of the five implementing UN agencies of the Spotlight Initiative in the Kyrgyz Republic UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women and UNODC. The Programme Coordinator will report to UN Resident Coordinator, lead the Programme Coordination Unit - with support from the RCO - and lead the UN implementation team of Recipient United Nations Organizations (RUNOs) and Associated Agencies (IOM, WHO, OHCHR).

Located within the RCO and fully recognizing the pillar lead roles and technical expertise of all RUNOs, the Programme Coordinator will be responsible for managing technical teams under and across each of the six pillars. S/he will work to ensure an effective and transparent management of the SI activities aligned with the guidance from the CP-NSC and in close coordination with Spotlight’s Technical Coherence Specialist based at UN Women. The Programme Coordinator will supervise the SI Core Function Staff who make up the Spotlight Programme Coordination Unit (M&E Specialist, Technical Coherence Specialist, and Communications Specialist). Because these positions sit in different RUNOs, the Programme Coordinator will need to coordinate and communicate closely with head of agencies. The Programme Coordinator will also supervise a number of consultants at various levels, ensuring a functional team that can deliver high-quality results in a timely fashion.

The Programme Coordinator is part of a team leading an integrated approach to eliminating VAWG. This position is a core function on the SI Kyrgyz Republic team and as such, Programme Coordinator a member of the SI’s Programme Coordination Unit working under a One UN frame and mindset without agency affiliation irrespective of where they are hosted. All SI Kyrgyz Republic email and communication will be in the context of One UN. The Programme Coordination Unit, under the leadership of the UN Resident Coordinator, works closely with the CP-NSC, the CS-NRG, all RUNOs, implementing partners and other stakeholders.

In collaboration with RUNOs, the Programme Coordinator will set up and manage transparent and accountable systems, business processes, and workflow arrangement to ensure effective delivery of overall UN accountability for programme delivery of its components, including support to local accountability and regular liaison with the global Secretariat of the Spotlight Initiative and the EU.

The Programme Coordinator will provide strategic guidance to and oversight of the technical teams for the six pillars of the SI Country Programme, as well as ensure effective coordination with the RCO, RUNOs, the CS-NRG, and the CP-NSC which includes the EU and government stakeholders.

Duties and Responsibilities
1. Coordinate programme implementation:
  • Ensure the programme is implemented in compliance with the approved country programme document and in collaboration with СS-NRG, RUNOs, Implementing Partners and the CP-NSC, as well as United Nations Development Assistance Framework 2018-2022 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
  • With relevant colleagues, develop an implementation strategy and the joint work plans for each of the six pillars of the SI Country Programme, integrating all RUNOs, national and local partners and other partners;
  • Supervise, mentor and provide strategic advice to members of the Programme Coordination Unit: Spotlight M&E Specialist (based at RCO), Spotlight Technical Coherence Specialist (based at UN Women) and Spotlight Communications Officer (based at UNICEF) to ensure coherent implementation of the programme. Supervision includes providing oversight/guidance on their workflow prioritization and contributing to their annual performance assessments;
  • Facilitate coordinated negotiation of agreements and workplans with implementing partners in accordance with the objectives of the SI;
  • Oversee the implementation of the joint work plans, provide strategic support to achieve programme outcomes, and consolidate budgets and reports;
  • Together with the Technical Coherence Specialist, convene technical meetings of the pillar leads to ensure integrated and coherent delivery on the six pillars of the SI;
  • Coordinate the convening of relevant technical committees and stakeholder groups (e.g. CS-NRG, Government Technical Working Group on the Spotlight Initiative); and,
  • Lead the Programme Coordination Unit to ensure effective cooperation and coordination between components of the programme, timely delivery and quality implementation, to avoid duplication/overlap in implementation with or programmes working on similar issues in the Kyrgyz Republic, and to coordinate programme reporting (narrative and financial), M&E and communications.
2. Coordinate reporting: 
  • Oversee preparation of consolidated analytical results-based progress reports based on submissions from RUNOs within the timetable specified by the SI Secretariat;
  • In collaboration with the CP-NSC, prepare strategic materials, briefs and/or position papers on emerging results and outcomes of the SI; and,
  • Serve as the main contact for internal communications and reporting on the SI with key stakeholders including the CP-NSC, CS-NRG, the European Union Delegation in the Kyrgyz Republic and implementing partners in coordination with Spotlight Initiative Secretariat.
3. Ensure effective administration of funds and coordinate external audit:
  • Ensure the strategic direction for financial management of the SI;
  • Ensure the tracking of funds approved by the CP-NSC and their proper administration, including for the funds under RCO;
  • Monitor and track project approvals, budget records, disbursements and statements of expenditure on an ongoing basis;
  • Coordinate timely preparation and conduct for the internal and external audits of the SI; and
  • Coordinate timely preparations and conduct for the independent evaluation of the SI Country Programme.

4. Act as liaison to Programme stakeholders:

  • Serve as the focal point to the global SI Secretariat;
  • Serve as the main contact for internal United Nations Country Team communications and reporting on the SI Kyrgyz Republic with non-UN key stakeholders including the CP-NSC, CS-NRG, the European Union Delegation and implementing partners;
  • Under the leadership of UN RC, act as the technical level liaison between the Spotlight UN country team and the CS-NRG, the Government, the EU and other stakeholders (CP-NSC), including sharing information on the SI Kyrgyz Republic Country Programme with all stakeholders in a timely manner, and organisation of meetings with stakeholders:
  • Provide periodic summary reports to the CP-NSC on the overall progress of the SI Kyrgyz Republic,
  • Ensure consistency between programme activities, the country programme document and decisions by the CP-NSC,
  • Provide periodic summary reports to the CP-NSC on the overall progress of the SI Kyrgyz Republic;
  • Mobilize and interact with RUNOs, associated UN agencies, the EU Delegation in the Kyrgyz Republic, the Government and other relevant entities to appropriately respond to any needs occurring within the SI.

5. Provide secretarial support to the Programme:

  • Provide periodic updates and briefings to the UN RC and the Spotlight UN country team;
  • Lead and coordinate the Spotlight UN country team (RUNO and associated UN agencies’ staff engaged in the implementation of Programme activities); and
  • Provide secretarial support for the CP-NSC, including organisation of its meetings, keeping minutes of meetings, coordinating progress and other reports and briefs to be presented at Committee’s meetings.

6. Engage in strategic development of the Spotlight Initiative:

  • Use networks to promote the SI Kyrgyz Republic with partner organizations, as well as other countries implementing SI programmes in the region;
  • Actively promote regional exchanges of lessons learned and experiences on ending violence against women and girls within Central Asia;
  • Establish and maintain good working relations with relevant institutional and organizational partners; and
  • Support the UN RC to develop a joint resource mobilization and sustainability strategy.

7. Facilitate knowledge management:

  • Establish a mechanism for knowledge sharing by the RUNOs and identify and articulate lessons learnt on the operations of the SI Kyrgyz Republic through such mechanisms;
  • Ensure wide capture and dissemination of programme achievements, lessons learned and other knowledge-management related SI initiatives;
  • Lead the formulation of guidelines and procedures that would further improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the SI Kyrgyz Republic implementation; and
  • Encourage innovative methodologies by RUNOs and support sharing of good practices across the programme.
Core behavioral competencies
  • Achieve Results - LEVEL 2: Scale up solutions and simplifies processes, balances speed and accuracy in doing work
  • Think Innovatively- LEVEL 2: Offer new ideas/open to new approaches, demonstrate systemic/integrated thinking
  • Learn Continuously- LEVEL 2: Go outside comfort zone, learn from others and support their learning
  • Adapt with Agility- LEVEL 2: Adapt processes/approaches to new situations, involve others in change process
  • Act with Determination- LEVEL 2: Able to persevere and deal with multiple sources of pressure simultaneously
  • Engage and Partner-LEVEL 2: Is facilitator/integrator, bring people together, build/maintain coalitions/partnerships
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion-LEVEL 2: Facilitate conversations to bridge differences, considers in decision making

People Management competencies

UNDP People Management Competencies can be found in the dedicated site.

Cross-functional competencies

Business Direction & Strategy: Effective Decision Making

  • Ability to take decisions in a timely and efficient manner in line with one’s authority, area of expertise and resources

Business Direction & Strategy: Business Acumen

  • Ability to understand and deal with a business situation in a manner that is likely to lead to a good outcome
  • Knowledge and understanding of the operational frameworks in the organization and ability to make good judgments and quick decisions within such frameworks

Business Development: Knowledge Generation

  • Ability to research and turn information into useful knowledge, relevant for content, or responsive to a stated need

Business Management: Results-based Management

  • Ability to manage programmes and projects with a focus at improved performance and demonstrable results

Business Management: Project Management

  • Ability to plan, organize, prioritize and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals

Business Management: Partnerships Management

  • Ability to build and maintain partnerships with wide networks of stakeholders, Governments, civil society and private sector partners, experts and others in line with UN/UNDP strategy and policies

Business Management: Communication

  • Ability to communicate in a clear, concise and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience
  • Ability to manage communications internally and externally, through media, social media and other appropriate channels
Required Skills and Experience
  • Master’s degree or equivalent degree in development studies, international relations, law, public health, social science, gender studies or another related field
  • A relevant Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of Master’s degree.
  • Gender certification will be an asset


  • Minimum 5 years (with Master’s degree) or 7 years (with Bachelors’ degree) of progressive experience in managing or coordinating complex multi-stakeholder, multi-year programmes.
  • Understanding of gender equality and women’s human rights.
  • Experience working with and building partnerships with a range of partners such as governments, donors, international organizations and civil society organizations.
  • Proven ability to draft, edit and produce written results-focused analytical and progress reports in English.
  • Excellent communication and negotiation skills.
  • Experience in gender and sexual and gender-based violence is an asset.
  • Relevant experience in programme development and management in a UN system agency or a development organization an asset.
  • Experience with EU programme procedures and processes and/or other donor-funded projects is an advantage

Language requirements:

  • Fluency in English and Russian is required.
  • Fluency in Kyrgyz would be an asset.
Important Notice
Please note that continuance of appointment beyond the initial 12 months is contingent upon the successful completion of a probationary period.
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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