Special Assistant to the Director, OHR/BoM

Application Deadline :21-Jan-13
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-4
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :1 year


The Special Assistant acts as the executive coordinator to the Director of OHR and is chiefly responsible for the effective management of the Directorate.  The Special Assistant coordinates the substantive flow of information to and from the Directorate, optimizing the Director’s interventions with external and internal management and individual staff.  Amplifying the People Capability Strategy, the Special Assistant identifies crosscutting priorities, activities and decisions within OHR and UNDP requiring action by the Director.  The Special Assistant acts with authoritative knowledge on substantive HR issues, the highest degree of professional tact and personal discretion and always with a view to ensuring the Director’s work is prepared thoroughly and coordinated seamlessly across the Division and organization.
Research and advice on strategic and policy matters that are predominantly substantive and sensitive in nature.
Liaise, coordinate, analyse, and integrate substantive input from the various OHR units into the work of the Directorate and build partnerships within the organisation.
Manage the administrative and management functions of the Directorate.
Works in close collaboration with OHR, the BoM Directorate and the Executive Office to ensure the implementation of managerial decisions.

Duties and Responsibilities

Strategy, Policy Advice, and Support to the Director of OHR

  • Provides authoritative and strategic advice on a range of issues related to the Director of OHR’s priorities in the preparation, coordination, and development of documentation (including speeches) for the EG, OPG, and other corporate meetings and inter-agency presentations;
  • Serves as primary organizer of key task force or special meetings. Drafts goals and objectives for ad hoc committees and task forces proposed by the Director.
  • Coordinates and prepares crosscutting HR responses to strategy, policy and procedural questions; and issues from senior management and donor groups as required.
  • Optimizes the contribution of the Director in inter-agency work (UNDG, HLCM and the HR Network) by ensuring that all preparations required from across OHR are substantively appropriate and coordinated in a timely manner.
  • Tracks, monitors and follows-up on the progress of various initiatives, projects, action items, strategies.
  • Advises and assists the Director in developing and implementing the People Capability Strategy to strengthen the strategic focus and the overall cohesiveness of UNDP’s HR management.
  • Identifies key issues for discussion and develops the agenda for regular senior management meetings, chaired by the Director.
  • Conducts research, substantive review and critical analysis of information and documents for the Director.
  • Supports the planning of annual or ad hoc staff retreats.
  • Briefs the Director on sensitive issues and provides advice and guidance on issues for the Office’s decision to enable the Director to take fact-based, well-informed decisions.
  • Supports the Director in implementing a vision for the Office and ensuring that OHR delivers on its commitments, following up pending issues with Senior Managers for response/decision.

Knowledge Management/Partnerships

  • Keeps abreast of major events globally which are of interest and relevance to the Office of Human Resources and advises the Director accordingly.
  • Identifies where critical and intersecting HR issues within the Office occur in the achievement of the PCS, compiling the persuasive analysis and documentation that expands awareness of these issues among managers, while pointing toward innovative business solutions.
  • In coordination with the senior managers of OHR, ensures that the intent of the PCS and guidance provided by the Director are included in the conduct of HR management activities.
  • Prepares speech outlines, concept papers, aide memoires, memoranda and other substantive documents of a broad and complex nature.
  • Drafts correspondence as requested by the Director.
  • Monitors, analyses and reports on progress/developments of relevant international forums pertaining to matters of interest to the Director.
  • Prepares and coordinates succinct HR management reports and other documents for the Assistant Administrator of BoM, the Executive Team and the Executive Board; compiles and summarizes substantive documentation on the overall management of Human Resources in the organisation drawing attention to emerging issues and proposing possible recommendations; partners with relevant HR Clusters/Groups on reporting contents that effectively and consistently carry the HR message.  
  • Facilitates interoffice communications between the Director, the Deputy Director and OHR staff. Provides liaison and specific inputs for issues that should be brought to the attention of the Director or Deputy Director. Identifies and addresses communication gaps, if any, ensuring information flow within the Bureau.
  • Serves as the key interlocutor for the Director with the offices of high-level officials in the UN System and other external partners.
  • Provides inputs to the OHR Integrated Work Plan (IWP);
  • Serves as the focal point for the assigned topics / areas;
  • Participates in knowledge management and practice networks.

Representational Activities

  • Advocates for the PCS and its practical integration within the working process and documentation of the EG, OPG, and other corporate meetings.
  • Represents HR senior management, as required, in inter-agency forums as well as internal UNDP meetings to establish agreements within pre-determined guidelines.

Special Projects

  • In liaison with the Deputy Director/Senior Managers of OHR, has responsibility for the design, coordination, implementation, and reporting on special projects with an emphasis on ‘whole office’ impact.
  • 5. Management Functions
  • Is accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the management of the Directorate’s resources including:
  • People Management through recruitment, performance and career management of staff to motivate and promote organizational excellence.
  • Resource Management by providing strategic and data inputs into OHR’s budget preparation exercises.


Core competencies:

  • Promoting ethics and integrity / Creating organizational precedents.
  • Building support and political acumen.
  • Building staff competence; creating an environment of creativity and innovation.
  • Building and promoting effective teams.
  • Creating and promoting enabling environment for open communication.
  • Creating an emotionally intelligent organization.

Functional competencies:

Building Strategic Partnerships
Identifying and building partnerships

  • Displays initiative, sets challenging outputs for him/herself and willingly accepts new work assignments
  • Effectively networks with partners seizing opportunities to build strategic alliances relevant to UNDP’s mandate and strategic agenda
  • Takes responsibility for achieving agreed outputs within set deadlines and strives until successful outputs are achieved

Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing
Developing tools and mechanisms

  • Makes the case for innovative ideas documenting successes and building them into the design of new approaches
  • Identifies new approaches and strategies that promote the use of tools and mechanisms
  • Develops and/or participates in the development of tools and mechanisms, including identifying new approaches to promote individual and organizational  learning and knowledge sharing using formal and informal methodologies

Job Knowledge / Technical Expertise
In-depth knowledge of the subject-matter

  • Understands more advanced aspects of HR disciplines as well as the fundamental concepts of related disciplines
  • Continues to seek new and improved methods and systems for accomplishing the work of the unit
  • Keeps abreast of new developments in area of professional discipline and job knowledge and seeks to develop him/herself professionally
  • Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments

Promoting Organizational Change and Development
Assisting the individuals to cope with change

  • Performs appropriate work analysis and assists in redesign to establish clear standards for implementation

Strategic Alignment of Management Practice
Adapting best practice and building capacity

  • Adapts best management practices to the requirements of the organization and/or organizational units to facilitate the achievement of strategic objectives
  • Knows the objectives and outputs of organizational units and their human resource, financial and technological capacities and links them to appropriate  management policies and services
  • Forms partnerships with managers and staff providing advice and solutions that integrate various management areas to enable them to meet their needs

Client Orientation
Contributing to positive outcomes for the client

  • Anticipates client needs
  • Demonstrates understanding of client’s perspective
  • Keeps the client informed of problems or delays in the provision of services
  • Uses discretion and flexibility in interpreting rules in order to meet client needs and achieve organizational goals more effectively

Promoting Accountability and Results-based Management
Input to the development of standards and policies

  • Provides inputs to the development of organizational standards for accountability and results-based management

Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced University degree in Business or Public Administration, Human Resources Management, Law, Economics, International Relations or Organizational Development is required.


  • At least 7 years progressively responsible professional experience in Human Resource Management or must have held similar positions in other international organizations.

Language requirements:

  • Fluency in English with proficiency in a second UNDP working language.

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