Regional UNDAF Specialist

Location : Panama City, PANAMA
Application Deadline :08-Feb-13 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :TA International
Post Level :P-3
Languages Required :
English   Spanish  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :364 days


The Regional UNDG Team for Latin American and the Caribbean (UNDG LAC) aims to enhance UN System-wide coherence at the regional level and support UN Country Teams at the country level in order to deliver as one and achieve sustainable human development for all.  The UNDG LAC counts a total of 20 UN agencies/entities as regular members: ECLAC (the Regional Commission), FAO, ILO, OCHA, OHCHR, PAHO/WHO, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNEP, UNFPA, UN-HABITAT, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIDO, UNISDR, UNESCO, UN WOMEN, UNODC, UNOPS, and WFP.
As the regional representatives of the Global UN Development Group, the UNDG LAC addresses key issues together, including: support for UN Country Teams in strategic programming, common UN development assistance frameworks (UNDAF), and joint programmes; inter-agency support for crisis and emergency prevention and response; RC and UNCT appraisal and accountability; and problem-solving and troubleshooting in cases of internal situations or socio-political tensions in countries in the region. Specific focus is concentrated on the issue of inequality and excluded and/or vulnerable group (e.g. indigenous, afro-descendant, women, youth, and children), including at sub-national level in middle-income countries, and models for UN service-delivery in such contexts; environmental degradation and climate change; and sub-regional and cross-border issues.
The workload in the UNDG LAC Secretariat has increased over the past couple of years due to a) the introduction of the UNDG Strategic Priorities 2013-12; b) a transfer of responsibilities from headquarters to the regional level, and c) a significant number of UNDAF rollout countries (10 in 2010; 4 in 2011; and 3 in 2012) A significant UNDAF workload is foreseen in the coming years. In 2013 a total of seven countries will roll out; three countries will start their UNDAF preparations in 2014, and nine more in 2015.

A key responsibility of the UNDG LAC is to oversee, manage and contribute UNDAF processes in the region through the provision of expertise and guidance in different stages of the UNDAF formulation, support to training events, and consolidation and dissemination of country experiences. In addition to supporting the 3 roll-out countries in 2012 and 7 in 2013, the UNDG LAC Secretariat is expected to support the facilitation and provide technical expertise to Strategic Planning Retreats (SPR) of UN Country Teams in UNDAF roll-out countries; and regional UNDAF trainings for UNCTs.
The Peer Support Group (PSG) is a cadre of regionally based technical experts that are trained and nominated by the Regional Directors to support UNDAF processes. The PSG has been chaired by UNICEF and UNDP in the past, but it has subsequently not been feasible to fill the Chairmanship position by a volunteer agency. The UNDG LAC has therefore agreed that the chairing and coordination of the PSG be carried out by the UNDG LAC Secretariat and to establish the present position to support this additional responsibility and, to a lesser extent, other tasks of the Secretariat, such as knowledge management and work plan implementation.

Duties and Responsibilities

Hosted by the UNDP Regional Center in Panama (RC-LAC) the Regional UNDAF Specialist will report to the Regional Coordination Specialist. Additionally, day to day oversight and guidance will be provided by the RSC-LAC Director and the UNDG LAC Secretariat.

The UNDAF Regional Specialist will work closely with UNCT, UNCT Coordination Officers in the Region, as well as the technical focal points of the UNDG LAC members, and be responsible for the provision of technical expertise and methodological assistance to LAC UNDP Country offices, UNCTs and other actors on the UNDAF process.
Key responsibilities will include:
  • Leads and coordinates the UNDAF support on behalf of the UNDG LAC Secretariat, and reports periodically to the Regional Directors on the status of support, and related capacity needs.
  • Coordinates and support the Peer Support Group (PSG) during the UNDAF process in the region, focusing on the achievement of the following results:
  • Chairing of the Peer Support Group carried out, including convening, leading and facilitating of meetings
  • Assessment, evaluation and calibration of PSG capacities to ensure high quality advice to RC/UNCTs in LAC carried out on an ongoing basis.
  • Guidance to Resident Coordinators and Coordination Officers at country level on the UNDAF programming principles, the process stages and steps provided.
  • Technical expertise between RC Offices and Peer Support Group (PSG) members identified, and distribution of support tasks in consultation with the agencies facilitated.  

Accountable for providing technical and methodological advice on UNDAF related issues focusing on the achievement of the following results:

  • UNDG LAC Support Strategy to UNDAF roll-out countries developed and successfully implemented.
  • UNDAF roll-out countries requests supported with timely and quality advice, strategic guidance and technical knowledge; communication flow related to the preparation of the CCA and UNDAF between RCOs and PSG members, as well as Regional Directors, DOCO, and UNSSC coordinated. 
  • Involvement of the Regional Directors (acting as mentors) in the support to Resident Coordinators on the strategic visioning through regional meetings, VTC, and missions facilitated.
  • Process flow in the UNDAF roll-out in LAC well managed to ensure progress towards established goals; and bottlenecks and capacity gaps identified and resolved in time.
  • UNDAF review processes supported, i.e. communication flow coordinated,
  • Substantive comments to draft UNDAF documents from PSG members consolidated, analyzed and synthesized, while ensures consistency and reliability of service.
  • Monitoring and evaluation aspects of new UNDAF documents developed.
  • Good working relationships with the Offices of the UN Resident Coordinators and UNCTs in LAC, particularly in the UNDAF roll out countries established and maintained.
Support Knowledge building and sharing around the UNDAF Support strategy, focusing on the achievement of the following results:
  • UNDAF experience and best practices collected and disseminated among UNDAF roll-out countries.
  • Organization of regional UNDAF training supported, and/or innovative ways of enhancing the UNDAF training identified with or without in the scenario that funds available from UNSSC and DOCO for training and facilitation.
  • UNDAF related trainings support: coordination of in person technical support to UNCT Strategic Planning Retreat and other support missions carried out.
  • Contributes advice and provides technical knowledge to RCs and the UNCT Strategic Planning Retreat, as necessary (complementing the technical expertise of UNSSC and PSG experts when required).
Contributes to the UNDG LAC Secretariat’s knowledge management and work plan implementation, including the following results:
  • Oversight and quality assurance of the production and publication of the virtual monthly UNDG LAC bulletin provided.
  • Quality technical papers and substantive analyses drafted as inputs to UNDG LAC meetings on topics such as UN reform and development policies.

Impact of results:
The successful implementation of the above responsibilities will ensure that a) quality advice and support is provided to UN Country Teams that are formulating new CCA/UNDAF documents; b) the functioning of the Peer Support Group is strengthened through ongoing leadership, chairing, facilitation and coordination of its activities and calibration of its capacities through training; c) the UNDG LAC work plan is duly implemented and its goals achieved.


Functional Competencies:
  • Proven track record in process management, facilitation, and report writing.
  • Ability to consolidate and synthesize substantive comments from multiple sources in a balanced and concise manner.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to empathize with the various organizational mandates and cultures of the UN system, including experience in liaising with senior high level officials
  • Proven work experience related to the UNDG Strategic priorities 2010-12 and the mandate of the regional UNDG teams an asset.
  • Proven track record of knowledge and provision of technical expertise in the areas of CCA/UNDAF development and/or implementation, as well as UNDAF programming principles and Results Based Management (RBM). 

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism;
  • Fulfills all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Master’s Degree or equivalent in Development Studies, Economics, Social Sciences, International Relations, Political Sciences or related field or equivalent experience.
  • At least 5 years of relevant experience at the national or international level. Experience at country level desired.
  • At least 3 years of experience in CCA/UNDAF processes required.
  • Knowledge and experience related to UN reform, development issues and policies, the UNDG Strategic Priorities 2010-2012 and the regional UNDG mandate, an asset.
  • Strong and proven skills in leading, planning, organizing, coordinating and facilitating complex inter-agency processes with many stakeholders.
  • Training and facilitation experience from multi-stakeholder settings.
  • Knowledge of UNDAF programming principles and Results Based Management is an asset, including the provision of expertise and facilitation in those areas.

Language Requirements:

  • Excellent command in written and spoken English and Spanish is essential. Command of Portuguese and/or French an asset.
Please note that only short-listed candidates will be notified.
The electronic version of a UN Personal History Form (P.11) can be downloaded from the UNDP RSC website:

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