Programme Specialist (Local Development)

Location : Brussels, BELGIUM
Application Deadline :15-Feb-13 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-4
Languages Required :
English   French   Spanish  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :1 Year (renewable)
Expected Duration of Assignment :2.5 Years


The European Commission and the United Nations launched in 2009 a Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI) that reflected the strong nexus between migration and development. The programme, fully funded by the European Commission and run out of UNDP Brussels represented a major innovation as a first joint UN project of its kind not only with the European Commission, but also in its approach to inter-Agency working.  Based on the JMDI successful results and lessons learnt, a new phase of the programme focused on the local dimension of migration and development is funded by the European Commission (EC) and the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC).

The good practices identified by the JMDI showed the importance of efficiently linking civil society initiatives with local development agendas in order to reach sustainability and development impact. Successful local authorities’ interventions were the results of strong partnerships with a range of stakeholders from the civil society, including the social partners and the private sector. When local authorities share a common vision with partners, they can develop a sense of ownership over projects that will lead them to commit time, energy and resources. This process enhances their own role as decision makers in migration related affairs. The experimentation of (often) small scale initiatives have had positive consequences and contributed to change the degree of activism of local administrations. Unfortunately, their involvement remains for the time being largely underdeveloped and many obstacles exist as evidenced by the findings of the JMDI, such as a lack of efficient and effective coordination within local authorities’ administration and with other stakeholders. To a large extent, migration and development remains a new field of action for local administrations and targeted support is necessary to fully harness the potential local authorities can bring in this field.

The programme will address three areas of intervention:
  • To move from isolated and individual approaches towards more structured forms of interventions through the identification of promising initiatives from local authorities in partnership with civil society organizations in selected countries that will be scaled up to maximize impact on local development. Policy options and definition of road maps for action will be drawn from the experience of the supported initiatives;
  • To reinforce the capacities of selected local administrations to effectively link migration and development, with a specific focus on facilitating increased coordination within local authorities’ administration in order to maximize their ability to grasp the potential of migration for development;
  • To connect local  authorities globally with each other and with other stakeholders and facilitate partnerships (between local authorities in countries of origin and destination of migration, migrant and refugee associations, the private sector, the social partners etc.) to reinforce local authorities’ potential to become active players in the field of migration and development.
The programme will scale-up local authorities’ initiatives that have emerged as particularly promising in terms of linking local authorities and the civil society in the field of migration and development. This will be made with a view to reach a larger scale impact, linking with other elements such as local governance and sustainable development with a view to deepen the development impact of funded initiatives, to replicate good practices and to bring them up to scale in order to strengthen the programme’s impact at policy level.

The programme will organize targeted training for interested local authorities, which are already involved or would like to engage in migration and development activities. The objective will be to reinforce their skills and equip them with tailor-made tools to deepen and strengthen their on-going initiatives.

The programme will use the dedicated M4D Community of Practice developed under the first phase of the JMDI ( modeled on UNDP’s approach to knowledge management and social networking. The network is an open forum for all relevant stakeholders in the field of Migration and Development and comprises diaspora organizations, migrant associations, social partners, development NGOs and civil society groups, Academia, local authorities, UN Agencies, bilateral aid agencies, private sector and governments.

The programme will mainly focus on North and West Africa though its knowledge management and networking components will have a global scale. Five agencies – IOM, ILO, UNHCR, UN Women and UNFPA– will be directly engaged in the strategic direction of the programme and will contribute with their institutional knowledge, expertise and extensive networks to ensure its success.

Under the direct supervision of the JMDI Programme Manager, the Local Development Specialist will provide his/her expertise to ensure that local governance and sustainable development are the guiding principles and a strategic choice throughout the programme’s implementation with a view to deepen the development impact of funded initiatives, to replicate good practices and to strengthen the programme’s impact at policy level. The Local Development Specialist will work in close coordination with the JMDI Focal Points in the target countries to support the implementation of selected projects in target countries, to support the documentation of best practices and feed into the knowledge management platform of the JMDI and dedicated website.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of key functions:
  • Facilitate the establishment of partnerships with local/national/regional stakeholders;
  • Contribute to the design of the training material and capacity building efforts of the JMDI targeting local authorities;
  • Support the preparation, appraisal, approval and funding of projects implemented by local authorities in partnership with civil society organizations in JMDI target countries;
  • Support the documentation of best experiences and policy recommendation.
Facilitate the establishment of partnerships with local/national/regional stakeholders to increase JMDI’s outreach
  • Map, reach out and mobilize existing networks of local authorities at national and international levels;
  • Advise on the strategic alliances which should be built with key stakeholders at national and local levels to increase programme impact and performance;
  • Communicate with JMDI Focal Points in order to consolidate outreach strategies vis-à-vis local authorities in the target countries and at global level.
Contribute to the design and monitoring of the training material and capacity development efforts of the JMDI
  • Liaise with the JMDI partner agencies leading the training component as well as input and review training modules developed to ensure adequate inclusion of local development principles (local governance, local economic development etc.) and adequacy with overall programme’s strategy;
  • Participate if needed in the delivery of the training in the target countries;
  • In cooperation with JMDI Focal Points in the target countries, provide capacity development support to JMDI selected beneficiaries to increase the efficiency and impact of their initiatives;
  • Contribute to the design of specific knowledge products for local authorities;
  • Monitor the implementation of the training component of the programme according to the training and evaluation workplan.
Support the preparation, appraisal, approval and funding of projects implemented by local authorities in partnership with civil society organizations in JMDI target countries
  • Assist in the identification of initiatives of local authorities in partnership with civil society organizations which will be scaled-up with JMDI funding;
  • Assist intended project beneficiaries in preparing project proposals for submission for funding;
  • Ensure proper inclusion of key principles of local development within projects’ methodologies in view of reaching impact and sustainability;
  • Assist the PMU in preparing the documentation to support the selection of awarded projects by the JMDI steering committee.
Support the documentation of best experiences and policy recommendations
  • In close liaison with the JMDI Focal Point, consolidate the results coming out of the monitoring of the funded initiatives in the target countries;
  • Collect lessons learned and good practices in view of supporting the drafting of country specific road maps for action;
  • Support the PMU and the JMDI Focal Points in disseminating lessons learned and good practices;
  • Regularly feed the knowledge management platform of the programme (M4D Net).


Functional Competencies:

Advocacy/Advancing A Policy-Oriented Agenda
  • Creates effective advocacy strategies;
  • Performs analysis of political situations and scenarios, and contributes to the formulation of institutional responses.
Building Strategic Partnerships
  • Effectively networks with partners seizing opportunities to build strategic alliances relevant to UNDP’s mandate and strategic agenda;
  • Identifies needs and interventions for capacity building of counterparts, clients and potential partners;
  • Promotes UNDP’s agenda in inter-agency meetings.
Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing
  • Makes the case for innovative ideas documenting successes and building them into the design of new  approaches;
  • In-depth substantive knowledge of Knowledge Management and development policy issues, particularly in the areas of local development and migration and development;
  • Demonstrated capacity to strongly promote knowledge sharing and knowledge products and systems;
  • Identifies new approaches and strategies that promote the use of tools and mechanisms.
Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise
  • Understands more advanced aspects of primary area of specialization as well as the fundamental concepts of related disciplines;
  • 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.
Leadership and Self-Management
  • Focuses on result for the client and responds positively to critical feedback;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexity;
  • Demonstrates strong written and oral communications skills;
  • Remains calm and in control even under pressure.
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;
  • Leveraging conflict in the interests of UNDP & setting standards;
  • Sharing knowledge across the organization and building a culture of knowledge sharing and learning;
  • Fair and transparent decision making; calculated risk-taking.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Master’s Degree in relevant discipline (e.g. Economics, Urban and Regional Planning, Local Economic Development, Political Science, and Private Sector Development). Additional specialized training on LED an advantage.
  • At least 7 years of relevant experience working on local development with emphasis on policy, strategy and programme design and implementation. International experience as well as experience with an international development organization or non-governmental organization would be a distinct advantage.
  • Demonstrated work experience with migration and development issues a strong advantage as well as proven capability to produce knowledge and capacity development products.
  • Experience in usage of computers, office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc) and experience in handling of web based management systems.
Language Requirements:
  • Fluency in either English and French or in English and Spanish. 

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