Livelihood and Local Economic Development

Location : Colombo, SRI LANKA
Application Deadline :07-Jun-13 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Service Contract
Post Level :SB-4
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :One Year


Organizational Context

The Governance for Local Economic Development Programme (GLED) – Support to District Development Programme will serve as one of UNDP’s umbrella delivery programme for strengthening local governance capacities and improving socio-economic opportunities in identified vulnerable regions of the country in partnership with the Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs.

The Project GLED/SDDP will comprise of 4 main outputs

  • Vulnerable Groups enabled to engage in sustainable local economic development initiatives.
  • Local level governance institutions plan and manage service delivery with increased effectiveness and inclusiveness.
  • Policy makers and development partners have an increased knowledge on good practices and lessons learned on local economic development and local governance to policy decisions.
  • Vulnerable communities have increased skills and ability to participate in local governance activities.

Under the overall supervision and guidance of the Asst Country Director – Governance for Empowerment and Social Inclusion (GESI) and direct supervision of the Programme Manager – GLED/SDDP, the Local Economic Development Specialist  will be responsible for ensuring smooth operations of the Livelihood component of the GLED/SDDP Programme. He/she will

be responsible to the Programme Manager – GLED/SDDP in Providing technical advice and supporting programs/projects in planning, designing, implementing, training/guiding, monitoring and evaluating livelihoods interventions and play an active role in coordination, technical assistance and advocacy with Government Agencies, local community and other stakeholders.
Furthermore, s/he will carry-out the action research on livelihood programme according to Community Need Assessments (CNA) and bio physical parameters, form and strengthen farm based livelihood interventions whilst applying the Cooperative Concept amongst them.
S/He will work closely with the field based project staff and liaise with Government authorities in the districts, project partners, including vendors, contractors and civil society.

Duties and Responsibilities

Functions / Key Results Expected

Summary of Key Functions (details shown in 1-6 below)
  • Provide technical advice on best practices and approaches to sustainable Local Economic Development (LED) programming and technical input to the project work plans.
  • Monitor the implementation of livelihood activities under the GLED/SDDP Programme.
  • Identify needs, organize and conduct capacity building training programmes to develop the capacity of partners and beneficiaries to increase their competencies in sustainable livelihood and Local Economic Development.
  • Represent GLED/SDDP in livelihoods fora, meetings, workshops, conferences and contribute to technical interactions and discussions.
  • Assist in monitoring the implementation of livelihoods security strategies.
  • Build and strengthen networks and cross learning to enrich GLED/SDDP livelihoods programs/ interventions.
Function/ Expected Results: As a member of the GLED/SDDP technical team, provide technical advice on best practices and approaches to sustainable livelihoods programming and technical input to the project work plans focusing on achievement of the following results:
  • Facilitate the conceptualization and development of an implementation strategy and programmatic approaches to LED for GLED/SDDP.  Providing technical advice to the GLED/SDDP Programme in planning, designing, monitoring and evaluating livelihoods interventions.
  • Provide inputs into the overall strategic planning, donor proposal development and fundraising initiatives of GLED/SDDP and conduct research studies related to LED.
  • In collaboration with programme and project management staff, facilitate the conceptualization and development of LED project interventions at a local level, including sub-project proposals, implementation plans, project budgets, and monitoring and evaluation frameworks.
  • Work closely with field project teams to build their capacity on integrating market-driven approaches in projects and support them to identify opportunities for replication and scale-up within the existing projects.
  • Support the monitoring of the quality of project delivery within the framework of the overall programme strategy. Develop and use innovative approaches to monitor and evaluate performance, effectiveness/impacts of livelihoods interventions and document lessons learned.
  • Support the development of LED initiatives at the local level to streamline the programmatic approach of GLED/SDDP in order to provide effective mechanisms for achieving scale and sustainability in the interventions.
  • Facilitate the development of a number of private sector engagements in the programme and guide the field teams on risk management processes to assess and manage the risks of potential alliances with the private sector.
  • Produce case studies of market-driven approaches to programming that clearly demonstrate both the social transformation and LED outcomes of the interventions.
    Provide technical advice on LED/ Livelihood intervention with the focus of food Security, environmental risks, biodiversity, climate change, etc.

Function/ Expected Results: Monitor the implementation of livelihood activities under the GLED/SDDP Programme
focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Use innovative approaches to monitor and evaluate performance, effectiveness/impacts of livelihoods interventions.
  • Explore strategies and modalities to strengthen existing collaborations or networking amongst livelihood stakeholders.
  • Build and maintain cordial relationships with the Government and other stakeholders to ensure their cooperation and smooth implementation of the livelihood component of the GLED/SDDP programme.
  • Ensure compliance with established and agreed implementation methodologies and plans.
  • Conduct frequent socio-economic monitoring of the project area with a view to generate analytical information about project implementation.
  • Build on the synergies that may be identified during project implementation stage.

Function/ Expected Results: Identify the needs and conduct capacity building training programmes to develop the capacity of  partners and beneficiaries to increase their competence in sustainable livelihoods focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • In consultation with stakeholders, map out initially the strategic interventions for the programme, building on existing structures, and if need be, recommend suitable and effective structures.
  • With the support of Government Agencies in relevant districts, conduct regular capacity building and knowledge sharing programmes for the benefit of the community.
  • Give technical know-how to the project partners and beneficiaries on their livelihood activities, recommend and introduce innovative methodologies as appropriate.
  • Conduct exchange programmes amongst the different districts of the Programme and share best practices. 
Function/ Expected Results: Represent GLED/SDDP in livelihoods fora,  meetings, workshops, conferences and contribute to technical interactions and discussions focusing on achievement of the following results:
  • Share technical knowledge and best practices at exposure visits and conferences to share project achievements
  • Share expertise knowledge with project partners, to enable them to enhance their knowledge and improve their delivery, and thereby attract potential donors.
  • Document and share the knowledge gained at conferences and exposure visits for the benefit of the project partners and beneficiaries.

Function/ Expected Results: Assist in monitoring the implementation of the livelihoods strategies focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • In conducting technical and knowledge sharing missions with the project beneficiaries, guide them on crop improvement methods, so as to optimize their inputs.
  • Strengthen if already existing or introduce livelihoods security strategies most appropriate to the environment, to minimize risks and improve preparedness and possible aversion of disasters.

Function/ Expected Results: Build and strengthen networks and cross learning to enrich GLED/SDDP livelihoods programs/ interventions focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Build and strengthen effective relations for networking and cross learning to enrich GLED/SDDP livelihoods programs/ interventions and have in operation networking structures composed of project partners and beneficiaries for long term results.
  • Participate in such networking meetings and guide members in obtaining mutually beneficial and optimal ways to enhance livelihood activities.

Any other tasks assigned by the supervisor

Impact of Results

The key results will support consultative and sustainable livelihood activities most appropriate to the project locations for the EU SDDP project in the District and effective implementation of project work plans, in close consultation and collaboration with Government and other development partners. Greater understanding of and long term vision for market-driven, inclusive local economic development in the programme and Increased options for engaging with the private sector in the programme.


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
Functional Competencies: 
  • Strong conceptual and research/analytical skills, with the ability to think strategically       and to rapidly analyze and integrate diverse information from varied sources into conclusions and recommendations
  • Substantial knowledge of Socio-Economic Development
  • Experience working in the District or similar regions in Sri Lanka
  • In-depth practical knowledge of inter-disciplinary development issues
  • A self-starter and able to inspire and influence action
  • Seeks and applies knowledge, information and best practices inside and outside UNDP
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities
  • Ability to lead effectively, and possesses mentoring and conflict resolution skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, proven networking, team-building, organizational and communication skills

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s Degree in Agriculture, Livestock, Agriculture Economics or similar from an accredited University is required with 5 years experience OR Bachelors with 7 years experience.
  • Experience in the area of Local Economic Development /Livelihood development, SME development and private sector engagement. Prior experience with UNDP/UN system would be an advantage - minimum of five years of experience with a Master's Degree, minimum of seven years of experience with a Bachelor's degree.
  • Outstanding communication, project management and organizational skills
  • Familiarity with the working environment and professionalstandards of international organizations
  • Working experience with Institutions involved in sustainable development/ community empowerment/ natural resource management
  • Experience in working with NGOs and civil society, and with participatory approaches
  • Computer literacy is essential

Language Requirement:

  • Demonstrates strong oral and written English communication skills, along with Tamil and/or Sinhala.

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.

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