Specialist, UN and Intergovernmental Affairs

Application Deadline :21-Nov-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 :One (1) Year
Expected Duration of Assignment :One (1) Year [renewable]


The Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy (BERA) is responsible for UNDP’s external relations and advocacy functions. The Bureau leads and supports the organization in cultivating, building and nurturing strategic relationships and alliances that are essential for advancing and successfully achieving the mission of UNDP. These relationships encompass a wide range and number of key constituencies and development partners, that includes programme countries, existing and prospective donor countries/emerging economic powers, multilateral institutions such as the IFIs, the European Commission, civil society, the private sector, foundations, academia and think tanks, the wider UN system, various UN inter-governmental bodies, as well as global, regional and national media.
The Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy consists of the Directorate and three clusters as follows: Communications (CC), Resource Partnerships (RPC) and Multilateral Affairs and UN Coherence (MAUC). The MDG-F Secretariat is also housed in BERA. In addition, BERA has Representation Offices in 5 major donor capitals.
The MAUC Cluster is responsible for managing UNDP’s relations with the UN and its many inter-governmental bodies and UNDG and other UN inter-agency fora.  It supports the leadership of UNDP by positioning, protecting and promoting UNDP in multilateral affairs and is responsible for scanning and anticipating trends in the multilateral environment that influence UNDP policy and prepares proactive strategy options, for coherent multi-stakeholder engagement. It is also responsible for positioning UNDP as leading the RC system and chairing the UNDG.
Under the direct supervision of the Team Manager, UN & Intergovernmental Affairs Team (UNAT), the incumbent will be responsible for the preparation of strategic papers, coordination of inputs from various parts of UNDP and consolidation into draft positions for UNDP to take in interactions in the inter-agency fora to ensure that UNDP’s interests are best represented.   The Specialist, UN & Intergovernmental Affairs is expected to perform the functions as outlined below.
Impact of Results:
  • Effectively engaging with  UN organizations, member states  and other partners in order to shape issues,  policies and courses of actions   in support of UNDP’s interests and objectives;
  • Misreading of political discussions and trends in multilateral negotiations could lead to wrong recommendations regarding UNDP positioning on the UN coherence agenda, resulting in a diminution in political support to UNDP in the intergovernmental fora; and
  • Misreading of system wide trends and implications would compromise relationship with UN organizations and governments and weaken UNDP’s position in the multilateral/inter-agency setting.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key functions:
  • Strategic advocacy, Policy Co-ordination ,Analysis & other Technical Support with regard to UN Coherence, inter-agency and Intergovernmental Affairs;
  • Promote and support effective and efficient Internal/External Relations and partnership development with the UN/system and member states serving on inter-governmental bodies such as the GA and the ECOSOC; and
  • Facilitation of knowledge building and knowledge sharing.
Strategic advocacy, Policy Co-ordination, Analysis & other Technical Support with regard to UN Coherence, inter-agency and Intergovernmental Affairs: 
  • Analyze, together with Inter-agency colleagues, outcomes from RC Annual Reporting to ensure that the operational dimension is appropriately reflected in relevant policy-making fora;
  • Bring together inputs from Divisions of HQ, Regional and Country Offices, assess what works and what does not work in UN reform and develop UNDP position on future UN reform initiatives; 
  • Contribute to the review and analysis of country-level involvement in UN coherence, mainly through analysis of Country Office Annual reports; the main focus of this work would be on the RC system and governance issues;
  • Monitor, analyze and evaluate inter-governmental discussions/negotiations related to UN Reform, Coherence, and related issues;
  • Prepare policy proposals for UNDP’s engagement in relevant UNDG mechanisms and other UN inter-agency fora;
  • Prepare periodic briefing notes on  operational activities for development issues and recommended actions, for use by UNDP senior management;
  • Prepare periodic reports on operational activities for development for the information of senior staff in Headquarters and the field;
  • Coordinate and prepare timely submissions of high quality talking points and briefing notes as requested by senior officials; 
  • Draft, coordinate and review inputs for speeches and reports as requested by senior management; and
  • Perform any other duties as may be assigned. 

Promote effective and efficient Internal/External Relations and Partnership Development:

  • Support BERA Directorate and UNAT Team Manager in coordinating UNDP’s participation in UNDG working groups of an inter-disciplinary nature to ensure UNDP’s position is fully developed and reflected in the relevant discussions, outcomes, tools and guidance notes;
  • Ensure that relevant actors in UNDP (BOM, OHRM, RBx, OSG) are fully informed and consulted and their views reflected in relevant discussions and outcomes;
  • Meet regularly with colleagues from the Funds and Programmes, including UN Women, DESA and other relevant UN departments to ensure that UNDP is well informed and engaged in the identification of and formulation of positions on issues of common concern;
  • Represent UNDP at formal meetings and informal consultations of the Plenary, Second, Third and Fifth committees of the General Assembly, the ECOSOC and other relevant inter-governmental fora as required;
  • Provide support, as appropriate, to the elaboration of UNDP positions at interagency meetings;
  • Develop partnerships with delegates, negotiating groups and UN colleagues, including CSOs, as part of an advocacy strategy so that corporate priorities are appropriately reflected in intergovernmental legislation;
  • Represent UNDP at UNDG and other UN inter-agency technical working groups or other meetings where necessary; and
  • Perform any other duties as may be assigned.

Facilitation of knowledge building and knowledge sharing:

  • Share knowledge management concepts, practices and precepts, with groups/teams/task forces through active collaboration and interaction to reinforce their understanding of working with issues on UN Coherence and Intergovernmental Affairs;
  • Identification and formulation of lessons learned and recommendations to be integrated into broader Country Office knowledge management efforts; and
  • Contribute to knowledge networks and communities of practice.


Corporate Competencies:
  • Demonstrates integrity and fairness, by modeling the UN/UNDP’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission and strategic goals of UNDP; and
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
Functional Competencies:
  • Good knowledge of political developments; sound understanding of the UN system, including intergovernmental bodies;
  • Extensive experience with the United Nations intergovernmental process;
  • Demonstrated in-depth understanding of the challenges and dynamics related to the development agenda and the evolution of operational activities;
  • Proven ability to conceptualize, innovate, plan and execute ideas as well as to transfer knowledge and skills;
  • Strong analytical and evaluative skills combined with good judgment; in-depth understanding and an ability to grasp the underlying concerns which may be influencing positions;
  • Ability to work independently, analyze issues, speak and write clearly and quickly, often under pressure;
  • Must be amiable, possessing excellent inter-personal skills, tact, good cheer and disposition willing to work hard with initiative, resourcefulness and sound judgment; ability to function in harmony with UNDP and UN colleagues as well as UN/UNDP delegates at all levels;
  • Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals. Builds consensus for task purpose and direction with team members. Identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required. Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary;
  • Proven ability and experience in the development of complex communication strategies that have audiences comprised of multiple constituencies (i.e. Government, IGO, civil society and media);
  • Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect. Identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions. Monitors on-going developments inside and outside the client’s environment to keep informed and anticipate problems;
  • In view of the need to work closely with government delegations, excellent relations with delegations and close familiarity with the intergovernmental process are an essential prerequisite for this function; and
  • Excellent and effective communication (both verbal and written) skills, including ability to make and defend recommendations; diplomacy and tact; ability to persuade people with varied points of view; present information in a concise and accurate manner; ability to convey difficult issues and positions to senior officials.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Advanced University Degree (Master’s) in International Relations, public administration or other social sciences related field.
  • Minimum of Seven (7) years varied and increasing professional experience in UNDP and/or within the UN System;
  • Government, inter-governmental and other related experience outside of the UN system while not a pre-requisite would be a plus. 
Language Requirements:
  • Excellent command of, and drafting skill in English essential;
  • Working knowledge of other UN languages desirable.  

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