Regional Programme Specialist for Eastern Europe and Central Asian Countries – UNDP Tax and TIWB Project

Location : Istanbul, Turkey (Home-based until COVID restrictions are lifted), TURKEY
Application Deadline :06-Oct-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :IPSA (Regular)
Post Level :IPSA-10
Languages Required :
Expected Duration of Assignment :One year (based on performance extendible till Dec 2024)

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.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Instructions to Applicants: Click on the "Apply now" button. Input your information in the appropriate Sections: personal information, language proficiency, education, resume and motivation. Upon completion of the first page, please hit "submit application" tab at the end of the page. Please ensure that CV or P11 and the Cover letter are combined in one file.

The following documents shall be required from the applicants:

Personal CV or P11, indicating all past positions held and their main underlying functions, their durations (month/year), the qualifications, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate, and at least three (3) the most recent professional references of previous supervisors. References may also include peers.

A cover letter (maximum length: 1 page) indicating why the candidate considers him-/herself to be suitable for the position.


a) The position is home-based until COVID restrictions are lifted.  

b) UNDP will cover the cost of travel of the individual to the duty station, as well as return to place of recruitment upon completion of services.

c) Travel costs are covered only in the event that the function will be undertaken physically in the duty station and excludes working from home arrangements.

d) The work may entail duty travel. In case of such travel, travel expenses will be covered by UNDP in accordance with the UNDP rules and regulations.

Office/Unit/Project Description  

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the knowledge frontier organization for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy and programme work, carried out at HQ, Regional and Country Office (CO) levels, form a contiguous spectrum of deep, local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. Within this context, UNDP invests in a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan.

The UNDP Tax and TIWB Project is managed by the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS’s) Finance Sector Hub (FSH), with resource persons embedded in the SDG Finance Teams in Amman, Bangkok, Istanbul, Panama and Pretoria. 

The UNDP Tax and TIWB Project has a particular emphasis on linking tax administration and tax and fiscal policies with the broader SDGs. Building on UNDP Country Office portfolios and already existing engagements with Ministries, UNDP will bring a stronger focus on the role of tax and fiscal policy in achieving Agenda 2030. The project places a particular focus on reducing gender and social inequalities in tax and fiscal policy as well as taking forward climate action and environmental goals, and health outcomes. Representing the views of developing countries in the global normative tax discussions is critical and to this effect the UNDP Tax and TIWB Project will also work to bring evidence and perspectives from developing countries into the regional and international discussions on taxation.

Institutional Arrangement

i.The position will be embedded in the Regional Hub for Eastern Europe and Central Asian Countries in Istanbul and work as part of the Global Policy Network. 

ii.The Programme Specialist will report to the Global Manager UNDP Tax and TIWB project (based in New York) with matrix reporting to the Regional SDG Finance Advisor (based in Istanbul). 

iii.Throughout the project, collaboration and coordination with the rest of the UNDP Tax and TIWB team will be required.

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work 

UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) is seeking a Regional Programme Specialist for Eastern Europe and Central Asian Countries to effectively manage and support the implementation of the UNDP Tax and TIWB project and provide support to UNDP RBEC on tax related engagements as part of their agenda of Financing the SDGs across countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. 

1) Strategic and Multi-Stakeholder Engagement 

i. Support the Regional SDG Finance Specialist in embedding the UNDP Tax and TIWB project in UNDP’s broader SDG finance portfolio in RBEC.

ii. Lead implementation and multi-stakeholder engagement for the project in the countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asian including engaging with tax experts, bilateral, regional and multilateral organisations, governments and UNDP Country Offices (COs) in the region.

iii. Support UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Eastern Europe and Central Asian Countries (RBEC) and COs in building strategic alliances and partnerships with governments, think tanks, academic institutions, development partners and others to expand UNDP’s work on tax and fiscal policy. 

iv. Work with Regional SDG Finance Advisor in the Istanbul Hub to support UNDP COs in designing and implementing Country Engagement Plans (CEPs) and in their broader engagement on tax and fiscal policies.

2) Policy and Programme Coordination

i. Engage with UNDP Country Offices to analyze local context and identify potential synergies between UNDP Tax project and UNDP’s policy and development work in-country at national/federal/ sub national levels in the context of public finance and map out emerging trends, synergies with other INFF activities and opportunities in the region.

ii. Provide technical advice to support the implementation of the project and to backstop experts working under the project.

ii. Identify potential synergies between the tax and fiscal policy work of RBEC, the Istanbul Regional Hub and UNDP COs with the project. 

iii. Engage with policymakers on tax and fiscal policy matters and further develop the role of UNDP in taxation in RBEC.

iv. Coordinate the development of policy papers to promote understanding and integration of tax and fiscal policies and SDG issues

v. Support the regional SDG Finance Advisor in relevant analytical and policy-oriented work on tax policy and administration, and COs on technical tax topics.

vi. Draft internal UNDP briefing notes and talking points for Senior Management on TIWB/UNDP Tax work. 

3) Knowledge Management:

i. Facilitate setting up of TIWB and other programmes under the project as well as coordinate their implementation as per standard operating procedures, including knowledge capture from past programmes;

ii. Collaborate on TIWB programme’s terms of reference and coordinate selection of roster tax experts, including in their procurement and contracting as per UNDP standard operating procedures;

iii. Collaborate on evidence collection and lessons-learned from TIWB country experiences, including promoting best practice sharing and peer learning through case-studies.

iv. Collaborate on knowledge management between various stakeholders, including UNDP COs and tax experts (including through expert engagement platform).

v. Develop concept notes for technical workshops/webinars/side-events for TIWB/UNDP Tax Programme.

4) Outreach Engagement

i. Collaborate on communications for project, including TIWB Annual Reports and Newsletters.

ii. Coordinate the organization of events, including high-level launches of TIWB programmes and Regional Workshops.

iii. Collaborate on lessons-learned from the project activities, including through case-studies.

iv. Develop resources to enhance capacities within UNDP on tax, fiscal policy issues and SDGs.

v. Follow technical discussions in other fora and represent UNDP Tax in relevant meetings.

v. Perform other duties, as may be required by the Supervisor.



Professionalism: Shows pride in work and achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; Asks questions to clarify and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience; Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be "clients " and seeks to see things from clients' point of view; Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; Identifies clients' needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients' environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.

Required Skills and Experience

Min. Academic Education

  • Masters’ degree in taxation, law, economics, finance, public policy or a closely related field.


Min. years of relevant Work experience

  • Five years of progressively responsible experience of working in taxation, public finance management or domestic resource mobilization for a government or international organization.

Required skills and competencies

  • Strong record in advising international institutions and/ or governments on taxation, public finance management or domestic resource mobilization with involvement in technical work such as producing tax policy proposals, auditing, conducting tax audits, computation of tax expenditures or drafting tax regulations is required. 

Desired additional skills and competencies

  • Excellent knowledge of current debates regarding taxation, fiscal policy and illicit financial flows in Eastern Europe and Central Asian Countries.
  • Thorough understanding of tax/fiscal policy, tax administration processes, public finance reforms and management.
  • Excellent writing and analytical skills, including the ability to write concept notes, outcome reporting, and other written communication.
  •  Experience of working in and with developing countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asian Countries.
  • Experience of working with UNDP or UN Development System on matters related to taxation and fiscal policies.
  • Experience of results-oriented based project management.

Required Language(s) (at working level)

  • Fluent in English.
  • Working knowledge in Russian will be an advantage.

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