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.

Managers may ask (ad hoc) for any other materials relevant to pre-assessing the relevance of their experience, such as reports, presentations, publications, campaigns or other materials.


Context - Office/Unit/Programme Description 

The Decentralized cooperation Consultant will be reporting to the UNDP Geneva Representation office, in charge of managing the institutional relationship between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of France.

UNDP and the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MFA) – through the Delegation for the External Action of Local Governments (DAECT) – have been collaborating since 2013 to promote and strengthen the localization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), previously under the framework of the ART initiative (Articulation of Territorial Networks). Previous collaboration focused on facilitating the contribution of French decentralized cooperation actors (cities, departments, regions and other multi-stakeholder groupings at national level) and strengthening their role in the implementation of global agendas (2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Paris Climate Agreement, Busan Global Partnership for effective development cooperation, etc). Through this process, French local governments have been able to regularly engage in UN and UNDP knowledge exchange events and platforms and to use new tools co-created by UNDP and DAECT to further increase their ownership of the SDGs.

With the adoption of UNDP’s new Strategic Plan for 2022-2025, UNDP has renewed its commitment to tackle multidimensional crisis and to support countries to achieve a green, resilient and inclusive recovery while accelerating structural transformations for sustainable development. This will not be possible without coordinated action from the global to the local level; and harnessing the power of local action and learning from communities, will be crucial to leave no one behind.

In this context, the UNDP Geneva Office has established a new partnership in 2022 with the French MFA/DAECT in order to explore how to better foster country-level collaborations with French local actors. France has indeed a long tradition and experience in engaging in decentralized development cooperation. Over the years, decentralized cooperation (DC) has become an integral part of the French foreign development cooperation policy by evolving from the old North – South paradigm of aid towards strategic cooperation and exchange of experiences between equal partners. With the adoption of the new French law on solidarity development (August 2021), a decision was also made to double the French MFA support to these international initiatives promoted by local partners and to consider new methods and partnerships to scale up their impacts.

The exploratory phase of the UNDP-DAECT partnership, conducted in 2022, has allowed to identify some clear synergies between, on the one hand, French local actors their proven expertise e.g. in managing complex projects to enhance public services delivery, and, on the other hand, UNDP’s vast experience of supporting sustainable development, local governance, disaster risk reduction and resilience planning, completed by its wide country-level networks in 170 countries and terrirorites.

In this context, an exploratory cooperation mechanism has been designed by DAECT and UNDP Geneva to guide the development of concrete partnerships at country-level, in alignment with UNDP and DAECT’s rules and objectives. Following a series of preliminary consultations involving respectively French national and local actors and UNDP regional and country offices, UNDP and DAECT adopted a targeted approach supporting the elaboration of a few pilot cooperation programmes that will serve as a “proof-of-concept” before the planned expansion of the initiative in 2023-2025.

Initial efforts were focused on a limited number of countries considered by UNDP and DAECT as enabling contexts for the development of local-to-local collaborations. Examples notably include Senegal, Madagascar, Armenia, Moldova, Tunisia, Lebanon and others. For instance, in Moldova, the UNDP Country Office (CO) and the French MFA have built a program to help Moldovan local communities face the impacts of the war in Ukraine and extend local public services, by offering French local actors an easy and efficient way to engage into knowledge exchange and advocacy support activities, under UNDP’s guidance. In other settings such as Madagascar, Senegal, and Armenia, UNDP COs are jointly defining the terms and objectives of programmes with partners’ local governments and active French DC partners counterparts (e.g.: Région Normandie, city of Grenoble, Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine), reinforcing decentralization and localization efforts, and longer-term decentralized cooperation partnerships.

In 2023, it is expected that, through an internal seed-funding mechanism (UNDP “Geneva Innovative Partnership and Advocacy for Change” Engagement Facility), DAECT and UNDP will further identify and make funding allocations ($50k-$250k) to Country Offices to serve as platform to engage and leverage the expertise of French cooperation partners in support of local partners’s needs and existing programs for local development. 

The main objective of this position will be to support and ensure the smooth implementation of these UNDP-France decentralized cooperation initiatives and to support the development of new ones, from communication about the new partnership mechanism to conceptualization of projects with a diverse range of stakeholders to project management and monitoring/reporting. 


Institutional Arrangement

The Decentralized Cooperation Consultant will work under the official supervision of the UNDP Geneva Partnerships Manager who will provide overall guidance on priorities of work and connections with UNDP teams across the world. To facilitate engagement with the DAECT and French partners, the Consultant will be embedded in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs/DAECT in Paris, with periodic travels to Geneva. Flexible working arrangements are possible in according to relevant rules and regulations.

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work

The Decentralized Cooperation Consultant will coordinate the implementation of the new UNDP-DAECT partnership mechanism which the objective to facilitate synergies and engagement of French DC actors (i.e., local and regional governments and their networks) in the support of local development initiatives in partners’ countries and territories through the UNDP Geneva Office and the network of UNDP Country offices.

S/he will promote development  effectiveness by facilitating the articulation, harmonization and alignment of French DC partners with existing multilateral approaches supporting partner’s countries local authorities. S/he will also explore how to connect and extend the pilot UNDP-DAECT partnership to other actors (AFD, Expertise France, UN Development Cooperation offices, etc) in order to ensure a coherent support to local development in partner countries.

As part of UNDP’s overall institutional partnership engagement with France, s/he will also support the contribution of French decentralized partners to other UNDP-led SDGs localization process and knowledge platforms, as well as contribute to the positioning and visibility of UNDP in development fora in France.

Specific outputs, activities and deliverables:

The Consultant will work under the supervision of the UNDP Geneva Partnership Manager who will provide guidance and feedback at all stages of the process in coordination with DAECT. The expected activities and deliverables are:

1.  Partnerships - Develop the articulation of French decentralized cooperation with UNDP’s work at country and local level, through the roll-out and implementation of the new cooperation mechanism with DAECT.

  • Promote the added value of decentralized cooperation in support of SDGs localization efforts within the multilateral framework, and support exchanges between French local authorities and their counterparts in partner countries in the context of UNDP local governance and local development programmes.
  • Act as the main focal point for UNDP’s engagement with French local authorities/decentralized cooperation partners, in full coordination with DAECT, and provide guidance on concrete opportunities to collaborate.
  • Coordinate the practical implementation of the new UNDP Geneva-DAECT cooperation mechanism, in alignment with partners’ expectations, and in accordance with UNDP’s rules, regulations and priorities.
  • Support resources mobilization/fundraising efforts and foster the emergence of multi-actors, multi-level partnerships by facilitating exchanges with other relevant French institutions (MFA, French local Embassies, AFD, Expertise France, Associations des Maires de France, Associations des Départements de France, Regions of France, Cités Unies France, private sector), showcasing existing (UNDP or DAECT) initiatives that could support French decentralized cooperation efforts to meet their partner local authorities’s needs.


2Project management and implementation

  • Coordinate the institutional dialogue between French MFA/DAECT and UNDP entities (UNDP Geneva and Country offices), under the supervision of the UNDP Geneva Partnerships Manager, and develop a work plan for 2023 corresponding to the implementation of pilot cooperation projects at country-level.
  • Support the logistical and substantive organization, and participate in meetings between French decentralized cooperation actors, UNDP country offices and their local partners.
  • Monitor and support the execution of local cooperation activities funded under the UNDP-DAECT mechanism, and ensure smooth management of financial transfers, communication and reporting modalities, in close coordination with DAECT, the UNDP Bureau for External Relations and Advocacy (BERA), UNDP Regional Bureaux and Country Offices, and other relevant Units (e.g. Bureau for Policy and Programme Support).

3.  Communication and Outreach - Support active stakeholders’ engagement and promote knowledge exchange tools and systematization of learnings and best practices for the localization of the SDGs, in partnership with UNDP and French decentralized cooperation actors.

  • Develop the presence and visibility of UNDP within the community of French decentralized cooperation actors, preparing relevant documentation and outreach material (e.g. brochures, webinars), in collaboration with DAECT and the UNDP Geneva Office, notably to promote the new partnership.
  • Facilitate the participation of French Decentralized cooperation actors (local authorities, civil society, private sector, academia) in international UN events on SDGs localization, eg. related to the UN Local2030 platform, and support information sharing, workshops organization, presentation, meetings to promote the importance of SDGs localization process and relevant UN/DP knowledge sharing platforms and tools.
  • In the context of the day-to-day implementation of the UNDP-DAECT mechanism, document and support the systematization and sharing of best practices, contributing to relevant global, regional, and policy exchanges, capacity building, resources mobilization, and evaluation efforts.



Achieve Results:

LEVEL 2: Scale up solutions and simplifies processes, balances speed and accuracy in doing work

Think Innovatively:

LEVEL 2: Offer new ideas/open to new approaches, demonstrate systemic/integrated thinking

Learn Continuously:

LEVEL 2: Go outside comfort zone, learn from others and support their learning

Adapt with Agility:

LEVEL 2: Adapt processes/approaches to new situations, involve others in change process

Act with Determination:

LEVEL 2: Able to persevere and deal with multiple sources of pressure simultaneously

Engage and Partner:

LEVEL 2: Is facilitator/integrator, bring people together, build/maintain coalitions/partnerships

Enable Diversity and Inclusion:

LEVEL 2: Facilitate conversations to bridge differences, considers in decision making

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies (insert up to 7 competencies)

Thematic Area



General (across the functions)

Public relations

Ability to build and maintain an overall positive public, image for the organization, its mandate and its brand, while ensuring that individual campaigns and other communications and advocacy initiatives are supported in reaching the public

Partnership Management

Strategic engagement

Abillity to capture and sustain attention, interest and agreement of high-level, influential policy and decision makers and secure their buy-in of high level vision and objectives

Partnership Management

Relationship management

Ability to engage with a wide range of public and private partners, build, sustain and/or strengthen working relations, trust and mutual understanding


Required Skills and Experience

Min. Academic Education

Masters Degree  on International Relations, Social Sciences, Economics, Local Development, Development Studies is required.  Bachelors Degree with additional two years of experience will be accepted in lieu of Masters degree.

Min. years of relevant Work experience

  • At least 2 years of relevant work experience, with at least one mandatory experience working with a French development cooperation actor.
  • Proven networks in the French decentralized cooperation community.
  • Proven experience in project management related to international development cooperation, ideally through DC approaches.
  • Proven experience in local development, local governance processes.
  • Experience in resource and partner mobilization, partnership and network building and strengthening.
  • Experience in the UN system at global or country-level would also be an asset.

Required  skills and competencies

  • Ability to plan and coordinate activities with limited supervision, take initiatives and deliver at pace independently.
  • Ability to engage and work with a diverse range of stakeholders, in the context of multidisciplinary and multicultural initiatives, with the objective to bring together partners in response to territories’ demands.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, communication and diplomatic skills.
  • In-depth practical knowledge of inter-disciplinary development issues, including knowledge of the interlinkages between the social, economic, environmental and cultural dimensions of sustainable development and how they are applied at the local level.
  • Openness to change and ability to receive / integrate feedback.
  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN's values and ethical standards.
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.

Desired additional skills and competencies

  • Knowledge of UNDP’s mandate, programme and operations.
  • Knowledge of the UNDP local governance methodology and approach would also be an asset 

Required Language(s) (at working level)

  • Fluency in spoken and written French and English is a must.
  • Knowledge of another UN language would be an asset.

Professional Certificates