Programme Specialist, Rural Growth Programme (RGP)

Location : Dushanbe, TAJIKISTAN
Application Deadline :09-Apr-10 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-4
Languages Required :
English   Russian  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :1 year initially
Expected Duration of Assignment :3 years


Under the direct supervision of the Deputy Country Director the Rural Growth Programme (RGP) Specialist has the overall responsibility for the implementation of the RGP in Soughd region, northern Tajikistan.  The RGP Programme Coordinator is responsible for providing leadership in the planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting on targets and outcomes for the RGP.
The RGP Programme Specialist will share with the CP Manager, management responsibility over UNDP area managers and other project staff involved into RGP as required.
Rural Growth Programme
The Rural Growth Programme in Soughd Region Tajikistan is an $18 million three year initiative, commencing 2010.  The Programme builds on the experience and lessons learned from the previous phase of the Communities Programme (CP) and the Zerafshan Valley Initiative (ZVI) which aimed at the improvement of governance systems in rural areas and increasing rural peoples’ access to finance, social infrastructure and employment opportunities. It also builds on the experience of the GTZ Microfinance for Rural Areas project and the Private Sector Development project.
RGP is a multi-sectoral programme with invested partnerships between UNDP, DFID, GTZ, IOM and other partners.  UNDP is the main implementing partner of the RGP.  Each agency has a lead on particular Program components – UNDP on governance and GTZ on private sector development, agriculture and micro-finance. RGP focuses on strengthening governance systems and their role in enhancing economic development in Soughd Region through applying an Area-Based Development (ABD) approach with integrated planning. It is an integral part of the UNDP umbrella Communities Programme and of the GTZ Sustainable Economic Development Programme.   
The goal of the RGP is to enhance more inclusive economic development in rural areas of Tajikistan in support of the National Development Strategy (NDS) and the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS).
The Program aims to foster an environment for rural economic development in Soughd Region, Tajikistan through:
  • Strengthening capacities of the governance system (government and civil society actors) for development planning, management and budgeting, with a special emphasis on rural economic development;
  • Improving a supportive environment and organizational infrastructure for the development of agriculture, private sector and employment; and, 
  • Enhancing access to micro-crediting and rural finance.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of key functions:

  • The RGP Programme Coordinator will be responsible for providing strategic leadership and oversight of all three pillars. S/he will be an expert in one or several of the key areas of Programme focus (preferably will possess a working knowledge of development related interventions in economic development, economic governance and/or private sector development) and have substantive experience in the management of complex multi donor programmes. Her/his expertise will enable synergies across all RGP Programme components. 
  • A key role for the RGP Programme Coordinator will be to oversee the coordination of relationships of Programme stakeholders such as donors, government representatives at the national and regional levels, project staff, project implementing partners and civil society.  To maximize the synergies between programme stakeholders, the Programme Coordinator will ensure coordination in planning, implementation and monitoring.
  • Whilst working in close cooperation with the CP Programme Manager, the RGP Programme Coordinator will be directly accountable to the Programme Steering Committee. The RGP Programme Coordinator will ensure appropriate and timely delivery of Programme related documentation and will be the chief responsible person for preparing regular progress reports for the RGP Steering Committee according to the monitoring and reporting procedures stipulated in the RGP Project Document.  
  • Where needed, s/he will provide technical assistance and coordination support to national partners in the preparation of annual work plans and assist in the design of project implementation strategies and budgets.  The RGP Programme Coordinator will also work closely with national and regional level development partners and relevant Area Offices, providing support to the project and ensuring information-sharing, integrated planning and harmonized approaches across all RGP Programme components and implementers.

Specifically, the RGP Programme Coordinator will undertake the following tasks:

The RGP Programme Coordinator provides strategic leadership and oversight of the RGP programme with the following expected results:
  • Provide strategic leadership and oversight of all three pillar components of the RGP, for programme planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the RGP;
  • Closely collaborate with all international national implementing partners (incl. Republican Government of Tajikistan, UNDP, DFID, GTZ, IOM. and others) in planning, monitoring and reporting of RGP activities;
  • Provide technical assistance and expert advisory support on overall programme management to RGP project staff (of both key implementing partners, UNDP and GTZ);
  • Provide effective technical support to the RGP Steering Committee, ensuring a high level of participation from the different stakeholders;
  • Ensure synergies between Programme components and experiences from participating development partners (donors and implementing partners);
  • Ensure implementation of project’s monitoring and evaluation system agreed by all partners, ensure that monitoring results inform managerial decision making by working closely with CP M&E and Reporting Unit in analyzing monitoring results and elaborating recommendations for further (corrective) action as required;
  • Ensure timely periodic descriptive reports, such as the provision of regular financial reports to UNDP, Project Steering Committee and donors as required in accordance with the RGP Project Document.
The RGP Programme Coordinator is responsible for financial and human resources management of the RGP programme with the following expected results:
  • Assume responsibility on the management of financial and human resources in the framework of RGP according to UNDP rules and regulations for national implementation;
  • Work closely with the senior project staff of the RGP in Area Offices and provide leadership, management support and guidance to their work to ensure the timely and successful delivery of Programme activities;
The RGP Programme Coordinator ensures proper relationship management with the following expected results:
  • Ensure close collaboration, monitoring and coordination of plans, activities and reporting between the key implementing agencies – UNDP and GTZ, as well as between UNDP and its sub-contractors, liaison between the above-mentioned implementing the agencies.
  • Develop and recommend Programme guidelines and initiatives to UNDP and other Programme implementing partners for the engagement of government and other key stakeholders with the aim to promote RGP objectives at the local level;
  • Enable political support of key government stakeholders at different levels on the principles and key objectives, planned outputs, results and outcomes under RGP; and,
  • Ensure collaborative relationship management with national level and regional (oblast) government representatives, project implementing partners and civil society to ensure successful implementation of the RGP.


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:
Knowledge Management and Learning
  • Promotes knowledge management in UNDP and a learning environment in the office through leadership and personal example
  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development in one or more Practice Areas, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills

Development and Operational Effectiveness

  • Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting
  • Ability to lead formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes and projects, mobilize resources.
  • Solid knowledge in financial resources and human resources management, contract, asset and procurement, information and communication technology and general administration
  • Ability to formulate and manage budgets, manage contributions and investments, manage transactions, conduct financial analysis, reporting and cost-recovery
  • Ability to lead business processes re-engineering, implementation of new systems (business side) and affect staff behavioral/attitudinal change
Management and Leadership
  • Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude
  • Demonstrates good oral and written communication skills
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities
  • Leads teams effectively and shows mentoring as well as conflict resolution skills
  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills
  • Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure

Communication and networking

  • Excellent oral communications skills and conflict resolution competency to manage inter-group dynamics and mediate conflicting interest of varied actors
  • Excellent writing skills, with analytical capacity and ability to synthesize project outputs and relevant findings for the preparation of quality project reports
  • Maturity an confidence in dealing with senior and high ranking members of national and international institutions, government and non-government. 

Required Skills and Experience

  • Master’s Degree or equivalent in a field relevant to International Development, Rural Development, Public Administration, Economics, Political Science, or another related filed
  • Excellent understanding of the social policy, development issues and the environment of Tajikistan and the Central Asian region, or relevant related experience in a similar context


  • Demonstrated excellence in leadership, management and coordination of complex multi donor development projects, including programme management, financial management, contractual and personnel management.
  • At least 7 years working experience in the field of development, including at least 5-7 years demonstrated experience in programme/project management required.  Working knowledge of development interventions relating to governance, economic development and private sector development is desirable;
  • Strong experience in leading a project team, including the ability to gain cooperation to meet the desired objectives of the project;
  • Demonstrated experience in collaborative relationship management across donor agencies, government, project implementing partners and civil society.
  • High level interpersonal skills, including excellent English writing skills with the ability to draft proposals, briefing papers, concept notes and reports to donors.  High level verbal communication skills are required including the ability to lead presentations to RGP stakeholders;
  • High sense of responsibility and a willingness to take initiative;
  • Strong working knowledge of UNDP, donor assistance in the CIS region, civil society sector community development approaches;
  • Excellent computer skills, including command of MS Word and Excel, and familiarity with imaging software and databases;
  • Strong and demonstrated ability to work cross-culturally in a programme management and expert advisory role, including respect for diversity, sound communication, mentoring and coaching skills.
Language Requirements:
  • Excellent command of spoken and written English. Knowledge of Russian language or other local language is an asset.
Since UNDP Tajikistan currently has a majority of male employees, we strongly encourage qualified female applicants for this position. UNDP seeks to ensure that male and female employees are given equal career opportunities and that staff members are able to keep an appropriate balance between work and private life.

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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.

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