Project Director


Location : Abuja, NIGERIA
Application Deadline :05-Oct-11 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-6
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
01-Sep-2011
Duration of Initial Contract :One Year

Background

Under the overall strategic direction of the UNDP Resident Representative and the on-going guidance and direction of the Country Director, and working in close coordination with the UNDP Governance Team Leader and development partners, the Project Director (PD) will be the head of the Project Management Unit (PMU) for the Democratic Governance for Development project (otherwise referred to as the deepening of democracy or DGD project) funded jointly by CIDA, DFID, the EU, South Korea and UNDP.  The project is expected to be funded at a level of USD 80 million or more between 2010-14.

The PMU consists of a Technical Support Unit (TSU) bringing together technical advisory staff and a Project Support Unit (PSU) bringing together all operational support staff.  As such, the Project Director will be required, inter alia, to provide high quality advice on critical policy and technical issues, interact on substantive and operational issues with senior Governmental, non-governmental and donor officials and stakeholders, and assume overall responsibility for the coordination, planning, budgeting, management, monitoring and reporting of project activities. In line with UNDP regulations and rules as well as specific commitments made in the two project documents, s/he will also ensure prudent and effective management of the assets as well as the human and financial resources of the project, ensure complete project documentation at all times, guide the preparation and submission of annual work plans, and prepare and submit timely progress reports to the DGD Steering Committee through UNDP, as required. 


Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of key functions:

  • Strategic advice on highly sensitive political issues to top level policy- and decision-makers, based on careful analysis and research;
  • Development of a wide range of productive professional relationships, ranging from technical to policy levels, across a broad spectrum of stakeholders; 
  • Leadership in designing and managing relevant, feasible and monitorable large-scale capacity development programmes with demonstrable results;
  • Strategic advice and direct input to facilitate successful project inception;
  • Effective and professional managerial and technical leadership as well as oversight for project implementation;
  • Coordination and provision of  professional inputs of the highest quality across the entire project cycle;
  • Implementation of performance measurement and monitoring systems subject to quality assurance by government and donors;
  • Convening of and timely and efficient support for coordination mechanisms related to the project (Steering Committee) and potentially others bringing together with additional donors and partners.

Provide strategic advice of the highest quality, based on careful and rigorous analysis and research, to policy- and decision-makers in UNDP, development partners and Government on critical issues in the deepening of democracy and the electoral process.  For this purpose, prepare and present relevant products (concept notes, issues papers, situation assessments) as well as guide the design, execution, peer review and publication of policy research and analysis on democratic governance issues which can turn the project into the pre-eminent source of cutting-edge thinking and writing on Nigeria’s political development.  In addition, provide overall strategic operational advice and guidance on resource and management matters.

Provide leadership in designing and managing relevant, feasible and monitorable large-scale capacity development programmes designed to deliver significant and sustainable results that can link client needs with a process of individual and institutional development – across the State and non-State sectors - connected to work on specific issues or delivery of particular services that impact directly on Nigeria’s democratic development.

Provide strategic advice and direct input to facilitate successful project inception through the establishment of productive working relationships with key partners and stakeholders, articulation of detailed work plans, formulation of operational procedures, and development and implementation of an HR strategy to mobilize needed human resources.

Ensure the provision of effective and professional managerial and technical leadership as well as oversight for project implementation through leadership and guidance to a team of more than 30 staff, and through supervision of work planning, budgeting, management and reporting processes, effective use of all project resources (assets, people, funds) in line with UNDP regulations and rules, liaison with implementing partners, monitoring of outputs and outcomes, on-going assessments of the effectiveness of  work packages in supporting progress toward results and ensuring the authorised and effective use of physical and financial resources.

Together with the other technical staff of the DGD, coordinate and provide professional inputs to the work of the Nigerian and international professionals involved in the project.  This includes but is not limited to: providing professional advice on contextual, policy, programming and operational issues; ensuring that consultants and sub-contractors are working on the basis of approved and up-to-date job descriptions and/or terms of reference; overseeing the successful coordination and provision of logistical support; and providing background research/information and sharing or providing access to international good practice.

Build and maintain strong cooperative relationships with relevant local networks and contacts, including partner organizations, stakeholders and beneficiaries, and engage these individuals and organizations on a regular basis to gather their feedback and input for improving the direction, design and progress of projects.  Pursue linkages and cooperation with other relevant development partner-assisted technical cooperation and development programmes.

Ensure that approaches to gender equality are integrated into all aspects of planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation, subject to rigorous assessment of effectiveness.

Implement relevant, effective and technically up-to-date performance measurement and monitoring systems, which include regular performance monitoring and evaluation of the project using a participatory approach with partners/participants and are robust enough to meet demanding standards of quality set by government and donors.  Regularly share information on progress of implementation and any challenges and emerging issues with UNDP senior management, the Governance Team Leader and development partners, to support rapid resolution of any such challenges.  Meet the administrative, managerial and financial reporting requirements of UNDP and development partners, as stipulated in the project documents, and as agreed by the Steering Committee.

In consultation with UNDP and the National Planning Commission (representing the Federal Government of Nigeria), convene meetings of the Steering Committee, at a frequency to be determined by members.  Supervise the provision of secretariat functions in support of the Committee, including preparation of agendas, timely preparation and circulation of minutes of meeting and transmittal of reports and other relevant documentation.


Competencies

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the shared vision, mission and strategic goals of the partners supporting the initiative;
  • Displays strong cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favouritism.

Functional Competencies:
Proven competence in the field of democratic governance, well-informed on both electoral and broader democratic governance issues such as legislative development, the role and potential of mass and community media, civil society in emerging democratic societies, and the participation and role of women in politics.  S/he should be comfortable with a full range of sub-sectors within the initiative, although possibly more knowledgeable and experienced in some areas.  S/he should have a strong grasp of the strategic, policy and nuts-and-bolts issues involved in capacity development in the area of democratic governance.

Ability to appreciate and respond productively to the challenges faced in leading a high-risk initiative in a politically challenging environment. Experience in operating at a high level in developing countries and/or countries in transition and/or post-conflict situations will be essential.  Ability to maintain calm and poise in high pressure and sometimes provocative situations as well as apply skills in mediation and consensus-building.

Solid academic background and demonstrated abilities in analysis of complex political situations and providing strategic advice, while maintaining personal detachment.  Demonstrated familiarity with social science research methods and their application.

Proven managerial experience in an international context and ability to lead teams within the context of large and complex projects.  Sets clear performance goals and standards and assesses finance unit staff accordingly.  Proven ability to make sound decisions in the delegation of responsibilities and in finding a balance between a focus on detail and keeping an eye on the big picture.  Ability to implement new systems and affect staff behavioural/ attitudinal change.  Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude 

Strong inter-personal communications and diplomatic skills, with an ability to listen, understand and respond effectively to different and divergent points of view expressed by a wide range of stakeholders.  Ability to build strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback. 

Experience in working with large and challenging boards and/or coordination or steering committees and advisory structures.

Ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor own work plan.   Proven ability to work under pressure and produce output that is accurate, timely and of high quality. Ability to manage conflicting priorities.

Ability to understand and apply tools such as the logical framework and results-based approaches.  Solid knowledge and experience of project management.  Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting.

Resourcefulness, good interpersonal skills and ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity. Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain effective work relationships with and between different levels and types of project personnel and counterparts.


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Advanced university degree (Masters or Phd) related to democratic governance and development, such as political science, economics and other social sciences.

Experience:

  • Progressively responsible work experience of at least 12 years in democratic governance, including electoral issues, dealing with: policy dialogue and  advisory work; leadership and management of research and analysis; design and execution of capacity development programmes; project management, including the leadership of multi-disciplinary expert teams, preferably funded by development partners (UN or other); and promotion of  stakeholder/community awareness of and participation in democratic governance; 
  • An excellent understanding of the social, economic, political and historical trends underpinning African and, ideally, Nigerian governance and electoral processes;
  • Skills in training, process facilitation, strategic planning, and partnership-building;
  • Advanced analytical skills, sound judgment, resourcefulness, ability to take initiative, capacity to work in a self-directed manner and in a multi-cultural environment, and ability to create a team-based work environment;
  • Ability to prepare high quality policy briefs, analytical reports, and technical research reflecting global good practice in democratic governance;
  • Excellent communication skills and fluency in English;
  • Excellent PC user skills: word processing, spreadsheets, databases and web-based research.  Applied knowledge of statistical packages such as SAS and SPSS will be an advantage.;
  • Ability to travel within Nigeria and overseas.

Language Requirements: 

  • Strong skills in written communications in English particularly in preparing issue-based papers or reports.  Excellent spoken English is also required.

Interested Candidates should apply online through the website by clicking on the Apply now button. The system will prompt you to upload a CV on the next page.

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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.


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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.

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