Project Manager, LoOKING (GTI) UNCDF

Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Brussels, BELGIUM
Application Deadline :27-Feb-15 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-5
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :One year (renewable)

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.


The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) is a UN organization with a capital mandate (unique in the UN System) focused on reducing poverty and inequality first and foremost in the least developed countries (“LDC”s).   To support the realization of UNCDF’s Business Plan and drive the rapid expansion of the organization’s capacity to assist LDCs to meet their graduation goals, respond to LDC demand for its services, and increase its geographical coverage of and average investment size in LDCs, UNCDF requires a partnership and business development strategy.  This strategy encompasses specific, and interlinked, strategies for partnerships, branding and communications, and resource mobilization, which capitalize on mandate-specific partnership building, inter-governmental/client relations, and specific business development opportunities.

Against this backdrop, the UNCDF/LDFP (Local Development Finance Practice) works with Least Developed Country governments to: mobilize additional capital for local development including from the domestic public and private sectors (for example by promoting fiscal decentralization, increasing own revenue of local authorities and stimulating investment finance by domestic banks); design appropriate allocation mechanisms for this capital (intergovernmental fiscal transfers, public-private partnerships, structured project finance, municipal debt instruments); support local investments that provide a demonstration effect and lead to upscaling and mainstreaming of these mechanisms (including supporting UNCDF’s pipeline of investible projects); secure these investments within an accountable institutional environment that sustains and promotes local development. (legal, political, administrative, social).

UNCDF’s approach to Local Development Finance acknowledges the challenges for LDCs in enhancing local basic services, promoting local economic development and increasing local resilience to shocks in an increasingly uncertain world. The approach recognizes that LDC economies have reached levels of domestic capital (public and private) significantly greater than a decade ago. Yet underinvestment at the local level remains a feature of LDCs that is holding back structural transformation. In addition to external sources of development finance there is an additional need to find ways of channeling domestic resources for local development – including in rapidly growing urban areas.

To support LDCs facing this challenge, UNCDF has developed LoOKING (Locally Owned Knowledge = Inclusive Growth), a diagnostic and policy roadmap to reduce poverty and vulnerability through local economic development. LoOKING combines three root assessments to produce a consolidated picture of local development: (1) LoOKING at the big picture: A mapping of the distribution of public expenditure and of economic and social functions across a territory to identify bottlenecks and potential efficiency gains. Various tools can be combined for this mapping, however in all cases the Local Public Sector Initiative (LPSI) tool is used to provide a baseline. (2) LoOKING at the local institutional and financial potential. (3) An assessment of local government’s own revenue potential and existing capacities of local governments and local public institutions combined with a systematic review of their public expenditure management capacity. It will be applied to a sample of local governments, both rural and urban. These three assessments are blended together to produce the overall LoOKING diagnosis of the “state of local development” overall aim is to develop a road map for initiatives that strengthen local institutions, promote local economic development and the provision of local infrastructure and devise a plan of action to improve delivery of services and local economic development.

 Post context

 Reporting to the Director of Local Development Finance, the Programme Manager, LoOKING will be responsible for the development and management of the LoOKING GTI Programme.  This project will be rolled out in selected LDCs in coordination with the respective UNCDF country team and Regional Technical Advisor. LoOKING will be implemented together with LDC government partners and with associated development partners and networks of local authorities, building on the platform and reputation of UNCDF’s support to fiscal decentralization and local development over a 20 year period.

The incumbent is accountable for the identification and implementation of Cross-Practice collaboration with FIPA and the sound articulation of country-level opportunities within UNCDF corporate strategy while ensuring gender equality and empowerment of women in strategic and operational activities of UNCDF. In doing so, she/he must translate corporate strategy into country programming and regional positioning, ensuring the development of synergies of technical/programme support and relationships with LDCs through a sound collaboration with UNDP and the UNCT at the regional and country levels.

In close collaboration with the UNCDF Directorate and the PPCU (Partnerships, Policy and Communications Unit) the incumbent should actively contribute to the development and implementation of UNCDF strategy for partnering with UN Agencies around UNDAF, Post 2015 and other potential joint programming opportunities at HQs and at the global, regional and country office levels. 

RTAs, CTAs and GTI Managers (Global Technical Initiatives) will work together, with one RTA designated as the primus inter pares who will facilitate inter alia UNCDF coordination in its regional integration, partnership outreach and business development, UN representation, technical collaboration, and on-site prioritization (as needed) of the work of local support staff. While RTA/GTI staff will continue to report to their respective Practices (and operations support staff to MSU), work processes and incentives (including through performance assessment) will be put in place to drive active engagement, dialogue, and prioritization for country engagement so as to gain coherence, optimize resource use, and facilitate greater flow of information.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of key functions:

  • Provides technical leadership and policy advice in diagnostic tools for local development finance and local economic development – in particular in relation to infrastructure & service provision, fiscal decentralization, local economic development and the strengthening of local government and municipal capacity in Least Developed Countries;
  • Provides leadership in applying business development strategies, tools and intelligence, to build and maintain technical partnerships, capitalize on business opportunities and enhance resource mobilization for the LOOKING Initiative;
  • Provides project management, quality control and supervision for the LOOKING project – contributing to the achievement of corporate and project objectives;
  • Provides technical leadership in policy development and knowledge management in the areas of local development, local development finance, municipal finance and associated thematic areas including in relation to Financing For Development, the implementation of the SDGs and the development strategies of Least Developed Countries;
  • Provides technical support and advice to the LDFP Director and to UNCDF Senior Management on UNCDF corporate initiatives and activities. This includes leadership in the active acquisition and sharing of business-sensitive knowledge in local development and local public finance.

Provide technical leadership and policy advice in the area of local development finance diagnistics - in particular in relation to infrastructure & service provision, local economic development and the strengthening of local government and municipal capacity in Least Developed Countries; This is about constructively engaging with central and local government and key stakeholders. The functions include:

  • Maintain close working relationships and high levels of trust and support with government stakeholders in LDCs based on UNCDF’s mandate and a client-based approach – led by country demand. On this basis develop and implement strategies for the rollout of the LOOKING diagnostic tool in accordance with the project document. These strategies to be based on an adaptation of the LDFP approach to country level development challenges, to be aligned to National Development Plans, the Istanbul Plan of Action for LDCs and other relevant national and international policies;
  • Develop and maintain close working relationships with the LDFP Regional Technical Advisors and country teams and ensure a client-based approach in which the LOOKING diagnostic tool is introduced on demand and in accordance with local priorities;
  • Support to the development of national policies in the areas of local development diagnostics, drawing on the latest research and ideas, lessons of policy pilots and substantive dialogue with key practitioners and major international institutions;
  • Apply UNCDF’s local development finance diagnostic tools, instruments and approaches to constructively inform and contribute to these strategies and policies, in a way that leverages UNCDF support to promote the interventions and finance of others;
  • Contribute to high-level debates and consultation processes at global, regional and country level related to UNCDF’s work in local development finance and municipal finance;
  • Advise UNDP in LDCs and non LDCs on issues of municipal finance;
  • Provide management and guidance to UNCDF country teams on engagement with government, with UNDP and the UN Country Team, and with other stakeholders.

Provide leadership in applying business development strategies, tools and intelligence, to build and maintain technical partnerships, capitalize on business opportunities and mobilization resources for the LOOKING diagnostic. This is about proactively leading resource mobilization for the Municipal Finance Initiative. The functions include:

  • Develop and negotiate funding proposals for the LOOKING diagnostic tool both at global level and for the countries implementing the project. Build partnerships to ensure replication, scaling up and to achieve greater impact;
  • Increase cost-sharing opportunities for UNCDF programmes/projects;
  • Maintain effective technical relationships with strategic partners, including LDC and selected non-LDC governments at local and national levels, European Union Institutions, development partners, research and academic institutions, civil society and the private sector;
  • Dialogue and outreach to key internal and external constituencies and partners, to increase visibility and awareness of UNCDF’s comparative advantages and strategic niches in municipal finance within specific LDCs and selected non-LDCs.

Provide technical project oversight, quality control and supervision  for the municipal finance project – contributing to the achievement of corporate and project objectives. This is about accountability for the performance, results and impact of the UNCDF Local Development Finance activities. The functions include:

  • Manage the global LOOKING diagnostic tool that engages national governments in examing the potential of local development and builds on the platform and reputation of UNCDF’s support to fiscal decentralization and local economic development in LDCs over a 20-year period;
  • Working with the country team and Regional Technical Advisor responsible for each LDC, design and support the implementation of the LOOKING diagnostic tool;
  • Exercise oversight and accountability for the contributions to, and measurement of, LDFP business plan output and outcome indicators for the Municipal Finance Initiative;
  • Exercise oversight and accountability for smooth running of project management, evaluations and reviews, procurement and HR, budgets, financial approvals, fiduciary controls and other programmatic and operational aspects of the project;
  • Exercise direct financial approval rights, HR supervision and other ATLAS functions as appropriate;
  • Apply UNCDF’s Results Based Management approach to the Municipal Finance Initiative.

Provide technical leadership in policy development and knowledge management in the areas of local economic development, municipal finance and associated thematic areas including in Financing For Development, the implementation of the SDGs and the development strategies of Least Developed Countries. This is about contributing to the global debate on Local Development Finance and sharing knowledge from UNCDF activities in this regard. The functions include:

  • Technical leadership in identifying, documenting and incorporating lessons learned from UNCDF and LDC experience with the objective of contributing to scaling up, policy influence and mainstreaming of the models developed;
  • Inputs to global, regional and national level publications, seminars, and conferences to highlight UNCDF support to local development;
  • Production and contribution to papers and other documentation of evidence and results of UNCDF interventions;
  • Collaboration with key partners and local development practitioners, including UNDP practices, within the region for research and development of innovative strategies and approaches to build the reputation of UNCDF as a Centre of Excellence and sharpen delivery of local development projects in order to better achieve UNCDF Business Plan objectives and LDC’s SDG goals;
  • Development and contribution to knowledge-sharing networks on local development initiatives within the region and globally.

Provide technical support and advice to the LDFP Director and to UNCDF Senior Management on UNCDF corporate initiatives and activities. This includes leadership in the active acquisition and sharing of business-sensitive knowledge in local development and local public finance. This is about supporting the leadership of the Local Development Finance Practice and UNCDF senior management with technical and other contributions. The functions include:

  • Technical support to the development of substantive inputs into the LDFP Business Plan and its implementation;
  • Active participation in retreats, LDFP Practice meetings and teleconferences;
  • Advice to the LDFP Director and Regional Team Leader, including inputs into corporate presentations and reports;
  • Exploration of synergies with the Inclusive Finance Practice;
  • Advice to UNCDF Senior Management on technical issues and business development opportunities, including inputs into corporate presentations and reports;
  • Preparation of substantive inputs into the LDFP Business Plan and to the Results-Oriented Annual Report;
  • Support to the development of the annual LDFP Work Plan.

Impact of Results

The LDFP LOOKING Manager will have a major impact on the overall effectiveness and growth of UNCDF’s support to urban development finance in LDCs. This is measured through achieving LDFP Business Plan objectives. These include the policy impact, the leveraging of additional resources for local development and the positive impact of the projects themselves. The performance of the Project Manager will have a major impact on the reputation of UNCDF as partner to the LDCs and as a centre of excellence in Local Development Finance. Success in engaging key actors, in strategic partnerships and in joint programming of local development and public finance projects will contribute to the development goals of partner countries. Results will also have a significant impact on resource mobilization for UNCDF and its capacity UNCDF to expand coverage to other LDCs and provide advisory services to non-LDCs.


Functional Competencies:

Advocacy/Advancing A Policy-Oriented Agenda

Influencing the public policy agenda

  • Builds consensus concerning UNCDF’s strategic agenda with partners on joint initiatives;
  • Dialogues with national counterparts and other stakeholders to strengthen advocacy efforts, incorporating country, regional and global perspectives.

Results-Based Programme Development and Management

Achieving results through programme design and innovative resourcing strategies

  • Identifies country needs and strategies using a fact-based approach;
  • Makes use of a variety of resources within UNCDF to achieve results, such as cross-functional teams, secondments and developmental assignments, and collaborative funding approaches;
  • Ensures the full implementation of country programme and Financial Resources to obtain results.

Building Strategic Partnerships

Building strategic alliances

  • Makes effective use of UNCDF’s resources and comparative advantage to strengthen partnerships;
  • Creates networks and promotes initiatives with partner organizations.

Innovation and Marketing New Approaches

Fostering innovation in others

  • Creates an environment that fosters innovation and innovative thinking;
  • Conceptualizes more effective approaches to programme development and implementation and to mobilizing and using resources;
  • Resource Mobilization (Field Duty Stations).

Developing resource mobilization strategies at country level

  • Contributes to the development of resource mobilization strategies at CO level;
  • Actively develops partnerships with potential donors and government counterparts in all sectors at country level;
  • Strengthens the capacity of the country office to mobilize resources.

Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing

Participating in the development of policies and innovative approaches and promoting  their application throughout the organization

  • Promotes UNCDF as a learning/knowledge sharing organization

Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise

Expert knowledge of own discipline

  • Possesses expert knowledge of advanced concepts in primary discipline, a broad knowledge of related disciplines, as well as an in-depth knowledge of relevant organizational policies and procedures;
  • For managers: applies a broad knowledge of best management practices; defines objectives and work flows, positions reporting relationships in such a way as to obtain optimum effectiveness for the unit/branch;
  • Keeps abreast of new developments in area of professional discipline and job knowledge and seeks to develop him/herself personally;
  • Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments;
  • Excellent organizational, inter-personal, communication and administrative skills;
  • Demonstrates expert knowledge of the current programme guidelines and project management tools and manages the use of these regularly in work assignments;

Global Leadership and Advocacy for UNCDF’s Goals

Influencing global and national initiatives

  • Advocates for increased priority given to human development issues internationally and in national planning frameworks;
  • Advocates for increased resources at international and national level.

Client Orientation

Meeting long-term client needs

  • Anticipates constraints in the delivery of services and identifies solutions or alternatives;
  • Proactively identifies, develops and discusses solutions for internal and external clients, and persuades management to undertake new projects or services;
  • Advises and develops strategic and operational solutions with clients that add value to UNCDF programmes and operations.

Core Competencies:

  • Promoting ethics and integrity, creating organizational precedents;
  • Building support and political acumen;
  • Building staff competence,creating an environment of creativity and innovation;
  • Building and promoting effective teams;
  • Creating and promoting enabling environment for open communication;
  • Creating an emotionally intelligent organization;
  • Leveraging conflict in the interests of UNCDF & setting standards;
  • Sharing knowledge across the organization and building a culture of knowledge sharing and learning;
  • Fair and transparentdecision making; calculated risk-taking;
  • Ability to address gender equality and empowerment of women considerations in strategic and operational activities of UNCDF.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree in Economics, Business, Public Finance, Public Administration, or related field.


  • Minimum of 10 years relevant, practical working experience in the field of international development working on local development finance, preferably in least developed countries (LDCs) both at field level as well at senior management positions and across more than one country;
  • Proven experience in the Performance Base Grant Management system for intergovernmental transfers or Proven experience of private sector financing of infrastructure projects;
  • Deep technical knowledge of local development planning and capital investment programming in urban or rural areas;
  • Experience with similar assignments in LDCs and developing countries;
  • Experience in developing project documents and start-up of new projects with UNCDF Programme and Project management standards;
  • Experience with new product development, testing, roll-out;
  • Proven resource mobilization experience and record of success in building partnerships, negotiating financing, reporting to and managing grants from development partners;
  • Strong programme and project management experience including budget and financial management, staff supervision, teambuilding;
  • Results based management experience including monitoring, evaluation and incorporating lessons learned;
  • Solid experience in financial management;
  • Strong financial analysis and business project appraisal skills;
  • Familiarity with UNCDF/UNDP rules and procedures is an advantage.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluent in English;
  • Another UN official language, preferably French, is an asset.


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