National Consultant - SDG Knowledge & Innovation Coordinator

Location : Colombo, SRI LANKA
Application Deadline :14-Sep-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :9 Months - 01 Oct 2018 30 June 2019
Expected Duration of Assignment :9 Months - 01 Oct 2018 30 June 2019



Generation and use of data is one of Sri Lanka’s greatest challenges in implementing and achieving the 2030 agenda. Similarly, efficient coordination and timely knowledge sharing is also a major challenge. The Agenda 2030 is underpinned by a strong Follow up and Review process which requires the country to have up to date subnational data in order to measure progress and target interventions. As such, the lack of data has a direct impact on policymaking. Furthermore, in order to implement the principle “leaving no one behind” the voices of these communities must be heard and integrated into policy making. This proposed pilot is to test new ideas in terms of data sourcing, tracking, funding as well as galvanizing knowledge networks and tapping into the wisdom of communities to achieve the 2030 agenda. The proposed SDG integrated solutions platform will provide a ‘one stop shop’ for data, stories and ideas to advance sustainable development in the country.

The SDG Integrated Solutions Platform pilot project is a joint initiative by ILO, UNDP, UNOPS and the Resident Coordinator’s Office (RCO) on behalf of the UN Country Team (UNCT). This project is closely aligned to Driver 1: Towards improved data, knowledge management and evidence-based policy which is one of four areas of the United Nations Sustainable Development Framework (UNSDF) 2018-2022.



The purpose of this consultancy is to work with the RCO and Project Team to support the coordination and implementation of the The SDG Integrated Solutions Platform focused on the following areas:

Establish knowledge networks to advance horizontal integration - Knowledge networks of this nature will give the UN in Sri Lanka the scope to reach out to numerous pockets of knowledge and gain support from a wider audience of thought leaders, which by extension will contribute to the 'Leaving No One Behind' and 'Reaching the Furthest Behind First' principles of the 2030 Agenda focusing on the theme of 2019 High Level Political Forum. The knowledge networks could vary from for example; networks of big data analysts to peace and reconciliation activists to sustainable climate action enthusiasts, linking Sri Lanka to networks in the region and globally. The networks would be used to spur the discourse in recognizing interlinkages between SDGs and development challenges and contribute to integrated solutions in reaching the furthest behind first.

The UN will also use existing platforms established through previous projects to complete the identification of localized data sources for 131 SDG indicators that will be instrumental to the SDG Integrated Solutions Platform. The knowledge networks will further strengthen the UN’s high-level technical support to the Government in terms of feeding into policy making. Furthermore, the UN will work to galvanize on these networks for capacity building for key Government, Civil Society and Private Sector institutions and other related Government planning departments at national and subnational levels on the integrated platforms and use of data in planning and policy making.


Track and visualize public and private sector investment towards the SDGs in Sri Lanka - This innovation will for the first time, bring together Government commitment, private sector contributions and highlight potential for innovative funding opportunities. It will advance the ‘whole of government’ and ‘whole of society’ approaches to foster interactive partnerships with any or all of these partners. This Widget will be an important part of the SDG Integrated Solutions Platform. The Government and Private Sector contributions towards the SDGs will be captured through a mapping exercise on existing and/or budgeted public and private sector investments towards the selected SDGs (Goals 4, 8, 10, 13, and 16), to provide an overview of the SDG financing ecosystem in Sri Lanka, and, in doing so, identify where funding gaps exist.

UNDP has recently started the process of costing the SDGs in Sri Lanka through the SDG Social Impact Financing Mission which will be finalised by August 2018. The costing will feed into this proposal and be done in parallel and complement the mapping of public and private sector contribution of the SDGs. 

Given the time duration of nine months for this project, the Widget will be piloted in a selected province. The selection will further emphasize the need for subnational data and implementation, building on the UN's earlier projects. The province will be selected based on the “country status of the SDGs 4, 8, 10, 13 and 16”.  The focus on the HLPF 2019 goals will also spur debate on provincial level on this theme. Each province currently has its own district development plan where it encourages private sector investment. By identifying the current investment, this also will be a “model of private investment towards SDGs”. In the long run, this could lead to policy recommendations on “tax concessions” encouraging more private sector investments.

Introduce an innovative space for diverse stakeholders to contribute to policy making - The third part of the integrated platform is putting the people left behind into the centre of discussion and bring their input to policy making. This component aims to build on the UNLOCKED blog pilot initiative of UNDP which was Sri Lanka’s first youth and development-themed blog; a space for Sri Lankan youth to express their views and opinions on sustainable development. It follows and builds on the developments of the 2014 National Human Development Report. Considering the growth in the use of the internet and social media in Sri Lanka, (7% and 22% respectively), in comparison to January 2017, along with the increase in demand for a space to share opinions particularly by digital means, the platform encourages the use of Vlogging, blogging, podcasts, etc.

In the pilot version, 11 young bloggers contributed their views on what was of interest to them in the report. Through their extraction and analysis of the report’s statistics and data, coverage of the report and interest in the blog grew exponentially, resulting in over 40 young people blogging in English and both national languages on the content.

The scale up of the UNLOCKED project to an innovative space for policy making is expected to unearth innovative ideas and create a discourse amongst policy makers and citizens contributing towards Sri Lanka's achievement of the SDGs. The discussions are envisaged to aggregate towards policy briefs and cabinet papers that would guide citizen centric policy making. Importantly, this space adds an integral and essential qualitative to allow for discourse to take place on the status of SDGs in Sri Lanka and addressing policy gaps that could lead to the achievement of the SDGs.

Following the 'whole society' approach, this project will give close attention to how grassroots level communities are contributing to the SDGs. In other words, not only focusing on reaching people left behind, but also showing how the people left behind are contributing to the 2030 agenda. The contribution could be measured through qualitative stories of people implementing projects in their daily life which contributes to the achievement of the SDGs. As such, this project will tap into the wisdom on local solutions for local problems with the potential of bringing these solutions to scale through broadcasting these ideas to the public. These communities would also contribute to sourcing and generation of data the SDGs, in particular for the 2019 HLPF theme. By working on provincial/district level these stories will be identified through using mechanisms that are already in place in the villages, such as village development societies, grassroot civil society organisations, regional journalist platforms, schools and youth clubs.



The Consultancy will be for a total of 9 months, ending no later than 30 June 2019.


Duties and Responsibilities


  • In coordination with UNOPS: established sustainable and useful knowledge networks to inform the discourse on the 2030 agenda;
  • In coordination with ILO and UNDP, partner with private sector actors and pilot a tracker for private sector investment in a selected province;
  • In coordination with UNDP, facilitate at least 2 policy briefs through the ‘UNLOCKED’ space;
  • Develop a report on results and lessons learned that can used to showcase results of the project  at a side event at the 2019 High Level Politcal Forum;
  • Organise a launch of the SDG Integrated Solutions Platform.



  • Results oriented with Expertise in the field of coordination and project management;
  • Excellent partnership and networking skills  is required;
  • Experience carrying out secretarial duties and facilitiation of meetings;
  • Ability to coordinate between UN agencies and Government stakeholders.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree in development studies, gender studies, social sciences, or other relevant field;
  • Expertise in use of big data will be an asset;
  • Prior experience in coordination, and in working in a development context will be an asset;
  • Fluency in spoken and written English and Sinhala or Tamil.



  • STEP 1 – Apply through UNDP Jobs site and complete the requested information and upload an updated CV to include qualifications/competencies and relevant past experience in similar projects and contact details of 3 professional referees who can certify your competencies, professionalism, quality of writing, presentation and overall suitability as required by this Terms of Reference.


Financial Proposal

All Inclusive Monthly Fee: LKR

Amount in words:(Rs.)


Note: Payments will be based on invoices on achievement of agreed milestones i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR and certification of acceptance by the UNDP. The applicant must factor in all possible costs in his/her “All Inclusive Lump Sum Fee” including his/her consultancy and professional fee, travel (economy class flights is required to and from the Duty Station) honorarium, board and lodging, and any other foreseeable costs in this exercise. No costs other than what has been indicated in the financial proposal will be paid or reimbursed to the consultant. UNDP will only pay for any unplanned travel outside of this TOR and Duty Station on actual basis and on submission of original bills/invoices and on prior agreement with UNDP officials. Daily perdiums and costs for accommodation/meals/incidental expenses for such travel shall not exceed established local UNDP DSA rates.

For an Individual Contractor who is 65 years of age or older, and on an assignment requiring travel, be it for the purpose of arriving at the duty station or as an integral duty required travel under the TOR, a full medical examination and statement of fitness to work must be provided.  Such medical examination costs must be factored in to the financial proposal above. Medical examination is not a requirement for individuals on RLA Contracts. 


Payment for Services

The Consultant shall receive payments in nine instalments based on the submission of:

  • A Monthly report summarising the progress on the implementation of the project and coordination support provided.

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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