Consultant -Innovation Facility Fund Manager

Location : New York, USA (with some home-based as agreed w/supervisor), UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Application Deadline :08-Dec-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Democratic Governance and Peacebuilding
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :261 working days over a period of 1 year


The purpose of this procurement exercise is to contract an individual consultant who will provide a transition plan that is consulted with relevant internal stakeholders and coordinate them in defining strategic focus and approach; support the operationalization of the IF 2.0 prototype and management of roll-out; design, track, monitor and report innovation related corporate performance indicators; support the constant upgrade of monitoring and evaluation systems for innovation, in close collaboration with relevant corporate units; support the Global Advisor with support services on innovation for internal clients and with outreach to external partners, and driving and coordinating the scaling up of the corporate R&D function – the Innovation Days.

On a global level, UNDP has been investing in innovation through a dedicated function since 2014. The Innovation Facility (IF) was established with donor support to catalyze the use of novel approaches for development impact and provide seed funding to foster country-based innovation.

The Innovation Facility has played a catalyst role in (a) creating new skills locally/within the CO; (b) building up innovation momentum over time, whereby Innovation Facility recipients are more likely to continue to develop/design/test innovative initiatives, and c) build an overall culture of innovation/risk-taking within the organization.  This data also bears out the assumption that where there is a deliberate investment in innovation (skills/capacity) this translates into a larger number of innovation initiatives.

To date, the Innovation Facility has supported more than 200 country-level experiments with seed-funding, many more with technical advice and it has created distributed innovation capabilities across UNDP Country Offices along with the development of new service lines.

Building on this multi-year investment, innovation is now at the heart of UNDP’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan, and the anchor of the Administrator’s vision for development. Reflecting the overall organizational shift from short-term initiatives that sought to build a culture change and create experience with innovative methods into developing organizational agility, accelerating learning and adaptiveness in a quickly changing world, the first phase of the Innovation Facility is concluding. The progress made during the first phase was foundational for bringing innovation to the core of the organization - including in setting up new initiatives like Accelerator Labs, having innovation in the heart of the Strategic Plan and making it essential to the integrator offering. Combined, they signal a shift from ‘a thousand flowers blooming period’ towards more strategic mission-oriented innovation. 

In the second phase, will introduce a new investment logic nestled within a broader approach of directional systems innovation, striving to identify frontier issues and apply multiple parallel experiments to systemic issues (such as biotech, rise of technology and its implications, urbanization, antibiotic resistance). They are defined by the transnational nature of their drivers, impacts and scope. With the strategic intent of deploying capital with transformative effects, the IF will adopt a portfolio approach to a select number of strategic risks identified as game changers.

To deliver on this mission, the Facility will:

  • Identify strategic risks/frontier issues and understand their impact in local contexts;
  • Build organizational capabilities to identify gaps in existing programming & address frontier risks by leveraging network effects and innovative methods (i.e. sensemaking);
  • Design and invest in service-lines to address frontier issues addressing multiple levers of change - such as policy, behavior, technology, and learn iteratively;
  • Engrain a networked way of learning - focusing on iteratively learning through connecting, developing relational networks and creating spaces for open sharing.


Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall guidance of the Global Advisor for Innovation, the primary function of the Consultant is to provide a transition plan that is consulted with relevant internal stakeholders and coordinate them in defining strategic focus and approach; support the operationalization of the IF 2.0 prototype and management of roll-out; design, track, monitor and report innovation related corporate performance indicators; support the constant upgrade of monitoring and evaluation systems for innovation, in close collaboration with relevant corporate units; support the Global Advisor with support services on innovation for internal clients and with outreach to external partners, and driving and coordinating the scaling up of the corporate R&D function – the Innovation Days.

Re-design of Innovation Facility 2.0:

  • Support the consultation with relevant stakeholders to further define the vision, strategic approach, investment logic, and fund management arrangements;
  • Define transition action plan in consultation with senior leadership, regional innovation leads and other critical internal stakeholders;
  • Support the curation of an innovation project board of internal and external stakeholders from regional hubs, COs, leadership and leading thinkers and does from academia and the private sector;
  • Coordination of call for proposals and the assessment process, including preparation of review materials, additional research, organization of various stages of the review process and compiling feedback. 

Fund management:

  • Provide oversight of the transition phase of the Innovation Facility as a “minimum-viable product” of a new way of understanding emergent issues (i.e. combining views from the ground with big data, and experts) and addressing them by expanding development options (new ways of doing things), all the while applying cutting-edge methods bridging science, technology, policy innovation and shifting citizen behaviour;
  • Lead the management, design and quality assurance of project monitoring, analyses and reporting;
  • Conduct research on potential partners for sourcing emerging technology areas and potential investment areas/companies for the Innovation Facility.
  • Lead on the organization of relevant event and efforts to diversify sources of funding

Policy advice and learning:

  • Support the coordination of internal learning mechanisms and processes to identify lessons from UNDP’s innovation portfolio and lead the organization of innovation focused learning events with external experts;
  • Build out the Innovation Conversation as a way to surface, sound out and validate new emerging trends, strategic risks and tools and frameworks to be tested
  • Prepare briefing notes on UNDP’s innovation work for internal audiences and senior management as per request;
  • Lead on the organization of a donor event to diversify sources of funding
  • Support engagement with other corporate innovation work-tracks to ensure the alignment of the Innovation Facility with UNDP’s overall strategic approach to innovation;
  • Support engagements in relevant innovation networks and partnerships;
  • Provide input into strategy and operations for Innovation service lines;

Building out corporate R&D function (Innovation Days):

  • The function aims to influence the demand and alert governments to trends and risks, accelerate learning about their potential implications and creates space for strategic co-creation of potential systemic pathways of response with governments;
  • Co-design a fellowship for
  • Support global and regional innovation advisors in work with COs to scope potential for leveraging risks to refresh country or regional programmatic offerings through the organization of Innovation Days, identify and engage potential investors



  • Demonstrates commitment to the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the mission, vision and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly and with impartiality.


  • Proven expertise in the field of innovation for development, be this in the context of project management, research, or advocacy;
  • Proven experience with advancing new ways of working in organizations and/or companies;
  • Proven expertise in the field of results-based management and performance indicator management and reporting;
  • Proven ability to plan, organize, and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals;
  • Ability to engage collaboratively with partners (including other UN agencies), donors, and other development stakeholders and forge productive working relationships;
  • Knowledge of project and fund management (budgeting, expenditure, reporting) related procedures to ensure that quality requirements and goals are fulfilled.
  • Strong communication and writing skills.

Required Skills and Experience

Academic qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree or equivalent Advanced Degree in social science, economics or related field with specific focus on development, communications, and innovation is required.


  • A minimum of 5 years of professional working experience in relevant fields related to international development is required.
  • A minimum of 2 years of professional experience with budget and project management is required.
  • Experience with, and knowledge of, international development, emerging technologies, human-centered design, social innovation an asset
  • Experience in innovation in developing countries or social impact and/or living or working in developing countries is a plus. 


  • Fluency in written and spoken English is required;
  • Working knowledge of another UN language would be an asset

Application Procedure

The application package containing the following (to be uploaded as one file):

  • A cover letter with a brief description of why the Offer considers her/himself the most suitable for the assignment;
  • Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects and specifying the relevant assignment period (from/to), as well as the email and telephone contacts of at least three (3) professional references

Note: The above documents need to be scanned in one file and uploaded to the online application as one document.

Shortlisted candidates (ONLY) will be requested to submit a Financial Proposal.

  • The financial proposal should specify an all-inclusive daily fee (based on a 7 hour working day - lunch time is not included - and estimated 21.75 days per month).
  • The financial proposal must be all-inclusive and take into account various expenses that will be incurred during the contract, including: the daily professional fee; (excluding mission travel); living allowances at the duty station; communications, utilities and consumables; life, health and any other insurance; risks and inconveniences related to work under hardship and hazardous conditions (e.g., personal security needs, etc.), when applicable; and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services under the contract.
  • The assignment might require travel, but this will be determined on the needs basis and will be arranged by UNDP.
  • In the case of unforeseeable travel requested by UNDP, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon, between UNDP and Individual Consultant, prior to travel and will be reimbursed. In general, UNDP should not accept travel costs exceeding those of an economy class ticket. Should the IC wish to travel on a higher class he/she should do so using their own resources.
  • If the Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP under a Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP.

    The Financial Proposal is to be emailed as per the instruction in the separate email that will be sent to shortlisted candidates.

Evaluation process

Applicants are reviewed based on Required Skills and Experience stated above and based on the technical evaluation criteria outlined below.  Applicants will be evaluated based on cumulative scoring.  When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract will be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Being responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation where technical criteria weighs 70% and Financial criteria/ Proposal weighs 30%.

Technical evaluation - Total 70% (70 points):

  • Criteria 1. Experience in doing project management of global initiatives, quality assurance, reporting Weight = 25%; Maximum Points: 25;
  • Criteria 2. Experience in horizon scanning, market intelligence, and experimentation as a way of accelerating learning Weight = 15 %; Maximum Points: 15;
  • Criteria 3. Experience in continued learning capture, writing and conducting social media research, engagement and outreach Weight = 10 %; Maximum Points: 10; and
  • Interview: Weight = 20 %; Maximum Points: 20.

Having reviewed applications received, UNDP will invite the top three/four shortlisted candidates with a minimum of 35 points for interview. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% (49 points) of the maximum obtainable points for the technical criteria (70 points) shall be considered for the financial evaluation.

Financial evaluation - Total 30% (30 points)

The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal:

  • p = y (µ/z), where
  • p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated
  • y = maximum number of points for the financial proposal
  • µ = price of the lowest priced proposal
  • z = price of the proposal being evaluated

Contract Award

Candidate obtaining the highest combined scores in the combined score of Technical and Financial evaluation will be considered technically qualified and will be offered to enter into contract with UNDP.

Institutional arrangement

The consultant will work under the guidance and direct supervision of the Global Advisor for Innovation and will be responsible for the fulfilment of the deliverables as specified above.

The Consultant will be responsible for providing her/his own laptop.

Payment modality

Payment to the Individual Contractor will be made based on the actual number of days worked, and upon certification of satisfactory completion by the manager.

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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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