Director, UN Office for South-South Cooperation

Application Deadline :21-Sep-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :D-2
Languages Required :
Expected Duration of Assignment :More than a year; Fixed Term Appointment

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.


I. Job Purpose and Organizational Context

The United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), hosted by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), was established in 1974, to promote, coordinate and support South-South and triangular cooperation globally and within the United Nations system.

In line with the Strategic Framework designed to guide the work of the UNOSSC 2018-2021, the overarching goal of UNOSSC is to support Member States efforts to achieve the eradication of poverty in all its forms and to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment so as to achieve the 2030 Agenda through enhanced South-South cooperation, including triangular cooperation. 

At the intergovernmental level, the UNOSSC serves as the Secretariat to the High-level Committee (HLC) on South-South Co-operation, a subsidiary body of the General Assembly, which provides policy directives and guidance and reviews progress on South-South Co-operation globally. The UNOSSC is also responsible for the preparation of reports for various intergovernmental bodies, including the annual report of the Secretary-General on the state of South-South Co-operation, as well as ad hoc reports emanating from intergovernmental decisions.

The BAPA+40 Outcome Document reaffirms the mandate and the central role of the UNOSSC as the focal point for promoting and facilitating South-South and triangular cooperation for development on a global and United Nations system-wide basis. Member States call on the UNOSSC to continue supporting policy dialogues, programmes, and capacity-building, providing support for Member States to build South-South and triangular cooperation partnerships, as well as enabling the sharing of good practices and experiences;

The UNOSSC currently operationalizes its policy directives through several initiatives described below. In addition, the UNOSSC also manages the UN Fund for South-South Cooperation, the India UN Sustainable Development Fund, the India-Brazil South Africa (IBSA) Fund, and the Pérez-Guerrero Trust Fund for Economic and Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries.

With the important played by South-South and Triangular Cooperation in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Director must possess leadership, experience  and management qualities to support system-wide co-ordination and action, in line with the policy guidance emanating from the High Level Committee.  The Director will be responsible for positioning the UNOSSC, within the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and enable the Office to collect, analyze and provide access to data on the “who, what and where” of South-South and Triangular Co-operation. This will also entail enhanced focus on outreach, dialogue, and consensus-building across a wide range of stakeholders while continuing to build on its existing major platforms designed for this purpose.

Duties and Responsibilities

II. Duties and Responsibilities

The Director will be responsible for leading and managing the UN Office for South-South Cooperation, in line with the mandate(s) established by the relevant UN bodies and under the policy guidance of the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation, in full compliance with the existing UNDP administrative and financial rules and procedures, while ensuring that the Office achieves tangible results in promotion of South-South Cooperation through effectively discharging the following duties and responsibilities:

Mainstreaming South-South and Triangular Cooperation in the UN Development System, through:

  • Providing thought leadership and high-level advice on South-South and Triangular Cooperation to the UNDP Administrator, as the UNSDG Vice - Chair.
  • Promoting the overall mainstreaming of SSC across the UN system;
  • Supporting the implementation of resolutions and recommendations emanating from relevant intergovernmental bodies;
  • Supporting the transfer of innovative and forward-looking development solutions to relevant development partners to support the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable development agenda;
  • Creating and maintaining real-time information on various ongoing SSC initiatives within and outside the ambit of the UN System, high-level advocacy, promoting SSC , and rallying further commitment from Member States, UN entities, multilateral bodies, and private-sector and civil society organizations to provide  comprehensive support for SSC and to generate resource mobilization opportunities.
  • producing evidence-based analysis and advice on SSC in partnership with think tanks of the Global South, including through the South-South Global Thinkers Initiative
  • •Convening a global knowledge sharing and partnership brokering platform -- South-South Galaxy, and organizing the annual Global South-South Development Expo.

Support to the High-level Committee (HLC) on South-South Cooperation:

  • Lead the review of, and report to the HLC on, progress made in the implementation of recommendations of Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA), the Nairobi Outcome Document and BAPA + 40 by national governments and by the UN system;
  • Lead policy reviews and direct substantive studies and analyses as required by the HLC, and make recommendations on new directions, strategies, and innovative approaches to SSC;
  • Manage relationships among various stakeholders, including Member States, with a view to securing consensus-based approaches to SSC in the HLC, ECOSOC, and General Assembly;
  • Provide effective secretariat support to the Bureau of the HLC.

Strengthen UN system-wide efforts and external partnerships for South-South Cooperation:

  • Promote the UN’s strategic leadership on SSC and integrate SSC across UN Development System policy, programming and partnership activities;
  • Coordinates the UN Interagency Group on South - South cooperation
  • Prepares the action plan and monitoring framework of the UN strategy
  • Collaborate with UNDP Senior Management, DCO and other relevant bodies in identifying strategic partnership opportunities within the UN System, and between the UN System and other entities in business, civil society, philanthropy, and academic sectors;
  • Engage with other entities of the multilateral system, including development banks and Southern financial institutions, and leverage partnerships in support of SSC;
  • Mobilize resources for South - South and triangular cooperation and manage the above-mentioned funds in accordance with the established UNDP administrative and financial rules and procedures.


III. Competencies and Selection Criteria

Description of Competency at Level Required




Ability to make new and useful ideas work

Level 7: Promotes stakeholder-centered design and appropriate risk-taking approaches for office / programme / division


Ability to persuade others to follow

Level 7: Positions the organization as a center of expertise and influence Inspires others to reach new heights

People Management

Ability to improve performance and satisfaction

Level 7: Empowers team managers to act independently and takes people management decisions


Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform

Level 7: Reconciles contrasting positions and ambiguous circumstances by communicating a clear path for resolution and progress


Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement

Level 7: Sets strategic goals and builds the means to achieve optimal service delivery and organizational excellence



South-South Cooperation

•Is well-versed on all key facets of South-South and triangular Cooperation ;

•Demonstrates intellectual leadership and ability to integrate SSC knowledge with broader strategic, policy and operational objectives; SSC trend analysis and forecasting;

•Situating SSC within the global 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

Level 7: Navigate & Guide: Charts a course for a systems approach to continuous learning, adaptation, and excellence, creating institutional imperatives to realize progress within across the relevant profession


Ability to effectively represent management at the senior level in internal and external meetings.

Level 7: Navigate & Guide: Charts a course for a systems approach to continuous learning, adaptation, and excellence, creating institutional imperatives to realize progress within across the relevant profession

Building Consensus

Ability to build political consensus across diverse constituencies and demonstrate innovative approach to problem solving.

Level 7:Navigate & Guide: Charts a course for a systems approach to continuous learning, adaptation, and excellence, creating institutional imperatives to realize progress within across the relevant profession


Ability to nurture an extensive global network of institutional and individual contacts, and displays ability to exercise tact and diplomacy in building and maintaining relations with partners.

Level 7:Navigate & Guide: Charts a course for a systems approach to continuous learning, adaptation, and excellence, creating institutional imperatives to realize progress within across the relevant profession

Diplomacy and decision-making

•Demonstrates integrity, sound judgement, ability to take decisions and act without consideration of personal gain;

•Independent judgment and discretion in advising on and handling major management and operational-related issues and problems.

Level 7: Navigate & Guide: Charts a course for a systems approach to continuous learning, adaptation, and excellence, creating institutional imperatives to realize progress within across the relevant profession

Required Skills and Experience

IV. Recruitment Qualifications


  • Advanced university degree in areas related to development, economics and/or international affairs and related disciplines.


  • A minimum of fifteen (15) years in development work including relevant professional assignments in developing countries and / or mission settings;
  • Extensive experience of international development issues and proven record of working successfully on cross-country and interregional issues;
  • Demonstrated management experience in progressively senior management positions;
  • Strong hands-on experience as a senior manager dealing with development policy and operational matters;
  • Familiarity with the UN system and, particularly, with the intergovernmental processes.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English and in a second UN language is required;
  • Knowledge of French or Spanish is an asset.

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