UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) invests its funding and technical capabilities in LDCs and other developing countries.  UNCDF operates in two areas: a. Public Finance for Local Development where it works on strengthening public and private investment at the local level. UNCDF supports decentralization and strong financial management within decentralized systems and b. Private Sector: ensuring financial services reach poor people and small businesses. Inclusive financial systems promote private sector driven, pro-poor growth. By ensuring formal financial systems include poor people – with savings, credit, payments, insurance, and remittances – UNCDF helps poor families and small businesses generate income, build assets, invest in opportunities and strengthen resilience to shocks.

UNCDF’s work to extend financial services to the poor follows an “inclusive finance” approach. This approach seeks to ensure that a range of financial products is available to all segments of society, at a reasonable cost, and on a sustainable basis. UNCDF supports a wide range of providers (e.g. microfinance institutions, banks, cooperatives, money transfer and insurance companies) and financial products and services (e.g. savings, credit, insurance, payments, remittances). UNCDF also supports newer delivery channels (e.g. mobile phone networks) that offer tremendous potential for scale.  UNCDF’s financial – systems approach and results have received strong endorsement from the Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest (CGAP) Smart Aid for Microfinance Index. Highlighted strengths include UNCDF’s overall capacity to manage highly quality programmes using best practice interventions, its depth of in – house technical expertise and its strategic agility.

Nepal is one of UNCDF’s Asia priority countries.  UNCDF has been active in Nepal through the successful Enhancing Access to Financial Services (EAFS) in which it worked closely with a range of financial service providers to dramatically scale up their outreach.  UNCDF’s Inclusive Finance Practice Area (FIPA) portfolio in Nepal is expanding to areas of Digital Financial Services (DFS) i.e. branchless and mobile banking services for the poor, agricultural value chain finance, clean energy finance, microfinance and policy development. To meet the growing demand and commitments, UNCDF is looking for a Programme Specialist to join its team in Nepal.

Deberes y responsabilidades

Functions/Key Results Expected:

The Programme Specialist supervises and leads programme support staff, and coordinates activities of the projects’ staff. The Programme Specialist works in close collaboration with the operations team, programme staff  of other UN Agencies, Government officials, technical advisors and experts, multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors and civil society ensuring successful UNCDF programme implementation.

The Programme Specialist will receive strategic guidance from UNCDF management and the UNCDF Regional Team as well as advice on any operational issues, and UNCDF specific rules and regulations from the UNCDF Operations Division; and on tools in terms of communication and resource mobilization from the Business Development Division. S/he will collaborate with the UNCDF Evaluation Advisor on issues concerning evaluation of joint programmes.

Summary of Key Functions:

  • Coordinates UNCDF programmes/projects activities and oversight of project teams;
  • Assists in the implementation of UNCDF programmes/projects;
  • Monitors and supervise programme/project performance;
  • Facilitates knowledge management and sharing;
  • Maintains current and establishing of new strategic partnerships and supports resource mobilization.

Coordinates UNCDF programmes/projects activities and oversight of project teams:

  • Represents  UNCDF programmes/projects in the country when requested;
  • Establishes links with UNCDF programmes/projects with UNDAF and other relevant UN country strategies;
  • Maintains strong ties and relationships with UNDP country office;
  • Liaisons with the relevant government bodies to secure necessary government approvals of UNCDF’s programmes/interventions in the country;
  • Oversight of planning, budgeting, implementing and monitoring of programmes/projects, tracking financial resources in accordance with the UN rules, ensures compliance of all programmes/projects with donor requirements;
  • Management of audit and following up on audit recommendations;
  • Liaises with relevant UNDP Nepal units for programming and operational advice/support specific to Nepal Country Office policies and procedures;
  • Oversees consultant contracts, and assures logistical support to the organization of consultants work in the country;
  • Coordinate with partner institutions and relevant ministries and its departments in a regular basis and provides updates to line manager and other relevant UNCDF stakeholders;
  • Coordinates with the programmes/project teams through regular monthly exchanges, troubleshoots problems when needed.

Assists in the implementation of UNCDF programmes/projects:

  • Provides high quality and timely operational assistance to UNCDF programme/project teams;
  • Provide necessary professional development and skill development trainings and orientation to the programmes staffs when required.
  • Provides high quality country intelligence to UNCDF programme/project teams especially in areas of DFS, renewable energy financing, agricultural development, value chain finance and financial sector development. Provides technical assistance in line with his/her expertise in areas of inclusive finance;
  • Contributes to and/or writes quarterly, annual and other relevant reports and ensure timely submissions to the concerned donors;
  • Assists in and/or prepares grant and performance based agreement documentation for approved partners and for donors;
  • Organizes workshops, meetings and visits as per needs of UNCDF programmes/projects;
  • Assists in carrying out and/or overseeing research studies, independently or as a counterpart to consultant(s) hired by UNCDF, on various issues within financial inclusion agenda;
  • Ensures that programmes/projects are anchored in relevant ministries implementation framework as appropriate;
  • Assists in finalization agreements with donor agencies, and the government alike, and coordinates all necessary approvals on country level.

Monitors programme/project performance:

  • Works closely with M&E regional specialist in ensuring high quality monitoring and evaluation of UNCDF’s programmes/projects in the country;
  • Assists in reviews of the current M&E framework within the context of the UNCDF’s programmes/projects objectives, prepares/reviews Annual Work Plan (AWP) in order to provide input in the development of comprehensive M&E framework;
  • Assists in development of all required systems, tools, reports and indicators, required for efficient, effective implementation of M&E framework and activities specifically aligned with DCED standards, as well as with UNCDF and UNDP requirements;
  • Assists programme/project teams units in monitoring M&E activities in the Annual Work Plan;
  • Regularly monitors partner reports and conducts report and indicator audits to maintain quality control of internal and external reporting;
  • Analyzes M&E activity findings and reports and provide management with timely, accurate information for decision – making;
  • Ensures timely and accurate submission of monitoring reports (programme and financial);
  • Monitors financial performance of the programme/project activities preparing budgets, monitoring spending and execution of activities;
  • Liaisons and assists as appropriate in monitoring and evaluation missions of UNCDF, donors and the government.

Facilitates knowledge management and sharing:

  • Assists in identification and execution of knowledge management activities in order to generate and disseminate learning from programmes/project activities and publicize results in close collaboration with technical advisors and programme managers;
  • Ensures that UNCDF team is informed of current trends and  market conditions and prepares and shares regular briefs with country and regional teams;
  • Organizes and/or participates in “information exchange events” to publicize UNCDF programme /project activities, results and impact;
  • Contributes to UNCDF publications (focus note, research papers, and the like.) highlighting programme challenges, opportunities and successes;
  • Identifies stakeholders to participate in knowledge sharing opportunities relating to UNCDF programmes/projects, assists in managing the logistics of their participation;
  • Contributes, as appropriate, to global knowledge sharing efforts to share information on UNCDF efforts in Nepal and partners’ experiences in financial inclusion.

Maintains current and establishes new strategic partnerships and supports resource mobilization:

  • Creates and maintains partnership with the UN agencies, especially UNDP, government institutions, bi – lateral and multi – lateral donors, private sector, civil society and so forth;
  • Keeps abreast with key changes in policy environment, regulations, strategic focus of development partners and market developments.  Provides regular quarterly policy briefings to UNCDF teams in writing;
  • Analyzes information on donors, assists in conceptualization of interventions and prepares briefs on possible areas of cooperation, identifies new opportunities for UNCDF engagement;
  • Maintains close donor relationships and keeps regular rapport with donors and government agencies alike.


Functional Competencies

Corporate Responsibility and Team Work:

  • Serves and promotes the vision, mission, values and strategic goals of UNCDF and the Nepal FIPA programmes/projects;
  • Participates effectively in team – based, information – sharing environment, effectively collaborating and cooperating with others;
  • Establishes clear performance goals standards and responsibilities, and manages them effectively;
  • Works as a part of a team.  

Result Based management:

  • Plans and produces quality results to meet established goals;
  • Demonstrates ability to generate innovative, practical solutions to challenging situations;
  • Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of monitoring and evaluation frameworks, literature and latest developments in the M&E field of practice.

Effective Communication:

  • Demonstrates strong oral communication skills;
  • Demonstrates effective listening skills;
  • Effectively writes for a wide range of audiences, donors, government and UNCDF;
  • Demonstrates strong numerical and analytical skills.

Promoting learning and knowledge sharing:

  • Seeks and applies knowledge, information and best practices from within and outside the programme/projects;
  • Demonstrates knowledge and experience in organizing and coordinating a wide variety of meetings, conferences, exchange events, and visit in professional context.

Job Knowledge and Technical Expertise:

  • Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of at least two inclusive finance areas: microfinance, energy finance, value chain finance, Digital Financial Services;
  • Keeps abreast with new development in areas of professional discipline and seeks to develop him/herself professionally;
  • Demonstrates sound knowledge of research methods and research dissemination;
  • Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of information technology and applies it in all work assignments;
  • Demonstrates comprehensive understanding of project management tolls and utilizes these regularly in work assignments.

Client Orientation:

  • Demonstrates an understanding of client/partner perspective;
  • Establishes smooth relationships and enabling environment between clients and service providers;
  • Strives for high quality client – oriented services (internal and external) when making decision and taking actions.

Building Strategic Partnerships:

  • Effectively promotes UNCDF’s goals and objectives;
  • Effectively seizes opportunities to build strategic alliances with relevant stakeholders in alignment with UNCDF’s mandate.

Problem Solving, Innovation and Judgment:

  • Conceptualizes and analyzes problems to identify key issues and how they relate;
  • Demonstrates ability to identify and implement solutions to the problems;
  • Demonstrates ability to conceptualize creative, practical ideas and demonstrates sense of entrepreneurial initiative to deal with challenging situations.

Core Competencies

  • Demonstrates integrity and fairness by modeling UN values and ethical standards;
  • Displays cultural and gender sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly and without favoritism;
  • Builds effective teams;
  • Builds support and political acumen;
  • Creates and promotes open communication environment.

Habilidades y experiencia requeridas


  • Completion of Master’s degree in Social Sciences, Economic Development, MBA, International Relations, Economic, Agriculture, Finance or related fields.


  • At least 5 years of professional experience in progressively more responsible positions;
  • A demonstrated experience in managing projects and/or programmes as well as developing and utilizing project management tools (budgeting, preparation of annual work-plans);
  • A track record of providing technical assistance and/or policy advice, overseeing and managing inclusive finance, microfinance, agricultural finance or value chain finance programmes/projects;
  • Demonstrated technical expertise in at least two of the following technical areas: mobile and branchless banking, access to finance for the poor, renewable energy finance, value chain finance and agricultural finance;
  • A strong understanding of financial inclusion trends globally and within Nepal;
  • A demonstrated track record in collaborating with government bodies preferably with the Ministry of Finance and/or Nepal Rastra Bank;
  • A demonstrated track record in working with multi – lateral and bi – lateral organizations and donors and in raising funds;
  • A demonstrated ability to take initiative, work independently and with minimum guidance and oversight;
  • Demonstrated ability to organize events, conferences;
  • Good knowledge of research techniques, demonstrated analytical and problem solving skills;
  • Excellent organizational skills, inter- personal communication and administrative skills;
  • High proficiency in all Microsoft Office Applications, and ability to use them independently without support;
  • Familiarity with UNCDF/UNDP rules and procedures will be added advantage.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in written and spoken Nepali and English.