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Programme specialist (Africa)

Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery - UNDP

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The goal of BCPR’s presence in UNDP Regional Service Centers (RSCs) is to ensure substantive advice on crisis prevention and recovery (CPR) issues to all UNDP work streams. Specifically, the BCPR/RSC component provides substantive partnerships support and performs cross-practice integration and coordination functions strengthening BCPR support to UNDP COs. In full consultation with CSMT in New York, the BCPR/RSC presence aims to provide proximate and immediate technical and advisory services to Country Offices in the region on conflict and disaster issues, mainstreams CPR practice issues in country office and regional programmes, and provides localized hands-on support during emergencies.

Under the direct supervision of the Practice Coordinator in Johannesburg and in close coordination with the Coordinator, DRRT (Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery Team), in New York, the Programme Specialist is responsible for providing technical expertise on disaster risk reduction and recovery to UNDP country offices in Africa, in collaboration with the relevant BCPR technical and regional programme support teams and, where appropriate, with key UN and other external partners.

Duties and responsibilities

- Provides policy advice/technical support to UNDP country office programmes on disaster risk reduction and recovery
- Performs programme and resource management functions
- Contributes to national and regional strategies on disaster risk reduction and recovery
- Performs knowledge management functions
- Promotes partnerships and inter-agency coordination for disaster risk reduction and recovery

Provides policy advice/technical support to UNDP country office programmes on disaster risk reduction and recovery focusing on achievement of the following results:

- Technical support/advice to UNDP country offices in Africa on policy issues pertaining to both pre-and-post disaster situations
- Cooperation with UNDP country offices in their efforts to mainstream disaster risk reduction elements into national development programmes and programming frameworks
- Advice to country offices in the region on natural disaster reduction programmatic services and provision of support for their participation in and contribution to the implementation of BCPR’s overall programme strategy and UNDP’s strategic plan
- Solid technical inputs for the design, development, and implementation of UNDP disaster reduction and early recovery initiatives at the national and sub-regional levels, including the formulation of national and regional capacity-building programmes
- Engagement with the coordinators of BCPR’s thematic programmes related to risk identification, mainstreaming, capacity development, climate risk management, urban risk management, recovery and gender to make sure that regional and national-level programming is technically sound and gender-sensitive
- Substantive technical support for project development and joint programmes at the country level, where requested
- Identification of disaster risk hot spots in the region to promote risk reduction programming
- Provision of substantive inputs to the disaster risk reduction project documents developed by the COs ensuring that CPR criteria and 8-point agenda are included on it.

Performs programme and resource management functions, focusing on achievement of the following results:

- Technical support/advice to UNDP country offices in the region on programming pertaining to disaster risk reduction and recovery
- Appraisal of country office requests for TRAC 3 Category II support in case of natural disasters and provision of technical advisory support for the assessment, strategic planning and programming of post-disaster recovery interventions in the countries
- Contribution to the preparation of appeals in post-disaster situations, in coordination with OCHA’s regional advisors, ensuring that UNDP recovery needs are adequately reflected
- Appropriate technical support to ongoing UNDP country office disaster reduction and recovery projects, including monitoring the achievement of outputs, outcomes and goals and ensuring that substantive and financial reporting is provided, in accordance with the MOU signed between UNDP and donors for those activities receiving support from BCPR- managed funds
- Monitoring and advice on BCPR’s programme resources, including TRAC 1.1.3 and Crisis Prevention and Recovery (CPR) Trust Funds, which includes helping country offices prepare allocation requests, providing feedback to the allocation committee as to the country office’s needs and capacities to launch new programmes and absorb new and/or old allocations, and tracking resource use over the project cycle
- Collaboration in and tracking of post-disaster recovery processes in countries included in the portfolio
- Substantive inputs for the production and dissemination of reports on UNDP activities in disaster risk reduction and recovery in the region
- Substantive inputs from the region for the development of a roster of outsourced personnel for disaster risk reduction and recovery purposes; supervision of the work of consultants on disaster reduction and recovery issues and authorization of payments

Contributes to national and regional strategies on disaster risk reduction and recovery, focusing on achievement of the following results:

- Policy level input for the development of national and regional disaster reduction strategies and institutional and legislative systems for mainstreaming disaster risk reduction into national development planning and programming
- Collaboration in the development of synergies between UNDP disaster risk reduction strategies and relevant regional and national strategies related to poverty alleviation, governance, energy and environment
- Substantive contribution to regional and sub-regional consultations on appropriate disaster risk reduction policy initiatives and presentation of evidence-based inputs for regional policy development, including lessons learned and evaluations of UNDP’s experience in disaster risk reduction in the region
 - Preparation of regional inputs for the formulation of UNDP corporate policy, guidelines and practice notes on disaster risk reduction and recovery
- Substantive technical input and contribution to the development of regional strategies

Performs knowledge management functions, focusing on achievement of the following results:

- Technical advice and support for the development and effective deployment of BCPR’s knowledge management and policy products in the areas of disaster rick reduction and recovery
- Relevant substantive inputs to knowledge networking, including responding to country office requests for information on best practice and offering referrals to experts and expert institutions
- Contribution to the development of knowledge management products (tools, methodologies, reports etc.) on specific disaster risk reduction and recovery issues, including facilitating multi-stakeholder dialogue processes
- Participation in BCPR-wide knowledge management processes, including community of practice meetings

Promotes partnerships and inter-agency coordination to build capacities for disaster risk reduction and recovery focusing on achievement of the following results:

- Collaboration in the development of inter-agency work on disaster risk reduction within the UN system
- Collaboration in the building of strategic alliances and partnerships, especially with key regional, sub-regional and national think tanks and research organizations, non-governmental organizations and inter-governmental organizations
- Attendance in UNDP and inter-agency meetings, academic conferences etc. as a UNDP/BCPR representative when requested
- Identification of critical components for the development of strategic partnerships and alliances for achievement of UNDP’s overall strategic and policies in the region, with other UN organizations (in particular OCHA, the ISDR Secretariat and other disaster-related programmes), multilateral organizations, regional member state organizations, civil society and the academia, and with donors and programme countries
- Contribution to the establishment of such partnerships, drafting of agreements and monitoring of implementation
- Conducting of regular meetings and coordination with the technical units on programme management to identify and address key issues in a timely and systematic manner

Impact of results:

The key results will have a positive impact on the ability of UNDP and BCPR, in particular, to provide the technical support and leadership in the development, implementation and management of BCPR’s disaster reduction portfolio in the Africa region under the cooperation frameworks.


Building strategic partnerships

Identifying and building partnerships

- Displays initiative, sets challenging outputs for him/herself and willingly accepts new work assignments
- Takes responsibility for achieving agreed outputs within set deadlines and strives until successful outputs are achieved

Resource mobilization :
Building and maintaining donor relations; implementing resource mobilization strategy

- Uses knowledge of donors and successful programmes and projects to contribute to fund raising and resource mobilization strategies

Promoting organizational learning and knowledge sharing:
Developing tools and mechanisms

- Makes the case for innovative ideas documenting successes and building them into the design of new approaches
- Identifies new approaches and strategies that promote the use of tools and mechanisms

Job knowledge/ Technical expertise:
In-depth knowledge of the Subject-matter

- Understands more advanced aspects of crisis prevention and recovery as well as the fundamental concepts of disaster risk reduction
- Keeps abreast of new developments in area of crisis prevention and recovery and seeks to develop him/herself professionally
 - Demonstrates comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the current guidelines and project management tools and utilizes these regularly in work assignments

Client orientation:
Contributing to positive outcomes for the client

- Works towards creating an enabling environment for a smooth relationship between the clients and service provider
- Keeps the client informed of problems or delays in the provision of services

Core competencies:

- Ethics & Values: Demonstrating / Safeguarding Ethics and Integrity
Demonstrates and promotes the highest standard of integrity, impartiality, fairness and incorruptibility in all matters affecting his/her work and status
- Organizational Awareness: Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment
Understands the structure and hierarchy of UN/UNDP, process flows throughout the organization, products and services, their measures of effectiveness, and perceptions of clients
- Developing & Empowering People/Coaching and Mentoring: Self-development, initiative-taking
Takes appropriate risk in developing new or adapting existing methods and approaches to more effectively perform tasks or to solve problems in new and unique ways
- Working in Teams: Acting as a team player and facilitating team work
Works collaboratively with colleagues inside UN/UNDP as well as its partners and other stakeholders to pursue common goals
- Communicating Information and Ideas: Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively
Delivers verbal/written information in a timely, clear, organized and easily understood manner
- Self Management & Emotional Intelligence: Creating synergies through self-control
Tolerates conditions of stress, uncertainty or ambiguity and continues to maintain a positive outlook and to work productively
- Conflict Management/Negotiating & Resolving Disagreements: Managing conflict
Remains calm, composed and patient, regardless of his/her own state of mind in the face of conflict
- Knowledge Sharing & Continuous Learning: Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others
Demonstrates commitment to ongoing professional development and keeps abreast of new developments in his/her professional field
- Appropriate and Transparent Decision-making: Informed and transparent decision making
Accepts responsibility and accountability for the quality of the outcome of his/her decisions

Required skills and experience


- A minimum of a Master’s degree or equivalent in economics, political science, sociology, international relations, anthropology, public administration, development studies or other relevant fields.


- A minimum of 7 years of professional experience in disaster risk management including field experience; experience in developing/application of risk information tools at different levels
- Knowledge of the international disaster reduction system at field and headquarters levels
- High level of technical and contextual knowledge of disaster risk management issues and their linkages with development trends in the Africa region
- Knowledge of state of the art developments in most of the key thematic areas: risk identification, climate risk management, urban risk management, post disaster needs assessment and recovery planning

Language requirements:

Fluency in English and French, both oral and written, is required; working knowledge of other UN official language is an asset.

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