Programme Manager - Inclusive Growth and Development

  • Added Date: Thursday, 23 January 2020
  • Deadline Date: Sunday, 09 February 2020

The development context in South Africa is characterized by high level of poverty, income inequality and unemployment in the context of a slow growing economy. The South Africa economy symbolizes a dualistic economic structure where a modern economy serving the middle class is existing along-with a less developed economy that is serving the larger nation which is black, rural and poor; the worst affected being women in rural areas and informal settlements in and around big cities where poverty, unemployment, crime and violence against women exist side-by-side. Statistics South Africa indicated that people living above the lower poverty line rose from 36% in 2011 to 40% in 2015. While share of national income by the top 10% is at 52.7% while the share of national income held by the bottom 40% is estimated at 6.6%. Unemployment has been above 20% since 1996 and is now approaching 30%. This makes the achievement of leaving no one behind by 2030 very challenging for South Africa. The economy has been growing at an average of 1.6% since 2012, averaging 0.95 percent between 2015 and 2018.

Despite the challenges, South Africa has made remarkable progress in many of its development areas as demonstrated by the UNDP Human Development Report of 2019 which puts South Africa’s HDI value at 0.705 in 2019 — which put the country in the high human development category—positioning it at 113 out of 189 countries and territories.  Between 1990 and 2019, South Africa’s HDI value increased from 0.625 to 0.705, an increase of 12.7 percent. Achieving high economic growth and employment creation are amongst the biggest challenges facing South Africa today and to address these, the South African Government adopted two key policies between 2011-2012; the National Growth Path (NGP) and the National Development Plan. The common denominator between these two policies is the creation of jobs and growing the economy.

The NGP promised to create 5 million jobs and reduce unemployment to 14% by 2020. In a similar vein, the National Development Plan target is to reduce unemployment to 14% by 2020 and grow the economy by an average of 5.4% from 2012 to 2030. Both these targets have been missed. At the end of the third quarter of 2019, the unemployment rate was estimated at 29.6%, and the economy has been growing at an average of 1.6% since 2012. Forecast by South Africa Reserve Bank predicts GDP growth at 1.2% in 2020 and improvement from 0.4% in 2019. The IMF’s World Economic Outlook estimates total investment to stay at 17% as a percentage of GDP for the next four years, while unemployment is expected to be in the range of 27-29% for the next four years. UNDP is recruiting a Programme Manager: Inclusive Growth and Development who will lead efforts to work with the South African Government in addressing poverty, unemployment and inequality through policy and technical advisory services.

The UNDP Country Office (CO) in south Africa, as Government partner in the  efforts to achieve the sustainable development goals, sought to reposition itself strategically and realign its human resources to better respond to the new Country Programme Document (CPD) 2020-2024 that will be submitted for approval soon  and ensure the articulated need to work in a more integrated and collaborative manner to help South Africa to address interrelated development challenges, including unemployment and inequality. In line with the UNDP Strategic Plan Signature solution 1: Keeping people out of poverty, the programme in South Africa will continue flagship programmes including improving rural and urban livelihoods, strengthening gender equality, ensuring access to clean energy and strengthening financial inclusion, in order to help build resilience to economic, environmental or health shocks. It will also focus of interventions that assist with transitions and structural shifts including economic diversification, redressing widening inequalities including gender inequalities, technology and skills alignment, etc.  

In this context and under the overall guidance by the Resident Representative and direct supervision by the Deputy Resident Representative, The Programme Manager for Inclusive Growth and Development will be a thought -leader and policy specialist in addressing growth-poverty-inequality and growth-poverty-unemployment nexuses. He/she analyzes political, social and economic trends and leads formulation, management and evaluation of programme activities within Inclusive Growth and Development portfolio, which consists of the following interventions: social protection, land reform and rural development, support to smallholder programme, private sector development, entrepreneurship and Small, micro-medium enterprises development (SMMEs).. S/he also works in close collaboration with his/her Unit and other Programme Units, Programme staff in other UN Agencies, UNDP HQ and Addis-Ababa Regional Hub staff, Government officials, technical advisors and experts, multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors and civil society to help implement the UNDP country programme in the area of sustainable. S/he provides quality technical advice to Government and partners in his or her work area.


Summary Key Functions:

  • Summary Keu Functions:
  • Ensuring the strategic direction of UNDP Inclusive Growth and Economic Programme
  • Management of the CO Inclusive Growth programme, and supervision of the Inclusive Growth and Development team members and consultants and directing their efforts to achieve corporate and CO strategic goals and results;
  • Fostering strategic partnerships to enhance programme collaboration and resource mobilization efforts;
  • Provision of top-quality policy/technical advice services internally within the CO and UNDP, and externally to Governmental and non-governmental partners, including development partners, civil society, and private sector, among others.
  • Facilitation of knowledge management and sharing of best practices


1. As a member of the Programme management team, ensures the strategic direction and implementation of UNDP programme within the practice area focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • A thorough analysis of the political, social and economic situation in the country and collaborative with other UN Agencies preparation and/or revise the Common Country Assessment (CCA), the United Nations Strategic Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF),the Country Development Programme (CPD), the Country Programme Annual Plan (CPAP ), the Annual Work Plan (AWP), Integrated Annual Work Plan (IWP) and other documents;;
  • Ensures operationalization of CPD though ongoing and new programmes and projects and in collaboration with the main partners and other UN Agencies. Identifies opportunities for new programme/project development including joint programming with UN agencies;
  • Identification of strategic programme areas of cooperation including Local Development Programme, Youth Entrepreneurship and Employment Programme, Value Chain Development and Circular Economy initiative, Land Reforms and Rural Transformation;
  • Designs and formulates components of UNDP programme translating programme priorities into local interventions and ensuring coordination and networking with clients, stakeholders and programme partners;
  • Collaborates with colleagues in Addis Ababa Regional Service Center (RSC)and Head Quarters (HQ) to apply in country programming new global and regional initiatives, polices and knowledge products.


2. Ensures effective management of the CO Inclusive Growth and Development programme portfolio and supervision of the team focusing on quality control of the full cycle of programming from formulation to implementation achieving the following results:

  • Provides component managerial leadership, technical guidance, oversight and quality control of program operations from planning, budgeting to implementation and monitoring and evaluation, ensuring that results are delivered in accordance with work plan, standards, allocations, framework and rules and regulations;
  • Ensures effective application of RBM tools, establishment of management targets and monitoring achievement of result, as quality assurance, ROAR, IWP etc.;
  • Leads the annual work planning process with CO units and project managers;
  • Monitors work plan implementation, ensures it is on track, and supports resolution of bottlenecks working with CO units, RSC and HQ;
  • Develops programme / outcome level work plan, monitoring plan, human resources and procurement plans;
  • Drafts Terms of References and procurement specifications;
  • Prepares periodic and ad hoc reports; ensures timely completion of required quarterly and annual reports;
  • Ensures project and programme reviews and evaluations take place;
  • Maintains regular contact with project and programme counterparts in order to ensure monitoring of projects' progress, monitoring of unit work plans, programme effectiveness and achievement of results;
  • Organizes regular coordination across outcome teams and other projects to ensure synergies and integration; promotes cross component and cross programme collaboration;
  • Supports audit exercises and follow up audit recommendations implementation;
  • Takes on corporate and CO responsibilities such as participation in CAP and interview panels


3. Establishes and maintains strategic partnerships and supports the resource mobilization focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Implements CO partnerships and resources mobilization strategies to achieve programme outcomes;
  • Establishes close working relationships and creates programmatic linkages and partnerships with relevant government agencies; UN Agencies, IFI’s, bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors, private sector and civil society.;
  • Identification and proposal of programmatic areas of cooperation, based on strategic goals of UNDP, country needs and donors’ priorities;
  • Analysis and research of information on donors, preparation of substantive briefs on possible areas of cooperation, identification of opportunities for cost-sharing.
  • Represents UNDP at external meetings within his/her area of programming.


4. Ensures provision of top-quality advisory services and facilitation of knowledge building and management within he Practice Area, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Identification of sources of information related to policy-driven issues. Identification and synthesis of best practices and lessons learned directly linked to programme country policy goals;
  • Coordination of development of policies and institutions that will address the country problems and needs in collaboration with the Government and other strategic partners;
  • Establishment of advocacy networks at national level and linked to international networks. Relevant, high-impact advocacy campaigns are implemented with key partners;
  • Sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice;
  • Advocates for UNDP with Government counterparts and ensures access to best available expertise;
  • Ensures that lessons learned from projects are captured and recorded into the CO knowledge networks;
  • Organization of training for the operations/ projects staff on programme, seminars, and dialogue platform with Government and other stakeholders 


IV. Competencies and Selection Criteria


Description of Competency at Level Required

(For more comprehensive descriptions please see the competency inventory)





Ability to make new and useful ideas work

Level 6: Exercises stakeholder-centered design approaches for office / programme / division


Ability to persuade others to follow

Level 5: Plans and acts transparently, actively works to remove barriers

People Management

Ability to improve performance and satisfaction

Level 5: Models high professional standards and motivates excellence in others


Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform

Level 5: Gains trust of peers, partners, clients by presenting complex concepts in practical terms to others


Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement

Level 5: Critically assesses value and relevance of existing policy / practice and contributes to enhanced delivery of products, services, and innovative solutions





Trends and emerging areas analytics

Ability to scan the horizon and identify approaches and initiatives to bring into policy and programme design

Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Results-Based Management

Ability to manage programmes and projects with a strategy aimed at improved performance and demonstrable results

Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise


Ability to engage with other agencies, donors, and other development stakeholders and forge productive working relationships

Level 5:Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Project Management

Ability to plan, organize, and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals t Management


Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Knowledge Management

Ability to efficiently handle and share information and knowledge

Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise



Resource Mobilization

Ability to identify and organize programmes  and projects to implement solutions and generate resources (definition is unclear and not well linked to the stated competency)

Level 3: Apply & Adapt (Recognized contributor with demonstrated ability)



  • Master’s Degree or equivalent in Economics, Development Economics, Business Administration, or related;
  • Prince2 training and certification, RMG are desirable.


  • Minimum of 5 years of progressively responsible experience in private sector development, entrepreneurship promotion, small and medium enterprises development, local economic development, value chains development  and project management in international development organizations and/or bilateral development agencies;
  • Experience at the national level providing technical advisory services, and establishing inter-relationships among international organization and national governments;
  • Experience of working with UNDP or another UN agency would be an asset
  • Proven ability to work effectively in multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams.
  • Sound understanding and capability to empower and develop the capacity of national staff.
  • Proven programmatic management experience with sound knowledge of all aspects of the project cycle (design, implementation, monitoring & evaluation).
  • Excellent skills in fundraising, resources mobilization and donor relations would be an asset.
  • Strong interpersonal and written and oral communication skills.


  • Proficiency in oral and written English. Working knowledge of national languages of South Africa would be an asset.


Important applicant information

Applicant information about UNDP rosters
Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

Workforce diversity
UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

Contract Duration: 1 Year with possibility for extension

This vacancy is archived.

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