Programme Specialist

  • Added Date: Friday, 26 June 2020
  • Deadline Date: Friday, 10 July 2020

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP's policy work carried out at HQ, Regional Hubs and Country Office levels, forms a contiguous spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan.

Within the GPN, the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP's Strategic Plan. BPPS's staff provides technical advice to Country Offices, advocates for UNDP corporate messages, represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private dialogues, government and civil society dialogues, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas. BPPS works closely with UNDP's Crisis Bureau (CB) to support emergency and crisis response. BPPS ensures that issues of risk are fully integrated into UNDP's development programmes.ย  BPPS assists UNDP and partners to achieve higher quality development results through an integrated approach that links results-based management and performance monitoring with more effective and new ways of working.ย  BPPS supports UNDP and partners to be more innovative, knowledge and data driven including in its programme support efforts.

The 2030 Agenda for SDGs and the pledge to leave no one behind reflect the interconnectedness of health and sustainable development, including widening economic and social inequalities, the climate crisis, rapid urbanization, the continuing burden of HIV and other infectious diseases (e.g., malaria, tuberculosis), the growing burden of non-communicable diseases and the emergence of health threats. The scope and scale of delivering health and well-being for allย demands innovative partnerships and financing. As affirmed in the Political Declaration of the 2019 High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC),ย the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) and others are critical partners for delivering on the health-related goals of the 2030 Agenda.ย  Stronger Collaboration, Better Health: Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for Allย outlines howย a dozen multilateral health, development and humanitarian agencies, including UNDP, the Global Fund, Gavi and others will collaborate to be more efficient and effectiveย in supportingย countries to deliver UHC and achieve the health-related SDG targets.ย 

UNDPโ€™s partnership with the Global Fund, in line with UNDPโ€™s HIV, Health and Development Strategy 2016-2021: Connecting the Dots, makes a vital contribution to UNDPโ€™s Strategic Plan 2018-2021, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the SDGs and the pledge to leave no one behind.ย 

As a long-standing partner of the Global Fund, UNDPโ€™s value proposition lies in providing an integrated package of development solutions to strengthen institutions to deliver health services. Through its contributions as interim Principal Recipient (PR) and provider of technical assistance to Global Fund grants in 53 countries since 2003, UNDPโ€™s provision of integrated policy, implementation and capacity development support to countries has yielded significant health and development results in challenging operating environments. Proactive risk management and investing in sustainability are the cornerstones of UNDPโ€™s portfolio management approach in supporting to countries with significant national capacity constraints to manage large-scale health programmes. By providing technical assistance to national counterparts during all phases of implementation, strengthening legislation, policies and regulatory frameworks, and building capacities across key functional areas, including financial management, health information systems, procurement and supply chain management, UNDP is able to deliver results whilst sustainably transitioning to national entities. UNDPโ€™s track record as PR over the last 17 years and capacity to deliver in challenging operating environments has been critical for strengthening its positioning as a health implementation support partner. Based on demand from Country Offices, and building on the relationships, expertise, systems, partnerships, including across the UN family, and comparative advantage established through the Global Fund partnership, the GPN/BPPS/Global Fund Partnership/Health Implementation Support Team (GF/HIST, Global Fund Partnership Team) is providing support to Country Offices through three overarching modalities: 1) the Global Fund portfolio, 2) health procurement and supply chain management support, and 3) other health implementation support beyond the Global Fund, including Gavi-funded activities and Solar for Health. The GF/HIST provides its support through a country team approach to strengthen and integrate the different functional capacities (e.g., programmatic, procurement/SCM strengthening, finance, capacity development), leveraging technical assistance and policy support from the HHD Group and other GPN teams.

Under the overall supervision of the Deputy Manager, GF/HIST, the Programme Specialist will be working as part of the team responsible for strategic partnership with the Global Fund and other health partnerships. S/he will be responsible for a country team, and will contribute substantive programme and policy advisory services to Country Offices (COs) and Regional Service Centres (RSCs) both in their role as the interim Principal Recipient and increasingly as a significant partner to governments and non-governmental organizations implementing Global Funds grants and other health and development partners. He/she will be a focal point for mainstreaming human rights interventions in Global Fund grants and coordinate with other technical partners. The Programme Specialist promotes a collaborative, client-oriented approach consistent with UNDP rules and regulations, contributing to the country team approach and support to the integration of capacity building activities.

Advisory and support services, guidance and advocacy to Country Offices in implementation of Global Fund projects and other health and development projects throughout the grant life cycle with the following key responsibilities:

  • Leading a Country Team applies integrated multi-sectoral approaches, to meet programming needs in line with UNDPโ€™s rules, regulations, policies and procedures in the development of applications, preparation of grant agreements, work plans, budgets, monitoring and evaluation plans, technical assistance plans, risk maps, implementation plans, for the grant life cycle and coordinate across functional areas;ย 
  • Continuous review of UNDPโ€™s rules, regulations, policies and procedures and impact on the compliance of UNDPโ€™s grant agreement with the Global Fund, Gavi and financing agreements with government;ย 
  • Provide timely and quality technical advisory support, guidance and advocacy to Country Offices in pursuing new opportunities in the implementation and technical assistance to Global Fund programmes and support to government and national entities with feasibility and risk analysis of new initiatives in coordination with the Country Team; and
  • Support the mainstreaming of human rights and gender interventions in Global Fund grants and other health and development programmes in coordination with the HIV, Health and Development Group, technical partners, civil society organizations, and private sector.

Monitor grant financial and programmatic delivery for Global Fund grants and other health and development projects, maximizing programmes overall results, delivery, impact and quality services with the following key responsibilities:

  • Monitor periodic progress updates, financial reports and monitor the financial delivery, performance and impact of the Global Fund programmes and other health and development projects on an ongoing basis contributing to global tracking to ensure maximized performance, delivery, impact and quality services in coordination with the Country Team;
  • Support Country Offices in the development of risk logs and risk mitigation measures, and support to Country Offices through the audit and investigation process (Office of Audit and Investigations (OAI), Office of Inspector General) and ensure timely follow up of audit recommendations and findings and support to analyzing recurring issues and corrective actions;ย 
  • Support Country Offices in re-programming requests on an as-needed basis to ensure effective delivery of results and achievement of impact, in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Global Fund and other health initiatives; and
  • Actively participates with UNDPโ€™s field experience with the Global Fund and influence further development of Global Fund policies and procedures and apply integrated and holistic approach to the practice area and ensure cross-practice and cross-regional collaboration linking to global experiences.

Advisory and support services, guidance and advocacy on the range of capacity development services to Country Offices, Government, CSOs and national entities with the following key responsibilities:

  • Provide technical advisory policy support, guidance and advocacy to Country Offices in the development of capacity support strategies aimed at assisting governments and national entities in the implementation Global Fund grants and other health and development projects in coordination with other health and development partners in coordination with the Country Team;ย 
  • Provide technical support to Country Offices in the development of capacity development strategies aimed at assisting governments, CSOs and national entities to assume the Principal Recipient role and successfully implement other health and development projects;
  • Develop and maintain systematic engagement with the Global Fund, Gavi and other partners to ensure UNDPโ€™s effective engagement as a key partner including, on human rights, key populations and gender aspects of disease responses at strategic, policy and programme levels; and
  • Guide Country Offices in contracting modalities including, cost-recovery mechanisms to ensure that appropriate Direct Project Costs and General Management costs are reflected in agreements.

Partnership development to foster the establishment and maintain strong professional relationships and resource mobilization with the following key responsibilities:

  • Mobilizes, fosters and strengthens strategic partnerships, including with UN entities and other relevant bodies, private sector at international and regional level and provide inputs to those partnerships in support of UNDPโ€™s partnership with the Global Fund and other health and development partners;ย 
  • Advocates for UNDP services and delivery capacities with government counterparts, CSOs, donor community, international financial institutions and the UN;
  • Support resource mobilization efforts, resulting in concrete contributions to results and enhanced financing for UNDP, Country Offices and the Global Fund Partnership Team;
  • Develop and maintain engagement across the GPN, Regional Bureaus and Country Offices and other UN units (e.g., OAI, Bureau of Management Services, Legal Office); and
  • Identify and support the introduction of innovative approaches and measures to further enhance UNDP delivery capacities, professional management and cost effectiveness.

Knowledge sharing and development of systems and tools for effective implementation of Global Fund and capacity development of government and national entities with the following key responsibilities:ย ย 

  • Promote the identification and performs knowledge extraction, codification of results/lessons learned in the partnership with Global Fund and other health and development initiatives and verify that knowledge sharing and content management is in line with guidelines and performed using corporate tools;
  • Institutionalize best practices and knowledge sharing among Country Offices and actively participate in UNDP and other relevant networks (e.g., Yammer, communities of practice), social media and contribute to briefings for Organizational Performance Group, regional review meetings, briefing notes, and knowledge sharing, training events and contribute to revision and enhancement of online Manuals;
  • Support South-South and talent management initiatives and the development, enhancement and management of expert rosters, and detail assignments;
  • Participate, as required, at meetings and professional gatherings, including Global Fund meetings, global and regional meetings, quarterly reviews etc; and
  • Promotes a knowledge sharing and learning culture across Country Offices with the reporting of lessons learnt, results and impact.

Any other duties assigned by Deputy Manager, GF/HIST.


Ability to make new and useful ideas work

Ability to persuade others to follow

People Management
Ability to improve performance and satisfaction

Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform

Ability to get things done



HIV, Health and Development
Understanding and practical experience of issues related to HIV, Health and Development social determinants of health and the ability to apply them to strategic and/or practical situations

Human Rights
Knowledge of International Human Rights standards and principles and the ability to apply strategic and/or practical solutions

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

Project and Programme Management
Ability to plan, organize, and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific resultsย 

Resource Mobilization
Ability to identify and organize programmes and projects to implement solutions and generate resources

Ability to manage complex relationships through pathways of knowledge exchange, capacity development, funding relationships and strategic engagementย 

Capacity Development
Ability to strengthen and maintain the capabilities of individuals, societies, organizations and governments to set and achieve development objectives over time

Knowledge Management
Ability to capture, develop, share and effectively use information and knowledge


Ability to reach an understanding, resolve point of difference, or gain advantage in the outcome of dialogue

Ability to productively share UNDP knowledge and activities (at UN and other venues)

Development Effectiveness
Knowledge of development effectiveness concepts, principles and issues and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations, covering the economic, social and environmental dimensions


Advanced university degree in relevant field including public health, public/business administration, law or international development studies.


  • Minimum of 7 years of progressive relevant professional experience. ย 
  • Demonstrated experience of developing partnerships with national programmes and civil society organizations, an asset. ย 
  • Work experience from a developing country highly desirable.
  • Knowledge and experience of UNDP and/or UN agency.
  • Knowledge and experience of Global Fund.ย 
  • Strong working knowledge of human rights and/or gender components of health/development programmes.ย 

Language Requirements:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English.
  • Working knowledge of other UN official language is an asset.

Other Requirements:

  • Willingness to travel to UNDP Country Offices.
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.) and advance knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages.

Important information for US Permanent Residents ('Green Card' holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment.ย 

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.ย  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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Contract Duration: 1 Year with possibility for extension

This vacancy is archived.

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