With the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at its core, and in response to the General Assembly resolution 71/243 on the quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system, the UN Secretary General’s report (December 2017) “Repositioning the United Nations development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda: our promise for dignity, prosperity and peace on a healthy planet” puts forward a comprehensive proposal on further improvements to the resident coordinator system to ensure more coherent, accountable and effective support for the 2030 Agenda. This was further reinforced by General Assembly resolution 72/729 of 1 June 2018, which gave the Secretary-General the mandate to implement the repositioning.
A reinvigorated resident coordinator system is at the centre of a repositioned United Nations development system, and while the system has been instrumental in driving coherence on the ground over the past four decades, it is now insufficiently robust to respond to the needs of the 2030 Agenda. The report stresses that resident coordinator offices will need to be adequately staffed to ensure sufficient substantive capacities to lead United Nations country teams. The core capacity will include expertise in coordination and strategic planning, economics, tailored policy support, results monitoring and evaluation, and strategic partnerships, plus a robust standing communications capacity within the United Nations country team. This post is part of this new generation of resident coordinator office, with the new skillset and competencies required to deliver on the 2030 Agenda.
Organizational Setting and Reporting Relationships: The position is located in the United Nations Resident Coordination Office (RCO) in Sri Lanka and reports to the RCO Team Leader, under the overall guidance of the UN Resident Coordinator.
Duties and Responsibilities
Responsibilities: Within delegated authority, Data Management and Results Monitoring/Reporting Specialist will be responsible of the following duties:
Summary of Functions:
- Provides substantive support for the development and implementation of UN Country Team (UNCT) data and research strategies
- Develops and expands strategic research and data partnerships
- Coordinates monitoring and reporting of UNCT results
- Supports knowledge management and capacity development
Description of Functions:
Provides substantive support for the development and implementation of the UNCT data and research strategies
- Plans and facilitates the design and implementation of the UNCT’s data and research strategy in alignment with the Country Common Analysis (CCA) and UN Sustainable Development Framework (UNSDF);
- Undertakes empirical analysis, data mining and visualization to assist the Resident Coordinator (RC) and UNCT, including results groups, in developing reports and working papers on a range of sustainable development topics;
- Collects information on the latest developments of the use of new types of data sources and tools (e.g. big data) for sustainable development;
- Provides substantive and analytical support to RC/UNCT in preparing and positioning the UN to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the country, including the drafting of reports, as well as analytical and position papers;
- Undertakes research and development of data and research UNCT tools and methodologies at the country level;
- Keeps abreast of emerging development issues to optimize UNCT analytical capacity to respond to national priorities;
- Contributes substantively to the development and implementation of peer review and quality assurance mechanisms for UNCT research products;
- Administers UNINFO and facilitates the development of the One UN Country Results Report.
Develops and expands strategic research and data partnerships, including with UN entities at regional and HQ level, government counterparts, research institutes, leading global thinkers on development, and civil society, among others.
- Supports the UN’s work with national data and statistical systems, facilitating engagement with national entities and data systems;
- Communicates and coordinates with existing partners and helps form new partnerships with UN agencies, academia, the private sector, and governmental agencies to further the use of data science for development;
- Communicates and coordinates with internal and external partners on data collection and project/research implementation;
- Supports the convening of key thinkers on sustainable development and 2030 Agenda to provide inputs for, advise and steer the UNCT’s research and data agenda;
- Assists in strengthening the UNCT’s partnerships with research institutions and similar entities across the UN system through concrete collaboration on areas of the 2030 agenda.
Coordinates monitoring and reporting of UNCT results under the UN Sustainable Development Framework (UNSDF)
- Supports inter-agency efforts on results and progress monitoring and reporting on the UNSDF and Joint Programmes, particularly through UNINFO;
- Provides quality assurance review of the UNSDF monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework and results reporting to country, regional and global levels;
- Facilitates independent evaluations of UNSDFs as a key element of the UNSDF cycle and other interagency work related to monitoring, evaluation and reporting;
- Serves as country focal point for country-level, regional and global M&E initiatives and networks.
Supports knowledge management and capacity development related to data and monitoring
- Facilitates the sharing of best practices within the UNCT and with UNCTs in the (sub)region and globally, based on a solid understanding of the incentives that people need to utilize knowledge;
- Advocates for knowledge sharing, inspiring others within the RCO and UNCT to contribute their expertise through internal and external platforms and tools and working closely with colleagues at the regional level to ensure usable knowledge is shared between and applied by UNCTs.
- Identifies good practices and lessons learned at the different levels of the UN System (national, regional and global) and share findings with HQ, Regional and country colleagues so that best practices benefit UN’s work;
- Plans and facilitates the UNCT’s exchange of best practice, trends, knowledge and lessons learned with external partners;
- Organizes thematic activities and knowledge-sharing forums and encourages others to participate;
- Contributes to knowledge sharing (including through training and peer exchange) amongst UN staff on issues related to UN strategic planning frameworks, methodologies and tools;
- Draws upon other UN experiences, lessons learned and knowledge networking to provide contributions to strategic planning processes.
- Professionalism: Ability to apply sustainable development theories, concepts and approaches. Ability to conduct independent research and analysis on sustainable development topics, determine suitability, validity and accuracy of data provided by different sources. Shows skill in developing sources for data collection. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
- Planning and Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
- Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
- Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
- Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.
- Creativity: Actively seeks to improve programmes or services; offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs; promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas; takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks “outside the box”; takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things; is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.
- Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.
- Commitment to Continuous Learning: Keeps abreast of new developments in own occupation/profession; actively seeks to develop oneself professionally and personally; contributes to the learning of colleagues and subordinates; shows willingness to learn from others; seeks feedback to learn and improve.
- Technological Awareness: Keeps abreast of available technology; understands applicability and limitation of technology to the work of the office; actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; shows willingness to learn new technology.
Required Skills and Experience
- Education: Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in business or public administration, information management, statistics, sustainable development, social sciences, education or related area. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
- Experience: A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in providing strategic support to research and data analysis, knowledge management or project/programme management in the context of development cooperation or related area is required.
- Language: Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills in English and fluency in Sinhala and/or Tamil.