Learning & Community Engagement Associate Lead

United Nations Development Programme, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Skill Required:, Education Management
Preferred Experience: 
2 years of relevant work experience
Closing Date for Applications: 
12th April, 2019

Job Description


The Citra Social Innovation Lab, a joint initiative between the Ministry of Science, Technology and Research and UNDP Sri Lanka, was established in the first quarter of 2018. The Innovation Lab was established to address a vacuum in using foresight and innovation tools for sustainable human development in Sri Lanka.

As Sri Lanka’s first Public Sector Innovation Lab, Citra works to strengthen institutions, build capacities of the public sector, and re-engineer public service delivery through specialized foresight and innovation tools, such as design-thinking, user-journey mapping exercises and human-centered design approaches, among others. The Innovation Lab works in alignment with national development priorities and works towards bringing in greater citizen engagement to the formulation of development solutions.

Having successfully achieved several key initiatives in partnership with many stakeholders since being in operation for less than a year, Citra remains committed to working closely with the Government in envisioning a future-ready and sustainable Sri Lanka.

As a Social Innovation Lab, Citra upholds two fundamental tenets; A commitment to remaining relevant in an ever-changing development world, and an ability to overcome complexities unique to the Sri Lankan context.

As such one year on, the Lab is employing the tools inward and adapting to maintain its agility.

One such adaptation is Citra aligning itself to the UNDP Accelerator Labs initiative. The Accelerator Labs initiative is a fast learning global network of 60 labs in 60 countries, embedded within UNDP’s global architecture and country platforms. The network enables Citra to directly access and contribute to, a wide and dynamic partnership of actors contributing knowledge, resources and experience across the globe, thereby firmly positioning Citra as a next-generation Lab.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall guidance of the Strategic Engagement & Exploration Lead, the Learning & Community Engagement Associate Lead will be responsible for knowledge management and training at the Lab.

Summary of Key Functions:

  • Design and implement a learning strategy for Citra Lab
  • Public Sector community engagement
  • Partnership building
  • Any other task assigned by the Supervisor

Design and implement a learning strategy for Citra Lab

  • Working closely with the Lab team, UNDP, and other relevant partners, develop a Learning strategy, which will allow the Lab to document its experiences and learnings for future reference in an organized and cohesive manner;
  • Constantly scan the horizon for new learning opportunities for the Lab team to strengthen the Lab’s capabilities;
  • Designing learning and skills material and programmes to strengthen Citra’s standing as a leader in knowledge management;

Public Sector community engagement

  • Lead Citra’s public sector capacity building initiatives;
  • Manage and liaise with the network of innovation champions who have completed Citra’s public sector capacity building programme;
  • Develop and maintain close contacts with senior government officials for implementation of the innovation agenda
  • Scope areas of opportunity, identify candidates for support by the Lab;
  • Conduct trainings for public sector innovator community and other key stakeholders

Partnership building

  • Plan and facilitate the engagement of key traditional and non-traditional partners, including government, civil society, private sector, development partners and other new as well as traditional actors;
  • Map innovation partners across the public and private sectors and build an active community of knowledge sharing and engagement through regular for content development and training efforts;
  • Proactively scout for new innovative ideas and opportunities that will further the work of the Lab;
  • Assist in any and all other tasks as required for the operation of the Lab

Impact of Results

The Lab is aligned to support national development priorities and economic policy through rapid prototyping of development ideas to complement accelerated initiatives. Not to be mistaken with a policy or idea implementing agency, the Lab will be able to comprehensively test an initial idea within a given timeline. The Lab can tackle efforts in the form of an idea, a problem or a solution.

It is a rapid prototyping facility for ideas and development efforts, using foresight tools to take into account multiple alternative future scenarios to make the idea or solution future proof.

Citizen engagement is a central focus for the lab and engage the public in order to identify citizen priorities for policy prototyping. Additionally, during the prototyping phase, maximum citizen engagement is facilitated via offline and online channels. Citizens are also engaged in the process of the lab where prototypes are tested in different locations, taking into considering the user journey mapping.


Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates commitment to UNDP’s mission, vision and values.
  • Displays cultural, gender, disability, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Demonstrating/safeguarding ethics and integrity
  • Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment
  • Self-development, initiative-taking
  • Acting as a team player and facilitating team work
  • Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively
  • Creating synergies through self-control
  • Managing conflict
  • Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others.
  • Informed and transparent decision making

Functional Competencies:

  • Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing
  • Researches best practices and poses new, more effective ways of doing things within the domain of tech for development

Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise

  • Understands the main processes and methods of work regarding to the position
  • Possesses basic knowledge of organizational policies and procedures relating to the position and applies them consistently in work tasks
  • Demonstrates good knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments
  • Promoting Organizational Change and Development

Creative flair and originality

  • Demonstrates ability to identify problems and opportunities and proposes creative solutions
  • High level of motivation, ability to show initiative and work independently without much supervision

Ability to travel, regularly to regional and remote locations

Client Orientation

  • Reports to internal and external clients in a timely and appropriate fashion
  • Organizes and prioritizes work schedule to meet client needs and deadlines

Responds to client needs promptly

  • Promoting Accountability and Results-Based Management
  • Gathers and disseminates information on best practice in accountability and results-based management systems

Gender: Ability understand and mainstream Gender dimensions into the project implementation teams

Required Skills and Experience

Recruitment Qualifications

Education & Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences, Education, International Development or any other field related to development with two (02) years of progressively responsible professional work experience at the national and/or international levels;
  • Secondary Education with seven (07) years of progressively responsible professional work experience in Social Sciences, Education, International Development or any other field related to development.

Language Requirement: Strong oral and written communication skills in English, along with Sinhala and/or Tamil


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