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, the Partnerships and Development Finance Specialist will be responsible of the following duties:
Summary of Functions:
- Provides substantive support for strategic planning for and coordination of UN Country Team (UNCT) partnerships
- Participates in joint resource mobilization for the UN Sustainable Development Framework (UNSDF)
- Provides substantive support on financing for accelerating the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- Supports knowledge management and capacity development
Description of Functions:
Assists with the provision of substantive support for strategic planning for and coordination of UNCT partnerships
- Provides advice on the development and implementation of the UN Partnership Strategy in alignment with and support of the UNSDF in the country;
- Monitors and assesses the strategy at regular intervals to harness new emerging opportunities, to anticipate changes to the internal direction and external environment, and to make mid-term adjustments;
- Provides substantive support to the Resident Coordinator (RC) and the UNCT in identifying risks and opportunities related to specific partnerships, and suggests mitigation measures as relevant;
- Provides inputs on due diligence processes of potential investment and partnership opportunities, in accordance with UN regulations and procedures;
- Provides substantive support to RC/UNCT to develop and implement locally-tailored partnerships and resource mobilization strategies and initiatives;
- Contributes to dialogues with partners to improve development assistance policies and practice;
- Plans and facilitates liaison and coordination with UN entities at country, regional and HQ levels, to help package and define UN business strategies, including differentiated value propositions, to attract partners, both traditional and non-traditional.
Participates in joint resource mobilization for the UNSDF
- Provides substantive support to RC/UNCT to develop and implement locally-tailored resource mobilization strategies and initiatives, and identify appropriate data and benchmarks to measure progress and success;
- Monitors and analyses existing resource mobilization partnerships and relationships, including those with high net worth;
- Plans and facilitates the design, formulation, implementation, monitoring and reporting of joint programmes and programming processes for use in joint resource mobilization;
- Provides substantive support for the production and distribution of marketing materials to raise awareness about opportunities for working with the UN on SDG investment;
- Contributes to building the UN brand via events, media and public relations opportunities targeted to the diverse partners, in close collaboration with the UN Communications Group.
Provides substantive support on financing for accelerating the achievement of the SDGs
- Provides substantive support on financing for development options, instruments, modalities to the RC/UNCT, in alignment with the Common Country Analysis (CCA), UNSDF, MAPS (Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support) and similar processes;
- Analyses trends and provides advice on new and innovative financing mechanisms for development and SDG acceleration;
- Provides inputs for briefing papers and discussion points on issues related to financing for development for consideration by RC/UNCT;
- Plans and facilitates engagements with external stakeholders - including the national government, international financial institutions and others - on financing for SDG acceleration;
- Undertakes the design and execution of innovative proposals to strengthen the UNCT engagement and reputation, and to generate greater financial resources in support of the SDGs;
- Assists in the establishment and management of the country-based SDG Fund, in close collaboration with UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office (where relevant).
Supports knowledge management and capacity development
- Plans and facilitates the development, maintenance and sharing of knowledge and intelligence, to ensure RC/UNCT are informed and positioned to effectively generate and harness opportunities to meet its resource mobilization targets;
- Contributes to knowledge networks and communities of practice at national, regional and global levels;
- Undertakes activities to strengthen the capacity of UNCTs to mainstream and promote SDG investment partnerships;
- Provides substantive support for the discovery, evaluation and selection of partnership opportunities at the sourcing and origination stages.
- 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, 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 partnerships, project/programme management, resource mobilization or development finance 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