Portfolio Manager-Democratic Governance

UNDP, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
21st July, 2020

Job Description


Over the past decades, Bangladesh made remarkable human development progress, despite frequent intensive and extensive disasters, impact of climate change and, more recently, the Rohingya refugee crisis. As one of the world's fastest growing economies, the country is an aspirant of LDC graduate and aims to become a developed nation by 2041.

However, its development gains have not been distributed in an equitable way resulting in widening inequality despite making good progress women economic empowerment. Its economic reliance on foreign remittances and RMG have increasingly being exposed to 4th Industrial Revolution and more recently COVID-19. While urbanization and industrialization continue to offer an economic dividend, they have a compound negative impact on eco-system health. Besides, climate and disaster remain major fault-line in the economy and society.

In addressing the challenges, the country was able to maintain a forward-facing policy environment. As a result, the reduction of poverty and inequality, and becoming a resilient nation remain the GoB's top priority. The country is also known for its accelerated implementation approach of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through nationally driven policies and investments.

In support of the country's ambition, UNDP has been a strong partner of the government in co-designing policy solutions, capacity building and promoting innovations. The expectation from UNDP to play an SDG integrator role is growing in the context of the post-UN reform.

The programme portfolio of UNDP Bangladesh is organized under two substantive Clusters, namely: a) Democratic Governance; and b) Inclusive Growth, Energy & Environment.

The Programme Clusters are led by a well-qualified Cluster Team Leaders with the functional title of Assistant Resident Representative with considerable focus on ensuring programme and project quality, the achievement of results, and management of fruitful working relationships with Implementing Partners and donors, requiring effective coordination, information-sharing, and stakeholder outreach.

Under the overall guidance of the Resident Representative and direct supervision of the Deputy Resident Representative the Portfolio Manager, Democratic Governance will provide substantive advice to the Senior Management Team in the subject area and, in general, on all aspects of the Country Programme. S/he will be responsible for leading the portfolio team through planning, implementing, managing the delivery of innovative policies and practices, program development, capacity building, project monitoring and assurance, marketing, and advocacy and knowledge services in the areas of democratic governance, decentralization & local (incl. urban) governance, Rule of Law and Human Rights, Public Service Modernization, Peace Preservation and Social Cohesion etc.

The Portfolio Manager will advocate and promote the work of UNDP in Bangladesh and will also closely work and network with the CO Integrated Services and Development Solutions Teams, UNDP specialized project teams, programme staff in other UN Agencies, UNDP HQs staff, government officials, multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors, private sector, non-government and civil society organizations. S/he should be a core member of the regional and global networks of UNDP specialists in this area.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of key functions:

  • Provide policy guidance, thought leadership and subject matter expertise
  • Lead, coordinate and manage portfolio
  • Deliver quality assurance and ensure value for money of programme interventions
  • Facilitate strategic partnerships and resource mobilization
  • Lead knowledge management and communication of results

Ensure provision of top-quality policy advisory services and facilitation of knowledge creation and management for portfolio-

Provide intellectual or substantive leadership in the subject area especially in UNDP support for achievement of SDG 16 as well as other supporting SDGs particularly Goals 10 and 17, through identification of key policy issues and formulation of best possible and alternative policy options for UNDP. Stimulate strategic thinking in the subject area and tap into opportunities. This will include, among others:

  • 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.
  • Leadership and monitoring of the process of implementing policy advisory services; ensure highest UNDP standards in the provision of technical and advisory inputs, organization of policy dialogues, etc,
  • Support upstream policy advocacy in priority areas of work within the national development context in Bangladesh and clarifying and establishing linkages across portfolios
  • Lead the analytical and policy development work of the portfolio and ensure high quality policy products. Contribute to the production of reports and publications and serve as peer reviewer.
  • Coordination of development of policies and institutions that will address the country problems and needs in collaboration with the Government and other strategic partners. This includes supporting the management in leading the policy and advocacy discourse towards toward unified frameworks for poverty reduction, democratic governance and climate change, environmental sustainability and resilience at policy and programming levels.
  • Provide intellectual or substantive leadership in CO-wide efforts to ground programmes on sound political economy analysis

Lead, coordinate and manage portfolio for effective and efficient delivery of results-

  • Identification of programmatic areas of cooperation, based on strategic goals of UNDP, country needs and donors’ priorities
  • Preparation and operationalization of UNSDCF / CPD in collaboration with the main partners and other UN Agencies. Identification of possibilities for joint programming
  • Systematically engage project colleagues and citizen engagement specialist to incorporate the views of target groups in programme / project design
  • Design, formulation, and coordination of the CO programme implementation with development partners and implementing partners
  • Planning, budgeting, implementing and monitoring of the programme portfolios
  • Programme oversight and programme management
  • Development of AWPs in concert with CO annual planning, including facilitating the day-to-day functioning of the Portfolio
  • Development of project documents within corporate standards
  • Maintenance of project and programme risk logs
  • Conduct of programme / project reviews and codification of lessons learned
  • Effective monitoring, measuring the impact of the CO programme and evaluation
  • Tracking use of financial resources
  • Implementation of NIM oversight measures (incl. oversight of NIM advances, documentation of capacity assessments, etc.)
  • Constant monitoring and analysis of the programme environment, timely readjustment of programme, as well as measure the impact of the projects and ensure that results and lessons learned feed into the analytical and project work (i.e. results used to make decisions).
  • Leverage innovative approaches, resources, and collaborative efforts to enhance programme and project impact

Delivers quality assurance and ensures value for money of programme interventions-

  • Ensure that UNDP Strategic Plan priorities and corporate programme quality standards are integrated into the UNDP’s programme formulation
  • Ensure robust project design, including articulation of Theory of Change and a strong results framework (identifying key costs, risks, opportunities and measurable outcomes). Defining how the inputs, outputs and outcomes would add up to the overall impact statement, including a thorough scrutiny of evidence.
  • Explore alternative options for project delivery, and selection of the most appropriate delivery route to achieve the expected results (including a detailed delivery scheduling and VfM indicators at the outset)
  • Regular review of progress against the results frameworks/ Theory of Change and VfM assessments (utilizing the latest metrics), including implementing recommendations from periodic reviews.
  • Ensure clarity and transparency in budgeting and reporting of expenditure, including understanding and managing of key cost drivers.
  • Work closely with integrated service delivery team to improve cost consciousness; more efficient procurement and timely recruitment.
  • Quality assurance of project outputs.

Facilitates strategic partnerships, representation and resource mobilization-

  • Creation and coordination of partnerships with the UN Agencies, government institutions, bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors, private sector, civil society, etc.
  • Analysis and research of information on donors, preparation of substantive briefs on possible areas of cooperation, identification of opportunities for cost-sharing.
  • Mobilize and network with the experts of international development community, government partners, UN Agencies and prominent think-tanks.
  • Mobilize resources to support the achievement of programme outcomes.
  • Lead and support the effective management of partnership coordination platforms, for example, relevant Local Consultative Group (LCG) working groups, UNSDCF Pillars, and other appropriate mechanisms as they emerge

Leads innovation, knowledge management and communication of results for portfolio-

  • Actively promotes and facilitates innovative approaches to results delivery.
  • Translates evaluation findings, real-time monitoring data, and applied learning to formulating adaptations in UNDP’s programme / project and policy advisory work
  • Sound and proactive contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice
  • Facilitation of knowledge building and management especially between the programme and projects
  • Establishment of advocacy networks at national level and linked to international networks

Impact of Results:

The key results impact on the overall success of the country programme and reaching UNSDCF/ CPD goals. In particular, the key results have an impact on the design, operation and programming of activities, creation of strategic partnerships as well as reaching resource mobilization targets.


Core Competencies:

  • Innovation: Ability to make new and useful ideas work Level 5: Creates new and relevant ideas and leads others to implement them;
  • Leadership: 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;
  • Communication: Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform Level 5: Gains trust of peers, partners, clients by presenting complex concepts in practical terms to others;
  • Delivery: 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;


Democratic governance, decentralization & local (incl. urban) governance, Rule of Law and Human Rights, Public Service Modernization, Peace Preservation and Social Cohesion:

  • 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:

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

Partnership & Resource Mobilization:

  • 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:

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

Communications for Results:

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

Required Skills and Experience

  • Education: Master’s Degree in political science, public policy, democracy, governance, economics, social or development sciences, public administration, judicial reform, human rights or related field.


  • Minimum 5 years of relevant experience in promoting democracy and governance issues (parliament, civil service, public administration, decentralization, electoral reforms, police and security, judicial reforms, human rights, social security, gender, urban governance, youth engagement, civil society development) at national and sub-national levels, in providing management advisory services,
  • Minimum 3 years of experience of implementing multiple complex projects in broader democratic governance areas in partnership with national government is required
  • Knowledge of current issues and trends in democracy and governance
  • Knowledge and/or experience of working with UNDP programmes
  • Experience working with UN, international organisations will be added advantage.
  • Experience in design, monitoring and evaluation of development projects and establishing inter-relationships among international organization and national governments.
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software

Language Requirements: Fluency in written and spoken English and Bengali


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