The Government of Azerbaijan acknowledges importance of stimulating development of civil society and enhancing cooperation between the government and the CSOs. The Azerbaijan Vision 2020 Development Concept envisages preparation of a ‘national action plan on the development of civil society’. It also calls for involving CSOs in the preparation of state programmes of special importance and their close participation in the work of public commissions. The Government has committed to engaging civil society in the SDG nationalization process and has also taken significant efforts to support development of entrepreneurship grounded in the Strategic Roadmap on SMEs development adopted by the President at end of 2016.
The project “Developing Innovation-driven and Sustainable Civil Society in Azerbaijan” is a new three-year project funded by EU Delegation in Azerbaijan. The project’s overall long-term objective is to contribute to building conducive environment for a vibrant, sustainable and innovation-driven civil society in Azerbaijan following its specific objectives i) to increase CSOs capacities to engage in the policy-making processes and foster local development; and ii) to build an enabling ecosystem and capacities for social entrepreneurship and social innovation.
The new project will build on the UNDP’s previous experience in working with CSOs in the framework of the projects “Enabling civil society to play a greater role in promoting socio-economic rights of vulnerable populations” and “Promoting the role of civil society in gender-sensitive SDG implementation”, co-financed by EU. Both projects created a successful modality to support the CSO activities at central and local levels and proved to be a good platform for UNDP to closely work with the CSOs.
The project is designed as a multi-dimensional response to accelerate the development and growth of the civil society sector in Azerbaijan through, inter alia, promoting social entrepreneurship culture and innovative solutions. The project will target CSOs, social purpose SMEs, public agencies and innovation/acceleration labs. The project activities will strengthen the CSO capacities for policy engagement around development issues, support their engagement in local development processes, contribute to improving the conducive ecosystem and enabling opportunities for boosting the start and development of social enterprise. The project will also address the risks of the vulnerable people amplified by the growing COVIS-19 crisis through the support of social enterprise establishment and community engagements.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Under the guidance and direct supervision of UNDP Programme Analyst, the Project Manager will perform the following key functions:
- Supervise and coordinate the production of project outputs, as per the project document;
- Mobilize all project inputs in accordance with procedures for nationally implemented projects;
- Coordinate the recruitment and selection of project personnel;
- Supervise and coordinate the work of all project staff, consultants and sub-contractors, ensuring the timely delivery of expected outputs, and effective synergy among the various sub-contracted activities;
- Prepare and revise project work and financial plans;
- Liaise with UNDP, EU, relevant government agencies, and all project partners, including donor organizations and CSOs for effective coordination of all project activities;
- Oversee and ensure timely submission of required donor reports, project progress reports, financial reports, and other reports as may be required by UNDP and donor;
- Disseminate project reports and respond to queries from concerned stakeholders;
- Oversee the exchange and sharing of experiences and lessons learned;
- Ensure the timely and effective implementation of all components of the project;
- Coordinate and assist the CSOs with the initiation and implementation of project activities;
- Carry out regular, announced and unannounced inspections of all sites and project-funded activities;
- Ensure a results-based approach to project management – this means the Project Manager must understand the project’s results framework indicators and respective indicator targets and verify these at project inception together with UNDP and any additional expertise. These indicators must then be linked on a daily basis to the project’s work; NOT simply reported on once a year for the PIR Process.
- Coordinate and supervise the work of all consultants and sub-contractors, ensuring the timely delivery of expected outputs, and effective synergy among the various sub-contracted activities;
- Prepare Annual Work plans in advance of each successive year and submit them to the Project Executive Group for approval;
- Facilitate administrative backstopping to subcontractors and training activities supported by the Project.
- Work with UNDP to complete the annual project reporting exercise.
- Report progress of project to the steering committee, and ensure the fulfilment of steering committee directives.
REQUIRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
- Master’s degree in Management, Education, Public Administration, International Relations and other social sciences; or Bachelor’s degree with additional two years of relevant experience;
- At least 5 years of project/programme management experience-Proven management expertise – must be able to smoothly handle the political, technical, and people management challenges that will face the Project Manager on a daily basis- as well as as well as planning, implementation, innovation, development finance and monitoring;
- Experience in working with CSOs and national institutions in Azerbaijan
- Experience in effectively coordinate a large, multi-stakeholder project
- Experience in administering budgets, train and work effectively with counterpart staff at all levels and with all groups involved in the project;
- Fluency of oral and written English and Azerbaijani.