Programme Advisor, Sahel Team, New York, United States

Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme

Country: United States

City: New York, USA

Office: UNDP New York, USA

Grade: P-5

Closing date: Thursday, 19 November 2020

Job ID: 33462

Practice Area - Job Family: Management

Vacancy End Date: (Midnight New York, USA) 19/11/2020

Duty Station: New York, United States

Education & Work Experience: I-Master’s Level Degree - 10 year(s) experience

Languages: English


Grade: P5

Vacancy Type: FTA International

Posting Type: External

Bureau: Africa

Contract Duration: 1 Year with possibility for extension


Job Purpose and Organizational Context

In 2012, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2056 that requested the Secretary-General to develop and implement, in consultation with regional organizations, a United Nations Integrated strategy for the Sahel (UNISS) region encompassing security, governance, development, human rights and humanitarian issues. Pursuant to the resolution, UNISS was developed and launched in 2013 with the aim of reducing the socio-economic vulnerability of the populations in the Sahel region. In 2017, following an internal review of UNISS, a recalibration of the strategy by the regional entities of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group (R-UNSDG) for West and Central Africa with UNOWAS resulted in the elaboration of a United Nations Sahel Support Plan (UNSP) to better align UN’s collective support to address the needs and priorities of the people and Governments in the region. The UN Support Plan (UNSP), which covers the period 2018-2030, serves as a vehicle for articulating and operationalizing the UNISS and the commitments of the UN system and partners in the region. It aligns the UNISS with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the core priorities of national and regional partners; especially in the areas of peace, security and development in the region. Through the UNSP, the UN commits to strengthen national and regional initiatives and to provide a platform through which the UN’s extensive regional expertise and capacities can be leveraged, operationalize the new way of working in the region through better integration of its political, security, humanitarian and development efforts; places stronger focus on inter-agency programming, pooling of technical resources in the region for scaling up UN’s support for the Sahel; and prioritizing cross border cooperation to address issues that transcend national boundaries.

In September 2019, the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, through the Deputy-Secretary-General, endorsed a proposal by the R-UNSDG to establish an Implementation Support Unit (ISU) to focus actions and UN system’s resources towards upscaling programme implementation efforts around four key initiatives on Renewable Energy, Resilience, Governance and Economic revitalization through Climate Resilient Agriculture. Further, UNDP, as the chair of the R-UNSDG was requested to lead the UNISS‘ development response relative to the UN’s engagement in the Sahel region in collaboration with UNOWAS and other partners.

As the lead of the UN Development System in the Sahel, UNDP developed a specific offer to help regenerate the Sahel from the protracted crises and key challenges that have impeded sustainable peace and human development. UNDP’s Offer for the Sahel has four mutually reinforcing approaches: prevention, stabilization, transformation and sustainability and four transformative programmatic pillars, namely energy, governance, youth and socio-economic response to COVID-19. The development context of each locality will determine the entry point and menu of development approaches and programmes to address the evolving and dynamic socio-economic, political and security landscapes. The offer prioritizes innovative partnerships with Sahelians at the forefront of leading the pathway to peace and sustainable development to help change the narrative from one of crises to hope. The offer acknowledges the complex geopolitics of the Sahel region and frames a multidimensional differentiated approach to build resilience and peace consolidation.

To give effect to the overall implementation of the UNDP Sahel offer, UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa is augmenting its capacity both at Headquarters in New York/HQ and in the Sahel region. The New York Sahel team will be an integral part of Country Oversight and Support Team under the overall strategic guidance of the Regional Director for Africa/R-UNSDG/ Chair. The team will work closely with the UNISS Implementation Support Unit (ISU) and the Dakar-based sub-regional hub for West and Central Africa and the Borderlands Lab, Regional Service Center, and the country offices in the Sahel countries as required.

The Programme Advisor will head the Sahel Team in New York. He/she will provide strategic advice to senior management and the regional Sahel team in Dakar on the overall implementation of the UNDP Sahel Offer. As part of the role, he/she will liaise actively with all essential parts of the UN system in New York, in the Sahel countries and with respective units within UNDP. This includes UN secretariat offices covering the pillars of peace, security, humanitarian actions and development. He/she will also be required to engage and build strong partnerships with key stakeholders including member states, donor community, international financial institutions especially the Africa Development Bank, World Bank, Islamic Development Bank, Academia, Foundations and CSOs on all matters relating to the implementation of UNDP Sahel Offer.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Programme Advisor provides strategic policy and programmes advise on the overall implementation of the UN Sahel Offer. Under the direct supervision of the Team Leader for West and Central Africa of the Country Oversight and Support Team (COST) and the overall strategic guidance of the RBA Director/ R-UNSDG Chair, the Programme Advisor is responsible for the following:

Providing strategic programme and policy advice for the implementation of the UNDP Sahel Offer:

Leads effort at HQ, in conjunction with UNISS ISU, UNDP Dakar Hub and the relevant country advisors and permanent representatives to provide technical support for the formulation of joint programmes of cross border nature with identified agency, funds and programmes working in the Sahel region.

Based on high quality research, analysis and horizon scanning, provide strategic programmes and policy advise to support the effective implementation of the UNDP Sahel Offer including the full deployment of all thematic areas of the offer.

Serve as focal point and provide operational liaison between the 10 UNISS country offices, UNDP Dakar Hub, UNISS/ISU on all matters requiring representation and/or direct intervention from RBA in relation to the implementation of the UNISS/UNSP and in particular the UNDP Sahel Offer.

Represent UNDP RBA on task teams and other HQ mechanisms, which are established as part of the implementation of the UNISS/UNSP.

Work closely with Regional Advisors, BPPS and CRU to coordinate response to crises from a regional perspective, liaising closely with the Dakar Hub to monitor emerging, existing, and evolving crises, and identifying required support; regularly monitoring data from a regional perspective and identify in consultation with other Country Programme portfolios, areas for joint multi-country programming and to leverage opportunities for sub-regional development impact and to create and pursue new sources of funding.

Positioning to ensure coherence with UNISS/UNSP and Humanitarian-Development-Peace (HDP) Nexus implementation:

Working closely with COST, UNISS/ISU and the Dakar Hub, and in collaboration with GPN, ensure overall coherence and coordination of the UNDP Offer with the wide portfolio of programmes offered under THE three UNISS Pillars-Security, Governance and Resilience.

Engage with UN agencies, funds and programmes working on the Sahel and represented at HQ level, to position UNDP’s offer as an integrated and comprehensive approach for cross border interventions in the context of the humanitarian-development nexus and its link to peace and SDGs.

Provide high-level technical advice on regular and ad hoc basis; lead the preparation of briefing notes, reports of events and trends regarding the situation in the Sahel, political processes and developments, and partner interests and concerns.

Provides substantive contributions to key reports on the Sahel; including the Secretary General’s report, ECOSOC report and other strategic documents on the Sahel.

Supporting strategic partnerships, communication, resource mobilization:

Support the R-UNSDG chair and/ or EOSG’s efforts for resource mobilization including providing strategic advice on donor mapping and intelligence.

Establishing and maintaining an aid-tracking tool for monitoring international development assistance to the Sahel including supporting the R-UNSG chair in its oversight role on the effective functioning of the Sahel pooled fund.

Support R-UNSDG Chair’s efforts to strengthen strategic partnerships and to communicate visible/ impactful results relative to the implementation of the UNDP Sahel offer at regional and national level and the UNISS/UNSP implementation; including through engagement with member states, national and regional authorities, academia, international partners, G5 Sahel Secretariat, the Sahel Alliance, IFIs and the private sector.

Enhances innovation and knowledge management:

Play a key role in documenting progress and lessons learnt in the implementation of the UNDP Sahel offer and to ensure that UNDP’s engagement on Sahel and good practices inform and contribute to global GPN frameworks including those on sustainable development, resilience building, and the HDP nexus.

Ensures integrity and effectiveness in the management of the Sahel Team:

Establishing the team’s annual work plans and setting objectives, performance measurements, standards and expected results in collaboration with his/her supervisor.

Supervising and assessing work in progress to ensure delivery of results according to performance standards, overall objectives and accountability framework. Providing intellectual leadership and technical guidance and taking timely decisions to meet objectives, escalating to his/her supervisor as needed.

Promoting teamwork to facilitate harmonization, linkages, collaboration and synergy in order to ensure staff members are provided sufficient information, guidance and support to develop their capacity, share their expertise, expand the reputation of the team, and perform and deliver results according to organizational policy and procedures and professional standards of efficiency, accountability and integrity.

Tags central africa development assistance development planning financial institutions gender perspective good practices human development human rights immigration law international financial institutions international relations knowledge management multidimensional natural resources performance standards political science programme implementation regional organizations renewable energy resource mobilization sdgs sustainable development sustainable development goals west africa

Performing other high-level tasks, including planning for meetings, high level events and travels and support overall RBA managerial functions including hiring additional personnel (as required), maintaining fiduciary control, providing quality assurance and oversight on operational budgets for the unit.



Knowledge of the multi-dimensional aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals and its application in crisis contexts in humanitarian-development nexus fashion. Ability to identify and analyze the underlying causes of conflict and instability (e.g., political, ethnic, social, economic), and to provide advice to senior officials in formulating and implementing development solutions and strategies to address them on a regional scale; Ability to evaluate international geopolitical situations and its impact on development solutions for achieving the SDGs. Ability to manage and coordinate (at) many different levels. 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. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.


Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify and exhibit interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.


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.


Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.


Serves as a role model that other people want to follow; Empowers others to translate vision into results; Is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; Establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; Anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; Drives for change and improvement; does not accept the status quo; Shows the courage to take unpopular stands; Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.



Ability to make new and useful ideas work.


Ability to persuade others to follow.

People Management

Ability to improve performance and satisfaction.


Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform.


Ability to get things done.



UN System

Knowledge of the UN System and ability to strategic and/or practical situations.


Ability to productively share UNDP knowledge and activities (at UN and other venues).

Relationship Management/Partnerships

Ability to engage with other parties and forge productive working relationships.

Brief and Speech Writing

Ability to prepare quality briefs and/or speeches.


Knowledge Management

Ability to efficiently handle and share information and knowledge.

Development Planning

Knowledge of development planning processes and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.

Knowledge and Voice

Ability to support an effective knowledge brokering function.

Required Skills and Experience


Advanced University Degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in Business Administration, Development studies, Natural Resources Management, Political Science, International Relations, Social Science, Law or a related field.


A minimum of ten years (10) of progressively responsible experience in developing and implementing programmes and projects related to sustainable development; proven record of interagency coordination work on SDG issues, required

Strong abilities in strategic planning and analysis;
Proven experience in designing and/ or implementing multi-stakeholder, inter-agency cross border joint programming with humanitarian-development nexus focus is an asset;
United Nations experience including - field experience and work at the regional level is desirable.

Language Requirements:

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations. For the position advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Working knowledge in French is desired.


Experience in development practice in West Africa including proven experience in the Sahel region will be an asset.


Important information for US Permanent Residents (‚Green Card‘ holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment.

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

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