Programme Specialist, 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-4

Closing date: Thursday, 19 November 2020

Job ID: 33461

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 - 7 year(s) experience

Languages: English


Grade: P4

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 to help address 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 entity 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 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-based 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.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the Sahel Programme Advisor, the Programme Specialist will perform the following role and responsibilities:

Operational Management and Implementation of the Sahel Projects; Policy Support and substantive development of tools and resources; Partnerships and Resource Mobilization; and Knowledge Management and Communication.

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

In conjunction with COST, UNISS ISU, UNDP Dakar Hub, GPN and the relevant units within UNDP, provide technical support for the formulation, coordination and oversight of regional programmes in the Sahel region.

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

Support the Sahel Team functions as the regional liaison in New York between the 10 UNISS country offices, UNDP Dakar Hub, UNISS/ISU and other units within UNDP on all matters requiring representation and/or direct intervention from RBA in relation to UN/DP engagement in the Sahel and implementation of UNDP‘s Sahel Offer.

Represent UNDP RBA on task teams and other HQ mechanisms as required relative to the Sahel region.

Work closely with Regional Advisors, BPPS and CRU to coordinate responses to crises in the Sahel 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, to ensure coherence and coordination of the UNDP Offer with the wider portfolio of programmes offered under the UNISS.

Support efforts 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 linkages to peace and SDGs.

Provide technical advice on regular and ad hoc basis; prepare briefing notes, speeches, talking points and analysis of emerging issues, reports of events and trends regarding the situation in the Sahel, political processes and developments, and partner interests and concerns for intergovernmental and other high-level meetings.

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

Conduct analysis and support the adaptations of the Sahel offer for different contexts based on the evolving situation in collaboration with GPN;
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;
Support the development and maintenance of 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 the regional and national levels 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.

Contribute to the negotiations in establishing such partnerships, drafting of material to support mobilizing, fostering and strengthening strategic partnerships.

Ensure close co-operation with other UNDP teams; develop alliances and working partnerships (thematic, advocacy, regional resource facilities, etc.) in support to the Sahel offer implementation at HQ level;
Participate in relevant regional meetings including the Sahel steering committee meetings as guided by the Programme Advisor.

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.

Provide technical expertise to elaborate tools, guidance notes and knowledge products related to the Sahel from a regional perspective.

Coordinate design an implementation of communication strategies of the Sahel offer in alignment with UNDP tools and policies;
Tags central africa development assistance development planning french language good practices human development human rights immigration law international relations knowledge management knowledge products multidimensional natural resources performance standards political science programme implementation regional organizations regional programmes renewable energy resource mobilization sdgs sustainable development sustainable development goals

Disseminate project reports and respond to queries from concerned stakeholders; and share experiences and lessons learned with relevant projects.

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 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.

Performing other tasks, including planning for meetings, high-level events and travels and support and provide quality assurance and oversight on operational budgets for the unit as required.




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 while exercising good judgement.


UN System

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


Ability to productively share UN 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 efficiency 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) in Business Administration, Development Studies, Natural Resources Management, Political Science, International Relations, Social Science, Law or related field.


A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in developing and implementing programmes and projects dealing with one or another aspect of sustainable development;
Proven record of interagency coordination work on related systainable development 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, is desirable.

Language Requirements:

Proficiency in written and oral English language is required;
Working knowledge of the French language is desirable.


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