Programme Specialist



Programme Specialist, Governance (Nationals Only)
Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Job Identification: 13108
Locations: Dushanbe, Tajikistan
Posting Date: 09/06/2023, 01:56 PM
Apply Before: 09/22/2023, 09:59 PM
Job Schedule: Full time
Agency: UNDP
Grade: NOC
Vacancy Type: Fixed Term
Practice Area: Governance
Bureau: Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS
Contract Duration: 2 Year with Possibility for extension
Education & Work Experience: Master’s Degree – 5 year(s) experience OR Bachelor’s Degree – 7 year(s) experience
Required Languages: Fluency in English and Russian languages is required
Vacancy Timeline: 2 Weeks
Mobility required/no mobility: no mobility required

Job Description

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core principles at UNDP: we value diversity as an expression of the multiplicity of nations and cultures where we operate, we foster inclusion as a way of ensuring all personnel are empowered to contribute to our mission, and we ensure equity and fairness in all our actions. Taking a ‘leave no one behind’ approach to our diversity efforts means increasing representation of underserved populations. People who identify as belonging to marginalized or excluded populations are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about working at UNDP including our values and inspiring stories.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.
UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.

Under the broader framework of the SDGs and in line with the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), UNDP Tajikistan continues to deliver on its key strategic priorities within its Country Programme for the period 2023-2026, namely: (i) Sustainable, inclusive and green economic growth, (ii) Integrated management of climate and environmental risks, and (iii) people-centered governance and advancing rule of law.

In achieving the above, UNDP supports the acceleration of Tajikistan’s industrialization, economic productivity and competitiveness, trade, innovative entrepreneurship while ensuring that growth is risk-informed and inclusive.

UNDP continues to invest in Tajikistan’s growth in a sustainable manner and to strengthen resilience to climate change through advancing climate change adaptation (CCA), mitigation and disaster risk reduction (DRR).

UNDP invests in improving access to rights and services through strengthening effective, inclusive and accountable governing institutions, promoting a transparent, gender-sensitive and digitalized public administration and state institutions as well as civil society organizations with innovative solutions. UNDP focuses on the advancement of the rule of law and access to justice and facilitates people’s meaningful participation – in particular, women and youth – in decision-making to promote equality and social cohesion at local level.

Position Purpose

Under the overall guidance of the Resident Representative (RR) and the direct supervision of the Deputy Resident Representative (DRR), the Programme Specialist on Governance acts as the Team Leader and senior technical specialist in the area of G0vernance for acceleration of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in Tajikistan. S/he leads the CO efforts to ensure the achievement of the country programme results and provision of thought leadership and strategic positioning on effective and accountable governance, anti-corruption, rule of law and justice, gender-sensitive and evidence-based social and human rights, the strengthening of government institutional frameworks, civic participation, social cohesion, crisis prevention and resilience, and cross thematic development.

Success in achieving results for this portfolio relies on the development of strong national and international partnerships from a wide range of diverse stakeholders. The Programme Specialist is responsible for mobilizing joint advocacy, expertise and resources across UNDP global and regional initiatives in these fields, engaging with global and regional networks, and connecting with cooperating partners, academia, NGOs and private sector in involving them to successfully implement UNDP programmes in these fields. They will act as the thought-leader in their area of expertise in various fora including UNDP support to UN coherence and stronger UN Development System (UNDS) in Tajikistan.

Duties and Responsibilities

Provide effective UNDP leadership in sector policy development and provision of high-quality technical and policy advisory services relevant to Governance focus areas to the Government, UNDP and the UN System and other key stakeholders

  • Serve as the UNDP focal point for the provision of overall technical and policy advisory support to the government on thematic matters and strategies into sector, national, and sub-national development plans and budgets, for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals on governance areas including the rule of law , the advancement of access to public services, access to justice, as well as enhancing democratic governance and accountable institutions, and as appropriate connects governance initiatives with economic or social development efforts in the country, for which interacts and promotes the inclusion of civil society organizations.
  • Provide top quality technical and policy advisory support to relevant Government institutions and counterparts with focus on strengthening institutional capacity for policy, strategies and programmes formulation, implementation, monitoring and reporting.
  • Ensures mainstreaming of governance, human rights based approach, gender,and social cohesion considerations into all aspects of the CO’s programmatic interventions.
  • Operationalize the implementation of UNSDCF/ CPD in collaboration with the main partners and other UN Agencies while seeking and identifying the possibilities for joint programming and interagency collaboration.
  • Analyze and present thematic issues in coherence and adherence to UNDP policies and the Strategic Plan signature solutions in the focus areas.
  • Keep abreast of all significant developments, both in Tajikistan and internationally, on all areas of governance.
  • Prepare regular strategic and technical notes, briefings to the attention of the Senior Management on emerging priorities, areas for strategic investments and development of new partnerships.
  • Collaborate with UNDP Regional Hubs and HQ platforms to apply in country programming new global and regional initiatives, policies and knowledge products.

Provide leadership to ensure (i) the strategic positioning of Governance cluster through development of new pipeline projects, (ii) the oversight of Governance portfolio, and its expected results and (iii) day-to-day management of the Governance Cluster / team

Strategic positioning of the Governance Cluster / team

  • Provide substantive input to defining the strategic direction of the Governance cluster.
  • Provide technical expertise, identify and lead the development of new initiatives in the areas of Governance followed by strategies to build partnerships and mobilize resources including joint programming with other UN Agencies.
  • Ensure effective and agile leadership of the Cluster / team to meet the challenges experienced during implementation of the programmes and projects.
  • Guide the development of cluster strategy/position papers and prepare presentations in line with the developed mandate to present to a variety of audiences.
  • Contribute to UNDP’s integrator role and make substantive technical contribution to Result Groups (RGs) of the UN Country Team (UNCT) and to Government-led of development partners-led fora, as appropriate.
  • Ensure operationalization of the CPD through timely development of relevant pipeline projects and effective and efficient implementation of ongoing governance portfolio and projects in collaboration with the main partners and other UN sister Agencies.
  • Provide leadership to design and formulate UNDP Governance programmes, translating UN/UNDP and national priorities into sector and sub-national / local interventions.
  • Represent the Governance Cluster in meetings as well as with donor coordination meetings related to the thematic areas.

Oversight of Governance Portfolio

  • Review the Unit portfolio projects and suggest necessary programmatic changes/ amendments to ensure alignment with National Priorities, UNSDCF, UNDP strategic Plan, CPD, in addition to ensuring the proper incorporation of cross cutting themes.
  • Ensures mainstreaming of governance and social cohesion issues into all aspects of the CO’s programmatic interventions
  • Ensure timely and well-sequenced execution of approved work plans and programmes, including the development of strategies to ensure delivery acceleration and timely reporting of results while managing risks of exposure to audit recommendations and maintaining UNDP standing and reputation.
  • Ensure strategic and operational oversight of planning, budgeting, implementation and monitoring of the programme, tracking and ensuring effective utilisation of technical and financial resources as per commitments with key partners and in accordance with UNDP rules and regulations.
  • Monitor the implementation of the cluster’s Work Plans, undertake regular reviews, report on progress and make necessary revisions.
  • Prepare financial projections and monitor progress and delivery of the portfolio in close collaboration with Programme Management Support team.
  • Ensure the effective implementation of the cost-recovery strategies and systems, including the systematic set-up and implementation Direct Project Costing (DPC) or Delivery Enabling Services (DES) in close collaboration with Programme Management Support and the Operations teams.
  • Advise the senior management team on delivery implementation challenges and seek support from the other team leaders to resolve obstacles and bottlenecks.
  • Ensure the timely organization of project audits within the governance portfolio and follow-up for prompt implementation of audit recommendations including updates in the Comprehensive Audit and Recommendation Database System (CARDS).
  • Oversee the timely periodical progress and financial reporting in compliance with UNDP rules and regulations to all cooperating partners, donors, Government stakeholders and UN counterparts while ensuring the need for informative, clear and transparent reporting against signed project documents and committed resources and timetables highlighting transformational changes.
  • Systematize the effective application of Results Base Management (RBM) tools throughout the full programme cycle from the design to implementation and reporting and during the timely closure of projects.
  • Lead the preparation of public communication and advocacy materials in close collaboration with the Communication Unit.
  • Oversee and ensure maintenance of risks and issues logs of each programme/project within the Unit, including the management and mitigation of risks and issues timely and appropriately while raising them to senior management attention as required.

Day-to-day management of the Governance Cluster / team

  • Provide day to day direction and leadership to guide and support the work of the unit team (including advisors, technical and programme specialists and support staff, consultants etc.), quality assurance, troubleshooting and supervision to the unit team.
  • Advise on staffing requirements and administer recruitment processes in collaboration with Programme Management Support, and the Operations team including the preparation of job descriptions, the composition of panels, the assistance with the written tests and interviews, etc.
  • Ensure timely preparation and finalization of the Performance Management Document (PMD) or performance evaluation assessments for the Governance Cluster / team and project personnel as appropriate (as appropriate).
  • Regularly organize unit meetings, document the deliberations as well as agreed action points and ensure the timely follow-up of their implementations programme.
  • Lead and coordinate the Governance contribution to cross-unit activities including the office response to corporate requests or periodical exercises such as the Results Oriented Annual Report (ROAR), the Integrated Workplan (IWP) exercises or similar processes.

Ensure coordination, build synergies, expand, and strengthen strategic partnerships and support resource mobilization and innovative financing models to support effective implementation of relevant Governance Areas and their scaling up

Coordination and Synergy Building

  • Ensure coordination and build synergies within the unit and across the country programme as well as with UNCT and other stakeholders including the private sector, the civil society, the academia, and beneficiaries.
  • Coordinate with the other unit heads to ensure complementarity/harmonization with the activities and plans of the other units.
    Coordinate and build partnerships with UNCT Result Groups (RGs) to enhance programmatic synergies in the governance thematic area..
  • Coordinate with the Communications unit to ensure proper visibility programmes’ activities and timely reporting to Cooperating Partners.
  • Engage regularly with the Programme Management Support team, to ensure alignment of programme goals with the government’s and UNSDCF/UNCT priorities.
  • Maintain close coordination with both Programme and Operations teams by providing technical and programme support including the development of joint programmes when needed.

Partnerships Strengthening and Resource Mobilisation

  • Develop and consolidate strategic partnerships, with government, non-government and private sector entities, development partners for joint programming and resources mobilization to achieve CPD outcomes/outputs.
  • Determine and develop programmatic areas of cooperation based on strategic goals of UNDP, country needs and development partners’ priorities.
  • Initiate, nurture, and coordinate partnerships with UN Agencies, IFI’s, government institutions, bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors and other relevant trust funds, private sector, civil society for programme support and implementation.
  • Prepare substantive briefs, advocacy materials and technical reports to report on the areas of cooperation, and for identifying further opportunities for collaboration.
  • Represent UNDP on the UN Joint Team Task Forces, Result Groups (RGs) and contribute to joint planning, programme, and policy development, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and advocacy activity.

Strategic results management and facilitation of knowledge management and sharing

  • Identify sources of information related to policy-driven issues and make a synthesis of good practices and lessons learned directly linked to programme and policy applications.
  • Ensure a robust evidence base documented experience from the projects implemented under the portfolio, with research and analysis carried out, where possible.
  • Coordinate capacity development support to national implementing Partners (IPs) and Responsible Parties (RPs) in collaboration with the national partners, the Programme Management Support and the Operations teams.
  • Draft and advocate the adherence to UN/UNDP policy positions on relevant issues.
  • Establish an advocacy network at national level and linking to regional and global networks.
  • Contribute to local and global knowledge networks and communities of practice.
  • Capture and analyse results, and produce timely results reports for office reporting, with special focus on tracking capacity change and gender equality impact.
  • Communicate results using multi-media channels to share results and knowledge products.
  • Organize learning and training relating to the Unit’s area of expertise for CO’s staff and implementing partners
    Supervise the recording, documenting and dissemination of best practices and lessons learned.
  • Ensure the visibility of unit activities through regular updating on achievements, and provide advice on the visibility materials (newsletters, publications, blogs etc.).
  • Proactively participate in UNDP regional and international fora on relevant thematic areas (This could include engaging in thematic discussions, contributing with analytical papers, publications, knowledge networks…etc).
    Perform other duties within your functional profile as assigned and deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the office.

Supervisory/Managerial Responsibilities: As a Team Leader for the Governance cluster, the incumbent also helps drive integration of work at all levels, from the overall direction by setting to ideas generation, design, implementation to reporting on results, driving and developing partnerships, collaboration across teams, and contributing to the communication for development results. They supervise a diverse team with various profiles and manages the deployment of additional long and short-term expertise when required.

Core Competencies

  • Achieve Results: LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact
  • Think Innovatively: LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems
  • Learn Continuously: LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences
  • Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands
  • Act with Determination: LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results
  • Engage and Partner: LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity

People Management

  • UNDP People Management Competencies can be found in the dedicated site.

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies

  • Business Direction and Strategy – Portfolio Management
      • Ability to select, prioritise and control the organization’s programmes and projects, in line with its strategic objectives and capacity; ability to balance the implementation of change initiatives and the maintenance of business-as-usual, while optimising return on investment
  • Business Management – Partnerships Management
      • Ability to build and maintain partnerships with wide networks of stakeholders, Governments, civil society and private sector partners, experts and others in line with UNDP strategy and policies
  • Business Management – Communication
      • Ability to communicate in a clear, concise and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience
        Ability to manage communications internally and externally, through media, social media and other appropriate channels
  • Business Management – Entrepreneurial Thinking
      • Ability to create clarity around UNDP value proposition to beneficiaries and partners and to develop service offers responding to client needs based on UNDP’s organizational priorities and mandate
  • Partnership management – Resource mobilization
      • Ability to identify funding sources, match funding needs (programmes/projects/initiatives) with funding opportunities, and establish a plan to meet funding requirements
  • 2030 Agenda: Peace – Governance
      • Core Government Functions
  • 2030 Agenda: Peace – Governance
      • Public Administration and Local Governance

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s Degree or equivalent in Public Administration, Political Studies, International Relations, Development, Law, Economics, , Social Sciences or related disciplines or related field. Or
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in the above-mentioned fields with additional 2 years relevant experience will be given due consideration in lieu of Master’s Degree.


  • Minimum of five (5) years of experience with Master’s (or) seven (7) years with Bachelor’s degree, working in the areas of: democratic governance, anti-corruption, access to justice, rule of law, human rights based approach, accountable institutions, civic participation, prevention of extremism, social policies, crisis prevention and resilience, or gender-responsive and inclusive approaches for sustainable development
  • 5-7 years of experience at the national or international level in providing technical and policy advisory services in the general areas of Governance.
  • Sound knowledge of governance and human rights based approach frameworks
  • Sound expertise in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of complex governance projects involving strategic national stakeholders and international organizations
  • Sound understanding of results-based management practices and quantification of development
  • Knowledge of strategic programmes and operational policies of UNDP is an asset
  • Demonstrated experience in research and policy-level analysis
  • Proven communication and analytical skills, and ability to work in a sensitive environment requiring liaison and collaboration with multiple actors including government representatives, donors and other stakeholders
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages and handling of web-based management systems

Management Experience

  • Proven experience leading teams, building capacity through enabling environments, managing performance and ensuring accountability is required
  • Proven track record of minimum three (3) years of successful project/programme management experience with teams and budgets of comparable complexity and scope

Partnership building and resource mobilisation

  • Experience in establishing effective relationships between the international organizations, national governments civil society organizations and the private sector for sustainable development agenda
  • Successful experience in establishing partnerships and mobilising resources among international organizations, national government, financing institutions, private sector.
  • Support capacity development of government to access various finance sources including from multi-lateral, bilateral, international financing institutions, the private sector and public finance, innovative market and non-market mechanisms
  • Promote capacity development of state and non-state actors on various mechanisms and processes to adequately report on development finance needed and received

Experience with Government and International Organisations

  • Experience with UNDP and/or international organizations/UN agencies an asset
  • Experience with Government institutions an asset


  • Fluency in English and Russian languages is required.
  • Knowledge of local Tajik language an advantage

Please note that continuance of appointment beyond the initial 12 months is contingent upon the successful completion of a probationary period.


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.


UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.

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