Director, Regional Service Centre for Africa
Director, Regional Service Centre for Africa
Job ID: 33756
Reports to: ASG, Assistant Administrator and Regional Director RBA
Grade Level: D2
Duty Station: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Closing Date: 21/05/2021 (Midnight New York, USA)
Duration and Type of Assignment: More than a year; Fixed Term Appointment
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the global development network of the United Nations, connecting countries to knowledge, experience, and resources to help people build a better life. UNDP is on the ground in 170+ countries, supporting countries to reach their own development objectives and internationally agreed development goals, and building and sharing solutions in the areas of Sustainable Development, Democratic Governance and Peacebuilding; and Climate and Disaster Resilience. UNDP supports the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as they help shape global development.
UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa (RBA) is the largest regional bureau, covering 46 countries, ranging from high middle-income economies to least developed countries, as well as countries in crisis and post-crisis situations. UNDP works with its national counterparts in the Africa region to support efforts to achieve their national development goals. Its work is guided by global and regional development and normative frameworks to which countries in Africa are signatories, including the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
To make this possible, UNDP’s RBA has a core capacity of highly qualified professionals located in its headquarters in New York and in its regional and sub-regional offices in Addis Ababa, Dakar, Nairobi, and Pretoria. RBA staff provide both substantive and managerial support to UNDP’s operations in the Africa region, enhancing its standards of efficiency and accountability, providing innovative region-wide strategic thinking and policy analysis, engaging in advocacy and partnerships development, and helping translate corporate and RBA strategies and goals into development impact and results on the ground.
As an extension of RBA, and under the direct supervision of the RBA Director, the Director of the Regional Service Centre for Africa (RSCA), leads the work of UNDP at the regional level, representing the organization to regional bodies, mechanisms and institutions such as the African Union (AU), the UNECA, bilateral and multilateral missions accredited to the AU, and the African Development Bank. In performing his/her functions, the Director is formally accredited to these regional bodies and entities. S/he oversee and ensures provision of high-quality, demand-driven advisory support to Country Offices (COs) by RBA’s regional, sub-regional and thematic hubs, making available a full range of expert programme, policy and operational support services. S/he promotes strategic positioning of UNDP in the region and the development of partnership opportunities with regional institutions and mechanisms. S/he advises the RBA Director on emerging trends and key issues in the Africa region, and on relevant regional strategies and initiatives and how these impact UNDP’s work, and manages RBA’s engagement with the UN Development System’s Regional Collaborative Platform (Africa).
All RSCA staff report directly or indirectly to the Director, RSCA. As applicable, RSCA staff members may have a substantive reporting line to a UNDP Central Bureau, i.e. BPPS, BMS, and BERA.
Duties and Responsibilities
Leadership of the RSCA and overall management of RBA’s regional Hubs
• Leads the work of RBA’s regional Hub in Addis Ababa, sub-regional hub in Dakar and thematic hubs in Nairobi and Pretoria as a unified structure, with common priorities and as a single management team, while supporting cross-practice teams that respond to development challenges in Africa.
• Leads establishment of RBA regional Hub’s annual work plans and set objectives, performance measurements, standards, and expected results, to ensure the successful servicing of the 46 COs in the region and delivery of regional programmes and projects.
• Guides the preparation of the budget proposal for financial, human, and other required resources, to ensure the efficient operation of RBA’s regional hubs.
• Supervises and assesses work to ensure quality delivery of results according to performance standards, overall objectives, and the Accountability Framework, providing leadership and technical guidance, and taking timely necessary decisions to meet objectives.
• Ensures effective liaison with the UNDP Resident Representatives in the host countries, without exercising any representational functions vis-à-vis the host governments.
• Acts as Regional Chief Procurement Officer, providing procurement support through a regional Advisory Committee on Procurement (ACP).
Effective oversight of RSCA, the regional programme and operations in line with Strategic Plan, the Renewed Strategic Offer in Africa and positioning of RBA in the development context of the region.
Represent UNDP in continental and regional fora, strengthen, and maintain strategic partnerships
• Acts as UNDP’s official and accredited representative to the AU and as main counterpart to other regional development partners, including UNECA, AfDB and Ambassadors accredited to the AU in Addis Ababa.
• Represents RBA in international and regional development fora and engages partners and stakeholders to foster increased commitment and collaboration for advancing the region’s development agenda.
• Convenes strategic engagements and leads discussions on development solutions.
• Creates and fosters joint impact-driven development initiatives with strategic partnerships including the AU, AfDB, NEPAD, and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in the Africa region.
• Leverages RBA’s regional and country level capacities and expertise to support the bureau’s engagement in relevant regional partnerships and initiatives.
• Leads resource mobilization efforts in support of the work of the bureau’s regional, sub-regional and thematic hubs.
Strengthened position of UNDP in the Africa region as a knowledge provider, leader in development and trusted partner, supported by strong partnership with regional stakeholders and institutions.
Advise the RBA Director on region-related development policies, strategies, and trends
• Leads teams in generating cutting edge-knowledge products and initiatives to address the development challenges in Africa.
• Draws from the work of RBA’s regional, sub-regional, and thematic hubs to inform RBA’s strategic understanding of, and engagement on, evolving development and operational trends in the Africa region, and leads teams in formulating regional responses.
• Provides input for strategic planning in the Bureau and ensures implementation of UNDP’s strategic plan and the UNDP Renewed Strategic Offer in Africa at the regional level.
Strengthened responsiveness of UNDP to the needs and priorities of the Africa region.
Lead the delivery of client-based services
• Lead a client-based approach towards coordinated, coherent, integrated, and high – quality advisory service delivery across the Regional and sub-regional Hubs.
• Ensure effective and timely support (planning, delivery, and assessment) to COs, to help them achieve development results in accordance with the Strategic Plan, national development plans, and the Renewed Strategic Offer in Africa.
• In close coordination with team leaders of the country support, policy and programme teams, ensure integrated and comprehensive advisory services to COs, develop strategies and mechanisms to identify deficiencies and needs based on continued analysis of country- and regionally aggregated results, trends and priorities.
• Promote innovative approaches to programme performance data and analysis that allow for greater targeting and relevance of Regional Hub client services delivery and provide strategic advice to RBA.
• Promote and facilitate innovative approaches to practice development and knowledge management across UNDP practices and COs and contribute to the formulation of global policies, norms, and standards.
• Promote the effective implementation of programme and policy support including quality standards, creation and sharing of knowledge products, and promotion of networks and communities of practice; and work closely with the Strategic Analysis and Research Team in RBA HQ and Central Bureaus teams, to ensure global and regional policy alignment and integration across all practices.
• Promote the Regional Hub as a center for knowledge and learning, drawing regional and global experts to special events for RBA staff and staff of partner agencies.
Stronger capacity for results from COs.
Manage UNDP’s engagement with the Regional Collaborative Platform in Addis Ababa
• Supports the RBA Director in role as Co – Vice Chair of the Regional Collaborative Platform (RCP) – Africa.
• Manages the relationship with the UN Development Coordination Office’s (DCO) Africa and UNECA in the Joint RCP Secretariat.
• Manages the key Opportunity/Issue Based Coalitions that UNDP co – convenes under the RCP.
• Actively engages in and leads UNDP’s work in support for regional and sub-regional UN strategies and initiatives.
Effective engagement of UNDP in development coalitions in the RCP Africa.
Manage the RSCA team
• Promotes a healthy, inclusive, engaging and empowering work environment.
• Leads by example; maintains a culture of openness, teamwork, and excellence; encouraging professionalism, competence, integrity, and ethics and the values enshrined in the UN Charter.
• Supervises, guides, mentors, and develops a team of professionals and senior managers in Addis Ababa, Dakar, Nairobi, and Pretoria.
• Ensures, in close coordination with RBA HQ and with relevant central GPN and other Bureaus and units, optimal staffing of the Africa Regional Hub and Platforms.
• Supports RSCA workforce in their learning and development.
• Innovation: Ability to make new and useful ideas work
• Leadership: Ability to persuade others to follow
• People Management: Ability to improve performance and satisfaction
• Communication: Ability to listen, adapt, persuade, and transform
• Delivery: Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement
• Client Orientation: Understanding and meeting or exceeding client needs. Anticipating and addressing client needs and concerns. Developing innovative approaches to meeting client needs. Ensuring overall provision of quality services to clients.
• Building Strategic Partnerships: Establishing, maintaining, and utilizing a broad network of contacts. Building partnerships and strategic alliances. Leveraging the resources of national governments and other development partners.
• People Management: Guiding, training, mentoring, developing and motivating employees to perform at the best of their ability, building their competence, creating, and promoting an enabling environment, an emotionally intelligent organization, for open communication and the achievement of results.
Knowledge Management: Providing learning and knowledge sharing opportunities to assist the continuous development all staff of UNDP. Moves from basic research and analysis to the development of innovative tools and mechanisms to developing policies and innovative approaches, through promoting an organizational culture that values learning and knowledge sharing.
Required Skills and Experience
Advanced university degree in Management, Economics, Business Administration, or other related social sciences.
• More than 15 years of extensive experience, combining strategic and managerial leadership positions, within recognized development institutions, with a proven track record of achievement in transformational development solutions.
• Demonstrated understanding of imperatives for successful implementation of Africa’s vision for structural transformation, as reflected in Agendas 2063 and 2030, and of how these translate into concrete policy and programme interventions.
• Strong experience in managing team dynamics, coordinating interagency initiatives, and working with multiple and diverse levels of partners.
• Experience in leading/managing complex change management processes is desirable.
• Knowledge and experience working with regional organizations will be an asset.
• Good negotiating skills with donors and other partners will be an asset.
• Fluency in English, both oral and written is required.
• Knowledge of French is an asset.
For more information on how to apply, please click the “Apply” button.