Programme Specialist (Africa/CSMT)

Programme Specialist (Africa/CSMT)

UNDP - United Nations Development Programme

New York, United States


Support to country operations as it relates to crisis and fragility is coordinated by the Country Support Management Team (CSMT), working hand-in-hand with regional bureaus and working closely within the GPN, with the GPN Crisis and Fragility Policy and Engagement Team, the GPN SDG Integrator Team and GPN technical teams. The overall goal of the CSMT is to ensure strong, coherent and coordinated support to country offices (COs), as it relates to crisis and fragility, within the full spectrum of the GPN’s service offer. The CSMT steers the effective interaction of GPN Teams, Regional Bureau/Regional Hub and CO counterparts for integrated country support. It ensures that UNDP corporate support is provided before, during and after crises (in line with UNDP Standard Operating Procedures during the response phase). The CSMT aims to provide regular analytical updates in consultation with Regional Bureaus to support early warning and early action. It also supports and coordinates the GPN crisis response capacity and takes the lead in a UNDP-wide approach to strengthen UNDP capacity in preventing, preparing for, responding to and recovering from crisis.

Under the direct supervision of the CSMT Team Leader for Africa, the Programme Specialist contributes to the coordination of the Crisis Bureau support and interventions in Africa in close collaboration with GPN Teams and the Regional Bureau for Africa (RBA).

Duties and Responsibilities

Country support coordination and timely delivery of technical assistance, programme and operational support:

  • Support timely application of agreed business processes to guarantee predictable country support for COs on crisis prevention, response and recovery issues. Contribute to CB’s programmatic support function for Country Offices in the Africa region and monitor the status of this support, together with financial and risk management obligations;
  • Stay abreast of developing crises in the Africa region and identify/understand the regional and country support needs as it relates to crisis and fragility;
  • Support prioritisation exercises with RBA to determine regional priorities, taking into account local needs, capacities and resources, as well as corporate and partnership crisis related commitments;
  • Support the roll out of the New Way of Working at the country level;
  • Participate to CB’s review of Country Programme Documents in priority countries in consultation with all GPN Teams, ensuring that programmes are crisis/conflict sensitive and reflect crisis-related priorities in fragile contexts;
  • Support effective coordination across the GPN to ensure the provision of crisis and fragility-related coherent and comprehensive support and advisory services;
  • Working with the GPN Teams, contribute to ensuring the quality and relevance of crisis prevention, response, stabilisation and recovery programmes and ensuring alignment with corporate strategies and policies, through the review of substantive inputs to established country programming processes (e.g. CCA, UNDAF, CPD, Integrated Strategic Framework and other joint analysis and programming tools);
  • Where appropriate and as directed, liaise with RBA, Regional Hubs and GPN focal points at the technical level to ensure alignment with regional priorities, integration of the Regional Bureaus’ inputs into GPN/CB country support and coherence with related development practices;
  • Ensure for the countries under his/her responsibility, that the country information databases are up to date on crisis and fragility related matters and informed by observation and monitoring of events, regular communications with RBA, internal analysis and outside specialized source;
  • Support initiatives to strengthen the capacity of COs for crisis preparedness, response and recovery through learning activities in collaboration with GPN Teams (e.g. training packages and modules, workshops, web-based materials, webinars etc.);
  • Support the ongoing collation of lessons learnt and best practices in crisis preparedness, response and recovery.

Timely management and coordination of crisis response:

  • Support recovery programming in times of crisis, the implementation of timely, sequenced and appropriate UNDP response and recovery activities, safe and sustainable response actions and timely and commensurate funding allocations;
  • Support the secretariat function of temporary support structures, timely organization of coordination meetings, information sharing and proper record of decisions;
  • Support the determination of Level Declaration, composition of the SURGE Planning Team, deployment and selection of SURGE Advisors, etc.;
  • Coordinate for the countries under his/her responsibility the preparation of all background material submitted to the Crisis Board, including the Exigency Memo, the SURGE Plan, Business Cases and After-Action Reviews;
  • Support crisis response allocations and track timely delivery of the funds;
  • Support the establishment of the Crisis Management Support Team when L2 or L3 crisis have been declared;
  • Follow UNDP rules and procedures and agreed internal business processes for the sourcing, selection, deployment, management and exit of advisor deployed in response to crisis;
  • Support country level post-crisis assessment processes (e.g. recovery and peacebuilding assessments/post disaster needs assessments) from a process design and coordination perspective, working closely with RBA and GPN technical teams;
  • Support the development of recovery plans, recovery frameworks, strategic response plans, etc.;
  • As required, deploy to support Country Offices with crisis preparedness and response tasks including, but not limited to, assessments, SURGE Planning, preparation of project proposals, interagency planning, programme criticality and preparedness planning.

Partnership and collaboration with UN and non-UN partners:

  • As required, engage and liaise with relevant partners, including UN entities, in relation to operational country specific issues in close collaboration with RBA;
  • Maintain strong relationships at the technical level within the UN System and collaborate closely with UN system partners on country specific crisis situations, in particular with : (i) DPPA and DPO on issues of integration and mission transition, and in the context of countries with peacekeeping and special political missions; (ii) DPPA/PBF in relation to peacebuilding project development and implementation support; (iii) OCHA on issues related to humanitarian response plans, humanitarian planning at country level and the operationalization of the New Way of Working at country Level; (iv) UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes, to ensure coherent responses;
  • As appropriate, liaise and collaborate with the WB and other IFIs on country-specific issues in particular on PDNA and RPBA in close collaboration with the GPN Crisis and Fragility Policy and Engagement Team;
  • In close coordination with RBA and relevant GPN teams, keep track of the organization of country specific and crisis related International Pledging Conferences and ensure CSMT support as required.

Knowledge Development and Management:

  • Actively contribute to community of practices to ensure wide dissemination of best practices and lessons learned from the implementation of programmes related to crisis and fragility in Africa;
  • Support policy dialogue in areas relevant to the Africa regions such as resilience, conflict prevention and stabilisation through synthesis of knowledge emerging from the implementation of programmes in-country;
  • Support the knowledge extraction, analysis, documentation, codification of results/lessons learned in the implementation of programmed in priority countries, in line with guidelines and corporate tools, including After Action Reviews;
  • Support the capacity development of UNDP staff in the Africa region in application of tools and practices related to crisis and fragility.




  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work.


  • Inspires organization to take on new challenges, reach higher performance.

People Management:

  • Creates culture of ownership Guides substantive specialists.


  • Represents organization, inspires, influences and changes intractable position.


  • Creates new opportunities for work.


  • Emergency response and coordination
  • Ability to lead organizational response to emergency situations.

Recovery support and implementation:

  • Ability to support and implement mechanisms, processes, resources in response to disaster/crisis.

Crisis Policy and Tools:

  • Ability to develop and implement methods and tools for crisis situations.

Strategic Planning:

  • Ability to make decisions that align with strategy, vision, and mission.

Relationship Management:

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

Trends and Emerging Areas Analytics:

  • Ability to scan the horizon and identify approaches and initiatives to bring into policy and programme design.


  • Ability to manage engagement with other agencies, donors and other development stakeholders and forge productive working relationships.


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

Required Skills and Experience


  • A Master's degree, preferably in international development, law, international affairs, business administration, development economics, or other relevant field.


  • A minimum of 5 years of professional work experience coordinating policy and programming support to advance sustainable agenda at international level.
  • Excellent writing, negotiating and communication skills and ability to mobilize support from a wide range of partners.
  • Knowledge and experience in crisis prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. Field experience in crisis contexts highly desirable.
  • Knowledge of UNDP’s crisis response, prevention and recovery mandate, policy and tools desirable.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluent and proficient in English;
  • Good command of French highly desirable;
  • Working knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese an asset.

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© EuroJobsites 2019

EuroJobsites is a UK registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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