PROJECT OFFICER / POLICY ADVISOR: Joint Integrated Local Development Programme

Vacancy Number: 093 /Pr-2011

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Location : Chisinau, MOLDOVA
Application Deadline : 07-Jun-11
Type of Contract : Service Contract
Post Level : SB-4
Languages Required :
English   Russian  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
27-Jun-2011
Duration of Initial Contract : till 31 December 2011
Expected Duration of Assignment : 1.5 years

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Background

Programme background:

UNDP and UN Women in partnership with the Government of Moldova (State Chancellery) and SIDA are implementing the Joint Integrated Local Development Programme (JILDP). The JILDP was designed to improve the policy framework, as well as to support the administrative systems and procedures focused on efficient transfer of competencies to Local Public Administrations (LPAs), decentralization and promotion of LPAs’ role in decision making. It also helps in building the capacity of LPAs to plan, implement and monitor their strategic plans and improve local public service delivery, involving civil society and community efforts and participation.

Decentralization, Sustainable Local Development and Democratic Local Governance represent key issues to be addressed in order to respond to existing country priorities and development challenges. Their importance increases given the overall development context related to the impact of the political and economic crisis, and considering the priorities of the Coalition for European Integration, the Programme of new Government, as well as the National Development Strategy.

There are four types of issues to be addressed through the proposed Programme:
 
• The current policy framework does not respond to the need of local public authorities and does not provide sufficient clarity on their role, authority and responsibilities. Moreover, the legal framework regarding the local public finances is not approved and there is no clarity on the advancement of fiscal decentralisation. The specific needs of women and men, girls and boys, as well as older persons, persons with disabilities, Roma, persons living with HIV/AIDS and other vulnerable persons or groups, are not necessarily taken into account in national policies related to local sustainable local development and good local governance.

• Weak and underdeveloped capacity of LPA to address development challenges and to fulfil their responsibilities in front of citizens. Transparency and participation of CSOs and citizens, especially women in local decision making is limited. The association of LPA are highly politicised and weak in order to advocate for greater authority and resources for LPAs to better serve citizens needs. Management of services and utilities, which is one of the key responsibilities of LPA is weak. Moreover, the most vulnerable communities and groups of population (older persons, persons with disabilities, women at risk, Roma, persons living with HIV/.AIDS and others) lack equal access in practice to basic public services, such as access to water, clean environment, and social services. The quality of services provided locally is low.

• Most deprived rural communities in Moldova do not have enough capacities to access resources and participate in local development programmes, and within individual municipalities, particular persons or groups may face exclusion. The deprived thus face compound forces of exclusion and may have extreme difficulties in accessing essential goods and/or services. Considering the difficult operating climate of rural communities, provision of services and relevant support to most vulnerable, more often, is lacking or is of a poor quality, due to scarce resources and limited capacity of the local authorities. Human rights-based approach, including gender mainstreaming, is very rarely applied or taken into account.

• Communities in the Transnistrian region face a special development context given the unclear political status of the region. In addition to that, the communities from the security zone are struggling with additional barriers, including different violation of human rights from Transnistrian authorities (eg. freedom of movement).

Key components of the programme:

Policy Advisory and Advocacy Component:  Program will strengthen the capacity of the key ministries and partners (the relevant Parliamentary Commissions, State Chancellery, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and Family, Ministry of Regional Development and Construction among others) in elaborating policies, legislation and implementation mechanisms taking into account human rights and gender equality dimentions to advance the administrative and fiscal decentralization reform that shall accelerate human rights and gender  responsive development at the regional and local level. Broad participation and engagement will be the core for the design and implementation of the reform.

Local Self-Governance and Participation Component: The capacity of the rayons and municipalities to plan, budget, implement, monitor and evaluate local development as well as to manage efficiently service delivery in the targeted areas and the capacity to provide services will be assessed and strengthened through applying human rights and gender equality approach. Capacities of Associations of Local Authorities will be enhanced to advocate for better decentralisation and local development policies.

Community Empowerment Component: The JILDP will encourage and facilitate active participation of community members, especially women, youth, elderly and disabled, as the primary recipients of all local development initiatives, in the local development processes and decision-making. The Joint Programme will support local communities to have better access to improved services.

Transnistria and Security zone Component: The JILDP will be expanded to the Transnistria Region and will work more thoroughly in the security zone. It will cover all 5 rayons of the region and the areas from the security zone which are based on the left bank of Nistru River but are under Moldovan Government control. 30 communities from the Transnistria region and from the security zone will be supported.

The Programme will be implemented and will advocate for using Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) and Gender equality mainstreaming (GE) which calls for greater participation, accountability, transparency and non-discrimination in all national and local development processes.

 

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the guidance and direct supervision of the Joint Integrated Local Development Chief Technical Advisor and in close cooperation with Programme Managing Director, the Project Officer / Policy Advisor ensures the effective and efficient management of the Policy Advisory and Advocacy Project by supporting the design, planning and management of project as a part of the Joint Integrated Local Development Programme. The Project Officer / Policy Advisor applies and promotes the principles of results-based management (RBM), as well as a client-oriented approach consistent with UNDP rules and regulations. 

The Project Officer / Policy Advisor works in close collaboration with the Programme, Operations, Communications and other project teams in the Country Office (CO) for effective achievement of results, anticipating and resolving complex project-related issues and information delivery.

The incumbent is expected to exercise full compliance with UNDP programming, financial, procurement and administrative rules, regulations, policies and strategies, as well as implementation of the effective internal control systems.

Summary of Key Functions:
The incumbent will ensure the provision of development services and products (commensurate with the scope of the project) of the highest quality and standards to national counterparts and clients through applying HRBA and GE approaches.  More specifically:

1. Strategic visioning for Policy and Advocacy Component of JILDP and guidance to project staff in close cooperation with JILDP/UN Women team:
 
a) Identify key areas of the Decentralization Strategy to be supported by JILDP.

b) Formulate coordinated approaches on decentralization, advise on national developments relevant to JILDP programmatic objectives in decentralization.

c) Provide the State Chancellery with necessary expertise in the process of elaboration and implementation of the decentralization reform in the Republic of Moldova, in close cooperation with national stakeholders.

d) Advise JILDP National partner on legal, policy and advisory frameworks for decentralization. Facilitate and support the activity of the Parity Commission, relevant departments of the State Chancellery, line ministries, etc to develop and implement the Decentralization Startegy.

e) Enhance analytical and professional capacities of the State Chancellery in terms of decision-making within the framework of decentralization process, providing ad-hoc advice and technical support.

f)  Promote a participatory, human rights and gender sensitive approach to decentralization by involving local and national stakeholders in the effort of generating critical and constructive feedback, specific observations that shall direct the changes in the system.

g) Conduct analytical work and provide substantive research input (e.g. institutional and risk analyses, concept notes, policy reviews) on decentralization and local development highlighting UNDP support and strategy. Play an active role in policy advice, strategic thinking, knowledge sharing.

h)  Promote information sharing with the relevant donors by initiating and/or participating in consultative meetings with the donor community and preparing briefs on local/regional development progress and activities.

i) Support the JILDP CTA/Programme Coordinator, CO in general in programme development, formulation and strategic processes in close cooperation with UN Women team with substantive contributions in his/her area of responsibility. 

j) Ensure Project coherence with JILDP policies and synergy with other JILDP projects.

2. Project Management of the JILDP Policy Advisory and Advocacy Components: 

a) Take full responsibility for the effective and efficient management of all project activities in the line with JILDP objectives, implementation timeframe and ensured attainment of key project results through:  (i) the timely delivery of inputs, (ii) organization of planned activities and their monitoring, (iii) effective coordination with project partners and key counterparts based on UNDP rules and procedures.

b) Elaborate TORs, identify competent advisors and consulting companies, manage contracts and their implementation and conduct evaluation in order to achieve the programmatic outcomes and outputs.

c) Build, motivate and lead a high performing team consisting of project personnel, expert consultants, translators, etc.  Undertake personnel performance appraisals and career development coaching at project level.

d) Apply UNDP programming tools and policies as explained in the Results Management Guide, including the utilization of the Project Management Module in Atlas (Prince 2, etc).  Keep abreast of UNDP programming practices and maintain an optimum level of knowledge by continuous learning, including in the areas of HRBA and GE.

e) Prepare qualitative substantive and financial progress reports as may be required by the project.  Prepare periodic procurement/contracting and financial delivery reports for UNDP management.  Prepare budget revisions as needed.

3. Support JILDP Resource Mobilization and Partnership Building: 

a) Maintain and animate effective dialogue with partners and among stakeholders in close cooperation with UN Women 

b) Engage with relevant donors and contribute to the JILDP resource mobilization efforts

c) Ensure that community development projects are implemented in a Human Rights Based Approach and respect principles of Gender Equality. Raise awareness of local authorities on HRBA and GE.

4. Knowledge Management: 

a) Contribute to the set up of a functional interaction among the decision makers and the general public through the analytical tools for enhancing local autonomy, legality, own and delegated authorities – all set forth on an agenda focused on efficient governance issues, taking into consideration HRBA and GE aspects

b) Promote information sharing within JILDP, with national stakeholders and the relevant donors community by initiating and/or participating in consultative meetings and preparing briefs on local self-governance progress and activities

c) Ensure wide dissemination and visibility of project achievements.  Participate in national and international fora, making substantive contributions as appropriate.

d) Coordinate knowledge management activities with the Project Manager for Capacity Building and Knowledge Networks

Impact of Results:
The key results have a direct impact on the overall successful achievement of the JILDP programme.  Accurate analysis and presentation of information enhances UNDP’s position as a strong development partner.  The information provided facilitates decision-making of the Programme Steering Committee and UNDP management.


Competencies

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates commitment to UNDP’s mission, vision and values.
  • Exerts strict adherence to corporate rules, regulations and procedures.  Familiarity with the internal control framework and results-based management tools is a must.
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Ensures that programmes and projects are consistent with UN/UNDP values
  • Treats peers fairly by maintaining consistent values inspiring trust and confidence through personal credibility
  • Works collaboratively with colleagues inside UN/UNDP as well as its partners and other stakeholders to pursue common goals
  • Adapts flexibly to changing situations, overcomes obstacles and recovers quickly from set-backs
  • Tolerates conditions of stress, uncertainty or ambiguity and continues to maintain a positive outlook and to work productively
  • Accepts responsibility and accountability for the quality of the outcome of his/her decisions

Functional Competencies:

Building Strategic Partnerships

  • Effectively networks with partners seizing opportunities to build strategic alliances relevant to UNDP’s mandate and strategic agenda 
  • Analyzes and selects materials for strengthening strategic alliances with partners and stakeholders
  • Establishes and nurtures positive communication with partners

Adaptation and Application of Knowledge / Innovations in Different Contexts

  • Focuses on tasks/activities which have a strategic impact on programme and capacity development activities
  • Promotes a supportive environment to enhance partnerships, leverages resources and build support for UNDP’s strategic initiatives
  • Collaborates with regional, national and local partners to create and apply knowledge and concepts that will help partners achieve UNDP’s development objectives within the country and regional context

Knowledge Management and Learning

  • Shares knowledge and experience
  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills

Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise / In-depth knowledge of the Subject-matter

  • Understands more advanced aspects of primary area of specialization as well as the fundamental concepts of related disciplines
  • Serves as internal consultant in the area of expertise and shares knowledge with staff
  • Continues to seeks new and improved methods and systems for accomplishing the work of the unit
  • Keeps abreast of new developments in area of professional discipline and job knowledge and seeks to develop him/herself professionally
  • Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments
  • Demonstrates comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the current guidelines and project management tools and utilizes these regularly in work assignments

Development and Operational Effectiveness

  • Ability to perform a variety of specialized tasks related to Results-Based Management, including support to design, planning and implementation of programme, managing data, reporting.
  • Ability to provide input to business processes, re-engineering, implementation of new system, including new IT based systems. 
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, is required to obtain, evaluate and interpret factual data and to prepare accurate and complete reports and other documents.

 Leadership and Self-Management

  •  Focuses on result for the client and responds positively to feedback
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude
  • Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities

 

Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Master Degree in public administration, economics, law or related areas. Additional training and certification in project management would be an advantage.

Experience:

  • At least five years of progressively responsible experience is required at the national or international level in the local/regional development preferably in an international organization, national agency, national ministry, non-governmental organization, or private sector. Practical experience in community development.
  • Previous experience in development assistance or related work for a donor organization, governmental institutions, NGO or private sector / consulting firm is a very strong advantage.
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc) and advance knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages, experience in handling of web based management systems.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in both oral and written English, Romanian and Russian is a must.

 

Application Instructions

Applications should be submitted on line and preferably include Personal History Form (P11).

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.