Local Development Specialist


Title: Local Development Specialist
Job ID: 16032
Practice Area – Job Family: Poverty Reduction – LOCAL DEVELOPMENT
Vacancy End Date: 11.05.2018 (Midnight New York, USA)
Duty Station: Kulyab, Tajikistan
Education & Work Experience: G-Bachelor’s Level Degree – 5 year(s) experience
Languages Required: English, Russian, Tajik
Grade: SB3
Vacancy Type: Service Contract (SC)
Posting Type: External
Bureau: Europe & the CIS
Contract Duration: 6 months with posibility of extension


CP is a multi-year initiative designed to support the implementation of development strategies of the Republic of Tajikistan in the framework of the UN Development Assistance Framework. CP aims at supporting local economic development, local governance and access to services and basic infrastructure at the local level. The Programme’s Strategy is to support the Government of Tajikistan to promote wider participation of communities in the process of local development planning, as well as in the management and implementation of local development priorities. CP has area offices in Sughd (Khujand and Ayni) and Khatlon (Shaartuz and Kulob) regions and Rasht valley (Gharm).

The UNDPs project “Livelihood Improvement in Tajik-Afghan Cross-border Areas” phase II (LITACA II) is a three-year initiative, financed by the Government of Japan through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and implemented by UNDP Tajikistan in cooperation with UNDP Afghanistan. In January 2018, the process of LITACA project Phase II implementation was launched and building on the achievements of LITACA I, previous programmes and initiatives funded by the Government of Japan and JICA, UNDP Afghanistan jointly with UNDP Tajikistan is comprising LITACA II a 3-year initiative to improve living standards and promote stability and security in the bordering provinces of Tajikistan and Afghanistan. This initiative will be achieved by reducing poverty, supporting economic development and cross-border collaboration among the communities along the Tajik-Afghan border.

Health System Strengthening: The Project is funded by Gavi Alliance at the total amount US$3,6 million with the duration of 2017-2022. This is a joint Project of UNDP, UNICEF, WHO and Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Population of Tajikistan.  The main objective of the joint project is to strengthen health system and improve immunization service system among targeted population.

In 2018, UNDP Communities Programme has started implementation of 2 years project “Innovative solutions for nationalizing and localizing SDGs and economic empowerment of women, youth and PWD (ISDGs)” funded by the Government of Norway.  The main objective of the Project is enabling development stakeholders at national and local levels, including governmental institutions, community-based organizations and private sector to effectively plan, monitor and implement sustainable and inclusive development strategies in the context of Agenda 2030 to promote sustainable and inclusive local development and ensure economic engagement of most vulnerable population.

The Local Development Specialist will be based in Kulob Area Office and responsible for overall activities related to improving local governance and economic development within the frame of current (ISDG, LITACA II and HSS II projects) and future UNDP initiatives.

The Local Development Specialist has the overall responsibility for implementation of initiatives related to effective local governance and economic development including capacity development for sub-national authorities (oblast, district and jamoat), private sector organizations, civil society enhancement, civic awareness and gender mainstreaming activities of the UNDP Communities Programme and other interventions of UNDP programmes within Area Office (AO) service area.

The incumbent in this job is under supervision of: Kulob AO Manager (primary),Communities Programme Manager (overall) and technical guidance of Senior Local Governance and Economic Development Officers of CP.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The Local Development Specialist will ensure formulation of strategies and provision of policy advice as well as coordination and oversight of activities in the areas of local governance and local economic development. More specifically, the scope of responsibilities  of the Local Development Specialist include:

Governance and economic development expertise and support

  • Lead and supervise assessment of capacity needs of local government officials on strategic planning, resource mobilization and monitoring and evaluation, formulate gender-sensitive capacity development strategies, evaluate capacity development actions;
  • Take a lead and/or provide inputs to development  of concept papers, proposals, new approaches  and strategies on local governance and economic development;
  • Lead and guide conduction of surveys, prepare analysis on the existing  issues of  local governance and economic development;
  • Analyze capacity gaps of local public and private sector in local development, lead development of capacity building programmes and supervise capacity building activities;
  • Provide consultative assistance to local government officials and substantive contribution for review and update of District Development Programmes as well as strengthening the monitoring and evaluation system;
  • Provide inputs to formulation of the area work plans, monitoring of sub-projects, and prepare an annual review of best practices and lessons learnt in the areas of governance including capacity building, civic awareness and gender mainstreaming;
  • Lead and coordinate business and vocational trainings;
  • Coordinate the introduction of Business Extension Services to support of private sector representatives;
  • Lead and coordinate implementation of microfinance activities;
  • Coordinate provision of support to institutional development of private sector support organizations such as farmers’ organizations, business associations, and others as appropriate on management, financial sustainability, fundraising and etc.;
  • Provide support on implementation of activities related to involving youth into entrepreneurship and development of startup ecosystem;
  • In close collaboration with UNDP Kulob AO team support implementation and successful completion of rehabilitation/construction of rural economic and social infrustructures as well as improving public service delivery at local level;
  • Provide necessary expertise in review of draft legal and normative acts related to public sector reforms and  private sector development;
  • Provide substantive inputs in the processes of development Public Private Dialogues and Partnerships within the frame of existing initiatives implemented in Kulob AO (LITACA II, ISDG);
  • Prepare programme/project impact analysis papers;
  • Provide expertise and comments on relevant documents related to economic and business environment improvement;
  • Prepare and update in timely basic statistics information related to economic indicators of the districts;

Programme support

  • Provide programmatic support in planning and implementing programme activities (e.g. support in preparation of project Annual Work Plan, drafting budgets, liaise with contractors, etc);
  • Prepare ToRs for consultants, experts and service providers and support organizing selection, recruitment and development of mission programmes of international and local experts, as required according to UNDP rules and regulations;
  • Contribute to development and ensure due implementation of the local governance and economic development part of CP M&E system;
  • Support CP Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist in monitoring and evaluation of efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability of interventions in governance and economic development domain and provide substantive inputs into CP monitoring database related to local  governance and economic development;
  • Provide substantive inputs in reporting on results in accordance with UNDP Communities Programme and donors’ reporting schedules;
  • Provide necessary support and expertise for implementation of other local development initiatives implemented with involvement of Kulob AO;
  • Perform other responsibilities and functions as requested by management;

Coordination and collaboration

  • Work collaboratively in a team environment with other colleagues in the Area Office to ensure integration and strategic focus of CP local governance and economic development initiatives in the overall Area Office activities;
  • Closely cooperate with other specialists of Communities Programme and the UNDP Area Offices for exchange of experience and ensuring conformity in the approaches to local governance  and economic development, specifically under LITACA II project and within the UNDP in general;
  • Establish and maintain excellent working relations with sub-national government partners and business support organizations;
  • Contribute to the effective coordination and cooperation with other development programmes and agencies active in the targeted areas in relation to local governance and economic development;
  • Provide consultative and substantive assistance in development and producing knowledge products, case studies, success stories, lessons learnt reports, preparetion of press releases and etc.;
  • Collect and prepare information on local governance and economic development issues for Communication and Partnership Specialist for preparation of outreach/visibility materials and assist in their dissemination;


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
  • Accepts responsibility and accountability for the quality of the outcome of his/her decisions

Functional Competencies:

Knowledge Management and Learning

  • Shares knowledge and experience
  • 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
  • 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 seek 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

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 engage with various partners and stakeholders at different levels, to establish and maintain contacts with senior-level officials of the host government and represent UNDP in national and regional fora.
  • 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.
  • Capacity to implement the strategic vision and programmatic goals as laid down in the Project Document;
  • Proven performance in organizing and coordinating major initiatives, events or challenging inter-organizational activities;
  • Adapts flexibly to changing situations, overcomes obstacles and recovers quickly from set-backs

Leadership and Self-Management

  • Focuses on result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
  • Ability to achieve results and meet strict deadlines in an effective manner, maintaining a high quality standard throughout
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude
  • Tolerates conditions of stress, uncertainty or ambiguity and continues to maintain a positive outlook and to work productively
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a team and to foster team spirit and synergy;

Required Skills and Experience:

Education: University degree in Economics, Public Administration, Social Science, Political Science, Development Studies or any other development related fields.
Experience: At least 5 years of experience in implementation of local economic development  and local governance programmes; proven experience in private sector development, capacity building of local governments, partnership with civil society and private sector organizations in Tajikistan;Good knowledge of Tajikistan, and Khatlon region development context, experience of development work in Khatlon region is an asset;

Previous experience in working for international organizations in related fields is an advantage;

Proven knowledge of M&E of development projects, including experience in maintenance of (statistic) data, and information sharing;

Advanced understanding of gender issues in economic development and governance;

Strong communication and advocacy skills and proven practical experience in communication and donor reporting;

Strong management capabilities, including the ability to manage conflicting priorities and tight timelines is essential for the position;

Excellent computer skills, including full command of text and spreadsheet programmes;

Affinity with the mandate and role of the United Nations

Language Requirements: Excellent command of spoken and written English, Tajik and Russian

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 strict confidentiality.

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