About the Organization:
United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s least developed countries (LDCs). Established by the General Assembly in 1966 and with headquarters in New York, UNCDF is an autonomous UN organization affiliated with UNDP which creates new opportunities for poor people and their communities by increasing access to microfinance and investment capital. UNCDF focuses on Africa and the poorest countries of Asia and the Pacific, with a special commitment to countries emerging from conflict or crisis. It provides seed capital (grants and loans) and technical support to help financial service providers reach more poor households and small businesses, and local governments finance the capital investments – water systems, feeder roads, schools, irrigation schemes – that will improve poor peoples’ lives. UNCDF works to enlarge peoples’ choices: it believes that poor people and communities should take decisions about their own development. Its program help to empower women – over 50% of the clients of UNCDF-supported MFIs are women – and its expertise in microfinance and local development is shaping new responses to food insecurity, climate change and other challenges. UNCDF works in challenging environments – remote rural areas, countries emerging from conflict – and paves the way for others to follow. Its program are designed to catalyze larger investment flows from the private sector, development partners and national governments, for significant impact on the Millennium Development Goals, especially Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger, Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women, and Goal 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability.
UNCDF operates several global thematic initiative (GTI) program which work across Sub-Saharan Africa and the poorest countries in Asia to support partners that are offering needed and innovative financial services. In 2008, UNCDF launched the global MicroLead program with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to invest in bringing strong deposit taking MFIs to underserved LDCs. Through added support from The MasterCard Foundation (MCF), MicroLead is now a USD 58.5 million program designed to enable FSPs in developing countries, to strengthen their operations, particularly in small balance savings and in reaching rural remote communities with technology. MicroLead is working with 30 projects in 22 countries. Similarly, YouthStart, funded with USD 12 million in support from The MasterCard Foundation, works with leading institutions in sub-Saharan Africa to test and roll out financial services and training for youth. YouthStart is supporting 12 financial institutions in 8 countries. UNCDF launched Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P) in 2012 with support from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) to promote branchless and mobile financial services in several focus countries in Africa and Asia. The program managers for the three program are based in New York, Addis Ababa and Brussels, respectively. Each of these program has a mandate to generate and exchange knowledge as well as capture and share lessons learned from their partners and their own experiences as funders.
About the Job:
UNCDF has determined to create a Research and Learning Officer position to help these three global programs develop stronger knowledge generation and sharing efforts, manage research and learning activities, and better coordinate its global research agenda for these three programs. The position will report to the UNCDF Programme Specialist in New York, but will be based in the UNCDF office in Brussels, Belgium.
Tasks and Responsibilities:
Summary of key functions:
- Work closely with the program management units of the three global thematic initiative programs (or GTIs) noted above to develop a strategy and plan for global research based on the needs and objectives of the three programs; manage implementation of the plan;
- With the UNCDF communications team manage the three programs’ partner communications, media releases, and website pages;
- In close cooperation with the UNCDF Knowledge Management team, develop, coordinate and oversee the three programs’ knowledge-sharing events, working closely with the program teams and relevant UNCDF operations units;
- Develop and manage program partners’ networking, exchanges and learning, including sharing information, facilitating networking, and identifying and facilitating financial support for learning events (as available from the programs);
- Maintain updates to the programs’ information on web portals and other electronic presence;
- Supervise the contracting and editing of program-related publications;
- Coordinate and ensure linkages with country and regional level programs.
Develop and manage a global research agenda for the three programs. UNCDF FIPA has an active global research program with a variety of knowledge products that need to be completed on time and disseminated broadly; these products will position UNCDF as a lead practitioner in inclusive finance.
- Work with the three teams to develop a research agenda and plan;
- Ensure the inclusion of gender issues and gender disaggregated data and/or analysis in the programs’ research agendas;
- Develop standards and templates for different knowledge products, drawing on best practices, currently used formats and UNCDF’s knowledge management policies;
- With the program teams’ assistance and in accordance with the plan, draft knowledge products on key topics related to the programs’ activities;
- With the teams’ assistance, develop technical TORs for larger scale research, and manage procurement process and oversight of research consultants;
- Oversee the publications process for three programs, working with the program teams, relevant operations units, authors, editors and vendors to fulfill knowledge generation targets;
- Extract key findings from knowledge products and draft shorter versions for blogs and press quotes/releases that can support the communications and advocacy agenda;
- With UNCDF Communications Team, establish marketing and distribution strategy for research products and oversee activities;
- Coordinate plans and efforts of the three programs and making access to finance possible (MAP) to maximize synergies and harmonize research efforts.
Manage the global communications and marketing for the three programs. UNCDF has an active multi-media outreach effort that highlights its activities and achievements and builds upon UNCDF’s overall profile.
- Develop a communications and marketing strategy for the three global programs in coordination with the UNCDF communications team, identifying communications channels and distribution methods;
- Ensure that branding of each of the three programs is consistent with UNCDF branding guidelines and each programs’ funders’ requirements;
- Manage the writing, development, design, production and dissemination of diverse publications and news releases through print and video, focusing on achievement of the programs’ results; Prepare and disseminate appropriate press releases and other notifications for program activities and when the need arises, ensure visibility for the programs’ funders;
- With the UNCDF Communications Team, update UNCDF website contents for the three programs so that they are current, relevant and reflect FIPA priorities and identify other innovative ways of enhancing FIPA’s information dissemination using the internet.
Manage Conferences, Workshops and Learning Events. The three programs have held results-oriented events that receive consistent positive feedback from participants during which action items are pursued.
- Work with the three teams to develop timelines and work schedules for program events
- Contribute to brainstorming on creating participatory, knowledge enhancing workshops and events;
- Support the three teams on coordination, organizational details and procurement issues related to events;
- Manage guest lists, invitations, organize the creation of information packages, letters of invitation relevant to upcoming events, work with the relevant program associates and operations teams;
- Develop logistics plan, oversee and coordinate program associates and operations’ unit implementation of logistics, travel and procurement;
- Assist with on-site advance preparations for events;
- With team members, assist in contracting speakers or facilitators, as necessary;
- Ensure that all materials and presentations are available on time, shared with participants and accessible (including on the UNCDF website);
- Assist in the drafting of conference / workshop proceedings, lessons learned reports, preparation of project accomplishment reports and other knowledge products;
- Develop action item follow up list from conferences and workshop to ensure that expected results are met;
- Develop survey and feedback tools for workshops and events, analyze and provide feedback to teams;
- With team input, ensure the programs’ regional and international events are included in the FIPA and UNCDF calendars.
Contribute to knowledge building, networking and knowledge sharing. UNCDF is viewed as a reliable, organized, and transparent source of information and takes the lead on sharing information with stakeholders.
- Develop strategy for increasing networking and cross-learning among UNCDF’s global program partners;
- Identify opportunities for scholarship or sponsorships for the programs’ partners, help match events and partners, organize logistics and registration with partners;
- Oversee UNCDF funded scholarships and/or travel support for learning events with relevant program assistants, draft MOUs and monitor follow up required in MOUs;
- Contribute to UNCDF’s social media platforms including : keeping content up to date, uploading new materials (knowledge products, press releases) and tracking site usage and views or hits;
- Motivate and monitor program team members to contribute to blogs and other social media;
- Monitor and respond to website contributions and feedback related to three teams;
- Provide quarterly report to the three teams on research and learning activities for their quarterly reporting to funders;
- Monitor website indicators with support of UNCDF Communications team;
- Assist the three teams in developing and maintaining list serves and contact databases for partners and other stakeholders;
- Liaise with CGAP, Making Finance work for Africa, UNDP regional offices and development partners for information sharing.
Corporate support and professional development. UNCDF receives support for events and the Officer is up to date on the latest skills and training needed to efficiently support the three programs.
- Support the use and implementation of UNCDF knowledge sharing tools and services, monitoring and evaluating their success; strengthen knowledge sharing processes between the global/regional programs and country programs;
- Upload generated documents and tools to the UNCDF intranet;
- Provide training on knowledge products and knowledge sharing tools to the three program teams;
- Work with BTC Alliance Communication Specialist to facilitate inputs to the BTC Alliance and provide assistance in BTC Alliance research agenda;
- Work with MAP program Manager to ensure lessons learned are reflected in communications strategy;
- Stay current on learning courses – including mandatory UNDP courses related to Atlas, internal processes and values;
- Participate in professional training and capacity development activities, particularly in events related to the programs’ outputs so as to develop capacity and knowledge in these areas.
Impact of Results:
Global positioning and recognition of UNCDF as a leading practitioner on innovative financial services delivery. Efficient, reliable and proactive management of knowledge generation and sharing activities of the three programs and achievement of annual work plans. The timely and smooth procurement and delivery of all inputs for relevant and quality knowledge products. Strong coordination among the global programs’ research agendas and synergies with country programs. Improved cross-learning and networking within UNCDF, between UNCDF and its partners, and between UNCDF partners.
- Demonstrates commitment to UNDP PC’s mission, vision and values;
- Displays cultural, gender, religious, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
- Exhibits integrity in the work place, including transparency and honesty.
Functional competencies: knowledge management and learning
- Experience in conducting and overseeing field research related to financial inclusion, economic development or other issues pertaining to the millennium development goals (MDGs);
- Fully proficient computer skills and use of relevant software and other applications; web design and/or maintenance;
- Experience in overseeing document and report production, print and electronic publishing;
- Preferably experience in branding, communications and experience in media relations, graphic design and video production;
- Actively works towards continuing personal learning, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills;
- Ability to manage events, oversee contributions of other actors.
Development and operational effectiveness
- Experience working with international organizations, developing country governments, donor agencies, and/or NGOs and other civil society groups engaged in diverse sectors of international development;
- Familiarity with UNDP and UN system and/or the donor community;
- Ability to organize and perform a variety of specialized tasks simultaneously related to Results Management, including administrative 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.
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;
- Leads team creatively and effectively;
- Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure;
- Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities;
- Interacts with others in a professional, respectful, and friendly manner;
- Builds strong relationships with clients and external actors;
- Communicates clearly and convincingly.
- Secondary Education, preferably with specialized certification in communications, management, marketing, or related disciplines;
- University Degree in communications, journalism, marketing, social sciences, or related discipline would be desirable, but it is not a requirement.
- About 7 years of progressively responsible experience in communication, development, or other relevant field is required at the national or international level;
- Exposure to financial services industry, the donor community or the development field;
- Experience overseeing and conducting research and managing research projects.
- Fluency in English and French.
Closing Date: 25 Feb 2013
How to Apply: