Programme Management Specialist (Local Development Finance Portfolio Africa), P-3 Uncdf Dakar, Senegal


UNDP/UNCDF 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.

UNDP/UNCDF does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

The UN Capital Development Fund makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 46 least developed countries (LDCs). UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.

UNCDF’s financing models work through three channels: (1) inclusive digital economies, which connects individuals, households, and small businesses with financial eco-systems that catalyze participation in the local economy, and provide tools to climb out of poverty and manage financial lives; (2) local development finance, which drives structural transformation of localities through policy and regulatory reform, fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance, and project finance to unlock capital flows to the local level, combined local economic expansion and sustainable development; and (3) investment finance, which provides catalytic financial structuring, de-risking, and capital deployment to drive SDG impact and domestic resource mobilization.

UNCDF’s Local Development Finance Practice (LD) aims to be center of excellence and innovative fund for local government finance and local economic development finance in the world’s 46 LDCs. LD promotes and supports transformative investments through local governments and domestic financial institutions (banks, pension funds) in LDCs by piloting and scaling up innovative financing mechanisms and policies in the public and private sectors. UNCDF’s work in Local Development Finance is best understood as an appreciation that the local dimension to development is essential for least developed countries (and least developed regions in all developing countries) to transform their economies and societies into an inclusive, diverse and sustainable system for human realization and planetary health. Local development is clearly defined not just as a local initiative, because everything happens somewhere, but as an initiative that draws from local assets to add value that is inclusively shared locally: infrastructure, services, value chains and environmental value – in other words an initiative with transformative impact.

The current LDFPA Africa portfolio includes (1) country programmes in West Africa (Benin, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone, The Gambia) as well as in East Africa, notably in Tanzania, Somalia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Kenya and Uganda, (2) global programmes on Climate change (LoCAL), access to domestic finance (Local Finance Initiative), Municipal Finance (Municipal Investment Finance). In addition, UNCDF has an agreement with a fund manager to support access to finance and investment in municipal infrastructure. Some new countries are under formulation (Ethiopia, Togo, DRC).

Under the direction of the Regional Team Leader, Local Development Finance Practice, the Programme Management Speclialist LDFPA, P3 is responsible for managing the portfolio of local development finance projects in Africa (i.e. around 20 existing projects with total commitments of US$ 150.0 million) and its expected growth. S/he receives services and support on regional operational issues from the UNCDF country offices in the region as well as Addis service support. The incumbent supports the country staff to ensure that UNCDF programs are well managed and implemented. From Headquarters, the Programme Management Speclialist LDFPA, P3 receives overall leadership and policy direction from the Director, Local Development Finance Practice, and guidance and support from the Deputy Director, in areas of programme & budget management, disbursement of resources, financial and performance management and programme coherence at the regional level; from the Operations Division on corporate operational issues; from the PPC unit regarding tools and templates for partnership agreements.

At the regional level, the incumbent supports the Regional Team Leader and country teams to develop and maintain partnerships with bi-lateral and multi-lateral organizations and other partners for non-core resource mobilization, knowledge management and policy support and harmonization. In doing this, s/he collaborates with programme staff in the region and in countries.

This is a new fixed-term staff role based in Dakar, Senegal and reports to the LD Regional Africa Team Leader P-5 also based in Dakar, Senegal.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions:

Working under the direct supervision of of the Regional Team Leader, the Programme Management Speclialist undertakes the following key functions:

  1. Provides Robust Programme Management for LDFP theory of change and the Local Development Finance programs within the Africa region ;
  2. Performance Management Mechanisms and Monitoring – Establishes and ensures the observance of mechanisms to monitor programs, lead evaluation processes and report on result ;
  3. Coordinate Resource Mobilization and donors reporting requirements for the LDFP Programs including narrative and financial reporting ;
  4. Liaison with the UNCDF Office of Finance and Management Services (FMS) and Partnerships, Policy and Communications (PPC) Units and Teams– in partnership with relevant LDFP programme staff.

Detailed Description of Job Roles and Responsibilities:

  1. PROGRAMME MANAGEMENT: Provide programme management to local development finance projects within the Africa region, focusing on achieving the following results.
  • Effective management of all financial, performance and operational aspects of portfolio, including facilitating project implementation according to annual work plan of the project, ensuring achievement of outputs;
  • Review of integrated work plans of country teams; develop and implement coordination tools amongst global programs and country programs;
  • Reporting of project achievements, delivery and other areas of accountability to the Local Development Finance practice for input into regular performance monitoring and IRRM; financial reporting and compliance with other reporting arrangements for non-core resources to donors;
  • With technical support of the Regional Team Leader, develop a coherent programme framework support at the regional level;
  • Planing and monitoring portfolio performance, financial delivery and technical results;
  • Management of audits and support to decentralized evaluations;
  • Effective and efficient use of ATLAS in line with project cycle; Atlas approval authority at Level 2;
  • Procurement and HR: Ensure appropriate staffing and consultants support is in place, in liaison with regional and HQ support.
  1. EVALUATION, PERFORMANCE AND MONITORING MECHANISMS : Results of the work of the Regional Portfolio Manager have a major impact on achieving objectives of the Practice, regional plans and UNCDF Strategic Framework, as reflected in the UNCDF's IRRM (Integrated Results and Ressources Framework).
  • Organize targets and monitor financial delivery for the regional and country programmes;
  • Establish clear performance targets and indicators at the portfolio level, consistent with the LDFP Theory of change;
  • Develops and implements systems for regular internal tracking/monitoring and evaluation procedures as needed to ensure LDFP is on track to meet project milestones and indicators (including of grants and performance-based agreements);
  • Coordinates weekly team meetings with country teams and regional staff, ensuring items of strategic importance are added to the meeting agenda, preparing documents as needed and ensuring accountability on followup actions;
  • Ensures monitoring and indicator development/tracking is aligned with industry best practices including UNCDF and DCED guidelines.
  • With the evaluation unit, prepare ToR and support evaluation and program reviews, ensure a coherent and consistant evaluation process and archiving processes to document results.
  1. Responsible for RESOURCE MOBILIZATION AND DONORS REPORTING requirements for the Program portfolio including narrative and financial reporting.
  • Review draft proposals prior to submission to funders to ensure budgets are aligned to maintaining the regional and country technical infrastructure; cost recovery principles and  costs of delivering on proposed results, working together with Regional/Country staff;
  • Planning, elaboration & follow-up of a reporting strategy, based on donors’ agreements, corporate requirements for reporting schedules for both programmes and projects;
  • Drafting and finalization of donors’ narrative reports including progress, annual and ad-hoc ones focusing on highlighting progress of targets against agreed upon indicators; analyzing impact, reflecting on lessons learned and operational challenges;
  • Review financial reports as per donors’ agreements, in collaboration with PPC & PMSU colleagues.
  1. Liaison with the UNCDF Office of Finance and Management Services (FMS) and Partnerships, Policy and Communications (PPC) Units and Teams– in partnership with relevant LDFP programme staff.
  • Liaison with the UNCDF Office of Finance and Management Services (FMS), Partnerships, Policy and Communication (PPC) and Programme Management Support (PMSU) Units/Teams , PMSU – in partnership with relevant LDFP staff, facilitate relationships with UNCDF’s FMS, PPC and PMSU teams on partnerships, operations and procurement, finance and HR/personnel issues ;
  • Coordinates with UNCDF´s operations teams /team leads as needed, ensuring an efficient flow of information and liaising on planning around operational needs ;
  • Lead and manage procurement processes that are the responsibility of the LDFP team including the drafting of TORs, review and selection of candidate CVs, development of selection criteria, interviewing and candidate review in full accordance with UNCDF /UNDP contracting rules and regulations ;
  • Lead and support the management of HR recruitement processes that are the responsability of the LDFP team including the preparation of TORs, review and selection of candidate CVs, development of selection criteria ;
  • Manages strategic requirements of the programme by supporting the contracting of firms via Long Term Agreements, in accordance with UNCDF rules and regulations; Funding and implementation modality negotiated and resolved with UN System agencies, development banks, donors and governments ;
  • Liaises with UNCDF ICT staff to ensure efficient and effective functioning of SharePoint, and the Shared Drive

Results Impact:

The key result expected is the evolution of UNCDF LDFP programming to a more integrated model consistent with LDFP Theory of change to mobilize, allocate and invest into local development.  More specifically this approach will enable UNCDF LDFP to:

  • Provide consistent programme management support services in a client oriented and flexible way, that can easily adjust to donor cycles, provide support to the entire portfolio and large global undertakings.
  • Allow different programmes to cost share programme infrastructure and activities.
  • Provide a comparative benchmark and improve UNCDF LDFP´s accuracy in estimating and managing the financial resources of the individual programmes.
  • Professionalize programme and portfolio management for all the LDFP units included to streamline programme management, providing a common methodology for activity planning (namely grants, technical assistance, loans, guarantee letters and others).
  • Maintain a common and consistent quality standard and smooth delivery for all LDFP project activities, across Africa.

Core Competencies:

  • Innovation Ability to make new and useful ideas work - Level 5: Plans and acts transparently, actively works to removes barriers
  • Leadership Ability to persuade others to follow - Level 5: Creates new and relevant ideas and leads others to implement them
  • People Management Ability to improve performance and satisfaction - Level 5: Models high professional standards and motivates excellence in others
  • Communication & Relationship Management Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform - Level 5: Gains trust of peers, partners, clients by presenting complex concepts in practical terms to others
  • Delivery Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement - Level 5: Critically assesses value and relevance of existing policy / practice and contributes to enhanced delivery of products, services, and innovative solutions.

Technical/Functional Competencies:

  • Subject Matter Expertise: Understands more advanced aspects of primary area of specialization as well as the fundamental concepts related to fiscal decentralization and municipal finance - Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise
  • Knowledge Management:  Ability to capture, develop, share and effectively use information and knowledge - Level 5: Originate - Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise
  • Project Management:  Ability to plan, organize, and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals - Level 4: Apply & Adapt: Contributes skills and knowledge with demonstrated ability to advance innovation and continuous improvement, in professional area of expertise
  • Relationship Management:  Ability to engage and foster strategic partnerships with other parties, Inter-Agency Coordination and forge productive working relationships - Level 5: Originate - Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise
  • Results Based Programming: Assesses project performance to identify success factors and incorporates best practices into project work -  Level 5: Originate - Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise
Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s Degree or equivalent in Business Administration, Public Administration, Law, Finance, Economics or related fields.


  •  A minimum of five (5) years’ experience in progressively responsible positions in the field of programme management, project management and/or operations or related fields, out of which at least three years of work-experience in programme /project planning & implementation.
  • Demonstrable project management, budget/financial management and coordination skills.
  • Work experience of and/or in Least Developed Countries LDCs is preferred.
  • Experience in Compliance & Quality Assurance is preferred.
  • Experience supporting decentralization and local development focus is preferred.
  • Previous experience /familiarity with results monitoring and reporting is preferred.
  • In-depth knowledge of relevant UN organizational policies and procedures; Knowledge of UN/UNDP/UNCDF ERP Systems & Policies is preferred.   

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in both English & French is required given that role has pan-African coverage. 
  • Excellent Communication Skills (Comprehension, verbal communication) in both languages required. 

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