Programme Specialist, SDG Impact and Acceleration - Tenders Global

Programme Specialist, SDG Impact and Acceleration

Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme

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.
UNDP 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.

UNDP multi-country office in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam provides technical assistance, policy and technical advisory services to the Governments of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam in their efforts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG); in partnership with development partners, financial institutions, private sector and civil society.

In Malaysia, UNDP’s programme priorities and partnerships are defined and operationalized through the Country Programme between Government of Malaysia and UNDP to support and contribute to the development priorities and results envisioned in the 5-year Malaysia Plan. Malaysia is currently implementing the Twelfth Malaysia Plan 2021-2025 (12MP), which is anchored around three key themes namely resetting economy, strengthening security, wellbeing and inclusivity; and advancing sustainability to achieve economic growth and transform Malaysia into a prosperous, inclusive and sustainable country.

Duties and Responsibilities

The SDG Impact and Acceleration Team is a new unit created under UNDP Country Programme 2022-2025. The role of the SDG Impact and Acceleration Unit is to drive the new frontiers of the Country Programme such as private sector partnerships , SDG financing, innovation and acceleration, strategically positioning UNDP, in the context of the evolving   development landscape, through exploration and data analysis, impact advisory and liaisoning efforts.

You will have strong knowledge and demonstrated experience in partnership and resource mobilization working with Government, UN agencies, IFIs, CSOs and the private sector. You will be aware of the challenges of financing the SDGs, and the various, public, private and blended instruments that are being put in place. You will be aware of Environmental Social Governance (ESG) obligations of the private sector, and the various initiatives ongoing to measure the Impact of measures undertaken across the Board. You also will have strong experience broadly working on data and innovation, to help to shape effective development policy and programmes. You will work collaboratively with your colleagues to ensure holistic, integrated, effective and efficient programming.  You will also work with our sister UN Agencies and UNDP Global Policy network of technical advisors and experts to successfully implement the UNDP programme.

We are looking for people who are enthusiastic, motivated, and committed to making a positive contribution to development in Malaysia. This is a team leader position requiring the ability to lead, motivate, support and manage diverse disciplinary expertise in the team.

You will work under the overall guidance of the Resident Representative (RR) and the direct supervision of the DRR and in close coordination with the Programme and  Policy  teams in the UNDP Country Office based in Malaysia.

Key Duties and Accountabilities:

  • Provides strategic direction, coordination, and management of the SDG Impact and Acceleration Unit. 
  • Leads the establishment of new strategic partnerships with non-traditional stakeholder to strengthen SDG impact and acceleration in Malaysia (in close consultation with LIGHTS).
  • Lead external resources mobilization efforts and communications for such in cooperation with Senior Management and other programme units.
  • Fosters a culture of innovation and digital transformation in the programmes of UNDP Malaysia
  • Ensures facilitation of knowledge building and knowledge sharing.
  • Ensures the integration of women empowerment and gender equality into the portfolio and supports the Gender Team’s efforts towards the CO’s Gold Gender Equality Seal award. 

Provides strategic direction, coordination, and management of the SDG Impact and Acceleration Unit, achieving the following results:

  • Lead periodic horizon scanning exercise to Identify, visualize and communicate emerging development trends, data, technologies, and development issues.
  • Advise senior management on emerging trends and opportunities ensuring UNDP is ‘fit for purpose’ to deliver a new generation of solutions in line with the challenges Malaysia faces
  • Ensure clear alignment of Innovation, partnership, and communication capacities with corporate priorities, supporting development of public and private partnership focused on addressing emerging development trends and SDG acceleration.
  • Daily management of CO Accelerator Lab, SDG Impact, and Partnership functions.

Leads the establishment of new strategic partnerships with non-traditional stakeholder to strengthen SDG impact and acceleration in Malaysia (in close consultation with LIGHTS) achieving the following results:

  • In close consultation with the SDG Finance team of Regional Bureau for Asia Pacific (RBAP), in collaboration with UNDP Global Policy Network, provide support to 24 UNDP Country Offices in the region in lead CO efforts to elevate social, economic, and environmental impacts of private sector investments in the context of SDGs
  • Facilitate UNDP engagement on SDG impact, with particular emphasis on innovative financing instruments, impact/social investment (under the technical guidance of UNDP Senior Economist and the Impact Advisory Specialist).
  • Mobilize private sector sources for SDG finance through combination of activities focused on impact advisory (impact measurement and management (IMM) approaches, metrics, and standards), identifying SGD targeting business-based solutions, aligning business strategies and operations with SDGs, impact performance incentives for both capital providers and recipient businesses.

Fosters a culture of data, innovation and digital transformation in UNDP Malaysia achieving the following results:

  • Explore knowledge partnerships, resource mobilization and leveraging opportunities to strengthen the existing/build new portfolios of innovative data prototype, digital technology interventions; including through liaising with the regional centre Private sector hub and other global and regional expertise.
  • Ensure alignment with UNDP digital strategy and related Global Policy Network priorities
  • Support the CO and government counterparts in creating an enabling data driven ecosystem, culture of digital innovation and strengthen this competency amongst stakeholders Partnership and Network development.
  • Actively encourage COs and government counterparts peer-learning across the region, by creating opportunities to share experiences and make sure that digital assets and capabilities are leveraged within the country and the region.

Leads external communications and resources mobilization efforts in cooperation with Senior Management and other programme units, achieving the following results:

  • Research and analyses of information on key stakeholders – the government, development partners, civil society, and the private sector in preparation for possible areas of cooperation.
  • Scanning of the opportunities in the country based on partner-specific intelligence and the competitive landscape; identification where the CO competency strengths overlap with partner/client needs
  • In consultation with programme units, support the formulation of new programme and projects  ideas in consultation with new development partners;
  • Supports the RR and DRR in resource mobilization efforts and leads the elaboration of programme initiatives in coordination with UNDP senior management
  • A Identification of emerging sources of funding; assessment of their current usage and potential for the future. 
  • Development and implementation of a private sector intelligence strategy (partners, needs and priorities, perception of UNDP by its current and potential future partners, and projection of UNDP’ added value and potential role).

Ensures facilitation of knowledge building and knowledge sharing, achieving the following results:

  • Synthesis of lessons learned and best practices of policy and programme relevance.
  • Sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice.
  • Identification and formulation of lessons learned and recommendations to be integrated into broader CO knowledge management efforts.
  • Organization and conduct of trainings on partnerships building in the Country Office.
  • Identification and formulation of lessons learned and recommendations to be integrated into broader CO knowledge management efforts 
  • Organization and conduct of trainings on RM and partnerships building in the Country Office.

Ensures the integration of women empowerment and gender equality into and supports the Gender Team’s efforts to uphold the CO’s Gender Equality Seal aspiration and efforts, achieving the following results:

  • Ensures that the team applies gender analysis in horizon scanning and unit planning to understand why and how issues affect women and men differently and unequally within a particular context and what options exist to address them. 
  • Supports implementation of CO gender strategy by supporting the design of new initiatives with emerging partners with clear focus on gender equality and empowerment.

Ensures that gender is mainstreamed in relevant documents such as: technical briefs, analytical reports, assessments, communication strategy, terms of references, call for proposals, requests for proposals etc. 

Supervisory/Managerial Responsibilities:

  • The Programme Specialist will be responsible for supervision, performance management and development of the Partnership Coordinator, Communications Analyst, Programme Associate and relevant project-funded personnel.

Core Competencies (Level 3):

  • Achieve Results: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact
  • Think Innovatively: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems
  • Learn Continuously: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences
  • Adapt with Agility: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands
  • Act with Determination: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results
  • Engage and Partner: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity

People Management Competencies: 

  • UNDP People Management Competencies can be found in the dedicated site.

Cross-Functional & Technical Competencies:

Business Direction & Strategy    

  • Strategic Thinking: Ability to develop effective strategies and prioritized plans in line with UNDP’s objectives, based on the systemic analysis of challenges, potential risks and opportunities, linking the vision to reality on the ground, and creating tangible solutions; Ability to leverage learning from a variety of sources to anticipate and respond to future trends; to demonstrate foresight in order to model what future developments and ways forward look like for UNDP 
  • Entrepreneurial Thinking: Ability to create clarity around UNDP value proposition to beneficiaries and partners and to develop service offers responding to client needs based on UNDP’s organizational priorities and mandate 
  • System Thinking: Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system

Business Development 

  • Knowledge Facilitation: Ability to encourage individuals and communities of contributors to participate and share, particularly externally

Business Management 

  • Collective Intelligence Design: Ability to bringing together diverse groups of people, data, information or ideas, and technology to design services or solutions
  • Partnerships Management: Ability to build and maintain partnerships with wide networks of stakeholders, governments, civil society and private sector partners, experts and others in line with UNDP strategy and policies

2030 Agenda: Engagement and Effectiveness     

  • SDG Integration Economy-wide analysis: Engagement with South-South Global Thinkers; Foresight; Institutional and Context analysis; International Futures; Role of science, technology, innovation for SDGs; SDG Acceleration and Bottleneck Assessment
Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s Degree in Economics, Finance, Political Sciences, Social Sciences or related field.

Experience, Knowledge, and Skills

  • Minimum 5 (five) years of relevant experience at the national or international level. Relevant experience in partnership development, and resource mobilization, digitalization.
  • Some experience in development policy and programmes is desired.
  • Experience in managing teams is desired.
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages, experience in handling of web-based management systems and advanced programmes for statistical analysis of data.

Required languages:

  • Fluency in English and national language.

NOTE: This position is open for Malaysia nationals only

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment. 
UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.
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