Research Specialist


UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy work carried out at HQ, Regional and Country Office levels, forms a contiguous spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan. Within the GPN, the Crisis Bureau guides UNDP’s corporate crisis-related strategies and vision for crisis prevention, response and recovery.

As a part of the Core Government Functions and Local Governance (CGF-LG) team in the larger Conflict Prevention, Peacebuilding and Responsive Institutions Team (CPPRI),  the Consultant will be part of UNDP’s contribution to the UN conflict prevention and peacebuilding offer through their support to building and strengthening responsive, accountable, resilient, inclusive and functional core governance institutions at the national and local levels in different development settings with a focus on countries impacted by transitions, fragility and conflict.

Reporting to the Core Government Functions and Local Governance Team Leader in New York, the Consultant will provide research, policy and programming support to the CGF-LG team on multi-level and inclusive governance innovations on enabling core government institutions at national and local levels to effectively respond to the ever-increasing demand for accessibility and quality services. S/he will support the collaborative process of policy development in the Responsive Institutions thematic area. S/he will work with policy specialists on Core Government Functions and Local Governance in HQ, with a primary focus on countries impacted by transitions, fragility and conflict. S/he will also help the team collaborate with other teams across UNDP’s Global Policy Network (GPN), Regional Hubs, Country Offices and Global Policy Centers, supporting the development of substantive approaches, products and tools on responsive, accountable, and effective institutions to support policy and programming services to UNDP Country Offices.

The Consultant will also provide technical support to the team in advancing the UNDP-World Bank partnership on Strengthening Responsive Centers of Government in Fragile and Crisis-affected Contexts, including the adapted joint offer for the COVID-19 response in fragile and crisis-affected settings.
Duties and Responsibilities


  • Substantive delivery of technical assistance to country offices and policy development and programme support to HQ team
  • Provide substantive support to the joint UNDP-World Bank Initiative on Strengthening Responsive Centers of Government in Fragile and Crisis-affected Settings;
  • Provide policy advisory and programming services to UNDP COs that respond to country needs for the restoration of core government functions, including local governance in fragile and crisis-affected settings including through the provision of capacity building and backstopping to COs and UNCTs; as requested by the Crisis Bureau and in agreement with the Team Leader for Core Government Functions and the Head of
  • Help strengthen strategic partnerships with UN entities; IFIs such as the World Bank; leading think tanks, academic and research institutions, and government/non-governmental bodies.

Substantive development of research and knowledge exchange from across UNDP’s network of expertise

  • Manage the development and implementation on flagship research on the future of governance considering COVID 19 in three areas: 1) inclusive governance; 2) innovation and 3) multilevel governance;
  • Support the development of joint research/ tools with partners on COVID 19 response by governments and the challenges it poses to governance;
  • Support development of core governance functions policy guidance and related knowledge and research materials as part of programming and implementation of the Global Core Government Functions Project;
  • Support the roll out of the Centre of Government guidance and contribute to any supporting tools and guidance necessary;
  • Manage the roll out of the Local Governance and Sustaining Peace training and any supporting tools or training modules;
  • Contribute to knowledge extraction, analysis, documentation, codification of results/lessons learned in the specific thematic area, ensuring that knowledge sharing and content management is in line with guidelines and performed using corporate tools;
  • Help enable South-South and TrC facilitation of exchanges and experiences sharing where valuable at the country and regional levels in the thematic area.


  • 2 research papers completed
  • Joint research with the world bank on core government functions
  • Programming support in at least two country offices based on demand
  • Roll out plan for center of governance guidance developed and executed
  • Online core government function portal developed

Required Skills and Experience

Academic qualifications:

  • At least Master’s degree, preferably in international development, international affairs, public administration, public policy, development economics, or other relevant field, or extensive compensating experience in public sector governance reform/public administration reform/restoration of core government functions required.


  • A minimum of 10 years of relevant policy, research and programming experience in international development, public sector governance, peacebuilding and conflict-sensitive analysis (national or multilateral, including UN), required;
  • At least five years’ experience working on complex core governance functions and local governance issues in fragile and crisis-affected contexts, and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations in different development situations required;
  • Experience in international organizations, HQ and/or field required, preferably UNDP;
  • Experience of carrying out research in a think tank or university setting required;
  • Experience of working in politically complex settings with demonstrated strong intellectual and operational capacity in providing and coordinating advisory services to stakeholders in government required;


  • Fluency in written and spoken English is required;
  • Working knowledge of another UN language would be an asset
Closing Date for Applications: 14th September, 2020


Candidates have to confirm having received the recruitment information through the recruiting channel NGO Recruitment in the application letter for this position

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