Job Purpose and Organizational Context
The UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021 embraces the complexity of development and commits the organization to helping countries find faster, more durable solutions to achieve Agenda 2030. Important development trends like urbanization, climate change, and rising inequalities pose significant challenges on our path to achieve the 2030 agenda of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
UNDP has begun incubating a number of strategic initiatives aimed at ensuring UNDP is ‘fit for purpose’ to deliver a new generation of solutions in line with the challenges the world faces. One such key strategic initiatives is the Country Accelerator Lab Network. The initiative is a recognition that increasingly interrelated development challenges require going beyond business as usual and single point, linear and silver bullet responses in development. Instead, they call for an interdisciplinary approaches and non-linear solutions that crowd in the collective efforts of variety of partners and tap into local insights and the knowledge of people closest to the problem and the solutions. The initiative is also a recognition and an investment in the emerging momentum among a growing number of UNDP Country Offices around joining together disruptive, cutting edge methodologies with contextual, country-based insights and expertise to accelerate impact and progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals.
We are building the largest and fastest learning global network of Accelerator Labs (initially setting up 60 labs in 60 countries) embedded within UNDP’s global architecture and country platforms. The new offering builds on the latest thinking from the fields of complexity science, lead user innovation and collective intelligence to accelerate development impact.
Our network will surface and reinforce locally sourced solutions at scale while mobilizing a wide and dynamic partnership of actors contributing knowledge, resources and experience. The idea is to transform our collective approach by introducing new protocols, backed by evidence and practice, which accelerate the testing and dissemination of solutions within and across countries. This will enable the global community to collectively learn from local knowledge and ingenuity at a speed and at a scale that our societies and planet require. This will be achieved by:
Building on locally-sourced solutions, finding things that work and expanding on them;
Rapid testing and iteration to implement what works and go beyond the obvious solutions;
Combining the best understanding, ideas and expertise to generate collective knowledge;
Accelerating progress by bringing expertise, creativity and collective intelligence to bear.
The Accelerator Lab will undertake i) external facing interventions addressing priority development challenges, and ii) internally facing experiments to embed new ways of doing development within the existing UNDP portfolio.
You are capable and excited about starting, design and managing activities, direct engagement with local communities and collaboration across global networks. You are driven by learning new things, figuring out how they work and translating them across sectors. You tell stories of emergent solutions and you gravitate to solving global development challenges.
You have a natural inclination to interdisciplinarity, cross cultural mindset and cross sectoral experience with the cosmopolitan attraction for diversity. You are driven by a strong sense of purpose and commitment to make change happen and a keen eye to identify emerging opportunities and ‘at the edge’ trends. You are open to discovery and exploration, capable of articulating insights and ideas through visual thinking, open to serendipity and discovery yet are pragmatic and constructive working with public sector authorities. You are comfortable with ambiquity, capable of zooming out for context and zooming in for content and execution- sharp in pursuit of objectives, fast at adapting and changing course when needed. You have superb compentencies in program and portfolio management, are at ease with decision-making processes and dynamics of different models of governance.
You are curious, quirky and fun, natural strategic thinkers and talented designers. You understand systems, the good, the bad and the ugly, and are capable of working within bureaucracies to make change, leverage technology to extend, enhance and multiply exploration, discovery and execution. You are digitally savy, you hack tools, and you are keen to be a part of a large global organization exhibiting United Nations values.
Duties and Responsibilities
Experiment portfolio design
Management of prototype experiments for sustainable development challenges
Working out Loud
Organizational learning, working out loud and grafting experimentation onto the core business of UNDP
Ability to make new and useful ideas work Level 4: Adept with complex concepts and challenges convention purposefully
Ability to persuade others to follow Level 4: Generates commitment, excitement and excellence in others
Ability to improve performance and satisfaction Level 4: Models independent thinking and action
Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform Level 4: Synthesizes information to communicate independent analysis
Ability to get things done while exercising good judgementLevel 4: Meets goals and quality criteria for delivery of products or services
Ability to manage organizational resources and deployment in pursuit of innovation approaches and initiatives 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 in Social Science, International Development, Science, Engineering, Design (eg. industrial or architecture), Psychology or a related area and minimum of 2 years of professional experience in development programming or policy; social innovation; partnership building; engagement (public and private sector) and/or resource mobilization
Bachelor’s degree in Social Science, International Development, Science, Engineering, Design (eg. industrial or architecture), Psychology or related area and minimum of 4 years of professional experience in development programming or policy; social innovation; partnership building; engagement (public and private sector) and/or resource mobilization
Demonstrate ability to design experiments, validate hypotheses and test prototypes;
Professional experience in development programming or policy and social innovation.
Experience in following areas is desirable:
Proven professional knowledge and experience in social innovation approaches such as Design Thinking, behavioral insights, Qualitative and Quantitative User Research, Experiment Design & Validation, data empowerment, and collective intelligence
Demonstrated ability to work with clients to help surface unarticulated needs
Demonstrated ability to apply a portfolio logic to experiments
Demonstrated ability in running co-design sessions and capacity-building in experimental design, lean iteration and impact evaluation.
Proficiency in written and spoken English and Sesotho.
Other: * The Accelerator Labs will be comprised of a core team with niche capabilities around that focus on exploration, experimentation and ethnography.
Within the first 6-8 months of the Lab fully functioning, the core team will be expected to double up on the functional roles and in consultation with the UNDP Country Office, manage operations and scale innovations into the UNDP Country Office, story-telling and communications, and interface with the broader Accelerator Lab network. Accelerator lab capabilities will cover:
Experimentation (instituting rapid learning about emerging challenges through design and running of a portfolio of experiments that is coherent with the type of challenges UNDP COs are mandated to address), and
Ethnography: deep immersion in community dynamics, identification of and work with lead users, and implications of bottom up solutions for the policy design
Exploration: The exploration function focuses on discovery and sensemaking of emerging trends, implications for systemic impacts and risks, and their potential for accelerating progress toward SDGs. Its work feeds into the portfolio of experiments ensuring its coherence with the emerging risks and opportunities (direct collaboration with the Experimentation Lead), and connects local dynamics and solutions (link with the Ethnography Lead) into the broader national and international ecosystem of potential funders, partners, and allies thereby increasing the chances for acceleration. While critical for the functioning of the Accelerator Lab, the exploration function will also service the Country Office as determined and agreed with the UNDP senior management.
UNDP is committed to gender equality in its mandate and its staffs and encourages. Further, UNDP is a United Nations organization whose staff are expected to uphold the highest standards of integrity, neutrality and impartiality. This includes respect for and commitment to human rights, diversity, and non-violent means of dealing with all kinds of conflict. UNDP staff are expected to uphold these values at all times, both at work and outside.
UNDP has zero tolerance of harassment, discrimination, sexual abuse, abuse of authority and exploitation.
To start the application process, applicants are required to register at http://jobs.undp.org by creating a personal profile and completing UNDP Personal History Form. Please note that UNDP only accepts degrees from accredited educational institutions. Only applications received throughhttp://jobs.undp.org will be considered and applications received after closing date will not be considered. Due to the large number of applications received for UNDP Lesotho vacancies, only applicants short-listed for written test and interview will be contacted.
UNDP is committed to gender equality in its mandate and its staffs and encourages applications from qualified candidates and persons with disabilities.
UNDP is a United Nations organization whose staff are expected to uphold the highest standards of integrity, neutrality and impartiality. This includes respect for and commitment to human rights, diversity, and non-violent means of dealing with all kinds of conflict. UNDP staff are expected to uphold these values at all times, both at work and outside. Only persons who fully and unconditionally commit to these values should consider applying for UNDP jobs.
UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Closing date: 10 February 2019