The SWEDD Project Director oversees all project activities under UNFPA’s responsibility and serves as focal point for interface with the Regional and Continental Governing bodies and key partners. She/He manages and oversees UNFPA’s Technical Assistance to member countries and regional/continental partners.
The SWEDD project seeks to improve women and adolescent girls’ empowerment and their access to quality reproductive, child and maternal health services in selected areas of the participating west and central African countries, through improving regional knowledge generation and sharing as well as regional capacity and coordination. Initially targeting Sahelian countries, it has now expanded to include other countries in West and Central Africa.
The project Director will work closely with UNFPA representatives of participating countries, UN partner agencies, the World Bank, WAHO and the African Union Commission.
The primary functions of the Project Director are:
- Effective program coordination
- Building and nurturing high-level relationships with implementing partners and participating governments
- Provision of high quality technical advisory services
- Management of Regional Technical Secretariat
- Management of financial resources
- Knowledge management
- Managing SWEDD ‘s regional human resources.
How you can make a difference
UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. UNFPA’s strategic plan (2022-2025), reaffirms the relevance of the current strategic direction of UNFPA and focuses on three transformative results: to end preventable maternal deaths; end unmet need for family planning; and end gender-based violence and harmful practices. These results capture our strategic commitments on accelerating progress towards realizing the ICPD and SDGs in the Decade of Action leading up to 2030. Our strategic plan calls upon UN Member States, organizations and individuals to “build forward better”, while addressing the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on women’s and girls’ access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, recover lost gains and realize our goals.
In a world where fundamental human rights are at risk, we need principled and ethical staff, who embody these international norms and standards, and who will defend them courageously and with full conviction.
UNFPA is seeking candidates that transform, inspire and deliver high impact and sustained results; we need staff who are transparent, exceptional in how they manage the resources entrusted to them and who commit to deliver excellence in programme results.
The Special SWEDD Director reports directly to the Regional Director, who provides overall direction and guidance. Under direct day to day oversight and coordination with the Deputy Regional Director, She/he is the coordinator of all technical and programme support functions for the UNFPA-managed regional activities carried out under the SWEDD project and is responsible for the smooth functioning of the Regional Technical Secretariat (RTS).
Working with and drawing from UNFPA Regional Office technical teams, She/He provides state-of-the-art technical expertise and easy access to knowledge through high quality advisory services based on global applied research and best practices, builds partnerships, promotes regional capacity building initiatives and activities to allow participating governments and other development partners to identify, create and share knowledge relevant to solving development challenges in the areas of reproductive and maternal health, gender, youth and adolescents, human capital and demographic dividend. The Director is also responsible for ensuring that quality and timely technical inputs and guidance is provided to the participating countries. Timely and quality donor reporting is critical.
She/He prioritizes the strengthening of existing continental strategies and initiatives, such as the AU Gender Strategy 2017 -2027, Agenda 2030, Agenda 2063, the Maputo Plan of Action on the Operationalization of the Continental Policy Framework for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (2016-2030), the protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (the Maputo Protocol), the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, the AU Roadmap on Harnessing the Demographic Dividend, the African Youth Charter (2006), the Common Position on Ending Child Marriage in Africa (2015) and others.
You would be responsible for
A. Programme coordination
- Provide and ensure substantive coordination, policy coherence, intellectual leadership, and integration across the various technical teams under the project, both at regional and national levels, and among UNFPA, WAHO and WB and with the other partners on the women empowerment agenda.
- Ensure effective coordination among all parties involved in the project implementation – the Regional Technical Secretariat, the Regional Steering Committee (RSC), WCARO Director and staff, the World Bank Task Team, the project coordination units and UNFPA country offices in each of the participating countries. She/He will also work closely with the UN and will be the main point of contact for technical/programmatic leads at the AUC.
- Provide substantive inputs and guidance to build and maintain effective partnerships across the region to facilitate regional policy dialogue and implementation of new regional initiatives identified and to be developed under the project.
- Provide substantive leadership to WCA Regional Office, WCARO, team and other partners to ensure that initiatives are on track and the project achieves its overall delivery targets and results.
- Develop annual workplan and budgets for UNFPA-managed regional activities for approval by the Regional Steering Committee.
- Coordinate the implementation, monitoring and reporting (substantive and financial) of the regional activities, ensuring complementarity between the regional-level and the country-level activities.
- Prepare annual progress reports for UNFPA-managed regional activities.
- Substantively review annual reports prepared by participating countries before submission to the donors; consolidate overall project results achieved and update the project M&E framework for submission to and review by the donors.
- Ensure effective overall support to the work of the coordination bodies and convene meetings ensuring timely distribution of required materials to members.
- Inform the Governing bodies on a timely basis of any relevant project implementation issues, including financial matters, requiring their intervention.
- Coordinate the development, integration, implementation and monitoring of the overall SWEDD and Spotlight annual work plans.
- Keep the WCARO Director and donors informed of all relevant Project issues, major events, and communications.
- Represent the project in regional and international fora as required.
- Perform other duties as required.
Integrated technical and programme support
- Develop working mechanisms for team/integrated approach to ensure programmatic and technical coherence and effectiveness through integrated and multi-disciplinary planning and review mechanisms.
- Coordinate inputs to the implementation of Spotlight and SWEDD’s regional-level strategies and activities, based on country and regional experience.
- Work closely with a multi-disciplinary team of WCARO technical focal points and other partners and subcontractors supporting SWEDD activities to ensure top quality technical assistance being provided to participating countries.
- Provide and/or coordinate guidance and support to project implementing partners and UNFPA country offices in the field on technical, programmatic, and operational issues to ensure smooth project implementation in accordance with regional strategies and approved guidelines established by UNFPA and/or donors as applicable.
- Participate in and contribute to regional capacity building initiatives and their effective implementation and monitoring of results.
- Formulate new policies and guidelines/guidance notes on technical and programmatic issues to guide future planning, development and implementation of new initiatives related to demographic dividend and women’s empowerment in the Sahel.
- Perform other duties as required.
Management of Regional Implementing Unit
- Attract, manage, nurture, and keep a highly motivated team of qualified staff assigned to the SWEDD project
- Lead and supervise the Programme Implementation Unit, PIU staff, ensuring high quality performance and outputs in a timely manner and in full compliance with established UNFPA rules, policies, and procedures.
- Coach PIU staff and actively promote teamwork between PIU and WCARO teams for technical coherence and effectiveness, and knowledge sharing.
- Ensure smooth functioning of PIU, and that effective and timely support is provided to the Regional Coordinating bodies
- Perform fiduciary oversight over all resources provided under the project and their prudent utilization per approved annual workplans.
- Ensure that the Monitoring and Evaluation Plan is effectively implemented, including coordination between regional and country-level monitoring and evaluation efforts.
- Ensure prudent management and utilization of project funds and maintain good record of technical services provided by WCARO and other agencies and partners for audit purposes.
- Facilitate project audit exercise, as and when required.
- Ensure the maintenance, updating and safe keeping of all technical materials and M&E systems for easy access and dissemination to partners.
- Supervise consultants and sub-contractors to ensure timely delivery of outputs and facilitate working groups and task teams with other PIU collaborators as required.
- Perform other duties assigned as required.
Evidence and knowledge management
- Coordinate and integrate the process through which lessons learned in the Spotlight and SWEDD Project are systematically captured and develop an effective knowledge sharing system.
- Coordinate with regional technical institutions and establish an effective regional knowledge network of technical experts and practitioners in the areas of gender empowerment and demographic dividend.
- Take the lead and provide state-of-the-art technical advice on synthesizing project results, best practices and lessons learnt from the project and the region, and in preparation of knowledge products or dissemination to the public.
Qualifications and Experience
Advanced university degree in international development management, public policy or administration, Political Science, economics, sociology, demography, public health, or equivalent development management areas.
Knowledge and Experience
- A minimum of 10 years of increasingly responsible professional experience in the management of complex, donor-funded and multi-partner programmes including five years at the international level. Experience in the public policy sector is desirable.
- Work experience in a developing country context in Africa.
- Evidence of political acumen and partnership building.
- A track record of extensive national/international working experience with increasing managerial responsibilities in the development area, preferably with experience in gender, eVAWG and/or SRHR programming.
- Experience in leading/managing knowledge product development and dissemination.
- Experience in leading/managing communications product development and dissemination.
- Experience of working closely with the AU/AUC, the Word Bank Group is preferred.
- Strong track record of leadership and management, and proven ability to produce demonstrable results.
- Ability to build and motivate / lead cross-cutting teams to produce client-oriented results.
- Strong verbal and writing communication skills in English and French is required.
- Knowledge of other official UN languages is desirable.
- Exemplifying integrity,
- Demonstrating commitment to UNFPA and the UN system,
- Embracing cultural diversity,
- Embracing change
- Achieving results,
- Being accountable,
- Developing and applying professional expertise/business acumen,
- Thinking analytically and strategically,
- Working in teams/managing ourselves and our relationships,
- Advocacy / advancing a policy-oriented agenda
- Results based programme development and management.
- Leveraging partners’ resources / building strategic alliances and partnerships
- Innovation and marketing of new approaches
Job knowledge / technical expertise
- Providing strategic focus
- Engaging internal & external partners and stakeholders
- Leading, developing, and empowering people / creating a culture of performance
- Making decisions and exercising judgment
Compensation and Benefits
This position offers an attractive remuneration package including a competitive net salary plus health insurance and other benefits as applicable.
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