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Advisor (Knowledge, Policy, And Advocacy)

Location : New York (possible relocation to Dakar, Johannesburg, or Bangkok), UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Application Deadline :10-Apr-11
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-5
Languages Required :English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :1 Year
Expected Duration of Assignment 2 Years


UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 49 least developed countries. It creates new opportunities for poor people and their communities by increasing access to microfinance and investment capital.  UNCDF programmes help to empower women, and are designed to catalyze larger investment flows from the private sector, national govern-ments and development partners, for maximum impact toward the Millennium Development Goals.
UNCDF has evolved considerably in the past five years, doubling its number of programme countries (to 40+) and annual revenues, and substantially increasing its number of strategic partnerships.  It has also enhanced its engagement in development policy and advocacy, including by hosting and participating in high-level events and dialogues, and through a stepped up series of knowledge products. UNCDF’s Corporate Management Plan 2010 – 13 identifies “policy and advocacy” as complementary to its programmatic interventions, and central to its positioning and partnership strategies.  The Financial Inclusion Practice Area’s Business Plan 2011 – 2013 and the Local Development Practice Area’s draft Strategy 2011-2013 have “policy and advocacy” as central pillars. 
UNCDF also recognizes that, as a decentralized agency with considerable technical expertise in microfinance and local development, effective internal knowledge management is vital for achieving its programmatic, policy and advocacy objectives.  In order to be truly effective, UNCDF must become a “learning organization”.  To this end it has recently approved a new corporate strategy on Knowledge Management (2010), and a new corporate policy on document management (2010).  The Knowledge Management strategy recommended strengthening corporate Knowledge Management capacity.  In 2011 UNCDF will launch a new Intranet that will be central to its knowledge management efforts. 
Against this larger background, in 2010 UNCDF’s Financial Inclusion Practice Area created a full- +time “Policy Advisor” position (P5) and 50% of a full time “Knowledge Management” position (P4), both of which are now operational.  To further enhance the effort and help ensure  overall coherence in this growing area, UNCDF intends to create a new position called “Advisor (Knowledge, Policy and Advocacy” charged with:
The key responsibilities of this position are:
  • Ensuring that UNCDF’s efforts with respect to development knowledge, policy and advocacy, in both Inclusive Finance and Local Development, are strategic, coherent, cost effective, and aligned with corporate priorities;
  • Spearheading high priority corporate knowledge management and advocacy activities in his / her own  right, and advising / supporting senior managers in their own policy and advocacy activities;
  • Developing strategic alliances and mobilizing resources in support of UNCDF’s corporate knowledge management, policy and advocacy activities.
The incumbent will report directly to the UNCDF Executive Secretary /and Deputy Executive Secretary, and will work closely with the heads of UNCDF’s two practice areas, as well as the Partnerships Unit and the Evaluation Unit.  The incumbent will be the “owner” responsible for the enhancement, further development, monitoring and oversight of the corporate Knowledge Management strategy and will have  overall coordinating responsibilities for UNCDF policy and advocacy initiatives.
The position will be based at UNCDF headquarters in New York, with the possibility of eventual relocation to one of UNCDF’s regional offices (Dakar, Johannesburg or Bangkok) at a later date.

Post Category:  Development Project Funded (DPF), Non-Rotational

Duties and Responsibilities

1.  UNCDF’s corporate knowledge management, policy and advocacy undertakings (i.e. both Inclusive Finance and Local Development) are strategic, coherent, cost effective, and aligned with corporate priorities.
  • Advise on the design and implementation of a multi-year knowledge, policy and advocacy strategy for the Local Development Practice Area (LDPA) and Financial Inclusion Practice Area (FIPA);
  • Ensure the LDPA strategy is coherent with the FIPA strategy and that, together, the strategies and their related activities support UNCDF’s larger programme and partnership objectives;
  • Own” enhance, manage and oversee the implementation of the UNCDF Knowledge Management strategy, including by helping to mainstream knowledge management into UNCDF’s business processes, documenting modifications to processes in the Operations Manual and participating in the evaluation of new knowledge product proposals;
  • Coordinate the efforts of the Units Knowledge Management focal points;
  • Support policy advisory and programme delivery through knowledge management advice;
  • Review and ensure quality of all new UNCDF publications, and strategic coherence amongst them;
  • Help to inculcate a knowledge, policy, advocacy culture within UNCDF, including by championing use of electronic tools (e.g. new Intranet; Teamwork’s), leading workshops at corporate gatherings, etc;
  • Develop practical guidelines and/or training material for staff to help them  mainstream KM in their job profiles; promote synergy between knowledge management and learning;   
  • Advise senior managers on policy trends relevant to UNCDF strategic objectives as outlined in the 2010 – 2013 Corporate Management Plan;
  • Act as liaison between the UNCDF CO, Regional and HQs and Practice Areas leaders; and link their needs with the development and implementation of corporate products and services at all levels. 
2.  High priority corporate knowledge, policy and advocacy activities are spearheaded, and senior managers are advised / supported in their own policy and advocacy efforts.
  •  Lead research and development of selected ‘flagship’ UNCDF knowledge products in support of agreed  strategies;
  • Lead programme design for major UNCDF advocacy events (e.g. Global Forum on Local Development or similar);
  • Working with the UNCDF Evaluation Unit and Practice Areas as appropriate, develop and codify and disseminate information on UNCDF’s programmatic work that will promote knowledge sharing internally and positioning / resource mobilization externally (e.g. “lessons learned” from UNCDF’s recent work at country level);
  • Manage delivery of KM services to UNCDF CO staff, Regional Centers and HQs, in a cross practice approach; monitor cross regional and cross practice business needs and identify opportunities for the development of new KM products and services in response to new needs;
  • Support Executive Secretary, Deputy Executive Secretary and Practice Area Directors in their own advocacy efforts (e.g. speechwriting, OpEds, etc).
3.  Strategic alliances developed and resources mobilized in support of UNCDF’s knowledge, policy and advocacy activities.
  • Working with Partnerships Unit, develop partnerships and resource mobilization strategies behind  agreed upon knowledge,  policy and advocacy priorities;
  • Create partnerships with UN and other international organizations (e.g. World Bank, OECD), bilateral development agencies, and think tanks / academic institutions / foundations that share UNCDF’s policy and advocacy objectives, including those that may be in a position to provide financial or other support to UNCDF.
IV. Impact of Results
As knowledge latent within the organization is activated, and as UNCDF’s current and planned policy and advocacy activities achieve greater coherence and strategic relevance:
-UNCDF will function more effectively internally;
-UNCDF will be positioned more strongly externally.
As this happens, the overall impact of UNCDF’s work will increase because:
-UNCDF’s advocacy voice on reducing poverty and accelerating achievement of the MDGs in the LDCs will become louder;
-UNCDF’s technical expertise in inclusive finance and local development will gain wider currency;
- UNCDF’s prospects for strategic partnerships and resource mobilization will increase.


  • Demonstrates and promotes the highest standards of integrity, impartiality, fairness and incorruptibility in all matters affecting his/her work, acting as a role model for all staff;
  • Advocates and promotes the vision, mission and strategic goals of the UN;
  • Treats all people fairly and without favoritism;
  • Ensures an organizational environment that respects diversity, gender equality and cultural sensitivity, and fosters openness to diverse perspectives;
  • Builds staff competence, creating an environment of creativity and innovation; empowers and motivates team members;
  • Builds, motivates and promotes effective team(s); supports and promotes inter-agency cooperation and recognizes participation of staff in cross-functional and inter-agency teams;
  • Communicates strategic direction to team(s) and external stakeholders effectively; creates an environment of open communication, and encourages others to be diplomatic and use tact;
  • Makes difficult and sensitive decisions clearly and appropriately, ensuring criteria and reasons for important decisions are communicated and explained to those affected;
  • Creates, promotes and supports an enabling environment for  knowledge-sharing and learning in the organization; captures personal and team learning that makes it accessible to others;
  • Acts as role model for positive handling of situations of potential conflict within and outside the organization.
  • Demonstrate strong advocacy and communication skills and proven track record of successful knowledge, policy and advocacy  activities at high levels of government and society;
  • Demonstrated ability to design promotional and knowledge building and knowledge sharing programmes;
  • Experience in organizing and coordination of a wide variety of meetings, conferences, events and other activities in professional context;
  • Proven track record in building strategic partnerships and resource mobilization; Demonstrated ability to develop and cultivate inter-agency  and other professional networks and partnerships;
  • In-depth substantive knowledge and understanding of knowledge management concepts, systems, technologies, methodologies and tools;
  • Demonstrates strong technical and practical leadership and knowledge in issues relating to UNCDF’s role in financial inclusion and local development;
  • Ability to integrate knowledge management within the broader strategic, policy and operational objectives of the organization;
  • Demonstrated understanding of the strategic direction and context of the organization in terms of  knowledge management requirements, and ensures knowledge management policies and practices support the achievement of organizational goals;
  • Demonstrated ability to provide change advice, and to develop and/or manage implementation of  change strategies/processes in the unit/team;
  • Leads effort to design, develop and implement strategic plan for  knowledge management systems, based on best practices and links with communication and organizational learning, to help the organization achieve strategic objectives;
  • Keeps abreast of new developments in knowledge management;
  • Ability to speak and write clearly and convincingly, adapting style and content to difference audiences; ability to explain complex concepts in layman’s terms;
  • Proven ability to advise and develop strategic and operational solutions with clients that will add value to the organization’s programme and operations;
  • Proven ability to collaborate with colleagues and partners to create and apply knowledge that will help parties achieve development objectives within the regional and country contexts;
  • Advocates through internal networks the demonstrable value of KM systems to facilitate achievement of organizational goals;
  • Shares knowledge and experience with UN colleagues and wide variety of partners;
  • Actively builds in-depth knowledge on advocacy and policy issues related to UNCDF’s work in financial inclusion and local development;
  • Makes valuable practice contributions to UNCDF’s knowledge, policy and advocacy agenda.
  • bility to lead and manage teams in absence of formal reporting relationships;
  • Ability to work collaboratively with sophisticated, diverse high level groups; 
  • Ability to develop clear strategy and lead strategic planning and implementation of work plan with high level, global colleagues.
Task Management
  • Provides quality outputs in a timely manner;
  • Analyzes problems carefully and logically, leading to fact-based and practical recommendations.
Managing Complexity
  • Manages different projects effectively;
  • Develops innovative solutions.
Learning and People Development
  • Provides constructive coaching and feedback;
  • Promotes learning environment in Unit/Office.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Masters degree in economics, finance, business, public administration or related field
  • A minimum of 10 years experience in international development, research, advocacy, and policy development;
  • Proven ability to operate effectively at very senior levels;
  • Proven ability to manage diverse and complex tasks;
  • Excellent oral and written communications and negotiation skills;
  • Excellent presentation skills;
  • Technical knowledge of inclusive finance and local development an asset.
Language Reguirements:
  • Strong writing and speaking abilities in English.  Fluency in French is desirable.
Please follow Full Details link for further information.

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