Portfolio Advisor at UNDP | May 2024

Application deadline closed.

Job Description

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core principles at UNDP:  we value diversity as an expression of the multiplicity of nations and cultures where we operate, we foster inclusion as a way of ensuring all personnel are empowered to contribute to our mission, and we ensure equity and fairness in all our actions. Taking a ‘leave no one behind’ approach to our diversity efforts means increasing representation of underserved populations. People who identify as belonging to marginalized or excluded populations are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about working at UNDP including our values and inspiring stories.

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 is systemically changing how its institutional and programmatic activities are portrayed and financed. Country Offices are now compelled to unlock new innovative partnerships and business models that enable programmes, projects, and services that support countries to accelerate sustainable development. 

UNDP Nigeria Country Office seeks to engage the services of a Portfolio Advisor to support the Senior Management Team of the UNDP Resident Representative and the Deputy Resident Representatives for both Programmes and Operation in strengthening portfolio management approaches in the Country Office. This will mainly focus on aligning projects, programmes and policy workstreams to UNDP corporate strategy, that is, the Strategic Plan, the UNDP Africa Offer, the overarching UNDP Country Office Strategy, and other corporate strategic frameworks, as well as national priorities currently espoused by the Federal Government of Nigeria, under the Renewed Hope Agenda and related frameworks.

Position Purpose

Under the supervision and guidance of the UNDP Nigeria Resident Representative, the Portfolio Advisor supports the Resident Representative in positioning UNDP Nigeria as a strategic partner for sustainable development, steer strategic planning, programme formulation and creative responses to new and emerging complex challenges. 

The Portfolio Advisor supports country office leadership to ensure that the UNDP programme and services are consistent with the national development priorities of the host country government, and supportive of the UN’s development efforts in the country in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) and Country Programme Document (CPD).

UNDP adopts a portfolio approach to accommodate changing business needs and leverage linkages across interventions to achieve its strategic goals. Therefore, UNDP personnel are expected to work across units, functions, teams, and projects in multidisciplinary teams in order to enhance and enable horizontal collaboration.  

Duties and Responsibilities
As a member of the Country Office management team, ensure the formulation and implementation of UNDP programme strategies and policies within one or more thematic areas.  
  • Facilitate portfolio sensemaking through reviews of existing projects and programmes to extract learnings to guide the design of coherent initiatives, projects, and programmes to form the basis for strategic portfolios of programmes that are aligned with important national opportunities and development challenges as expressed in the overarching UNDP priorities and strategies at global, regional and country level, in line with the wider UN system cooperation framework for the country.
  • Provide advice in the preparation of project initiation plans, project documents and project proposals across the programmes, draft and review the documents as needed to ensure consistency with broad CO strategy and priorities and compliance with UNDP practices and donor contractual obligations.
  • Provide technical support to the teams on portfolio design and help establish structured approaches to analysis of development challenges and strategic opportunities from a system perspective to help the Nigeria Country Office identify options to address challenges and capitalize on important opportunities through a learning/adaptation logic.
  • Provide advice to enable dynamic portfolio management where the CO evolves a practice of continuously extracting insights from a portfolio to generate new options that are relevant as the context changes. This will help foster adaptive management in the country office and strengthen the dynamism of the programming process to build a robust pipeline of integrated project and portfolios.
  • Monitor the pipelines and resources mobilization of the portfolio and communicate strategically to management to aid continuous adaptive management.
  • Continuously assess and advise the RR on the political and socio-economic situation and trends in the country to ensure that UNDP policy support, programmes and services are relevant and responsive to emerging priorities and needs.
  • Promote knowledge management to ensure access to best available expertise and facilitate organizational learning.
  • Ensure follow-up on thematic and program evaluations to ensure continuous improvement on development impact.
  • Support the RR in maintaining oversight of high-risk projects and portfolios, and risks of high severity emanating from projects and the various risks assessment tools, to ensure necessary and timely follow up action.

Within the UNSDCF Results matrix and the Country Programme Action Plan, provide high level advises to the UNDP senior management and programme teams on how to foster portfolio management in the CO programme management practice.

  • Facilitate dynamic learning, sense-making, detecting signals of change and help distil insights, synthesize, and capture trends to inform portfolio decision-making and growth.
  • Collaboratively digest research data and insights to develop portfolio interventions and communicate fulfillment options to inform implementation. 
  • Contribute to portfolio awareness raising, promotion and advocacy as well as mapping and expanding the portfolio partnerships network.
  • Driving new investments in portfolios for resource mobilization opportunities to inform the future value of work.
  • Support to the regular portfolio horizontal coordination within and among portfolio options/interventions.
  • Advise on the team constitution for the portfolio implementation. 
  • Facilitate programme teams in the application of RBM tools, establishment of management targets and monitoring achievement of results.
  • Lead portfolio monitoring and evaluation and contribute to the design of new portfolio options as well as monitoring against the system change. 
  • Working with the CO M&E and Strategy teams to ensure that the outcomes are mapped and measured in a way that the broader goals of the portfolio are fulfilled.
Establish and maintain strategic Country Office partnerships and support resource mobilization efforts to achieve portfolio outcome.
  • Generate strategic portfolio briefings to support the development of partnerships with the UN Agencies, IFI’s, government institutions, bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors, private sector, civil society in the assigned thematic area based on strategic goals of UNDP, country needs and donors’ priorities.
  • Analyze and research information on donors, preparation of substantive briefs on possible areas of cooperation, identification of opportunities for initiation of new projects, active contribution to the overall office effort in resource mobilization.
Ensure knowledge building and management, as well as advising on diversifying partnerships to enable the portfolio.
  • Promote identification and synthesis of best practices and lessons learned from the country programme for organizational sharing and learning.
  • Coordinate the knowledge sharing and learning culture in the CO by coordinating knowledge sharing across the M & E teams, the Knowledge Hub and the Accelerator Lab.
  • Apply lessons learned from audit and evaluation exercises to new management efforts and program development.
  • Lead the development and implementation of key partner engagement strategies and action plans to drive the portfolio; setting priorities, goals, and key performance indicators (KPIs) for each partnership portfolio. 
  • Guide interactions with partners within portfolio and advise internal clients on such guidance.
  • Coordinate the Partnerships and Communications teams on partner visibility, outreach and advocacy activities in support of UNDP’s development mandate and support positioning of UNDP within the broader development landscape.
  • Facilitate engagements with partners on co-creation of portfolios.
  • Identify and advice on the management of partnership risks and opportunities for the portfolios.
The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of  the Office and the Organization.
Supervisory/Managerial Responsibilities: Supervision and performance management of Public Engagement, Outreach and Partnership Group, M& E and Knowledge Management Group, Programme Associate.
  • Core Competencies:

Achieve Results: LEVEL 4: Prioritize team workflow, mobilize resources, drive scalable results/strategic impact.

Think Innovatively: LEVEL 4: Easily navigate complexity, encourage/enable radical innovation, has foresight.

Learn Continuously: LEVEL 4: Create systems and processes that enable learning and development for all.

Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 4: Proactively initiate/lead organizational change, champion new systems/processes.

Act with Determination: LEVEL 4: Able to make difficult decisions in challenging situations, inspire confidence.

Engage and Partner: LEVEL 4: Construct strategic multi-partner alliances in high stake situations, foster co-creation.

Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 4: Create ethical culture, identify/address barriers to inclusion . 

  • Cross Functional and  Technical Competencies:

Business Direction & Strategy – 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.

Partnership Management – Relationship Management: Ability to engage with a wide range of public and private partners, build, sustain and/or strengthen working relations, trust and mutual understanding. 

Business Direction & Strategy – Effective Decision Making:  Ability to take decisions in a timely and efficient manner in line with one’s authority, area of expertise and resources.

Business Direction & Strategy – Negotiation and Influence:  Ability to reach an understanding, persuade others, resolve points of difference, gain advantage in the outcome of dialogue, negotiates mutually acceptable solutions through compromise and creates ‘win-win’ situations.

Business Development – UNDP Representation:  Ability to represent UNDP and productively share UNDP knowledge and activities; advocate for UNDP, its values, mission and work with various constituencies.

Business Management – Portfolio Management: Ability to select, prioritize and control the organization’s programmes and projects, in line with its strategic objectives and capacity; ability to balance the implementation of change initiatives and the maintenance of business-as-usual, while optimizing return on investment.

Business Management – Risk Management:  Ability to identify and organize action around mitigating and proactively managing risks.

Required Skills and Experience
  • Advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent) in Social Policy, Public Policy, Politics, Economics, Development Studies, Business Administration or a related area is required. Or
  • A first-level university degree (bachelor’s degree) in the areas mentioned above, in combination with an additional two years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the advanced university degree.
  • Minimum of 10 years (with master’s degree) or 12 years (with bachelor’s degree) of substantive experience and results in development in a governmental, multilateral or civil society organization in a multi-cultural setting; working with national, regional and international entities is required.
  • At least 3 or more years of senior-level management responsibilities of similar size and complexity is an asset.
  • Experience in coordinating the knowledge sharing and learning culture in an organization, across teams is an asset.
  • Demonstrated experience and excellent knowledge of operations functional areas is required.
  • Experience in the use of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc), database packages,  and web-based management systems such as ERP is required.
  • Fluency in oral and written English is required.
  • Knowledge of another UN language would be an asset
**Note: Please upload copies of your academic qualifications and 3 latest UNCS Performance Evaluations (if applicable).**
Please note that continuance of appointment beyond the initial 12 months is contingent upon the successful completion of a probationary period.
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.
Applicant information about UNDP rosters 
Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements. 
UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.  
UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.
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