UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, helping a range of partners implement $1 billion worth of aid and development projects every year. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.
About the Role
The Cities Alliance is a global partnership promoting the role of cities in poverty reduction and sustainable development. Hosted by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and managed by a Secretariat based in Brussels, the Cities Alliance is a unique partnership with a diverse membership, which is committed to strengthen both developmental impacts through improved coherence in urban development. Cities Alliance is a global leader with a strong track record in grant making, that supports strategic city planning, slum upgrading strategies and national policies designed to make cities more inclusive and sustainable. Through UNOPS, the Cities Alliance operates a Multi-Donor Fund supported by an efficient, and flexible grant-making mechanism with a global reach. Cities Alliance activities are guided by its 2018-2021 Strategic Plan, with a recalibrated business model combining a Global window for normative work and a Country/City window for operations across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the MENA region.
As part of its Strategic Plan, the Cities Alliance has established a Joint Work Programme (JWP) in 2015 focused on fostering equitable economic growth in cities. The JWP aims to better understand and address the link between public service provision and equitable economic growth trajectories in cities. To accomplish this goal, it works with local governments, city stakeholders and development partners to produce global knowledge, facilitate policy dialogues and support city-level diagnostics and policy recommendations to respond to the challenges of inequitable economic growth in cities. The JWP is funded and chaired by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), actively facilitated by the Cities Alliance Secretariat. The first phase of the programme is being implemented until June 2020, a continuation of the programme is intended, subject of funding.
Cities Alliance is seeking a highly motivated and dynamic Urban Economic Development Specialist responsible for the management of the Joint Work Programme in Equitable Economic Growth in Cities. Under the guidance and supervision of the Head of Global Programmes, the incumbent is responsible for the implementation and day-to-day operations of the Joint Work Programme on Equitable Economic Growth and provides both substantive strategic advice and project management services to the wide range of stakeholders engaged in the realisation of the project objectives, especially the closing of Phase 1 and design of Phase 2 of the programme. The incumbent also serves as a thematic focal point within the secretariat on Economic Development issues and represents the secretariat externally in global dialogues on the subject matter to proactively grow the range of strategic partners for the Cities Alliance.
What You're Gonna Do
- Establish and facilitate the delivery of agreed annual work plans of the JWP between DFID, other donors as appropriate, and the Cities Alliance, within tolerances. Collaboration with head of unit/supervisor to review the operational and strategic aspects of the proposed work packages;
- Strategic oversight and effective monitoring of JWP progress and implementation, development and delivery of the required products, taking corrective action as required;
- Prepare regular highlight reports to the director to monitor progress and flag emerging issues and risks;
- Monitor and evaluate performance of service providers;
- Contribute to current and future growth plans for the Cities Alliance, ensuring alignment with the Strategic Plan, and exploring funding opportunities for continuation of and follow-up to work on economic development in cities;
- Plan and manage all programme and project closure processes, in close cooperation with the Portfolio Management and Operations Unit.
Partnership, networking and advocacy:
- Maintain a solid working relationship with the UK Department for International Development (DFID), other donors and key stakeholders of the JWP;
- Manage the information flows between the JWP Group, DFID, and country stakeholders;
- Actively seek out and follow up on business development opportunities related to economic development in cities and the themes of the JWP, including opportunities for subsequent JWP phases;
- Represent, as delegated by the Director or supervisor, the Cities Alliance in external meetings/bodies;
- Constitute the focal point of Cities Alliance members as designated by the Head of Unit/Supervisor.
Service delivery and quality assurance:
- Ensure compliance with quality assurance mechanism for all processes and product delivery mechanisms including grants, procurements and deployment of consultants;
- Ensure that all expenditure comply with UNOPS/Cities Alliance Financial Rules and Regulations (FRR);
- Manage the JWP budget, cash flow and expenditures, in consultation with head of unit/supervisor, to ensure that deliverables are met and payments to contractors and consultants are issued on time.
Team Building and Personnel Management:
- Supervision of the work of support staff under the JWP project management team and related work packages;
- Manage, in coordination with head of unit/supervisor the use of a global roster of senior economists available for the deployment within the JWP and beyond.
- Keep abreast of and incorporate latest/best practices, approaches and technology to enhance the project delivery and results.
Master’s degree in Economics, Urban Studies, Business Administration, Development Studies, Finance, Social Sciences, Political Science or related fields required; a PhD (Doctorate) in any of these fields would be an asset.
At least 5 years of relevant experience in international development on urban development issues, such as economic growth in cities, urbanisation, urban poverty, entrepreneurship, informality, urban planning, infrastructure planning, municipal finance or other comparable fields. Experience in the UN system organizations and/or a developing country is considered as an asset.
Fluency in English is required. French language skills would be an asset.
This job is available for international candidates.