Policy Specialist

at UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund
Location Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Date Posted April 23, 2020
Category Facility Management
Job Type Full-time
Currency ETB


The Policy Specialist is responsible for designing, developing and implementing an innovative and responsive country programme. You will respond creatively to complex challenges and frequently changing demands in terms of a fluctuating resource base, multiple funding arrangements and donor contacts, complex programme execution modalities, and an evolving geo-political landscape.

You will report directly to the UNFPA Deputy Representative, under the overall guidance of the Country Representative, and working in close collaboration with the Assistant Representative.

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 (2018-2021), focuses on three transformative results ('three zeros'): to end preventable maternal deaths; end unmet need for family planning; and end gender-based violence and harmful practices, and additionally for East & Southern Africa, to end sexual transmission of HIV and STIs.

Ethiopia being at an early stage of a demographic transition, characterized by falling death rates but relatively high birth rates - the net effect being rapid population growth, there are strong demographic pressures on the economy, with a working population growing at two million per year. Ethiopia aspires to be a low middle income country by 2025. To accelerate progress towards harnessing the demographic dividend, more investments are required on the health and wellbeing of adolescents and young people, in particular adolescent girls, with a view to lower mortality and fertility rates to create an age structure that would enable sustainable development.

To contribute to this national aspiration, UNFPA is seeking candidates that transform, inspire and deliver high impact and sustained results; we need principled and ethical staff, who embody human rights norms and standards, and who will defend them courageously and with full conviction; 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.

Job Purpose:

In a highly complex operating environment, you will play a vital role in providing policy advice and promoting partnership, synergy and strategic alliances with counterparts in government (both at federal and provincial level), other UN Agencies, multi-lateral and bi-lateral agencies, civil society, media and private sector to promote and facilitate discourse on population dynamics, and the linkages to sustainable development, peace, security and social cohesion.

You will contribute to the management of integrated UNFPA activities in the areas of sexual and reproductive health and rights, adolescents and youth, gender equality and women's empowerment, and population dynamics - with humanitarian interventions integrated across all areas, and provide information on achievement of results in the implementation of the country programme.

You will oversee, facilitate and coordinate UNFPA Ethiopia regional offices, technical advisers and experts and contribute to UN systems coordination through participation in policy dialogue and provision of inputs into joint common system initiatives

Main Tasks & Responsibilities

You would be responsible for:

A. Programme development and management

Play a leading role in policy analysis for the positioning of the ICPD within the context of the Sustainable Development Goals, and other international and regional commitments/agreements, as well as the country's 10-year Perspective Plan and the ongoing political and economic reforms. Prepare policy briefs to enable UNFPA to engage in emerging strategic discourse.
Promote a results-based approach and integrate innovative policies and strategies into the design and formulation of country programmes, program components and projects based on strategic priorities and responsive to the country's needs in the areas of sexual and reproductive health and rights, adolescents and youth, gender equality and women's empowerment, and population dynamics - with humanitarian interventions integrated across all components.
Facilitate the achievement of programme results by identifying, providing and coordinating substantive and technical inputs into programme development and implementation, ensuring substantive monitoring and oversight and coordinating and evaluating the inputs of regional programme officers, consultants and technical experts.
Promote knowledge sharing and continuous learning, testing, linking and documenting innovative strategies, approaches, lessons learned and best practices inside and outside UNFPA, within the country's regions, and replicating these strategies and approaches. Ensure that programme staff integrate new substantive policies, methodologies and tools.
Participate in the United Nations Common Country Analysis and UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework exercises as part of the broader UN Reform initiatives.
Provide management with appropriate and timely advice in relation to political and social sensitivities, and other factors related to the country context and specificity that may affect programme delivery.
B. Advocacy and Partnership

Monitor critical developments in the external environment and advice management on their implications for the ICPD agenda and UNFPA's programming, positioning and reputation.
Conduct substantive evidence-based policy dialogue with Government (federal and provincial) counterparts and UN and other development partners to facilitate the incorporation of UNFPA programme priorities and ICPD agenda into national and sub-national plans and strategies, UN systems initiatives and development frameworks.
Provide strategic inputs towards advocacy efforts of the Country Office by preparing or reviewing relevant documentation, i.e. policy briefs, project summaries, conference papers, speeches, donor profiles and participating in donor meetings and public information events.
Facilitate and oversee the costing exercise of the 'three zeros' (UNFPA transformative results) in Ethiopia.
Translate global and regional strategies into country and province specific advocacy strategies; create and deliver effective evidence-based advocacy messages to promote UNFPA programme goals taking into account political and cultural sensitivities.
Advise on and build strong technical and programme multi-sectoral partnerships for advocacy for the Programme of Action of the ICPD through national and sub-national institutions, networks, alliances and coalitions.
C. Management of resources

Oversee the UNFPA Ethiopia regional offices.

Tags birth rate country programmes death rate demography economic reform family planning fertility rate financial management gender based violence human rights humanitarian intervention humanitarian response knowledge sharing population dynamics population growth programme priorities public information regional plans reproductive health resource mobilization southern africa sustainable development sustainable development goals un reform wellbeing
Participate in the formulation of the annual work plans, including the regional plans, and monitor their day-to-day implementation through consultations, correspondence and field visits.
Contribute substantially and strategically to resource mobilization initiatives; assist in the formulation and implementation of a resource mobilization and partnership strategy for the country and mobilize resources to fill gaps and address emerging priorities.
Support the UNFPA Deputy Representative in ensuring systems of accountability for the management of Country Office resources as per UNFPA policies and procedures.
Coach and supervise national professional and support staff, providing them with managerial direction and motivation; oversee staff performance and advise on development needs; undertake capacity building among UNFPA staff and counterparts for issues pertaining to programme and financial management and advocacy towards the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development.
Carry out any other duties as may be required by UNFPA leadership.

Qualifications and Experience


Advanced university degree in Public Policy, Economics, Population Studies, Demography, Statistics, or related Social Science field.

Knowledge and Experience:

At least 7 years of increasingly responsible professional experience, preferably in programme/project management in the public or private sector;
Excellent organization skills, attention to detail, precision and accuracy;
Demonstrated ability in programme design and ensuring alignment of organizational programme objectives to national priorities/capacities;
Proven ability to lead and manage teams to achieve demonstrable results;
Excellent communication skills to foster partnerships at a high level of representation and to maintain political partnerships at national and sub-national levels;
Strong interest in development work, especially the mission of the United Nations Population Fund and dedication to the principles of the United Nations;
Knowledge of Ethiopia's socio-economic and political landscape;
Knowledge of the UN system would be an advantage;
Experience in a humanitarian response programmes, including the development-humanitarian-peace nexus.

Fluency in English

Required Competencies


Exemplifying integrity Demonstrating commitment to UNFPA and the UN system Embracing diversity in all its forms Embracing change Core Competencies:Achieving Results Being Accountable Developing and Applying Professional Expertise/Business Acumen Thinking analytically and Strategically Working in Teams/Managing Ourselves and our Relationships Communicating for Impact

Functional Competencies:

Advocacy/ Advancing a policy-oriented agenda,
Leveraging the resources of national governments and partners/ building strategic alliances and partnerships,
Delivering results-based programme,
Internal and external communication and advocacy for resource mobilization
UNFPA Work Environment

UNFPA provides a work environment that reflects the values of gender equality, teamwork, Embracing diversity in all its forms, integrity and a healthy balance of work and life. We are committed to maintaining our balanced gender distribution and therefore encourage women to apply. UNFPA promotes equal opportunities for all including persons with disabilities.

Compensation and Benefits

This position offers an attractive remuneration package commensurate with the level of the post. The package includes a competitive net salary, health insurance and other benefits as applicable.


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