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Head of Solutions Mapping at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

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The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the United Nations’ global development network. It advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life for themselves. It provides expert advice, training and grants support to developing countries, with increasing emphasis on assistance to the least developed countries. It promotes technical and investment cooperation among nations.

Headquartered in New York City, the status of UNDP is that of an executive board within the United Nations General Assembly. The UNDP is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from UN member states. The organization operates in 177 countries, where it works with local governments to meet development challenges and develop local capacity.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

 

 

Job Title: Head of Solutions Mapping

Job ID: 2030
Locations: Lagos, Nigeria
Vacancy Type: Fixed Term
Bureau: Regional Bureau for Africa
Agency: UNDP
Languages Required: English  
Practice Area: Innovation
Contract Duration: 1 Year with Possibility for extension
Vacancy Timeline: 2 Weeks
Agency: UNDP
Grade: NOB

Job Description

  • The UNDP Strategic Plan embraces the complexity of development and commits the organization to helping countries find faster, more durable solutions to achieve Agenda 2030. Important development trends like urbanization, climate change, and rising inequalities pose significant challenges on our path to achieve the 2030 agenda of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • UNDP has begun incubating a number of strategic initiatives aimed at ensuring UNDP is ‘fit for purpose’ to deliver a new generation of solutions in line with the challenges the world faces.  One such key strategic initiatives is the UNDP Accelerator Lab Network which operates as part of UNDP’s sustainable development offering.

Position Purpose

  • You are capable and excited about starting, designing and managing activities, direct engagement with local communities and collaboration across global networks.  You are driven by learning new things, figuring out how they work and translating them across sectors.   You tell stories of emergent solutions and you gravitate to solving global development challenges.
  • You have a natural inclination to interdisciplinarity, cross cultural mindset and cross sectoral experience with the cosmopolitan attraction for diversity.  You are driven by a strong sense of purpose and commitment to make change happen and a keen eye to identify emerging opportunities and ‘at the edge’ trends.  You are open to discovery and exploration, capable of articulating insights and ideas through visual thinking, open to serendipity and discovery yet are pragmatic and constructive working with public sector authorities.
  • You are comfortable with ambiguity, capable of zooming out for context and zooming in for content and execution- sharp in pursuit of objectives, fast at adapting and changing course when needed.  You have superb competencies in program and portfolio management, are at ease with decision-making processes and dynamics of different models of governance. 
  • You are curious, a natural strategic thinker and a talented do-er.  You understand systems, the good, the bad and the ugly, and are capable of working within bureaucracies to make change, leverage technology to extend, enhance and multiply exploration, discovery and execution.  You are digitally savy, you hack tools, and you are keen to be a part of a large global organization exhibiting United Nations values.
  • The Accelerator Labs will be comprised of a core team with niche capabilities that focus on exploration, experimentation and grassroots innovation. Within the first 6-8 months of the Lab fully functioning, each member of the Core team will take the lead on one of the following functions:
    • Coordination
    • Training
    • Communications

The Core team of the Accelerator lab will have capabilities in:

  • Experimentation (instituting rapid learning about emerging challenges through design and running of a portfolio of experiments that is coherent with the type of challenges that are part of UNDP’s strategic plan, and
  • Mapping Solutions: ethnographic methods and immersion in community dynamics, identification of and work with lead users, and implications of bottom up solutions for the policy design
  • Exploration: The exploration function focuses on discovery and sense making of emerging trends, implications for systemic impacts and risks, and their potential for accelerating progress toward SDGs.  Its work feeds into the portfolio of experiments ensuring its coherence with the emerging risks and opportunities and connects local dynamics and solutions into the broader national and international ecosystem of potential funders, partners, and allies thereby increasing the chances for acceleration.  While critical for the functioning of the Accelerator Lab, the exploration function will also service the Country Office as determined and agreed with the UNDP senior management.

Duties and Responsibilities
Lead lab efforts in deep community immersion, collective intelligence and solutions mapping:

  • Developing and sustaining positive relationships with a range of local community and citizen groups
  • Identifying and training local volunteers, recruiting Universities and think tanks for sustaining long term community outreach and engagement and identification of lead users, providing training and mentoring
  • Translation of ethnographic and field research findings into learning and action for the Accelerator Lab activities
  • Design specific field research and participatory methods to focus on the most vulnerable populations and those not usually engaged in public policy debates on development methods
  • Explore, document and increase understanding on emerging methods of tapping into bottom up solutions, lead users and grassroots innovations related to sustainable development
  • Convene a broad range of new partners with UNDP including artists, community organizers and emergent movements to explore areas for collaboration on sustainable development
  • Proactively manage risks with using ethnographic tools and methods, including those related to ethics and privacy

Convene the processes of solution intake, assessment and designing prototypes for diffusion:

  • Design and implement methods for sensing and building on indigenous knowledge and local solutions, consolidating, screening and describing incoming 
  • Design criteria for consolidating incoming local solutions
  • Conduct field research to determine best methods fo making solutions transferable, design methods to test and stretch ideas for their applicability and diffusion as part of a portfolio approach.
  • Test the solutions and potential ideas in real life context to understand potential channels of spreading (including identifying private and public sector venues for uptake)
  • Analyze system level issues that local solutions address (and those that they don’t address, therefore creating insights on the gaps)
  • Design ‘things and tools’ needed to successful scale indigenous knowledge, lead user solutions, turning its insights into systemic change.
  • Advise on the accelerator lab’s experiment portfolio to ensure experiments are designed based on people’s knowledge, behaviors and peer to peer methods of managing and diffusing knowledge about sustainable development issues.
  • Design methods for integrating collective intelliengence into UNDP programmes and engage with programme and project managers to translate ideas into concrete practice

Working out Loud:

  • Lead communication efforts and proactively use blog and social media to share findings from field research
  • Ensure UNDP’s communication efforts respect privacy and ethics considerations
  • Liaise with the broader Accelerator Lab network and the support team to share learnings and insights from the country-specific experience
  • Jointly with the CO, support lab partners to develop an emerging pipeline of new initiatives, support other activities related to the design and operation of the Lab
  • Proactively use blog posts and social media to share insights, attract partners and help position Accelerator Lab at the forefront of the exploration of new trends. 

Advocacy, Organizational learning and interface with the core business of UNDP:

  • Help embed solutions mapping  and lead user methodology within the CO portfolio, design and provide trainings that include various methodologies and steps to identify and work with lead users
  • Provide technical consultation and training for national partners and the CO  through various phases including asset mapping, developing a strategic portfolio logic, experiment design, prototype testing, and evaluation;
  • Develop communication and other tools to transform field research into actionable intelligence
  • Work together with your Accelerator Lab colleagues and experts to codify and advance the Accelerator Lab practice and solutions mapping in particular.
  • Lead other activities related to the design and operations of the Accelerator Lab
  • Design and deliver engaging and meaningful methods for reflection on learning from field research and grassroots innovation.

Core Competencies

  • Achieve Results  LEVEL 2: Scale up solutions and simplifies processes, balances speed and accuracy in doing work
  • Think Innovatively LEVEL 2: Offer new ideas/open to new approaches, demonstrate systemic/integrated thinking
  • Learn Continuously LEVEL 2: Go outside comfort zone, learn from others and support their learning
  • Adapt with Agility LEVEL 2: Adapt processes/approaches to new situations, involve others in change process
  • Act with Determination LEVEL 2: Able to persevere and deal with multiple sources of pressure simultaneously
  • Engage and Partner LEVEL 2: Is facilitator/integrator, bring people together, build/maintain coalitions/partnerships
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion LEVEL 2: Facilitate conversations to bridge differences, considers in decision making
  • People Management (Insert below standard sentence if the position has direct reports.)
  • UNDP People Management Competencies can be found in the dedicated site.

Technical Competencies:

  • Business Direction and 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
  • Business Development Knowledge Generation
  • Ability to research and turn information into useful knowledge, relevant for context, or responsive to a stated need

Digital and Innovation Story Telling:

  • Ability to empathize with people’s perceptions, motivations, feelings and mental models and craft narratives to build an emotive argument for change accordingly. 
  • Ability to present data, insights or information in compelling ways to mobilize resources, talent or action.
  • Ability to choose media and channels that is fit for purpose to reach specific target audiences.

Digital & Innovation Solutions Mapping:

  • Ability to engage and build rapport with vulnerable communities and get consent, facilitate participatory processes and navigate intricate power relations and cultural dynamics.
  • Ability to define and articulate why and how collective intelligence can add value to development programming (understanding problems; finding solutions; decision making and mobilising action; monitoring progress in real time, learning and adapting)
  • Being able to integrate different types of data (realtime, ‘ground-truth’ and novel data) to unlock fresh insights. Understand guidelines and principles around data privacy, ethics and protection.
  • Increase diversity of inputs – and look beyond the ‘usual suspects’, ability to navigate and manage a variety of actors, appreciate the diversity in perspectives, opinions, expertise.
  • Ability to facilitate platforms or sessions where people can contribute by providing their views and ideas independently and freely.
  • Being people-centred: ensure people understand and can determine how their data is used. Feed back inputs and insights to empower people, don’t extract data.
  • Having the sensitivity and ability to identify grassroots solutions, capacities, assets, coping strategies that impacted communities have developed or used to address (emerging) development challenges. 
  • Being able to understand these solutions from a people’s perspective and learn about the conditions that enable or prevent communities from developing such grassroots solutions or coping mechanisms.
  • Understand how solutions and needs are paired, and how grassroots solutions can be used as an entry point to identify unaddressed or unmet development challenges and how to use these insights to inform policy design.
  • Ability to reverse engineer solutions, understanding what aspects (artefactual, principles, conditions, configuration) can be scaled and how, being able to assess their potential to be transferred to other domains, regions or contexts and build a case for that.
  • Ability to appreciate and integrate various sources of knowledge (academic, experiential, observational, traditional, indigenous) in problem solving processes.
  • Set up structures and processes to collect ideas, solutions and facilitate matchmaking between supply and demand of solutions.”
  • Digital and Innovation Collective Intelligence Design
  • Ability to design, lead or manage processes that help a collective to become smarter together by bringing together diverse groups of people, data, and technology.

Digital and Innovation Ethnography:

  • Ability to build rapport and empathy with people and vulnerable communities to learn about their everyday lives, experiences and context. Being able to identify and understand patterns of relations, and their meaning, between different entities (i.e. of people, objects, animals, etc.)
  • Being able to immerse deeply in the context of a community and look at it from an “”insiders perspective”” to understand how realities are socially constructed and understand and appreciated these realities; explore perceptions, motivations, preferences, needs, rituals to understand “”why people do things the way they do””. 
  • Being inclusive when using digital tools engaging with communities; have a thorough understanding of ethical guidelines when engaging with vulnerable communities.
  • Ability to translate observations into compelling insights for community empowerment or to inform decision making, problem solving and policy design.

Required Skills and Experience
Education:

  • Master’s Degree in Anthropology, Sociology, Behavioral psychology, Design, Architecture, Communications or related field and minimum of 2 years of professional experience in development programming or policy; social innovation; partnership building; engagement (public and private sector) and/or resource mobilization

OR

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology, Sociology, Behavioral psychology, Design, Architecture, Communications or related field and minimum of 4 years of professional experience in development programming or policy; social innovation; partnership building; engagement (public and private sector) and/or resource mobilization

Experience:

  • Demonstrated ability to undertake field research in remote communities and document ethnographic evidence and honor expertise in unusual places
  • Demonstrate ability to work in participatory methods, follow the lead of people as experts in their own sustainable development
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English

Experience in following areas is desirable but not necessary:

  • Professional experience in development programming or policy and social innovation.
  • Proven professional knowledge and experience in approaches such as Ethnography, Systems Thinking, Behavioral Insights, Co-creation, Qualitative and Quantitative User Research, Positive Deviance, Community Asset Mapping, Service Design or Human Centered Design
  • Demonstrated ability to work with partners to help surface unarticulated needs
  • Proven ability to engage with remote and/or vulnerable communities through action research and other engagement means
  • Please note that continuance of appointment beyond the initial 12 months is contingent upon the successful completion of a probationary period.

 

 

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply

 

Application Deadline 7th May, 2022, 04:59 AM


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