Project Officer
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Albania
Grade: Unspecified
Occupations: General Support, Programme and Project Management
Closing soon: 28 Jan 2021
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Added 1 week ago
Job Description
Background

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

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.

Poverty and social exclusion generate scars that are extremely difficult to overcome over time. Evidence shows that children growing up in poverty and social exclusion are less likely than their better-off peers to do well at school, to enjoy good health or to realise their full socioeconomic potential later in life[1]. In addition, young people are less resilient in the labour market and particularly exposed to economic crises, while in-work poverty hits harder low-skilled workers and single parents. Other groups such as Roma and Egyptians experience the most severe poverty and social exclusion. All this, in the backdrop of an ageing population due to the combined effect of increasing life expectancy, reduced fertility and emigration.

Well intending laws and regulations have often been approved and institutions have been established in Albania’s prolonged transition, only to come to the conclusion that their financial effects were not properly calculated and provided for. In some cases, the roots of these shortcomings stem from issues carried from the old communist regime, whereas others such as certain social protection and active labour market mechanisms have suffered from the lack of attention and prioritisation eventually leading up to inadequate financing.

This joint programme proposal aims to provide technical assistance and work with the government to identify and integrate in the national budgetary framework more equitable and adequate financing for SDGs. Building on the work already done on SDGs (MAPS, VNR in 2019), the three main PUNOs (UNDP, UNICEF and ILO) along with UN WOMEN and UNPFA will closely work with Ministry of Finance and Economy, Ministry of Health and Social Protection, the Parliament of Albania and other key institutions to ensure that institutional capacities at national and local level are supported to develop feasible solutions and identify fiscal space to progressively increase SDG-related spending for women, men, boys and children in Albania. The programme will contribute to achieve the following specific results:

  • A national strategy for financing comprehensive social protection floors is developed, discussed nationally and ready to be integrated in the MTBG through national and social dialogue.
  • Feasible options are identified and agreed with Government Authorities to address unfunded mandates at the local level and articulate adequate financing options.
  • Innovative approaches and tools (tax benefit micro-simulation based on EUROMOD – the tax-benefit microsimulation model for the European Union; behavioral insights) and other mechanisms are developed to pilot and evaluate the impact of fiscal policies
  • Public institutions’ capacities are enhanced to articulate, implement and review resilient budgets that reflect increasing SDG related spending.

In view of advances in data collection, management and analysis it has become increasingly easier to work on various scenarios that could be achieved via certain fiscal mechanisms or reforms. The use of innovative tools to measure the impact of intended policies will be one of the main outputs of this programme. Some of these mechanisms are computer-based programming whereas some require outreach and social experimenting i.e. behavioural insights. Albanian statistics offers a wealth of data that are seldom put in good use for policy-oriented research. Albania is undergoing demographic changes, national and international migratory movements. Microsimulations are getting international exposure to many countries such as Canada, Australia, USA, Norway as internationally established analytical instruments

One the other hand, the complexity and interconnectedness of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) require novel approaches, methodologies, strong data systems, and institutions that would have the capacity to provide ‘out of the box’ solutions to the problems faced by the global community. Behavioural experimentation is one of the ways to induce innovative thinking both in public service and the private sector. In cooperation with the Ministry of Finance and Economy, General Department of Taxation as well as the Agency for the Delivery of Integrated Services Albania the nudge approach will be tested for a specific challenge that will be agreed with the government. As such, UNDP is seeking to hire a national consultant for innovation in policy design, who will coordinate and provide technical inputs in these processes.

[1] Evidence on Demographic and Social Trends Social Policies' Contribution to Inclusion, Employment and the Economy, EC, 2013

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the Programme Specialist, the Project Officer will support the the implementation of the action on behalf of UNDP and will ensure that all activities planned to be carried out by UNDP are aligned and coordinated with other partners. In more detail the Project Officer will provide:

  1. Provide support to Strategic Policy Options for SDG financing programme staff and partners on innovative approaches to designing, planning and implementing microsimulation models for public finances.
  2. Support the development and testing of behavioural insights for different fiscal policy implementation, specifically on taxation, but also on policy implementation.
  3. Support the delivery of these mechanisms through:
    • Overseeing the identification / contracting of national/international service provider for product development in relation to the identified models. This includes drafting the Terms of Reference / technical specifications in close consultation with relevant partners.
    • Ensure sharing and discussion of experiences, practices and lessons learned on the tested mechanisms.
    • Ensure sustainability of the developed mechanisms by identifying the relevant institutions, where these mechanisms will be integrated.
    • Conduct research on innovation models especially with regard to financing and engagement in the policy realm
  4. Provide overall support to a successful and timely implementation of the activities and coordinate with other UN agencies for the delivery of the project results
  5. Facilitate workshops and meetings with beneficiaries, project and other governmental partners to ensure quality in the delivery of project activities;
  6. Prepare technical reports on behalf of UNDP and ensure timely submission of required reports;
  7. Be responsible for regular updates on the project results and resources framework;
  8. Perform other duties as and when required.
Competencies

Corporate and Core Competencies:

  • Demonstrating/safeguarding ethics and integrity;
  • Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgement;
  • Self-development, initiative-taking;
  • Act as a team player and facilitate teamwork;
  • Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively;
  • Creating synergies through self-control;
  • Managing conflict;
  • Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others;
  • Informed and transparent decision-making.

Functional Competencies:

  • Strong communication skills (written, spoken, composing, presentation);
  • Substantive knowledge of business administration and management;
  • Prior experience in training activities and curricula development;
  • Political and cultural sensitivity and commitment to UNDP’s development objectives in the country.
Required Skills and Experience

Academic Qualifications

  • Master studies in Economics, Management, Public Policies, International Development or any other related field
  • A bachelor’s degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the Master’s degree.studies

Work Experience

  • At least 5 years of work experience in research, data and policy analysis.
  • Previous experience project design and implementation and working in complex multi-stakeholder environments
  • Previous experience in strategic planning, project design, management and implementation are an asset
  • Previous experience in working with projects on policy research, data analysis, innovation approaches and experience in writing socio-economic analysis, assessments, policy briefs is an advantage
  • Previous experience/familiarity with designing and delivering innovative tools in policy design is an asset
  • Previous experience with international organizations and multi-partner coordination is an advantage

Language

  • Full working knowledge of English and Albanian is essential.
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