Quality Assurance Specialist

  • Location:
  • Salary:
    negotiable / YEAR
  • Job type:
  • Posted:
    2 months ago
  • Category:
    Audit and Oversight, Evaluation
  • Deadline:


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.

Office/Unit/Project Description

UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the United Nations Development System (UNDS) and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy work carried out at HQs, regional bureaus/hubs and country offices forms a contiguous spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan.

The Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has corporate responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP’s Strategic Plan. Together with the Crisis Bureau, BPPS forms the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of global experts and practitioners providing timely development advice, delivering support to Country Offices and programme countries in a coherent manner to connect countries to the world of knowledge, resources and networks of best practice they need to achieve development breakthroughs.

The Effectiveness Group in BPPS focuses on assisting UNDP and partners to achieve higher quality development results through an integrated approach that links results-based management and performance monitoring with more effective and new ways of working.  It seeks to do so by enabling UNDP and others to be more innovative, knowledge and data driven by identifying, testing, learning, sharing and institutionalizing what works, including through effective development cooperation, and higher quality UNDP programming.  It acts as a hub on all aspects of results-based management and development performance monitoring and analysis as well as a hub that identifies, collects, and share ideas on new and better ways of working across the UNDP network, social innovators, and the development community.

The Effectiveness Group in BPPS aims to deepen UNDP’s and the international community’s understanding of what works and what does not work in effecting development change at country level in UNDP’s Strategic Plan programme priority areas, and how this understanding can drive knowledge creation and dissemination, innovation and scaling up, and more productive partnerships.

Quality assurance is an essential element of UNDP’s programming to support the organization in meeting stakeholders’ expectations and achieving higher programmatic results.

Reporting to the Policy Specialist, Quality Programming, the Quality Assurance Specialist provides technical leadership and coordination of corporate programme and project quality assurance as well as support to corporate clearance of Country Programme Documents (CPDs).

Scope of Work 

The Specialist will perform the following duties and responsibilities:

Project Quality Compliance and Learning

  • Facilitate the smooth execution of quality assurance of projects, including the Social and Environmental Screening Procedure, and other risk assessment tools in the corporate system (Quantum+).
  • Contribute to the development and iterative improvement of digital risk assessment tools, and related dashboards, in collaboration with relative business owners.
  • Prop up corporate oversight, including performing spot-checks of project quality assurance.
  • Monitor compliance, analyze quality data, and provide reports and recommendations to enable organizational learning.
  • Respond to queries and troubleshoots procedures providing timely feedback to COs and Regional Bureaux counterparts.
  • Record feedback and use it to provide actionable recommendations for the iterative improvement of systems and procedures.
  • Proactively seek users buy-in of policy, procedural, and systems innovations.
  • Contribute to the development and upkeep of project quality assurance systems and supporting resources such as guidance and FAQs.
  • Facilitate knowledge building and maintain/update online toolkits.
  • Perform other duties as required.

Policy Compliance 

  • Facilitate the review, and perform analysis for inputs to relevant documents, policies, and procedures.
  • Facilitate preparation of briefs for senior management, perform research on topics as assigned, analyze information, and synthesize into clear summaries.
  • Manage capacity building initiatives to improve compliance in the completion rate of project QA in HQs units, Regional Bureaus and Country Offices.
  • Facilitate  the analysis of project quality assurance, and SES, data for reporting and learning.

Programme Quality Assurance and Clearance 

  • Facilitate  the appraisal of Country Programme Documents (CPDs) and support Regional Bureaux and Country Offices through the CPD quality assurance and clearance processes.
  • Facilitate the engagement with Regional Bureaux and Executive Board Secretariat focal points, supporting the timely submission of final CPDs and extensions submitted for the Executive Board for clearance.
  • Support the execution of the CPD clearance mechanism, establish and communicate timelines, coax, and follow-up with counterparts for the timely submission of documents, and keep supporting document repositories up to date.
  • Perform quality assurance and clearance of final CPD packages prior to submission to the Executive Board Secretariat
  • Source and verify information on CPDs to maintain up to date and issue the Joint Update of UNDP and UNFPA for Member States.
  • Keep up to date the corporate records of CPDs and extensions, review, and record CPDs quality assurance scores and Web site.
  • The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the Office and the Organization

Institutional Arrangement

Supporting several different risk management related work across the BPPS/Effectiveness Group, this role reports to the Policy Specialist for Quality Programming, collaborates closely with the rest of the Quality Programming Team, including the Social and Environmental Standards Team on SES-related items.


Please refer to the competency framework site for the entire list of competencies and further explanations.

Achieve Results: LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact
Think Innovatively: LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems
Learn Continuously: LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences
Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands
Act with Determination:  LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results
Engage and Partner: LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration
Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies

Thematic Area Name Definition
2030 Agenda Engagement and Effectiveness Effectiveness Project Quality Assurance
2030 Agenda Engagement and Effectiveness Effectiveness Quality Assurance and Corporate Data
2030 Agenda Engagement and Effectiveness Effectiveness Social and Environmental Standards
Digital & Innovation Behaviour change communication/communication for development Knowledge of appropriate digital communication methodologies for development and behaviour change, and ability to apply them practically
Digital & Innovation Digital learning & Development Knowledge of digital learning methods and ability to design and develop digital learning programmes.
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
Business Management Digital Awareness and Literacy Ability and inclination to rapidly adopt new technologies, either through skillfully grasping their usage or through understanding their impact and empowering others to use them as needed.
Digital & Innovation Data Analysis Ability to extract, analyze and visualize data (including Real-Time Data) to form meaningful insights and aid effective decision-making.

Minimum Qualifications 

Min. Academic Education

  • Advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent) in Social Policy, Public Policy, Politics, Economics, Development Studies, or related fields is required. Or
  • First-level university degree (bachelor’s degree) in the above-mentioned fields, combined with an additional 2 years of qualifying experience, will be considered in lieu of a master’s degree.

Min. years of relevant Work experience 

Minimum of 5 years (with a master’s degree) or 7 years (with a bachelor’s degree) of progressive experience in policy or program management and support at HQs, regional, or country contexts.

Required skills and competencies

  • Experience in programme and/or project quality assurance;
  • Experience in change management and in promoting adoption of initiatives that involve the buy-in of multiple, diverse stakeholders;
  • Experience with developing guidance, training materials, designing tools, and drafting communication material;

Desired additional skills and competencies

  • Experience in implementing social & environmental policy and safeguards;
  • Previous experience working with international, multi‐stakeholder processes or initiatives;
  • Experience in developing and delivering webinars or learning modules;
  • Familiarity with UN/UNDP programming and policies

Required Language(s) (at working level)

  • Fluency in written and spoken English is required;
  • Working knowledge of one other official UN language would be an asset.


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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