Programme Specialist, Lao People’s Democratic Republic


Job Description


Under the overall guidance of the Resident Representative and the direct supervision of the Deputy Resident Representative, the Programme Specialist – Team Leader acts as a manager of an advisor to Senior Management on all aspects of the Country Programme and manages the poverty portfolio. He/She manages the country’s programme on poverty including programme design and continued monitoring of implementation. The Programme Specialist – Team Leader leads the programme team in strategic planning and identifies new programme areas while ensuring consistency with the UN Partnership Framework and UNDP’s Country Programme priorities and creative responses to emerging challenges and opportunities.

The Programme Specialist – Team Leader heads and supervises the Poverty team and works in close collaboration with other units and the Operations team in the Country Office, Programme staff in other UN Agencies, UNDP HQs staff and Government officials, technical advisors and experts, multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors and civil society to successfully implement the UNDP support programme in Lao PDR.

Position Purpose:

Summary of Key Functions:

  • Ensuring the strategic direction of UNDP programme on poverty
  • Management of the CO programme on poverty and supervision of the Programme team
  • Strategic partnerships and support for resource mobilization
  • Provision of top-quality policy advice services to the Government and facilitation of knowledge building and management.


As a member of the CO management team, ensures the strategic direction of the UNDP programme focusing on the achievement of the following results:

  • A thorough analysis of the political, social, and economic situation in the country and collaborative preparation/revision of CCA, UNPF, CPD, AWP, and other documents.
  • Identification of strategic programme areas of cooperation.
  • Operationalization of UN Partnership Framework / Country Programme Document in collaboration with the main partners and other UN Agencies. Identification of possibilities for joint programming.
  • Analysis and presentation of UNDP policies and their implementation in the CO.
  • CO business processes mapping and establishment of and advocacy for internal Standard Operating Procedures in Results Management, control of the workflows in the Programme Unit.

Ensures effective management of the CO programme and supervision of the Poverty team focusing on quality control of the full cycle of programming from formulation to implementation achieving the following

  • Effective application of RBM tools, the establishment of management targets (BSC) and monitoring achievement of results.
  • Design and formulation of CO programme within the area of responsibility, translating UNDP priorities into local interventions. Coordination of programme implementation with the executing agencies.
  • Strategic oversight of planning, budgeting, implementing, and monitoring of the programme, tracking the use of financial resources in accordance with UNDP rules and regulations. The Programme Specialist – Team Leader performs the function of Manager Level 2 in Atlas for development project transactions approval.
  • Effective monitoring, measuring the impact of the CO programme, and evaluation. Constant monitoring and analysis of the programme environment, timely readjustment of programme.
  • Follow up on audit recommendations. All exceptions are timely reported.
  • Aggregate reports are regularly prepared on activities, outputs, and outcomes. Preparation of donor reports.
  • Organization of a cost-recovery system for the services provided by the CO to projects in close collaboration with the Operations Manager.

Establishes and maintains strategic partnerships and supports resource mobilization focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Implementation of the CO partnerships and resource mobilization strategies to achieve programme outcomes.
  • Creation and coordination of partnerships with the UN Agencies, IFIs, government institutions, bilateral and multi-lateral donors, private sector, civil society etc.
  • Determination of programmatic areas of cooperation, based on strategic goals of UNDP, country needs, and donors’ priorities.
  • Analysis and research of information on donors, preparation of substantive briefs on possible areas of cooperation, and identification of opportunities for cost-sharing.

Ensures provision of top-quality advisory services and facilitation of knowledge building and management focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Identification of sources of information related to policy-driven issues. Identification and synthesis of best practices and lessons learned directly linked to programme country policy goals.
  • Coordination of development of policies and institutions that will address the country problems and needs in collaboration with the Government and other strategic partners.
  • Establishment of advocacy networks at national level and linked to international networks. Relevant, high-impact advocacy campaigns are implemented with key partners.
  • Sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice.
  • Organization of training for the operations/ projects staff on programme.


Core Competencies:

  • Achieve Results – LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have a 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

Functional & Technical competencies:

  • Business Direction and Strategy- Strategic Thinking: Ability to develop effective strategies and prioritized plans in line with UNDP’s objectives, based on the systemic analysis of challenges, potential risks, and opportunities; linking the vision to reality on the ground, and creating tangible solutions. Ability to leverage learning from a variety of sources to anticipate and respond to future trends; to demonstrate foresight in order to model what future developments and possible ways forward look like for UNDP.
  • Business Management – Portfolio Management: Ability to select, prioritize and control the organi]ation¶s programmes and projects, in line with its strategic objectives and capacity; ability to balance the implementation of change initiatives and the maintenance of business-as-usual, while optimizing return on investment.
  • Partnership management – Relationship management : Ability to engage with a wide range of public and private partners, build, sustain and/or strengthen working relations, trust, and mutual understanding.
  • Partnership management – Resource mobilization: Ability to identify funding sources, match funding needs (programmes/projects/initiatives) with funding opportunities, and establish a plan to meet funding requirements.
  • 2030 Agenda: Prosperity – Inclusive Growth: Economic Diversification: the ability to identify and structure strategies that contribute to the efforts of enhancing positive economic growth and development .



  • Master’s Degree or equivalent in Business Administration, Public Administration, Economics, Political Sciences, Social Sciences, Rural Development or related field preferred; or Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Economics, Political Sciences, Social Sciences, Rural Development or related field.


  • 5 years of relevant experience (with a Masters) or 7 years of relevant work experience (with a bachelor’s) at the national or international level.
  • Experience in providing management advisory services, and hands-on experience in design, monitoring, and evaluation of development projects in the areas of poverty reduction, livelihoods, economic policy, or planning and financing.
  • Experience in establishing inter-relationships among international organizations and national governments.
  • Experience in working for the UN or NGO in the field of development is an asset.

Language Criteria:

  • Fluency in English and Lao


Candidates selected pursuant to this vacancy may be subject to UNDP’s policy on Probation upon assignment.

This position is open to nationals of the Country only