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UNFPA Representative Job in South Africa


This post is rotational.
The closing date for this vacancy is 4 November 2011, 5:00 p.m. New York time.

Background Information

The UNFPA Representative plays the leading role in projecting the priorities and mandate of the organization at the national and/or area level.  Through compelling advocacy and thought leadership, the Representative effectively positions UNFPA to be the visible centre of innovation and excellence on issues of population and development, sexual and reproductive health, and gender, human rights and culture.  Placing the ICPD issues at the centre of the overall development agenda, the Representative plays a significant part in ensuring a coordinated and comprehensive engagement across the UN system, with bilateral donors and civil society, with national counterparts and other partners.  The Representative provides leadership for the work of UNFPA in the country of assignment and is accountable for the UNFPA Country programme and operations in the country.   Key activities include:

• Strategic direction, planning and management
• Programme leadership and representation
• Programme oversight and coordination
• Management of resources

South Africa is a middle-income country. In middle-income countries, UNFPA operates on the basis of UN resolution 63/223 (3 March 2009) on development cooperation, which underscores the important progress achieved while recognizing at the same time significant challenges they still face. The progress made in economic and social development, their increasing political ambitions and international recognition and importance calls for a new strategy of engagement with middle-income countries. They can often serve as hubs for development in their respective regions or sub-regions. The potential of middle-income countries for contributing to international public goods, such as environmental sustainability, financial stability, prevention of contagious diseases, and peace-building should be harnessed.

Organizational Setting

Under the guidance of the Director of the Africa Regional Office, the Representative has overall responsibilities for UNFPA representation, policy, programme, finance, staff and office administration in South Africa. The Representative leads and motivates the UNFPA team in the development of innovative, relevant approaches for engagement on issues related to population and development, sexual and reproductive health and gender.

Main Tasks & Responsibilties

A. Strategic direction, planning and management

• Lead the positioning of UNFPA on strategic and substantive issues in the country on the basis of global and regional policies and strategies;
• Lead and direct the process of scanning the environment on country level issues and analyzing the implications for the work of the Fund and the Country Office;
• Identify and promote UNFPA’s comparative substantive role and specific contribution in the national development environment and agenda, and in the changing aid environment;
• Provide overall vision, direction and management for the work of UNFPA in the country;
• Establish priorities for the work of the Country Office in line with UNFPA priorities and substantive global, regional and country level priorities;
• Establish processes to ensure that policies and procedures, programming tools and mechanisms, and sound business practices are incorporated into UNFPA country and regional operations;
• Establish processes to ensure that state-of-the-art knowledge incorporated into the UNFPA knowledge sharing mechanism is available for use in country and regional operations; and
• Direct the process of establishing, building the capacity of and maintaining partnerships, alliances and networks in the region.

B. Programme leadership and representation

• Act as the principal adviser on country level issues to the Regional Director and senior management of UNFPA;
• Act as senior advisor for the promotion of the organization’s capacity for effective delivery, including on the development of regional and global policies, positioning, strategies, and plans;
• Provide leadership in the substantive development and execution of the organization’s country level policy dialogue and country programme, assessing and addressing implications of national trends on UNFPA’s work in the country;
• Direct the process of developing strategies and plans for the implementation of the Country Programme, including for the delivery of technical assistance for capacity development and for humanitarian and emergency situations, and guide the implementation of these strategies and plans;
• Represent UNFPA at the country level and provide its perspective in high level national, UN, and other initiatives and events;
• Act as a leading spokesperson within the United Nations Country Team (UNCT), promoting effective coordination on development issues with integration of population and development and sexual and reproductive health issues in the larger development agenda;
• Advocate and engage in policy dialogue for concerted action by the international community, the UN and national counterparts on issues related to sexual and reproductive health, population and development, and gender, human rights and culture, and creates awareness of the critical role of ICPD issues in the overall development agenda and the achievement of the MDGs, including in the development of CCA, UNDAF and other national development frameworks;
• Actively promote and support participation of civil society and private sector in development process at national and sub-national levels;
• Support the Resident Coordinator (RC) system and is an active member of the UNCT promoting inter-agency coordination and consultative processes;
• Proactively contribute to and promote the UN reform process within the country UNCT context; and
• Initiate opportunities for South to South collaboration, especially for programme and technical support to countries in the region.

C.  Programme oversight and coordination

• Oversee implementation of the country programme, ensuring that they reflect country priorities;
• Ensure the application of results-based management and quality assurance frameworks and procedures for the work of the Country Office, including in the delivery of technical assistance;
• Ensure the application of financial and substantive monitoring processes, and the evaluation of the country programme;
• Establish processes for the incorporation of evaluation results in the work of the country office;
• Promote and support national execution modalities through appropriate UN, sectoral or direct budget support modalities, based on a risk based approach;
• Establish processes to ensure the Country Office complies with Audit recommendations; and
• Ensure UNFPA accountability for UNDAF results.

D.  Management of resources

• Assume overall accountability for the management and work of the Country Office;
• Propose and secure annual allocations for the country programme, and ensure the efficient and effective use of such resources in compliance with UNFPA financial rules, regulations, and procedures;
• Direct the formulation and implementation of a resource mobilization strategy for the country, and mobilize, in coordination with IERD and the RO, additional financial resources for the country;
• Develop and guide an integrated and systems approach to the work of the Country Office;
• Oversee staff accountability, learning and career management within the office;
• Supervise the Deputy Representative and other international and national staff, provide them with managerial direction and motivation;
• Contribute to the appraisal of RC performance; ensure RC in the country is adequately briefed on UNFPA mandate and organizational strategies and priorities;
• Communicate standards of performance, and assign responsibilities for achieving results according to the Country Office OMP and the PAD system;
• Uphold standards for the recruitment and selection of the highest quality of staff for the Country Office;
• Establish and maintain a harmonious working environment; seek to strengthen team-building by encouraging active participation and interaction at all levels; foster staff motivation, development and empowerment; and lead by example;
• Establish a CO security strategy and plan in line with UN procedures and requirements;
• Ensure an ethics-based approach to management of all human and financial resources.

Carry out any other duties as may be required by the Regional Director


Qualifications and Experience

• Advanced university degree in one or more of the following disciplines: Public Health, Medicine, Sociology, Demography, Gender, International Relations, International Development, Economics, Public Administration, Management or other related field.
• 15 years of increasingly responsible professional experience in public administration and international development of which at least 8 years in the field of population and development at the international level;
• Proven ability to lead and manage teams to achieve demonstrable results;
• Strong interest in development work, especially the mission of the United Nation Population Fund and dedication to the principles of the United Nations; and,
• Field experience is essential.
• Fluency in English is required. Working knowledge of another official UN language is desirable.

Required Competencies


• Values/Guiding Principles
• Performance management
• Developing People/Fostering Innovation and Empowerment
• Working in teams
• Communicating information and ideas/Knowledge Sharing
• Self-management/Emotional intelligence and Conflict Management/Negotiating and Resolving Disagreements
• Analytical and Strategic Thinking/Results Orientation/Commitment to Excellence


• Advocacy/advancing a policy oriented agenda
• Results based programme development and management
• Leveraging the resources of partners / building strategic alliances and partnerships
• Innovation and marketing of new approaches
• Job knowledge / technical expertise

UNFPA Work Environment

UNFPA provides a work environment that reflects the values of gender equality, teamwork, respect for diversity, integrity and a healthy balance of work and life.  We are committed to maintaining our balanced gender distribution and therefore encourage women to apply.

Compensation and Benefits

This position offers an attractive remuneration package commensurate with the level of the post.   The package includes a competitive net salary plus cost of living adjustment, housing allowance, home leave, health insurance and other benefits.

Closing Statement

Notice:  UNFPA does not solicit or screen for information in respect of HIV or AIDS and does not discriminate on the basis of HIV/AIDS status.


WARNING TO APPLICANTS: UNFPA does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you have received a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply particular care when submitting personal information on the web. Should you feel that you have received a fraudulent notice, letter or offer that makes use of the name or logo of UNFPA, you may submit a report through the UNFPA fraud hotline
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