Head of Exploration


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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.

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 Country Accelerator Lab Network.  The initiative is a  recognition that increasingly interrelated development challenges require going beyond business as usual and single point, linear and silver bullet responses in development.  Instead, they call for an interdisciplinary approaches and non-linear solutions that crowd in the collective efforts of variety of partners and tap into local insights and the knowledge of people closest to the problem and the solutions. The initiative is also a recognition and an investment in the emerging momentum among a growing number of UNDP Country Offices around joining together disruptive, cutting edge methodologies with contextual, country-based insights and expertise to accelerate impact and progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals.

US:

We are building the largest and fastest learning global network of Accelerator Labs (initially setting up 60 labs in 60 countries) embedded within UNDP’s global architecture and country platforms. The new offering builds on the latest thinking from the fields of  complexity science lead user innovation  and  collective intelligence  to accelerate development impact.

Our network will surface and reinforce locally sourced solutions at scale while mobilizing a wide and dynamic partnership of actors contributing knowledge, resources and experience.  The idea is to transform our collective approach by introducing new protocols, backed by evidence and practice, which accelerate the testing and dissemination of solutions within and across countries. This will enable the global community to collectively learn from local knowledge and ingenuity at a speed and at a scale that our societies and planet require. This will be achieved by:

–           Building on locally-sourced solutions, finding things that work and expanding on them;

–           Rapid testing and iteration to implement what works and go beyond the obvious solutions;

–           Combining the best understanding, ideas and expertise to generate collective knowledge;

–           Accelerating progress by bringing expertise, creativity and collective intelligence to bear.

The Accelerator Lab will undertake i) external facing interventions addressing priority development challenges, and ii) internally facing experiments to embed new ways of doing development within the existing UNDP portfolio.

You:

You are capable and excited about starting, design 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 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, quirky and fun, natural strategic thinkers and talented designers.  You understand systems, the good, the bad and the ugly, and are capable of working within them to make change, leverage technology to extend, enhance and multiply exploration, discovery and execution.  You are digitally savvy, you hack tools, and you are keen to be a part of a large global organization exhibiting United Nations values.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

Horizon scanning and market intelligence for the  Malawi  Accelerator Lab
  • Identify, visualize and communicate emerging development trends, data, technologies and issues with a particular focus on the edges and “below the radar screen” events, opportunities and players, and systemically map their impacts on  economy, environment, society, and livelihoods of the poorest.
  • Together with the Accelerator lab team, map and assess local solutions and define pathways for their scale up in policies or markets
  • Identify new sources of evidence and insights, analyze and visualize patterns in unstructured sources of data, present new insights in accessible and comprehensive ways to enable sensemaking and analysis
  • Proactively explore and identify the new methods/approaches and frontier knowledge to tackle development challenges, collaborate with the Experimentation lead to turn these into learning options for addressing specific policy issues in the country.
  • Contribute to the formulation of the Accelerator Lab service lines to the UNDP Country Programme based on findings from horizon scanning, systems’ mapping, and local knowledge

Partnership and resource mobilization

  • Map potential partners across the public and private sectors with versatile expertise to strengthen the Lab’s capacities for acceleration thereby expanding the Lab’s distributed network both nationally and internationally
  • Explore the diversification of funding and investment sources through proactively mapping potential partners and building value proposition for their investment in the Lab and its portfolio of experiments
  • Anticipate the emerging needs, shape the demand from the clients and support the CO to develop a pipeline of emerging projects responding to those
  • Coordinate the partnerships and communicate the activities and progresses of relevant projects with partners.

Organizational learning  and interface with the  core business of UNDP

  • Support identification of future skills required for the Accelerator Lab, the Country Programme and Lab’s clients
  • Design and deliver horizon scanning trainings for partners and UNDP, help embed horizon scanning and attention to the ‘edge’ activities in the CO and with the partners
  • Organize and implement knowledge sharing and network events;
  • Lead other activities related to the design and operations of the Accelerator Lab

Working out loud

  • Share findings from the exploration on future trends, new methodologies/approaches, potential partnership, funding opportunities, and others within UNDP and with partners;
  • 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.

COMPETENCIES:

Core:

Innovation

  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work

Leadership

  • Ability to persuade others to follow

People Management

  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction

Communication

  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform

Delivery

  • Ability to get things done

Technical/Functional:

Innovation

  • Ability to manage organizational resources and deployment in pursuit of innovation approaches and initiatives

Strategic Planning

  • Ability to make decisions that align with strategy, vision and mission

Collaboration and Partnership

  • Ability to develop, maintain, and strengthen partnerships with others inside (Programmes/projects) or outside the organization who can provide information, assistance, and support.  Sets overall direction for the formation and management of strategic relationships contributing to the overall positioning of UNDP
RECRUITMENT QUALIFICATIONS:
Education:
  • Master’s degree in Anthropology, Sociology, Behavioral psychology, Design, Communications or related field. In lieu of a Masters degree, a Bachelor degree with an additional 2 years will be considered.

Experience:

  • 2 years (with Master) or 4 years (with Bachelors) of professional experience in development programming or policy; social innovation; partnership building; engagement in public and private sector and/or resource mobilization.
  • Professional experience in development programming or policy and social innovation;
  • Demonstrated capacity in horizon scanning;
  • Proven professional knowledge and experience in at least one of the following: Future thinking and Foresight, research, and Systems Mapping;
  • Key awareness of key global and regional trends;
  • Demonstrated access to networks of edge innovators.

Language Requirements:

Proficiency in written and spoken English.

Apply Now

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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…