Liaison Specialist

  • Full Time
  • Lusaka, Zambia
  • Salary: -
  • September 29, 2020



UNDP Zambia is strategically repositioning its country programme implementation based on emerging opportunities and UNDP’s comparative advantages that maximizes partnerships, resource mobilization and impact in keeping with UNDP’s mandate and its current Country Programme Document (CPD) covering the period 2016 – 2021 and embarking on the next programme cycle to support the Government of Zambia through its 8th National Development Plan (8NDP).

In addition, the review of the programme portfolio also showed a pressing need to recalibrate the programme implementation in Zambia through a more integrated vision aligned with the current CPD, the six (06) signature solutions of the current Strategic Plan and the RBA’s strategic offer and where UNDP will fully play its integrator role for accelerating the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Zambia.

As the development world and UNDP Zambia move into 2020, defined as the Decade of Action, with only 10 years left to achieve the SDGs, it is more pressing that UNDP Zambia revisits its approach to programming to ensure both it continues to explore new ways of optimally supporting the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) to achieve the objectives set out in both Agenda 2030 and the 7th National Development Plan (7NDP) using a strategic approach to planning resulting in an efficient and effective delivery of the Country Programme to promote sustainable human development.

Against this backdrop and building upon the lessons learnt over the past months, UNDP Zambia is strengthening its integrator role enshrined in the United Nations Development System (UNDS) reform through an improved structure with the Ministry of National Development Planning – MNDP. The improved structure centers around the creation of the GRZ Liaison Specialist that will play a critical role in optimizing the coordination relationship between UNDP and GRZ.

The effective liaison and coordination between MNDP and UNDP will strengthen UNDP’s contribution to the overall cooperation between the UN system and GRZ with expected positive results in accelerating achievements of SDG in Zambia, pushing forward Agenda 2030, the smooth implementation of the National Development Plans (NDPs)

The Liaison Specialist will serve as a liaison between the Ministry and UNDP. S/he will support the smooth working relationships of the MNDP and the UNDP with a network of colleagues from UNDP and MNDP as well as other key partners including other sister UN agencies, IFIs, multilateral and bilateral donors and other key stakeholders.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall guidance and direct supervision of the Resident Representative (RR), the Liaison Specialist will closely work with the Deputy Resident Representative (DRR) and the Strategic and Policy Unit (SPU), in particular, and Programme and Operations Units. S/he will also assist the Senior Management and SPU in its technical leadership role, in particular in providing support to GRZ in various joint UNDP – MNDP initiatives, in close collaboration with the UN.

Summary of key functions:

External liaison between UNDP and MNDP pertaining to ensuring effective implementation of ongoing UNDP/MNDP cooperation programme in close collaboration and complementarity with UN efforts;

  • Internal liaison between UNDP and MNDP and other key stakeholders to ensure that UNDP plays its integrator mandate for a strong and coherent UN development system
  • Assistance to UNDP and MNDP Senior Management on critical liaison initiatives and functions
  • Facilitation of knowledge building and management 

External liaison between UNDP and MNDP pertaining to ensuring effective implementation of ongoing UNDP/UN/MNDP joint cooperation programme focusing on the achievement of the following results:

  • Contribute to ensuring effective and efficient design, implementation and monitoring of the ongoing/future UNDP/UN/MNDP cooperation programme;
  • Ensure technical support is provided to both UNDP and MNDP Leadership for the smooth implementation of UNDP/UN/MNDP cooperation programme at the service of the UN – GRZ Cooperation enshrined in the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF);
  • Facilitate and coordinate day-to-day communications and updates between MNDP and UNDP on UNDP/UN/MNDP joint cooperation programme;
  • Assist in provision of relevant support to the technical preparation of VNR, SDGs and Development Plans;
  • Organize and facilitate programme activities, such as meetings, workshops, seminars, trainings and study visits, by ensuring all necessary organizational, logistic and administrative requirements are in place.

Internal liaison between UNDP and MNDP and other key stakeholders to ensure that UNDP plays its integrator mandate for a strong and coherent UN development system focusing on the achievement of the following results:

  • Assist and cooperate with the UNDP’s key units and MNDP’s key directorates to prepare:
  • Key events, workshops, conferences, training sessions, consultation meetings etc. (incl. talking points, speech, PowerPoint presentations, press releases, logistics, invitations, follow-up with participants, minutes, report etc.)
  • Key documents (reports, concept notes, project information package, project proposals etc.).
  • Key knowledge products (policy briefs, SDG-related briefs, updates etc.).
  • Assist the promotion of awareness of MNDP and UNDP/UN mandate and mission, in particular, UNDP integrator role in support to the UN System;
  • Ensure swift and timely information sharing between UNDP’s Programme Units (Strategic Policy, Clusters of Sustainable Growth and SDGs, Environment and Energy and Governance and Gender) and MNDP’s key directorates;
  • Identify potential risks and remedial actions and bring potential issues to the attention of the Head of SPU, Programme Manager or/and DRR, for consultation and for guidance and recommendations for efficient resolution.

Assistance to UNDP and MNDP Senior Management on critical liaison initiatives and functions focusing on the achievement of the following results:

  • Assist in preparing notes, speeches and statements for both UNDP and MNDP officials;
  • Assist in preparing technical notes, policy guidance and strategic papers on various areas of the UNDP/UN/MNDP joint cooperation programme, including substantive contributions to key programmatic framework (Country Programme Document – CPD,  UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, UNDP Strategic Plan and the National Development Plan);
  • Support the UNDP/MNDP Senior Management in the review of draft papers, policy statements and documents in relation to the cooperation programmes between UNDP/UN/MNDP;
  • Contribute to the provision of analysis and substantive inputs to NDP analysis, Development Cooperation and other strategic documents;
  • Contribute to the provision of economic inputs to all relevant MNDP programmes and projects for aligning UNDP/UN programmes with national policies and priorities;
  • Perform any other duties as necessary.

Facilitation of knowledge building and knowledge sharing focusing on achieving the following results:    

  • Research and draft background documents in support of the MNDP – UN coordination mechanisms;
  • Organization of trainings for the MNDP and UNDP staff as well as other UN staffs as required on joint MDNP-UNDP/UN cooperation;
  • Synthesis of lessons learnt and best practices;
  • Sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice such as One UN Knowledge Exchange Network on Yammer;
  • Identify opportunities and collate resources for enhancing the collaboration between UN, UNDP and MNDP;
  • Contribute to knowledge networks, including ensuring information for public information;
  • Participate in review of lessons learned and best practices, ensure proper documentation and dissemination.



  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work

People Management

  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction


  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform


  • Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement


Advocacy/Advancing A Policy-Oriented Agenda

  • Ability to design and implement strategic short/long term campaigns and carry out customized activations to highlight UNDP’s position and support issue-based advocacy

Political Economy Analysis

  • Knowledge of the interaction of political and economic processes in a society; including distribution of power and wealth between groups and individuals, and the processes that create, sustain and transform these relationships over time, and how these dynamics both affect, and are affected by, UNDP’s development support

Building Strategic Partnerships

  • Ability to maintain a network of contacts and conduct basic research and analysis

Knowledge Management and Learning

  • Participates in the development of mechanisms/new approaches to promote individual and organizational learning and knowledge sharing using formal and informal methodologies

Innovation and Marketing New Approaches

  • Ability to manage organizational resources and deployment in pursuit of innovative approaches and initiatives. Ability to scan the horizon and identify approaches and initiatives to bring into policy and programme design
Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced (Masters) University Degree in Economics, development studies, social policy, public policy, politics, or a related area.


  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience in socio-economic analysis and research at the national level or similar development context;
  • Strong experience in drafting advisory notes, socioeconomic papers, briefing notes and technical notes at the highest level leading and coordinating consultations with a range of stakeholders, including governments, multilateral and bilateral actors, and civil society;
  • Experience working with international development partners (bilateral and/or multilateral);
  • Proven ability to work with limited supervision and in a team context;
  • Experience with public sector, line ministries, national counterpart organizations is a strong asset;
  • Knowledge of UN/UNDP processes and procedures is an added advantage;
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc) and knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages, experience in handling of web-based management systems;
  • Good knowledge of Zambian context with good knowledge of key stakeholders including Zambia Statistic Office, civil society partners and key stakeholders involved the socioeconomic analysis in Zambia;
  • Previous work experience with UNDP/UN agencies or/and other multilateral the European Union and/or World Bank and familiarity with processes of these institutions is an added advantage.

Language Requirements:

  • English. Other official language of the UN will be desirable

Important applicant information

All posts in the SC categories are subject to local recruitment.

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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.

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