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1. Organisational Location

The UNFPA South Africa Country office works within the United Nations Strategic Framework as part of the One UN Reform to ensure that population issues are central to national initiatives to promote social economic development in the context of the National Development Plan.

Under the overall guidance and direct supervision of the UNFPA Representative, the Assistant Representative provides support to ensure programme efficiency and effectiveness of the UNFPA support to the Government of South Africa within the context of the United Nations Strategic Cooperation Framework (UNSCF) to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Assistant Representative will also coordinate knowledge management and support partnership building initiatives. S/he acts on behalf of the Organisation and the Country Representative in their absence.

2. Job Purpose

In coordination with the Representative, the Assistant Representative designs, develops, and manages an innovative and responsive country programme. The Assistant Representative leads the programme team, inspiring it to translate the Organisational, regional and country goals into specific solutions and results.

The Assistant Representative substantively contributes to the management of UNFPA activities in the areas of population and development, reproductive health, with a special focus on Adolescents and Youth as well gender. Acting as an analyst/advisor, the Assistant Representative proactively provides the Representative strategic guidance on issues related to UNFPA’s mandate and with information on achievement of results in the implementation of UNFPA programmes.

3. Major Activities/ Expected Results

Conducts substantive policy dialogue with Government counterparts, UN Agencies and other development partners to facilitate the incorporation of UNFPA’s programme priorities and ICPD agenda into national plans and strategies, UN systems initiatives and development frameworks.

Contributes to UN systems coordination through participation in UN country team meetings and takes a pro-active role in the implementation of UN Reform at the country office level in particular the formulation and implementation of United Nations Strategic Cooperation Framework (UNSCF), UN joint programmes, the UN inter-agency dialogue on sexual reproductive health, HIV Integration, Adolescents and Youth addressing gender concerns and any other population related issues.

Participates actively in government-led population and health fora and advises the government on the design and implementation of national and sectoral strategies and policies aimed at promoting access to sexual and reproductive health including adolescent health.

Analyzes population and development, reproductive health and gender issues in the country, and translates global strategies into country specific advocacy strategies, creating and delivering effective evidence-based advocacy messages to promote UNFPA’s programme goals taking into account political and social sensitivities.

Responds creatively to complex challenges and frequently changing demands in terms of a fluctuating resource base, resource mobilisation including private sector engagement and donor contacts, and complex programme/project execution modalities.

Promotes a results based approach and integrates innovative policies and strategies into the design and formulation of country programmes, sub-programmes and initiatives based on strategic priorities and responsive to the countries’ needs in the areas of reproductive health and HIV integration as well as Adolescent and Youth focusing on implications for population and development including gender.

Facilitates the achievement of programme results by identifying, providing and coordinating substantive and technical inputs into programme development and implementation, ensuring substantive monitoring and oversight and coordinating and evaluating the inputs of consultants and technical experts.

Promotes knowledge sharing and continuous learning, testing, linking and documenting innovative strategies, approaches, lessons learned and best practices inside and outside UNFPA and replicating these strategies and approaches. Ensures that programme staff integrates new substantive policies, methodologies and tools (RBM, gender concepts etc.).

Contributes to resource mobilization strategy by analyzing information on potential donors, preparing substantive briefs and project proposals in line with donor priorities, creating feedback mechanisms and providing information on progress of donor-funded projects. Identifies opportunities for cost sharing where appropriate.

4. Work Relations

The Assistant Representative advances the ICPD policy agenda in a politically progressive environment within an Upper Middle Income Country, responding appropriately to changing substantive priorities of the Government. The Assistant Representative facilitates and coordinates technical advisers and experts and promotes partnership, synergy and strategic alliances with counterparts in government, multi-lateral and bilateral agencies and civil society. S/he contributes to UN systems coordination through participation in policy dialogue and provision of inputs into joint common system initiatives.

Internal contacts include the Representative, the country office’s programme and operations team, other divisions/branches at HQ, Regional Office, and counterparts in other country offices. External contacts include other UN agencies in country, and counterparts and partners in Country programme activities, including international NGOs, experts etc.

5. Job Requirements


Advanced degree in Public Health, Medicine, Sociology, Demography, Gender, International Relations, International Development, Economics, Public Administration, Management or other related social science field.

Knowledge and Experience:

  • At least 8 years of progressively responsible professional experience in the field of development and/or population activities, preferably in programme/project design, appraisal and management.
  • Demonstrated ability to refine programme design to ensure alignment of organizational programme objectives to national priorities and capacities.
  • Knowledge of relevant international and national policies, plans and programmes in the field of population and development, reproductive health and gender.
  • Proven ability to lead and manage teams to achieve demonstrable results.
  • Demonstrated experience in strategic planning and programme coordination.
  • Excellent communication skills, including oral and written English.
  • Proficiency in current office software applications.
  • Strong advocacy, negotiation and mediation skills.
  • Communications and media experience is desirable.
  • Familiarity with the UN system and/or experience of working with an international organization is an advantage.

Required Competencies


Exemplifying integrity

Demonstrating commitment to UNFPA and the UN system

Embracing diversity in all its forms

Embracing change

Core Competencies:

Achieving Results

Being Accountable

Developing and Applying Professional Expertise/ Business Acumen

Thinking analytically and Strategically

Woeking in teams/ Managing Ourselves and our Relationships

Communicating for Impact

Functional Competencies:

Advocacy/advancing a policy oriented agenda – influencing the public policy agenda; demonstrates political/cultural acumen in proposing technically sound, evidence-based approaches and solutions;

Results based programme development and management – achieving results through programme design and innovative resourcing strategies; ensures integration of UNFPA’s strategic concerns in inter-agency, other multilateral initiatives and multi-sectoral development frameworks;

Leveraging the resources of partners/ building strategic alliances and partnerships – building strategic alliances; makes effective use of UNFPA’s resources and comparative advantage to strengthen alliances;

Innovation and marketing of new approaches – fostering innovation in others; creates an environment that fosters innovation and innovative thinking;

Job knowledge/technical expertise – expert knowledge of own discipline; possesses expert knowledge of advanced concepts in primary discipline, a broad knowledge of related disciplines, as well as in-depth knowledge of relevant organizational policies and procedures.

Resource mobilization – Analyzes information on potential bilateral donors and government authorities to recommend a strategic approach. Promotes and encourages Country Office action for increased contribution to core resources, including cost sharing modalities.



To Apply

Please find below link to vacancy announcement for UNFPA Assistant Representative (NOD)   

For consideration, all applications must be duly completed through the link provided.


Application deadline: 28 August 2017