Job Description

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. The UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021 embraces the complexity of development and commits the organization to help countries to find faster, more durable solutions to achieve Agenda 2030. Important development trends like urbanization, Climate Change, and rising inequalities pose significant challenges to achieve the 2030 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP has begun incubating several 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 initiative 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 interdisciplinary approaches and non-linear solutions that crowd in the collective efforts of a 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 investment in the emerging momentum among a growing number of UNDP Country Offices to adopt disruptive, cutting edge methodologies with contextual, country-based insights and expertise to accelerate impact and progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals. As an upper-middle-income country, Thailand has advanced far beyond having many of the more basic development challenges affecting other nations. However, several challenges remain. Even in areas where Thailand has advanced and even become a model for other countries, improvements are possible. Those challenges are no longer best solved by conventional approaches and innovation is better suited. Furthermore, the Covid-19 pandemic and its socio-economic consequences highlight the irrelevance of traditional ways of formulating public policies and delivering public services that are not sufficiently agile, efficient and effective to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals In Thailand, for many years UNDP has been investing in exploring innovation by providing seed-funding to initiatives with the belief that innovation happens through practical explorations of new ways to address old development problems. To accelerate innovation in public policy and services, UNDP and the Royal Thai Government through the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) see an opportunity to accelerate innovation for policies and public services in Thailand and have entered in an agreement to establish a policy innovation platform “Thailand Policy Lab” or “TPLab” to connect and build capacities of various stakeholders in Thailand including government; academic; private sector; and citizen, to accelerate the impact of innovation in public policy and services in Thailand, and exchange knowledge and experience with other countries in the Asia Pacific region and beyond. The Thailand Policy Lab (TPLab) will provide 3 core capacities to partners in Thailand as follow: a. Exploration
  • Exploring the strategic risks under uncertainties, horizon scanning in Thailand and to identify under-the-radar trends and outliers and spot future trends that are relevant for policy formulation and public service development.

b. Portfolio Options & Experiment
  • Articulating the possible strategic options against the strategic risks

  • Designing and running multiple policy experiments to build Portfolio Options & Experimentation for accelerating impact in selected priority areas

  • Experimenting evaluation (e.g. RCT, real-time monitoring, Big Data, lean impact measurement)

c. Learning
  • Accelerated learning, Capacity Building, and regional/global positioning for Thailand (e.g. On-the-job learning opportunities for government officials at different levels (line ministry level, local government, and public Administration)

To implement various initiatives under the TPLab, UNDP is looking for a Policy Exploration Expert. He/She will work closely with government agencies, Civil Society Organizations, academia, NGOs and citizen and will report directly to Head of TPLab. He/she will work closely with the team of UNDP programme, operation teams in Thailand and NESDC. Duties and Responsibilities 1. Horizon scanning and market intelligence
  • 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 and society. Together with the innovation teams of UNDP and NESDC, map and assess local solutions and define pathways for their scale - up in policies or market.

  • Identify new sources of evidence and insights, analyze, and visualize patterns in unstructured sources of data, present new insights 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 expert to turn these into learning options for addressing specific policy issues in the country.

  • Contribute to the formulation of the innovation service lines to the UNDP and NESDC based on findings from horizon scanning, systems’ Mapping, and local knowledge.

2. Partnership and resource mobilization
  • Map potential partners across the public and private sectors with versatile expertise to strengthen the capacities for acceleration thereby expanding the team’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 team and its portfolio of experiments.

  • Collaborate with programme / project managers and senior management of UNDP and the innovation team of NESDC to anticipate the emerging needs, shape the demand from the clients and support the TPLab to develop a pipeline of emerging projects responding to those.

  • Contribute insights and provide input to UNDP senior management and NESDC to coordinate targeted partnership and communication activities for relevant projects / initiatives.

3. Organizational learning and interface with the core business of UNDP and NESDC
  • Support identification of future skills required for government agencies, and clients.

  • Design and deliver horizon scanning training for NESDC, UNDP and partners.

  • Help embed horizon scanning and attention to the ‘edge’ activities in NESDC, government agencies, private sector, and UNDP.

  • Organize and implement knowledge sharing and network events.

  • Lead other activities related to the design and operations of UNDP.

4. Working out loud
  • Share findings from the exploration of 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 UNDP and Government of Thailand at the forefront of the exploration of new trends.

Competencies Competencies and Selection Criteria Description of Competency at Level Required Core Innovation Ability to make new and useful ideas work Level 4: Adept with complex concepts and challenges convention purposefully Leadership Ability to persuade others to follow Level 4: Generates commitment, excitement and excellence in others People Management Ability to improve performance and satisfaction Level 4: Models independent thinking and action Communication Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform Level 4: Synthesizes information to communicate independent analysis Delivery Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement Level 4: Meets goals and quality criteria for delivery of products or services Technical/Functional Job Knowledge and Technical Expertise In-depth knowledge of the subject matter Level 4: Apply & Adapt: Contributes skills and knowledge with demonstrated ability to advance innovation and continuous improvement, in professional area of expertise Building Strategic Partnerships Ability to engage with other agencies, donors, and other development stakeholders and forge productive working relationships. Level 4: Apply & Adapt: Contributes skills and knowledge with demonstrated ability to advance innovation and continuous improvement, in professional area of expertise Resource Mobilization Ability to provide inputs to resource mobilization strategies Level 4: Apply & Adapt: Contributes skills and knowledge with demonstrated ability to advance innovation and continuous improvement, in professional area of expertise Knowledge Management Ability to capture, develop, share and effectively use information and knowledge Level 4: Apply & Adapt: Contributes skills and knowledge with demonstrated ability to advance innovation and continuous improvement, in professional area of expertise Required Skills and Experience Education:
  • Master’s degree in Economics, Business Administration, Public Administration, International Development, Social Sciences, or related disciplines.

  • Or Bachelor’s degree with two additional years of relevant experience.

Experience:
  • Minimum 2 years (with Bachelor’s) or up to 2 years (with Master’s) of increasing responsibility in public sector, private sector, or international organizations - ideally with experience in public policy process, innovative management approaches, public and private sector innovation strategies, corporate strategies or development financing.

  • Proven experience in working with governments or international organizations on innovation.

  • Solid experience in working with multinational staff.

  • Demonstrated experience in innovative approaches in development work.

  • Knowledge of UNDP or the UN System is desirable.

  • Extensive experience of coordinating international and multi-sector stakeholders including private, public and the civil sectors partners.

Language Requirements:
  • Fluency in written and spoken English and Thai.

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