United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Programme Associate / Head PIU

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

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. Under the overall guidance of the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative and direct supervision of the UNDP Assistant Resident Representative/Head of MPSU and in cooperation with Programme and Operations Units, the Programme Associate contributes to the effective and efficient day-to-day management and implementation of the development projects in the UNDP country office.

The Programme Associate is part of the Management and Programme Support Unit (MPSU), within which s/he is responsible for Coordination of the work of the Project Implementation Unit (PIU). S/he supports the Design, planning and management of the country programme by managing data and facilitating programme implementation business processes. The Programme Associate is responsible for achieving respective programme level outcomes specified in the project documents and integrated AWPs with required standard of quality, compliance with UNDP regulations, and within the required time and cost.

The Programme Associate promotes a client-oriented approach consistent with UNDP rules and regulations (POPP). S/he works in close collaboration with the operations, programme and project teams in the CO and UNDP HQs staff for resolving complex programme-related issues and information delivery.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions:

  • Coordination and management of the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) under PMSU
  • Contribution to formulation of programme strategies and implementation of the Country Programme and support to management of the CO programme
  • Administrative support to the Programme Units
  • Facilitation of knowledge building and knowledge sharing
Coordinate the work of project implementation unit (PIU), focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Organize and coordinate the work of PIU by ensuring systematic coordination of all project activities resulting in holistic and cross-practiced implementation of different programmes at central level. This would include among others development and update of the relevant Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and other tools for efficient business process established at the CO level in accordance with POPP;
  • Ensure timely and high-quality execution of tasks by the PIU team, assign transactions and follow up on completion guided by regular workload Analysis;
  • Lead preparation of weekly (or more frequent) summaries of completed, on-going and planned PIU activities;
  • Conduct a workload analysis of the PIU as needed;
  • Provide analysis and review of performance and optimization of business processes to improve efficiency and work relationships with both project and operations teams, as needed.
  • Ensure good quality of all supporting documents produced by Project Managers and PIU team;
  • Maintain close relations with the project counterparts, including government, non-government and UN agencies;
Contribute to formulation of programme strategies and implementation of the Country Programme and support to management of the CO programme, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Contribute to collecting, analyzing and presentation of background information for preparation of Country Programme Document and other corporate documents, such as Partnership and Communications plans, and other;
  • Contribute to preparing the Integrated Work Plan (IWP), the Results Oriented Annual Report (ROAR), and other planning tools.
  • Contribute  drafting proposals, budgets, work plans at the stage of formulation and implementation of projects demonstrating deep knowledge of donor requirements;
  • Work closely with and backstop as needed the M&E Associate and Resources Management Associate (RMA) ensure compliance with the corporate UNDP evaluations and monitoring policies;
  • In close coordination with the RMA create projects in Atlas, prepare required budget revisions, revise project award and project status, determine unutilized funds, operational and financial closure of a project and inform the respective project managers accordingly;
  • Provide guidance to the executing agencies on routine implementation of projects;
  • Collect and present information for audit exercises, support implementation of audit recommendations;
  • Assist UNDP programmes and projects in mainstreaming gender to ensure compliance with corporate UNDP gender policy.
Provide administrative support to the Programme Units, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Update the ARR/Head of MPSU regularly about the projects’ implementation status and any bottlenecks for effective programme implementation;
  • Closely liaise with the operations teams, including the monitoring of the large procurement cases, supporting in recruitment and other operational processes ensuring the respective SOPs are used by project staff;
  • Prepare monthly reports for the CO on key PIU activities, issues and required action points and oversight the drafting process of monthly integrated reports. Lead the process of preparation of intermediate review report and final review reports, and submit them to UNDP CO and national partners, as appropriate;
  • In coordination with the RM Associate review the projects Financial Reports ensuring right templates and donor requirements are respected;
  • Maintain the internal expenditures control system which ensures that vouchers processed are matched and completed, transactions are correctly recorded and posted in Atlas;
  • Work closely with the RMA to ensure timely corrective actions are made in Atlas and other corporate platforms to ensure completed actions in accordance with the programme assertion check list;
  • Control the transfer of programme deliverables, documents, files, equipment and materials as per the standards UNDP procedures;
  • Contribute to quality Event Management both for CO and projects’ events;
  • Control establishment and maintenance of proper electronic and paper filing systems.
Facilitate knowledge building and knowledge sharing, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Lead and provide technical guidance to the unit members on areas of programme management and operations processes, including facilitation of knowledge building and knowledge sharing, using most modern and innovative approaches and digital tools;
  • Identify any support and advice required for the management, integrated planning and control of the Programmes;
  • Organize trainings for the operations and programme/projects staff on programme management standards and requirements (PPM);
  • Synthesize lessons learnt and best practices in programme, using most modern approaches and digital tools;
  • Contribute to knowledge networks and Communities of Practice as appropriate;
  • Perform other duties that may be required by ARR or UNDP Senior Management.


Core Values:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism.
Core competencies:

  • Leadership;
  • Communication and Relationship management;
  • Innovation;
  • People management;
  • Delivery.
Functional competencies:

  • ability to develop clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies;
  • ability to identify priority activities and tasks and allocate appropriate time and resources for effective and efficient work completion;
  • ability to monitor progress against milestones and deadlines;
  • ability to handle effectively multiple tasks without compromising quality, team spirit and positive working relationships;
  • ability to foresee risks and develop mitigation strategies;
  • ability to synthesize the lessons learned and choose the best practices;
  • ability to create and maintain effective partnerships with partners and stakeholders of the Project with a focus on results and feedback;
  • ability to perform a wide range of activities related to the holding of workshops, meetings, conferences;
  • excellent skills in preparing presentations and reports;
  • responsibility, punctuality and politeness.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Bachelor’s Degree in business Administration, Public Administration, Economics, Political, Social, Environmental Sciences or other relevant area
Work experience:

  • Minimum 7 years of progressively responsible administrative or programme experience is required at the national or international level.
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc) and advance knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages, experience in handling of web-based Management Systems.
Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English and Russian and/or Kazakh.


Important applicant information

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

Applicant information about UNDP rosters 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.

Scam warning

The United Nations does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you receive 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.

Apply Now