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Employment and Social Protection Programme Specialist


  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Chişinău
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Social Affairs
    • Labour Market Policy
    • Civil Society and Local governance
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: Closed


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core principles at UNDP:  we value diversity as an expression of the multiplicity of nations and cultures where we operate, we foster inclusion as a way of ensuring all personnel are empowered to contribute to our mission, and we ensure equity and fairness in all our actions. Taking a ‘leave no one behind’ approach to our diversity efforts means increasing representation of underserved populations. People who identify as belonging to marginalized or excluded populations are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about working at UNDP including our values and inspiring stories.
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.

Reducing poverty and bridging regional disparities through creating economic opportunities, improving access to quality education, healthcare and social protection services, as well as more accessible and efficient public services and employment opportunities, are among major priorities reflected in Moldova 2030 development strategy, sectorial strategies, national SDG commitments, international and regional treaties, as well as in EU-Moldova cooperation framework and negotiation process.

Despite economic growth, gross domestic product per capita remains the lowest in Europe. Moreover, the urban–rural divide has widened, and people face a steady decline in income and access to basic services as the development gap increases. Dramatic decreases in the standard of living have affected populations on both banks of the Nistru River. The consequences of the frozen conflict in the breakaway Transnistrian region still have a negative impact on the economy and also on the social situation of the region and of the country as a whole.

UNDP is working to expand access to basic services, and achieve more equitable and sustainable local and regional development for improving the livelihoods of the vulnerable people. Engagement of the private sector in the broader development and advocacy for responsible and resource efficient entrepreneurship seeks to reduce urban-rural income disparities through integrated local initiatives targeting remote and disadvantaged regions, to create jobs and promote economic empowerment of various vulnerable groups.

The analytical work is increasingly focused on cross-practice areas to support via policy advice and research for inclusive growth and sustainable human development, advance policy innovations aimed at mainstreaming sustainable development thinking, and more inclusive and innovative economic growth.

UNDP advocates for nationally owned solutions and helps to make them effective through ensuring a greater voice for poor people, expanding access to productive assets and economic opportunities, supporting employment and social protection, and linking poverty programmes with countries' international economic and financial policies. At the same time, UNDP contributes to efforts at reforming trade, debt relief and investment arrangements to better support national poverty reduction and make globalization work for poor people. In doing so, we support innovative pilot projects; connect countries to global best practices and resources; promote the role of women in development; and bring governments, civil society and outside funders together to coordinate their efforts.

UNDP contributes to confidence building between both banks of the Nistru River by involving local authorities, civil society organizations, business community and other stakeholders, as well as through economic and social development of local communities. It aims to ensure that on-going efforts at the political and technical levels are supported by development and confidence building initiatives at the community level that seek to create an environment conducive to dialogue and cooperation at all levels. 

Following the profound consequences of the compound (health, social, energy, economic and refugee)  crisis due to COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, UNDP Moldova has embarked on the implementation of response and recovery measures for the most vulnerable groups, supporting a crisis resilience of the business community, and working closely with local and national public authorities to strengthen the national institutional frameworks.  

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the guidance and direct supervision of the Programme Specialist/Inclusive Growth Cluster Lead, the Programme Specialist analyzes political, social and economic trends and participates in the formulation, management and monitoring of programme activities within the portfolio, with a particular focus on developing and implementing dedicated interventions focused socio-economic inclusion of refugees, social protection, economic empowerment of various vulnerable groups, employment and informality, as well being responsible for managing the UNDP programme within the respective thematic/sectoral areas assigned.

The Programme Specialist supervises relevant project staff. The Programme Specialist works in close collaboration with the CO Management Support and Business Development, Programme and Operations teams, programme staff in other UN Agencies, UNDP HQs staff. 

Lead, manage, coordinate, and develop effective planning and implementation of programmatic interventios in the area of socio-economic inclusion of refugees, social protection and employment focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Thorough analysis and research of the political, social and economic situation in the country and preparation of substantive inputs to CCA, UNSDCF, CPD, CPAP and other documents.
  • Analysis and synthesis of proposals, concept notes and other documents on the areas for support and interventions within the practice area of inclusive growth, social protection, employment, socio-economic inclusion of refugees, and connected areas.
  • Advise in designing, management, monitoring and evaluation of initiatives in the area of socio-economic inclusion of refugees, social protection, employment of the Inclusive Growth Cluster;
  • Ensures monitoring and reporting, specifically setting up and maintain a system for data gathering and reporting for the Cluster (within assigned projects, but also between the projects).
  • Identify opportunities for synergies with other projects within UNDP and beyond, to advance the key objectives and grow its focus.
  • Ensures all programmatic interventions integrate a gender equality perspective/gender equality mainstreaming to the extent local context allows.

Ensure effective management of the CO programme within the assigned practice area focusing on quality control from formulation to implementation of the country programme, achieving the following results:

  • Effective application of RBM tools, establishment of management targets (BSC) and monitoring achievement of results.
  • Establish and implement planning, monitoring and reporting mechanisms for evidence-based programming;
  • Design and formulation of some parts of CO programme within the area of responsibility, translating UNDP’s priorities into specific thematic interventions.
  • Initiation of a project, presentation of the project to PAC, finalization of contribution agreement; determination of required revisions; coordination of the mandatory and budget re-phasing exercises, closure of projects through review. Application of conceptual models in support of programme design.
  • Financial and substantive monitoring and evaluation of the projects, identification of operational and financial problems, development of solutions. Participation in audit of NIM projects.
  • Quality assurance and backstopping for projects in the thematic area of responsibility which are fully nationally implemented, including coordination and oversight of quality assurance activities and regular update of the Quantum ERP module.
  • Aggregated reports are regularly prepared on activities, outputs and outcomes. Preparation of donor reports. Preparation of inputs for corporate reports.

Builids strategic partnerships and implementation of the resource mobilization strategy focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Analysis and research of information on donors, preparation of substantive briefs on possible areas of cooperation, identification of opportunities for initiation of new projects, active contribution to the overall office effort in resource mobilization.
  • Substantively contribute to the harnessing of effective partnerships and lead the identification and onboarding process for implementing partners.
  • Contribution to development of partnerships with the UN Agencies, IFI’s, government institutions, bilateral and multi-lateral donors, private sector, civil society in the specific thematic areas based on strategic goals of UNDP, country needs and donors’ priorities.
  • Support cooperation with national and international counterparts, donors and other stakeholders to ensure synergies in the respective areas of interventions.
  • Contributes to the Cluster in resource mobilization in the assigned area to ensure implementation of the proposed strategies through project development, positions papers, among other activities.

Facilitate knowledge and capacity building, knowledge sharing, and advocacy relevant to the assigned thematic areas:

  • Identify capacity building needs and opportunities. Ensure appropriate training, workshops and other relevant activities are organized and implemented in a consultative manner, involving technical experts and stakeholders that may include the government, private sector, NGOs, donors, and/or academia.
  • Ensure project reports capture results, lessons learned and good practices for possible wider application.
  • Participate in and ensure sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice on issues in the thematic area assigned. Support establishment of knowledge platforms, facilitate innovative mechanisms for dissemination of knowledge, and develop knowledge resources and products to share with project partners and to support UNDP’s engagement in this area.
  • Promote advocacy for UNDP’s work and opportunities for collaboration in addressing development trends in coordination with the partners, stakeholders, and UNDP communications staff.
  • The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the Office and the Organization.

Institutional Arrangement

Direct supervisor: Programme Specialist/Inclusive Growth Cluster Lead


Core Competencies:
  • Achieve Results: LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact 
  • Think Innovatively: LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems 
  • Learn Continuously: LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences
  • Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands 
  • Act with Determination: LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results
  • Engage and Partner: LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity
Cross-Functional & Technical Competencies:
  • System Thinking             
    • Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts o the system.
  • Knowledge Facilitation:
    • Ability to animate individuals and communities of contributors to participate and share, particularly externally
  • Project Management:   
    • Ability to plan, organize, prioritize and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals
  • Partnerships Management:       
    • Ability to build and maintain partnerships with wide networks of stakeholders, Governments, civil society and private sector partners, experts and others in line with UNDP strategy and policies
  • Communication:             
    • Ability to communicate in a clear, concise and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience 
    • Ability to manage communications internally and externally, through media, social media and other appropriate channels
  • Monitoring:        
    • Ability to provide managers and key stakeholders with regular feedback on the consistency or discrepancy between planned and actual activities and programme performance and results
  • Inclusive Growth:           
    • Local Economic Development
Required Skills and Experience
  • Master’s degree in Public Administration, Economics, Law, Political Sciences, Social Sciences or related field is required.  
  • Bachelor’s degree in the areas mentioned above, in combination with an additional 2 years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the Master's degree.
  • Minimum 5 years (with Master’s degree) or 7 years (with Bachelor’s degree) of progressively responsible relevant experience at the national or international level in providing management advisory services, hands-on experience in design, monitoring and evaluation of development projects, and/or leading and managing projects.


  • Fluency in oral and written Romanian and English is required. 
  • Knowledge of one or more minority languages relevant for Moldova, including Russian, Romani, Gagauzian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian and sign language, is an asset.

Required Skills:

  • Experience in the use of computers, office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.) and web-based management systems, and advanced knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages. 
  • Progressively responsible experience is required at the national or international level in areas pertinent to the assignment –social protection, employment, public policy is required

Desired Skills:

  • Experience in working, liaising, and collaborating with UN agencies, governments, NGOs, civil society organizations, and public international organizations.
  • Experience and knowledge of capacity building theory and capacity.
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.
UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.  
UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status. 
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This vacancy is now closed.
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