Head, Nigeria Development Partners Secretariat at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the United Nations’ global development network. It advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life for themselves. It provides expert advice, training and grants support to developing countries, with increasing emphasis on assistance to the least developed countries. It promotes technical and investment cooperation among nations.

Headquartered in New York City, the status of UNDP is that of an executive board within the United Nations General Assembly. The UNDP is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from UN member states. The organization operates in 177 countries, where it works with local governments to meet development challenges and develop local capacity.

We are recruiting to fill the position of:

Job Title: Head, Nigeria Development Partners Secretariat

Location: Abuja
Additional Category: Management
Type of Contract: Individual Contract
Post Level: International Consultant
Starting Date: 16-Aug-2021 (date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract: 6 Months
Expected Duration of Assignment: 6 Months

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Job Purpose and Organizational Context

  • The Nigeria Development Partners Group (NDPG) has agreed to establish a Secretariat to support international coordination within Nigeria.
  • This temporary position is intended to set up the Secretariat, running a 6-month inception phase, including design, recruitment and provision of core functions.
  • The incumbent will work under the guidance of the NDPG Chairs and the administrative supervision of the Resident Representative of UNDP.
  • Once established, the Secretariat will support the running, coordination and decision-making functions of the NDGP. Its overarching duties will be:
    • Support and oversee the functioning of the NDPG, including the Thematic Working Groups (TWGs) and coordination with other international fora, notably the Key Political Partners Group (KPPG);
    • Multi-stakeholder coordination and advocacy promoting a coordinated approach to achieve the development objectives of the NDPG;
    • Facilitation and coordination of political, policy and strategic advice in support of the work of the NDPG;
    • Knowledge management, analysis and information sharing;
    • Equivalent support to other relevant international coordination bodies.
  • The Secretariat will be hosted by UNDP and funded by members of the NDPG through contributions into a UN managed Basket Fund.
  • The incumbent will be compliant with UNDP employment rules and regulations covering professionalism, conflicts of interest, safeguarding, bribery and corruption, etc.
  • The Nigeria Development Partners Group (NDPG) is composed of the United Nations and its agencies; bilateral donors; multilateral donors; the international financial institutions, and representatives from international non-governmental organizations (INGOs). It consists of a plenary group, attended by the heads of member agencies, and a number of Thematic Working Groups (TWGs) driving technical coordination between agency staff and with Nigerian partners.
  • In line with the five pillars of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the commitment for greater partnership between different parties working on aid and development in the Accra Agenda for Action, the proposed objective of the NDPG is to strengthen international partner coordination at national level and foster alignment with the Government of Nigeria (GoN) on planning and delivery of all development and related activities. The NDPG aims to support a harmonized collective approach in alignment with the priorities of the GoN, aimed at better coordinating international community efforts to support the GoN’s responsibilities to reduce poverty in Nigeria.
  • The NDPG works closely with other international coordination mechanisms, notably the Key Political Partners’ Group (KPPG). Chaired by the UN Resident Coordinator, the KPPG comprises the Ambassadors and Heads of like-minded diplomatic missions and development agencies with significant investment in Nigeria. They come together for the core purpose of driving critical agendas in the country through effective political dialogue, supported by the coordinated mobilisation of international development resource. The NDPG is represented on the KPPG which, together with the NDPG and TWGs, forms the third tier of the aid effectiveness architecture in Nigeria.
  • In June 2021, after over a year of remote working during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NDPG undertook a 2-day in-person retreat to take stock of the current context of Nigeria, the role of the NDPG within this and what is needed to enhance its effectiveness. This produced some clear conclusions around next steps, including: mobilising the Group around an agreed set of priority agendas; improving how the Group works (notably on information management); working more systematically with the GoN; and strengthening the structures – and linkages between the structures – of the international architecture, including the NDPG, the TWGs and the KPPG. The Secretariat will be responsible for putting this into practice.

Duties and Responsibilities
Undertake the basic functions of the Secretariat, including:

  • Convene, plan and run monthly NDPG meetings: logistics, agenda, presentations, briefings, minutes, actions and workplans.
  • Ensure regular and effective communication and information management, including with the Thematic Working Groups (TWGs) and KPPG, encouraging harmonised approaches and shared objectives.
  • Remain accountable to the NDPG, ensuring implementation of decisions and action points and reporting on progress against agreed objectives.
  • As required, manage staff and other resources assigned to the Secretariat by NDPG members to deliver their objectives.
  • Support resource mobilisation efforts when requested.
  • Provide similar basic Secretariat functions to the KPPG, as needed.

Undertake design and related inception activities to establish the composition, direction, roles and responsibilities of the permanent Secretariat:

  • Follow up on outstanding, near-term steps agreed during the June 21 retreat.
  • Building on the outcome of the retreat, undertake a consultative review of the NDPG to refine its 2-year trajectory and ambition, and the steps required to make the transition. Follow up as appropriate.
  • Review, revise and gain consensus on the NDPG’s Terms of Reference.
  • Review, revise and gain consensus on the Secretariat’s Terms of Reference.
  • Map out staffing needs based on findings of the above, and recruit accordingly.
  • Building on existing efforts, establish basic structures and processes, including for enhanced information management and communication across the NDPG and related structures.
  • Develop a strategy and aligned action plan for the Secretariat going forward.

Undertake pilot activities aimed at providing proof of concept for how the NDPG and Secretariat will work longer-term. For instance:

  • Support efforts to focus and structure the NDPG and TWGs around identified priority agendas.
  • Drive a campaign-based approach to a short-term issue related to one of the chosen strategic agendas, working with the TWGs, NDPG, KPPG and GoN partners to enable this.
  • Establish a structured engagement between the NDPG and GoN, based on the priority agendas and in complementarity to the work of the KPPG.
  • Set up a dedicated website aimed at improving information management, record keeping and accountability of key activities of the NDPG, TWGs and KPPG.

Deliverables Description:
Undertake the basic functions of the NDPG Interim Secretariat fully functional, including:

  • Work-schedule for the interim secretariat;
  • Monthly minutes of NDPG meetings with action-points;
  • Weekly Minutes of NDPG secretariat;
  • Monthly briefing notes to NDPG Chairpersons with policy/political actions;
  • Resource mobilization strategy;

Undertake design and related inception activities to establish the composition, direction, roles and responsibilities of theTransition to a permanent NDPG Secretariat complete:

  • Approved ToRs and operational structure of the NDPG;
  • Approved ToRs operational structure for a fully functional secretariat;
  • Operational secretariat staffing (Recruited/seconded/Allocated) structure;
  • Approved ToRs for key members of the permanent secretariat;

Undertake pilot activities aimed at providing proof of concept for how the NDPG and NDPG Secretariat will work longer-termfunctional with a work-schedule and operational framework

  • Approved NDPG strategy, aligned to and responsive to recommendations of the June 2021 NDPG retreat;
  • Monthly and/or Quarterly minutes with action points from meetings between NDPG and Government;
  • At least two strategic campaigns completed on core issues surrounding the mandate of the NDPG
  • Operational NDPG microsite (Website), linked to all coordination mechanisms;
  • Final report covering progress on realization of all deliverables outlined.

Recruitments / Qualifications

  • Master’s Degree in Social Sciences, Economics, Political Science, International Relations, Conflict Studies, Development Studies, or any other relevant field Or equivalent professional experience.


  • Minimum of 10 years’ work experience in development, political and/or transitional or humanitarian related field.
  • Work experience/or familiarity with the aid effectiveness agenda with either bi-lateral, multi-lateral, UN or I-NGO organization with reference to SDGs and the Grand Bargain Commitments.
  • Proven work experience in developing/fragile/conflict context(s) to deliver international assistance.
  • Excellent strategic, managerial, administrative leadership and presentation skills.
  • Proven coordination, partnership, donor relations, financial management and resource mobilization skills.
  • Experience in inter-agency and multi-stakeholder coordination and mechanisms.
  • Demonstrable ability to build an effective team, work across numerous organizations to deliver a common objective, and build effective working consensus amongst different organizations;
  • Demonstrated cultural sensitivity and understanding of power relations in resource dependent countries.
  • Desirable: Experience in complex emergencies and/or natural disasters – humanitarian/recovery/development operations.
  • Desirable: Experience in the field of displacement and durable solutions.

Language Requirements:

  • Proficiency in oral and written English. Working knowledge of another UN language is desirable.

Core Competencies

  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work
  • Level 6: Exercises stakeholder-centered design approaches for office / programme / division


  • Ability to persuade others to follow
  • Level 6: Ensures teams are resourced for success  and empowered to deliver

People Management:

  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction
  • Level 6: Guides substantive specialists / teams and expands credibility and innovation capacity


  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform
  • Level 6: Creates confidence among stakeholders by delivering authoritative positions, compelling analysis, and contextual acumen.


  • Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement
  • Level 6: Accepts accountability for the outcomes of programme delivery and facilitates improvement and innovation in the delivery of products and services.

Technical / Functional Competencies:
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

  • Knowledge of the Sustainable Development Goals and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations
  • Level 6: Integrate & Empower: Leads integral work of teams utilizing expertise, vision, problem-solving capability, and collaborative energy in professional area of expertise

Management and Coordination:

  • Ability to manage and coordinate people with inspiration. Believe in and promote diversity in the workplace and reshaping the workforce to meet need
  • Level 6: Integrate & Empower: Leads integral work of teams utilizing expertise, vision, problem-solving capability, and collaborative energy in professional area of expertise

Strategic thinking / Visioning:

  • Ability to analyze the SIPS’s value proposition and shape visionary/long term plans.  Use insight to identify target audiences and partners and to inform communication objectives, messages and solutions.
  • Level 6: Integrate & Empower: Leads integral work of teams utilizing expertise, vision, problem-solving capability, and collaborative energy in professional area of expertise

Collaboration and Partnership:

  • Ability to develop, maintain, and strengthen partnerships within or outside the NIPG that can provide information, assistance, and support.  Supports the NIPG with the formation and management of strategic relationships contributing to the overall positioning of the NIPG
  • Level 6: Integrate & Empower: Leads integral work of teams utilizing expertise, vision, problem-solving capability, and collaborative energy in professional area of expertise.

Application Closing Date
Not Specified

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online


  • 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.

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