Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Specialist – UNDP, Manila, Philippines

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Specialist – UNDP, Manila, Philippines

Locations: Manila, Philippines. Apply Before: 10/24/2023, 04:59 PM. Grade: NPSA-11

Vacancy Type: National Personnel Service Agreement. Practice Area: SDG Integration

Bureau: Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific. Contract Duration: 1 Year

Education & Work Experience: Master’s Degree – 7 year(s) experience OR Bachelor’s Degree – 9 year(s) experience. Required Languages: English and Filipino

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Specialist - UNDP, Manila, Philippines
Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Specialist – UNDP, Manila, Philippines

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Specialist – UNDP, Manila, Philippines


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.

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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.

The Philippines’ Ambisyon Natin 2040, which presents the long-term aspirations of the country, and the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) both contain goals and targets that are consistent with various targets under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While the SDGs have been incorporated in the PDP and other development frameworks, the goals and targets will benefit from a strategy articulating how the aspirations it lays out are costed and how these will be financed.

In particular, the link of the national and sectoral plans with the budgeting process and financing strategies requires further strengthening as these plans and the related SDGs are not mandatory considerations in the formulation of the annual national budgets and the financing gap is significant.

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The mobilization of financing from the private sector—including through innovative mechanisms—also needs to be intensified to help fill such SDG financing gap. In addition, there is also the need to determine and put in place necessary partnerships, and identify goals and targets that can accelerate the achievement of others while minimizing trade-offs and unintended consequences in implementation. 

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in collaboration with key UN agencies and development actors, has been pursuing key initiatives to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs in support of Ambisyon Natin 2040 and the PDP both past (2017-2022) and current (2023-2028). For instance, UNDP, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and UN Population Fund (UNFPA) linked arms to implement a Joint Programme on Reaping the Demographic Dividend and Managing the Socio-Economic Impact of COVID19 by Applying an Integrated National Financing Framework in the Philippines.

This Joint Programme has applied the building blocks of the Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) to assist in strengthening government’s national planning and budgeting mechanisms to ensure that resource allocation is more effectively targeted and in putting in place a more diversified financing framework that can together help to leverage additional resources for the implementation of COVID-19 recovery strategies, and ultimately, the achievement of the SDGs in an integrated manner.

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Other related initiatives include innovations for biodiversity and climate finance, the tagging of public expenditures on climate and disaster resilience, mapping of private investments for the SDGs, and prototyping inclusive business models to leave no one behind.

As UNDP formulates its new Country Programme Document for 2024-2028 in support of the current PDP, it envisages the consolidation of its portfolio of solutions to scale innovations in support of the Sustainable Development Agenda.

The portfolio approach to accelerate the achievement of SDGs will be incubated and scaled up within the Impact Advisory Team (IAT) of UNDP and in close collaboration with the various programme teams of the Country Office as well as the global and regional community of practice of UNDP on relevant thematic areas (e.g., SDG Impact, SDG Finance, etc).  

Duties and Responsibilities: Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Specialist – UNDP, Manila, Philippines

Under the direct supervision of the Country Economist and/or the Resident Representative, the SDG Specialist is expected to work closely with the Accelerator Lab Philippines and Pintig Lab under IAT, and with the Programme teams: Institutions and Partnerships, Climate Action, and Peace and Stabilization.

He/she is expected to collaborate with relevant government agencies such as the National Economic and Development Authority, the Department of Budget and Management, and the Department of Finance, among others. 

Key functions of the SDG Specialist include: Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Specialist – UNDP, Manila, Philippines

  • Overall management and technical inputs in the implementation of initiatives under the emerging SDG portfolio, in close collaboration with the Impact Advisory Team; 
  • Ensuring effective, efficient, and timely implementation of SDG-related activities through fostering collaboration across UNDP programme teams under a portfolio approach; 
  • Preparation of detailed annual and financial plans based on portfolio results framework and theory of change, and management, certification, and reporting on financial disbursement based on approved work plan and payment schedule; 
  • Monitoring, reporting, and evaluation of outputs and accomplishments under the portfolio towards the achievement of intended results; 
  • Policy and programme research, advocacy, visibility, and coordination with relevant stakeholders. 

Ensure strategic management of the SDG portfolio and provide day-to-day financial and administrative management for the delivery of key activities focusing on achievement of the following results: 

  • Overall management and provision of technical inputs in the implementation of the initiatives under the overall guidance and advisory support of the Economist and/or Resident Representative in collaboration with the Impact Advisory Team; 
  • Work with project leads in the preparation of annual and financial plans for projects based on the portfolio results framework and theory of change; 
  • Manage portfolio funds whether directly managed under IAT or shared from other programme resources, maintain financial integrity, and ensure effective use of such portfolio resources; 
  • Provide quality and timely financial reports as per applicable UNDP financial rules and regulations; 
  • Monitoring, reporting and evaluation of outputs and accomplishments towards the achievement of intended results under the portfolio; and 
  • Ensuring effective, efficient and timely implementation of activities.
  • Ensure effective collaboration among UNDP Programmes and, where applicable, relevant United Nations Organizations, and other SDG stakeholders, including but not limited to the key government agencies, private sector, and civil society organizations, contributing to the portfolio on accelerating SDGs; and

Ensure effective portfolio coordination: Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Specialist – UNDP, Manila, Philippines

  • Lead quality assurance process while ensuring coordination among relevant UNDP units and partners. 
  • Build and maintain an effective working relationship with key partners and stakeholders, including private sector outreach;
  • Develop and finalize Memorandum of Agreements, Responsible Party Agreements, or other relevant legal instruments with relevant entities, such as thinks tanks and academic institutions; 
  • Ensure the development, implementation, and monitoring of a Partnership and Coordination Plan; 
  • Promote coordination, dialogue, and good practice knowledge sharing among stakeholders; and 

Support resource mobilization and financial accountability focusing on achievement of the following results: 

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  • Identify and collaborate with potential partners to leverage available resources and results for pipeline development towards the SDGs; 
  • Effective application of UNDP financial oversight through the Quantum management system; and 
  • Work closely with programme administration and finance staff to ensure efficient and transparent use of project resources in line with approved budgets and within UNDP rules and regulations. 

Support human resources management focusing on achievement of the following results: 

  • Facilitate collaboration among staff members within the Impact Advisory Team and provide necessary guidance and coaching in line with SDG-related thematic areas such as, among others, financing, analytics and impact measurements; and 
  • Manage performance parameters of team members working on the SDGs and, working with Accelerator Lab heads, provide feedback on the application of social innovation, systems mapping, and data analytics for accelerating SDG achievements.

Efficient support to tasks related to monitoring, evaluation, and learning focusing on achievement of the following results: 

  • Ensure the development, implementation, and monitoring of the portfolio Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Plan; 
  • Establish suitable monitoring mechanisms and undertake regular monitoring and reporting on portfolio progress, risks and constraints; and 
  • Promote accountability through effective portfolio results reporting (quarter, semestral, and annual progress and financial reports) 

Ensure facilitation of SDG-related policy research and development, communications, knowledge management, and advocacy focusing on achievement of the following results: 

  • Undertake policy research and related knowledge generation activities on emerging trends, developments related to innovative SDG finance;
  • Manage the effective development, implementation, and monitoring of an Advocacy and Strategic Communications Plan for the portfolio; 
  • Ensure identification and synthesis of approaches, best practices and lessons learned directly linked to portfolio goals; and 
  • Provide sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice. 


Core competencies: Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Specialist – UNDP, Manila, Philippines

  • 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: 

Business Direction and Strategy  

  • 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 of the system

Business Development    

  • Knowledge Generation   Ability to research and turn information into useful knowledge, relevant for context, or responsive to a stated need.

Digital and Innovation    

Collective Intelligence Design: 

  • Ability to design, lead or manage processes that help a collective to become smarter together by bringing together diverse groups of people, data, and technology.
  • Ability to define and articulate why and how collective intelligence can add value to development programming (understanding problems; finding solutions; decision making and mobilising action; monitoring progress in real time, learning and adapting). 
  • Being able to integrate different types of data (realtime, ‘ground- truth’ and novel data) to unlock fresh insights. Understand guidelines and principles around data privacy, ethics and protection. 
  • Increase diversity of inputs – and look beyond the ‘usual suspects’, ability to navigate and manage a variety of actors, appreciate the diversity in perspectives, opinions, expertise. 
  • Ability to facilitate platforms or sessions where people can contribute by providing their views and ideas independently and freely. 
  • Being people-centred: ensure people understand and can determine how their data is used. Feed back inputs and insights to empower people, don’t extract data

Required Skills and Experience: Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Specialist – UNDP, Manila, Philippines


  • Advance university degree (master’s degree or equivalent) in public finance, social policy, public policy, political science, economics, business, development studies is required.
  • A first level university degree (bachelor’s degree) in the areas mentioned above in combination with additional 2 years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  • Minimum seven (7) years (with master’s degree) or nine (9) years (with bachelor’s degree) of progressively responsible experience in designing, planning, implementing, monitoring, and/or evaluating development programs and projects, managing the development and execution of policy and institutional reforms and innovations, coordinating development cooperation and collaboration of sectors with a multilateral international organization, I/NGOs, civil society organizations, and/or government agencies 
  • Minimum of five (5) ongoing or completed projects related to any of the following: Development Finance Assessment, SDG Impact Measurement and Metrics, Integrated National Financing Framework, SDG budgeting, and SDG Financing
  • Demonstrated experience in project financial management including preparation of budgets, annual work plans and financial reporting is a strong asset.
  • Proven experience of effective partnership development with national counterparts, development partners, and civil society is an asset.
  • Demonstrated familiarity and solid understanding of national and local development planning processes  
  • Previous working experience with UN organization is an advantage.   
  • Ability to effectively use a results-based management approach to project management, particularly in relation to sustainable development projects with cross-cutting issues including gender equality and human rights

Required Languages:

  • Fluency in English and Filipino languages is required.

Professional Certificates:

  • Professional qualification or foundation certification in project management methodologies such as PMI, Prince 2, or similar is an advantage.


Important information for US Permanent Residents (‘Green Card’ holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment. 

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

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.




Simon Tyrus Caine

Simon Tyrus Caine is a solar energy expert with more than 10 years experience in the solar sector. Simon has worked and lived in more than 5 countries. Simon has been involved in solar installations, solar project development, solar financing as well as business development in the solar sector. At SolarEyes International, Simon manages content development and day to day operations of the organisation.

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