The COVID-19 pandemic has started as a public health crisis, which has had a socio-economic impact and evolved in a humanitarian and development crisis with much wider ramifications, affecting various vulnerable groups, as well as negatively impacted the economy, in particular the M-SMEs. This proposal is based on the assessments and analyses carried out for the UN Social Economic Recovery and Response Plan to COVID-19, whose elaboration benefited from the technical leadership of UNDP. Among other assessments, the UNDP-led Socio-Economic Impact Assessment (SEIA) holds a prime spot, with initial results presented in July 2020, and the final report to be published in mid-October 2020. The SEIA puts a strong emphasis on the impact of the crisis on the most vulnerable and the ‘new vulnerable’. The assessment has also reviewed the impact on the private sector and small and medium-sized companies (M-SMEs) across all sectors of the economy. The initial assessment proposed specific (policy and programmatic) recommendations for recovery and strengthening resilience to and during crisis. The current proposal aims to operationalize to the extent possible the proposed interventions supporting the digitalization and digital transformation of the Government and its services, to benefit, principally, the most vulnerable groups and economic sectors.
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the lack of preparedness of the public sector to quickly adapt policies and tools due to lack and low quality of data; to work remotely and online, including in delivery of social services in education, health, mobility and other sectors for specific population groups; and to adapt the performances of services for the economic sectors to the conditions induced by the crisis. One of the underlying causes is the low digitalization of the public sector and its offer.
A significant digital divide was observed between the vulnerable (elderly, rural households, rural children, and youth) and the larger population, as these groups have been unable to access public services such as administrative and health services remotely. This is due to poor digital literacy, lack of hardware, infrastructure, connectivity, etc. Due to pandemic and closure of schools and kindergartens, over 150,000 children of preschool age were unable to attend school and continue their education online due to lack of devices, connectivity issues, educational content not adapted to online teaching, as well as limited teacher familiarization with online methods.
Women have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic more than men by job or income loss/disruption due to their presence (in high numbers) in the most sectors, disproportionate burden of unpaid household and care work, worsened by remote working and extended school closures. Gender gap in digital skills also impedes women’s access to essential public services that are digitalized, as well as digital forms of business and commerce. Gender gap in women presence in STEM (Science, Technologies, Engineering and Mathematics) hinders equal opportunities in labor market and entrepreneurship, as well as access to essential services delivered online. More specifically, in Moldova women occupy only 31% of jobs in the ICT sector and only 19% of digital professions. Only 4.6% of the girls studying in higher education choose STEM as their study profile. As a result, women get jobs with a lower level of qualification and, respectively, of remuneration in the ICT sector. Women’s salaries in the ICT sector are by 33% lower than of men.
The business community in the country has been affected by the limitations imposed during the pandemic and companies face difficulties in accessing its customers and partners through existing traditional distribution networks. In response to the COVID-19 effects, companies have shifted further to digital commerce, setting up their digital presence through online platforms/marketplaces, including own direct-to customer commerce platforms . The pandemic has emphasized previously existing challenges: e.g. insufficient digitalization overall, lack of business-friendly frameworks, policies and regulations for e-commerce, digitalization of operations, taxation, market access, including online exports. For example, it is difficult to refund VAT for e-commerce exports. Women are even more disadvantaged by a more difficult access to financing, above -mentioned lack of digital skills, and stereotypical attitudes in the communities.
The Government has kept a regular dialogue with the business community through the Economic Council to the Prime Minister to improve the policy response in the context of COVID-19. The Ministry of Economy has drafted and put under public consultation the “Roadmap for boosting the process of digitization of the national economy and development of electronic commerce” (Digital Roadmap) which identifies a series of critical challenges, including the following:
Low level of information and investment among M-SMEs regarding the opportunities offered by online commerce;
Constraints and insufficient information on Government / Business / Consumer remote interaction methods;
Regulations (customs, tax procedures) discouraging e-Commerce and e-Exports;
Weak online payment processing services, especially in the field of e-Exports.
UNDP positioning as ‘partner of choice’ and ‘integrator’ on digital acceleration
UNDP Moldova is strategically positioned as an integrator of programmatic solutions with innovative mindset, including bringing forward digital components. UNDP Moldova has established and developed partnerships with the e-Governance Agency for the digitalization of the public services, with the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure for the digitalization of the services and support to MSMEs (and has been invited to partner on implementation of the above-mentioned Digital Roadmap), with several business associations, in particular the Association of ICT companies, for the support to SMEs and similar.
In addition, UNDP Moldova is also partnering with such state institutions as the Parliament, Central Electoral Commission, the National Anticorruption Center, line Ministries (Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Health, Social Protection and Labour, Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment, Ministry of Culture) and municipalities, and provides digital solutions to ensure the efficiency and transparency of the public services and to engage with diaspora for boosting the development of local communities.
Lastly, UNDP Moldova has significant experience in connecting private sector to development initiatives and supporting the transfer of solutions, including digital, from the private to public sectors. Since 2015, UNDP Moldova has implemented several successful rounds of “Innovation Challenges”, through which solutions such as “www.studii.md” or “Tekwill in every school” were identified and implemented. These solutions have brought private sector expertise and capital for the public use. Some initiatives, such as “Tekwill in every school”, used a blended model of finance matching public funds, awarded competitively, with private funding. The private sector, mainly a vibrant ICT sector, has demonstrated a high interest and commitment to support digitalization of the public sector. The ICT sector has a significant potential to contribute to the digital transformation in the country in general and, that of the public sector in particular, as it benefits from a set of generous incentives, including tax exemptions.
In conclusion, UNDP Moldova is viewed as a partner of choice capable to connect available resources in a catalytic manner to accelerate digitalization.
In line with the presented context, the purpose of this job position is to manage a new Digital TRansformaiton Programme by UNDP Moldova, focused on accelerating digital transformation in the public and private sectors in Moldova (detailed description of the Programme is attached). This implies the management of the Programme activities, human and financial resources, development of new partnerships and support in mobilization of new financial and intellectual resources for UNDP Moldova to support digital transformation and, through this, the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs in Moldova.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Programme Manager will work under the direct supervision of the Policy Specialist. He/she will ensure effective Prgramme management, including human and finance resources; and acive collaboration and coordination with Projects and initiatives of UNDP Moldova aimed at accelerating digital transformation in Moldova.
Management of the Digital Transformation Programme (Programme) of UNDP Moldova
Operationalization of the concept of the initiatives (RFF, Funding Window, other), creation and development of the Programme team, as well as creation and management of an Advisory Board for the Digital Transforation Programme to include representatives of the Government, CSO, private sector and other relevant stakeholders;
Build the UNDP pipeline of projects and inittiatives aiming at deepening digital transformation in Moldova, in collaboration with UNDP internal capacities (UNDP Moldova thematic Clusters); and seek synergies with obgoign and pipeline projects and inittiatives implemented by UNDP Moldova;
Operationalize the MOU between UNDP Moldova and the Government of the Republic of Moldova on accelerating digital transformation;
Actively engage in expansion of partnerships;
Contribute to developing the capacities in the Government on digital transformation by bringing additional expertise, local and international;
Expand of the analytical work initiated through the joint UNDP-ITU Facility, by conducting thematic research on areas of major opportunities to accelerate digital transformation (digital literacy, digital divide, infrastructure, etc.);
Develop detailed and results-oriented Programme annual work-plans that include all Programme activities and roles and responsibilities of Programme staff and other stakeholders and setting-out corresponding milestones;
Monitoring the progress of implementation of Programme activities and key event schedules observing the work-plans and set deadlines including monitoring of the financial resources and accounting to ensure accuracy and reliability of financial reports;
Mobilizing goods and services to support Programme activities, including drafting TORs and product and services requirements and specifications;
Managing and monitoring Programme risks initially identified, submitting information on the new risks and possible mitigating measures to the Programme Board for consideration and updating the status of these risks by maintaining a Programme Risk Log;
Ensuring adherence of the Programme activities to the existing financial, procurement and administrative processes that are in line with prevailing UNDP rules and regulations and, at the same time, observing the Programme timelines;
Preparing Programme progress reports (progress against planned activities, update on risks issues, expenditures, etc.) and ensuring timely submission of the reports to the relevant instances, such as the Programme boards and relevant donors;
Managing Programme tracking in ATLAS in accordance with UNDP procedures;
Identification of new/emerging opportunities for UNDP to accelerate progress in area of digital transformation and lead UNDP Moldova to capitalize on these opportunities;
Position UNDP through definign the ‘value proposistion’, capitalizign on complementarities with initiatives of development parners and other stakeholoders, aiming at digital transformation;
Effective and efficient management of all available and new resources, including human and financial resources; timely reporting on the results and used resources in line with UNDP rules and regulations;
Organization of Programme Boards and Advisory Board meetings in line with the rules and regulations of UNDP Moldova;
Timely achievement of the results planned by the initiative, in line with UNDP procedures and rules;
Innovation to accelerate digital transformation in Moldova
Support in the expansion of the partnership with Government at central and local levels on the front of digitalization, digital tranformation, digitalization of public and local social services, support in digitalization of SMEs and engagement of SMEs and start-up community for accelerated digital transformation of the society, other;
Support the expansion of partnerships with private sector companies and business associations, including private sector companies in telco and other sectors to gain access to new digital tools and instruments, anonymized data and data sets, new algorithms and tools that can be used for the purposes of the Programme;
Support the ‘bottom-up’ aproaches through which to accelerate engagement with local stakeholders, citizens, activities, journalists, opinion leaders and otehr relevant stakeholders and partners;
Demonstrate through exploratory tests the utility of such tools and knowledge for UNDP’s development work; further support the development of new concepts and for scaling-up tested solutions;
Design and deliver workshops, tools, or platforms that tap into the collective intelligence of partners, communities and mobilise action;
Proactively manage risks with using data and technology, including those related to ethics and privacy;
Support integration of this initiative into all existing programmes and new initiatives by UNDP Moldova; promote further positioning of UNDp as a partner of choice on digital transformation and multi-stakeholder engagement for accelerated digital transformation of the country;
Communication and Outreach
Share findings from the exploration on future trends, new methodologies/approaches, potential partnerships, and others within UNDP and with partners;
Proactively use blog posts and social media to share insights, attract partners and help position UNDP in the area of digital transformation;
Jointly with UNDP Moldova, support partners to develop an emerging pipeline of new initiatives in the area of accelerated digital transformation;
Organizational learning and interface with the core business of UNDP
Set up tools and partnerships to transform information into actionable intelligence useful for the implementation of this initiative within UNDP Moldova;
Organize and implement knowledge sharing and networking events;
Lead other activities related to the design and operations of this Programme;
Design and deliver engaging and meaningful methods for reflection on learning from testing new solutions, approaches, tools, etc.
Required skills and competencies:
Demonstrates commitment to UNDP’s mission, vision and values.
Exerts strict adherence to corporate rules, regulations and procedures. Familiarity with the internal control framework and results-based management tools is a must.
Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
Ensures that programmes and Programmes are consistent with UN/UNDP values.
Treats peers fairly by maintaining consistent values inspiring trust and confidence through personal credibility.
Accepts responsibility and accountability for the quality of the outcome of his/her decisions.
Knowledge Management and Learning
Shares knowledge and experience.
Focuses on tasks/activities which have a strategic impact on programme and capacity development activities.
Promotes a supportive environment to enhance partnerships, leverages resources and build support for UNDP’s strategic initiatives.
Collaborates with regional, national and local partners to create and apply knowledge and concepts that will help partners achieve UNDP’s development objectives within the country and regional context.
Actively works towards continuing personal learning, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills.
Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise / In-depth knowledge of the Subject-matter
Understands more advanced aspects of primary area of specialization as well as the fundamental concepts of related disciplines.
Serves as internal consultant in the area of expertise and shares knowledge with staff.
Serves as a resource person in building new partnerships for digital transformation in Govenrment and private sector.
Continues to seek new and improved methods and systems for accomplishing the work of the unit.
Keeps abreast of new developments in area of professional discipline and job knowledge and seeks to develop him/herself professionally.
Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments.
Development and Operational Effectiveness
Ability to develop and expand partenrships, with Government, private sector, CSO and citizens.
Ability to perform a variety of specialized tasks related to Results-Based Management, including support to design, planning and implementation of the Initiative, managing data, reporting.
Ability to provide input to business processes, re-engineering, implementation of new system, including new IT based systems.
Ability to engage with various partners and stakeholders at different levels, to establish and maintain contacts with senior-level officials of the host government and represent UNDP in national and regional fora.
Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, is required to obtain, evaluate and interpret factual data and to prepare accurate and complete reports and other documents.
Capacity to implement the strategic vision and programmatic goals as laid down in the Programme Document.
Proven performance in organizing and coordinating major initiatives, events or challenging inter-organizational activities.
Adapts flexibly to changing situations, overcomes obstacles and recovers quickly from setbacks.
Leadership and Self-Management
Focuses on result for the client and responds positively to feedback.
Ability to achieve results and meet strict deadlines in an effective manner, maintaining a high-quality standard throughout.
Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude.
Tolerates conditions of stress, uncertainty or ambiguity and continues to maintain a positive outlook and to work productively.
Demonstrated ability to manage a team and to foster team spirit and synergy.
Desired additional skills and competencies:
Strong knowledge of the digital transformation models in the Governments that made important progress in digital transformation; solid experience in working with large and complex development programmes aiming at system transformation.
Required Skills and Experience
Min. Academic Education:
Master degree in social sciences, economics, business administration or similar.
Min. years of relevant Work experience:
5 years of relevant experience in managing complex development interventions and portfolios, ideally focused on digital transformation, ICT sector development, social inclusion and related.
Required Language(s) (at working level): English – fluent; Romanian and Russian – fluent.
Personal CV or P11, indicating all past positions held and their main underlying functions, their durations (month/year), the qualifications, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate, and at least three (3) the most recent professional references of previous supervisors. References may also include peers.
A cover letter (maximum length: 1 page) indicating why the candidate considers him-/herself to be suitable for the position.
Managers may ask (ad hoc) for any other materials relevant to pre-assessing the relevance of their experience, such as reports, presentations, publications, campaigns or other materials.
Important applicant information
All posts in the N-PSA categories are subject to local recruitment.
This is a local position, therefore only citizens of the Republic of Moldova or others legally authorized to work in the country are eligible to apply.
UNDP is an employer committed to gender equity and to providing equal opportunities to both male and female.
UNDP is committed to workforce diversity. Women, persons with disabilities, Roma and other ethnic or religious minorities, persons living with HIV, as well as refugees and other non-citizens legally entitled to work in the Republic of Moldova, are particularly encouraged to apply.
Please note that only applicants who are short-listed will be contacted.
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.
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Please note that the person selected for this position will be offered a contract with UNDP under its National Personnel Services Agreement (N-PSA) modality. The UNDP Service Contract modality is phasing out over the coming year. More information about the N-PSA is available here https://bit.ly/341OFXC
Vacancy End Date: 5 October 2021
To apply please address the link: https://bit.ly/3tUuebm
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