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Programme Officer Job in Kenya

Council of Governors
Terms of Reference for a SDGs Expert at the COG Secretariat
Duration: 1 year
Starting Date: 1st October 2016

The Council of Governors (CoG) is established under Section 19 of the Intergovernmental Relations Act 2012 with the mandate to provide a mechanism for consultation amongst County Governments, share information on performance of the counties in execution of their functions, facilitate capacity building for governors, and consider reports from other intergovernmental forums on national and county interests amongst other functions (Section20). 

To enable the Council achieve its mandate and vision, the Council through the support of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) wishes to recruit results oriented individual with drive, vision and creativity to fill the following positions:

1. Programme Officer — Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS)

1.0 Background

Kenya is undergoing significant reform transition ushered by the Constitution 2010. The country is at the threshold of potentially accelerated development given the reforms as it addresses some historical, geographic and gender issues that have hindered Kenya’s development.

The Constitution 2010 devolved some political power and resources to 47 decentralized units offering greater opportunities but also challenges. 

The devolved units brings political and financial resources closer to the people and should lead to more inclusive sustainable development and reduce historical marginalization.
The Intergovernmental Relations Act no. 2 of 2012established among others the Council of County Governors (CoG) whose functions include consultation amongst County governments, sharing of information on the performance of the Counties in the execution of their functions with the objective of learning and promotion of best practice and where necessary, initiating preventive or corrective action, consideration of reports from other intergovernmental forums on matters affecting National and county interests or relating to the performance of Counties; and performing any other function as may be conferred on it by this Act or any other Legislation or that it may consider necessary or appropriate and through the Council, Governors identify priority issues and deal collectively with matters of public policy and governance at the County and National levels among others.

The CoG operates under sectoral committees which define engagement with the National Government agencies and other stakeholders. 

To implement its functions, the Council established a secretariat that coordinates operations of the committees and facilitates information sharing among counties and other stakeholders.

County Governments have been at the forefront in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that ended in December 2015. Kenya made substantial progress towards achievement of the MDGs, although the progress is highly variable across goals, counties just like other regions across the world.

With coming to an end of the MDGs in December 2015, the 193 UN member countries embarked in the implementation of the new development framework, Agenda 2030 on sustainable development which is a groundbreaking global commitment to end poverty and set the world on a sustainable path. It was endorsed by government leaders at a UN Summit in September 2015. 

At the core of this ambitious agenda lies a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 actionable targets. Poverty eradication is the overarching goal of the new agenda which is taking a far more ambitious approach promising to address the unfinished business of the MDGs and meet the growing challenges in the interlinked economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. 

The universal nature of the agenda will provide an opportunity for engagement and a new type of partnership to address the global challenges. 

While the goals are not legally binding, governments have assumed a moral commitment to implement them to the best of their capacities and in accordance with national priorities.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development targets countries facing special developmental challenges and intends to build on already existing bodies and national policies with regular reviews, coordination and knowledge sharing. At the country level, Kenya must sustain unity and solidarity in its approach to the implementation of this new transformative Agenda.
Kenya, like other developing countries embarked in the implementation of the SDGs in January 2016. 

The new development framework will be implemented for the next 15 years to 2030. Under the devolved system of the government, most of the activities under SDGs will be implemented at the county level. 

The country will be producing one consolidated report on SDGs progress although each of the 47 counties will have individual progress reports. 

The COG secretariat will support the roll out and coordination of SDGs including reporting in coordination with the Ministry of Devolution and Planning (MODP) and other stakeholders.
To support the SDGs implementation and reporting at the counties, the COG is recruiting a Senior Programme Officer to be in charge of coordination including technical support to the counties for timely implementation and reporting on SDGs. 

The programme officer will be responsible for developing and enhancing capacities on SDGs at the CoG Secretariat.
2.0 Overall objective: To promote / provide coordination, reporting and coherent interlinkages between county and national governments, organizational arrangements, capacity and impact, and partnership approaches within the established national framework for implementation of Agenda 2030.

2.1 Specific Objectives
a. Coordination and engagement
1.    Engage in a consultative process to ensure inclusion of the considerations and perspectives on SDGs with key stakeholders including discussions with senior leadership at the national and county governments, UN as well as civil society, the private sector, and other non-governmental stakeholders.
2.    Engage as appropriate with the regional and sub-regional stakeholders to get different perspectives on SDGs for consideration at the county levels.
3.    Ensure effective support to COG Secretariat in preparation, coordination and reporting focusing on SDGs achievements at the county levels.
4.    Ensure regular liaison with Ministries and departments relating to SDGs implementation and reporting.
5.    Standardize practices from other jurisdictions on implementation of international principles in the context of a devolved governance system guided by the principles of interdependence, consultation and cooperation.
b. Capacity Building
1.     Contribute ideas, proposals and options for counties to accelerate implementation and reporting of SDGs.
2.    Facilitate knowledge building and management on SDGs at COG Secretariat and at the county level.
3.    Organize meetings, trainings, workshops and coordinate monitoring and reporting activities on SDGs.
4.    In close collaboration with UN and MODP and other key stakeholders, develop capacity building framework and manuals for County Governments on SDGs.
5.    Establish mechanisms at the COG for SDGs coordination and reporting.
c. Advocacy and sensitization
1.    Organize, in cooperation with relevant UN agencies and MODP advocacy campaigns such as SDG campaigning, Development Cooperation Seminars, and other efforts.
2.    Ensure liaison with the National Government and effective advocacy of SDGs activities in close consultation with key stakeholders.
3.    Initiate, coordinate and implement common advocacy activities, such as the preparation of the SDGs scorecard report and publication of other relevant reports.
4.    Organize meetings/visits, liaising with all concerned parties, i.e. UN agencies, government counterparts and other stakeholders; compile and consolidate reports and action points as appropriate.
5.    Build a network of Government contacts and other stakeholders to facilitate/support SDGs work in the counties.
d. Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting
1.    Lead a continuous observation, reflection, learning, iteration, adaptation and quality improvement process to identify the most salient problems and design appropriate responses, ensuring the highest quality possible of the SDGs implementation at the county in close collaboration with internal as well as external implementation partners.
2.    Ensure adequate documentation (including lessons learnt and best practices) is made for all activities undertaken in the course of the SDGs implementation.
3.    Coordinate collection of high quality data to document SDGs effect and impact at the county level.
4.    Ensure effective implementation of M&E systems throughout the lifetime of the SDGs period.
5.    Ensure the preparation and timely submission SDGs implementation updates
e. Representation
1.    Organize field visits for UN agencies and other stakeholders upon request.
2.    Ensure that the COG and the UN are appropriately represented in relevant coordination bodies at the county levels on issues that directly relate to the SDGs.
3.    Any other assignment as it relates to SDGs that the COG CEO may assign.
3.0 Qualifications and Experience
3.1 Experience
  • Must be thoroughly conversant with the global, regional and national development paradigms and how they interrelate with the local development challenges and opportunities.
  • Must have an understanding of the processes that culminated into the SDGs and tools for monitoring global agenda at the local levels.
  • Must have thorough understanding of devolution in the Kenyan context and its linkages to the SDGs.
  • Must be conversant with the Kenya’s Vision 2030, Medium Term Plans (MTPs), sectoral plans including County Integrated Development Plans
  • Overall, they must have at least 15 years of experience in development work of which at least 10 years must be at a senior level coordinating and working with different experts across all sectors of the Kenyan economy. International experience will be an added advantage.
  • Should be able to show proof of having worked on assignments in the past that required high level interactions, coordination and timely interventions to deliver output and understand the development landscape in Kenya and within the region.
  • Ability to consolidate reports from different sources for concise coherent reports will be highly desirable.
3.2 Qualifications
  • A minimum of a post-graduate degree in economics, public finance, development studies or related discipline.
  • Relevant professional work experience, with at least 15 years of experience in the relevant field, especially in socio-economic development, policy analysis, reporting and evaluations.
  • Expertise in research and writing concise advocacy reports.
  • Understanding of the government’s planning frameworks and the link between policy and planning, linkage between global development paradigms and national development frameworks is an asset.
  • Understanding of Kenyan cultural, socio-economic, environmental, political and financial challenges as they relate to sustainable development is required.
  • Ability to compile information from a variety of sources and synthesize it in a coherent structure.
  • Previous experience in coordinating an array of different disciplines and producing reports.
  • Familiarity with the country’s political developments and long term development agenda
  • Excellent English writing skills
  • Ability to work independently as well as in a team
4.0 Supervision: The assignment will be task managed by the Council of Governors supervised by and reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, Council of Governors with quarterly reports shared with the Country Director, UNDP Kenya.

5.0 Duration:
 The contract duration is for an initial period of 1 year with a possibility of extension, subject to performance and availability of funds.

6.0 Output:
 The expected output of the assignment will be a fully functional system in place at the COG for coordinating implementation, capacity building and reporting on SDGs in all the 47 counties in Kenya.

7.0 Remuneration:
 This will be as per COG’s relevant remuneration scales.

How to Apply
Interested candidates should send a CV. cover letter, copies of ID, certificates, testimonials, current and expected remuneration, names and addresses of three referees to on or before Wednesday, 14 September 2016 and indicate the name of the position you are applying for as the Email subject.

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