Job Opportunity for Chief Development Goals Specialist at UNDP in Chennai

Website UNDP

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.

UNDP has been working in India since 1951 in almost all areas of human development. Together with the Government of India and development partners, we have worked towards eradicating poverty, reducing inequalities, strengthening local governance, enhancing community resilience, protecting the environment, supporting policy initiatives and institutional reforms, and accelerating sustainable development for all.

With projects and programmes in every state and union territory in India, UNDP works with national and subnational government, and diverse development actors to deliver people-centric results, particularly for the most vulnerable and marginalized communities. As the integrator for collective action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the UN system, we are committed to supporting the Government of India’s national development vision and priorities and accelerating the achievement of the SDGs for the people and the planet.

UNDP India’s current Country Programme, 2018-2022, is in its final year of implementation. Our new Country Programme (2023-2027), which comes into effect in 2023, builds on our prior work and aims to provide an integrated approach to development solutions in three strategic portfolios:

  • Strong, accountable and evidence-led institutions for accelerated achievement of the SDGs
  • Enhanced economic opportunities and social protection to reduce inequality, with a focus on the marginalized
  • Climate-smart solutions, sustainable ecosystems and resilient development for reduced vulnerability
  • South-South cooperation, gender equality and social inclusion are promoted across the pillars. The programme is supported by a framework of renewed partnerships and blended finance solutions, strategic innovation and accelerator labs, and data and digital architecture.

You are invited to join a team of future-smart development professionals to support India in achieving the national and globally agreed goals. As part of the UNDP team, your focus will be to work with diverse stakeholders to find country-specific solutions that lead to sustainable development and reach those furthest behind first.

UNDP has entered into a partnership with the State Government of Tamil Nadu by bringing on board required technical sectoral expertise to the Department of Planning and Development to work across departments to drive an integrated development agenda to promote the faster achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in the State. In line with the Indian model of SDG localization led by NITI Aayog, the Government of Tamil Nadu intends to establish a Sustainable Development Goals Coordination Centre (SDGCC) as an attached entity of the Department of Planning and Development. UNDP proposes technical support to SDGCC in Tamil Nadu through the partnership model agreed by the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance.

SDGCC Tamil Nadu is envisaged as a think tank, knowledge centre for providing high quality, cutting-edge policy and integrated advisory services to the State departments to accelerate economic, social and environmental goals. It seeks to bring together government, the private sector, academia, and civil society to create sustainable solutions to social problems. SDGCC work with the government to identify the most pressing challenges, team up with local leaders to develop and test solutions, bring in expertise and technology from the private sector, adopt the skills and tools to build agency and institutional capability, respond to citizen demand for responsive services, enhance government program delivery, capture and disseminate best practice locally and regionally, and ultimately expedite creative, systemic, transformational and sustainable change for the State.

In this aspect, UNDP proposes to engage a Chief Development Goals Specialist to lead the SDGCC Tamil Nadu for enhancing the futuristic initiatives in the state as a part of related activities of the centre.

Duties and Responsibilities

UNDP proposes to engage a Chief Development Goals Specialist to support SDGCC Tamil Nadu leading the activities of the centre. S/He will have multi-sectoral experience and possess programme management, partnership development, and coordination skills to manage the SDGCC PMU overall and ensure timely delivery and reporting of the SDGCC work plans. The Chief Development Goals Specialist will work under the overall guidance and supervision of Chief Advisor, SDG Acceleration Unit, UNDP India and in close collaboration with the UNDP Programme Officer and Project Team members and day to day supervision on the implementation issues with the Government of Tamil Nadu. S/He will ensure engagement of all direct stakeholders and delivery of project objectives, in coordination with the Government of Tamil Nadu.

  • Coordinating with the various departments SDG wise to help them to determine key actions required to accelerate progress of SDG achievement for the State, engaging with line departments to bring in the necessary revisions and highlighting cross-cutting issues among the working groups facilitate a “whole of government approach”.
  • Work closely with the Advisory group and achieve real-world integration of the SDGs in the policy priorities of the GoTN and undertake policy landscape analysis and gap identification
  • Suggesting and supporting the preparation of detailed concept notes in collaboration with other SDG Specialists for possible actions that will be identified to dovetail state development priorities with the SDG framework and identifying the areas of focus with the greatest potential for impact and scale, in collaboration with the government, sectoral colleagues and UNDP team.
  • Supporting the creation of an action plan for the rollout of the SDGs in Tamil Nadu, including linking it to the process of budgeting and lead the process of computation of indices, annual district rankings and preparation of related reports
  • Undertaking continuous scoping of the development landscape in the State for identifying new opportunities; bringing in the corporate sector and CSOs to partner for the achievement of the SDGs and identify and build a network of resource institutions / experts / NGOs at the national level and in specific states on thematic specializations to strengthen the capacity building efforts.
  • Data Analytics and embedding Output Outcome Monitoring Framework into each line department’s ways of functioning
  • Monitoring and Evaluation of projects across departments to achieve the intended goals, KPI’s and SDG metrics


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

People Management Competencies: 

UNDP People Management Competencies can be found in the dedicated site.

Cross-Functional & Technical Competencies:

Business Development

  • Collective Intelligence Design: Ability to bringing together diverse groups of people, data, information or ideas, and technology to design services or solutions

Business Management    

  • 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
  • Resource Management: Ability to allocate and use resources in a strategic or tactical way in line with principles of accountability and integrity

Partnership Management    

  • CSO Engagement: Knowledge and understanding of CSOs and the ability to engage with CSOs
  • Multi- stakeholder engagement and funding: Knowledge and ability to forge multi-stakeholder partnerships, and remove any obstacles to resource mobilization and multi- stakeholder funding platforms
  • Resource Mobilization: Ability to identify funding sources, match funding needs (programmes/projects/initiatives) with funding opportunities, and establish a plan to meet funding requirements
  • Strategic engagement: Ability to capture and sustain attention, interest and agreement of high-level, influential policy and decision makers and secure their buy-in of high-level vision and objectives

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree with 7 years experience in International Development, Development Economics, Social Sciences or a closely related field (as per the identified theme), or Bachelor’s degree with 9 years of experience in in International Development, Development Economics, Social Sciences or a closely related field (as per the identified theme) will be given due consideration


  • At least 7 years of relevant experience in development in a governmental, private sector or multilateral organization with Master’s degree or 9 years of relevant work experience for candidates with Bachelor’s degree, of which 3 or more years of senior-level advisory responsibilities of similar scope and complexity
  • Experience of working with Central and / or State Governments on multisectoral assignments will be preferred
  • Relevant experience of working in Tamil Nadu is essential
  • Field experience / practical knowledge of inter-disciplinary development issues
  • Ability to focus on impact and results for the State government
  • Strong interpersonal skills, and capacity to build strong relationships with partners.
  • Ability to lead, manage complexity and contribute effectively to team work.
  • Familiarity on functioning of state and national government agencies and non-government organizations
  • Ability to work with multiple line departments and/or levels within each line departments in order to embed the policy reforms required to achieve the desired outcomes
  • Ability to convene the relevant stakeholders (public, private and CSO’s) and compile key takeaways and identify plugins required to fill the policy gaps in the existing schemes/ initiatives that are under consideration within the scope for the SDGCC
  • Work with the DGA’s to prepare bi-weekly and monthly dashboards and keep track of the progress and identify relevant strategies for course correction if required in a timely manner.
  • Strong policy analytical skills that can be applied to the development and application of methods and tools for SDGs
  • Understanding of issues and context
  • Skills and knowledge to build linkages between SDGs and with the state priorities
  • Displays gender sensitivity and promotes gender equality in all aspects of work.
  • Ability to advise on problems carefully and logically, leading to fact-based and practical recommendations.

Required Languages:

  • Excellent knowledge of written and spoken English is essential.
  • Knowledge of local language is essential.

Note: This position is open for India nationals only

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