Advisor, Future Cities and Digitalisation

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UNDP - United Nations Development Programme

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Application deadline 2 years ago: Wednesday 11 Nov 2020 at 23:59 UTC

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The Global Centre for Technology, Innovation and Sustainable Development (GCTISD) is a joint initiative by the Government of Singapore and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to identify and co-create technological and innovative solutions to help countries achieve their Sustainable Development Goals.

The Centre’s areas of focus are Sustainable and Digital Agriculture, Future Cities and Digitalisation, and Sustainable Finance. For each of our programmes we are connecting policymakers, practitioners, think tanks, leading private sector actors, entrepreneurs, civil society, and other stakeholders to build practical solutions that will create lasting impact through deep collaboration.

UNDP’s digital transformation focuses on developing the organization’s capability to leverage existing, emerging and future digital technologies and the opportunities they offer to profoundly improve the way UNDP creates and delivers value and benefits for those we serve. UNDP’s new Digital Strategy 2019-2021 guides these efforts and builds off UNDP’s extensive range of digital initiatives spanning the country, regional, and global levels. This Strategy has created a new Chief Digital Office (CDO), charged with leading the next wave of innovation in sustainable development, and particularly in leading UNDP’s Digital Transformation offer to COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.

Future Cities and Digitalisation

By 2050, nearly 70% of the world's population - an additional 2.5 billion people - will live in urban areas. This rapid urbanisation will bring new economic opportunities but is also likely to sharpen income disparities, increasing the potential for social conflict. In this context, it is a global development priority to build inclusive, liveable and sustainable urban areas: future cities.

Building on Singapore’s pioneering efforts, the Global Centre has shaped a Future Cities and Digitalisation programme. This is providing actionable technical and strategic guidance to UNDP Country Offices around the world and highlighting the importance of these areas in international development. The programme is also working to build future cities and digitalisation expertise and understanding of Country Offices – and their national and regional partners.

Building on this foundation, the Centre has incorporated digital transformation as a crucial element in driving the development, usage, and sustainability of digital public services to enable countries to respond to, and recover from, COVID-19.

The Global Centre is now looking for an Advisor, Future Cities and Digitalisation, who can build on these strong foundations and take the programme forward from its ‘start-up’ phase. This will include driving technical advice, support and other collaborations with Country Offices - including integration of digitalisation and COVID-19 preparedness, response and recovery - developing the policies and processes for a growing team, identifying and pursuing funding and other strategic opportunities, and continuing to advance the team’s growing thought leadership on these topics.

Duties and Responsibilities

1. Shape and deliver the 'Future Cities and Digitalisation' workstream at the Global Centre, working closely with Country Offices, the UNDP Chief Digital Office, and regional and global leadership. Responsibilities include:

  • Build a multi-year strategy for the Future Cities and Digitalisation workstream, linked to identified and potential resource mobilisation opportunities.
  • Collaborate substantively with Country Offices – and regional and global leadership – to identify how the Future Cities and Digitalisation team can contribute to achieving national, regional, and global strategic goals and plans.
  • Identify lessons learned from the first year of the programme in driving forward the above, including further alignment with key UNDP strategic priorities – both in the context of COVID-19 response and recovery, and more widely.

2. Proactive delivery of Future Cities and Digitalisation advisory services, in the context of COVID-19, including technical assistance, policy development and programme support to Country Offices around the world. Responsibilities include:

  • Provide technical and programme advisory services to Country Offices in response to Country Office needs, and in support of developing a global portfolio of Country Office partnerships in the area of future cities and digitalisation for COVID-19 response and recovery.
  • Provide strategic assessment, project implementation, partnership brokering, technical input, and technology implementation and transfer services and support to Country Offices – and identify opportunities for peer learning and mentorship.
  • Develop the capacity of Country Offices in exploring the potential of future cities, digitalisation, and broader innovation initiatives.

3. Proactive identification and engagement of relevant partners and funding opportunities to support the work of the team through technical, in-kind, and financial support. Responsibilities include:

  • Identify and pursue resource mobilisation opportunities, in close coordination with the Global Centre’s Resource Mobilisation Advisor.
  • Shape future cities and digitalisation value propositions, and other strategic inputs, to inform donor and fundraising discussions and engagement.
  • Manage and nurture partnerships with partners and donors, including managing any workstream-specific reporting requirements.
  • Manage and build strategic alliances and partnerships, especially with relevant technology partners working on future cities and digitalisation, to support the work of the team – and Global Centre more broadly.
  • Broker partnerships between the network of Global Centre partners and Country Offices, in support of country level priorities. Facilitate Country Office access to key and relevant players and partners.

4. Build policies and processes to support and enable the high-quality work of the team – including programme management and other processes. Responsibilities include:

  • Develop policies and processes to support the team in delivering high-quality work for Country Offices and partners.
  • Identify and implement solutions to ensure that funded or cost-recovered work is delivered within budget.

5. Support strategic external communications and thought leadership opportunities, and internal efforts to build a coherent narrative across future cities, digitalisation and COVID-19 focus into the overall work of the Centre. Responsibilities include:

  • Work with the Communications and Engagement Specialist to design a communications strategy – founded on supporting Country Offices, and engaging priority audiences for the team and Global Centre.
  • Contribute to strategic thinking on future cities and digitalisation, particularly in times of a pandemic, at the global level to continuously ensure alignment between global and regional innovation initiatives, in close collaboration with the Director and with partners across UNDP.
  • Support in shaping narrative across the Global Centre’s workstreams, including Sustainable and Digital Agriculture and Sustainable Finance, which integrate the role of future cities, digitalisation and COVID-19 response and recovery.
  • Represent the work of the Future Cities and Digitalisation team at UNDP and inter-agency meetings, academic conferences, donor consultations, and other events, as required.


Core Competencies

Leadership: Ability to persuade others to follow

Communication and relationship management: Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform

Innovation: Ability to make new and useful ideas work

People management: Ability to improve performance and satisfaction

Delivery: Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement


System Thinking: Knowledge of system thinking and ability to apply in diverse settings.

Portfolio management: Ability to design and manage portfolios of experiments

Knowledge Curation and Packaging: Ability to turn raw information into useful knowledge, relevant for context, or responsive to stated need

Sustainable Development Goals: Knowledge of the Sustainable Development Goals and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.

Substantive Networking: Ability to substantively engage and foster networks with academia, research institutions, and think tanks.

Collaboration and Partnerships: Ability to develop, maintain, and strengthen partnerships with others inside (Programmes/projects) or outside the organization who can provide information, assistance, and support. Sets overall direction for the formation and management of strategic relationships contributing to the overall positioning of UNDP

Management and Coordination: Ability to manage and coordinate campaigns and people with inspiration. Believe in and promote diversity in the workplace and reshaping the workforce to meet need.

Required Skills and Experience


  • A Master's degree, preferably in international development, law, international affairs, business administration, development economics, or other relevant field, or extensive compensating experience in in relevant, technical fields.


  • A minimum of 8 years of experience in either public sectors (national or multilateral, including UN) or private (academia, non-governmental sector, corporate), with increasing level of responsibility. (required)
  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience in smart and future cities areas of work (required)
  • Proven track record and technical/advisory experience in innovation for development. (required)
  • Strong demonstrated expertise in social innovation and innovation in the development sector. (required)
  • Ability to successfully manage multi-stakeholder projects (required)
  • Experience implementing projects in developing countries (desirable)
  • Knowledge of the UN system (desirable)
  • Excellent negotiating and communication skills and ability to mobilize support from a wide range of partners (desirable)
  • Proven track record of management skills. (desirable)


  • Fluent written and spoken English is required.
  • Knowledge of another UN language is desired

Evaluation Process:

Applicants are reviewed based on Required Skills and Experience stated above and based on the technical evaluation criteria outlined below. Applicants will be evaluated based on cumulative scoring. When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract will be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Being responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation where technical criteria weigh 70% and Financial criteria/ Proposal weighs 30%.

Technical evaluation - Total 70% (70 points):

The technical evaluation will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Experience managing projects in in smart and future cities areas of work (20 pts)
  • Proven track record and technical/advisory experience in innovation for development (10 pts)
  • Experience implementing projects in developing countries (10 pts)
  • Knowledge of the UN system (5 pts)
  • Interview (25 pts)

Candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% (49 points) of the maximum obtainable points for the technical criteria (70 points) shall be considered for the financial evaluation.

Financial evaluation - Total 30% (30 points)

The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal:

p = y (µ/z), where

  • p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated
  • y = maximum number of points for the financial proposal
  • µ = price of the lowest priced proposal
  • z = price of the proposal being evaluated

Contract Award:

Candidate obtaining the highest combined scores in the combined score of Technical and Financial evaluation will be considered technically qualified and will be offered to enter into a contract with UNDP.

Payment Modality:

  • Payment to the individual consultant will be made based on the actual number of days worked, deliverables accepted and upon certification of satisfactory completion by the manager;
  • The workweek will be based on 35 hours, i.e. on a 7-hour working day, with core hours being between 9h00 and 18h00 daily.


Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:


1. Financial proposal and availability form: Offeror's Letter to UNDP

2. Personal CV including past experience in similar projects and at least 3 references

General Conditions of Contract is available here: GENERAL CONDITIONS OF CONTRACT

Note: Please note you can upload only one document to this application (scan all documents in one single PDF file to attach).

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