Capacity Building Senior Officer (Strategic Foresight)

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UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services

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Application deadline 2 months ago: Sunday 17 Mar 2024 at 23:59 UTC

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This is a IICA-1 contract. This kind of contract is known as International Individual Contractor Agreements. It is normally internationally recruited only. It's an external contract. It usually requires 2 years of experience, depending on education. More about IICA-1 contracts.

Background Information - Job-specific


UNOPS supports partners to build a better future by providing services that increase the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of peace-building, humanitarian, and development projects. Mandated as a central resource of the United Nations, UNOPS provides sustainable project management, procurement and infrastructure services to a wide range of governments, donors and United Nations organizations.

New York Portfolios Office (NYPO) supports the United Nations Secretariat, as well as other New York-based United Nations organizations, bilateral and multilateral partners in the delivery of UNOPS mandate in project management, infrastructure management, and procurement management.

Sustainable Development Cluster (SDC) supports diverse partners with their peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations. It was formed by combining the following portfolios: Grants Management Services (GMS), UN Technology Support Services (UNTSS), Development and Special Initiatives Portfolio (DSIP). It provides Services to partners' programmes that are designed, structured, and managed with a global perspective and primarily serving partners that are headquartered in New York. The SDC has a footprint of approximately 125 countries.

UNOPS has signed an agreement with the United Nations to implement the project activities for UN Global Pulse.

UN Global Pulse

UN Global Pulse is the Secretary-General’s Innovation Lab. We work at the intersection of innovation and the human sciences to inform, inspire, and strengthen the ability of the United Nations family and those it serves to anticipate, respond and adapt to the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Our teams are spread across the world, with hubs in Uganda, Indonesia, Finland and the United States. Drawing on more than a decade of experience with digital innovation in the UN family, UN Global Pulse unites specialists from the digital and social sciences in search of solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, from conflict to climate change.

We aim to reduce the risks that innovation involves and move towards the opportunities. We restore public trust in technology by making it inclusive, accessible and ethical. Our input brings value to the work of the UN and external partners in protecting the vulnerable and defending human rights.

The goals of the UNGP Network are: i) Support efforts to advance innovations ii) Contribute to the development of global frameworks, and iii) Support the transformation of the UN family.

The incumbent of this position will be personnel of UNOPS under its full responsibility.

Functional Responsibilities

Purpose and Scope of Assignment

The UN Development Coordination Office (DCO) and UN Global Pulse, with guidance from the Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG) and the UN Futures Lab, are implementing a foresight training project, supporting Resident Coordinator Offices (RCOs) and UN Country teams (UNCTs) in 12 priority countries globally. The goal of this project is to “future-proof” RCO programming cycles by integrating foresight and long-term thinking in the design and implementation of country-specific UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks. The project focuses on co-creating and testing different approaches to integrate foresight into the UN’s key planning, strategy and implementation processes, and building guidelines and support for gradual standardisation and institutionalisation of foresight and forward-looking culture.

To achieve these project goals, UNOPS is recruiting for UN Global Pulse Finland a Capacity Building Senior Officer (Strategic Foresight). Under the supervision of the Strategic Foresight Specialist, the Capacity Building Senior Officer (Strategic Foresight) will perform the following functions:

I) Develop Foresight training content and experiments, provide consultative support

To support the foresight capability building and experimentation, the Capacity Building Senior Officer (Strategic Foresight) will lead the co-creation of foresight processes for the assigned countries in liaison with the core training team. (S)he will also facilitate collaborative workshops, bringing together the resident coordinator teams and key stakeholders, creating training content and running select training sessions. He/she will also support the identification of needs for stakeholder alignment and cooperation, and apply creative methods, such as design and systems thinking to come up with foresight-based solutions to support project goals. (S)he will apply a wide range of foresight methods and tools, and provide technical and consultative support and advice to RCO teams identifying entries to incremental foresight integration in their respective processes.

II) Catalyse Institutionalisation and Scaling Efforts

To support scaling opportunities and institutionalisation efforts, the Capacity Building Senior Officer (Strategic Foresight) will lead the conceptualisation, and productization of foresight tools and methods into general foresight products, guidelines, and toolkits connecting foresight approaches with the UN Development Cooperation Framework design and implementation phases. This includes tasks such as the mapping and analysis of best practices and “scale ready” approaches, conducting user research to improve methodology, accessibility and usability, and designing scalable participatory processes to improve current foresight products, experiences and processes. (S)he may also guide and manage the production and graphic design processes with external partners, including testing of different tools and platforms.

III) Contribute to Knowledge sharing, team learning and continuous project development

The Capacity Building Senior Officer (Strategic Foresight) will carry out analysis and document lessons learned, integrating insights and best practices in the project design on an ongoing basis. (S)he will also connect with existing structures and processes in the UN system (Peer Support Groups etc.) and beyond to enhance knowledge sharing, coordination and collaboration on strategic foresight activities activating a broader learning ecosystem. (S)he will also contribute to the implementation of the monitoring, evaluation and learning frameworks and team retrospectives for team learning.

Monitoring and Progress Controls

The Capacity Building Senior Officer (Strategic Foresight) will report on progress and ensure the agreed outputs in coordination with the UN Global Pulse staff. (S)he is expected to exercise flexibility in the consultancy assignment, including adapting to working arrangements to support work across different time zones.

Activity/ responsibility

I) Develop Foresight training content and experiments, provide consultative support Planning and design of co-creation processes and foresight experiments to support the development and implementation of the RCO foresight training

Timeline: Q3 2024 onwards

Key Deliverables and Outputs

  • Lead the design of iterative foresight processes and methodologies tailored to the needs of RCOs
  • Design and run training sessions
  • Design and facilitate workshops
  • Consultative support to RCO teams

    II) Catalyse Institutionalisation and Scaling Efforts Identify opportunities and develop scale-ready foresight products and services

Timeline: Starting Q4 2024

Key Deliverables and Outputs - Map and analyse the experiments around impactful foresight entries - Designing and guiding the production of scalable foresight products, such as toolkits, and guidelines - Support the testing and elaboration of validated foresight approaches

III) Contribute to Knowledge sharing, team learning and continuous project development Analyse results and propose iterative actions to support continuous development, learning and knowledge sharing.

Timeline: Q3 2024 onwards

Key Deliverables and Outputs

  • Support sensemaking, documentation and consolidation of the lessons learned
  • Integrate these in the project design and development
  • Create opportunities for learning and knowledge sharing connecting with existing structures

    Even though the duty station is indicated as Helsinki, consideration may be given to allow the position to be home-based, depending on the incumbent's personal situation. For home-based positions, a location-specific fee scale is applied in determining the contractor's fee. The position may require international travel.


Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.

Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles. Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role). Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries. Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements. Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving. Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Education/Experience/Language requirements


  • Advanced university degree (Master's Degree or equivalent) preferably in Strategic Foresight, Service Design, Organisational Development, Innovation Management or other relevant disciplines is required.
  • A first-level university degree (Bachelor's Degree or equivalent) in a related field in combination with two (2) additional years of relevant professional experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

b. Work experience


  • A minimum of two (2) years of experience in futures and foresight is required.


  • Experience in strategic planning, innovation management, service or concept design, content production, or change management;
  • Experience in leading co-creation and design of foresight processes and workshops;
  • Experience in foresight experimentation, capability building and training design;
  • Experience in the development of foresight tools and products;
  • Experience in working with the United Nations or multilateral organizations; a think-tank or an innovation unit;
  • Strong communication and storytelling skills; including digital platforms.

c. Language

  • Fluency in English (write, read, speak) is required.
  • Knowledge of another United Nations official language is an advantage.

Additional Information

  • Please note that UNOPS does not accept unsolicited resumes.
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process, which involves various assessments.
  • UNOPS embraces diversity and is committed to equal employment opportunity. Our workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities. UNOPS seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Qualified women and candidates from groups which are underrepresented in the UNOPS workforce are encouraged to apply. These include in particular candidates from racialized and/or indigenous groups, members of minority gender identities and sexual orientations, and people with disabilities.
  • We would like to ensure all candidates perform at their best during the assessment process. If you are shortlisted and require additional assistance to complete any assessment, including reasonable accommodation, please inform our human resources team when you receive an invitation.
  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types.

  • This position is stationed in Helsinki, Finland which is a family duty station. Consideration may be given to allow the position to be home-based, depending on the incumbent's personal situation. For home-based positions, a location-specific fee scale is applied in determining the contractor's fee. The position may require international travel.

Terms and Conditions

  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post.
  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (they take around 4 hours to complete) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS. For more information on a retainer contract here.
  • All UNOPS personnel are responsible for performing their duties in accordance with the UN Charter and UNOPS Policies and Instructions, as well as other relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, all personnel must demonstrate an understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a manner consistent with UN core values and the UN Common Agenda.
  • It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential personnel. Recruitment in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: ICA Contract level: ICS 9 Contract duration: Ongoing ICA – ‘Open-ended, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance.’

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:

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