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Background Information



Closing Date: 09 June 2021 (5 pm Bhutan Time)


Duration: One year (renewable)[i]


Duty Station: Thimphu, Bhutan


[i] No expectancy of renewal in accordance with UN Staff Regulations 4.5


Organizational Setting

The Position:


The Head of Office leads a country team in implementing the Government-UNFPA country programme of cooperation. Reporting to the non-resident Country Director, who provides overall vision and strategic guidance, the Head of Office ensures transformative and relevant results in realizing ICPD PoA and contributing to Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Additionally, as a member of the UN Country Team (UNCT), the Head of Office has mutual accountability with the Resident Coordinator (RC) on contributions and support for the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) and other inter-agency agreements of the UNCT.


How you can make a difference:

UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. UNFPA’s strategic plan (2018-2021), focuses on three transformative results: to end preventable maternal deaths; end unmet need for family planning; and to end gender-based violence and harmful practices.


The Head of Office is a principled leader with high ethical standards, who promotes and defends human rights in line with UN international norms and standards.


Job Purpose:

The Head of Office is responsible for the day-to-day management and coordination of UNFPA activities, and acts under delegated authority from the non-resident Country Director who maintains an overall accountability for the achievement of UNFPA strategic results in the country.


S/he actively supports the RC/UNCT and strategically positions UNFPA’s work within the context of the UNSDCF development and implementation, which should inform the UNCT activities and composition, and the specific focus of UNFPA country programme.


S/he is responsible for establishing a dialogue, promoting partnerships and strategic alliances with counterparts in government, UN system, multi/bilateral agencies, civil society, private sector and other stakeholders in the country to develop and implement programmes that respond to national priorities and efforts to advance the ICPD Programme of Action and in support of the SDGs achievement.


The Head of Office manages a team of technical, programme and operations personnel supporting country programme implementation, managing and leveraging resources for the achievement of high-quality results. S/he is accountable for ensuring a respectful, non-discriminatory, and nurturing working environment for all staff and personnel



Main Tasks & Responsibilities


You would be responsible for:


Programme leadership, planning and management

  • Conducting policy dialogue with Government, UN System and other development partners to incorporate UNFPA’s priorities and agenda into national plans and strategies, UNSDCF and other joint initiatives and development frameworks;
  • Translating global agreements into country-specific advocacy strategies to promote the national plans. This includes creating and delivering evidence-based advocacy messages to promote UNFPA’s programme goals, taking into account political and social sensitivity.
  • Ensuring application of Results Based Management principles in all phases of country programme development and implementation, integrating innovative policies and strategies into the design and formulation of country programme, sub-programmes and projects.
  • Identifying, providing and coordinating inputs into programme development and implementation, ensuring programme monitoring and oversight, and coordinating and evaluating the inputs of technical experts.
  • Promoting knowledge sharing and continuous learning. This includes testing, evaluating and documenting innovative strategies and best practices inside and outside UNFPA and replicating and embedding these as appropriate. (ie SDG accreditation / 2030 Agenda mandatory learning objectives)
  • Coordinate the development and implementation of UNFPA's humanitarian and preparedness actions/efforts in-country


External relationships and resource mobilization

  • Representing UNFPA at technical level meetings and high-level meetings under delegated authority from UNFPA non-resident Country Director and in consultation with the UN RC;
  • Managing strategic partnerships with key national and international in-country stakeholders in advancing the ICPD Agenda and UNFPA’s mandate
  • Leading resource mobilization efforts by identifying potential donors, preparing proposals including outlining co-financing resources for support to the country programme, and supporting the government and other agencies in coordinating assistance for programmes.
  • Support to the Resident Coordinator and UN Country Team
  • Actively supporting the RC within the context of the UNSDCF results framework, including in policy and technical support as appropriate and within available means to achieve agreed UNCT results.
  • Ensuring that the ICPD Agenda and UNFPA’s transformative results are fully considered and integrated in the UNSDCF development planning and agenda/priority setting for the achievement of the SDGs;
  • Representing UNFPA at UNCT and Security Management Team (SMT) in accordance with the UNCT working arrangements, unless non-resident Country Director is in-country.
  • Participating in the Common Assessment (CA) and UNSDCF planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring, reporting and evaluation, including through chairing/co-chairing the UNSDCF and other inter-agency results/theme groups at the country level.
  • Supporting the RC in coordinated resource mobilization efforts for joint UN efforts.
  • Participating in RC and UNCT members’ performance appraisal.


Leading and managing the country team

  • Under the overall guidance of the non-resident Country Director, managing country team staff; foster motivation, empowerment, learning and career management. Attract and retain the highest calibre of staff for the Country Office
  • Setting standards of performance, and assign responsibilities for achieving results according to the Country Office Strategic Information System
  • Managing resources entrusted to you through delegation of authority, to ensure effective achievement of results, maximum value for money, and achievement of efficiencies in programme and operations delivery
  • Ensuring that the Country Office complies with UNFPA policies and procedures, corporate requirements and audit recommendations, including related financial and programme monitoring systems
  • Ensuring the safety, security and of UN Security Management System (UNSMS) and UNFPA Security Accountability Policies and procedures.
  • Ensuring a work environment free from harassment, sexual harassment and abuse of authority.
  • Ensure that all programme beneficiaries are protected against sexual abuse and exploitation committed by any actor affiliated with UNFPA in any way, and that they are informed of reporting mechanisms for sexual abuse and exploitation. Ensuring timely and appropriate action is taken in response to any such reports, in line with corporate requirements and standards.
  • Actively participate in Security Management Team (SMT) meetings, ensure UNFPA’s safety and security concerns are adequately addressed in local security management system.
  • Ensure the safety and security of personnel and their eligible dependents in compliance with established UNSMS and UNFPA security policies and processes.
  • Ensure that the CO has a functional Business Continuity Plan (BCP)
  • Ensuring the effective daily functioning of the Country Office.





Qualifications and Experience


Qualifications and Experience Education:


Advanced degree in one or more of the following disciplines: International Development, International Relations, Public Policy Management, Political Science, Economics, Public Administration, Public Health, Sociology, Demography, Gender Studies, or other related field.


Knowledge and Experience:

  • 7 years of progressively responsible professional experience in the field of international development or public Policy Management, including programme design, and management.
  • Demonstrated ability to refine programme design to ensure alignment of organizational programme objectives to national priorities/capacities.
  • Proven ability to lead, manage, and motivate teams of diverse cultural, religious or other diverse backgrounds, to achieve demonstrable results.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills to represent the organization and foster high-level strategic partnerships, using diplomacy and tact.
  • Experience in high-level advocacy and policy dialogue, as well as, Resource Mobilization and Partnership development
  • Ability to effectively influence partners to engage with UNFPA’s mandate.
  • Interest in leading change, seeking opportunities for innovation, in achieving national results towards the ICPD PoA and the Sustainable Development Goals.




Fluency in English is required, written and spoken. Knowledge of another UN language is an asset.



Required Competencies



  • Exemplifying integrity
  • Demonstrating commitment to UNFPA and the UN system
  • Embracing diversity in all its forms
  • Embracing change


Core Competencies:

  • Achieving Results 
  • Being Accountable
  • Developing and Applying Professional Expertise/Business Acumen
  • Thinking analytically and Strategically
  • Working in Teams/Managing Ourselves and our Relationships
  • Communicating for Impact


Functional Competencies:

  • Advocacy/advancing a policy oriented agenda
  • Leveraging the Resources of national governments and partners/building strategic alliances & Partnerships
  • Delivering Results Based Programmes
  • External & Internal relations & Advocacy for resource mobilization
  • Leading Global Advocacy for organizational priorities
  • Creating visibility for the organization
  • Mobilizing Resources


Managerial Competencies:

  • Providing strategic focus,
  • Engaging in internal/external partners and stakeholders,
  • Leading, developing and empowering people, creating a culture of performance
  • Making decisions and exercising judgment


Ideal UN Leadership Characteristics:

  • Norm-based - grounded in UN norms and standards
  • Principled - defends norms and standards without discrimination, fear or favor
  • Inclusive of all personnel and stakeholders
  • Accountable
  • Multi-dimensional
  • Transformational
  • Collaborative
  • Self-applied - modelled in our own behavior



UNFPA Work Environment


UNFPA provides a work environment that reflects the values of gender equality, teamwork, Embracing diversity in all its forms, integrity and a healthy balance of work and life. We are committed to maintaining our balanced gender distribution and therefore encourage women to apply. UNFPA promotes equal opportunities for all including persons with disabilities.



Closing Statement



UNFPA has established an electronic application management system. This allows applicants to create a candidate profile, which can be updated regularly and submitted for more than one vacancy.


Download the Step by Step Guide to Applying in the E-Recruit System of UNFPA at


Please print out the Guide for your reference during the registration and application process.


Notice: There is no application, processing or other fee at any stage of the application process.  UNFPA does not solicit or screen for information in respect of HIV or AIDS and does not discriminate on the basis of HIV/AIDS status.






WARNING TO APPLICANTS: UNFPA does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you have received a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply particular care when submitting personal information on the web. Should you feel that you have received a fraudulent notice, letter or offer that makes use of the name or logo of UNFPA, you may submit a report through the UNFPA fraud hotline


Notice to applicants: In accordance with the rules of the United Nations, persons applying to posts in the international Professional category, who hold permanent resident status in a country other than their country of nationality, are required to renounce such status upon their appointment.  Exceptions to this rule are very limited and can be made only for: (a) stateless persons; (b) newly appointed staff members who have applied for citizenship by naturalization, when such citizenship will be granted imminently; (c) acting staff members in the General Service and related categories with permanent residency status, on promotion to the Professional category; (d) staff members appointed under a temporary appointment. Please understand that UNFPA is not in a position to provide advice on or assistance in applying for any citizenship.