The UNDP Global Centre for Public Service Excellence (GCPSE) seeks to recruit a senior advisor on foresight to support the establishment, management and expansion of its new Empowered Futures Initiative (EFI). In its endeavour to promote the use of strategic foresight, the GCPSE collaborates with a wide range of partners, such as the Astana Civil Service Hub (ACSH), UNDP Regional Hubs and Headquarters, Governments as well as partners from the non-profit and private sectors.
The aim of the assignment is to enable the Centre to consolidate, widen and diversify its work of the previous years on introducing and institutionalizing foresight in public sector institutions in developing countries.
An additional responsibility of the senior advisor is to further research and expatiate on the application of foresight-related methods and politically-informed approaches within policy pathways and the UN system.
Globally, governments are looking for new strategic planning and policy tools to identify and realize strategic opportunities and mitigate risks in an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. ‘Foresight’ is rapidly emerging as an essential addition to conventional strategic thinking. Foresight takes uncertainty, unpredictability and interdependency as given and explores alternative futures, identifying emerging strategic opportunities and risks in different scenarios, testing the resilience of existing strategies, and prototyping innovative policy responses.
Foresight cultivates crucial skills such as cross impact analysis, synthesis, systems thinking, wind tunneling, and planning for long term uncertainties. It is based upon a range of skills: situational awareness to possible, probable and preferable futures; a pro-active scanning of the horizon; an ability to sort, sift through and combine open, real-time data and the creation of tight feedback loops. It entails the exploration of possible scenarios and pathways, the identification of future risks and opportunities and the systematic rehearsal of potential responses.
EFI aims to assist governments and societies in development countries adopt foresight methods to strategize and plan better today for an uncertain future. The ‘Empowered Futures’ version of foresight addresses the needs and capacities of developing countries. The approach is developed in response to a growing demand by governments and regional bodies in developing countries for additional strategy, planning and policy tools that are more appropriate to the environment in which national development strategies and SDGs have to be realized. 95 countries to date have asked UNDP for help in addressing the realization of the SDGs, requiring a strategic engagement with Governments and other stakeholders at the most senior level, including strong linkages to participatory processes of visioning and strategy development.
EFI will focus on the application of foresight on the following key areas:
It is becoming increasingly clear that the participatory and exploratory elements of foresight-related methods (as propagated by EFI) also touch upon the ‘political’ aspects of change. There is growing awareness (supported by a growing body of evidence) that development is a fundamental political process in which different actors, including public service organisations, compete over power and contest the allocation and distribution of rents generated by growth.
These political aspects of development surface in the policy pathway, creating serious and stubborn issues in terms of strategy, coherence, coordination, planning and implementation. New approaches to thinking and working politically are needed, and EFI intends to scrutinize policy pathways for opportunities for foresight and similar innovative approaches which can help foster an environment that is more conducive for future-oriented policy, programme and service design.
Duties and Responsibilities
The senior advisor will support the establishment, management and expansion of the Empowered Futures Initiative (EFI), consolidate and diversify UNDP’s work of the previous years on introducing and institutionalizing foresight in public sector institutions in developing countries.
The senior advisor will support the establishment, management and expansion of the Empowered Futures Initiative (EFI), holding the following responsibilities:
Advisory and Programme Development:
Partnership Building, Communication and Outreach:
Key Deliverables and Expected Timelines (ETL)
The incumbent will have experience in and capacity to institutionalise foresight in public service organisations to strengthen strategic state capacity. He/she is expected to have expertise in providing advice in the formulation of more adaptive and responsive public policy.
The incumbent must have the technical and general skills to interact effectively with the typical stakeholders in governance processes (e.g. officials, elected representatives, and citizens), foresight thinker-practitioners, as well as experts on complexity, political economy and international development. He/she needs to be experienced and comfortable with interactions at the highest political and administrative levels (e.g. Prime Minister, Ministers and Permanent Secretaries) as well as grassroots stakeholders of governance processes.
He/she needs to have the intellectual capacities and diplomatic skills to spur government officials into action by acting in support of and collaboration with UNDP country offices and partners in designing and developing programmes that support the institutionalisation of futures thinking, foresight and political economy analysis in public service.
Partnership building and team work:
Communications and Advocacy:
Strong capacity to communicate clearly and quickly
Required Skills and Experience
How to Apply:
Forms and General terms & conditions to be downloaded:
The final evaluation method will be based on a cumulative analysis of both the technical and financial proposals. An interview will be conducted as part of the selection process. When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract will be made to the individual consultants whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:
Candidates will be assessed based on the following technical criteria:
Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70 per cent of the total technical scores will be considered for the Financial Evaluation.
The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal: p = y (µ/z):
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
Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials. Payments will be made only upon confirmation by UNDP on delivering on the contract obligations in a satisfactory manner.
Individual Consultants are responsible for ensuring they have vaccinations/inoculations when traveling to certain countries, as designated by the UN Medical Director. Consultants are also required to comply with the UN security directives set forth under dss.un.org.
Qualified women and members of minorities are encouraged to apply.
Due to large number of applications we receive, we are able to inform only the successful candidates about the outcome or status of the selection process.
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.