Work from home as a Strategic Foresight Advisor

jobsnearmeafric United Nations Development Programme

Strategic Foresight Advisor, Home based, Remote
Closing date: Saturday, 9 March 2024
Job Identification : 16601

Locations : Home Based

Posting Date : 02/23/2024, 03:24 PM

Apply Before : 03/09/2024, 04:59 AM

Job Schedule : Full time

Agency : UNDP

Vacancy Type : International Personnel Service Agreement

Practice Area : Management

Bureau : Executive Office

Contract Duration : 1 Year with Possibility for extension

Education & Work Experience : Master’s Degree -10 year(s) experience OR Bachelor’s Degree – 12 year(s) experience

Required Languages : English

Desired Languages : UN language

Vacancy Timeline

2 Weeks

Job Description


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core principles at UNDP: we value diversity as an expression of the multiplicity of nations and cultures where we operate, we foster inclusion as a way of ensuring all personnel are empowered to contribute to our mission, and we ensure equity and fairness in all our actions. Taking a ‘leave no one behind’ approach to our diversity efforts means increasing representation of underserved populations. People who identify as belonging to marginalized or excluded populations are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about working at UNDP including our values and inspiring stories.

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.

Office/Unit Description

UNDP works with countries to expand people’s choices for a fairer, sustainable future. UNDP’s Strategic Plan 2022-25 aims to build a more agile, anticipatory UNDP that embraces complexity, actively manages risk, continually adapts and seeks to learn alongside delivering results. The Strategy and Futures (S&F) Team in the Executive Office supports the UNDP Administrator in building a more agile, anticipatory UNDP, alert to the trends and changes of an uncertain world and ready to respond to many different futures.

The S&F Team is responsible for two pillars of work: strategy and futures. Both pillars intersect and help inform each other. The strategy pillar is responsible for shepherding the Strategic Plan and for providing direction to the corporate systems that underpin our planning and reporting. This includes developing the organization’s strategic plans and driving the midterm review of the plans. The futures pillar’s focus is to connect, cohere and amplify the various futures efforts across UNDP, linking people and resources of knowledge and experience into and to establish a futures ecosystem, enabling UNDP to achieve stronger development impact.

The Strategy & Futures team having oriented UNDP’s Strategic Plan 2022-25 around a vision of a more future-smart and anticipatory UNDP, will work closely with all bureaus, regional and country offices to connect and amplify the various foresight initiatives already underway across the organisation, building a coherent futures ecosystem. Its goal: to infuse a futures perspective throughout UNDP’s work that translates into a stronger decision-making and impact, as countries recognize the value of programmes that can anticipate and adapt to change, helping them to confidently navigate an uncertain future.

Duties and Responsibilities

The strategic foresight advisor will play an integral part in the design of processes, methodologies and products for futures thinking across UNDP in support of the S&F Team’s following priorities that reflect the Strategic Foresight Advisor’s scope of work:

 designing a trends and signals system for the organization to better capture and use trends, signals and other data, to translate them into insights actionable intelligence to inform high-level decision-making;
 the development of a UNDP signals report, particularly those signals that may have the greatest potential impact on development;

 support specific Strategic Plan goals to understand how global trends and alternative scenarios may impact the pathways to reaching them, and consider their implications for decisions now;

 the conceptualization and carrying out of ‘strategy check-ins’ – a review of the Strategic Plan’s progress with leadership in light of emerging global trends and future scenarios.
 establish a UNDP futures network connecting the varied people and initiatives already working on futures across UNDP and the knowledge and experience on futures and foresight for Country Offices and other teams to consult and apply, including practical case studies on using foresight in UNDP’s work.


Achieve Results:

LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting.


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

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies

Thematic Area



Digital & Innovation

Futures & foresight

Ability to look at information from the past and present, identify patterns and trends and use them to inform decision making with along-term view. Being sensitive and able to scan horizons and pick up weak signals of change, explore their potential implications and assess their impact and urgency. Using creativity and imagination to communicate insights in compelling and engaging ways to challenge current mental models; ability to develop scenarios, speculative designs to present future visions or by making it experiential. Being able to facilitate debate and discussion about possible futures; help people to feel comfortable with the discomfort of uncertainty.

Digital &Innovation

Sense making

Being curious about “”what’s going on?”” in the world or direct

business environment, grasp ‘thick data’, separate signals from noise, adopt new frames to identify (non-obvious) patterns. Ability to facilitate group reflection and induce collective learning to extract meaning from experiences; socialise these insights to inform problem solving, decision making, strategic planning or future work. Ability to share and disseminate new perspectives or understandings influencing how key

stakeholders socially construct meaning.

Digital & Innovation

Innovation management

Being able to create the, strategies, conditions, structures and systems to enable innovation at an organisational level.

Ability to navigate uncertainty and ambiguity, is able manage projects based principles of adaptation and emergence.

Ability to shape demand for innovation services, navigate political constraints and make the case for allocation of

resources to innovation, connect the appropriate innovation approaches based on business needs and make the case for

innovation to be integrated at the planning level within their context. Having in-depth theoretical and experiential

knowledge of innovation processes, methods, capabilities

Digital & Innovation

Systems thinking & transformation

Understand that complex problems need a non- reductionistic, holistic approach. Ability to explore challenges from multiple perspectives by zooming in and out, with a focus on relationships and flows rather than individual

elements; understand how certain dynamics and conditions are driving and influencing an issue.

Ability to develop a collective understanding by a mapping systems and their dynamics (e.g. flows or

2030 Agenda:

Engagement & Effectiveness

Strategic Policy Engagement

Horizon-scanning and future of development resources, information; power relations); is able to handle ambiguity and

can help others navigate it. Being able to identify intervention points to leverage change and system transformation by

setting out a coherent collection of multiple interventions to probe the system for desirable effects. Understand that

change is non-linear and unpredictable; being comfortable and able to work with emergence

Required Skills and Experience

Min. Academic Education

 Master’s degree in Social Sciences, such as Public Administration, Economics, International Relations, Political Science, Futures Studies, Behavioural Science, Development Studies or a related area or eFZVUnZ u3CRq
 Bachelor’s degree in combination with 2 additional years will be given due consideration in lieu of a Master’s degree
Min. years of relevant Work experience

 Minimum 10 years with a Master’s degree or 12 years with a Bachelor’s degree of working experience in applying strategic foresight through a combination of consultancy services, or full-time employment
 Experience in working in strategic foresight with geographically and culturally diverse constituents with proven experience in contextualizing content to stakeholders
 Experience working within or for the UN system or other international humanitarian/development organisations is an advantage
Required skills and competencies

 Foresight strategy
 Foresight data, research, analysis
 Strategic planning
Desired additional skills and competencies

 Systems’ thinking and design
 International affairs or international development
Required Language(s) (at working level)

Fluency in English. Written and spoken knowledge of an additional UN language is desirable.


Important information for US Permanent Residents (‘Green Card’ holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment.

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.


UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.

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