Project Officer

Full Time

United Nations Population Fund

The Position:

The Project Officer is responsible for the development and implementation of effective programme strategies aimed at meeting the deliverables set out in the Country Programme Plan and UN Cooperation Framework, especially in the implementation of Youth and Adolescent programmes. This includes facilitate activities at the district level such as in the Mchinji district.

The Project Officer will be based in Lilongwe and report directly to the Adolescent/Youth Officer also based in Lilongwe.

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 new strategic plan (2018-2021), focuses on three transformative results: to end preventable maternal deaths; end unmet need for family planning; and end gender-based violence and harmful practices.

The Action for Teen Mothers and Adolescent Girls project is funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). The project aims to strengthen the knowledge, capacities and agency of teen mothers and adolescent girls to make informed decisions regarding their lives; create a free, safe and enabling environment for the empowerment and reproductive health and rights of teen mothers and adolescent girls; and increase adolescent girls’ access to integrated adolescent-friendly sexual and reproductive health information and services, including family planning and GBV prevention and response.

In a world where fundamental human rights are at risk, we need principled and ethical staff, who embody these international norms and standards, and who will defend them courageously and with full conviction.

UNFPA is seeking candidates that transform, inspire and deliver high impact and sustained results; we need staff who are transparent, exceptional in how they manage the resources entrusted to them and who commit to deliver excellence in programme results.

Job Purpose:

The Project Officer substantively contributes to the effective management of UNFPA’s youth and adolescent activities, including those in the Mchinji district and funded by KOICA. S/He analyses and assesses relevant political, social and economic trends that are relevant to UNFPA’s work in the implementation of UNFPA’s adolescents/youth activities and provides substantive inputs to project planning, implementation and evaluation. The Project Officer facilitates the delivery of UNFPA’s the KOICA project by monitoring and reporting results achieved during implementation. S/He ensures and guides the appropriate application of systems and procedures and develops enhancements if necessary.

S/He is expected to effectively influence counterparts from diverse backgrounds to jointly contribute to achieving the projects stated objectives that empowered teen mothers and adolescent girls able to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health and life; creating communities which contribute to the fulfilment of adolescent girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights; ensuring universal access to integrated and youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services including family planning and Gender Based Violence prevention and response; and drive UNFPA’s broader mandate where appropriate.

The Project Officer is a substantive contributor to the programme team in the Country Office and s/he is accountable for ensuring the proper disbursement and absorption of project funds to implementing partners, including at the district level. The Project Officer also facilitates the work of consultants, advisors and experts and establishes and maintains collaborative relationships with all project stakeholders.

Main Tasks & Responsibilities

You would be responsible for:

A. Project Management

  • In collaboration with Government counterparts, NGOs and other partners, contribute substantively to the formulation and design of the country programme, projects and the Annual Work Plans (AWPs) for the district in line with Government priorities and according to UNFPA programme policies and procedures. Ensure quality of programme/project design incorporating lessons learned, newly developed policies and best practices and establishing appropriate execution and monitoring mechanisms and systems.
  • Prepare district level AWPs and associated detailed budgets in close liaison with the programme officers in Lilongwe and in collaboration with the implementing partners, to ensure endorsement and approval by the Country Office. Closely follow implementation of the AWPs and budgets and suggest or take necessary actions to ensure smooth implementation.
  • Liaise with each implementing partner/stakeholder group to coordinate programme/project activities to ensure that the activities in each results area are implemented in accordance with the programme document and in an integrated manner.
  • Expedite and coordinate programme implementation establishing collaborative relationships with executing agencies, experts, government counterparts, NGO’s and other stakeholders facilitating timely and efficient delivery of programme inputs and addressing training needs of programme personnel.
  • Maintain close relationship with key stakeholders (state and non-state) and ensure adequate information flow strictly following rules and policies of UNFPA. Organize and facilitate stakeholder consultations and programme/project review meetings as required.
  • Plan and coordinate activities with the implementing agencies for programme visibility according to the guidelines of UNFPA and other donors. Plan and arrange regular coordination meetings between partners.
  • Analyse and report on project and programme progress in terms of achieving results, using existing monitoring and evaluation tools and introducing new mechanisms and systems including surveys and other data collection methods; identify constraints and resource deficiencies and recommend corrective action.  Monitor programme expenditures and disbursements to ensure delivery is in line with approved programme budgets and to realise targeted delivery levels.
  • Conduct regular and frequent field visits as required to verify programme activities relative to stated targets. Ensure appropriate monitoring reports (technical and financial) for submission to UNFPA according to timelines agreed, and fully supported by required data and evidence.
  • Help create and document knowledge about current and emerging trends and issues, by analysing strategies, approaches and ongoing experience for lessons learned, best practices, and share with management for use in knowledge sharing and planning future strategies.
  • Undertake closing out activities for the programme and projects which include final financial and technical reports, and the handing over of documents as necessary. Facilitate programme monitoring, evaluation and other learning exercises at the district level.

B. Technical Expertise/Management:

  • Analyse and interpret the political, social and economic environment relevant to sexual and reproductive health, youth, and gender and identify opportunities for UNFPA assistance and intervention at the district level.
  • Provide technical support to the relevant authorities and implementing partners. Facilitate troubleshooting options with the relevant entities to remove any bottlenecks that might arise during programme implementation. Identify gaps in implementing the program quality and propose solutions to address them.
  • Participate in relevant district fora, enhancing UNFPA mandate on sexual and reproductive health, youth, and/or gender and work to ensure that technical issues are incorporated in development plans and frameworks at the district level.
  • Ensure increased availability and use of technical information to improve data collection, analysis, and use; with special attention to recent developments in analysis of data from censuses, surveys, statistics, etc.   Ensure timely and accurate data collection, consolidation and reporting, including contribution to ensure timely submission of quality donor reports.
  • Create substantive knowledge on issues relating to the programme delivery in the assigned districts, assess technical assistance needs on the ground and advise on the suitability of programmes and related interventions to meet these needs.
  • Act as focal point of the programme for the organization of any media and communication activities related to the programme in the assigned districts.

C. Funds Management

  • Prepare and manage relevant budgets.
  • Monitor expenditures to ensure delivery is in line with approved budgets and to realise targeted delivery levels.
  • Ensure the timely and accurate reporting of financial information.
  • Raise requisitions for relevant travels and procurement under the e-procurement module in Atlas.
  • Monitor/ follow up the procurement of goods and services for the project and ensure execution according to UNFPA established rules and guidelines.
  • Manage assets that have been procured by the UNFPA and supplied to the implementing partners; ensuring that they are put to proper use (Form C).

Carry out any other duties as may be reasonably required by UNFPA leadership.

Qualifications and Experience


Master’s Degree in political sciences, social policy, public health, social mobilisation, business administration, international relations or other related fields.

Knowledge and Experience:

  • At least three years of field based programme management experience is required in the field of development activities, preferably in programme/project management.
  • Working experience in the fields of sexual and reproductive health and rights is required.
  • Additionally, working experience in the fields of adolescents/youth and/or gender is highly desirable.
  • Working experience in data collection/analysis, as well as monitoring and evaluation is desirable.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, negotiation, and managerial skills required. Self-starter, proactive, passion for the issues.
  • Excellent written and oral communications and editing skills in English.
  • A thorough understanding of the UN system.

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