Research Associate

United Nations Development Programme, Nairobi, Kenya

Skill Required:, Research and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
3 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
7th March, 2020

Job Description


Organizational Context:

The Strategic Policy Advisory Unit (SPAU) of UNDP Kenya serves as the policy and research unit of the Country Office. It advises the Resident Representative (RR) on the strategic implications of changes in government policies, especially in the realm of socio-political and economic related areas. The SPAU also supports the RR and County Office in the design and production and monitoring of important and strategic UN documents, namely CCA and UNDAF. The SPAU maintains strong working relationships with the National Treasury and Planning, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, as well as various other research and higher learning institutions.

The SPAU undertakes the following functions:

  • Strategic and policy analysis support to the programme section of country offices as part of a team-driven process towards upstream-orientation of UNDP support projects and programmes.
  • Analysis of development opportunities and constraints and provision of policy advisory support to the Country Office.
  • Development, delivery and mainstreaming into national development initiatives of specific policy instruments and services as well as advocacy tools.
  • Supporting national and county governments in the policy, plans and budgets formulation to ensure alignment with the national goals, global and regional goals.
  • Supporting the mainstreaming, implementation and monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at national and county levels.
  • Leadership role in development and implementation at the country level of regional and sub-regional initiatives as well as knowledge management and networking and coordination of the country office relations with BPPS and other UNDP units.
  • Operational research that reinforce the development of UNDP policy tools and services.
  • Production of the Kenya National Human Development Report.

Each of these components is further divided into interventions that require substantial support to ensure quality and timely delivery. It is in this context that UNDP Country Office would like to recruit a Research Associate to assist the Economics Adviser with substantive background quantitative and qualitative.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions:

  • Performing background research (quantitative and qualitative and quantitative) on project activities.
  • Provision of support and strategic advice on key project interventions, which includes overseeing the research processes of the national and sub-national Human Development Reports and SDGs reports.
  • Administrative support to the SPAU.
  • Facilitation of knowledge building and knowledge sharing.

Performing background research (qualitative and quantitative) on project activities.

  • Present thoroughly researched information; implementation of the projects; preparation of project documents’ drafts, work plans, budgets, progress reports, policy briefs and proposals on implementation arrangements.
  • Compile the researched material in a systematic way and prepare background briefs/briefing notes as and when required.

Provision of support and strategic advice on key project interventions, which includes overseeing the research processes of the national and sub-national Human Development Reports and SDGs reports.

  • Provide strategic advice to all project interventions after conducting extensive research on a variety of crucial issues.
  • Support SPAU on national needs’ assessments and SDG-based planning and management.
  • Work with the Human Development Report (HDR) research institutions and the HDR team on the preparation of research products relevant to the national and sub-national Human Development Reports. In particular, liaise with the research institutions to ensure they conduct relevant and timely research, interviews and focus group discussions.
  • Support production of SDGRs and NHDRs.
  • Organize national and sub-national consultative meetings or workshops on the HDR, NHDR, SDGs or other issues, as may be required.
  • Review the background and thematic papers that have already been commissioned and assess them in view of the research results.
  • Compile, analyze and synthesize information for the Economic Advisor.

Administrative support to the Unit.

  • Provide effective support to management of the programme (and projects).
  • Provide guidance to consultants/executing agencies on routine implementation of the projects and monitor quality of work of consultants.

Facilitation of knowledge building and knowledge sharing.

  • Organization of trainings for the operations/ projects staff on economic policies, research and analysis.
  • Synthesis of lessons learnt and best practices in economics and research.
  • Sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Degree in Economics or Statistics with strong statistics background.


  • At least 5 years of relevant work experience, preferably with at least three years’ experience in development research work.
  • Prior knowledge and experience in research and research methodology.
  • Knowledge of local conditions and developments in Kenya;
  • Knowledge of Kenya Government policies and procedures is an added advantage
  • Knowledge of UN programming tools and operational procedures is desirable.

Language requirements:

  • Excellent English writing and oral skills.
  • Knowledge of Swahili is desirable.


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