Job Vacancy Opened at Youth Programme Specialist at UNDP | How to Apply

Job Vacancy Opened at United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for Application | How to Apply.

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Details of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Vacancy Positions & How to Apply.

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.

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.

Zambia is a youthful country with a population aged 15-35 and children aged 0-14 which accounts for 36.7% and 45% of the total population respectively. According to the 2010 Census, over 36 percent of the total population comprised people aged 18-35 years and 82 percent under the age of 35 years. The youth population presents a significant proportion of the available labor force. The Zambia Labor Force Survey 2020 defines youth unemployment as the proportion of unemployed youth aged 15 to 35 years in the labor force who are without work but available and seeking employment.

In 2020, Zambia’s unemployment rate and youth unemployment rate were respectively 13.8 and 19.9 percent respectively. In the same year, out of 6,291,647 projected number of youths, only 1,888,692 or 30.02 percent accounted for the labor force of which 1,513,667 or 80 percent were in employment leaving a surplus of 375,025.00 who were unemployed.

Zambia’s large youth population presents a huge dependency burden at both family and Government levels because a large percentage of resources are dedicated to making provisions for people who are not in the labor force and are, therefore, not contributing to economic productivity. The economic burden of the youthful population is one of the most important developmental challenges because a large part of the adult’s output is consumed leaving a small fraction for savings or investment, thus affecting capital formation for advancing economic and social development.

Studies continue to show that for any country to maximize on the potential of citizens, huge investments are required in education at all levels.  It is desirable that the Zambian population is characterized by a larger working population “labour force surplus” to achieve rapid economic growth and stability. For this to be realized, effective strategies and policies are required to guide concurrent strategic investments in economic policies that create decent jobs and provide environmentally safe economic opportunities; as well as good governance and accountability systems to support effective participation of youth in the economy.

Zambia’s youth population therefore presents an opportunity for harnessing the demographic dividend if appropriate investments are made in creating opportunities and promoting a supportive environment for empowerment and entrepreneurship for all persons of all ages, particularly young people.

Consequently, the Government of the Republic of Zambia recognizes the critical role youth empowerment and entrepreneurship play in enhancing socio-economic development through employment and wealth creation. This has been demonstrated by the numerous and diverse interventions that have in the past been designed to create wealth and employment for the youth in Zambia. The government initiated empowerment and skills training programmes to enable young people to make a smooth transition to the labor market and self-employment. To date, Government still runs several youth empowerment and skills training interventions. However, what is imperative is to urgently fill the gap between the aspirations of the Government for the youth and their high expectations and the existing constraints, limiting factors and challenges, and dissatisfaction pertaining to the current context, lack of opportunities and support as well as ill-adapted policies and legislation. Hence making it difficult to yield the desired impact.  Therefore, integrating the youth into the national equation is part of the priorities of the Government.

The UN System attaches immense importance to youth development. There is momentum to enhance youth empowerment support and better listen to and partner with young people. In 2017, the United Nations Secretary-General and his Executive Committee prioritized youth and requested the development of the first system-wide United Nations strategy – Youth 2030. It was then developed by an inter-agency team and launched in 2018 with the objective “to address the needs, build the agency and advance the rights of young people in all their diversity around the world, and to ensure their engagement and participation in the implementation, review and follow-up of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as other relevant global agendas and frameworks”. The focus of the Network is on five areas: employment and entrepreneurship, protection of rights and civic engagement, political inclusion, education, including comprehensive sexuality education, and health. Since 2015, Member States have increasingly recognized the critical role of young people in sustainable development and sustaining peace across the pillars of the United Nations – development, human rights, and peace and security. Youth inclusion has been more meaningful in Sustainable Development Goals implementation, monitoring and review mechanisms, such as the voluntary national reviews, and in the second generation of nationally determined contributions. Gradually, youth and future generations have become central in the work of the United Nations system, as illustrated in the Secretary-General’s recent Call-to-Action for Human Rights (2020) and his report Our Common Agenda (2021). The UN sees youth empowerment as both a democratic imperative and a smart investment. Yet, important challenges remain, and further commitment to and investment in youth is required to effectively address youth needs and aspirations and support the role of young people in sustainable development and sustaining peace. The UN Country Team is hence committed to enhancing Zambia’s youth development agenda.

Within UNDP Country Office, Youth employment and empowerment initiatives are coordinated by the Inclusive Growth Unit which provides technical expertise towards responding to youth development needs. Within the framework of UNDP’s Renewed Strategic Offer for Africa 2022-2025, UNDP’s approach towards youth empowerment is to ensure youth inclusion as active change agents rather than passive recipients of development assistance, and prioritizes the following:

  • Shifting focus from expert-led to youth and women-led employment and empowerment approaches. This approach, using “enabling policy” platforms promoting stronger citizens’ voices, will involve government and all relevant stakeholders and take a broader approach to address the underlying economic, social, cultural, and political factors that serve as barriers for youth and women’s empowerment and employment.
  • Mainstreaming youth and women empowerment into UNDP country support, while consolidating regional flagship initiatives and creating alignment, synergies, and synchronization, particularly among them.
  • Adopting a comprehensive approach to supporting the role of youth and women in rural development, fragile and conflict settings, and other contexts, and in becoming empowered as change agents.
  • Leveraging the digital revolution through platforms that enable more youth and women to have more proactive roles as citizens, help them gain access to services and resources that promote employment and entrepreneurship, innovation, and leadership (especially in the context of the informal economy).

UNDP further implements several dedicated youth and women empowerment initiatives, that seek to harness the abundant entrepreneurial, creative, and innovative spirit and ensure their participation in leadership and decision-making processes. Youth as a cross-cutting area in work calls for effective coordination with other thematic areas, and among partners and stakeholders at the national and sub-national levels. Interventions include:

  • Creating a conducive environment for youth employability, access to decent jobs and entrepreneurship.
  • Ensuring that young people, including the most vulnerable youth, have their skills developed and have access to sustainable livelihood opportunities and basic services.
  • Ensuring that young people are more resilient to climate shocks, are meaningfully engaged in climate action and adaptation, and have increased opportunities to promote green and sustainable solutions.
  • Creating and promoting a conducive environment for youth meaningful participation in governance and decision-making processes.

The Youth Specialist will be reporting to the Deputy Resident Representative and will work closely with the UN Country Team and the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Arts, Directorate of Youth Development.
Scope of work: 

The Youth Specialist will undertake the following tasks:

  • Assist UNDP technical lead role to coordinate the UN support to Government on the Youth Joint Programme;
  • Provide technical support to the UN Country Team on the coordination and implementation of the National Youth Development Strategy Roadmap;
  • Function as liaison and focal point for the conceptualization, planning, operationalization, monitoring and reporting of the National Youth Development Strategy by developing high-quality, coherent, and consistent strategic documents;
  • Capture and extract best practices, story-lines and lessons learnt from the National Youth Development Strategy Roadmap;

Additional responsibilities will include:

Support to the actualization of the Enhanced National Youth Coordination Mechanism:

  • Liaise with key technical stakeholders (State House, Government sectorial ministries, in particular, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Arts (MYSA), Cabinet Office, Cooperating Partners, Civil Society, Private Sector, Academia, the UN and its Technical Lead – UNDP) to operationalize the enhanced National Youth Coordination Mechanism approved by Government;
  • Support Government to finalize technical documents related to the operationalization of the enhanced governance structures (Strategic and Technical Youth Advisory Groups);
  • Assist UNDP Senior Management to lead the UN Youth Technical Team on the implementation of the enhanced coordination mechanism;
  • Draft advisory notes for use by UN Youth Focal Points to provide technical support to Government on the enhanced national multi-sectoral coordination mechanism, for operationalization at Provincial and District levels.

Support the implementation of the National Youth Development Strategy (NYDS):

  • Function as Focal Point for conceptualization, planning, and implementation of the National Youth Development Strategy, including liaison with all key stakeholders;
  • Provide technical support to both the Government and UNCT on the development of a transformative National Youth Development Strategy that integrates deliberate decent job creation and active youth engagement and promotion of youth volunteerism as articulated in the 8NDP Implementation Plan;
  • Coordinate the support for youth-led initiatives towards socio-economic development, climate action, civic engagement, and peacebuilding;
  • Coordinate and support the Country Office’s knowledge development on youth;
  • In coordination with MYSA and UN Youth Focal Points, support the formulation of a multi-stakeholder community of practice on youth;
  • Support MYSA’s development of the country’s youth capacity to actively engage in business, management, and entrepreneurship through training, mentoring, apprenticeship, and volunteer programmes;
  • Contribute to resource mobilization and building partnerships for the NYDS and various youth empowerment projects and initiatives;
  • Facilitate the development of partnerships to enable Youth Associations/SMEs access to innovative finance by partnering with financial institutions, private sector, bilateral, CSOs and Foundations;
  • Support the creation and use of monitoring and evaluation tools to track progress on the implementation of the Youth Joint Programme.

Facilitate the reactivation of the UN Youth Thematic Group:

  • Prepare a consolidated list of UN Youth Focal Points;
  • Consult with the UN Youth Focal Points to develop Youth Thematic Group Terms of Reference (TOR);
  • In consultation with the Resident Coordinator Office (RCO), prepare a technical note for consideration by the UN Country Team, to reactivate the UN Youth Thematic Group.


Core Competencies

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

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.

People Management

UNDP People Management Competencies can be found on the dedicated site.

Technical/cross-Functional Competencies

Business Direction & Strategy

  • Strategic Thinking
    • Ability to develop effective strategies and prioritized plans in line with UNDP’s objectives, based on the systemic analysis of challenges, potential risks and opportunities; linking the vision to reality on the ground, and creating tangible solutions;
    • Ability to leverage learning from a variety of sources to anticipate and respond to future trends; to demonstrate foresight in order to model what future developments and possible ways forward look like for UNDP.
  • System Thinking
    • Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system.

Business Development

  • Knowledge Facilitation
    • Ability to animate individuals and communities of contributors to participate and share, particularly externally.

Business Management

  • Project Management
    • Ability to plan, organize, prioritize, and control resources, procedures, and protocols to achieve specific goals.
  • Communication
    • Ability to communicate in a clear, concise, and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience;
    • Ability to manage communications internally and externally, through media, social media, and other appropriate channels.

Partnership Management

  • Relationship Management
    • Ability to engage with a wide range of public and private partners, build, sustain and/or strengthen working relations, trust and mutual understanding.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree in Development, International Relations, Business Management, Entrepreneurship, Youth and inclusive governance, Employment and/or other related disciplines.


  • Minimum of 5 years of comprehensive experience in youth and leadership and/or youth and socio-economic development in the African region with a least 2 years of relevant experience in the sub-region

Required skills:

  • At least 3 years of work experience on youth issues with key national institutions, international organizations or similar entities;
  • Substantive experience of preparing policy documents or strategies for ministries and other key national institutions;
  • Proven experience in donor relationship and coordination including mobilizing donor funding for youth empowerment with experience in mobilizing funding for UN agency programmes specifically, is an added advantage;
  • Demonstrated experience in designing and implementing capacity development initiatives, notably at the systemic and institutional levels;
  • Demonstrated solid professional competence and expert knowledge in youth empowerment;
  • Project management and coordination experience in governance and public administration and youth empowerment (UN, multilaterals, government and/or NGOs);
  • Sound knowledge and experience in working with the public and private sector in Africa, as well as with the Civil Society Organizations;
  • Comprehensive knowledge on youth and development, youth and inclusive governance, youth and labor market and youth in the business sector;
  • Coordination skills and experience liaising and coordinating with multiple stakeholders;
  • Ability to develop, maintain, and strengthen partnerships with others inside (Programmes/projects) or outside the organization who can provide information, assistance, and support;
  • Proven capacity to produce high quality reports and comply with tight deadlines;
  • Ability and willingness to work with people of different cultural, ethnic and religious background, different gender, and diverse political views.

Desired additional skills and competencies:

  • Current knowledge and understanding of the latest developments and evidence on youth socio-economic development in Africa, including with regards to ACFTA;
  • Sound knowledge and experience in managing and using virtual platforms for meetings at regional and member state level in Africa;
  • Results-based report writing;
  • Computer skills: full command of Microsoft applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and common internet applications will be required.


  • Proficiency in spoken and written English is required.

How to Apply

Submit your CV and Application on Company Website: Click Here

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