Technical Specialist

Juba, South Sudan

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The Republic of South Sudan became an independent state on July 9, 2011, after 99% of the population voted for cessation from Sudan in the January 2011 Referendum. Whilst the attainment of independence South Sudan opened an unprecedented window of opportunity to turn the devastation of over 20 years of civil war, displacement and underdevelopment into a new era of peace and prosperity. The signing of the Revitalized Peace Agreement on 12 September 2018, ongoing National Dialogue and expected formation of Revitalized Government of National Unity are believed to put South Sudan back on reconstruction and development paths. he overall security situation in South Sudan remains fragile.

South Sudan is a near complete oil revenue-dependent economy although it has other untapped potentials of natural and mineral resources. The volatility and periodic sharp fall in global oil prices coupled with the drastic reduction in oil production levels since the onset of the conflict in mid- December 2013 has significantly reduced oil revenue receipts which in turn impacted fiscal imbalances and the overall macroeconomic stability in the country.

The budgetary allocation to the sub-national governments, which stood at minimum levels in the national budget, has also been severely reduced due to the extreme austerity measures adopted. The states have vast service delivery responsibilities at the sub-national levels. With support from the Government of Japan, and African Development Bank, South Sudan has started the establishment of unified and harmonized domestic resource generation system at the sub-national level but significant capacity gaps remain in revenue administration. 

The sub-national governments, particularly those in relatively peaceful states, have stepped-up their efforts to diversify and generate domestic resources in a systematic manner; enhance the capacity of tax officers; develop sustainable and efficient revenue generation system as a medium-term objective, inter alia, to serve the service delivery needs of the vulnerable population and incentivize returns of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their places of origin. Such initiatives are expected to mitigate the risks of conflict spill-over in the relatively peaceful states and prevent, to some extent, potential adverse development fallouts at the local level.

The Revitalized Peace Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) signed on September 12, 2018, has created an opportunity to return to a development path, particularly in the conflict-affected states. In this environment, it would be critical to help the country both at national and sub-national levels to maintain core public financial management functions while consolidating the gains made. UNDP is implementing interventions to contribute to the mitigation of the impact of conflict on service delivery at the sub-national level, thereby supporting the implementation of the peace agreement.

The Government of South Sudan, supported by UNDP and other Development Partners, engaged in a comprehensive review of the 2018 – 2021 NDS. The review aimed to create greater policy coherence between the NDS and Revitalized Agreement for Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) and build on several building blocks such as an updated fragility assessment, country-wide stakeholder consultations, the integration of the SDGs, Gender mainstreaming and the incubation of a financing strategy. This led to a revised NDS for the period 2021 -2024 and State Development Plans, which lay the ground for a more holistic planning and financing process towards the implementation of the priority SDGs for South Sudan by 2030. 

The support to state revenue generating system and public accountability is aligned to the national development strategy, the Revitalized Agreement for Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan, State Development Plans, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation framework (UNSDCF). 

To provide continued support to the Government of South Sudan to implement these efforts for improved economic governance, UNDP is recruiting a Public Financial Management (PFM) Technical Specialist to support efforts at the national, state and local levels. Under the direct supervision of the Governance Advisor and in close coordination and collaboration the Democratic Governance, and Strategy, Policy and Capacities for Economic Management (SPACE) units, UNDP programme and operation units, and project partners, the Technical Specialist will take the lead on provision of substantive project management and technical advice, build capacity of a unified, transparent, sustainable domestic revenue generating system for state governments, expenditure efficiency, and provide strategic framework for UNDP public financial management work. 

The Technical Specialist will also support capacity building for the sub-national tax officers and support public financial management institutions on their responsibilities to safeguard public funds. In supporting the above interventions, the Technical Specialist will interface with the Ministry of Finance and Planning and other relevant institutions at the national level, as well as state ministries of finance. 

Duties & Responsibilities

The purpose of the position is:

  • The Public Financial Management Specialist champions the Public Financial Management work for UNDP in South Sudan;
  • Provide robust and innovative technical advice to counterparts on Public Financial Management, Accountability and Transparency sourcing more specialized expertise where necessary.

Under the supervision and guidance of the Governance Advisor, the PFM Technical Specialist will perform the following functions:

  • Promote linkages between the Public Financial Management and other Accountability and Transparency mechanisms 
  • Promote partnership, networking, and knowledge sharing within UNDP and the UN System 
  • Lead and coordinate delivery of UNDP’s Public Financial Management (PFM) project

Promote linkages between the Public Financial Management and other Accountability and Transparency mechanisms in South Sudan focusing on the achievement of the following results:

  • Ensure complementarity between activities to support fiscal frameworks and development plans and broader planning processes.
  • Ensure work on public financial management activities, such as strengthening budgets, state development strategies/plans and procurement processes, effectively anchored with planning and aid management activities.
  • Build the capacity of state Parliamentary Public Accounts and Budget Committees to properly oversee public sector expenditures and the outputs of public sector bodies.
  • Provide technical expertise and recommendations on public financial management issues as they relate to the political transition at the state government level, especially on transparency, revenue generation and public expenditure management.
  • Provide and source technical expertise to improve financial management to specific high priority institutions.
  • Work with other parts of UNDP and the UN Country Team to provide technical expertise and practical recommendations on how to improve financial management in emerging administrations as part of overall recovery and stabilization efforts.

Promote partnership, networking, and knowledge sharing within UNDP and the UN System, focusing on the achievement of the following results:

  • Promote information sharing and coordination with UN agencies and with other key PFM stakeholders.
  • Coordinate closely with other UNDP programmes and projects to enhance integration and ensure coherence in Public Financial Management, Accountability, and Transparency initiatives, especially in complex conflict and post-conflict settings
  •  Be the focal point on public financial management, transparency and accountability reforms for the UNDP Country Office and UN Country Team.
  • Identify and synthesize best practices and lessons learned directly linked to project country goals and activities.
  • Make sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice including corporate communications repositories.
  • Design appropriate learning strategies for counterparts, in conjunction with technical experts and counterparts.
  • Build strategic partnership and engagement with government counterparts and development partners, prepare innovative proposals, and project documents for resource mobilization in discussion with the international development partners engaged in the Public Financial Management fora in the country.

Lead and coordinate delivery of UNDP’s Public Financial Management (PFM) project focusing on the achievement of the following results:

  • Develop annual work plans that contribute to the delivery of PFM outputs.
  • Oversee delivery and implementation of the work plan and take forward corrective action as necessary.
  • Manage and oversee the budget for PFM project in support of the overall financial management; 
  • Provide regular and effective people management and mentoring of the Public Financial Management project team; 
  • Manage the delivery of the work plan and its outputs through consultants, contractors, and NGOs, including developing terms of reference, participating in procurement, selection and hiring, and overseeing their delivery to ensure high-quality outputs;
  • Work with the UNDP CO and project monitoring and evaluation specialists to ensure regular and effective monitoring and evaluation of all Public Financial Management project activities, including the initial development of appropriate baselines and targets;
  • Contribute to the identification of risks and issues and updating of risk logs in Quantum;
  • Contribute to quarterly, mid-year and annual reporting project reporting and prepare relevant briefs as necessary.
  • Coordinate with the World Bank, African Development Bank, and other donors to ensure clear roles and responsibilities in PFM and to avoid duplication of activities;
  • Coordinate with other UN and UNDP programmes especially the Joint Programme on Recovery and Resilience Building. 
  • Identify new areas of support and facilitate implementation of new initiatives, together with project counterparts;
  • Liaise with counterparts and prepare agreements including work plans, budgets, and schedules of payments;
  • Ensure, in close consultation with the PFM team, the effective application of RBM tools, elaboration and implementation of coherent work plans, project and programme documents, preparation of compelling proposals and achievement of results;



  • Master’s Degree in Financial Management, Business Administration, Economics or relevant field is required.

Experience, Knowledge, and Skills:

  • Minimum of 5 years of technical expertise in Public Financial Management issues including budgeting and planning, 
  • Experience in domestic resource mobilization is desirable and such experience in a post-conflict environment will be a distinct advantage;
  • Excellent experience in technical assistance in public financial management. Experience in taxation, customs, and budget processes will be a distinct advantage;
  • Demonstrated experience in capacity development, coaching and mentoring, organizational development while working with government counterparts Ministry of Finance will be an asset
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English and strong reporting skills essential; 
  • Excellent command of common Microsoft Office programs; 
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of Arabic is an asset.


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

Cross-Functional & Technical Competencies:

Business Management: Partnerships Management

  • Ability to build and maintain partnerships with wide networks of stakeholders, Governments, civil society and private sector partners, experts and others in line with UNDP strategy and policies

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

Business Direction & Strategy: Effective Decision Making

  • Ability to take decisions in a timely and efficient manner in line with one’s authority, area of expertise and resources

Business development: Human- centred Design

  • Ability to develop solutions to problems by involving the human perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process

Partnership Management: Strategic Engagement

  • Ability to capture and sustain attention, interest and agreement of high-level, influential policy and decision makers and secure their buy-in of high-level vision and objectives

Business Direction & Strategy: Negotiation and Influence

  • Ability to reach an understanding, persuade others, resolve points of difference, gain advantage in the outcome of dialogue, negotiates mutually acceptable solutions through compromise and creates win-win situations

Please note that continuance of appointment beyond the initial 12 months is contingent upon the successful completion of a probationary period.

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