Head of Global Programmes & Markets, Geneva, Switzerland At United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Closing date: Wednesday, 12 April 2023

Background information- ECR

Based in Geneva, the Europe and Central Asia Regional Office (ECR) supports UNOPS offices throughout the region through: management, financial and programmatic oversight of global and country-specific portfolios, clusters and operations centres, including hosting services; fund and management advisory services; project implementation; procuring goods and services; and managing human resources.

ECR ensures that projects are executed to the highest standards, providing a shared knowledge base and ensuring that best practices and lessons learned are disseminated between business units and projects across the entire region.

ECR strategy is to:

  •  Strengthen UNOPS role in operationalizing the Sustainable Development Goals with particular emphasis on health, environment and economic development.
  •  Position UNOPS in the Balkan sub-region, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
  •  Strengthen the implementation of ECR global and regional programmes, with revitalized partnerships in infrastructure, procurement and project management.

ECR operates global portfolios from offices in Geneva, Brussels and New York, and country-specific programmes from its operations and project centres located in Eastern Europe and Central Asian countries.

Background Information – Job-specific

ATscale, the Global Partnership for Assistive Technology is a cross-sectoral partnership with the goal of reaching 500 million additional people with assistive technology by 2030 to support them in participating in education, work, and everyday life. ATscale is hosted by UNOPS.

Today, over 2.5 billion people need at least one form of assistive technology (AT), such as wheelchairs, eyeglasses, or hearing aids, and this number is expected to grow to more than 3.5 billion people by 2050. In low-income countries less than 10% of those who need AT currently have access.

Access to appropriate assistive technology enables persons with loss of function, impairments, non-communicable diseases, and the aging population to participate in education, work, family, and community life. Lack of access to assistive technology has significant consequences for individuals, their families, and the wider society. Without assistive technology, individuals may experience isolation and exclusion from education, the labour market, and civic life. Lack of access to appropriate assistive technology causes poorer health outcomes including premature death, deteriorating mental health, and increased risk of chronic health conditions and secondary complications, all of which lead to a higher burden on health systems. Increasing accessibility and affordability of assistive technology unlocks unrealised economic potential and provides socioeconomic benefit for individuals, families, and countries by increasing productivity and participation in the workforce.

Despite commitments to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Sustainable Development Goals, including universal health coverage, a lack of political leadership towards improving access to assistive technology remains an issue. Assistive technology is not part of mainstream health and development agendas and strong political leadership, including support from the highest levels of government, is urgently needed.

The ATscale partnership was developed in response to the need for a new, catalytic approach to overcoming the significant gap in access to appropriate, high-quality, and affordable assistive technology globally. As a cross-sector partnership ATscale aims to bring greater resources and strategic focus to this significant global challenge.

For more information please visit https://atscalepartnership.org/

Purpose and Scope of Assignment

ATscale is still a new organization, the Head of Global Programmes & Markets will play an important role in shaping the strategic vision for the organization with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and others in the ATscale Secretariat. He/she will develop and start to implement ATscale’s market-building and market-shaping strategy as well as drive the development of global public goods to support increasing access to ATscale’s priority products and related services, as well as strengthening the related cross-cutting systems in low- and middle-income countries

Functional Responsibilities

A. Strategy Development and Synergies

  •  With expert support, identify key normative gaps and other global demand and supply side barriers to access to Assistive Technology and propose global public goods interventions to address these
  •  Lead prioritization process for a coherent package of globally-led interventions, including market-related interventions, to present to the Board in the 2023 and subsequent annual operational plans and lead evaluation and selection of partners.
  •  Develop ATscale’s market-building and market-shaping strategy for its five priority products and related services in coordination with the broader ATscale strategy and operational plan.
  •  Articulate mutually supportive links between interventions focused on a specific product and its related services with those that reinforce elements of the enabling ecosystem.

B. Programme Management

  •  Oversee all global programmes & market-shaping interventions within ATscale’s 2022 operational plan.
  •  Lead the detailed scoping of global public goods and market-related interventions approved by the board, including with expert input.
  •  Oversee the processes leading to implementation of these interventions from the programmatic side, e.g. participation in competitive processes through drafting of requests for proposals, evaluation etc.
  •  Monitor market-related information to provide recommendations for investment to the CEO and the ATscale board.
  •  Lead engagement with experts in different assistive product areas to continue to refine ATscale’s strategy and portfolio of investments.

C. Team and Stakeholder Management

  •  Funding availability permitting, recruit a team of 2-3 specialists to support ATscale’s global public goods and market shaping work; once in place, ensure effective on-boarding and management of team members
  •  Foster and maintain partnerships at both senior leadership and working levels to develop and advance ATscale’s market-building and market-shaping strategy by engaging with relevant partners in the assistive technology space including organizations of persons with disabilities, national governments, UN and other multilateral agencies, bi- and multilateral donors, private funders, international NGOs, , and technical experts including in academia
  •  Develop systematic engagement with the private sector such as manufacturers and suppliers of assistive technology, professional associations, innovators, etc. to support ATscale’s overall strategy
  •  Support the CEO in negotiations and discussions with implementing partners and manufacturers of assistive technology to further strategic market shaping;

D. Miscellaneous

  •  Ensure all processes above remain aligned with UN host agency requirements.
  •  Provide the CEO and relevant team members with regular updates on market developments and potential opportunities.
  •  Prepare talking points, presentations, and other material to support the CEO.
  •  Prepare relevant Board Papers related to global public goods, market-building and market-shaping for ATscale Board meetings

**Travel for this position is estimated at 20%.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

A. Education

  •  Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in public health, development management, rehabilitation, business administration or a related field is required.
  •  A bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline combined with two additional years of relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced degree.

B. Work Experience

  •  10 years experience in public health or a related field of which at least 5 years in product or market strategy/sourcing/procurement is required
  •  Proven track record working with development cooperation partners (e.g., bilateral donors, multilateral organizations, international NGOs etc.), host country government officials, key stakeholders, and civil society to achieve a common objective (preferably in health or another similar area of development) is required
  •  Experience supervising staff and leading teams is strongly desired
  •  Experience in working for or in partnership with the private sector is desirable
  •  Relevant demand-side experience engaging with/ within low-income or lower-middle income countries, preferably including experience supporting government institutions is considered an asset
  •  Significant experience leading the development of high-quality deliverables, including presentations and written reports, including for donors is desirable
  •  Demonstrated understanding of assistive technology or similar product/commodity markets is considered an asset.

C. Key Functional Competencies

  •  Entrepreneurial mindset, including ability to work independently, self-motivate, and propose and implement new initiatives is considered an asset

D. Language

  •  An excellent knowledge of English is required.
  •  Good working knowledge of other UN languages, especially Chinese, French or Spanish would be an asset.


Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.(for levels IICA-2, IICA-3, LICA Specialist- 10, LICA Specialist-11, NOC, NOD, P3, P4 and above)

Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.

Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.

Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).

Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.

Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.

Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.

Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Contract type, level and durationContract type: Fixed Term Appointment (FTA – UN Staff) Contract level: ICS-12 / P5 Contract duration: One year initially, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and funding availability For more details about United Nations staff contracts, please follow this link: https://www.unops.org/english/Opportunities/job-opportunities/what-we-offer/Pages/UN-Staff-Contracts.aspx

Additional Information

  •  Please note that UNOPS does not accept unsolicited resumes.
  •  Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  •  Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process, which involves various assessments.
  •  UNOPS embraces diversity and is committed to equal employment opportunity. Our workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities. UNOPS seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce.
  •  Qualified women and candidates from groups which are underrepresented in the UNOPS workforce are encouraged to apply. These include in particular candidates from racialized and/or indigenous groups, members of minority gender identities and sexual orientations, and people with disabilities.
  •  We would like to ensure all candidates perform at their best during the assessment process. If you are shortlisted and require additional assistance to complete any assessment, including reasonable accommodation, please inform our human resources team when you receive an invitation.
  •  Geneva, Switzerland is a family duty station.

Terms and Conditions

  •  For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post.
  •  All UNOPS personnel are responsible for performing their duties in accordance with the UN Charter and UNOPS Policies and Instructions, as well as other relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, all personnel must demonstrate an understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a manner consistent with UN core values and the UN Common Agenda.
  •  It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential personnel. Recruitment in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.


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