Project Coordinator - Innovation for Development

By United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Addis Ababa
  • Schedule
  • Job Type
  • Exp Level
    Senior Level
  • Experience Year
  • Salary Offer
  • Closing Date
    Feb 16, 2024

Job Description


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core principles at UNDP:  we value diversity as an expression of the multiplicity of nations and cultures where we operate, we foster inclusion as a way of ensuring all personnel are empowered to contribute to our mission, and we ensure equity and fairness in all our actions. Taking a ‘leave no one behind’ approach to our diversity efforts means increasing representation of underserved populations. People who identify as belonging to marginalized or excluded populations are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about working at UNDP including our values and inspiring stories.

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.

This position will be part of the Inclusive Economic Transformation unit under the Innovation for Development project that is jointly implemented with the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MInT), and Ministry of Labor and Skills (MoLS). The successful candidate will perform the duties of Programme Coordinator for the Innovation for Development Project based at Ministry of Innovation and Technology.  

Ethiopia’s growth in the past two decades was supported by positive demographic trends and human development achievements. Nevertheless, Ethiopia continues to face serious development challenges and remains one of the poorest countries in the world. The demographic trends in Ethiopia suggest that more than 2 million youth are entering the labor market every year. The national labor market faces considerable challenges in absorbing new entrants. Aiming to sustain the growth momentum of the past decade, the government regards small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as engines for economic growth and employment opportunities for the country’s young and growing population. 

The private sector, however, remains nascent and is constrained by structural challenges, notably weak competitiveness, low economic productivity, and difficulties in doing business. Evidence also suggests that the private sector is crowded-out by the public sector, notably in access to finance. SMEs represent a missing middle in the Ethiopian economy. Job creation in the private sector looms as one of the most significant developmental priorities of the country. The challenge is to not only create new jobs, but also to improve the quality and productivity of these jobs. The changing nature of work increasingly demands entrepreneurial knowledge and skills, resilience, and innovation. Young and women entrepreneurs face particular challenges.

The overall objective of the Innovation for Development Project is to strengthen the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Ethiopia in order to enhance economic growth and productivity, and contribute to job creation, focusing in particular on women and youth. In order to achieve the project objective, and address the barriers that hinder the development of the innovation ecosystem, the project’s intervention will be organized around six outputs:

Output 1. Enabling policy environment for ICT based start-ups and SMEs to innovate is supported.

Output 2. Institutional coordination among innovation ecosystem actors is facilitated.

Output 3. Capacity of SMEs and start-ups for entrepreneurship and innovation is strengthened.

Output 4. Capacity of key institutions in the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem is strengthened.

Output 5. Capacity to operate the Innovation Fund and Credit Guarantee Fund is enhanced. 

Output 6. Innovative financial mechanisms are made available to SMEs and start-ups.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Programme Coordinator is expected to perform a variety of day-to-day implementation of the Innovation for Development project & support the project’s monitoring and evaluation to achieve results that create positive developmental impact. The project coordinator is expected to liaison between UNDP, Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MInT), Ministry of Labor and Skills (MoLS), Ministry of Finance(MOF) and relevant stakeholders for effective communication and implementation of the project. 

To be successful in this role, the incumbent is expected to be well-organized, have great time management skills to meet deadlines and be a self-starter. The Programme Coordinator will be based at Ministry of Innovations and Technology (MInT) and Ministry of Labor and Skills to coordinate with relevant internal & external stakeholders.

Functional details 

1.Achievement of the Project Outputs and Outcomes:

  • Ensure the Innovation for Development Project’s outputs and outcome are achieved with effectiveness.
  • Monitor agreed procurement, recruitment and implementation, practices of implementing partners to ensure organized schedule and proper implementation of project activities are undertaken.
  • Follow up and monitors project implementation by working closely with UNDP Project Manager, MInT Communication to ensure that project progress and impacts are communicated to the wider public.
  • Provision of project and administrative support in the preparation of project work plans, budgets, proposals on implementation arrangements;
  • Support collects, analyses and presents information for monitoring and evaluation of project implementation against targets;
  • Compiles and designs background information for formulation of work plans, draft annual/quarterly budgets, proposals on implementation arrangements.

2.Reporting and External Communications:

  • Prepares and submits timely quarterly, annual and other relevant reports as per the requirements of UNDP, MInT and MoLS for the Project Board decision-making, transparency and public disclosure.
  • Ensures the preparation of Consolidated Quarterly and Annual Project Progress Reports.
  • Work with UNDP Project Manager, MInT Communication and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that project progress and impacts are communicated to the wider public.

3.Support to Project Management:

  • Manage information flow in a timely and accurate manner.
  • Assist in the in planning, designing, implementing, and documenting of field visits, special events, meetings, conferences, staff missions, and trainings including with the logistics, budgets, reproduction of background documentation, preparation of list of participants, and the drafting of minutes.
  • Support in developing progress reports and correspondence as necessary, and provision of inputs to donor reports as per applicable guidelines.
  • Support to project monitoring and evaluation; and documentation of lessons learnt over the course of the project implementation. 

4.Partnership management:

  • Maintain a good working relationship with both implementing partners and with UNDP project.
  • Support in mapping of stakeholders and actors in the innovation and start-up ecosystem 
  • Coordination with relevant stakeholders such as MInT, MoLS, UNDP and other stakeholders to effectively implement the planned activities of the project.
  • Follow up with implementing partners and provides relevant and adequate technical assistance.
  • Organize, compile and process information from stakeholders, as inputs to project and institutional reports 

5.Data management and Advocacy:

  • Work closely with the Startup and business that have been and are being supported by the project to understand their needs. 
  • Maintain a database of the startups and SMEs that have been supported by the project and use this to provide insight into the startup ecosystem to UNDP IET team.
  • Advocate for the needs of the ICT based start-up and SMES at all relevant platforms with the government, development partners and private sector. 

Core Competencies

  • Achieve Results: LEVEL 2: Scale up solutions and simplifies processes, balances speed and accuracy in doing work.
  • Think Innovatively: LEVEL 2: Offer new ideas/open to new approaches, demonstrate systemic/integrated thinking.
  • Learn Continuously: LEVEL 2: Go outside comfort zone, learn from others and support their learning.
  • Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 2: Adapt processes/approaches to new situations, involve others in change process.
  • Act with Determination: LEVEL 2: Able to persevere and deal with multiple sources of pressure simultaneously.
  • Engage and Partner: LEVEL 2: Is facilitator/integrator, bring people together, build/maintain coalitions/partnerships.
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 2: Facilitate conversations to bridge differences, considers in decision making.

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies 

  • Business Management: Project Management- ability to plan, organize, prioritize, and control resources, procedures, and protocols to achieve specific goals.
  • Business Management: Project 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 Management: Project Management-ability to provide managers and key stakeholders with regular feedback on the consistency or discrepancy between planned and actual activities and programme performance and results.
  • 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 create Win-Win situations .
  • Business Direction & Strategy: 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.
  • Digital & Innovation: Data Collection-Skilled in Data Sorting, Data Cleaning, Survey Administration, Presentation, and Reporting.
  • Digital & Innovation: Data storytelling and communications- Skilled in building a narrative around a set of data and its accompanying visualizations to help convey.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Bachelor’s or master's degree in social sciences, Economics, International Affairs, Development, or entrepreneurship development.


  • At least 4 years (2 years with master’s degree) of relevant work experience in development project management/coordination entrepreneurship and innovation development.

Required skills:

  • Sound practical knowledge of computer-based applications such as Microsoft Office applications. 
  • Excellent written and oral communication in English.

Desired skills in addition to the competencies covered in the Competencies section:

  • Previously worked with the government in the capacity of project management is an asset. 
  • Coordination of events and workshops.
  • Business development mentorship and previous work with startups.
  • Knowledge of other Ethiopian languages is an asset.
  • Good communication and report writing skills, willingness to work and meet tight deadlines, excellent in setting priorities and managing time.
  • Practical knowledge in project management and experience in stakeholder management and partnerships development is required.
  • Capacity in strategic thinking and planning, good interpersonal communication skills and teamwork, self-starter.
  • Demonstrated experience in startup and entrepreneurship development with an understanding of the innovation ecosystem is desirable.
  • Demonstrated experience in data collection and insight generation of decision.

Required Language(s)

  • Fluency in English and working knowledge of local languages is an asset.

How to Apply

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