Kenya: Coordinator, Decentralized Service Delivery and Local Governance L-3, Based in Mogadishu Somalia OR Nairobi Kenya

Terms of Reference – UNICEF SOMALIA

Coordinator, Decentralized Service Delivery and Local Governance


To provide day-to-day strategic guidance, coordination, and programme management for UNICEF’s contributions to the UN Joint Programme on Local Governance and Decentralized Service Delivery.






Mogadishu, Somalia (preferred) or Nairobi, Kenya, with a minimum 50% field travel within Somalia


364 days

Reporting to

Social Welfare Specialist

Background and context

The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programs, in advocacy and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children’s rights into action. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.

UNICEF is one of five United Nations partners implementing the Joint Programme for Local Governance and Decentralized Service Delivery (JPLG); other partners are ILO, UNCDF, UNDP, and UN-HABITAT. The first phase of JPLG commenced in April 2008 and ended in December 2012, and the second phase (JPLG II: 2013-2017) is now being implemented across Somalia. JPLG Phase II is aligned to the National Development Frameworks and is currently being aligned with the Somalia UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund. JPLG is implemented in partnership with the Federal Government of Somalia, the Government of Puntland State of Somalia and the Government of Somaliland with an average annual budget of USD 25-35 million. JPLG pursues a comprehensive capacity development approach aimed at local authorities, federal and central administrations and communities. It builds on existing capacities and focuses on design and development of policies and systems, institutional strengthening, civic education, citizen and private sector participation in service delivery and local economic development. In so doing, the JPLG supports a ‘top-down’ process covering policy development for local governance and decentralization and ‘bottom-up’ empowerment of communities to demand and participate in local governance and economic development.

UNICEF’s main focus of interventions is supporting participatory planning approaches, civic education, social accountability mechanisms and systems (community score cards) and piloting decentralized service delivery in health, education, social protection and water management. Strong systems building and capacity building efforts are aiming to support the establishment of functioning administration at central and district level able to plan monitor and deliver social services to its constituents.

Since 2014 and considering the political and security developments and opportunities in the south and central region, JPLG is expanding its support towards strengthening of interim district administrations. The JPLG approach aims at placing the relevant local and central government institutions in the driving seat for capacity development and other reforms in line with established procedures and systems.

Justification/purpose of assignment**

To provide coordination and oversight of the JPLG program, UNICEF is hiring a Coordinator on Decentralized Service Delivery and Local Governance to provide day-to-day management of UNICEF’s JPLG engagement. The Coordinator will work closely with UNICEF’s local JPLG managers in each of the three zonal offices (Mogadishu, Hargeisa, and Garowe), providing strategic guidance and ensuring complementary and coordinated efforts both within UNICEF and with other JPLG partners. The Coordinator will also ensure that the program is implemented in line with UNICEF and JPLG guidelines, including effective program management, financial management, and monitoring and reporting procedures.

Specific Tasks/objectives**

Under the overall supervision of the Nairobi-based Social Welfare Specialist, in coordination with Chiefs of Sections and Chiefs of the Field Offices, the Post will provide coordination of UNICEF inputs into the Joint Programme for Local Governance and Decentralized Service Delivery (JPLG) in the area of local governance, decentralized service delivery, institutional development and capacity building of central and local governments in Somalia. The post will oversee implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the UNICEF contribution to the JPLG programme and ensure regular reporting and budget management is exercised as per the requirements.

Coordination and Implementation Support

  • Provide technical leadership, management and coordination of UNICEF inputs into the JPLG programme in the three zones of Somalia. This will include coordination of staff and partners in the zones with key service delivery ministries, and advocating for and reinforcing government commitment towards improving social service delivery at local level.
  • Contribute to general policy dialogue with local institutions and key stakeholders for the implementation of decentralization policy and institutionalizing and sustaining decentralized service delivery through the design and support of institutional capacity development and system strengthening for service delivery at central and local level
  • Design and support implementation of programme initiatives aiming at enhancing local participation, transparency and accountabilities of local governments in planning, management and delivery of social services at local level. These include contributing to capacity strengthening of central and local government to implement civic education programmes, ensuring sustainability of service delivery models, enhancing local level stability and peace building efforts.

  • Participate in main joint programme meetings, review meetings and evaluation exercises in consultation with Social Welfare Specialist, other UN agencies and government partners.


  • Provide inputs to the design of JPLG III, in line with the resources, strategy, and service delivery focus of UNICEF.
  • Support UNICEF JPLG zonal teams to identify strategic gaps, linkages, and opportunities to improve and expand service delivery models, civic education programmes, and community score cards, including through incorporating a communication for development perspective.
  • In consultation with UNICEF section chiefs and senior management, lead development and drafting within the first three months of the assignment of the UNICEF Somalia Emerging States Strategy, which will define the modalities, objectives, and strategies for engagement across all UNICEF programme sectors with Federal Member States in Central South Somalia.
  • Support UNICEF programme sectors to align with a decentralized service delivery approach, particularly in documents such as sector strategies.
  • Ensure that JPLG activities align with UNICEF’s gender strategies and policies.

Programme Management

  • Manage contracts with implementing partners, ensuring timely and accurate financial and technical reporting.
  • Ensure regular oversight and monitoring of JPLG interventions in the three zones.
  • Provide regular reporting on progress and budget, tracking progress as per deliverables in the partner agreements and joint work plans, undertaking regular field visits to review jointly with local partners; documenting achievements as well as constraints and recommending possible steps for addressing bottlenecks in implementation.
  • In collaboration with respective UN-Agencies, line ministries, contribute to the development of joint rolling work plans and budgets for the three zones of Somalia. This will include participating in all Technical Work Group Meetings, steering committee meetings, management and coordination meetings for JPLG, ensuring that responsibilities assigned to UNICEF under the joint programme work plan correspond to UNICEF’s mandate and values and are within the ability of its resources (human and financial).

Expected Deliverables and Time line


End product/deliverables

Time frame

Payment instalment

Ongoing project support and coordination.

Monthly report against activities.

Last working day of each month.


Supervisor/overall responsibility

The Coordinator will work under the SPPME section and the direct supervision of the Social Welfare Specialist.

Expected background, Experience and competencies, qualifications and specialized knowledge

  • Advanced university degree in Public Administration, Governance, Social Sciences, Development Planning, Programme Management, or related fields;

  • At least six years’ professional experience, at least two of which should be at a professional level working with government in the areas of good governance, public administration reform, or community development, preferably in a development and fragile context;

  • Demonstrated experience managing complex programmes with multiple partners, including experience with coordination, donor relations, planning, monitoring, and budget management and oversight;

  • Proven ability to work with partners, manage staff and consultants, and write proposals and sound evidence-based reports in clear and simple language

  • Understanding of the socio-political context of Somalia would be an advantage.

  • Good understanding of government systems, procedures and processes at all levels (especially district) is desirable;

  • Strong communication skills, including an ability to build rapport with individuals and groups and maintain an effective network of individuals across organizational departments;

  • Training in community mobilization and community development, behavior analysis, formative research, and evaluation of development interventions would be an advantage

  • Fluency in English. Knowledge of Somali will be a strong asset.

General Conditions: Procedures and Logistics

  1. Office facilities and related materials (e.g., laptop) will be provided by UNICEF.

  2. The staff member will be entitled to use UNICEF-provided transport where available.

  3. Flights to and from Somalia for work purposes will be paid separately from the consultancy fee.

  4. No contract may commence unless the contract is signed by both UNICEF and the staff member on TA

  5. No staff may travel without medical clearance and a signed travel authorization prior to the commencement of the journey to the duty station.

    Exit and penalty provision

    The organization and UNICEF may agree to reschedule deadlines if unforeseen circumstances arise. In the event that such rescheduling has not been agreed in advance by exchange of letters, and submission of scheduled drafts should not occur within the deadlines indicated within these ToR and the implementation framework, a fine of two percent of the total value of the contract may be deducted. In the event UNICEF are unhappy with the work produced by the organization, they may opt to terminate the contract or mutually agreeable terms. Likewise, if the organization is unhappy with new conditions given by its client it may opt to withdraw on mutually agreeable terms.

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