Contract Duration: 1 Year with possibility for extension
UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy work is carried out through a network of advisors and specialists located at HQ, Regional, and Country Office levels to ensure that local knowledge and context-specific expertise is linked to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP provides its policy advisory and programme support functions through the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains, in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan. Within the GPN, the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP’s Strategic Plan and works closely with the Crisis Bureau (CB) that has the responsibility to guide and implement UNDP’s corporate crisis-related strategies and vision for crisis prevention, response and recovery.
The Cluster on Natural Capital and Environment focuses on integrating UNDP’s economic, social, and environmental work into a coherent sustainable development policy and programming framework. It seeks to provide an integrated package of services, as part of the Global Policy Network, covering all strands of sustainable development, including on integrated development planning and inclusive and sustainable growth, sustainable livelihoods and economic recovery in post crisis situations and natural capital and the environment.
Based in UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, Natural Capital and Environment Cluster, the UNDP-Global Environmental Finance Unit (UNDP – GEF Unit) has the objective to help countries achieve the simultaneous eradication of poverty and significant reduction of inequalities and exclusion by assisting Country Offices in accessing environmental finance for sustainable development. This objective is achieved through five inter-related areas of work: (i) sustainable management of ecosystem goods and services; (ii) scaling up of climate change adaptation and mitigation; (iii) sustainable, affordable and accessible energy services; (iv) sustainable management of chemicals and waste; and (v) improved water and ocean governance. These areas of work are fully aligned with the four environmental outputs of the UNDP Strategic Plan.
UNDP is an accredited implementing entity for the following environmental vertical funds: (i) the funds managed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF): the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund (GEF TF); the Nagoya Protocol Implementation Fund (NPIF); the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF); and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), (ii) the Adaptation Fund (AF), and (iii) the Green Climate Fund (GCF). As an Implementing Agency for these funds, UNDP offers countries highly specialized technical services for eligibly assessment, programme/project formulation, due diligence, mobilization of required co-financing, project implementation oversight, results management and evaluation, performance-based payments and knowledge management.
UNDP’s approach to energy aligns with the SDG 7 targets (renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy access), and is formulated around a Signature Solution on energy as set out in UNDP’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan. This signature solution has three main areas of focus: in low-income countries, on energy access (electrification, clean cooking), with a UNDP commitment to electrify 100 million individuals by 2030; in middle-income countries, helping achieve transformational change and accelerate a just energy transition, including a focus on smart cities (energy efficiency, e-mobility, rooftop PV, battery storage); and in crisis settings, providing sustainable energy solutions in situations of displacement, around energy as a means to build resilience.
UNDP has developed a clear, market transformation-based theory of change on energy. UNDP assists governments to systematically identify the barriers and risks which can hold back private sector investment, and then supports policymakers to put in place packages of targeted public interventions to address these risks. Each public intervention acts in one of three ways: either reducing, transferring or compensating for risk. The end objective is to cost-effectively achieve a risk-return profile for investments that can attract large quantities of low-cost commercial financing at scale. UNDP’s comparative advantage lies with reducing risk, through well-designed policies and regulations, and working with its partners on integrated solutions across policies and finance. For more information please visit www.undp.org/DREI
The UNDP – GEF Unit is organized into five substantive technical teams corresponding to the five areas of work above. Each area of work is led by a Principal (PTA) and/or Senior Technical Advisor (STA), who supports and guides a team of Regional Technical Advisors and Specialists (RTAs/RTSs). The regional teams are based in regional hubs (Addis Ababa, Istanbul, Bangkok, and Panama) from where they support UNDP’s country offices and partners in their region. As well as being a member of a technical team, each RTA/RTS is also a member of a regional team, which consists of RTAs/RTSs from all technical teams working together under the leadership of a UNDP – GEF Regional Team Leader.
The Regional Technical Specialist (RTS) works under the overall supervision of the Principal/Senior Technical Advisor and in close collaboration with other technical specialists at both global and regional levels. RTSs have global responsibilities in their area of specialized technical expertise but are deployed from Regional Hubs, normally close to the countries to which they provide most support. RTSs have a secondary line of reporting to the Regional Team Leaders for the countries to which they provide support. The RTS will initially be based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and will be required to travel frequently.
RTSs may be periodically redeployed, in accordance with capability, consent, and due process, to a different regional hub as needed.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Regional Technical Specialist for Climate Change Mitigation and Energy is primarily responsible for providing high quality technical policy, programming, implementation support and oversight, and knowledge and capacity development services to UNDP country offices in the region. Secondary clients might include other UN agencies, governments and inter-governmental organizations, NGO’s, donors, and the like. Specific results are expected in the areas of:
Innovation, Strategic Leadership, Dialogue and Advocacy (10%)
-Provide support to establishing and maintaining a strategic understanding of, and engagement with, the substantive technical issues, institutions, and processes within the region, including establishing contact with and developing strategic partnerships with other agencies, donors, NGO’s, the private sector, scientific institutions and the like;
-Contributing to identification, development and implementation of new strategic programming opportunities and partnerships in the area of sustainable energy, climate resilient infrastructure and low carbon transport;
-Participating in global work-planning meetings, regional strategic planning, pipeline management exercises, etc.;
-Participating in cross-substantive area technical dialogue, common strategic visioning, mainstreaming, programming, and other collaboration within the regional team;
-Assisting in keeping the Regional Team informed of trends and issues with respect to the substantive technical area.
Key result: New strategic opportunities for UNDP are realized, UNDP’s technical focus is leading edge and innovative, UNDP has strong partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders, UNDP has a trusted leadership role in the technical area of expertise.
Programming and Management (20%)
-Supporting the development of strategic policy and guidance for strengthening UNDP Country Offices with energy project design and implementation including alignment with national priorities;
-Assisting the development of and advocacy for specific policy analysis and development tools and guidance in support of programming and finance for energy;
-Supporting the establishment of a trusted leadership role for UNDP-GEF within the region;
-Sourcing of technical expertise and support including assisting with the preparation of TORs, identification and evaluation of experts and reviewing reports;
-Contributing to regional retreats, focal area retreats, regional strategic planning, pipeline management exercises, etc.;
-Promoting gender equity/empowerment in programming opportunities;
-Helping to ensure that strategies and projects are aligned to country outcomes and UNDP corporate environment results in internal UNDP project tracking systems (e.g. ERBM);
-Maintaining quality and accuracy in data and project management systems (UNDP EF systems like PIMS+), management of ATLAS Risks logs, and portfolio delivery rates;
-Monitoring to ensure expected quality standards are maintained in project implementation reviews;
-Supporting the RCU to internalize lessons from evaluations in programming in the region.
Key result: Portfolio of programmes/projects managed efficiently and effectively. UNDP recognized as providing outstanding programme and project oversight and supervision support.
Programming and Resource Mobilization (25%)
-Assisting in the provision of timely quality information and technical advice on source of funds’ policies, priorities and activities;
-Draft, revise, finalize and help editing concepts and project documents for submission to donors;
-Supporting the coordination of design, preparation, submission and approval of project proposals and requests for project development financing;
-Support the liaison with potential (co)financing agencies and institutions.
Key result: Resources are mobilized in support of developing country clients as a consequence of the identification, development and funding of high technical quality and results-based programmes and projects in line with country priorities and UNDP strategic priorities.
Development Impact (30%)
-Assisting with inception, contracting and start-up of projects including establishment of indicators, benchmarks and work plans;
-Supporting UNDP country offices in the supervision, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, troubleshooting and adaptive management of approved projects, including preparing and reviewing annual reports and work plans;
-Maintaining project and portfolio information and corporate information systems;
-Developing guidance and tools for country offices to utilize in operationalizing project inception, contracting and start-up of projects including establishment of indicators, benchmarks and work plans;
-Functioning as surge capacity to COs, supporting the environmental focal point (EFP) with urgent, pressing, complex and/or specific tasks in the context of energy, infrastructure and transport programming.
Key result: UNDP programmes and projects consistently deliver high quality, high impact development results.
Learning, Knowledge Management and Self Development (15%)
-Evaluating, capturing, codifying, synthesizing lessons and stimulating the uptake of best practices and knowledge, including the development of resource kits and other knowledge materials;
-Peer reviewing, commenting on, and seeking to improve, the technical quality of projects, policies, practices, guidelines, advisory notes, publications and the like;
-Assisting with preparation of regional Community of Practice meetings;
-Preparing and delivering training courses, as needed;
-Developing knowledge products of relevance to UNDP-GEF’s support to countries on low emission climate resilient development in the area of energy, infrastructure and transport;
-Developing and carrying out a personal learning plan.
Key result: UNDP recognized as a learning and knowledge management organization.
-Ability to make new and useful ideas work.
-Ability to persuade others to follow.
-Ability to improve performance and satisfaction.
-Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform.
-Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement.
Energy – Sustainable Energy
-Knowledge of latest developments in sustainable energy and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.
Energy – Energy Finance
-Knowledge of market-based energy financing and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.
Energy – Energy Access
-Knowledge of energy access concepts and/or issues and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.
Climate Change Mitigation
-Knowledge of climate change mitigation concepts and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.
-Knowledge of climate finance concepts and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.
-Ability to identify and organize programmes and projects to implement solutions and generate resources.
-Ability to capture, develop, share and effectively use information and knowledge.
-Ability to perform administrative and procedural activities to ensure that quality requirements and goals are fulfilled.
Required Skills and Experience
-Master’s degree (or higher) in Engineering, Environmental Economics, Finance, Environmental Sciences or other closely related field.
-Minimum of 5 years’ experience working in sustainable energy (renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy access) and/or finance;
-Experience with the design and/or implementation of development projects to promote energy investment;
-Experience in energy finance. Experience in digital finance is an asset;
-Experience with public financial instruments to promote energy investment preferable;
-Experience in developing countries. Experience working in the Africa Region is an asset;
-Experience at international organizations is an advantage.
-Excellent knowledge of the English language, with exceptional writing, presentation and communication skills;
-Ability to work in French required;
-Competency in other UN languages is an asset.
Important information for US Permanent Residents ('Green Card' holders)
Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment.
UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.
Applicant information about UNDP rosters
Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. This vacancy announcement will be used to populate a roster of qualified candidates from which future Regional Technical Specialist for Climate Change Mitigation and Energy assignments will be drawn. Kindly note that the Roster will consist of internal and external candidates found suitable for Regional Technical Specialist for Climate Change Mitigation and Energy Fixed Term Appointments (FTA) at P3 levels. These candidates will have to be endorsed by the UNDP Compliance Review Board (CRB) after having successfully undergone a competitive recruitment process including a thorough technical assessment and a competency based interview. These individuals will be required to complete an application and, if successful, will be considered as “pre-approved” candidates for a duration of up to 3 years.
UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.
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