Regional Technical Specialist -Climate Change Mitigation

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UNDP - United Nations Development Programme


Background
 
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.

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 carried out at HQ, Regional and Country Office levels, forms a contiguous spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and 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. BPPS’s staff provides technical advice to Country Offices, advocates for UNDP corporate messages, represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private dialogues, government, and civil society dialogues, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas. BPPS works closely with UNDP’s Crisis Bureau (CB) to support emergency and crisis response. BPPS ensures that issues of risk are fully integrated into UNDP’s development programmes. BPPS assists UNDP and partners to achieve higher quality development results through an integrated approach that links results-based management and performance monitoring with more effective and new ways of working. BPPS supports UNDP and partners to be more innovative, knowledge and data driven including in its programme support efforts.

BPPS’s Hubs on Nature, Climate, Energy and Waste, with the support of the Vertical Fund Programme Support, Oversight and Compliance Unit, works with governments, civil society, and private sector partners to integrate nature, climate, energy and waste related concerns into national and sector planning and inclusive growth policies, support country obligations under Multilateral Environmental Agreements, and oversee the implementation of the UN’s largest portfolio of in-country programming nature, climate change, energy and waste.

The newly established UNDP Climate Hub is the arrowhead of UNDP’s commitment to the “Climate Promise” that aims to support programming countries designing and implementing pledges under the Paris Agreement, including ambitious National Determined Contributions, with climate change mitigation and adaptation interventions fully embedded in the national development planning and budgetary processes. The Climate Hub will build on UNDP’s existing over USD 4 billion country-level climate portfolio on Climate Change Policies and Strategies, Climate Change Adaptation, Climate Change Mitigation (CCM), Climate and Forests, covering over 142 countries, as well as on UNDP’s Nature portfolio, UNDP’s Sustainable Finance Hub, UNDP’s Digital offer and other relevant portfolios on youth, gender, health, climate security, among others. 

The UNDP Climate Hub is responsible for: 

  • Thought leadership on Climate and to be the custodian of UNDP policy positions on Climate. 
  • Strategy and vision formulation. 
  • Pipeline development in coordination with the other hubs and the Vertical Fund Programme Support, Oversight and Compliance Unit.
  • Provision of integrated policy and programme support to Country Offices. 
  • Global engagement, advocacy in collaboration with Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy (BERA); 
  • Integration across thematic areas. 
  • Strategic Partnerships development and resource mobilization.
  • Lead and support global flagship initiatives and partnerships on Climate. 
  • Serve as focal point with relevant UN coordination mechanisms and Conventions (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change). 
  • Cross-organization knowledge and learning; and 
  • Innovation.

The Regional Technical Specialist (RTS) works under the overall leadership of the Principal Technical Advisor (PTA) for Climate Change Mitigation, and the supervision of the Environment Regional Team Leader for Africa based in UNDP’s Regional Hub in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and in close collaboration with other Technical Specialists and Advisors 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. 

The Regional Technical Specialist Climate Change Mitigation will be based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and will be required to travel. RTSs may be periodically redeployed, in accordance with capability, consent, and due process, to a different duty station as needed.

Position Purpose

UNDP adopts a portfolio approach to accommodate changing business needs and leverage linkages across interventions to achieve its strategic goals. Therefore, UNDP personnel are expected to work across units, functions, teams, and projects in multidisciplinary teams to enhance and enable horizontal collaboration.

The Regional Technical Specialist for Climate Change Mitigation and Energy is primarily responsible for providing technical, policy, and programming implementation support and oversight, and knowledge and capacity development services pertaining to the work of sustainable energy to UNDP country offices, and works with other UN agencies, governments and inter-governmental organizations, NGO’s, donors, the private sector, and many others. 

Specific results are expected in the following:

Duties and Responsibilities

Innovation, Strategic Leadership, Policy Dialogue and Advocacy 

  • Contributing to a strategic understanding of, and engagement with, the substantive technical issues, institutions, and processes within the region, including establishing contact and developing strategic partnerships with other agencies, donors, NGO’s, the private sector, scientific institutions and the like. 
  • Participating in the development and implementation of UNDP’s global and regional strategies on environment and sustainable development within the BPPS, GN and beyond; engagement in policy and advocacy work with external partners where relevant.
  • Providing policy development support and guidance to countries and governments. 
  • Facilitating the development of strategic UNDP policy position papers and internal briefing notes. 
  • Facilitating policy analysis and the development of technical tools and guidance. 
  • Maintain trusted relationships with country offices, government, and non-governmental partners’ role within the region. 
  • Keeping the NCE Regional Team informed of trends and issues with respect to the substantive technical area and contribute actively to regional NCE programming and Business plans. 
  • Keeping the Principal/Senior Technical Advisors and RTL informed of trends and issues in the region.
  • Work in coordination with other RTAs/RTSs in the region to develop projects requiring technical guidance from multiple areas, including collaborations with NCE regional team members and broader GPN and RBAS teams at the Regional Hub on delivery of integrated support to Country Offices.

Ensure effective portfolio management 

  • Advising in the maintenance of programme/project and portfolio information and corporate information systems.
  • Facilitating the identification, and sourcing of technical expertise and support, including assisting with the preparation of TORs, identification and evaluation of experts and reviewing reports.

Establish and maintain strategic partnerships and support resource mobilization efforts 

  • Advising on programme and project identification and development, including on integrated approaches and multifocal area projects.
  • Providing timely and quality information and technical advice on sources of funds, policies, priorities, and activities – including the Global Environment Facility funds, the Green Climate Fund, other multilateral donors, bilateral donors, and foundations.
  • Identifying and suggesting to the PTA and regional RTL priorities and entry-points for UNDP assistance and linkage with broader UNDP priorities.
  • Facilitating the process of preparation, design, submission and approval of programme/project concepts and full-fledged proposals for financing.
  • Providing guidance and support in the identification and sourcing of technical expertise and support including assisting with the preparation of TORs, identification and evaluation of experts and reviewing reports.
  • Facilitating liaisons with potential financing agencies and institutions.

Effectively manage development impact 

  • Advising on inception and start-up of programmes/projects, ensuring the implementation teams’ understanding of technical and operational aspects of the projects, and strong technical and operational capacity of project management units.
  • Supporting UNDP country offices and programme/project implementation partners in project supervision, and timely and quality implementation, providing troubleshooting and guidance for adaptive management.
  • Undertaking virtual and physical supervision missions aimed at (a) verification of results and (b) troubleshooting to manage technical quality assurance risks.
  • Undertaking technical quality assurance of the Annual Work Plan cleared by the CO, ensuring alignment with the approved project document and technical robustness of proposed AWP activities in line with the approved project result framework. 
  • Undertaking risk management oversight including conducting risk-based second-tier portfolio oversight and address escalated GEF project risks/critical issues through Action Plan.
  • Providing oversight for monitoring and evaluation support including quality and timely completion of the annual Project Implementation Reports (PIRs) reports and technical oversight related input during mid-term reviews (MTRs) and terminal evaluations (TEs);
  • Facilitate production of project communication pieces effectively showcasing socio-economic and environmental impacts of individual projects and its linkage to the UNDP Strategic Plan priorities and targets.

Facilitate Learning, Knowledge Management and Self Development 

  • Evaluating, capturing, codifying, synthesizing lessons and stimulating the uptake of best practices and knowledge, including the development of knowledge materials.
  • Peer reviewing, commenting on, and seeking to improve the technical quality of programmes/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.
  • Responding to queries on programme/project progress, impacts and lessons.
  • Developing knowledge products of relevance to UNDP-NCE’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.

The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the Office and the Organization.

Supervisory/Managerial Responsibilities: Supervision, performance management, and development of personnel will be required.

Competencies

Core:
Achieve Results:

  • Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact. 

Think Innovatively:         

  • Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems. 

Learn Continuously:       

  • Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences.

Adapt with Agility:          

  • Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands. 

Act with Determination                

  • Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results.

Engage and Partner        

  • Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration.

Enable Diversity and Inclusion   

  • Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity.

People Management:

UNDP People Management Competencies can be found in the dedicated site.

Cross-Functional & Technical: 
Planet: Nature, Climate and Energy

  • Energy: Energy access, energy planning, derisking energy investment and financial appraisal, market-based energy financing and practical application.

Planet: Nature, Climate and Energy

  • Climate Change Mitigation: Sustainable infrastructure, concepts, and application.

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 Management: Portfolio Management 

  • Ability to select, prioritize and control the organization’s programmes and projects, in line with its strategic objectives and capacity; ability to balance the implementation of change initiatives and the maintenance of business-as-usual, while optimizing return on investment.

Business Management: Communication               

  • Ability to communicate in a clear, concise, and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience.   
  • Ability to manage communications internally and externally, through media, social media, and other appropriate channels. 

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 Management: Project Management

  • Ability to plan, organize, prioritize, and control resources, procedures, and protocols to achieve specific goals.

Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Advanced University degree (master’s degree or equivalent) in Energy, Climate Change, Engineering, Finance, development studies or other closely related field is required. OR 
  • A first-level university degree (bachelor’s degree) in the areas mentioned above in combination with an additional two years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the advanced university degree.
  • Certification in project management is an advantage.

Experience:

  • Minimum of 7 years’ experience (with a master’s degree) or 9 years’ (with a bachelor’s degree) of relevant experience working with developing countries on one or more of the following: renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy transition, energy access.
  • At least of 5 years’ experience providing policy advisory services in areas related to climate change mitigation and sustainable energy is required. 
  • At least 5 years’ experience with the design and/or implementation of development projects/programmes to promote sustainable energy investment, including climate finance is required. 
  • Demonstrated experience in the design and implementation of energy access projects/programmes.
  • Demonstrated experience in structuring blended finance solutions.
  • Experience working in multiple countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Direct experience in the design and implementation of GEF and GCF CCM/sustainable energy projects is preferable.
  • Direct experience in designing and implementing energy access programs for the deployment of renewable energy minigrids is an advantage.
  • Experience in designing financial instruments / mechanisms for sustainable energy programs is preferable.
  • Direct working experience with Development Finance Institutions is an advantage.
  • Experience in leading/coordinating team of experts is an advantage.
  • Demonstrated experience in mobilizing partnerships and resources at scale is preferable.

Language:

  • Fluency in English language, with exceptional writing, presentation, and communication skills is required. 
  • Working knowledge of French is desired. 
Please note that continuance of appointment beyond the initial 12 months is contingent upon the successful completion of a probationary period.
 
Disclaimer
 
 
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.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.
 
Non-discrimination.
 
UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.  
 
UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.
 
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