Technical Specialist for Climate Change

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Istanbul, Turkey
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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UNDP recognizes that the growing risks and impacts of climate change and the accompanying loss of ecosystem services requires the world to urgently invest in a new green development paradigm. Based in UNDP’s Bureau of Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) and its Sustainable Development Cluster, the UNDP Global Environmental Finance (UNDP-GEF) unit helps developing countries make green, low emission and climate resilient development not only possible, but also economically attractive. To achieve this, it works closely with UNDP country offices to help countries develop and implement programmes and projects which advance their capacity to put in place the right mix of regulatory and financial incentives, remove institutional and policy barriers, and create enabling environments that attract and drive private sector investment into green development.
UNDP-GEF staff assist partner countries to develop and implement programmes and projects that combine and sequence resources from a wide range of global environment and climate funds, financial mechanisms, and instruments including, but not limited to: the GEF managed family of vertical funds such as the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund, the Special Climate Change Fund and the Least Developed Countries Fund, the Adaptation Fund, the Green Climate Fund, as well as, a variety of multilateral, bilateral, national, sub-national and private sector sources.
Staff are organized into thematic teams of technical specialists led by Principal or Senior Technical Advisors (PTAs/STAs).  Each team leader supports, guides, and supervises a team of Region-based Technical Advisors (RTAs) and Specialists (RTSs).  RTAs and RTSs work in close collaboration with other technical specialists at both global and regional levels.  While RTAs and RTSs have global responsibilities in their area of specialized technical expertise, they are deployed from Regional Hubs, normally close to the countries to which they provide most support, and have a secondary line of reporting to the Regional Practice or Team Leaders on the countries they support.  
The Technical Specialist for Climate Change works under the overall supervision of the UNDP-GEF STA on Climate Change Adaptation and Global Lead on Green Climate Fund Programming.  The Technical Specialist will be part of the UNDP-GEF team located in UNDP’s Regional Hub in Istanbul, Turkey supporting Regional Technical Advisors/Specialists and country offices globally and is expected to travel frequently.  Technical Specialists may be periodically redeployed, in accordance with capability, consent, and due process, to a different regional hub as needed.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Technical Specialist for Climate Change is primarily responsible for providing high quality technical policy, programming, implementation support and oversight, and knowledge and capacity development services to Regional Technical Advisors and Specialists programming GCF resources located in various UNDP Regional Hubs and UNDP country offices.  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  
Provide support to establishing and maintaining a strategic understanding of, and engagement with, the substantive technical issues, institutions, and processes, 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 climate change adaptation, green, low-emission and climate resilient development, and resilient economic development and sustainable livelihood;
Participating in global retreats, focal area retreats, 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; 
Assist 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 
Supporting the development of strategic policy and guidance for strengthening UNDP Country Offices with climate change adaptation, green, low-emission and climate resilient development, resilient economic development and sustainable livelihood, and green climate fund 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 climate change adaptation and mitigation;
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/accuracy in data and project management (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
Assisting 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
Assisting with inception, contracting and startup 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 projects inception, contracting and startup of projects including establishment of indicators, benchmarks and work plans; 
Functioning as surge capacity to COs, supporting Environmental Focal Points with urgent, pressing, complex and /or specific tasks in the context of climate change adaptation and mitigation, as needed.
Key result:  UNDP programmes and projects consistently deliver high quality, high impact development results.
Learning, Knowledge Management and Self Development 
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 the design and delivery of technical trainings at 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 climate change adaptation/mitigation;
Developing and carrying out a personal learning plan.
Key result:  UNDP recognized as a learning and knowledge management organization.

Required Skills and Experience
Master’s degree in environmental economics, development economics, social sciences, international/environmental law, business administration with specialization in development and environment, or other closely related field.

Minimum of 5 years’ experience working with developing countries on low carbon, climate resilient development issues; 
Demonstrated experience with conducting detailed reviews of project and programmes for/at various vertical funds;
Previous experience at the national or international level providing management advisory services and hands-on experience in design, monitoring and evaluation of development projects and/or project implementation, preferably in environmental management, climate change or other closely-related field preferred;
Demonstrated facilitation and coordination skills;
Full computer literacy;
Demonstrated working experience with UN agencies, or international organizations to develop projects in climate change or closely related areas;

Language Requirements
Excellent knowledge of the English language, with exceptional writing, presentation and communication skills;
Competency in other UN languages is an asset.