Regional Technical Specialist for Climate Change Adaptation

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Panama City, Panama 🇵🇦

Background

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

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’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan emphasizes the critical links between environmental sustainability, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and broader efforts to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement. As part of the Global Policy Network in the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP’s Nature, Climate Change, and Energy (NCE) Team promotes and scales up integrated whole-of-governance approaches and nature-based solutions that reduce poverty and inequalities, strengthen livelihoods and inclusive growth, mitigate conflict, forced migration and displacement, and promote more resilient governance systems that advance linked peace and security agendas.

The NCE Team works with governments, civil society, and private sector partners to integrate natural capital, environment and climate concerns into national and sector planning and inclusive growth policies; support country obligations under Multilateral Environmental Agreements; and implement the UN’s largest portfolio of in-country programming on environment, climate change, and energy. This multi-billion-dollar portfolio encompasses: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services including forests; Sustainable Land Management and Desertification including food and commodity systems; Water and Ocean Governance including SIDS; Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation; Renewable and Modern Energy; Extractive Industries; Chemicals and Waste Management; Environmental Governance and Green/Circular Economy and SCP approaches. This work advances crosscutting themes on innovative finance, digital transformation, capacity development, human rights, gender equality, health, technology, and South-South learning. UNDP’s Nature, Climate and Energy practice spans 137 countries, with a portfolio directly benefiting 86 million people. Our support to Governments focusses on enabling an inclusive, resilient, green recovery by: building competency to accelerate access to sustainable energy and climate and nature-positive policies and finance; scaling capacity to ensure No One is Left Behind; catalyzing SDG and Paris-aligned investments (public and private); delivering client-focused solutions that respond to countries’ immediate, mid- and long-term recovery and socio-economic development priorities; and leveraging our on-the-ground presence and networks to unlock bottom-up solutions that deliver lasting impacts at country level.

In addition to UNDP’s bilateral partnerships on nature climate and energy, UNDP is an accredited multilateral implementing agency of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Multilateral Fund (MLF), and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) which includes the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund (GEF Trust Fund); the Nagoya Protocol Implementation Fund (NPIF); the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF); and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF). As part of UNDP’s partnership with these vertical funds, UNDP provides countries specialized integrated technical services for eligibility assessment, programme formulation, capacity development, policy advice, technical assistance, training and technology transfer, mobilization of co-financing, implementation oversight, results management and evaluation, performance-based payments and knowledge management services. The Nature, Climate and Energy Team focuses on managing the oversight of climate and environmental financial resources from global trust funds to catalyze and unlock other types of public and private financing for sustainable development. This includes oversight of the design as well as implementation phase of projects (together with Country Offices and Regional Bureaus), as well as portfolio level oversight and management.

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 Team Leaders on the countries they support.

Climate Change Adaptation Programme

Climate change could drive an additional 100 million people into poverty by 2030. Countries have increasingly included adaptation priorities in their NDCs pointing to issues of water and food security, safeguarding economic assets from extreme climate events and disasters, and protection and regeneration of natural capital. Building on the experiences and lessons from a portfolio of initiatives in over 137 countries, UNDP advances a ‘whole-of-society’ approach to accelerate adaptation and continues to support countries to mobilize public and private finance to implement their adaption priorities. UNDP assists government partners to scale up the integration of climate change adaptation into policy, planning, and investments at both national and local levels through the support to the National Adaptation Planning (NAP) process and the NDCs. UNDP supports climate change adaptation action in the context of agriculture and food security, water resources, coastal zone management, ecosystems protection, public health, resilient infrastructure, urban resilience, livelihoods, and climate information/early warnings.

The RTS for Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) works under the overall supervision of the Environmental Finance Team PTA on Climate Change Adaptation. The RTS will be part of the Environmental Finance Team located in UNDP’s Regional Hub in Panama City, Panama supporting country offices in the Latin America and Caribbean region and is expected to travel frequently. UNDP staff may be periodically redeployed, in accordance with capability, consent, and due process, to a different duty station as needed.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Regional Technical Specialist for Climate Change Adaptation 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 

  • 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 climate change adaptation, climate resilient development and sustainable livelihoods;
  • 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.

Programming and Management 

  • Supporting the development of strategic policy and guidance for strengthening UNDP Country Offices with climate change adaptation 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;
  • 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.

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 including the Global Environment Facility and Green Climate Fund;
  • 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.

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 EFP with urgent, pressing, complex and /or specific tasks in the context of climate change adaptation.

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 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 climate change adaptation;
  • Developing and carrying out a personal learning plan (5%).

Competencies

Core Innovation

  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work.

Leadership

  • Ability to persuade others to follow.

People Management

  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction.

Communication

  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform.

Delivery

  • Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement.

Technical/Functional Environmental Issues

  • Knowledge of environment issues, concept and principles and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.

Climate Change Adaptation

  • Knowledge of climate change adaptation concepts, principles and policies and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.  Ability to provide guidance on climate change adaptation especially as it relates to livelihoods, early warning systems, and coastal risk management.

Economics

  • Knowledge of economics concepts, principles and policies and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.

Development Planning

  • Knowledge of development planning processes and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.

Program Planning and Design

  • Develop programmes through a process.

Resource Mobilization

  • Ability to identify and organize programmes and projects to implement solutions and generate resources.

Results Based Management

  • Ability to manage programmes and projects with a strategy aimed at improved performance and demonstrable results.

Advocacy and Representation

  • Ability to productively share UNDP knowledge and activities (at UN and other venues).

Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Knowledge of methodologies, tools, systems and apply practical experience in planning, monitoring, evaluating and reporting.

Knowledge Management

  • Ability to efficiently handle and share information and knowledge.

Project Management

  • Ability to plan, organize, motivate, and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals. Ability to guide the design and implementation of multi-sectoral and sectoral programmes and projects at different scales.

Collaboration and Partnership

  • Ability to develop, maintain, and strengthen partnerships with others inside (programmes/ projects) or outside the organization and across a wide range of disciplines who can provide information, assistance, and support.  Sets overall direction for the formation and management of strategic relationships contributing to the overall positioning of UNDP.

Required Skills and Experience

Education

  • Master’s degree or higher in environmental economics, development economics environmental law, business administration with a specialization in environment and development, or other closely related field.

Experience

  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience working with developing countries on climate change adaptation, climate finance (e.g. microfinance), and/or sustainable development;
  • Experience with project development, implementation and management is required, with engagement with vertical funds strongly desired;
  • Experience in the policy development processes in climate change risk management; 
  • Demonstrated facilitation and coordination skills;
  • Experience working in Latin America and the Caribbean is strongly desired;
  • Working experience in an international organization is an advantage as is knowledge of UNDP policies, procedures and practices.

Language Requirements

  • Excellent command in written and spoken English and Spanish are essential;
  • Working knowledge of another UN language is an asset.

Disclaimer

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. 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.

This vacancy announcement will be used to populate a roster of qualified candidates from which future Regional Technical Specialist Climate Change Adaptation 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 Adaptation 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.

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POSITION TYPE

ORGANIZATION TYPE

EXPERIENCE-LEVEL

DEGREE REQUIRED

LANGUAGE REQUIRED