Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) - Retainer - Zambia

United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)


Background Information – Job-specific

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. The UNEP/Ecosystems Division works with international and national partners, providing technical assistance and advisory services for the implementation of environmental policy, and strengthening the environmental management capacity of developing countries and countries with economies in transition.

The climate change vulnerability of rural communities in Zambia is being exacerbated by ongoing degradation of wetlands and forests and an associated reduction in the provision of ecosystem services. In order to address underlying causes and barriers to increase the resilience of rural communities and ecosystems, the Ministry Lands and Natural Resources is executing the project “Building the resilience of local communities in Zambia through the introduction of Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) into priority ecosystems, including wetlands and forests”. The Zambia EbA Project (short-form name) is funded by the Global Environment Fund (GEF) administered Least Developed Country Fund of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with a budget of US$ 6,185,000 and co-financing of US$ 15,465,200 over period of four years. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the Implementing Agency and support the Department of Climate Change and Natural Resource Management of the Ministry.

The objective of the project is to strengthen the capacity of government and rural communities living around wetlands and forests to adapt to climate change using EbA. This will be achieved through: i) strengthening the institutional and technical capacity in Zambia to plan and implement EbA; ii) implementing EbA interventions at target sites in the Lukanga and Bangweulu wetland systems that reduce the effects of climate change impacts while also generating adaptation and non-adaptation co-benefits; iii) enhancing the climate resilience of rural communities in Zambia through the introduction of additional livelihoods, climate-resilient agricultural techniques and water-efficient irrigation infrastructure; iv) introducing energy-efficient technologies and alternative fuel sources to reduce the pressure on local ecosystems; and v) increasing knowledge and awareness on climate change, EbA and the value of functioning ecosystems.

The UNEP is seeking to recruit an experienced Chief Technical Advisor to provide a total of 240 days input over 4 years starting from Q2 2021. The Chief Technical Adviser (CTA) will contribute to the successful implementation of the project by providing ecosystem-based adaptation technical guidance, project management guidance and capacity building to the project team.  The CTA will work in close collaboration with the Project Manager (PM), Project Director/Department of Climate Change and Natural Resources Management and the UNEP Task Manager (TM).

Functional Responsibilities

Key functions: 

  • Lead and provide technical supervision and advice, and quality assurance; 
  • Strategic policy advice and knowledge management; 
  • Programme Planning, implementation, M&E and reporting; 
  • Capacity building and knowledge transfer; 
  • Monitoring and promoting adaptation learning. 


  • Provide overall technical and operational guidance and support to the Project Manager and Project Steering Committee to ensure that project objectives are being met and that activities are carried out with high technical standards; 
  • Provide guidance on best suitable ecosystem-based adaptation approaches and methodologies for the timely achievement of project targets and objectives; 
  • Provide quality assurance and technical review of project outputs such as inception reports, studies, assessments, training materials, and knowledge products; 
  • Provide advice and assist in putting in place activities on gender, knowledge management, communications and awareness-raising, and document lessons from project implementation; 
  • Assist the PM in planning the implementation of project activities, and in adjusting the project Results Framework, Work Plan and Budget as required and in line with corporate requirements; 
  • Draft or review, as requested, terms of reference (ToRs) for technical consultancies and sub-contracts, and assist in the selection and recruitment process; 
  • Undertake technical reviews and provide quality assurance of project outputs (e.g., technical reports, studies and assessments) and field activities; 
  • Provide guidance and technical inputs to the work carried out by national and international consultants and contractors; 
  • Assist in monitoring the technical quality of project M&E systems (including AWPs, indicators and targets, and against the GEF Climate Change Strategy Indicators);  
  • Coordinate the preparation of the annual Project Implementation Reviews (PIRs), including reporting on Projects’ Co-financing expenditure and achievements against Project’s indicators and GEF’s CC Adaptation Results Framework indicators and its tracking sheet; 
  • Assist staff and consultants in the conduct of project reviews and evaluations, and in revisions of the implementation strategy and work plan, based on review and evaluation results; 
  • Make recommendations to the Project Steering Committee (PSC) for more effective implementation and coordination of project activities, and on strategic policy advice on EbA approaches and integration into local development plans and sector policies; 
  • Support the project team in administrative and financial reporting;  
  • Where requested, advise the PM in liaison work with project partners, donor organizations, NGOs and other groups to ensure the effective coordination of project activities; 
  • Facilitate the development of strategic regional and international partnerships for the exchange of skills and information related to climate change adaptation and sharing of the project’s achievements and lessons learned; 
  • Support the development of a monitoring framework to measure progress against each of the project indicators and targets, and support the preparation of a baseline assessment and annual monitoring reports; 
  • Support the development of a learning and knowledge management and transfer strategy for the project and provide capacity building support to the project management unit; and, 
  • Perform other tasks in the context of the project as may be requested by the PM, the Project Director, and the UNEP TM. 


  • An advanced University degree (Master’s Degree /Ph.D) in Environmental Planning or Management, Natural Resources Management, Public Policy and Management, International Development, Adaptation Planning, Geography and Urban and Regional Planning, or any related fields of study is required.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Planning or Management, Natural Resources Management, Public Policy and Management, International Development, Adaptation Planning, Geography and Urban and Regional Planning, or any related fields of study with additional two (2) years of relevant working experience may also be considered in lieu of an advanced University degree.


  •   A minimum of five (5) years’ work experience in implementation of climate change adaptation projects, or related experience, preferably applying ecosystem-based adaptation approaches in least developed and/or middle-income countries is required;  
  • A minimum of 2 years’ of work experience in capacity-building is required; 
  • Previous work experience work experience on gender issues and mainstreaming is desired
  • Demonstrated experience in coordinating a large, multidisciplinary team of experts and consultants is desired; 
  • Previous work experience with managing GEF/LDCF/SCCF/AF funded projects implemented by UN agencies and familiarity with GEF and UN Environment Gender Maker, Environment and Social Safeguards System is an added advantage.
  • Previous experience in project monitoring and Evaluation is an asset
  • Experience of working and collaborating with developing country government institutions is desired;
  • Strong IT skills including Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Power point) and conducting virtual meetings is desired. 
  • Previous work experience in Zambia or the Southern African Region desired


  • Fluency in English is required

 Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization – UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.
Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: International Individual Contractor Agreement (IICA)
Contract level: IICA 2
Contract duration: Home-based Retainer contract with missions to Lusaka, Zambiaone year initially, renewable over the project duration of four (4) years subject to satisfactory performance and funding availability

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:

Background Information – UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

Kenya Multi-Country Office (KEMCO)

The Kenya Multi-Country Office (KEMCO) is based in Nairobi and is responsible for 15 countries in East and Southern Africa, with ongoing projects in Eritrea, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

UNOPS has worked in Kenya since 1995, where it manages a growing portfolio of engagements, providing project management, infrastructure, procurement, transactional, and financial management services. From renovations of elementary schools in Kenya to improving maternal and child health, KEMCO works to provide practical solutions to support sustainable growth and development in the region. UNOPS KEMCO helps partners achieve their project goals in sectors including: governance, education, health, the environment, grant management and rural development. UNOPS KEMCO has over twenty years of experience working in the region, including on large scale infrastructure projects. With a flexible and responsive presence throughout the region, UNOPS is able to scale up rapidly, through various mechanisms into high-risk areas which have proven to be beneficial to partners.