Coastal Adaptation Technical Advisor

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Funafuti, Tuvalu 🇹🇻


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 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 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. UNDP Pacific Office has three Programme Teams which are: • Inclusive Growth • Resilience and Sustainable Development; and • Effective Governance These 3 pillars are fully aligned to the team structure in the UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub. The thematic pillars provide the capacity resources for the deployments of advisory services (particularly when cross-cutting in nature) through the Asia Pacific SIDS Engagement Network in close collaboration with the BPPS and BRH RPPS, and with relevant regional institutions and Inter-Agency partners. The RSD portfolio is aligned to UNDP SP Outcome 1 (Growth and development are inclusive and sustainable, incorporating productive capacities that create employment and livelihoods for the poor and excluded). The resilience component of this portfolio is aligned to elements of UNDP SP Output 5 (Countries are able to reduce the likelihood of conflict, and lower the risk of natural disasters, including from climate change). In the Pacific-context, coastal vulnerabilities are at the forefront of climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and development challenges. UNDP’s RSD unit is dedicated to assisting PICs in enhancing the resilience towards the climate change impacts with multiple projects and programmes dedicated to reducing the vulnerabilities of coastal communities and enhancing the capacities of Governments, NGOs and CSOs to address various coastal and shoreline issues. To support the work of UNDP and RSD programming specifically, a technical specialist/advisor will be recruited. The position will be an integral part of the programme team. 

Duties and Responsibilities: 

Under the direct supervision of Resident Representative – UNDP Pacific Office, the Coastal Adaptation Technical Specialist/Advisor is responsible for contributing substantive technical, science, policy and programme advisory services to the Country Offices in the Pacific. He/She will be expected to work very closely with Programme team leaders and deputy team leaders and especially with the RSD Team to provide sound technical advice needed for any Climate Change programming. He/She will be expected to apply the most up to date science and knowledge regarding climate change and sea level rise impacts to the thematic areas of coastal processes, coastal adaptation, erosion and flood mitigation and disaster risk reduction. He/She must have expert knowledge of tropical small island coastal systems and specialist understanding of the vulnerabilities and adaptation response appropriate to PIC coastal communities with a strong focus on atoll communities. He/She acts in response to requests from country offices and in collaboration with the integration and coordination team, working to ensure the execution of quality and coherent programme services within their region and across other regions as well as alignment with the Strategic Plan. He/She advances the mission of UNDP and increases the credibility and recognition in these thematic areas as he/she, works closely with Nature, Climate and Energy (NCE) colleagues across the globe, Pacific Country Offices, RBAP and is responsible for performing and contributing to the following in the thematic areas:

  • Programme Support and Policy Advice;
  • Technical Oversight of Project/Programme Activities;
  • Capacity Building;
  • Partnerships and Resource Mobilization;
  • Knowledge Management.

Programme Support and Policy Advise:

  • Execute technical assessments, provide expert advice and contribute to policy, strategy, and programme initiatives to support key results, outcomes, and outputs of the Strategic Plan related to climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR);
  • Support country offices in developing and implementing relevant strategic action, programmes, and projects in relation to coastal vulnerability;
  • Coordinate the production of relevant analysis and guidance for policy advice and programme support that responds to country office needs in the area of coastal impacts and adaptation;
  • Apply multi-disciplinary approaches, including through setting up, coordinating, and engaging with Development Solution Teams (DSTs), to deliver advisory services and programming needs in line with emerging client needs and corporate standards, as well as maintaining and developing networks of experts in UNDP’s areas of work;
  • Identify gaps and opportunities for development of new programing activities, policies and guide the overall team priorities and workplans;
  •  Provide Quality Assurance to ensure alignment with best practice coastal adaptation and development policies, norms and standards;
  • Ensure cross-practice approach and cross-regional collaboration; Create methods for reviewing policy services in the thematic area and assess policy success, as well as communicate these methods to other country offices and regions;
  • Conceptualize and recommend innovations in the thematic area to improve programme delivery.

Technical oversight of project/programme activities For relevant projects in the portfolio, including the Green Climate Fund Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project (TCAP):

  • Collaborate with the Project Managers in executing project activities and its implementation as required;
  • Serve as the chief technical advisor on adaptation options envisaged in project documents, identify needs for external technical support for effective implementation. 
  • Liaise with Governments, UNDP and other development partners on progress and facilitate implementation of project activities;
  • Support the Project teams with implementation and monitoring of infrastructure construction and coastal science components of the Project; 
  • Support the project managers in liaising with Governments by providing high quality technical inputs;
  • Support the project managers in preparing/organizing the technical materials used in the Project Board Meeting;
  • Assist the project team in carrying out assessments of the technical, operational and management situations on the ground that affect the project implementation and keep the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji and UNDP Regional Hub in Bangkok abreast of the situations;
  • Provide leadership in identifying solutions to address existing gaps arising out of assessments;
  • Undertake a comprehensive overview of good international practices in the area of coastal adaptation and build similar practices within projects;
  • Build and maintain partnerships with technical partners and donors by reporting project progress and identifying opportunities for collaboration;
  • Assist with the coordination between UNDP and all project stakeholders;

Capacity Building:

  • Strengthen the capacities of the UNDP Pacific offices in addressing the needs of countries in the thematic areas of coastal impacts, adaptation, flood mitigation and disaster risk reduction;
  • Provision of advice and support through technical assistance to the national counterparts, as required
  • Provide policy advise to Governments on coastal impacts, adaptation and protection measures and ensure coherence with the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji portfolio;
  • Strengthen capacities of project management teams and Governments to plan, budget and deliver coastal protection, flood mitigation and other related climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction related public services.

Partnerships and Resource Mobilisation:

  • Identify, assist to develop and support the development of project proposals in the thematic area
  • Provide specific technical input to project and programme design related to coastal adaptation, flood mitigation and disaster risk reduction, bringing in international and regional good practice;
  • Provide substantive inputs related to regional external partnerships in the area of work;
  • Support team leaders in fostering strategic partnerships with UN and external regional partner institutions, Governments, private sector, academia, NGOs, and CSOs at regional and local level.

Knowledge Management (KM):

  • Coordinate team contributions and support to corporate KM activities, at region-specific level to help influence/advance policy dialogue in the thematic area in collaboration with policy teams at HQ and in Regional Hubs.
  • Provide sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice;
  • Coordinate and perform knowledge extraction, analysis, documentation, codification of results/lessons learned in the specific thematic area, and verify that knowledge sharing and content management is in line with guidelines and performed using corporate tools.
  • Identify, analyze and communicate lessons learned that may be useful in design and implementation of coastal adaptation projects. The duty of identifying and analyzing lessons learned is an on-going one, and the duty to communicate those lessons is on an as-needed basis;
  • Produce materials with lessons learnt and best practices and participate in knowledge based tools;
  • Promote identification and synthesis of best practices and lessons learned from Project; implementation, for organizational sharing and learning;
  • Promote a knowledge sharing and learning culture;
  • Contribute to the analytical work of UNDP and ensure high quality knowledge products; Promote the substantive quality of all knowledge products, reports and services, and ensures effective integration thereof with other pillars.


  • Strategic thinking/Visioning – Ability to analyse the organization’s value proposition and shape visionary/long term plans. Use insight to identify target audiences and partners and to inform communication
  • Collaboration & Partnership – Ability to develop, maintain, and strengthen partnerships with others inside (Programmes/projects) or outside the organization 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
  • Innovation – Ability to try out / test new ways of engagement and communications. Openness to different and new ways of doing things; willingness to modify one’s preferred way of doing things.
  • Risk Assessment – Knowledge of risk assessment concepts and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.
  • Leadership – Plans and acts transparently, actively works to removes barriers;
  • People Management – Models high professional standards and motivates excellence in others.
  •  Communication & Relationship Management – Gains trust of peers, partners, clients by presenting complex concepts in practical terms to others. • Delivery – Critically assesses value and relevance of existing policy / practice and contributes to enhanced delivery of products, services, and innovative solutions.

Required Skills and Experience: 


  • Master’s degree – coastal sciences


  • 15 years of relevant experience at the national or international level in providing programmatic management advisory services;
  • Extensive experience in coastal science and coastal impacts and adaptation in small island tropical reef mediated shores.
  • Expert and current knowledge of climate change science as it relates to coastal impacts in PIC.
  • Capacity to undertake, review and design technical assessments in coastal zones.
  • Excellent written and verbal communications at all levels, must be able to translate technical concepts to pragmatic coastal management and adaptation strategy.  Strong record of interaction with PIC in the fields of coastal processes and coastal adaptation

Required Language(s):

  • Excellent written and spoken English, knowledge of PIC languages advantageous.


  • UNDP will cover the cost of travel of the individual to the duty station, as well as their return to their home upon completion of their services.
  • Travel costs are covered only in the event that the function will be undertaken physically in the duty station and excludes working from home arrangements.

 Include any official travel expected to be associated with performing the functions 


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. 

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