Programme Manager (NDC Support, Climate Change)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
New York, NY, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Senior (10+ Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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The Paris Agreement is the world’s first global agreement to address climate change and to transition to a resilient, low-carbon economy. The goal it to limit average global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius, and ideally below 1.5 Celsius, by the end of the century. Each country submitted a contribution in terms of emission reduction targets. UNDP has been one of the leading organizations supporting countries on the design and implementation of these national climate plans (the Nationally Determined Contributions – NDCs) through direct technical support, and capacity building, peer-to-peer knowledge sharing forums and training activities. 


Raising climate ambition requires system-level transformations, galvanized by unwavering leadership at the highest levels, and supported by diverse coalitions across all sectors of society. This transformation requires new technologies, new incentives, new businesses, new markets. But mostly, it requires a new perspective that puts climate change at the heart of UNDP’s development agenda, aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It requires fully infusing climate considerations across national and sub-national finance and planning, and into every major economic sector, and us to harness the full spectrum of private and public climate finance sources.


Working in over 170 countries and territories, and with a key role in governance and SDG integration, UNDP is uniquely placed to work with all sectors of society to help mobilize the institutions and resources required to achieve a 1.5-degree future. Specifically, UNDP is already providing technical support to its country partners to deliver on, and contribute to, sustainable development and resilience-building in the context of the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework for Action. This is done through a vision outlined in UNDP’s Strategic Plan (2018-2022) that responds to a changing development landscape and the evolving needs of our partners.  UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) is responsible for developing relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP’s Strategic Plan.  BPPS works closely with UNDP’s Crisis Bureau (CB) as part of UNDP’s Global Policy Network (GPN), which provides technical advice to Country Offices; advocates for UNDP corporate messages; represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora; and engages in UN inter-agency coordination on specific thematic areas.  Moreover, UNDP’s new SDG Accelerator Labs, established in over 60 countries, enables UNDP to identify, test, scale up and finance innovative climate solutions. 


The NDC Support Programme, a UNDP flagship programme delivered by and embedded within the GPN.  The Programme, launched in November 2017 funded by the European Union, and the Governments of Germany and Spain, (building directly upon the results of UNDP’s Low Emission Capacity Building Programme), is helping countries implement their climate commitments. The Programme provides technical and financial assistance to more than 40 countries to implement their climate commitments outlined in their NDCs and design more ambitious climate targets in the future that are aligned with national development priorities, and UNDP’s wider climate and energy portfolios. Dedicated oversight and management of the Programme, aligned with UNDP’s corporate priorities to support transformational changes at country level, is critical for successful implementation. This post will help ensure its success.



UNDP seeks to engage the services of a Programme Manager who will oversee and lead the implementation of the NDC Support Programme and provide technical guidance on NDC climate actions in countries participating in the Programme. The chosen candidate will be expected to guide the effective implementation of the NDC Support Programme activities aligned with UNDP’s strategic priorities and in close coordination with teams responsible for implementing UNDP’s wider climate portfolio. He/she will ensure that countries’ requirements and donor’s expectations are adequately met in accordance with the approved global and country project documents. In working with other UNDP teams within and outside the GPN, the Programme Manager will actively support coordination among relevant UNDP initiatives that can contribute to NDC implementation at country level and ensure that the Programme is fully aligned with UNDP’s strategy on NDC support. 

The successful candidate will manage a technical team focusing on inclusive governance, climate finance and private sector engagement, gender mainstreaming, climate action and sustainable development alignment, and tracking and reporting of climate actions. This position requires excellent skills to guide a technical and administrative team to collect, track and analyze Programme data, results and lessons learned while simultaneously guide the development and implementation of operational systems that ensure exemplary Programme oversight and provide for the potential of continuous Programme growth fully aligned and complementary to UNDP’s wider climate and energy portfolios. 



Duties and Responsibilities


1. Substantive leadership in Programme management:


  • Ensure effective implementation of NDC Support Programme activities aligned with UNDP’s strategic priorities, especially in the context of UNDP’s emerging NDC implementation support and climate strategy aimed at - defining a collaborative Corporate approach to create impact and ambition;
  • Design a detailed implementation strategy that responds to countries’ requirements and donor’s expectations, and achieving the Programme’s objectives;
  • Provide substantive and managerial leadership and oversight of Programme staff at the global and regional levels;
  • Coordinate the activities of the NDC SP Steering Committee and UNDP Project Board, and provide them with regular updates on progress, addressing their recommendations on implementation, as needed;
  • Guide the Programme’s team on support to governments and UNDP Country Offices to establish a monitoring system of the Programme’s impacts and achievements of the NDC targets at country level;
  • Oversee the implementation of the Programme’s communications & outreach strategy as well as the development of any relevant knowledge networks;
  • Oversee and monitor the Programme’s budget and its implementation in accordance with the Annual Workplan.


2. Coordination of the NDC Support Programme’s activities: 

  • Supervise Programme activities and provide strategic guidance to ensure sound and substantive deliverables on NDCs at country level aligned to UNDP’s broader climate and energy portfolios;
  • Oversee the Programme’s team to assist countries to establish a strategic understanding of the substantive technical issues, institutions, and processes for the appropriate engagement of government and non-government organizations;
  • Guide the Programme’s team to evaluate, capture, and synthesize findings and stimulate the uptake of best practices and knowledge that can be used in NDC implementation more broadly;
  • Supervise the preparation of impacts and results on NDC that can be disseminated to other countries and feed into UNDP programming; 
  • Coordinate the publication of the Programme’s results, experiences, and lessons learned on NDC and a dissemination strategy to ensure knowledge sharing at a global level.


3. Technical Advisory/Programme Support-Delivery:


  • Lead the design and formulation of support to countries, ensuring project ownership at country level and linkages with relevant initiatives, in close coordination with the relevant thematic leads within the GPN;
  • Ensure implementation of capacity building activities to strengthen technical expertise of partners responsible for NDC implementation in participating countries;
  • Coordinate technical backstopping activities in the different thematic areas under the Programme, tailoring technical assistance to countries’ needs;
  • Oversee the preparation of countries’ interim and final reports, highlighting key impacts on NDC implementation;
  • Oversee the organization of workshops at global and regional levels, based on countries’ priorities and in coordination with relevant partners. 

4. Support UNDP’s corporate engagement on NDC implementation: 

  • Develop policy guidance to support the implementation of UNDP’s NDC implementation support strategy based upon the strategic guidance provided by the UNDP Global Head – Climate Change;
  • Provide substantive contribution to UNDP corporate discussions and Inter-Agency coordination in NDC related issues; 
  • Support the development of a knowledge management strategy on NDCs and relevant work, aligned to UNDP’s Corporate climate KM strategy;
  • Provide guidance on cross thematic issues, identifying opportunities for cross practice synergies of relevant initiatives in UNDP that will contribute to NDC implementation at country level; 
  • Prepare and disseminate lessons learned through the relevant communities of practice within UNDP;
  • Ensure coherence of Programme outputs within UNDP, especially with other complementary initiatives, such as those addressing adaptation, REDD, climate finance, gender, transparency, etc., funded by the vertical funds and bilateral sources.


5. Coordinate donor relations and Programme resource mobilization:


  • Develop and strengthen partnerships with relevant organizations, donors, NGO’s, the private sector, and scientific institutions to support Programme implementation;
  • Ensure strong coordination with NDC Partnership, IKI NDC Cluster, and other relevant initiatives to facilitate collaboration on support to countries on NDC implementation;
  • Represent UNDP in international fora discussion in the area of NDC and related areas; 
  • Mobilize external partnerships to enhance support to the Programme and expand its experience to a broader constituency;
  • Provide substantive inputs to international fora to help shape global and regional development strategies, policies, and programmes on NDCs.





Corporate Competencies:



  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work.


  • Ability to persuade others to follow.

People Management:

  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction.


  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform.


  • Ability to get things done.





Programme Management:


  • Ability to create and manage processes/systems to achieve deliverables and oversee/design work plans and budgets to ensure proper admin and financial procedures

Coordination of a wide range of competing tasks: 

  • Ability to efficiently identify priorities to define a sound course of actions to ensure timely and high-quality results 

Technical understanding of climate change: 

  • Ability to guide the Programme’s team on the key technical issues that countries need to address in the design and implementation of climate mitigation and adaptation actions in the context of their sustainable development priorities. 

UNDP corporate strategy:

  • Ability to define strategic and concrete linkages between Programme’s objectives and UNDP’s priorities to support its climate and development agendas.  

Partnerships and donor relations:

  • Ability to engage with other agencies, donors, and other development stakeholders and forge productive working relationships.

Knowledge management and communications:

  • Ability to plan and guide the preparation of knowledge products and communication strategies to ensure Programme visiblity.


Climate Change Mitigation:

  • Knowledge of climate change mitigation concepts and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.

Resource mobilization:

  • Ability to fundraise. 


Required Skills and Experience



  • Master’s degree or higher in environmental sciences, economics, business, or social sciences.


  • At least 10 years of relevant progressively responsible experience on climate change at the international level is required; 
  • Extensive experience with climate change project implementation at the global and country level, especially in NDC is an advantage.
  • Demonstrated skills in NDC relevant areas, such as GHG inventory systems, GHG mitigation, LEDS, NAMAs, MRVs, and climate finance is an advantage;
  • Solid understanding of capacity building needs and demonstrated experience in the design and coordination of country support in climate change will be an asset;
  • Extensive experience in assisting national governments from different regions on project design and implementation is an asset;
  • Extensive working experience in an international organization; knowledge of UNDP policies, procedures and practices is an advantage.
  • Demonstrated experience facilitating the exchange of knowledge among peer, development of knowledge products and communication strategies is an asset;



  • Excellent knowledge of English, presentation and communication skills.