Technical Specialist (National Adaptation Plans)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Bangkok, , TH


The Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP’s Strategic Plan.  BPPS’s staff provides technical advice to Country Offices, advocates for UNDP corporate messages, represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private dialogues, government and civil society dialogues, South-South and triangular cooperation initiatives, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas.

As the UN system’s development program and a GEF Implementing Agency since 1991, UNDP also supports countries in addressing development, climate, and ecosystem sustainability in an integrated manner. UNDP GEF offers countries highly specialized technical services for eligibility assessment, program/project formulation, due diligence, mobilization of required co-financing, project implementation oversight, results management and evaluation, performance-based payments and knowledge management.

UNDP is supporting countries to adopt medium term approaches for climate finance readiness that align with national development priorities. The focus of this support is to reduce vulnerability through interventions on the ground and to assist in promoting comprehensive climate risk management in ongoing planning and budgeting processes through National Development Plans and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs).  The NAP process is among the high profile topics on adaptation under discussion in the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) under the Conference of Parties. Building on efforts that are underway from the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) the NAP process draws attention to the need for developing countries to identify, finance and implement appropriate medium-to long-term adaptation needs, including, to balance sectoral and cross-sectoral priorities, at national, sub-national and local levels.

UNDP-GEF has been active in supporting countries with their NAP agenda mainly through two different channels:

  • Multi-country/Global portfolio of technical assistance programmes funded by LDCF, SCCF and bilateral donors to assist developing countries in their NAP processes (henceforth referred to as “UNDP Global Support Portfolio on NAPs”);
  • National projects funded by LDCF/SCCF/AF or bilateral donors.

The Technical Specialist (TS) will provide technical assistance and advice to countries within the portfolio of NAP support projects. The specialist will support country-driven processes to advance National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), especially towards French-speaking countries. The incumbent will report to the Lead Technical Specialist on NAP and will be based in Bangkok, Thailand with frequent travel to participating countries.

Duties and Responsibilities

Innovation, Strategic Guidance, Dialogue and Advocacy (30%)

  • Support countries participating in the NAP-GSP programme to reactivate and update national teams (e.g. working groups created for the NAPAs and/or national development plans) on supporting the NAP process, including identification of champions and other key stakeholders;
  • Guide country level consultations to identify the scope and direction of the NAP process and expectations for advancing medium- to long-term planning for adaptation as part of the on-going planning and budgeting processes at national and sub-national levels;
  • Conduct and/or review and comment on gap analysis conducted on key institutional and technical capacities to fully embark on medium- to long-term planning and budgeting for adaptation linked and aligned to national development priorities (conducting capacity assessments to identify strengths that should be capitalized on and weaknesses that need to be strengthened);
  • Maintain a strategic understanding of, and engagement with, the substantive technical issues, institutions, and processes within the countries served of relevance to the NAP process, including establishing contact with and developing strategic partnerships with other agencies, donors, NGO’s, the private sector, and scientific institutions etc. as they relate to advancing key elements of the NAP process.

Key result: Development of coherent approaches and tools for addressing climate risks in planning and budgeting that can be applied by UNDP to support countries in advancing the National Adaptation Plans process in developing countries.

Development Impact (40%)

  • Assist inception, contracting and start-up of programmes/projects including establishment of indicators, benchmarks and work plans, annual status and financial reports and carry out other Project Board directives;
  • Support the identification and sourcing of technical expertise including assisting with the preparation of TORs, identification and evaluation of experts and reviewing reports;
  • Support efforts to ensure that project activities are integrated and coordinated with the established operations of both UNDP and UNEP within their comparative advantage and their areas of work;
  • Support UNDP country offices in liaising with national partners on NAP related issues;
  • Develop and maintain close linkages with relevant agencies, stakeholders, key donors, NGOs, civil society, international organizations, and implementing partners of the projects.
  • Support the development of specific policy analysis and development tools and guidance;
  • Coordinate with UNDP-GEF Regional Technical Advisors supporting adaptation programming with multiple sources of finance, as well as, others both within and outside of UNDP, especially in French-speaking countries, on substantive issues of relevance to NAPs;
  • Ensure UNDP staff are informed of progress with the NAP process in Francophone LDCs and other French speaking developing countries, especially those that request support from the GSP, via quarterly newsletters and other effective means of communication.

Key Result: Developing countries covered under the UNDPs national adaptation planning portfolio adopt measures for de-risking development strategies and plans, and start to address climate change adaptation in their planning and budgeting processes.

Learning, Knowledge Management and Self Development (30%)

  • Facilitate partnerships for South-South and North-South transfer of technical and process-orientated information on experiences, good practice, lessons and examples of relevance to medium- to long-term national, sectoral and local plans and planning and budgeting processes;
  • Ensure UNDP staff are informed of progress with the NAP process in Francophone LDCs and other French speaking developing countries, especially those that request support from the GSP, via quarterly newsletters and other effective means of communication.
  • Coordinate with UNEP, FAO and any other relevant partner and stakeholders to formulate technical guidance tools and policy materials, guiding principles, case studies on lessons and good practices, and ensure that these are made accessible to all LDCs as they commence NAP processes;
  • Facilitate training in the use of the tools and approaches to advance medium- to long-term adaptation planning and budgeting in partnership with UNEP and FAO; 
  • Evaluate, capture, codify, synthesize lessons for the uptake of best practices and knowledge, including the development of resource kits and other knowledge materials; 
  • Respond to queries on programme/project progress, impacts and lessons;
  • Oversee translation and availability of key documents in English and French.

Key Result: Knowledge management of the NAPs portfolio is effective and useful for partner countries and is demonstrated through the engagement with NAP relevant knowledge networks and availability of case studies, tools and lessons available in the public domain. 




  • 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.



Climate Change Adaptation

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

Economics (General)

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

Functional (Cross-Bx) Resource Mobilization

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

Gender Issues & Analysis

  • Knowledge of gender issues and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations, including analysis of projects from a gender perspective.

Operational Efficiency

  • Ability to identify and execute opportunities to improve operational efficiency.


Knowledge Management

  • Ability to efficiently handle and share information and knowledge.
Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree in Climate change and development, Development Studies, Political Science, Environmental Economics, Energy, Environmental Law, Social Sciences or a closely-related field.


  • At least 5 years of experience providing policy analysis and/or capacity building support related to climate change and sustainable development to governments and/or other development partners;
  • Familiarity with the National Adaptation Plans process and other UNFCCC related processes, as well as, the global climate finance architecture, including the Green Climate Fund and Global Environment Facility;
  • Experience working with and supporting Governments in developing countries, especially in French-speaking countries;
  • Demonstrated experience in supporting institutional capacities for planning and strategic advocacy to governments, civil society and other development partners, organizing and delivering trainings related to climate change and development, especially with regards to climate change mainstreaming;
  • Demonstrable skills in computer use including Word processing, Excel, PowerPoint;
  • Knowledge of ERP system (i.e. Atlas) is an asset;
  • Previous work experience in a UN Organization is an asset;
  • Experience in a Country Office is an asset. 

Language Requirements

  • Excellent knowledge of the English and French language, with excellent writing, presentation and communication skills.