Portfolio Manager (International Waters)
Org. Setting and Reporting
The United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment/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". Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action. UN Environment's Ecosystems Division works with international and national partners, providing technical assistance and capacity development for the implementation of environmental policy, and strengthening the environmental management capacity of developing countries and countries with economies in transition. This post is located in UN Environment, Ecosystems Division at the Nairobi duty station. Under the direct supervision of the Chief, Marine and Coastal Ecosystems Unit, the incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:
A. Takes the lead in International Water (IW) corporate strategy development and programme coordination by:
a. Drafting UN Environment (UNEP)/Global Environment Facility (GEF) IW focal area strategy and business plan and coordinate its implementation;
b. Providing input into the UNEP/GEF Fee model as needed and reporting progress against agreed targets on a quarterly basis;
c. Representing UNEP in the GEF Focal Area Task Force meetings;
d. Contributing to UNEP’s programming and ensuring that the UNEP/GEF IW portfolio is reflected in the Plan of Work (PoW);
e. Undertaking council document reviews and preparation of comments and briefings for management;
f. Participating in the UNEP Project Review Committee (PRC) and providing input to UNEP and GEF policy and information documents and to GEF corporate evaluations.
B. Contributes to UNEP & GEF corporate knowledge management, data management, communications and outreach by:
a. Identifying and codifying lessons emerging from the IW portfolio implementation;
b. Overseeing portfolio data entry into the project information system and monitoring team compliance with data entry and quality of entry;
c. Identifying media and other outreach opportunities and contributing portfolio and project information and written materials to be used by communications and outreach officers.
C. Supervises portfolio development and implementation by:
a. Managing the Focal Area team and supervising and mentoring staff;
b. Providing technical guidance to IW focal area Task Managers concerning project design and implementation and coordinating project concept peer reviews as needed;
c. Coordinating responses to GEF Secretariat project review sheets and Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) comments;
d. Reviewing quality of the yearly Project Implementation Reviews (PIR) prepared by Task Managers and preparing focal area reports;
e. Identifying projects-at-risk and monitoring implementation of remedial actions.
D. Develops projects and supervises project implementation of selected projects by:
a. Liaising with national organizations and international partners for identifying GEF-eligible project ideas within UNEP’s comparative advantage;
b. Overseeing project concept development and project preparation, providing technical advice to the executing agencies;
c. Liaising with GEF Secretariat focal area staff to ensure projects meet GEF requirements;
d. Responding to Council, STAP and GEF Secretariat project reviews;
e. Assisting in mobilizing co-financing for the projects and obtaining letters of endorsement from GEF National Focal Points;
f. Participating in Steering Committee meetings;
g. Regularly monitoring project progress and performance and other tasks associated with project implementation in accordance with UNEP/GEF’s Project Operations Manual.
PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge and understanding of International Waters issues and discussions, knowledge and understanding of environmental and resource status of various water resources; Practical experience in programme/project management and oversight; Good analytical and problem-solving skills, including ability to identify and participate in the resolution of issues/problems; Ability to apply good judgment in the context of assignments given; Ability to plan own work and manage conflicting priorities. Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; Remains calm in stressful situations.
COMMUNICATION: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience; Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
CLIENT ORIENTATION: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; Identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.
LEADERSHIP: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; Is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; Establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; Anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; Drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; Shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; Demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.
MANAGING PERFORMANCE: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; Makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; Accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; Monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; Regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; Encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; Actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; Appraises performance fairly.
Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in fields such as Marine or fresh water biology, ecology, Hydrology or Chemistry, Coastal zone and river basin management; environmental engineering, economics, law, or related fields, with specialization in issues related to the protection and management of international waters issues. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
At least ten (10) years of relevant and progressively responsible experience, including at least five (5) years at the international level with key international organizations related to the issues covered in the International Waters focal area is required. Experience in project management/oversight as well as in project development is required. Working experience with a UN agency is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.
Evaluation of qualified candidates for this position may include a substantive assessment which will be followed by a competency-based interview.
Appointment against this position is for an initial period of one year and may be subject to extension. Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.
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The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position. All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply on-line as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening.
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