Green Economy Research Consultant

United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)
Geneva, Switzerland
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Entry Level (0-2 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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Result of Service

The consultant will provide substantive support to work streams described above in order to raise awareness of infrastructure’s centrality to the 2030 Agenda, develop and share knowledge related to sustainable infrastructure, build country capacity to adopt integrated approaches to sustainable infrastructure, and help countries integrate sustainability into their policy making.

These activities will contribute to the Component 3 of the GEF-funded project “Aligning the Financial System and Infrastructure Investments with Sustainable Development – a Transformational Approach”, Outcome 4 - Global knowledge creation and sharing - of the PAGE EC project, and Outputs 1, 2, and 3 of the UN Environment project 612.2: “Enhancing Knowledge and Capacity for Inclusive Green Economies.”

Work Location


Expected duration

The duration of the contract will be from 1 November 2019 – 30 September 2020

Duties and Responsibilities


Since 2008, UN Environment has played a catalytic role in developing and applying key global knowledge products to support countries in their transition to green and socially inclusive economies.

The Resources and Markets Branch (RMB) of UN Environment seeks to conserve the environment, reduce poverty, and promote sustainable development by enhancing the capacity of governments, businesses, and civil society to integrate environmental considerations into economic, trade, and financial policies and practices in accordance with integrated policy-making approaches of sustainable development. Within the Resources and Markets Branch, the Economic and Fiscal Policy Unit (EPFU) contributes to UNEP’s Sub-programme on Resource Efficiency by generating and disseminating knowledge, raising awareness, facilitating discussions, and forging strategic partnerships to advance a transition to inclusive green economies. Different workstreams of the EPFU focus on promoting sustainable infrastructure, implementing activities under the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), and reviewing Green Economy policies.

Infrastructure is inextricably linked to a Green Economy transition and is central to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The socio-economic Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cannot be achieved without trillions of dollars of infrastructure investment, and if this infrastructure development is unsustainable, it will undermine the achievement of the environmental SDGs. Incorporating environmental, social, and economic sustainability into infrastructure planning and development is therefore a critical component of the 2030 Agenda. This was recognized by Members States at the 4th UN Environment Assembly (UNEA), where they passed a resolution on sustainable infrastructure which highlighted its importance to sustainable development and pointed to the need for more integrated approaches to the planning and development of sustainable infrastructure.

In 2018, the EPFU established the Sustainable Infrastructure Partnership (SIP) as a platform to promote and support integrated approaches to sustainable infrastructure planning and development. Integrated approaches recognize the centrality of infrastructure to the 2030 Agenda, and can help deliver optimal environmental, social, and economic outcomes of infrastructure development by considering the complex interlinkages between different infrastructure systems, sectors, phases, governance structures, and aspects of sustainability. In collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders, the SIP provides knowledge, facilitates international collaboration, and supports capacity-building at the country-level to foster systems-level approaches, which more fully exploit the complex interlinkages between infrastructure and the SDGs.

The Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) is an initiative of five UN agencies (UNEP, UNITAR, UNDP, ILO, and UNIDO) that seeks to put sustainability at the heart of economic policies and practices to advance the 2030 Agenda. PAGE supports nations and regions in reframing economic policies and practices around sustainability to foster economic growth, create income and jobs, reduce poverty and inequality, and strengthen the ecological foundations of their economies. In the context of the SIP, PAGE is providing support to UNEP to respond to UNEA Resolution 4/5 by collecting case studies and best practices related to integrated approaches to sustainable infrastructure.

The work stream on the green economy policy review is financed by the EC-funded project “Green Economy Policy Making for SDGs: from Implementation to Evaluation.” Under this project, a methodology for reviewing Green Economy-related policies has been developed, which is being pilot-tested in three countries at the national or sub-national level: China, South Africa and Mongolia. The reviews will provide recommendations on how the respective policies could be better aligned with national Green Economy objectives and international policy frameworks and how the policy process and the policy’s effectiveness overall could be strengthened. The outputs also include recommendations on how the review methodology could be adjusted, based on the experiences of conducting the review at country or subnational level.


The consultant will contribute to the RMB’s work on inclusive green economy and sustainable infrastructure, including supporting related activities under PAGE, the SIP and related activities.

Specific tasks and responsibilities per outputs:

Under the guidance of the Head of Economic and Fiscal Policy Unit, the consultant will be responsible for:

1) Publication on Best Practices for Sustainable Infrastructure:
• conduct research to identify and develop new, and collect existing, case studies on best practices and integrated approaches to sustainable infrastructure
• draft and coordinate the publication of a report, including facilitating peer review, collecting inputs from external partners, and liaising with UNEP Regional Offices and SIP partner organizations.

2) Contribute to the management of the Sustainable Infrastructure Partnership:
• Coordinate the activities of the Expert Working Group (EWG) of the UNEP-led SIP to take stock of existing normative guidance on sustainable infrastructure, identify gaps, and develop consolidated, streamlined, internationally applicable normative guidance on integrated approaches to sustainable infrastructure guidelines.
• Contribute to planning and content development for 2 week-long capacity building courses on sustainable infrastructure and the SDGs.
• Identify opportunities for high level engagement to promote sustainable infrastructure on the global policy agenda.
• Liaise with partners in the Sustainable Infrastructure Partnership (SIP), provide updates, contribute to communication materials, project proposals, and project reporting.
• Liaise with the Green Growth Knowledge Partnership (GGKP) secretariat to develop an online knowledge management hub for sustainable infrastructure;
• Assist in the development of UNEP Programme of Work project document for the Economic and Fiscal Policy Unit.
• Assist in the planning, coordination, and delivery of events, including arranging related procurement and travel.

3) Green Economy Policy Review:
• Assist in the finalization of three Green Economy Policy reviews, including managing the final rounds of reviews and ensuring the integration of technical comments.
• Assist in the revision of the Green Economy Policy review methodology to reflect comments received from the pilot countries.
• Manage the online publication of the country reports and the final version of the Green Economy Policy Review methodology, including liaising with editor and graphic designer.
• Prepare communication material on the policy review and organize a webinar on the review methodology and its country application.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: Advanced university degree (Master’s level) in international relations, economic policy, business/finance, environmental/sustainability studies, or a related field
Experience: Required: At least 2 years of work experience in the field of environmental policy, international environmental affairs, or project management.

Experience working on the Inclusive Green Economy concept, sustainable infrastructure, working with/in China and/or Central and South East Asian countries, and experience of working in both the UN System and the private sector are a strong advantage.
Language: Excellent speaking and writing skills in English are required.