Sri Lanka nationals: Programme Coordination Specialist (Climate and Environment Team)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Colombo, Sri Lanka 🇱🇰


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.

The Climate and Environment Team (CET) of UNDP Sri Lanka CO undertakes key project initiatives to accelerate structural transformations towards green development, addressing the ongoing socio-economic crisis, the climate crisis and overarching environmental issues of the country, in close partnership with relevant government stakeholders, development partners and the private sector. The Team works through three core thematic areas: Natural Resource Management, Sustainable Energy & Waste Management, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction.

Under the new Country Programme 2023 – 2027, the CET will continue its traditional portfolio of projects in the areas of integrated water management, climate-smart agriculture, climate change adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity conservation and natural resource management, and the promotion of renewable energy options and energy-efficient technologies, with an overarching alignment to the Green Development agenda and immediate support, needs to the country’s economic recovery. The CET will also explore investing in new programming areas such as: innovative financing tools, sustainable tourism, solid waste management, transport sector development, efficient transition to renewable energy sources, and early warning preparedness. Further, from the perspective of enhancing Sri Lanka’s resilience to climate change and disasters and strengthening environmental management, the UN in Sri Lanka offered its support to the Government of Sri Lanka to move the country towards a ‘green recovery’ to advance climate change and environmental protection commitments, while seizing new ‘green economy’ and prosperity opportunities emerging post-COVID-19, particularly more relevant in the context of the country’s worst economic crisis. Therefore, catalyzing Sri Lanka’s Green Development trajectory will be one of CET’s core priorities. 

In this context, this function endeavors to provide programme coordination and implementation support across the overall climate and environment cluster of UNDP in Sri Lanka, especially in the thematic areas of energy and waste.

Given this context, the Programme Coordination Specialist role is responsible for the implementation and management of the climate and environment cluster specially energy and waste thematic areas including planning of annual priorities, financial and procurement management, and coordination of the cluster as well as communication and (annual, mid-year and donor) reporting of programme interventions. The Programme Coordination Specialist coordinates with all project managers to offer guidance on corporate programming, financial, procurement, implementation modality policies and procedures. 

In this context, the Programme Coordinator Specialist manages the overall implementation of work undertaken under proposed programming areas of the CET cluster. This includes managing timely implementation of projects as per approved work plans, and management of financial and human resources across the CET cluster, as well as coordinating the implementation of multi-sectoral projects with stakeholders and partners.

Duties and Responsibilities

Reporting to Policy Specialist and Team Lead – CET

Programme/Project Management and Implementation

  • Overall responsibility for the management (programme, financial and procurement) and implementation of projects in the cluster, in particular, in the thematic areas of energy and waste.
  • Provides technical support to UNDP’s work on Green Development focusing on the Energy, E-Mobility, Chemical and Waste sector
  • Lead the support provided on implementation of project outputs and activities, enabling high-quality delivery of project results as per the resource mobilization proposals, project documents and/or Project Board decisions of energy and waste projects.
  • Primary responsibility for the preparation of Annual Work Plans (outlining results & financial plans in alignment with the Country Programme).
  • Collaborate with other units to identify bottlenecks/constraints in project implementation and recommend and undertake corrective actions.
  • Ensure project information is updated and accurate on UNDP’s corporate management dashboards and/or applicable enterprise resource planning systems.
  • Serve as the focal point of reference/support for all queries relating to project implementation and financial management.
  • Coordinate support to the pipeline development and project design processes.


  • Ensure timely and accurate input from the team to the Country Office for reporting in compliance with portfolio related donors, and corporate obligations and requirements.
  • Provide strategic guidance on partnership building in the CET thematic areas specifically on the areas of Energy, E-Mobility, Chemicals and Waste.
  • Collaborate with UN sister agencies, Development Partners on mapping out a holistic package of support on in the CET thematic areas including Energy, E-Mobility, Chemicals and Waste.
  • Support/facilitate external evaluations, audits and donor assessments of work undertaken.
  • Engage with donors in coordinating field visits to project sites and other implementation monitoring and evaluation matters.
  • erform a coordination role vis-à-vis flagship projects and support a cohesive approach to implementation across the portfolio.
  • Support the project managers (including flagship projects) on work planning, budget management, and procurement and contract management.

Financial management and support

  • Perform the overall budget owner function of multiple projects
  • Lead the preparation of budgets on project proposals and progress reports submitted to donors
  • Provide overall support to conduct budget revisions

Procurement management and support

  • Responsible for the procurement of goods and services, including drafting terms of reference and work specifications, and overseeing all contractors’ work
  • Facilitate/ensure adherence to UNDP’s rules and regulations and internal control mechanisms in the areas of contracting, assets and procurement.

Communication, reporting and knowledge management

  • Primary responsibility for accurate /timely output -level reporting for annual and mid-year donor progress reporting.
  • Actively participate in the knowledge networks and takes advantage of best practices and lessons learned that are available in the region and globally, and encourages staff in the Programme to do so by creating a culture of knowledge and learning

Performance Management

  • Supervise a team of Technical Specialists, Field Specialists including staff based out of Colombo, providing timely and effective guidance throughout the implementation process
  • Support the Policy Specialist & Team Leader to ensure team performance, coordination, and team spirit.


Core Competencies:

  • Achieve Results: LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact
  • Think Innovatively: LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems
  • Learn Continuously: LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences
  • Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands
  • Act with Determination: LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results
  • Engage and Partner: LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity

People Management competencies: 

  • UNDP People Management Competencies can be found in the dedicated site.

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies

Business Direction & Strategy System

  • System thinking: Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider however alternating one element can impact on other parts of the system.

Business Management

  • Results-based management: Ability to manage programmes and projects with a focus at improved performance and demonstrable results.

Business Development

  • Knowledge Generation: Ability to research and turn information into useful knowledge, relevant for content or responsive to a stated need.

2030 Agenda: People

  • Gender: Climate Change and Risk Management of Disasters with a Gender Perspective

2030 Agenda: Planet

  • Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery: Disaster and Climate Risk Governance
  • Nature Climate & Energy: Climate Change Policies: Climate Finance, Climate Change Adaptation: Strategies

Resource Management

  • Business Management: Ability to allocate and use resources in a strategic or tactical way in line with principles of accountability and integrity

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree in natural science, environmental science, economics, development studies or a related area.


  • Master’s Degree with 5 years of progressively responsible work experience in the development sector with relevant work experience, specifically related.
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience managing and coordinating large-value projects with vertical funding and bilateral donors is an asset.
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in managing projects with a strong element of government capacity building will be an asset.
  • Previous work experience in a government institution an added advantage.
  • Previous work experience with UN or in development sector is desirable.

Language Requirement:

  • Excellent English language skills (written and oral) with working knowledge in Sinhala or Tamil

Note: This position is open for Sri Lanka nationals only.


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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