Global Technical Specialist - Ecosystems and Biodiversity (Francophone)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)


Job Description


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.

Office/Unit/Project Description 

UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy work carried out at HQ, Regional and Country Office levels offers a spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in its Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in UNDP’s Strategic Plan.

Within the GPN, 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 staff provide technical advice to Country Offices, advocates for UNDP corporate messages, represent UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private, government and civil society dialogues, and engage in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas.

UNDP’s 2022-2025 Strategic Plan highlighting our continued commitment to eradicating poverty, accompanying countries in their pathways towards the SDGs and working towards the Paris Agreement. As part of the Global Policy Network in the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP’s Nature, Climate Change, Energy, and Waste (NCE&W) Hubs promote and scale up integrated whole-of-governance approaches and nature-based solutions that reduce poverty and inequalities, strengthen livelihoods and inclusive growth, mitigate conflict, forced migration and displacement, and promote more resilient governance systems that advance linked peace and security agendas.

BPPS’ Hubs on Nature, Climate, Energy and Waste work with governments, civil society, and private sector partners to integrate nature, climate, energy and waste related concerns into national and sector planning and inclusive growth policies, support country obligations under Multilateral Environmental Agreements, and oversee the implementation of the UN’s largest portfolio of in-country programming nature, climate change, energy and waste. This multi-billion-dollar portfolio encompasses:

  • Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services including forests;
  • Sustainable Land Management and Desertification including food and commodity systems;
  • Water and Ocean Governance including SIDS;
  • Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation;
  • Sustainable Energy;
  • Extractive Industries;
  • Chemicals and Waste Management;
  • Environmental Governance and Green/Circular Economy; and SCP approaches.

This work advances crosscutting themes on innovative finance, digital transformation, capacity development, human rights, gender equality, health, technology, and South-South learning.

UNDP recognizes healthy biodiversity and ecosystem services, including soil fertility and water provisioning, as the foundation of human wellbeing and sustainable development. It sees nature-based solutions as essential solutions for tackling multiple developmental challenges, be they land degradation and desertification, climate crisis, inequality and poverty, insecurity and migration.  UNDP’s Ecosystems and Biodiversity Programme adopts an approach to bringing the development agenda to biodiversity discourse enables it to engender increased public, business, and government support for biodiversity conservation and sound ecosystem management, broadening the support base necessary for achieving global biodiversity goals.  UNDP, as a convener, mobilizes global, national and local level actors, governments, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and communities to communicate the value of biodiversity for it to be integrated in national and local development, and sector and fiscal planning processes and practices. UNDP has 300 country level terrestrial and marine ecosystems and biodiversity projects in 120 countries, including sustainable land management projects.  These combined with a set of global projects, such as the Biodiversity Finance Initiative, Nature for Development Programme, Green Commodities Programme, linked to country level work, connects people on the ground to the national, regional and global decision makers and influencers, as well as, fostering exchange and learning between communities, landscapes, governments in different countries and continents. 

The Environmental Finance Unit is organized into five substantive technical teams corresponding to the five areas of work above. Each area of work is led by a Principal (PTA) or Senior Technical Advisor (STA), who supports and guides a team of Regional Technical Advisors and Specialists (RTAs/RTSs).  The regional teams are based in regional hubs/regional service centers (Addis Ababa, Amman, Istanbul, Bangkok, and Panama) from where they support UNDP’s country offices and partners in their region. As well as being a member of a technical team, each RTA/RTS is also a member of a regional team, which consists of RTAs/RTSs from all technical teams working together under the leadership of a Regional Team Leader (RTL). 

The Global Technical Specialist works under the overall supervision and leadership of the Senior Technical Advisor (STA) for Ecosystems and Biodiversity, and in close collaboration with other technical specialists and advisors at both global and regional levels.  RTSs have global responsibilities in their area of specialized technical expertise but are deployed from Regional Hubs, normally close to the countries to which they provide most support.

The Global Technical Specialist for Ecosystems and Biodiversity will be home based and will be required to travel based on country demands.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Global Technical Specialist will provide support to all the regions based on demand in any particular country over the contract period, as well as global vertical fund projects, supporting the Head of the ecosystem and biodiversity (EBD) team and the team of Regional Technical Advisors (RTAs) located in the UNDP Regional Hubs in ensuring quality implementation oversight of large nature-related portfolio. This will include liaison with UNDP Country Offices, RTAs, RTSs, Government stakeholders, project teams, and other relevant consultants.

Innovation, Strategic Leadership, Policy Dialogue and Advocacy (10%)

  • Contributing to a strategic understanding of, and engagement with, the substantive technical issues, institutions, and processes within the region, including establishing contact and developing strategic partnerships with other agencies, donors, NGOs, the private sector, scientific institutions and the like;
  • Participating in the development and implementation of UNDP’s global and regional strategies on environment and sustainable development within the BPPS, GN and beyond; engagement in policy and advocacy work with external partners where relevant;
  • Providing policy development support and guidance to country offices and governments;
  • Supporting the development of strategic UNDP policy position papers and internal briefing notes;
  • Facilitating policy analysis and the development of technical tools and guidance;
  • Maintain trusted relationships with country offices, government and non-governmental partners’ roles within the region;
  • Keeping the NCE Regional Team informed of trends and issues with respect to the substantive technical area and contributing actively to regional NCE programming and Business plans;
  • Keeping the Principal/Senior Technical Advisors and RTL informed of trends and issues in the region.

Development Impact (75%)

  • Assisting with the inception and start-up of programmes/projects, ensuring the implementation teams’ understanding of technical and operational aspects of the projects, and strong technical and operational capacity of project management units;
  • Supporting UNDP country offices and programme/project implementation partners in project supervision and timely and quality implementation, providing troubleshooting and guidance for adaptive management;
  • Undertaking virtual and physical supervision missions aimed at (a) verification of results and (b) troubleshooting to manage technical quality assurance risks;
  • Undertaking technical quality assurance of the Annual Work Plan cleared by the CO, ensuring alignment with the approved project document and technical robustness of proposed AWP activities in line with the approved project result framework;
  • Undertaking risk management oversight, including conducting risk-based second-tier portfolio oversight and addressing escalated GEF project risks/critical issues through Action Plan;
  • Providing oversight for monitoring and evaluation support, including quality and timely completion of the annual Project Implementation Reports (PIRs) reports and technical oversight related input during mid-term reviews (MTRs) and terminal evaluations (TEs);
  • Facilitate production of project communication pieces effectively showcasing the socio-economic and environmental impacts of individual projects and their linkage to the UNDP Strategic Plan priorities and targets.

Portfolio Management (5%)

  • Assisting in the maintenance of programme/project and portfolio information and corporate information systems;
  • Facilitating the identification, and sourcing of technical expertise and support including assisting with the preparation of TORs, identification and evaluation of experts and reviewing reports.

Learning, Knowledge Management and Self Development (10%)

  • Evaluating, capturing, codifying, synthesizing lessons and stimulating the uptake of best practices and knowledge, including the development of knowledge materials;
  • Peer reviewing, commenting on, and seeking to improve the technical quality of programmes/projects, policies, practices, guidelines, advisory notes, publications and the like;
  • Contributing to the preparation of regional Community of Practice meetings;
  • Supporting the preparation and delivery of training courses;
  • Responding to queries on programme/project progress, impacts and lessons;
  • Developing and carrying out a personal learning plan.

Institutional Arrangement 

  • The Global Technical Specialist  will report to the the Senior Technical Advisor (STA) for Ecosystems;
  •  The Global Technical Specialist will be given access to relevant information necessary for the execution of the tasks under this assignment;
  •  The Global Technical Specialist will be responsible for providing her/his own workstation (i.e. laptop, internet, phone, scanner/printer, etc.) and must have access to reliable internet connection;
  • Given the global consultations to be undertaken during this assignment, the Global Technical Specialist is expected to be reasonably flexible with his/her availability for such consultations taking into consideration different time zones.



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

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies

Thematic AreaNameDefinition
Business Direction & StrategyEffective Decision MakingAbility to take decisions in a timely and efficient manner in line with one’s authority, area of expertise and resources.
Business DevelopmentKnowledge FacilitationAbility to animate individuals and communities of contributors to participate and share, particularly externally.
Business ManagementCustomer Satisfaction/Client ManagementAbility to respond timely and appropriately with a sense of urgency, provide consistent solutions, and deliver timely and quality results and/or solutions to fulfil and understand the real customers’ needs. Provide inputs to the development ofcustomer service strategy. Look for as to add value beyond clients’ immediate requests. Ability to anticipate client’s upcoming needs and concerns.
Business ManagementProject ManagementAbility to plan, organize, prioritize and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals.
Business managementCommunicationAbility to communicate in a clear, concise, and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience.Ability to manage communications internally and externally, through media, social media, and other appropriate channels.
Business managementMonitoringAbility to provide managers and key stakeholders with regular feedback on the consistency or discrepancy between planned and actual activities and programme performance and results.
Partnership ManagementRelationship managementAbility to engage with a wide range of public and private partners, build, sustain and/or strengthen working relations, trust and mutual understanding. 
Programme and PolicyNature, Climate and EnergyEcosystems and Biodiversity

Required Skills and Experience

Min. Education requirementsMaster’s degree in environmental or natural science, geography, natural resource management, development, economics, international relations, or other closely related field.
Min. years of relevant work experienceAt least 7 years of experience working on biodiversity conservation and ecosystems management, or other closely related field;At least 4 years experience providing technical guidance to governments in developing countries on biodiversity and ecosystem management.
Required SkillsDemonstrated experience with the design and implementation of multi-sectoral and sectoral programmes and projects at different scales;At least 2 years of working experience with and/or in the Asia, Pacific, Latin America and/or Africa region;Demonstrated ability to design projects and programmes according to a theory of change, logical framework or other scheme which designs outputs in support of broader outcomes and overall objectives;Able to work independently and remotely with minimal supervision.
Desired skillsExperience working on projects submitted to the Global Environment Facility or similar vertical funds will be highly desirable;Working experience in an international organization is an advantage, as is knowledge of UNDP policies, procedures and practices;Working experiences with or in developing and mid-income countries in other regions would be desirable;Working knowledge of Spanish and/or Portuguese is desirable.
Required Language(s)Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and French are required.


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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IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development