Technical Advisor

United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

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Background Information – UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peace building, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.

Diversity

With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

Background Information – Job-specific

The Project” Catalyzing ecosystem restoration for climate resilient natural capital and rural livelihood in degraded forests and rangelands of Nepal (EbA II)” is funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), spanning four years 2019-2022. The Executing Agency is the Ministry of Forests & Environment (MoFE) whereas the United Nations Environment (UNE) is the Implementing Agency. Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD) is the collaborating partner.

Nepal is ranked one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to natural disasters and is exposed to various hazards. The country is also highly vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change leading to consistent rising trends in annual mean temperature, extreme rainfall events, increasing frequency and intensity of floods, GLOFs and droughts. Natural resources in forest and rangeland ecosystems underpin many local industries in Nepal including non-timber forest products (NTFPs) and medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) markets and ecotourism. High population density and widespread poverty have accelerated pressure on the goods and services of forest and rangeland ecosystems. Important resources are being over-exploited through excessive stocking of livestock and increased harvesting of firewood, timber and other natural resources. This is evident in the expansion of intensive agriculture along previously forested hill slopes. These unsustainable land use practices result in increased soil erosion that results (I) decrease in water quality through increased sedimentation; (ii) increased variability in water supply, and(iii) reduced soil fertility thereby adversely affecting agricultural productivity. As a result, ecosystem degradation is the most consistent threat to the local communities and the national economy.

As a result, the adaptive capacity of forests and rangelands in the mid-hills and high mountains of Nepal have been reduced, which naturally provide ecosystem goods and services to indigenous and local communities, who depend directly /or indirectly on them for their livelihood. The threats to the livelihood and bell being of the local communities will be further exacerbated by the current and future effects of climate change.

The problem that the project seeks to address is that national and local government and communities have limited technical and institutional capacity in planning, implementing and financing of the adaptations of these climate change and design action plan.

The preferred solution to the problem is to build and enhance the technical and institutional capacity of national and local government institutions by i) strengthening the national capacity to plan and implement EbA, ii) support a policy environment that promotes EbA across Nepal and iii) demonstrating on the ground EbA interventions to restore degraded forests and rangelands

The goal and objective of the project is to reduce the climate vulnerability of local communities in Nepal and to enhance the capacity of the Government and local communities to adapt to climate change by implementing EbA in degraded forests and rangelands in midhills and high mountain areas. To accomplish this objective, the project will integrate the following 3 outcomes:

  • Outcome 1- Increased capacity of Government Officials and Local User Groups to implement EbA through enhanced institutional arrangements, inter-sectoral collaboration and research
  • Outcome 2- National Policies and strategies strengthened to promote EbA implementation
  • Outcome 3- EbA implemented and monitored by User groups to restore forests and rangelands in the midhills of Accham and Salyan and high mountains of Dolakha to decrease the sensitivity of local communities to climate change.

The project covers two distinct physiographic regions of Nepal; Midhills – Achham and Salyan and High Mountain – Dolakha. A total of 10 Municipalities/Rural Municipalities encompassing (Sanfebagar Municipality with ward Babla 13, Ramaroshan RM with wards Bhata-katiya 6 and Ramaroshan 5 and Mallekh RM with wards Rishidaha and Sodasha 6 in Achham; Gaurishankar RM with ward Khare 8, Bhimeswor Municipality with ward Lakuridanda 9, Kalinchowk RM with ward Lapiolang, Shailung RM with ward Magapauwa 3&4 and Jiri Municipality with Jiri ward number 7,  in Dolakha and Banghat-Kupinde Municipality with wards Devasthal 1, Changaripipal and Mulkhola and Khumakh RM with ward Suikot in Salyan) are  the project working sites.  A total of 12,072 households with a population of 59,172 are expected to benefit from EbA interventions

The project results framework has a series of socio-economic, environmental and institutional targets and indicators which include:

  • Technical working group on EbA established within MCCICC
  • 150 Officials trained on EbA 
  • EbA protocols developed
  • Training materials/tool kits/manual/guideline developed and rolled out
  • 2 National awareness campaigns held on EbA
  • Four tools on EbA developed and integrated/mainstreamed in school curricula
  • Research grants provided to Bachelors, Masters and PhD students
  • Existing policies and strategies reviewed to embrace EbA issues, and  policy briefs developed
  • EbA up scaling and financing plan prepared
  • At least 1000 ha of forests restored using EbA
  • At least 450 ha of rangelands restored using EbA
  • 100 operational plans updated
  • 120 ha of improved terraces developed 
  • 36 filtering dams constructed
  • 36 water conservation ponds constructed
  • 24 rainwater harvesting devices constructed
  • 3 community livelihood improvement plans (CLIPS) developed
  • 7 nurseries established

The project was formulated in 2014 and the project kick started with the inception workshop held in March 2019. A review of the project document taking into account the changed governance structure and updates of the information has been done, however key information related to environmental and social safeguard measures (ESSM), gender assessment and action plan (GAP) and stakeholder engagement plan needs to be developed and plans are underway to generate them. Likewise, procurement of baseline assessment work is underway, and the hiring of thematic consultants is expected to be completed by the end of December 2019. A midterm review is planned for late 2020 and terminal evaluation in 2022.

Functional Responsibilities

The incumbent will work under the overall guidance of National Project Director (NPD) and National Project Coordinator (NPC) and under the direct supervision of National Project Manager (NPM) from UNEP.  The Expert will team together with other national thematic experts at Project Management Unit (PMU) to develop project deliverables as per the specific terms of reference.

The Technical Advisor will provide technical guidance and support to the implementation of the project, working in close collaboration with the National Project Director/Climate Change Management Division/MoFE, Project Coordinator, Project Manager and the UNEP Task Manager. S/he will be responsible for ensuring the availability of information on progress and performance to provide quality assurance of the project outputs and deliverables. 

Key functions:

  • Lead and provide technical supervision and advice and quality assurance
  • Strategic policy advise and knowledge management
  • Programme planning, implementation, M&E and reporting
  • Technical capacity building and knowledge management
  • Monitoring and promoting adaptation learning

Responsibilities – Technical backstopping

  • Provide overall technical backstopping for the project to ensure the project outputs and deliverables are of good quality and in line with the project objectives. 
  • Provide advice on best suitable approaches and methodologies for the timely achievement of project targets and deliverables
  • Assist the PC / PM in planning the implementation of project activities and adjusting the project results framework, work plan and budget as required and in line with the corporate requirement
  • Draft or review as requested, ToRs, for technical consultancies and subcontracts and assist in the selection and recruitment process
  • Undertake technical review and provide quality assurance of the project outputs (training manual, technical reports, studies, assessments, protocols, tools etc) and field level interventions. 
  • Oversee and provide technical guidance of the work of National Consultants, District Project Coordinators in their respective domains in ensuring the quality and delivery of the tasks undertaken.
  • Provide strategic guidance in the establishment of a technical working group on EbA including selection of research grants and topics for long term monitoring on EbA 
  • Assist in monitoring the technical quality of project M&E systems (including Multiyear plans, AWPs and targets)
  • Assist staff and national consultants in the conduct of project reviews and evaluations and in revisions of the implementation strategy and work plan, based on review and evaluation results
  • Make recommendations to PSC for more effective implementation and coordination of project activities
  • Perform other tasks as may be requested by the Project Steering Committee (PSC), NPD, NPC, NPM and UNE TM  

Monitoring & Learning support:

Provide support to the PMU:

  • Help develop monitoring framework  to measure progress against each of the targets and indicators in the RRF including change and adjustment in the baseline assessment study being undertaken
  • Develop learning strategy for the project based on the current levels of awareness and understanding of EbA measures and approaches among stakeholder groups , interest areas and adaptation learning  that the project could generate 
  • Team up with the PM in preparing the APR and PIR  for submission to UNE/GEF
  • Provide inputs in knowledge management, training, communication and awareness raising of EbA issues at national and sub national level. Enable and support the appropriate dissemination of results and findings to policy makers at various levels.
  • Support and facilitate for the development of strategic regional and international partnerships for the exchange of knowledge, skills and information related to climate change adaptation.
  • Provide technical support in reviewing the existing policies and strategies to embrace EbA measures through the development of policy brief
  • Develop an EbA up scaling strategy and financing plan based on the lessons learnt from this project.

Conduct of work:

Although, this is a home-based position, the Technical Advisor will allocate certain amount of time within PMU including undertaking certain number of field visits during the early stages of project implementation and monitoring. A total of 160 working days has been allocated for the entire project duration; the indicative allocated days will be split into yearly and quarterly plans.

The following outputs are anticipated during the tenure:

  • Three annual programme review and work planning (preparation of MYP, AWPs and budgets)
  • Refined project monitoring framework including changes and adjustments in the RRF targets and indicators based on the baseline assessment study.
  • A policy brief on EbA including a project learning and knowledge management strategy  
  • An EbA up scaling strategy and financing plan based on the lessons learnt from the project
  • Contributions for the write-up of the three Project Implementation Report (PIR-2020,2021,2022)
  • Selection of research topics and grants for long term monitoring 
  • Contributions to mid-term review, final evaluation missions including drafting of PCR
  • Written reviews of the technical reports, tools and knowledge products developed by the project culminating to at least ten products
  • Guidance, technical oversight towards the production of knowledge products such as policy briefs, training manuals, tools and protocols on EbA

Reporting

The Technical Advisor will report to the National Project Director and work closely with the Project Coordinator, Project Manager and in close collaboration with Task Manager, UNE, in realizing the project objectives. 

Competencies

  • Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.(for levels IICA-2, IICA-3, LICA Specialist- 10, LICA Specialist-11, NOC, NOD, P3, P4 and above)
  • Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
  • Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
  • Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
  • Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
  • Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
  • Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
  • Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

Education:

  • An advanced University education (MSc or PhD) in natural resource management, biodiversity, climate change adaptation, ecosystem management or a related discipline such as disaster risk reduction, environmental science, agriculture and water resources management.

Experience:

  • A minimum of 10 years of experience in a senior technical leadership position with planning and management of environmental/or natural resources management programmes or related fields.
  • A minimum of 5 years in a senior technical position involved in institutional strengthening and capacity building and in providing technical support to climate change adaptation projects or related fields.
  • International working experience in the above field preferably from south Asian region in the capacity of C/Technical Advisor or Team Leader is preferred. 
  • Good analytical and report writing skills in English is preferred.

Language:

  • Fluency in English and Nepali is required.

Contract type, level and duration

  • Contract type: LICA
  • Contract level: LICA-10
  • Contract duration: Maximum 160 working days across 3 years with the possibility of extension subject to budget availability, change in the project’s scope and satisfactory performance. 

This is a home-based position, but the Technical Advisor will have to allocate certain amount of time within PMU including undertaking certain number of field visits during the early stages of project implementation and monitoring.

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:
https://www.unops.org/english/Opportunities/job-opportunities/what-we-offer/Pages/Individual-Contractor-Agreements.aspx 

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization – UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  

POSITION TYPE

ORGANIZATION TYPE

EXPERIENCE-LEVEL

DEGREE REQUIRED

LANGUAGE REQUIRED