Programme Management Officer (World Water Quality Alliance)

United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)

Nairobi, , KE

Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Environment Programme (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. The UNEP’s Science Division is responsible for analyzing the state of the global environment, providing early warning information and assessing global and regional environmental trends to catalyze and promote international cooperation and action on the environment. This post is located in the Global Environment Monitoring Unit of the Science Division.

The UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) Resolution 3/10 on ‘Addressing water pollution to protect and restore water-related ecosystems’ requested UNEP to develop a global water quality assessment in collaboration with UN-Water members and other relevant stakeholders. In addition to collaborating in the development and delivery of the global assessment, a group of more than 50 organizations have formed the “World Water Quality Alliance” (WWQA), that acts as a global community of practice on water quality science, technology innovation and solutions. The Alliance acts as a transdisciplinary mechanism identifying, prioritizing and addressing water quality issues of key concern, as well as implications across the SDGs and human and ecosystem wellbeing in general. The goal is to provide governments and relevant stakeholders with evidence-based information, scenarios, solutions on water quality and related development issues. Striving for delivery of end-to-end value chains of information services, the Alliance, convened by UNEP, aims at framing and informing a trajectory from data to actionable knowledge and transformation. Scales of action range from global to national and sub-national including active stakeholder engagement. The World Water Quality Alliance (WWQA) was formally launched in September 2019, bringing together a wide range of expertise from UN-Water members, international research institutes, space agencies and Earth Observation Services, private sector and civil society to tackle the global water quality crisis.

Under the supervision of the Head of Global Environment Monitoring Unit, Science Division, the incumbent will be responsible for the following:


• Leads the implementation and the overall project management of activities as relating to the World Water Quality Alliance (WWQA); monitors progress and identifies problems and issues to be addressed and initiates corrective actions; Coordinates activities related to financial managements (progress reports, financial statements, etc.) and prepares related documents/reports (pledging, work programme, programme budget, etc.).
• Oversees the membership of the World Water Quality Alliance and actively identifies and seeks engagement of new strategic and technical partners; Supports the Strategic and Technical Advisory Committees of the Alliance and coordinates implementation of their relevant decisions and annual and intersessional meetings; Plans, organizes and coordinates the annual global meetings of the World Water Quality Alliance and facilitates intersessional meetings (largely remotely) through the UN-Water Expert Group for Water Quality and Waste Water, which functions as a main communication and agenda setting mechanism;
• Coordinates and contributes to assessments, reports and other products and services under the umbrella of the World Water Quality Alliance, including the coordination of inputs of technical implementing partners; researches, analyzes and presents information gathered from diverse sources;
• Organizes and prepares written outputs, e.g. draft background papers, analysis, sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications, as relevant to water quality in and beyond the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) sustainability context and the work of the Alliance;
• Develops and implements an innovative water quality outreach and knowledge management strategy and products; makes presentations on topics relevant to the work of the Alliance
• Leads further resource mobilization for the work of the Alliance and coordinates with partners widely to that effect;
• Coordinates with and supports relevant workflows in the Integrated Monitoring Initiative on SDG 6 (UN-Water) and the UNEP Global Environment Monitoring System for Freshwater (UNEP/GEMS/Water).
• Performs other duties as required;


•PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to the water sector. Ability to identify issues, identify key strategic and technical partners on global to national and sub-national scale across all levels of society. Ability to analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Ability to conduct data collection using various methods. Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis, including familiarity with and experience in the use of various research sources, including electronic sources on the internet, intranet and other databases. Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; 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. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

•TEAMWORK: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

•PLANNING AND ORGANIZING: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.

•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.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in environmental management, water management, hydrology, geography or related area is required. A first level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience in programme coordination, environmental management, water management, research coordination or related area is required.
Experience working in international and intergovernmental settings coordinating global projects and managing expert and stakeholder networks and work experience in developing country context 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 official United Nations language would be an asset.


Evaluation of qualified candidates for this position may include a substantive assessment which will be followed by a competency-based interview.

Special Notice

This position is open for recruitment for an initial period of one year and may be subject to extension depending on availability of funds. 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. 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. On-line applications will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided. If you do not receive an email acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. In such cases, please resubmit the application, if necessary. If the problem persists, please seek technical assistance through the Inspira “Need Help?” link.

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Individual contractors and consultants who have worked within the UN Secretariat in the last six months, irrespective of the administering entity, are ineligible to apply for professional and higher temporary or fixed-term positions and their applications will not be considered.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

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