Ocean Advisor

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Istanbul, , TR

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. Through the Global Policy Network (GPN) BPPS and Crisis Response Unit (CRU) staff provide technical advice to Country Platforms; advocate for UNDP corporate messages, represent UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private dialogues, government and civil society dialogues, South-South and Triangular cooperation initiatives, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas.
GPN assists UNDP and partners to achieve higher quality development results through an integrated approach that links results-based management and performance monitoring with more effective and new ways of working. The GPN supports UNDP and partners to be more innovative, knowledge and data driven including in its programme support efforts.
UNDP is committed to supporting ocean governance reforms; mainstreaming marine, coastal and fisheries resources management targets into SDG-based national development and poverty reduction strategies; and facilitating strategic partnerships and coordinated approaches to action and advocacy on marine resources management.
Under the supervision of and in collaboration with the Principal Technical Advisor, International Waters and Head, UNDP Water & Ocean Governance Programme (WOGP), the incumbent will raise funding and support the further development and operationalization of WOGP’s Contribution to the UNDP Strategic Plan and development of strategic partnerships towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
The incumbent will have a key role in liaising and collaborating with internal and external partners, including staff and senior managers of BPPS/GPN, Regional Bureaux, Regional Centers/Hubs, Policy Centres, UNDP Country Offices, the Executive Office, donors (MFAs, development assistance agencies), UN partner agencies, UN-Oceans, IFIs, and international organizations and NGOs.  Similarly, s/he will support effective functioning and delivery of the fully integrated WOGP including UNDP/GEF W&O team.
Other salient features of the Ocean Advisor’s role in developing and managing marine-related components of the WOGP include:
  • Serve as Project Manager for the new UNDP Ocean Innovation Challenge (approximately 50%)
  • Support and advise senior UNDP representation on the UN’s Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP)
  • Support and advise senior UNDP representation on UN-Oceans, the UN system coordination mechanism on oceans
  • Support and advise senior UNDP representation on the Global Compact’s Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform
  • Support and advise on country-level activities of Global Water and Ocean Governance Support Programme (under development)
Duties and Responsibilities
Support to Policy Dialogue, Project Development, Mainstreaming and Partnerships (15%):
  • Support development and implementation of UNDP’s Water and Ocean Governance Support Programme e.g. to help (1) prioritize target countries/areas; (2) advise on modalities and approaches and capacity development support to countries; (3) operationalize source-to-sea interconnections in freshwater and marine resources management, and (4) mobilize additional financial resources;
  • Within the BPPS/Natural Capital and Environment Cluster and ‘PLANET’ group of the Global Policy Network, liaise and coordinate with biodiversity, climate and other environmental experts to identify synergies and effective collaboration within and between projects;
  • In support of BPPS/Natural Capital and Environment Cluster and ‘PLANET’ group of the Global Policy Network, liaise and coordinate with other Practices, Groups and corporate initiatives to identify synergies and effective cross-practice collaboration;
  • Support senior management by providing strategic policy advice, advocacy support for corporate policy frameworks, preparation of UNDP’s engagement in key ocean meetings and events and preparation of briefing notes, speeches and talking points;
  • Develop policy and learning documents related to ocean, fisheries, marine and coastal resources management or relevant sub-topics of the WOGP.
  • Pro-actively contribute to strengthening donor relationships and raise funds for all aspects of the WOGP;
  • Explore and develop strategic alliances with key partners for joint fund-raising and service delivery.
Support to Regional Teams, Country Offices, Executing Agencies, other partners (10%):
  • Support continued effective functioning of the fully integrated UNDP Water and Ocean Governance Programme team with a particular focus on mainstreaming effective and equitable ocean/marine governance frameworks, fisheries and coastal resources management and climate change adaptation in development strategies and WOGP programming;
  • Pro-actively contribute to the development of strategic partnerships with both internal and external partners to advance the implementation of WOGP’s contribution to the UNDP Strategic Plan;
  • Support collaboration within the BPPS Sustainable Development Cluster on mainstreaming marine and coastal resources management, ocean-related aspects of adaptation to climate change into national development and poverty reduction strategies.  
  • Provide support and advice to UNDP engagement in a range of ocean dialogues and processes including UN-Oceans, GESAMP, UN Global Compact Sustainable Ocean Business Platform, 2020 Ocean Conference, and others.

Resource Mobilization, Programme and Project Identification and Development (15%)

  • Pro-actively contribute to strengthening donor relationships and raise funds for all aspects of the WOGP, especially the Ocean Innovation Challenge. 
  • Explore and develop strategic alliances with key partners for joint fund-raising and service delivery.
  • Ensure the long-term sustainability of WOGP programs, especially the Ocean Innovation Challenge.
  • Develop partnerships with other Nordic, European and North-American donors.
  • Explore and develop new partnerships with foundations, philanthropists and the private sector

Learning, Knowledge Management, Advocacy and Self Development (10%)

  • Ensure that training materials, tools and advocacy publications for the WOGP are produced and effectively disseminated.
  • Support and promote implementation of UNDP WOGP practices and experience through contributions to relevant GPN networks and communities of practice. 
  • Self-development and work-life balance developed through targeted thematic and managerial training course, avoidance of work over weekends and effective utilization of annual leave.
  • In collaboration with internal and external partners pro-actively identify and contribute to WOGP advocacy and outreach.  
  • Effective communication, advocacy and dissemination of WOGP and other relevant UNDP knowledge products at international and national conferences and meetings, such as UN Ocean Conference, Our Ocean Conference, Annual Global LME Consultation and other relevant fora and international processes.
Development, implementation and management of the UNDP Ocean Innovation Challenge (OIC) (50%):
  • Manage OIC at a global scale, working to maximise and showcase impacts, to grow and develop the initiative, and to strengthen relationships with stakeholders at all levels, including strategic partners inside and outside UNDP, partner governments and donors;
  • Provide strategic guidance and management oversight to the OIC and the OIC team, reviewing on a regular basis progress reports, deliverables, disbursements and budgets to ensure implementation is on track, and troubleshooting and adapting management as required; 
  • Ensure the global OIC team operates in a productive manner, through a clear division of labour, the setting of specific annual goals by all team members and the organization of regular online and face to face meetings, including an annual planning meeting at the start of each year. 
  • Ensure the management and administrative requirements (technical, financial, communications, audits, evaluations, etc.) of the different partners/donors of the Initiative are met; 
  • Ensure that UNDP-specific processes (integrated work planning, budgeting, procurement, monitoring and evaluation, performance planning of global OIC staff and appraisals, etc.) are met; 
  • Establish and convene meetings of the Global Steering Committee (Project Board), to define priorities, evaluate progress and management, provide strategic advice and guidance, and exchange information; 
  • Manage and monitor risks and issues, submitting newly identified ones to the global head of Water & Oceans and/or GSC for consideration and decision if required; 
  • Identify and source necessary technical expertise and support, and oversee the recruitment of global OIC staff members, international consultants and service providers, ensure necessary training and ongoing capacity building are carried out; 
  • Ensure that UNDP Water & Oceans, Ecosystems & Biodiversity and other relevant programmes and projects and the OIC draw from and feed into each other, avoiding duplication and maximizing synergy;
  • Liaise with other relevant UNDP staff including in-country colleagues regarding the OIC, including to share information about trends and issues in the thematic area;
  • Develop and implement a communications strategy for the Ocean Innovation Challenge.
  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work
  • Ability to persuade others to follow
People Management
  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction
  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform
  • Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement
  • Demonstrated broad knowledge of ocean science, policy, economics, governance, of the suite of issues and challenges faced by the ocean, and of the types of solutions required to address these challenges systematically.  Ability to quickly recognize innovative approaches to ocean challenges, cutting across technological, policy, economic, financial, institutional and other areas of possible intervention.
Environmental Sustainability
  • Full understanding behind concepts of environmental sustainability particularly in the context of marine ecosystems and the ‘blue economy’
Results-Based Management
  • Ability to manage programmes and projects with a strategy aimed at improved performance and demonstrable results.
Resource Mobilization
  • Ability to identify and organize programmes and projects to implement solutions, demonstrate impact and generate additional resources from existing and new donors
Relation Management and Partnerships
  • Ability to engage with other agencies / parties towards building and managing productive partnerships.
Advocacy and Representation
  • Ability to productively share and promote UNDP knowledge and activities (at UN and other venues)
Knowledge Management
  • Ability to efficiently and broadly manage and share information and knowledge.
Strategic Planning
  • Ability to make and act on decisions that align with strategy, vision, and mission of UNDP and the project.
Required Skills and Experience
  • Master’s or higher degree in marine science, marine policy, environmental science, marine conservation, or a related field.
  • Minimum of 7 years of professional experience in marine or related (e.g. fisheries) environmental management; 
  • Experience at international level and with developing countries; 
  • Experience in results-based and results-oriented project implementation and management; 
  • Experience in managing teams, inspiring and mentoring staff, facilitating their capacity development, and resolving conflicts;
  • Experience with projects/contracts financed by multi-lateral (GEF, GCF, etc.) and bilateral donors is desirable; 
  • Experience in overseeing and guiding the development of communications and knowledge management strategies and products; 
  • Experience in overseeing implementation of projects involving government, NGO/CSO, private sector, academia and/or intergovernmental stakeholders.
  • Working experience in UN or other international organization, and knowledge of UNDP policies, procedures and practices are advantageous
Language Requirements:
  • English. Other official language(s) of the UN are desirable 

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IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development