Programme Coordinator, Programmes of Assistance to Meet the Strategic Capacity Needs of Developing States in the Field of Ocean Governance and the Law of the Sea

United Nations Office of Legal Affairs

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Result of Service

The Programmes of Assistance to Meet the Strategic Capacity Needs of Developing States in the Field of Ocean Governance and the Law of the Sea is a strategic partnership between the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs through its Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (the Division), and Norway, through the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), to provide support to developing countries, particularly Small Island Developing States (SIDS), in building sustainable ocean-based economies through a series of capacity-building trainings to be organized over a four year period.
The Programmes of Assistance, which will be implemented by DOALOS, in the context of its capacity-building mandate, will seek to address critical capacity barriers at the regional and national levels for the implementation of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), thereby contributing to the development of sustainable ocean-based economies.
The Programmes of Assistance will comprise consultations with selected States and relevant regional Intergovernmental Organisations (IGOs) with a view to identifying specific capacity building activities that would reinforce national and regional ocean governance programmes of work; the conduct of analyses of national frameworks for ocean governance in selected beneficiary Sates, and the design and delivery of needs-based capacity-building training courses.
For the initial 12 months, the Programmes of Assistance will consist of three activities; (1) two regional customized short- courses which will be implemented for approximately 20 States from the wider Caribbean region, and 14 States in Pacific region, focusing on SIDS; (2) consultations with select regional Intergovernmental Organisations (IGOs) such as the African Union, and select potential beneficiary States with a view to identifying specific capacity building activities that would reinforce national and regional ocean governance programmes of work; and (3) the conduct of analyses of national frameworks for ocean governance in three selected beneficiary Sates.
In light of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the delivery of the in-person trainings in the initial twelve months will require a periodic feasibility assessment. Should the continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic impede in-person training activities, needs-based foundation courses will be delivered virtually under contingency arrangements with a view to complementing eventual in-person trainings.

Work Location

Home-based , but location in New York City region preferred.


Expected duration

The duration of the contract will be an initial 3 months (with the possibility of extension for up to a total of 9 months of work in 12-month period.)

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall supervision of the Director of the Division, the consultant shall be directly supervised by the Senior Legal Officer in charge of Capacity-Building and Trust Funds (the Head). The Programme Coordinator will manage and coordinate the implementation of the programme activities and will have a role in liaising and collaborating with internal and external partners, including the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad).

Scope of work: The Programme Coordinator is expected to be engaged in four main areas of work:
1. Programme management: Keep track of programme activities, deliverables and timelines; and coordinate the work of human resources associated with the programme as it relates to the development of the substantive content of the programme activities.
2. Programme liaison: Coordinate the provision of regular updates to, and the implementation of the programme with the programme partners: Norad.
3. Programme communications: Outreach and relations with external partners: Support the Head’s function as the main point of contact for the programme, including coordinating and maintaining programme communications with Government officials, partners in the UN Systems and key stakeholders.
4. Programme reporting: Track and ensure that all reporting requirements are fulfilled, both internally and as agreed-upon with Norad.

Programme Management:
• Provide overall day-to-day coordination of programmes. In coordination with the Head, establish, develop and maintain appropriate administration systems and procedures to help ensure programmes are delivered on time, to budget and to the required quality standards.
• Organise programme activities, such as in person and/or online conferences, workshops, or training sessions, making necessary logistical and technical arrangements and liaising with resource persons and beneficiaries.
• Provide support to the programme’s core team in organising meetings and providing secretariat support to relevant programme teams.
• Manage programme documentation, including creating and updating documents (e.g. core programme documents, papers, publications, draft meeting agendas, minutes etc.).
• Monitor and support programme financial administration in close collaboration with the relevant offices, and assist the Head in monitoring programme expenditure against budgets.
• Gather, analyse and present data, compile reports, set up databases as required, carry out preliminary research, prepare/draft presentations, prepare briefing notes and correspondence.
• Ensure the programme core 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 regular planning meetings.
• Monitor and analyse programme development and implementation; review relevant documents and report; identify problems and issues to be addressed and propose corrective actions; liaise with relevant parties; identify and track follow-up actions.
• Support creation of an e-learning platform; and the curation of a consistent portfolio of virtual learning interventions, tools and support materials.

Programme Liaison
• Support the Head to develop a detailed implementation plan in consultation with Norad, to achieve programme objectives, setting strategic direction for the Programmes of Assistance, and ensuring results respond to countries’ requirements and donors’ expectations.
• Coordinate the implementation of the programme with the programme partners and in close consultation with Norad.
• Ensure strong collaboration with Norad on all areas of strategic planning, management, oversight implementation and donor communication.

Programme Communications, Outreach & Relations with External Partners
• Support with mobilizing external partnerships to enhance support to the Programmes of Assistance and expand experience sharing to a broader constituency.
• Support the strengthening of partnerships with relevant national partners, UN System Agencies, Intergovernmental Organizations, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Alumni networks, the private sector, and scientific institutions to support the implementation of the Programmes of Assistance.
• Support the engagement with, and maintain regular contact with key sectoral policy counterparts in Government, UN system Agencies, Intergovernmental Organizations, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and Alumni networks; and respond usefully and timely to requests for advice and information.
• Participate in field missions (when possible), in accordance with the requirements of the Programmes of Assistance .
• Identify and support development of communications (print, video) highlighting key programme achievements, best practices, and lessons learnt and contributes to information sharing with stakeholders.
• Support the development and maintenance of the programme website, including posting regular news items.
• Prepare publicity materials (e.g., brochure) and quarterly programme update.
• Set up and maintain a database of contacts for publicity/email distribution;
• Establish and support outreach of the programme via social media, including working closely with Norad, the United Nations Department of Global Communications and partners of the Programmes of Assistance.

Programme Reporting
• Support the monitoring and evaluation of programme activities and prepare quarterly, and annual technical progress reports.
• Coordinate activities related to budget and funding (programme preparation and submissions, progress reports, financial statements, etc.) and prepare related documents/reports (pledging, work programme, programme budget, etc.).
• Undertake survey initiatives; design data collection tools; review, analyse and interpret responses, identify problems/issues and prepare conclusions.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in international law, law of the sea, sustainable development, environment/ocean-based science, marine economy-related development or a related field. A first-level university degree in combination with additional relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. Programme or project management certifications are an asset (i.e. PMP, PMI-ACP, Project+, Prince2, Prince2Agile).
Experience: A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in project or programme management, administration or related area is required.
Experience in ocean affairs or related fields is required.
Experience in managing stakeholder relationships withing projects is required.
Previous work experience in the UN system is highly desirable.
Experience in developing and/or delivering capacity-building programmes, at any level is desirable.
Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages, experience in handling of web-based management systems is desirable.
Language: For this position, Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is an asset.