Technical Advisor

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Sri Lanka 🇱🇰

The Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SLSEA),  under the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy, implements UNDP’s portfolio of projects related to climate change mitigation through energy diversification and efficiency. The SLSEA currently implements two GEF-funded projects which are;
 1)Promoting Sustainable Biomass Energy Production and Modern Bio Energy Technologies (Biomass to Energy) in Sri Lanka and
 2) Appropriate Mitigation Actions in the Energy Generation and End-Use Sectors in Sri Lanka (NAMA).  In addition the SLSEA will be the implementing partner for a new South-South Cooperation Project with China focusing on renewable energy options for agri-businesses and SMEs. 
This project will be implemented in conjunction with the GEF- Energy NAMA project in two provinces but coordinated and technically monitored by SLSEA.
Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) of Sri Lanka focus on four main areas;
 1. Mitigation 2. Adaptation 3. Loss and Damage and 4. Means of Implementations. Sri Lanka is committed to address global climate change and aims to channel development into a low carbon pathway. Through the INDCs, Sri Lanka puts forward ambitious and progressive delinking of GHG emmissions in its efforts for economic growth. Through the mitigation strategies intended, Sri Lanka aims to reduce the GHG emissions against a Business-As-Usual  scenario  unconditionally  by  7%  (Energy  sector  4%,  and  3%  from  other sectors) and conditionally by 23% (Energy sector 16% and 7% from other sectors) by 2030. Further the current  National Energy Policy (current) targets achieving the country‘s energy requirements as much as possible, through cleaner energy sources such as liquified natural gases and renewable energy like solar and wind. The National Energy Policy of Sri Lanka seeks to diversify supply mix with renewable energy resources whilst seeking to reduce energy demand through demand side management. The Renewable Energy Resources Development Plan seeks to achieve 20% from renewable energy resources by 2020 and 30% by 2030 as part of the national strategy to reduce GHG emissions through appropriate mitigation actions (NAMA). The Energy Management Plan (EnMAP) seeks to achieve energy savings through the promotion of EE measures.
The energy efficiency and renewable energy portfolio of UNDP is prepared to build and develop a strong portfolio of programmatic action and technical advisory support that enables the country to meet these national targets. In this context, UNDP will seek avenues to strengthen its portfolio further to include interventions that potentially look into decentralised management of energy resources and efficient use, new and non-conventional energy from natural resources and waste (municipal waste to energy). 
The Biomass to Energy project is designed to reduce GHG emissions from the use of fossil fuel for thermal energy through switching to biomass applications and interventions, and ensuring sustainable supply of processed woody biomass. The goal is set to achieve by means of removing barriers to  the realisation of sustainable biomass plantation, increase of market share of biomass energy, energy generation mix and adoption of biomass-based energy technologies in Sri Lanka. The project, jointly managed and funded by UNDP and FAO, so far has been able to progress towards achieving these targets. Through co-financed pilots, the project supported large scale industries to switch from fossil fuel to biomass fuel. The project supports small and medium-scale enterprises to switch to biomass based thermal applications in their production lines. The project also initiated the setup of biomass energy terminals. The project has initiated biomass energy terminals in six districts; Kurunegala, Galle, Ratnapura, Gampaha, Moneragala and Nuwaraeliya.  Out of the six, three terminals were commissioned and the rest are targeted to be commissioned in 2017. 
Energy NAMA project has successfully commissioned its three pilots for energy efficiency and renewable energy on high-efficiency motors, solar PV net metering sytems and the provincial level bio gas interventions. The project is also exploring the possibility of storing the provincial, sectoral and national inventory and proposed MRV system into the existing EnerGIS system (of Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority) with the required upgrades. The possibility of linking this energy data management system with the future Greenhouse Gas inventory mechanism of the Third National Communication is also under consideration. The project will also invest in developing a marginal abatement cost curve (MACC) as a decision making tool to prioritise RE and EE activities for both supported and voluntary appropriate mitigation actions using the data from the three pilots commissioned.
In addition to these two GEF funded projects, UNDP China directed UNDP Sri Lanka and facilitated a tripartite South South Cooperation (TSSC) grant of USD 01 Million from Ministry of Commerce, China. Under this pilot project, UNDP China, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka will work on the trial and demonstration of renewable energy technologies in particular bio gas and solar in the agro industrial sector. The Chinese support will be a directly implemented project where funds will be disbursed by UNDP to the beneficiaries. However, the overall supervison of project activities is by the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority. The project will be implemented alongside the Energy NAMA project while investing in additional capacity development, knowledge and technology sharing and include development cooperation between China and Sri Lanka. Furthermore, the project includes building capacity of the local stakeholders such as provincial councils and local energy service providers on assessing the carbon footprint and identifying renewable energy technology deployment opportunities. This will include working with provincial authorities and relevant line ministries under Provincial Councils.  Therefore, the activities identified in the trilateral project will have strong liason with the Energy NAMA project thus complementing each other and contributing to national targets as one.
The energy projects implemented with SLSEA are currently implemented through seperate PMUs with government and UNDP-recruited staff.  Both projects have a single National Project Director, who is a Deputy Director General of the SLSEA and are overseen by a single Project Board co-chaired by UNDP and the Secretary, Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy.
Duties and Responsibilities
Key functions are:
  • Provide overall supervision to the energy portfolio of Environment Team;
  • Provide overall technical guidance to Biomass, NAMA and TSSC Project Management Units;  
  • Direct supervision and quality assurance of project outputs and activities with key partners;
  • Coordinate between Ministry, SLSEA, project partners, and UNDP;
  • Support the recruitment and supervision of national and international experts;
  • Undertake comprehensive results based monitoring and report project progress and results as required;
  • Provide programmatic guidance in energy policy, meeting the INDC targets on energy sector  and inter-ministerial coordination.
Specific Functions are:
  • Support the  National Project Director (NPD) to implement the projects, manage project experts, manage technical inputs and project risks and monitor project outcomes and results;
  • Support NPD to formulate  policies, regulations and guidelines required for the project at national, provincial, and local levels;
  • Provide high quality technical advisory services to state and non-state agencies;
  • Provide information to UNDP on annual progress reviews that are submitted to GEF;
  • Assist in drafting recommendations on the most suitable set up, mandate and membership of ICRE (Inter-ministerial Committee for Renewable Energy) with the consultant team and Sustainable Energy Authority;
  • Guide project implementation units on; the preparation of annual and quarterly workplans and preparations for Project Board Meetings. Guide and support the project team and related professionals to develop various manuals, guidelines, fact sheets, assessment reports under related themes;
  • Guide and supervise (including timeliness, quality and appropriateness of the technical support) the hiring of local and international technical experts for different outcomes to ensure maximum synergy between consultants working for different components;
  • Ensure timely reporting by hired expert consultants;
  • Schedule quarterly project board meetings, and present progress updates for the meeting against the AWP and the Results Framework, and highlight management related issues and mitigation solutions for decision making;
  • Effective application of RBM tools, establishment of management targets and monitoring achievement of results;
  • Financial and substantive monitoring and evaluation of the projects, identification of operational bottlenecks and  develop solutions. Flag issues as they arise to UNDP for collaborative problem solving.  Participate in audit of NEX projects;
  • Facilitating the project mid-term review of NAMA and other projects as they arise, ensure that recommendations are incorporated to the project budget and work plan;
  • Ensure effective dissemination of and access to information on project activities and results, (including a regularly updated website);
  • Identify and synthesize  best practices and lessons learnt directly linked to project-specific policy goals;
  • Support developing sustainability plans including innovative financing solutions for energy services related projects;
  • Support future pipeline development of energy portfolio by identifying crucial areas where the government required specific financial or technical assistance;
  • Analysis and research of information on donors, preparation of substantive briefs on possible areas of cooperation, identification of opportunities for initiation of new projects, active contribution to the overall office effort in resource mobilization;
  • Sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice;
  • Organization of trainings for the operations/ projects staff on programme issues;
  • Develop strategic partnerships with thematic working groups, donor partners, UN and non-UN system organizations and NGOs in the renewable energy sector;
  • Coordinate with the Government counterpart and various stakeholders for effective coordination and policy dialogue in the renewable energy sector;
  • Perform any other duties that fall under incumbents’ expertise and as reasonably required by the project
Impact of Results;
  • The key results have an impact on the successful implementation of the three projects and the timely delivery of their key outputs against the agreed work plan; and also effective monitoring of the project outcomes. 
  • In particular, the key results have an impact on the operation and programming of activities, effective and time-bound monitoring and reporting as well as building strong partnerships with government, non-government, and private sector agencies
Corporate Competencies:
  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religious, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism.
Functional Competencies:
Development and Operational Effectiveness
  • Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting;
  • Ability to lead formulation and monitoring of management projects;
  • Solid knowledge in financial resources and human resources management, contract, asset and procurement, information and communication technology, general administration.
Management and Leadership
  • Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Demonstrates good oral and written communication skills;
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities;
  • Leads teams effectively and shows mentoring as well as conflict resolution skills.
  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills.
Knowledge Management and Learning
  • Promotes knowledge management in the Ministry of Power and Energy and a learning environment in the office through leadership and personal example;
  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development in one or more Practice Areas, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills.
Required Skills and Experience
  • Master’s Degree or equivalent in  Electrical Engineering, Applied Science, Environmental Science or related field.
  • Minimum  of 7 years’ work experience in the energy sector, executing responsibilities of Senior Manager/ Director level and Advocacy for developing national plans/programmes with state sector and non-state sector stakeholder engagement;
  • Good analytical and problem solving skills and related ability for adaptive management;    
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment, to effectively manage it and to motivate its members and other project counterparts to effectively work towards the project’s objective and expected outcomes;
  • Good communication skills and competence in handling the project’s external relations at all levels; and 
  • Familiarity and prior experience with the specific UNDP policies and guidelines are considered as an asset. 
Language Requirements:
  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • Sinhala and/or Tamil

Important applicant information

All posts in the SC categories are subject to local recruitment.

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.

Workforce diversity

UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Scam warning

The United Nations does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you receive a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply particular care when submitting personal information on the web.