National Operations Assistant (NAP)
Result of Service
. Objective and scope of the consultancy:
The main objective of the position of National Operations Assistant is to provide administrative and logistical support and ensure the effective delivery of activities to be carried out within the framework of the project Development of subnational capacities for the implementation of the National Adaptation Plan in Costa Rica, as set in the cooperation agreement signed between UNEP and the Government of Costa Rica.
The consultant will contribute to the effective implementation of the project by performing the following administrative tasks:
● Support the NPC and the UNEP Task Manager in the timely preparation and submission of project work plans, budgets, financial reports, procurement plans, and progress reports.
● Support the NPC and the UNEP Task Manager in developing terms of reference, identifying and selecting consultants, and supervising their work and deliverables.
● Support organization of procurement processes including receipt of quotations, bids or proposals.
● Assist in monitoring progress of project activities and identifying corrective measures to overcome operational constraints.
● Support the logistical organization and administration (prepare material such as PowerPoint presentations, briefing notes, and summary reports) of Project Steering Committee and other relevant meetings, workshops, training, consultations and communications efforts (as necessary).
● Support the NPC in communicating with relevant stakeholders at the regional and cantonal level to communicate progress and coordinate activities to be implemented. Maintain a comprehensive database of relevant stakeholders within the departments and communities in which the project will be implemented to ensure the effective delivery of communication messages and materials.
● Liaise with departments and communities in which the project will be implemented and establish appropriate communication channels to ensure the effective delivery of messages and materials
● Provide assistance in the preparation of content for presentations and materials related to the project activities and ensure that language and format are tailored to the different relevant target audiences.
● Provide assistance in the organization of exchange visits and knowledge sharing events between different subnational actors to learn lessons on adaptation planning and implementation.
● Assist the NPC during supervision of activities implemented and products developed by teams of consultants.
● Prepare agendas and arrange appointments and meetings related to the project activities and write minutes from the meetings.
● Maintain general office files and databases and keep the information in a manner which allows easy reference and retrieval.
● Receive, or draft and distribute correspondence on a variety of project related subject-matters in Spanish and English, attaching necessary background information, and ensuring that grammar, spelling and format are correct.
● Translate or organize and oversee the translation of project documentation and reports between Spanish and English, as relevant.
● Assist the Project Management Unit (PMU) in any other support services as requested to ensure smooth operation of daily activities and proper management of the unit’s resources.
● Support the design and organization of awareness raising and information sharing activities and materials targeting regional and municipal level actors.
● Liaise with departments and communities in which the project will be implemented and establish appropriate communication channels to ensure the effective delivery of communication messages and materials.
● Assist in the preparation of content for presentations and materials related to the project activities as may be required.
● Assist in the organization of exchange visits and knowledge sharing events between different subnational actors to learn lessons on adaptation planning and implementation.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Duties and Responsibilities
1. General Background of Assignment
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.
UNEP, through its Latin America and the Caribbean Office located in Panama City, works closely with the 33 countries of the region - including 16 small island developing States -with a population of about 588 million people- to implement the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreement and the priority actions defined in in countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The office works to serve the needs of the region and its activities are integrated activities are integrated into the Medium-Term Strategy and the Programme of Work approved by the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA).
In terms of supporting countries in the region attain the global commitments signed within the framework of the Paris Agreement, UNEP’s Latin America and the Caribbean Sub-programme on Climate Change aims at strengthening the ability of countries to move towards climate-resilient and low emission strategies for sustainable development and human well-being. In this framework, the UNEP Sub-programme on Climate Change, through its Climate Change Unit leads and supports several initiatives oriented at designing, promoting and implementing innovative mitigation and adaptation solutions at the national and subnational level, and strengthening the transparency framework of the countries.
The expected accomplishment regarding climate change adaptation is that adaptation approaches, including the ecosystem-based approach, are implemented and integrated into key sectoral and national development strategies to reduce vulnerability and strengthen resilience to climate change impacts. Furthermore, the UNEP’s Sub-programme on Climate Change is also committed to ensure that cross-cutting issues such as /gender equity and women empowerment are effectively integrated in the development of its tasks to guarantee an equitable development in line with its adaptation objectives.
In this context, the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica and UNEP have agreed on the implementation of the project Development of Sub-national Capacities for the Implementation of the National Adaptation Plan in Costa Rica, framed within the Readiness program of the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
The project is aimed at reducing the vulnerability of Costa Rica to the effects of climate variability and climate change through the creation of adaptive capacities. Specifically, the project has the objective to strengthen the country's capacity to integrate adaptation into regional and municipal planning, including the participation of government entities, the private sector, and civil society.
The project seeks to achieve its objective through:
- Strengthening existing planning frameworks at the regional and cantonal levels, by recognizing the crucial role of subnational authorities in adapting to climate change;
- Involving key stakeholders in the planning and implementation of adaptation at these levels;
- Producing cantonal risk assessments to identify adaptation needs, based on available and relevant knowledge, and a validated and efficient methodology;
- Creating institutional and technical capacity and promoting agreements at different levels;
- Developing adequate monitoring and reporting mechanisms for adaptation at the subnational level and linking them to the national metric system for climate change monitoring and evaluation.
To fulfill the objectives of the project, the UNEP Latin America and the Caribbean Office is recruiting a National Operations Assistant to provide operational support to the Project Management Unit during the implementation of the project as set in the GCF funding proposal document.
The National Operations Assistant will operate under the overall supervision of the Adaptation Program Officer at the UNEP Latin America and the Caribbean Office and will assist the National Project Coordinator (NPC) in the execution of the project. Additionally, he/she will work in close collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica and other national consultants and government counterparts.
The National Operations Assistant is expected to work over a 12-month period, from Monday to Friday and 40 hours per week between 8:00am and 5:00pm, and to be sited in the Climate Change Directorate of the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica (DCC MINAE) in San Jose, Costa Rica. The consultant will also be required to travel around the country to engage in capacity building and technical assistance activities.
Academic Qualifications: ● Bachelor’s degree in business/public administration, international relations, social sciences, or a closely related field.
Experience: ● Must have a minimum of 5 years of work experience performing operational and administrative tasks, preferably in international development organizations;
● Experience in administrative, clerical, financial and logistical work;
● Experience working with government entities, private sector or Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Costa Rica;
● Experience participating in environmental, climate change or development projects is an advantage.
Language: • ● Proficiency in written and spoken Spanish and English is required.
Skills: ● Proficiency in MS Office (MS Word, Excel and Outlook) software applications. Proficiency in design and layout software packages is an advantage.
● Ability to communicate complex issues in a language and format that is appropriate to specific target audiences.
● Ability and willingness to travel to urban and rural regions of the country.
● Excellent interpersonal communication skills and experience in stakeholder engagement and public relations.
Competences: ● Professionalism: Is results-oriented and committed to excellence. Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Demonstrates adaptability to change and willingness to engage in continuous learning. Responds positively to critical feedback and differing points of views.
● Administrative and operational effectiveness: Ability to perform a variety of tasks related to administration and financial management, e.g., human resources, budget/work programme, database management, etc. Ability to apply knowledge of various United Nations administrative, financial and human resources rules and regulations in work situations.
● 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.
● Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors’ language, tone, style and format to match audience.
● Teamwork: Is able to work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team to achieve organizational goals; takes leadership when appropriate; 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.