Global Technical Specialist

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

New York, NY, United States 🇺🇸

Background
 

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

 

Job Purpose and Organizational Context
 

Working in over 170 countries and territories, UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy work, carried out at HQ, Regional and Country Office levels, forms a contiguous spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains that support signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan.

UNDP is the largest implementer of climate change support within the UN system. People’s lives and livelihoods around the world are threatened by food and water scarcity, extreme weather events and climate-change induced displacement. The annual average economic losses from climate-related disasters are in hundreds of billions of dollars. Tackling climate change is therefore a top corporate priority to ensure that the efforts made to advance Agenda 2030 are not rolled back. To fulfil the global goals of the Paris Agreement and avoid an irreversible climate crisis, we need to halve global emissions by 2030, and have carbon-neutral economies by 2050. 2020 is key because it is the first opportunity for countries to review and update the climate priorities and action plans they submitted in 2015 that underpin the Paris Agreement, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The UN system is advocating for all governments to commit to bolder climate action in their NDCs to help slow the pace of global warming.  

The NDC Support Programme is one of the primary channels for UNDP support to countries to review, revise and implement their NDCs. The $72M Programme, funded by the European Commission, Germany and Spain, provides financial and technical assistance to 40 countries around the world. The Programme also played a catalytic role and is a significant contributor to UNDP’s Climate Promise, a corporate initiative spearheading support in over 100 countries to enhance NDCs and deliver upon the Paris Agreement. Both the NDC Support Programme and the Climate Promise are located within the larger Climate Strategies and Policy team.

ABOUT THE ROLE

UNDP seeks to engage a Global Technical Specialsit (GTS) on climate change policy and NDCs to provide guidance to UNDP country offices and the broader GPN.  The role of the Specialsit would be to provide technical support and strategic guidance on climate change policy, NDC enhancement and implementation, ensure coherence between country projects and the NDC Support programme, facilitate coordination with strategic partners on NDCs, especially members of the NDC Partnership, and foster peer-to-peer learning between programme countries. The chosen candidate will contribute to outreach within the GPN to ensure the NDC Support Programme and the Climate Promise complement and create synergies with other relevant UNDP and partner initiatives in the context of UNDP’s broader climate change strategy. She/he will also engage with other GPN teams and strategic partners to identity opportunities for collaboration and knowledge-sharing on integrated solutions to address climate change and accelerate the SDGs.

The Global Technical Specialist is a partial time appointment amounting to 80% time. The GTS will work in the BPPS Nature Climate and Energy team, within the Climate Strategies and Policies group, and in close collaboration with other programmes within the Nature, Climate and Energy portfolio and in the broader GPN. He/she will report to the NDC Support Programme Programme Manager.

 
Duties and Responsibilities
 

Strategic guidance on NDC Programme formulation and delivery

  • Provide support and advice to country coordinators, as required, particularly on challenges, bottlenecks and quality review of country-level support;
  • Ensure quality assurance/quality control of country workplans and selected outputs to ensure coherence with the global programme and strategy;
  • Identify trends and innovative approaches for NDC implementation for further UNDP support;
  • Contribute to increased impact of the UNDP NDC Programme by leveraging other internal initiatives such as the Integrated National Financing Framework and the Climate Investment Platform;  
  • Provide technical and strategic insights for the expansion of the NDC Support Programme and the Climate Promise into new workstreams and new countries to respond to increasing demand.

Country programme support

  • Oversee the workplans of several Programme countries, ensuring the projects are being implemented in a timely manner;
  • Provide timely and on-going technical support to national teams on key outputs, including governance frameworks, NDC implementation plans, finance strategies and private sector engagement to support the implementation of climate actions;
  • Provide backstopping support and representation to the Regional Bureau of Africa particularly in French speaking countries;
  • Review and provide technical guidance/oversight for quarterly and annual reports from targeted Programme countries;
  • Advise countries on opportunities to leverage the NDC for economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic;

Coordination and collaboration

  • Serve as UNDP focal point for some initiatives of the NDC Partnership, specifically the Economic Advisory Support for green recovery.
  • Provide advice on UNDP positioning within the NDC Partnership and other strategic partnerships;
  • Initiate and maintain collaboration with other UNDP initiatives within the Nature Climate and Energy Team and the Global Policy Network at the global and regional level to ensure integrated support to countries;

Knowledge management and peer-to-peer learning

  • Coordinate peer-to-peer learning among programme countries;
  • Create knowledge products on NDC enhancement and implementation
  • Contribute to regional and global NDC events and represent UNDP, as required.

Climate Change (General)

  • Knowledge of climate change Including climate change international regime) and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations;

Climate Change Mitigation

  • Knowledge of climate change mitigation concepts and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.

Project Management

  • Ability to plan, organize, and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals.

Communication:

  • Ability to effectively communicate intensions and requirements to internal and external stakeholders.

Knowledge Management

  • Ability to capture, develop, share and effectively use information and knowledge.

Partnerships

  • Ability to engage with other agencies, donors, and other development stakeholders and forge productive working relationships.

Sustainable Development

  • Knowledge of sustainable development concepts, principles and issues and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations, covering the economic, social and environmental dimensions.

Economic Recovery

  • Knowledge of Economic Recovery concepts and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.
 
Competencies
 

Core

  • Innovation

Ability to make new and useful ideas work.

  • Leadership

Ability to persuade others to follow.

People Management

  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction.

Communication

  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform.

Delivery

  • Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement.

Technical/Functional

Climate Change (General)

  • Knowledge of climate change Including climate change international regime) and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.

Climate Change Mitigation

  • Knowledge of climate change mitigation concepts and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.

Project Management

  • Ability to plan, organize, and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals.

Communication

  • Ability to effectively communicate intensions and requirements to internal and external stakeholders.

Knowledge Management

  • Ability to capture, develop, share and effectively use information and knowledge.

Partnerships

  • Ability to engage with other agencies, donors, and other development stakeholders and forge productive working relationships.

Sustainable Development
Knowledge of sustainable development concepts, principles and issues and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations, covering the economic, social and environmental dimensions.

Economic Recovery

  • Knowledge of Economic Recovery concepts and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.
 
Required Skills and Experience
 

Education:

  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in environmental policy, sustainable development, international affairs or relations, economics, business administration, social sciences or related disciplines.

Experience: 

  • 7 years of professional work experience providing policy advice and programme support in the area of climate change mitigation, energy, climate finance and NDC, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.  
  • Knowledge of climate change (Including climate change international regime) and climate change mitigation and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations
  • Experience designing, managing and implementing climate-related projects
  • Experience supporting countries in NDC formulation and implementation
  • Experience advising countries on green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Expertise in advancing inter-disciplinary approaches through engagement and coordination of cross-team collaboration
  • Demonstrated understanding of linkages between the Paris agreement and 2030 Agenda
  • Expertise in gender-responsive approaches to climate action

Language Requirements: 

  • Fluency in English and French, both written and oral, with proven excellent writing skills is required.  
  • Working knowledge of another UN language is an asset.

POSITION TYPE

ORGANIZATION TYPE

EXPERIENCE-LEVEL

DEGREE REQUIRED

LANGUAGE REQUIRED