Programme Specialist (Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Praia, Cape Verde 🇨🇻

The environmental portfolio of the Joint office of UNDP, UNFPA, and UNICEF – Cabo Verde, is implemented by the Environmental Unit in coordination with Democratic Governance, Population and Poverty Reduction Policies and Human Capital Development units. The environment unit also covers programming priorities such as renewable energy and energy efficiency as well as disaster risk reduction. As such the program aims at strengthening the institutional capacities at local, municipal and national levels to manage and utilize natural resources in a sustainable matter, and to enhance resilience and adaptive capacity to long-term climate change including variability impacts and to reduce the associated risks of natural disasters, in particular those related to the country’s status as SIDS. 
Environmentally, the country faces, with its Sahelian climate, challenges, including rainfall scarcity, droughts, fragile ecological systems including marine eco systems, and wide spread land degradation. Climate change is also expected to have significant impact on the islands sensitive ecosystems and might significantly hamper the conservation effort and revert progress already made on development and reducing poverty. Consequently, mainstreaming the disaster risk reduction and resilience-building into the national development process is important to mitigate the climatic risks and build the country’s adaptive capacity, while addressing underlying causes of vulnerability, including those pertaining to gender inequality. 
The on-going Environmental, Energy and Disaster Risk Reduction Program is being delivered through Pillar 4 of under UNDAF 2012-2017, (Environmental Sustainability and Adaptation to Climate Change).
The Program implementation started in 2012, in partnership with line ministries responsible for environment, agriculture and rural development, Civil Protection, Land Management.  
The office is currently finalizing the evaluation of CCPD aiming at initiating the preparation of a new cooperation framework for 2018-2022. The Program Specialist (Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction) will lead and provide programmatic support to Environmental program.
Under supervision of the Deputy Representative, the incumbent s/he shall be responsible for overall programme related to the Unit ‘’Environment, Energy and Disaster Risk Reduction’’ in close collaboration and collaboration with the office program team and the project staff. S/he shall be accountable for the results of the environmental portfolio.  The Program Specialist will also promote coordination and close collaboration with other parts of UNDP including the Africa Regional Centres, and relevant teams in other offices. The Programme Specialist will be responsible for providing strategic advisory services to the Joint Office of UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF, as well as national partners, particularly in the framework of UNDAF and Country programme Preparation. In addition, the Programme Specialist will be responsible for supporting strategic resource mobilization efforts in his/her thematic area of work, with special focus on GEF and Green Climate Fund.
Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions: 

  • Ensures the Strategic direction of UNDP Programme 
  • Ensures effective management of the Country Office programme within the thematic/sectoral area assigned, on quality control from formulation to implementation of the country Programme focusing in the Unit for Environment and Natural Disaster RiskReduction 
  • Strategic Partnership  and Support the Resource Mobilization 
  • Provision of top quality advisory services and facilitates  knowledge building and sharing 
1.Ensure  the Strategic direction of UNDP Programme focusing on achievement  of the following results: 
  • Oversight at the substantive and strategic levels of the Unit for Environment, Energy and Disaster Risk Reduction including biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation and mitigation, energy efficiency, disaster risk  management.
  • Supervision day-to-day work of the Unit, in accordance with the UNDAP, CPD (Country Programme) and AWPs (Annual Work Plans) and in coordination and complementarity with other three Units (Democratic Governance, Population and Poverty Reduction Policies and Human Capital Development). 
  • Support  knowledge sharing and application in the office and outside;
2.Ensures effective management of the CO programme within the thematic/sectoral area assigned, on quality control from formulation to implementation of the country Programme focusing in the Unit for Environment and Natural Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Identify opportunities for positioning the Office optimally in the domain of environmental conservation, climate change adaptation and mitigation, disaster risk management, and for: 
  • Increasing policy dialogue with line ministries, 
  • advocacy of the three Agencies’ mandates, and 
  • optimal visibility of the value-added of each Agency;
  • Propose strategies and actions for partnership building with government, the communities, the ultimate beneficiaries, private sector, donor community, international financial institutions and the UN system as a whole.
  • Collaborate with the Deputy Representative on assessing country programme effectiveness in achieving thematic/cross-cutting and sectoral goals at the country level, and ensuring full consistency with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s)
  • Collaborate with the Deputy Representative, in consultation with the other three Units Programme Managers and all Office staff, on the application, interpretation and execution of programme activities and implements actions.
  • Ensure the effective and efficient implementation of the AWP for the Unit through results-based management approach; 
  • Ensure the integrity of financial systems, review of programme budget requirements and consistent application or rules and regulations for the Unit;
3.Establishes Strategic Partnership  and Support the Ressource Mobilisztion in cooperation with Management  team 
  • Managerial capacity and the ability to maintain close working relationship with government staff, national and international experts and technical cooperation agencies.
  • Effectively networks with national and international partners seizing opportunities to build strategic alliances and resource mobilization opportunities relevant to Environment, Energy and Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Develops positive ties with UN agencies to build/strengthen the Environment, Energy and Disaster Risk Reduction programmeportfolio
  • Identifies needs and interventions for capacity building of the Environment Unit
  • Establish effective synergies with other agencies aiming at developing joint and cooperative programs and projects.
4.Provision of top quality advisory services and facilitation of knowledge building and Management including policy-dialogue and advocacy
  • Provide strategic advice and support to the Deputy Resident Representative in the preparation of UNDAF, Country Programme and Project Documents in the areas of Environment, Energy and Disaster Risk Reduction.
  • Provide strategic advice and support to the Deputy Resident Representative and national authorities on resource mobilization and partnership building in the areas of Environment, Energy and Disaster Risk Reduction 
  • Report on monthly achievements in accordance with the Unit’s AWP to the Deputy Representative and provide all staff members of the Unit including the Programme Assistant with orientation and advice regarding programme activities including policy-dialogue and advocacy.
  • Sign routine correspondence, acts as certifying Officer and replaces the Deputy Representative in his/her absences, as appropriate
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, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
Functional Competencies:
Knowledge Management and Learning
  • Promotes knowledge management in UNDP 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 
Development and Operational Effectiveness
  • Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting
  • Ability to lead formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes and projects, mobilize resources
  • Ability to formulate and manage budgets, manage contributions and investments, manage transactions, conduct financial analysis, reporting and cost-recovery
  • Good knowledge of the Results Management Guide and Toolkit
  • Good ICT skills, knowledge of Atlas
  • Ability to implement new systems and affect staff behavioral/ attitudinal change
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
Prince2 Training and Certification, RMG
Required Skills and Experience
  • Master’s Degree or equivalent in Environmental Science, Natural Resource, Management, Biological Science    or related Sciences or related field.


  • 5 years of relevant experience at the national or international level in providing management advisory services, hands-on experience in design, monitoring and evaluation of development projects and establishing inter-relationships among international organization and national governments. 
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages, experience in handling of web based management systems. 

Language Requirements

  • Fluency in English and/or French required
  • Working knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese will be an important asset 

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