Senior Programme Management Officer

United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)

Nairobi, Kenya 🇰🇪

Org. Setting and Reporting

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 is one of three original, founding implementing agencies of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), alongside the World Bank and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The GEF also partners with 15 other Agencies to help developing countries and those with economies in transition to meet the agreed incremental costs of measures designed to achieve global environmental benefits in six focal areas: biological diversity, climate change (both mitigation and adaptation), international waters, chemicals and wastes management and, land degradation. The position is located in UNEP, Corporate Services Division (CSD) at the Nairobi duty station.
Under the overall supervision of the Director, CSD, the incumbent will carry out the following duties:


1. Identify trends, patterns and early warning of issues related to the GEF portfolio size, shape and relevance. Guide staff in ensuring coherence of both UNEP and GEF compliance of their projects. Coordinate with GEF Secretariat and focal area Portfolio Managers in pipeline management.

2. Assist divisions to enhance the quality of projects developed. Chair Project Review Committees and ensure all project review criteria have been followed. Improve the project cycle in UNEP. Work with UNEP’s Policy and Programme Division (PPD) to harmonize the GEF and UNEP project cycles.

3. Oversee the implementation of the UNEP GEF Fee Model in a way that ensures adequate reserves to cover UNEP’s costs across the full GEF project cycle. Work with Portfolio Managers on annual targets and budgets and authorize annual budgets accordingly. Report to Division Directors periodically on the financial positions of the GEF focal area units.

4. Monitor GEF projects in UNEP, including coordinating responses to the GEF Secretariat, GEF Evaluation clients, portfolio management indicators which GEF Secretariat reports to Council etc. Coordinate the preparation of periodic progress reports to GEF Secretariat and to UNEP colleagues. Respond to requests for information from UNEP divisions and offices. Liaise with the UNEP Evaluation Office on all matters related to independent evaluations of GEF projects. Coordinate UNEP input to GEF corporate evaluations and contribute to the preparation of the Management Action Record, as appropriate.

5. Assist the Director and Monitoring Unit in enhancing the project-at risk system, and the enterprise risk management system. Work with UNEP Evaluation Office and PPD to improve monitoring and evaluation in GEF projects.

6. Take the lead in ensuring corporate knowledge management, and contribute to communications and outreach on the GEF portfolio. Ensure effective internal and external communication through website maintenance; Contribute to project data reconciliation exercises within UNEP and with the GEF Secretariat; Identify media and other outreach opportunities, contribute to the portfolio and project information and written materials.

7. Brief new staff on UNEP and GEF policies, strategies and procedures; Ensure a smooth running GEF Coordination Office. Develop a yearly budget for the Coordination Office. Provide on-going feedback on performance and guidance on work plan implementation to Office staff and mentor the staff for career development and capacity development; Conduct performance evaluations for support staff.

8. Represent UNEP to the GEF Secretariat on matters of policy, programming and operations. Participate in GEF Agency Retreats and GEF Council Meetings, reporting outcomes to UNEP colleagues. Participate in key UNEP processes and events, flagging them as and when appropriate to GEF Secretariat.

9. Lead UNEP in adapting to and positioning within the evolving GEF policy and programming context.

10. Perform other corporate tasks; Council document review and preparation of comments and briefings for management; Provide input to UNEP and GEF policy and information documents; Assist in providing training to UNEP staff on GEF matters.


PROFESSIONALISM: Demonstrates in-depth knowledge of international development and policies relating to the environment, in areas such as biodiversity, climate change, chemicals and waste, sustainable development and global environmental challenges. Proven knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to environmental management. Demonstrated experience in overseeing and managing projects including the allocation and management of resources. Ability to identify key strategic issues, opportunities and risks. Ability to generate and communicate broad and compelling organizational direction. Ability to provide innovative technical leadership by performing and/or overseeing the planning, development, and management of portfolios/projects. Strong negotiating skills and ability to influence others to reach agreement on difficult issues. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations.Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

TEAMWORK: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; 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.

ACCOUNTABILITY: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.

LEADERSHIP: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow; empowers others to translate vision into results; Is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvement, does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands.

JUDGEMENT/DECISION-MAKING: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in environmental sciences, natural resources, social sciences, economics or environmental management is required. A first level university degree in combination with two (2) additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience in design and implementation of environmental projects and programmes is required.
Experience with monitoring and evaluation, knowledge management, and risk assessment in an institutional context is required.
Proven experience in budget and financial management of projects is required.
Prior experience in GEF policy and/or programming is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is desirable.

Note: “Fluency equals a rating of “fluent” in all four areas (read, write, speak, understand) and “knowledge of” equals a rating of “confident” in two of the four areas.


Evaluation of qualified candidates for this position will include a substantive assessment which will be followed by a competency-based interview.

Special Notice

Initial appointment against this post is for a period of one year and may be subject to extension.

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfill the lateral move(s) requirements, or geographical to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral or geographical move(s) in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover note.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

Internal Applicants – when completing the PHP, ensure ALL fields, ALL professional experience and contact information are completed and up to date. This information is the basis for the hiring manager to assess your eligibility and suitability for the position and to contact you.

Individual contractors and consultants who have worked within the UN Secretariat in the last six months, irrespective of the administering entity, are ineligible to apply for professional and higher temporary or fixed-term positions and their applications will not be considered.

At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.

On-line applications will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided. All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply on-line as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening. If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. If the problem persists, please seek technical assistance through the Inspira “need Help” link.


United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee