Programme Specialist (Inclusive Natural Resource Management)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Panama City, , PA

The Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP’s Strategic Plan.  BPPS’s staff provides technical advice to Country Offices; advocates for UNDP corporate messages, represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private dialogues, government and civil society dialogues, South-South and Triangular cooperation initiatives, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas.  BPPS works closely with UNDP’s Crisis Response Unit (CRU) to support emergency and crisis response.  BPPS ensures that issues of risk are fully integrated into UNDP’s development programmes. BPPS assists UNDP and partners to achieve higher quality development results through an integrated approach that links results based management and performance monitoring with more effective and new ways of working.  BPPS supports UNDP and partners to be more innovative, knowledge and data driven including in its programme support efforts. 
Reporting to the Regional Team Leader, Sustainable Development, the Programme Specialist based in the Regional Hub is an expert in natural resource management (focus: extractive industries, water resources, biodiversity and ecosystem services, forest management and environmental finance) in the region. In collaboration with other Advisors and Specialists in the Regional Hub, HQ, Country Offices and Global Policy Centers, in particular the GEF team, s/he is responsible for providing policy and programme advisory services to Country Offices and oversees the utilization of products and tools for natural resource management. S/he does this in response to requests from country offices and under the guidance of the Regional Team Leader, Sustainable Development, and in collaboration with the Regional Bureau and integration and coordination team.  Working to ensure coherent and quality policy and programme advisory services within their region and across other regions as well as alignment with the Strategic Plan, the Programme Specialist advances the credibility and recognition of the organization’s programmes in this thematic area.  S/he is responsible for leading the following:
  • Programme Support and Policy Advice;
  • Support to Policy Development; 
  • Resource Mobilization; 
  • Partnerships, Representation and Advocacy; 
  • Knowledge Management. 
Duties and Responsibilities
1. Programme Support and Policy Advice:
  • Deliver timely and effective technical advice and programme formulation and implementation support, in collaboration with other teams in the Regional Hubs and HQ, that responds to country office needs, including through the provision of capacity building and backstopping and troubleshooting;
  • Lead and coordinate the development of analysis and guidance on emerging issues related to extractive industries, water management, biodiversity and ecosystem services, forest management and environmental finance and inclusive and sustainable development in the region;
  • Lead and coordinate the development of analysis and guidance on emerging issues related to extractive industries, water management, biodiversity and ecosystem services, forest management and environmental the area of environmental economics and finance within the context of inclusive and sustainable development;
  • Lead the development of tools and policy instruments to strengthen the integration of gender considerations in the natural capital and environment finance portfolio;
  • Working closely with the UNDP-GEF Ecosystems and Biodiversity Team, provide programme support to the thematic area of biodiversity and ecosystem services and environmental finance in the Regional Hub in supporting Country Offices, to ensure the relevance of the services provided to country and regional context including crisis situations; 
  • Identify mission-critical roles for biodiversity and ecosystem services management  and sustainable use in crisis and conflict responses and, provide timely technical policy and programme advice for crisis situations in response to requests coordinated by CRU;
2. Support to Policy Development: 
  • Lead the integration of UNDP’s work in the natural resources and environmental finance thematic area within the region, including programming within the global environmental finance portfolio, into a coherent policy and programming framework in support of the implementation of the UNDP Strategic Plan;
  • Advise the Team Leader, Inclusive Growth and Chief of Profession, Sustainable Development on policy gaps and opportunities for development of overall team priorities and workplans; 
  • Design policy initiatives on emerging regional policy agendas in collaboration with policy teams in HQ and the Regional Hub, particularly by communicating and representing perspectives and knowledge from Country Offices and the region; 
  • Critically assess and measure policy services in the designated area and recommend to COs, HQ and Hub Management new policy and strategic alignment options; and
  • Foster policy innovation in the specific thematic area to enhance resource mobilization, programme delivery and development impact, working closely with the UNDP-GEF Ecosystems and Biodiversity team.
3. Resource Mobilization:
  • Support resource mobilization through the preparation of funding proposals and donor briefings.
  • Actively identify and leverage new sources of finance, including from the private sector and emerging donors and development partners in the region.
4. Partnerships, Representation and Advocacy:
Lead the team to: 
  • Mobilize, foster and strengthen strategic partnerships with specialist institutions, IFCs, the private sector, academia, UN entities and other relevant regional and subregional bodies and provide substantive inputs to those partnerships to advance UNDP’s integrated approaches to natural resources management and environmental finance within the overall context of inclusive and sustainable development;
  • Represent UNDP and engage in UN interagency coordination as well as in other fora with the aim to advance UNDP’s strategic agenda in the thematic area; 
  • Advocate policy and positioning of this thematic area in various fora and through programme efforts, including academia and civil society.
5. Knowledge Management:
  • Oversee the knowledge extraction, analysis, documentation, codification of results/lessons learned in the specific thematic area, ensuring that knowledge sharing and content management is in line with guidelines and performed using corporate tools; and
  • Guide and coordinate exchange of knowledge by collaborating with policy teams in the Regional Hub to research, develop and share knowledge-based tools and guidance to help influence/advance policy dialogue in the thematic area and present such material at various fora.
Corporate competencies:
  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work.
  • Ability to persuade others to follow
People Management:
  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction
  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform
  • Ability to get things done
Biodiversity and Ecosystems Management:
  • Knowledge of conservation, sustainable use and access and benefit sharing of biodiversity, land, forests and oceans and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations;
Environmental Economics and Finance:
  • Knowledge of economic and financial issues, including resource revenue management, related to conservation and sustainable use of natural resources and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations
  • Ability to productively share UNDP knowledge and activities (at UN and other venues).
Resource Mobilization:
  • Ability to identify and organize programmes  and projects to implement solutions and generate resources.
  • Ability to engage with others and forge productive working relationships.
Trends and emerging areas analytics:
  • Ability to scan the horizon and identify approaches and initiatives to bring into policy and programme design.
Programme Management: 
  • Ability to plan, organize, and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals.
Knowledge Management:
  • Ability to efficiently handle and share information and knowledge.
Required Skills and Experience
  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in economics, environment and natural resources, social sciences, business administration, or related disciplines.
  • 7 years of professional work experience leading teams, providing policy and programme advice, pioneering approaches and mobilizing resources in the general area of environmental economics or natural resource management in different development contexts;  
  • Experience working in developing country settings is required. 
Language Requirements:
  • Fluency in English and Spanish, both written and oral.
  • Working knowledge of Portuguese and/or French an asset.

Important information for US Permanent Residents (‘Green Card’ holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment. For more information please click here and here.

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

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