Madagascar is known for its rich biodiversity which, however, has been under increasing threat, in part owing to the ongoing illegal exploitation of its natural resources. Madagascar is also one of the countries that is most vulnerable to climate change and is regularly affected by cyclones, floods and droughts. More efforts are required to promote environmental conservation in harmony with local communities while taking into account development needs that benefit the people and promote inclusive economic growth.
UNDP, in close consultation and collaboration with the government, is seeking ways to increase support for biodiversity conservation, combating land degradation, sustainable forest management, and ecosystem based mitigation and adaptation. To date this has included the establishment of New Protected Areas (Categories V and VI) and related Codes of Conduct as well as the promotion of a landscape approach and the integration into development programs of the appropriate adaptation measures to climate change. UNDP also supports the government to develop its capacity building strategy to manage the three Rio conventions on biodiversity, desertification and climate change. Overall goals include to help integrate biodiversity and ecosystem management into development planning and production sector activities; unlock the potential of protected areas, including indigenous and community conserved areas to contribute towards sustainable development; and manage and rehabilitate ecosystems for climate change adaptation and mitigation.
In light of these challenges, the CO seeks to recruit a Technical Specialist Environment responsible for providing high-level strategic guidance, technical support and oversight in in the UNDP/GEF environment portfolio which currently includes projects such as Managed Resources Protected Areas; Enhancing the Adaptation Capacities and Resilience to Climate Change in Rural Communities; Strengthening National Capacities to Meet Global Environmental Obligations with the Framework of Sustainable Development Priorities; Reducing UPOPs and Mercury Releases from the Health Sector in Africa; and A Landscape Approach to Conserving and Managing Threatened Biodiversity.
The Technical Specialist will also support the government in efforts to build partnerships and raise additional resources related to climate change and the protection of biodiversity. S/he will also support coordination within the GEF portfolio as well as with other components of UNDP’s programme. S/he is responsible for daily contact with national counterparts and for recommendations to Management on necessary course correction in response to changes in the country context and resource mobilization opportunities. S/he will play a key role in coordinating the development and implementation of GEF projects, including the provision of substantial technical inputs. When requested by Management, the Technical Specialist represents UNDP in international and national fora, liaises with external clients and a broad range of constituencies and UNDP counterparts in the Government, local and international media, civil society as well as counterparts from other international organizations.
Under the direct supervision of the Deputy Resident Representative responsible for programmes, and in close collaboration with the poverty Team Leader Poverty and Environment Specialist, the incumbent will act as a manager of, and advisor to Senior Management on, all aspects of the GEF CO environment portfolio and manages the environment practice area through strategic planning, identification of new programme areas in line with UNDAF/CPD priorities, and creative responses to emerging challenges and opportunities to ensure programme effectiveness and delivery. The incumbent will work closely with the National Directors of projects.
Duties and Responsibilities
Summary of key functions
- Strategic guidance and policy support
- Project formulation and implementation
- Development of partnerships, resource mobilization and donor relations
- Communication and Knowledge Management.
Strategic guidance and policy support
- Provide top quality policy advice and technical guidance to implementing partners, country office and government on matters related to biodiversity conservation, natural forest management, energy efficiency and climate change;
- Contribute to a strategic understanding of, and engagement with, the substantive technical issues, institutions, and processes, including through establishing contact and developing strategic partnerships with other agencies, donors, NGOs, the private sector, scientific institutions, etc.
- Ensure that new strategic opportunities for UNDP are realized, UNDP’s technical focus is leading edge and innovative, UNDP has strong partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders, and that UNDP has a trusted leadership role in the technical area of expertise.
Project formulation and implementation
- Oversee the effective and efficient management and quality control of GEF projects including planning and timely delivery of results taking into consideration the work plans and consistency with the priorities of UNDAF and CPD;
- Oversee and support inception, contracting and start-up of projects including establishment/update of indicators, benchmarks and work plans;
- Guide project implementation partners in implementation, troubleshooting and adaptive management while providing ongoing technical support and guidance as needed;
- Ensure the effective application of result based management (RBM), including through the development of a strategy for financial and substantive monitoring and its implementation, identification of operational and financial problems and development of solutions;
- Assist the National Project Coordinator in the preparation of the Combined Project Implementation Review/Annual Project Report (PIR/APR), the inception report, technical reports, Quarterly Operational Reports (QOR) to the GEF and the quarterly financial reports for submission to UNDP, GEF and any other donors and Government Departments, as required;
- Provide technical assistance in filling indicators SRF projects including METT, AMAT scorecards UNDP Capacity Development Management of Protected Areas and the financial sustainability of protected areas;
- Finalize the terms of reference for consultants and subcontractors, and contribute to their recruitment process ;
- Coordinate the work of all consultants and subcontractors, ensuring timely delivery of the expected results and ensure effective synergies between activities;
- Provide technical contributions to the development of training programs, update training programs and in some cases facilitate some training;
Communication and Knowledge Management
- Support the development of a communication plan for the portfolio and oversee its implementation, in close collaboration with the CO communications team
- Support knowledge management, codification and dissemination of lessons learned
- Actively contribute to networks and communities of practice, prepare reports and communications pieces effectively show-casing socio-economic development benefits as well as environmental results
Development of partnerships, resource mobilization and donor relations
- Support relevant government institutions and projects in developing strategic partnerships with UN agencies, international financial institutions, government agencies, bilateral and multilateral donors, private sector, civil society in the specific thematic areas based on UNDP’s strategic goals, country needs and donors’ priorities;
- Analyze and research information on donors to identify possible areas of cooperation and actively contribute to resource mobilization efforts;
- Provide timely and quality information and technical advice on sources of funds, policies, priorities and activities – including the Global Environment Facility funds, the Green Climate Fund, other multilateral donors, bilateral donors and foundations;
- Establish and implement with all stakeholders the projects exit strategy.
Impact of Results
The key results of the work of the Technical Specialist Environment have an impact on the overall success of the country programme and reaching UNDAF/CPD goals. In particular, the key results have an impact on the design, operation and programming of activities, creation and maintenance of strategic partnerships as well as reaching of resource mobilization targets under the environment portfolio.
- 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
- Treats all people fairly without favoritism
- Knowledge Management and Learning
- Promotes knowledge management in UNDP and a learning environment in the office through leadership and personal example
- In-depth practical knowledge of inter-disciplinary development issues
- Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development in one or more Practice Areas, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills
- Seeks and applies knowledge, information, and best practices from within and outside of UNDP
- Assist peers to identify their strengths and weaknesses and think about the needs of training and development to adapt to their needs
- Ability to take appropriate risk in developing new methods and adapt existing approaches as needed
Development and Operational Effectiveness
- Ability to lead strategic planning, change processes, results-based management and reporting
- Ability to lead formulation, oversight of implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development projects
- Ability to apply development theory to the specific country context to identify creative, practical approaches to overcome challenging situations
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 openness to change and ability to manage complexities
- Ability to lead effectively, mentoring and preventing and/or resolving conflicts as needed
- Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure
- Proven networking, team-building, and organizational skills.
- Provide verbal or written information in a timely, organized and clear manner
- Promote information sharing with relevant colleagues and partners as needed
- Good negotiation skills
- Apply discretion in the sharing of sensitive information
- Identify the needs of the country and develop proposals for submission to donors and government
- Develop and implement a strategy for resource mobilization for the environment portfolio at the country level
Required Skills and Experience
Master’s degree or higher in Environmental Sciences, Ecology, Biology, Economics, Social Sciences or other closely related field, with a specialization in environment and development.
- Minimum of 7 years of relevant professional experience, including at international level, in natural resource and environment management with focus on climate change (adaptation and mitigation), sustainable land management and renewable energy
- Specialized knowledge of environment and natural resource management issues, concepts and principles and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations and proven ability to provide guidance on biodiversity and ecosystem management, and sustainable land and forest management.
- Minimum 3 years’ experience in conceptualizing and managing projects funded by the GEF (Global Environment Facility)
- Ability to guide the design and implementation of multi-sectoral and sectoral programmes and projects at different scales, and to work with multiple stakeholders across a wide range of disciplines.
- Knowledge of UNDP policies, procedures and practices an advantage.
Excellent knowledge of the English and French language, including writing, presentation and communication skills.
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