Kenya nationals: National Project Officer

United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)

Nairobi, Kenya 🇰🇪

Background Information – Job-specific

The Secretariat of the Nairobi Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of Coastal and Marine Environment of the Western Indian Ocean within the Ecosystems Division of the UN Environment in collaboration with the Consortium for the Conservation of Coastal and Marine Ecosystems in the Western Indian Ocean is executing the GEF project on Implementation of the Strategic Action Programme for the protection of the Western Indian Ocean from land-based sources and activities’ (WIOSAP). The participating countries include Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Somalia, Mozambique, South Africa, and Tanzania.

The Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) produced by the GEF project “Addressing land based activities in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO-LaB, 2004-2010) identified priority issues and potential areas of intervention related to land-based sources and activities that impact on the marine and coastal environment. The priority issues targeted for implementation are physical alteration and destruction of habitats; water and sediment quality deterioration due to pollution; alteration in freshwater flows and sediment loads from rivers; and inadequate governance systems and awareness. Further, the TDA identified several sites as the main hotspots of physical alteration and destruction of habitats, pollution and river-coast interaction in the region.

The WIOSAP project is largely based on the WIO-LaB Strategic Action Programme for the protection of the WIO Region from land-based sources and activities. The WIOSAP project is intended to reduce impacts from land-based sources and activities on coastal and marine ecosystems through the implementation of the agreed Strategic Action Programme priorities. The project addresses the priorities through four main components namely, sustainable management of critical habitats (Component A), improved water quality to attain international standards by the year 2035 in the region (Component B), sustainable management of river flows (Component C), and Component D on governance and regional collaboration to facilitate sustainable management of critical coastal ecosystems and habitats.

The fundamental logic of the WIOSAP Project is to assist countries in implementing their agreed regional strategy with emphasis on country-led execution of activities which will have timely measurable outcomes, generate local solutions to the environmental challenges and provide a basis for replication and lessons. The national work programmes will favour generation of local impacts rather than developing new national strategies or plans, but will support these initiatives if already programmed. The project will be driven by and be responsive to country demand, demonstrated through co-financing and community support (the term ‘community’ is used in both the narrow sense of a village or district, and in the broad sense of sector stakeholders). Essentially the WIOSAP project will be country led, regionally coordinated and demand driven, requiring substantial country responsibility and accountability for project operations.

Implementation of on-the-ground interventions is the most effective mechanism for achieving the short-term (within five years) stress reduction targets set in the Strategic Action Programme. It is for this reason that the selected on-the-ground interventions will be based on the priority list of hotspots identified during the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis process.

Several demonstration projects will be implemented at national level, based on common criteria specified in the WIOSAP project. In terms of countries that will have active pilot projects on the ground it was agreed at the WIOSAP Project Inception Meeting (in April 2017) and subsequently endorsed by the first Project Steering Committee (in November 2017) that it would be beneficial for the Project to appoint (and directly support) dedicated National Project Officers in countries with demonstration projects. The Nairobi Convention Secretariat therefore seeks to appoint a National Project Officer in Kenya for the duration of the demonstration project activities.

Functional Responsibilities

The National Project Officer will be responsible for monitoring of Demonstration Project activities on the ground and feedback to both national and regional Project structures. He/she will work with Project Implementers to assist them with establishing and executing the project. In this regard, he/she will play an important practical role in providing technical support to the Project Implementers. 

Within assigned authority, the incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:
1. Participate in the development of an implementation plan for demonstration projects in Kenya and related activities as specified in the WIOSAP project:

  • Give technical input into the development of proposals on demonstration projects;
  • Contribute to the preparation of various written outputs resulting from demonstration project activities and data in Kenya, e.g. draft background papers, analytical notes, sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications, etc.
  • Carry out basic research on selected aspects of the demonstration project in Kenya, operations and other coastal and marine activities, and from diverse sources necessary for interlinkages and implementation of the WIOSAP project;
  • Assist in the preparation of working documents for discussion at the meetings of task teams and working groups supporting the demonstration projects in Kenya as constituted by the WIOSAP project;
  • Prepare and provide required documentation on the projects in Kenya and submit to the WIOSAP regional Project Management Unit within the Nairobi Convention Secretariat;
  • Track progress in the implementation of in-country interventions/demonstration projects in Kenya, monitor performance indicators and targets, carry out national reporting and follow-up through quarterly, half yearly and annual reports.
2. Work with the designated Nairobi Convention National Focal Point in Kenya and National Steering Committee in Kenya for the WIOSAP Project Steering Committee to make strategic decisions on the implementation of various project components and activities:
  • Facilitate linkages with the established national processes that are instrumental in the delivery of the project at national level;
  • Liaise with WIOSAP national project officers in countries with demonstration/pilot projects to exchange experiences on project implementation;
  • Prepare and share lessons learnt and best practices by periodically publishing and sharing updates from demonstration projects within country and also regionally with other countries;
  • Manage the flow of information, review and substantively respond to requests for advice on technical matters, data and information related to the demonstration projects;
  • Facilitate distribution of outputs and publication of substantive reports and other materials resulting from WIOSAP project activities in Kenya.
3. Support activities on capacity building to enable project implementers fully take part, own and benefit from identified project activities:
  • Assist in the areas of data management as well as its applications within the WIOSAP project activities;
  • Maintain a data and information clearinghouse mechanism for all national/regional projects on critical habitats, water quality and river flows implemented through the WIOSAP project;
  • Participate in technical fora requiring operational familiarity with the WIOSAP project on-line information services and contribute professionally to workshops and meetings aimed at enhancing the effective use of data and information;
  • Ensure and facilitate access to data and technical information by scientific, technical, environmental, legal and policy level information users in the country through the Nairobi Convention clearinghouse and information sharing system;
  • Carry out regular evaluation of available data within the Nairobi Convention clearinghouse and other associated data holders to support implementation of demonstration projects;
  • Maintain appropriate institutional and technical liaison with relevant national, regional and international bodies to ensure collaboration and assistance in interoperability services and development of standards-based interfaces to existing data and information service collated by the WIOSAP project;
4. Undertakes any other tasks as may be assigned in the field of responsibility.

Expected Outputs

  • The effective establishment and implementation of approved Demonstration Projects
  • Regular feedback to national and regional Project structures
  • Provide a link between the Demonstration Project, national and regional Project structures
  • Quarterly, half yearly and annual reports to the WIOSAP Project Management Unit
  • Any other documentation required for overall WIOSAP Project reporting


  • An advanced university degree (Masters or equivalent) in the field of natural sciences, marine science or in the field of environmental sciences. 
  • A first level university degree with a combination of two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree


  • A minimum of five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in national or international organizations with mandate or relevancy to the coastal and marine environment or related area is required.
  • Experience working on coastal and marine environment issues for  the coastal area of Kenya is required.
  • Knowledge of and ability to create coastal resources databases with proven experience in management of coastal databases and atlases is desirable.
  •  Familiarity with regional development objectives of Western Indian Ocean countries and the goals and procedures of international organizations particularly the United Nations Environment is desirable.


  • Fluency in oral and written English is required.
  • Fluency in written and oral Swahili is  desirable.


  • Professional Certifications in GIS and Remote Sensing and Database management are an asset.

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.