Strategic Planning Expert Consultant

United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Nairobi, Kenya šŸ‡°šŸ‡Ŗ

Background Information – Job-specific

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. UNEPā€™s Policy and Programme Division performs strategic planning, coordination and monitoring of UNEPā€™s programmes as well as coordinates UNEPā€™s engagement with the wider UN system and global processes.

UNEPā€™s Medium-Term Strategy for the period 2022-2025 (MTS 2022-2025) describes UNEPā€™s future trajectory for the period 2022-2025, while outlining the organizationā€™s contribution to Agenda 2030 as the direction of travel towards a global 2050 vision of planetary sustainability. To facilitate the implementation and delivery of the anticipated results in the MTS and the associated programmes of work, there is a need to lay the infrastructure and provide an enabling environment that will enable effective and efficient programme delivery. These are corporate activities that cannot be attributed to any particular sub-programmes but are essential for UNEP Divisions, Regional Offices and MEAs administered by UNEP to engage and support the implementation of the MTS and programmes of work at the global, regional, sub-regional and country levels.

The year 2021 will be used to review the current MTS 2018-2021 as well as to prepare UNEP for the implementation of the MTS 2022-2025. This period, referred to as MTS readiness, will be used to develop the necessary policies, standards and tools and ensure related capacity building for staff and key partners to equip them to be able to effectively implement the MTS 2022-2025 and the associated programmes of work and budgets for 2022-2023 and 2024-2025.

The consultant is sought to support UNEP in preparing for the implementation of the MTS 2022-2025.

Functional Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the Deputy Director of the Division, the Strategic Planning Expert will lead in updating UNEPā€™s delivery model and readiness for the 2022-2025 Medium Term Strategy (MTS) with following activities.A. Options papers for key strategic issues:

  • Draft a series of short (2 page/ 2-3 slide power point presentations) ā€˜options papersā€™ to identify 3 or 4 institutional and strategic questions that require resolution (or at least an airing and testing against a range of alternative options/ ā€˜blue skyā€™ thinking) in order to proceed with the MTS readiness process.

B.  Prepare UNEP Delivery Model paper (and associated annexes, processes, and papers)Draft, in close collaboration with colleagues in the Policy and Programme Division (PPD) a unified document that gathers components of the Delivery Model together in an overall document alongside additional components (such as Evaluation and Communications). Ensure the resulting document is comprehensive, comprehensible, and logically consistent. This includes the following components:

Principles for Effective Delivery:

  • Draft broad principles for UNEP delivery (e.g. RBM and RBB, accountability, partnership with other UN Agencies, data-driven, science-led, transparency, risk management) consistent with UNEPā€™s mandate, United Nations Environment Assembly resolutions and guidance from the UN Secretariat.
  • Support consultations across UNEP on these principles to the point of sign off by the Senior Management Team (SMT).

Typology of Interventions:

  • Draft a uniform typology of UNEP interventions (across direct, enabling and influencing) and identification of UNEP niche programmatic areas.
  • Support consultations across UNEP on this typology to the point of sign off by SMT.

Organised Abandonment Exercise:

  • Draft a list of activities to be abandoned for further discussion by the SMT
  • Support consultations across UNEP on this process of organised abandonment to the point of sign off by SMT.

Review of Partnership with UN entities:

  •  Draft a brief paper which reviews current engagement with other UN entities, and how UNEP should partner with other UN entities so as to enhance delivery within a reformed UN development system.
  • Key points from this paper/ condensed section to be included in the Delivery Model paper

Implementation of revised paper on ā€˜Strengthened UNEP Strategic Presence:

  • Build on revised version of the 2015 paper ā€œStrengthened UNEP Strategic Regional Presenceā€ (due to be finalized by 30 July) to ensure that the UNEP Delivery Model paper includes the appropriate modalities to deliver the strategic direction proposed in the revised paper.
  • Project Management and Intervention Strategy
  • Draft a ā€œStrategy for Interventionā€ that defines a common understanding of: Global-to-Regional-to-Country intervention pathways; support to UN Country Teams; UN Joint Programming; Partnerships with UN entities, etc.
  • Clarify which UNEP business units should be managing projects.
  • Support consultations across UNEP on this strategy to the point of sign off by SMT.

Roles, Responsibilities and Accountability Framework:

  • Draft a revised overview of the division of Roles and Responsibilities among: Executive Office, Divisions, Division Directors (and Lead Division Directors), Regional Directors, Global and Regional Subprogram Coordinators.
  • On the basis of the accepted partition of roles and responsibilities, update the existing Accountability Framework (consistent with UN best practice) to ensure it provides clear ā€˜line-of-sightā€™ accountability in accordance with the overall direction of the MTS.
  • Support consultations across UNEP on this strategy to the point of sign off by SMT.

UNEP @50 process:

  • Support the drafting of background documents to support PPD as the substantive lead on the UNEP @50 process
  • Review inputs to ensure alignment with the MTS 2022-2025 and other aspects of MTS readiness 

Results-based Budgeting Plan:

  • Draft, in collaboration with budget team, a plan for more effective results-based budgeting and formulating the strategic framework elements in a way that corresponds to funding sources and that can be monitored using corporate performance dashboards.

C. Review, advise and input on other MTS readiness processes and papers as needed
Input and review a series of other papers on an as needed basis to ensure consistency with Delivery Model plans and logic. These may include (but not be limited to):

  • A common approach towards projects funded by multilateral funding mechanisms such as the GEF, Multilateral Fund, Green climate Fund and their complementarity with the UNEP PoW/ MTS.
  • Plan for joint programming and resource mobilisation 
  • Priority 3 around the Subprograms on Digital Transformations
  • Organization-wide project management throughout the project life cycle
  • Outliers and exceptions report
  • Monitoring framework for direct for direct, enabling and influencing interventions
  • Implementation of Evaluation Office Recommendations
  • Enhanced internal and external project information platforms
  • UNEP Policy and Strategy for Gender Equality and the Environment revised and aligned with the MTS 2022-2025 accompanied with the relevant training
  • Plan for RBM roll-out in POW 2024-2025
  • Review of MEA docking station context ā€“ including how regional offices can support MEA implementation

D. Additional Activities as required

  • Support PPD on additional drafting, consultation, and development activities in support of UNEPā€™s operational readiness, as required.

Monitoring and Progress Controls
Measurable outputs and Milestones:

  • Final plan for results-based budgeting
  • PowerPoint on results-based budgeting
  • Uniform typology of UNEP interventions
  • Review paper on current engagement with other UN entities
  • Revised paper on ā€˜Strengthened UNEP Strategic Presenceā€™
  • Revised overview of organizational Roles and Responsibilities on programme implementation
  • PowerPoint on organizational Roles and Responsibilities
  • Finalized UNEP Delivery Model paper incorporating the above components as required
  • PowerPoint on UNEPā€™s delivery model
  • Other papers reviewed and produced as necessary


  • An advanced university degree in environmental management, sustainable development, public /business administration, economics or other relevant discipline is required
  • A Bachelorā€™s Degree in combination with additional two years of relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  • A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible professional experience in programme/project planning, development, coordination, implementation and evaluation required 
  • Managerial experience in environmental, sustainable development and policy analysis required 
  • Knowledge of UN programme planning and of UNEP institutional mandates, policies, guidelines and administrative processes an asset.
  • Working experience in developing countries and knowledge of the institutions of the UN system desirable.

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat.

  • For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required.
  • Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: International Individual Contractor Agreement
Contract level: ICS 12/ IICA 4
Contract duration: 9 months, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance.ā€™

The position is to be based in non family duty station
For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:

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.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization – UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.
  • 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.

Background Information – UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partnersā€™ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce ā€” a strength that helps us better understand and address our partnersā€™ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

Kenya Multi-Country Office (KEMCO)Located in Nairobi, Kenya, the Kenya Multi Country Office manages a growing portfolio of engagements, including associated strategic and operational risks. The KEMCO sub-region currently consists of an established Operation Centre in Nairobi/Kenya which manages a portfolio of engagements in multiple countries in East and South Africa. This includes transactional projects in partnership with the Nairobi based UN Agencies, UN-Habitat and UNEP, and multiple ā€˜operationalā€™ projects in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and island states.