Senior Technical Advisor (Climate Change Adaptation Policy and Planning)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

İstanbul, Turkey 🇹🇷


UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy work carried out at HQ, Regional and Country Office levels forms a contiguous spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan.

Within the GPN, 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, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas. BPPS works closely with UNDP’s Crisis Bureau (CB) 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.

UNDP’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan emphasizes the critical links between environmental sustainability, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and broader efforts to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement. As part of the Global Policy Network in the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP’s Nature, Climate Change, and Energy (NCE) Team promotes and scales up integrated whole-of-governance approaches and nature-based solutions that reduce poverty and inequalities, strengthen livelihoods and inclusive growth, mitigate conflict, forced migration and displacement, and promote more resilient governance systems that advance linked peace and security agendas.

The NCE Team works with governments, civil society, and private sector partners to integrate natural capital, environment and climate concerns into national and sector planning and inclusive growth policies; support country obligations under Multilateral Environmental Agreements; and implement the UN’s largest portfolio of in-country programming on environment, climate change, and energy. This multi-billion dollar portfolio encompasses: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services including forests; Sustainable Land Management and Desertification including food and commodity systems; Water and Ocean Governance including SIDS; Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation; Renewable and Modern Energy; Extractive Industries; Chemicals and Waste Management; Environmental Governance and Green/Circular Economy and SCP approaches. This work advances crosscutting themes on innovative finance, digital transformation, capacity development, human rights, gender equality, health, technology, and South-South learning. UNDP’s Nature, Climate and Energy practice spans 137 countries, with a portfolio directly benefiting 86 million people. Our support to Governments focusses on enabling an inclusive, resilient, green recovery by: building competency to accelerate access to sustainable energy and climate and nature-positive policies and finance; scaling capacity to ensure No One is Left Behind; catalyzing SDG and Paris-aligned investments (public and private); delivering client-focused solutions that respond to countries’ immediate, mid- and long-term recovery and socio-economic development priorities; and leveraging our on-the-ground presence and networks to unlock bottom-up solutions that deliver lasting impacts at country level.

In addition to UNDP’s bilateral partnerships on nature climate and energy, UNDP is an accredited multilateral implementing agency of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Multilateral Fund (MLF), and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) which includes the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund (GEF Trust Fund); the Nagoya Protocol Implementation Fund (NPIF); the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF); and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF). As part of UNDP’s partnership with these vertical funds, UNDP provides countries specialized integrated technical services for eligibility assessment, programme formulation, capacity development, policy advice, technical assistance, training and technology transfer, mobilization of co-financing, implementation oversight, results management and evaluation, performance-based payments and knowledge management services. The Nature, Climate and Energy Team focuses on managing the oversight of climate and environmental financial resources from global trust funds to catalyze and unlock other types of public and private financing for sustainable development. This includes oversight of the design as well as implementation phase of projects (together with Country Offices and Regional Bureaus), as well as portfolio level oversight and management.

Climate change could drive an additional 100 million people into poverty by 2030. Countries have increasingly included adaptation priorities in their NDCs pointing to issues of water and food security, safeguarding economic assets from extreme climate events and disasters, and protection and regeneration of natural capital. Building on the experiences and lessons from a portfolio of initiatives in over 137 countries, UNDP advances a ‘whole-of-society’ approach to accelerate adaptation and continues to support countries to mobilize public and private finance to implement their adaption priorities. UNDP assists government partners to scale up the integration of climate change adaptation into policy, planning, and investments at both national and local levels through the support to the National Adaptation Planning (NAP) process and the NDCs. UNDP supports climate change adaptation action in the context of agriculture and food security, water resources, coastal zone management, ecosystems protection, public health, resilient infrastructure, urban resilience, livelihoods, and climate information/early warnings.

The role of a Senior Technical Advisor (STA) is to support the Principal Technical Advisor (PTA) for Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) strategically and technically guide the policy and programming support to countries in the relevant technical areas. With a majority of NDCs that include adaptation and the strong priority of countries on adaptation planning, the Senior Technical Advisor will work with the PTA to lead adaptation planning and enabling activities related work as part of UNDPs Climate Promise initiative and work in close collaboration with UNDPs Climate Strategies team. The Senior Technical Advisor will be entrusted to lead on adaptation policy and planning and to work seamlessly with the network of UNDP regional and global Technical Advisors on climate change adaptation specifically and more broadly across other GPN teams.

The STA is also expected to provide technical and policy leadership within the organization for the adaptation policy and planning work, linked with adaptation programming, and provide technical guidance to Regional Technical Advisors (RTAs) within the team, as well as, other Advisors across UNDP’s Global Policy Network (GPN) to ensure integrated, holistic support to countries to tackle environmental and climate change-related challenges as a means to achieving the SDGs. The STA, along with PTAs and RTAs, is also responsible for providing detailed knowledge related to sources of funds for environment work, and assisting partners to obtain, use, and report on, such funding.

This position will be overseen by the PTA for Climate Change Adaptation. The Senior Technical Advisor will be based in UNDP’s Regional Hub in Istanbul, Turkey and may be expected to travel. UNDP staff may be periodically redeployed, in accordance with capability, consent, and due process, to a different duty station as needed.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Senior Technical Advisor for Climate Change Adaptation Policy and Planning will be primarily responsible for providing high quality policy and strategic advice on climate change adaptation policy, planning and strategy, as well as, knowledge and capacity development services to partner countries in coordination with UNDP country offices and UN sister agencies S/he will work with UN agencies, governments, inter-governmental organizations, NGO’s, donors, and the private sector and in full alignment with UNDP’s key results as outlined in the corporate strategy. The Senior Technical Advisor will undertake his/her duties in full compliance with UNDP’s Programme and Operations Policies and Procedures including on gender, environmental safeguards, etc.

Specifically, the STA will be expected to deliver results in the areas of:

Strategic Leadership, Dialogue and Advocacy (35%)

  • Lead UNDP’s corporate engagement on NDCs related to adaptation and resilience;
  • Provide strategic inputs to support countries on national adaptation planning through the NAP process and alignment of NDCs at the national level, as well as, sectoral and sub-national governance including identification of champions and other key stakeholders;
  • Represent UNDP in international fora discussion in the area of NDCs as they related to adaptation and resilience;
  • Maintain a strategic understanding of, and engagement with, the substantive technical issues, institutions, and processes of relevance to the NAP process and adaptation and resilience aspects of the NDCs within the countries served, including establishing contact with and developing strategic partnerships with, other agencies, donors, NGO’s, the private sector, and scientific institutions, etc. as they relate to advancing key elements of the NAP process;
  • Provide policy advisory support to national partners including key Ministries (especially in finance, planning and other relevant line Ministries) and other stakeholders, on the importance of medium- to long-term planning and budgeting for adaptation;
  • Develop specific policy analysis and development tools and guidance which are coherent with NDCs and NAPs, as well as, the Sendai agenda.

Substantive Policy advice and Programme oversight (35%)

  • Provide substantive and managerial leadership and oversight of programme staff at the global and regional levels;
  • Provide substantive oversight of NAP portfolio, at global and country level, and ensure alignment with UNDP’s strategic priorities, especially in the context of UNDP’s emerging NDC implementation support and climate strategies;
  • Guide the adaptation planning country and global teams, and support governments and UNDP Country Offices to establish a monitoring system of the programme’s impacts and achievements of the country and global level. Identify and leverage complementary linkages with regional initiatives;
  • Coordinate with Regional Technical Advisors supporting adaptation programming with multiple sources of finance, as well as, others both within and outside of UNDP, especially in Africa and Asia and Pacific, on substantive issues of relevance to NDCs and NAPs;
  • Oversee the implementation of the portfolio’s communications and outreach strategy, as well as, the development of any relevant knowledge networks;
  • Ensure integrated approaches with other GPN teams to contribute to the implementation of the National Adaptation Plans and define collaborative approaches to create impact and ambition.

Development Impact and Partnerships (30%)

  • Facilitate partnerships for South-South and North-South transfer of technical and process-orientated information on experiences, good practices, lessons and examples of relevance to medium- to long-term national, sectoral, local plans, and planning and budgeting processes;
  • Lead efforts to ensure that programme activities are integrated and coordinated with the other sister agencies such as UNFCCC, UNEP, FAO and others within their comparative advantage and their areas of work;
  • Develop and maintain close linkages with key coalitions on adaptation and resilience including think tanks, international organizations, and academia;
  • Coordinate donor relations and programme resource mobilization on adaptation planning. Ensure strong coordination with bilateral and vertical funds, and other relevant initiatives to facilitate collaboration on support to countries on adaptation planning expansion and implementation;
  • Mobilize external partnerships to enhance support to the programme and expand its experience to a broader constituency.



  • 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.


Environmental Issues

  • Knowledge of environment issues, concept and principles and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.

Climate Change Adaptation

  • Knowledge of climate change adaptation concepts, principles and policies and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations. Ability to provide guidance on climate change adaptation especially as it relates to livelihoods, early warning systems, and coastal risk management.


  • Knowledge of economics concepts, principles and policies and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.

Development Planning

  • Knowledge of development planning processes and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.

Program Planning and Design

  • Develop programmes through a process.

Resource Mobilization

  • Ability to identify and organize programmes and projects to implement solutions and generate resources.

Results Based Management

  • Ability to manage programmes and projects with a strategy aimed at improved performance and demonstrable results.

Advocacy and Representation

  • Ability to productively share UNDP knowledge and activities (at UN and other venues).

Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Knowledge of methodologies, tools, systems and apply practical experience in planning, monitoring, evaluating and reporting.

Knowledge Management

  • Ability to efficiently handle and share information and knowledge.

Project Management

  • Ability to plan, organize, motivate, and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals. Ability to guide the design and implementation of multi-sectoral and sectoral programmes and projects at different scales.

Collaboration and Partnership

  • Ability to develop, maintain, and strengthen partnerships with others inside (programmes/ projects) or outside the organization and across a wide range of disciplines who can provide information, assistance, and support. Sets overall direction for the formation and management of strategic relationships contributing to the overall positioning of UNDP.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree in Climate change and development, Development Studies, Environmental Economics, Energy, Environmental Law, Social Sciences or a closely-related field.


  • At least 10 years of relevant progressively responsible experience in related areas such as policy analysis and inter-sectoral issues, providing knowledge services, and support to institutional capacities for planning and strategic advocacy to governments and other partners of which at least five years of experience in climate change adaptation.
  • Experience in climate change, sustainable human development, environmental management issues adaptation, vulnerability and impact, and other related sustainable human development issues;
  • Experience on national and local development planning processes;
  • Extensive experience with climate change policy advisory and implementation at the global and country level, especially on adaptation planning/NAPs or NDCs;
  • Demonstrated skills in adaptation planning relevant areas, such as adaptation planning and policy and climate finance, with experience with vertical funds (GEF, GCF) and bilaterals;
  • Demonstrated experience in the design and coordination of country support in climate change and capacity building needs will be an asset;
  • Extensive experience in assisting national governments from different regions on project design and implementation is an asset;
  • Demonstrated experience facilitating the exchange of knowledge among peer, development of knowledge products and communication strategies is an asset;
  • Extensive contacts with international experts and organizations involved in international studies on climate change is an advantage;
  • Extensive working experience in an international organization; knowledge of UNDP policies, procedures and practices is an advantage.

Language Requirements

  • Excellent knowledge of the English language, with good writing, presentation and communication skills;
  • Proficiency in other UN languages is 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.

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.

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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.

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