Senior Programme Management Officer

United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)

Nairobi, Kenya 🇰🇪

Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) 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. UN Environment’s Policy and Programme Division is responsible for the organization’s strategy, overseeing special initiatives, which includes environment and security work, and the organization’s performance review and monitoring. This post is located in the Gender and Safeguards Unit of the UN Environment Policy and Programme Division at the Nairobi duty station. Under the guidance of the Division Director and the overall supervision of the Chief of the unit the incumbent will be responsible for the following:


(i) Leads UNEP’s sustainability and safeguards policy implementation and improvement initiatives. This includes the establishment, testing, implementation and revision of policy and related operational tools and systems; (ii) Develops and delivers high quality and consistent capacity-building initiatives for UNEP staff and implementing agencies to enhance their understanding and skills related to identification, assessment, monitoring, and response to safeguards requirements for projects; and prevent potential compliance or grievance cases; (iii) Chairs the UNEP Safeguards Panel and ensures incorporation of quality standards in risk identification, analysis and clearance; (iv) Maintains an oversight of safeguards implementation at the programme level, together with Sub-programme Coordinators, Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Global Climate Fund (GCF) coordinators, Office for Operations and corporate services; periodically reports on the overall and aggregate status of ESES implementation, and recommends and follows up on the ways to improve performance; (v) Represents UNEP in the Environmental Management Group (EMG) and other Interagency efforts for safeguards mainstreaming in the UN system, engages in the UN system-wide collective thinking process on way forward and promotes UNEP’s role in environmental sustainability. Represent UNEP in other professional, multi-donor and international fora relating to safeguards and standards, providing leadership in these areas. (vi) Maintains the roster of internal and external safeguards experts for project screening, identifies potential safeguards risks, advises project managers on appropriate actions, and maintains the list of external consultants on impact assessment. This includes: supporting the advisory services function of the Safeguards Panel to provide high quality and timely review and clearance of the safeguards aspects of UNEP’s projects and ensuring that the projects comply with applicable safeguards policies and procedures; (vii) Provides leadership and guidance on the interpretation of UNEP’s policies relating to the assessment of environmental, social and economic risks and impacts. Any other related duties.


PROFESSIONALISM: Track record of working in multicultural environments and directing multi disciplinary staff; Ability to identify key strategic issues, opportunities and risks relating to UNEP achieving measurable results; Concrete conceptual and practical knowledge on impact assessment and the safeguards management; Ability to generate and communicate broad and compelling organizational direction. Ability to communicate clearly links between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals; Ability to communicate clearly to the project managers and the implementing partners that the projects should be developed and managed to avoid or mitigate potential safeguards risks; Demonstrated ability to provide innovative technical leadership by performing and/or overseeing the planning, development, and management of operation; Demonstrated ability to negotiate and apply good judgment Shows pride in work and in achievements; Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; Remains calm in stressful situations. ACCOUNTABILITY: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honors commitments; Delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; Operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; Supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; Takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable. LEADERSHIP: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; Is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; Establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; Anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; Drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; Shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; Demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing. JUDGEMENT/DECISION-MAKING: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; Gathers relevant information before making a decision; Considers positive and negative impacts of decision prior to making them; Takes decisions with an eye to the impact of others and on the organization; Proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; Checks assumptions against facts; Determines that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decisions; Makes tough decisions when necessary. CLIENT ORIENTATION: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from the clients’ point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep them informed and anticipate problems.


An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in a social sciences, economics, environmental studies or other development-related fields is required. A first university degree with a combination of two (2) years professional and academic qualifications may be accepted in lieu of the advanced degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience at an international level in project or programme management and implementation, policy setting, administration or related area is required. Experience in environmental management and related, programme development, quality assurance, safeguards monitoring and related capacity building, of which at least five (5) years should be in an international setting, on both intergovernmental and inter-agency environment is 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 UN official language is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

Appointment against this position is for an initial period of one year and may be subject to extension. Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures. Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfill the lateral move(s) requirements, or geographical to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral or geographical move(s) in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover note. The United Nations is Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position. This is a project post and is funded for an initial period of one year and may be subject to extension. If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. In such cases, please resubmit the application, if necessary. All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply on-line as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening. On-line applications will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided. If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. If the problem persists, please seek technical assistance through the Inspira “Need Help?” link.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation or sexual abuse, or crimes other than minor traffic offences, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

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