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. UNEP’s mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action.
Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, UNEP has a network of country and regional offices facilitating the relevant country and regional processes and coordinating coherent delivery of UNEP’s programme aimed at addressing the causes of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution through seven interlinked sub-programmes for action that include: Climate Action, Chemicals and Pollution Action, Nature Action, Science Policy, Environmental Governance, Finance and Economic Transformations and Digital Transformations.
UNEP’s Regional Office for Africa (ROA) supports environmental governance institutions and processes and engages a broad range of partners that include UN agencies, governments, non-governmental organizations, academic, and private sector entities on multilateral environmental agreements and sustainability programs and projects in response to national, sub-regional and regional needs and priorities. UNEP’s support to regions and countries is guided by reforms of the UN Development System (UNDS) including the UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC) and UN Country Team (UNCT) systems. This post is based in UNEP/ROA at the Nairobi duty station.
The Senior Programme Management Officer leads UNEP’s engagement with the UN Development System at regional and country levels, and guides and coordinates effective UNEP support to the Regional Collaborative Platform and its Opportunities and Issue-Based Coalitions (RCP/OIBC) as well as its participation in the work of the UN Country Teams. The Senior Programme Management Officer also provides strategic environmental policy support and advice to UN Resident Coordinators, including on the integration of lessons learned over the life of the Poverty and Environment Initiative/Action (PEI/PEA) programme into the work of UNEP in Africa at country and regional level.
Under the direct supervision of the Regional Director, the incumbent will perform the following duties:
1. Lead the engagement of UNEP with the UNDS: continuously assess requirements for improved engagement with the UNDS at the country and regional level and make recommendations to management for consideration; strengthen internal coordination within UNEP for purposes of building, strengthening and maintaining a coherent approach in its support to countries through the UNCT and RCP; oversee implementation of agreed protocols and approaches for engagement with the RCP, UNCT and UNRC systems; work to improve UNEP’s agility and visibility at country and regional level in Africa, including through continuously integrating lessons learned in its approaches and processes.
2. Provide strategic environmental and policy advice to the UNRCs: provide strategic and technical advisory support to UNRCs, based on the request, on specific environmental issues and especially those related to climate change, nature and biodiversity, and pollution and chemicals; work with the UNRCs to promote advocacy for the environment, including through improving their access to policy briefs, knowledge materials and environmental assessments.
3. Provide support to the Regional Director by coordinating the UNEP’s work with the RCP and OIBCs, including in the role of co-chairing OIBCs, where UNEP is a co-convener; support the Regional Director to engage with Divisions, Branches and other UNEP entities to contribute to UNCT/UNRC, led processes, including preparation of the Common Country Analyses (CCAs), development and implementation of CFs, agency and joint programmes, monitoring and evaluation, and reporting through UN Info, including reporting on non-monetary contributions.
4. Lead continuation of PEI/PEA Programme work: Use PEI and PEA experience to amplify the link between poverty and environment; integrate lessons learned over the life of the programme into UNEP programmes, projects and activities in Africa through its tools; work with ministries of planning and finance to strengthen their support across government for environmental sustainability and resilience, and to highlight the contribution of the environment to development.
5. Promote prioritization of actions to address the triple-planetary crises by UNCT: Consistent with the cross-cutting nature of the poverty issue, be responsible for improving the cross-sectoral cohesion of policy development in the Law Division by providing strategic advice on how cross-sectoral linkages (e.g. between poverty, environment and water; poverty, environment and health; poverty environment and urban issues) should be better reflected In environmental policy development policy and law. The advice must also reflect environmental-economic-social interlinkages. The viability of, operationalizing the concept of sustainable development under the poverty and environment umbrella should also be assessed.
6. Provide advice on financing environmental solutions: In collaboration with UNEP Finance Initiative (FI) to provide advice on funding of actions to address regional and country environmental priorities; interact with governments and their development partners as well as financial institutions to lift the prioritization they give to addressing environmental opportunities and challenges in their budgets and funding portfolios respectively.
7. Identify National priorities and develop interventions: Gather and provide information on national and regional priorities, and in close collaboration with the regional sub-programme coordinators and division leads, contribute to the preparation of specific interventions for the countries and the region in line with UNEP’s medium-term strategy and programme of work.
8. Resource mobilization: Undertake resource mobilization efforts to support implementation of UNEP’s projects and activities at country and regional level.
9. Leads team members efforts to collect and analyze data and provides insight to identify trends or patterns for data-driven planning, decision-making, presentation and reporting. Ensures that everyone can discover, access, integrate and share the data they need.
10. Perform other duties as may be assigned by management of the United Nations Environment Programme.
PROFESSIONALISM – Solid understanding of the environment and climate change. Knowledge of the UN Development System processes at country and regional level. Ability to identify key strategic issues, opportunities, and risks. Ability to establish and maintain relationships with a broad range of individuals and institutions to understand needs and gain support. Ability to generate and communicate broad and compelling organizational direction; Ability to develop strategies and communicate clearly links between the organization’s strategy and programme of work the region’s and sub-regions and countries’ goals; Ability to analyze and interpret data in support of decision-making and convey resulting information to management; Demonstrated ability to provide innovative technical leadership by performing and/or overseeing the planning, development, and management of operation; Demonstrated ability to negotiate, apply good judgment and the ability to influence others to reach agreement; Mastery of the diverse scope of capacity building and a clear vision of UNEP’s role at the national, sub-regional, regional and global levels; Ability to resolve complex and politically sensitive problems with governments, cooperating institutions, and other stakeholders. 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.
COMMUNICATION – Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience; Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
TEAMWORK – Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; Places team agenda before personal agenda; Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
PLANNING AND ORGANIZING – Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; Identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; Uses time efficiently.
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 improvement, does not accept status quo; Shows the courage to take unpopular stands; Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives into substantive work and commitment to the goal of achieving gender balance in staffing.
Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in Environmental Studies, Economics, Law, International Relations, Social Sciences, or related discipline.
A first-level university degree in combination with two (2) additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
Successful completion of both degree and non-degree programs in data analytics, business analytics or data science programs is desirable.
At least ten (10) years of progressively responsible work experience in programme/project management, environmental management, policy development or related field is required.
Five (5) years experience at the international or regional level is required.
Experience in resource mobilization is desirable.
Experience in strategic policy setting is desirable.
Experience in the coordination of programmes is desirable.
Experience in data analytics or related area is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of other UN languages is desirable.
NOTE: ”Fluency” equals a rating of ”fluent” in all four areas (read, write, speak, understand) and ”Knowledge of” equals a rating of ”confident” in two of the four areas.
Evaluation of qualified candidates for this position may include a substantive assessment, which may be followed by a competency-based interview.
Appointment against this position is for an initial period of one (1) 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 fulfil the lateral move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral moves in their Candidate Profile (CP) and motivation statement.
For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 31 March 2022, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, China, Comoros, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu.
The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance and geographical diversity in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
Internal Applicants – When completing the Candidate Profile form, ensure ALL fields, ALL professional experience and contact information are completed and up to date. This information is the basis for the hiring manager to assess your eligibility and suitability for the position and to contact you.
Individual Contractors and Consultants who have worked within the UN Secretariat in the last six months, irrespective of the administering entity, are ineligible to apply for or be appointed to any professional and higher temporary or fixed-term positions, within six months of the end of their current or most recent service. For such positions, at least six months need to have elapsed between the end of a consultancy or individual contract and the time of application and consideration for an appointment as a staff member under the Staff Rules and Regulations of the United Nations.
At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.
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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, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, 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. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.
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.
The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.
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