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Programme Specialist, Environment

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Location South Africa - Africa
Type Temporary / Contract / Seasonal
Status Full Time
Level Senior Level
Deadline 18/08/2009
Company Name United Nations Development Program
Contact Name Human Resources
Website Further Details / Applications
United Nations Development Program logo
Directory Entry : UNDP is the UN's global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. For environmental jobs with UNDP visit their website. Or for more environmental jobs search environmentjobs.com
Also Listing:
At the corporate level, the 2008-2011, UNDP Strategic Plan firmly establishes UNDP’s priorities in Environment and Sustainable Development. These include; i) assisting countries mainstream environment, energy and climate change concerns development plans and sector programs, ii) strengthening institutional capacities for the delivery and management of environmental services and iii) helping countries prepare for and mobilize related environmental finance including their effective participation in the Bali road map and the eventual post Kyoto climate regime.
UNDP Africa’s strategic vision places capacity development for pro-poor growth and accountability at the centre of all UNDP-supported activities in the region, given the fact that lack of capacity in these areas remains one of the key challenges faced by Africa today in its efforts to achieve the MDGs.  To achieve this goal UNDP has set itself the tasks of strengthening African capacity in four broad based areas: i) poverty reduction and achievement of the MDGs; ii) consolidating democratic and participatory governance; iii) conflict prevention, peace building and recovery;  and iv) energy, environment and sustainable development.  
The regional project under which this post falls is in line with the fourth focus area  mentioned above and its interventions have been designed  to: a) promote African ownership and leadership; b) promote Africa’s development priorities; c) re-enforce partnership with Africa’s premier regional institution; d) strengthen knowledge management and sharing through policy research, advocacy and partnerships with African centres of excellence; e) enhanced utilization of UNDP’s capacity assessment and diagnostic tools;  f) integrate a well thought-out exit strategy; and g) strengthen  UN system-wide coordination for coherence and complementarity.  The project will intensify the organization’s efforts of helping countries and regional institutions to integrate environmental management concerns in their development plans and strengthen their capacities to manage and deliver services in an environmentally sustainable manner
 The Programme Specialist is responsible for support to the management, monitoring, evaluation and reporting on project implementation and results.  The post will work under the direct supervision and guidance of the Project Manager (Environment).  She/he will be an integral part of UNDP’s environment and sustainable development team in Africa and will work with EEG Policy Advisors located in Johannesburg and Dakar RSCs.


Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions

1.    Project  planning, management and  implementation
2.    Project  monitoring, evaluation and reporting
3.    Partnership and resource mobilization
4.    Capacity building and knowledge management

1.    Project  planning, management and  implementation
  • Undertake an analysis of the political, social and economic trends in the Region and submit reports, analysis and/or conclusions for project management and implementation. Propose areas for support and intervention based on evolving regional priorities, strategic focus and comparative advantage.
  • Contribute to the development and preparation of strategic and annual work plan by planning project activities/components, establishing budget, determining targets, timelines, objectives and standards in accordance with the principles of results based management (RBM)  measuring results.
  • Contribute to the preparation of materials and other requirements for Project Steering Committee and Project Management Meetings and follow-up on the decisions for timely action. 
  • Participate in the process to Identify, select and evaluate candidates. Supervise project staff through work planning, providing technical guidance and direction, coaching, feedback and periodic assessment, evaluation and performance appraisal.
  • Apply UNDP programming and operational policies, procedures and mechanisms and utilize the Project Management Module in Atlas (Prince2, etc).  Keep abreast of UNDP programming practices to ensure optimum project implementation and performance.
  • Initiate and follow up on requests for financial resources and take action to process requests through advances, direct payments, or reimbursement using the FACE (Fund Authorization and Certificate of Expenditures). 
  • Act as main focal point between GEF operational teams on both biodiversity and climate change adaptation, ensuring that countries get direct support.
  • Identify opportunities and advise on joint UN action to support the development of CDM projects and PES schemes

2.    Project  monitoring, evaluation and reporting
  • Visit projects, monitor implementation, review progress reports, follow-up on progress, determine approaches and modalities for implementation and evaluate results according to targets and objectives. Take action and/or refer issues for timely action and/or decision.
  • Provide technical guidance and operational support to clients and stakeholders to enhance performance and quality assurance, share knowledge and build capacity.
  • Exercise control and take decisions to ensure full  compliance  with  UNDP  programming,  financial procurement  and  administrative  rules,  regulations,  policies  and  strategies,  application of internal control systems.
  • Prepare required qualitative, substantive, financial and procurement/contracting progress reports to keep all relevant parties involved and to facilitate timely and appropriate action.   

3.    Partnership and resource mobilization
  • Maintain effective partnership with Government and Regional Institutions, implementing partners and UNDP colleagues to exchange critical and technical information and resolve programme/project implementation issues to ensure results are achieved as planned.
  • Map, advise and develop plan of action to be taken by UNDP in partnership with UNEP and other external partners to raise awareness and engage national and regional stakeholders and clients, including the public and private sectors, on the importance of managing sensitive ecosystems
  • Submit recommendations for resource mobilization to encourage donor interests and increase funding. Establish dialogue with donors, partners and stakeholders to maintain effective working relationship, sustain interests and cooperation.
  • Establish partnerships (internal and external) to document and develop a region-wide inventory of pro-poor and gender sensitive PES initiatives to inform policy dialogue and to transform pilots to programmes
  • Contribute to advocacy efforts aimed at highlighting the economic and social development benefits of managing, regenerating and conserving ecosystems.

4.    Capacity building and knowledge management
  • Identify, codify and disseminate best practices and lessons learned to build capacity and knowledge, particularly with regard to pro-poor and gender sensitive PES and CDM, to ensure that countries have up to date information and benefit from the knowledge and products generated.
  • Draft and/or develop policy, briefing papers and other position papers for the approval of the Project Manager and/or program/project.
  • Organize and implement training activities and events for the operations/ projects staff.

Impact of Results

The  key  results  impact  on  the  overall  successful  achievement and sustainability of  the  Regional Programme.  Accurate analysis and presentation of information enhances UNDP’s position as a strong and reliable development partner and facilitates decision-making of the Project Management Team, Steering Committee, UNDP management and RCF Advisory Board.



Corporate Competencies:
  • Demonstrates commitment to UNDP’s mission, vision and values.
  • Exerts strict adherence to corporate rules, regulations and procedures.  Familiarity with the internal control framework and results-based management tools is a must. 
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
Functional Competencies:

Knowledge Management and Learning
  • Shares knowledge and experience
  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills  

Development and Operational Effectiveness
  • Ability  to  perform  specialized  tasks  related  to  Results-Based Management, including  support  to  design,  planning  and  implementation  of  programme, managing  data, reporting.
  • Ability  to  provide  inputs  to  business  processes,  re-engineering,  implementation  of  new system, including new IT based systems. 
  • Ability  to  establish  and maintain  contacts with  senior-level  officials  of  the  host  government required. Excellent interpersonal skills are essential part of the job.  
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, is required to obtain, evaluate and interpret factual data and to prepare accurate and complete reports and other documents.  
Leadership and Self-Management
  • Focuses on result for the client and responds positively to feedback
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude 
  • Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure  
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities.


Required Skills and Experience

  • Masters in environmental sciences, environmental law, economics or closely related field.

  • At least five years of progressively responsible experience in development-related work, particularly in relation to environmental finance and climate change issues, at the project implementation level is required within a governmental, multilateral, bilateral or Civil Society Organizational-setting and within a multicultural environment at national or international level.
  • Previous experience in development assistance or related work for a donor organization, governmental institutions, NGO or private sector /consulting firm is a very strong advantage. 
  • Experience  in  the  use  of  computers  and  office  software  packages  and  advance  knowledge  of  spreadsheet  and  database packages (MS Word,  Excel,  etc), and experience in handling of web based management systems.
Language Requirements:   
  • Fluency in English. A good working knowledge of French is desirable.
Qualified women are encouraged to apply for this post.
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