Vacancy Details

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Vacancy code VA/2012/B5004/1651
Position title Senior Programme Officer-REDD+
Level ICS-12
Department/office NAO, UNDG
Duty station Geneva, Switzerland
Contract type Fixed Term
Contract level P5
Duration One year
Application period 26-Dec-2012 to 31-Jan-2013
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
This vacancy is closed.
Background Information - UNOPS

“UNOPS plays a critical role in providing management services for our life-saving, peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations. I have seen many examples of how these activities help suffering people in troubled parts of the world.”
-Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General

UNOPS mission is to expand the capacity of the UN system and its partners to implement peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations that matter for people in need.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, UNOPS vision is to always satisfy partners with management services that meet world-class standards of quality, speed and cost effectiveness.

By assisting UN organizations, international financial institutions, governments and other development partners, UNOPS makes significant, tangible contributions to results on the ground.

UNOPS employs more than 6000 personnel and on behalf of its partners creates thousands more work opportunities in local communities. With its headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark, a network of five regional offices and a further 20 operations and project centres, UNOPS oversees activities in more than 80 countries.

UNOPS is committed to achieving a truly diverse workforce.
Background Information - NAO

North America Regional Office

The UNOPS North America Regional Office provides services that help implement projects for a range of partners, and support operations run by the UNOPS Mine Action Cluster, Small Grants Cluster and Development Group Cluster. In addition, the office serves as a liaison between UNOPS headquarters and its Executive Board, which supports and supervises UNOPS activities globally.
Background Information - Development Group Cluster

Development Group Cluster

The UNOPS Development Group Cluster is based in the North America Office and supports a diverse and complex portfolio including partners such as the United Nations Development Programme (the Bureau for Development Policy, the Human Development Report Office, and the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation), the United Nations Population Fund, the United Nations Capital Development Fund, the United Nations Secretariat and a broadening community of primarily New York-based UN partners in the delivery of project management, implementation and administration services.

The UN-REDD Programme

In response to the COP13 decision and requests from countries and donors, FAO, UNDP, and UNEP developed the UN Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD Programme).  The UN-REDD Programme consists of two sets of activities: i) National Programmes which are UN joint programmes between the three agencies to assist developing countries prepare and implement national REDD+ strategies and mechanisms; ii) Global Programme to support country actions and provide the international community with confidence and understanding of the technical and social aspects of a post-2012 REDD+ mechanism.  A Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) is administered by the UNDP MDTF Office.  A UN-REDD Strategy 2011-2015 has been approved by the Policy Board, the governing body of the Programme.  An inter-agency secretariat has been established in Geneva to enhance the coordination of the Programme’s delivery by the three agencies. 

UNDP leads three of the six work areas set out in the UN-REDD Strategy: (i) National Governance; (ii) Stakeholder Engagement; and (iii) Transparent, Equitable and Accountable Management of REDD+ Funds.

The UN-REDD Programme and the EEG REDD+ team collaborate closely with the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF); the Forest Investment Programme (FIP) of the Carbon Investment Funds (CIF) of the World Bank; and other multilateral, bilateral and private sector REDD+ initiatives.

The UN-REDD Programme inter-agency Secretariat

The UN-REDD Programme Secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland and is an inter-agency unit of the three UN-REDD Programme agencies.  Among other things, the Secretariat supports the Policy Board by organizing meetings, producing reports and monitoring implementation of Policy Board decisions. It is a central point of contact for the UN-REDD Programme and liaises with other REDD+ initiatives.  This includes liaising with existing and potential donors in order to mobilize funds.  The Secretariat provides leadership in strategic planning, and the development and management of reporting, monitoring and evaluation frameworks for the Programme, raising awareness of, and championing the UN-REDD Programme and providing vital information to external partners.  The Secretariat also facilitates interagency collaboration and communication, to ensure the Programme is implemented effectively.  The terms of references for the Secretariat were strengthened in 2012 with a focus of 5 key results:

  • Support the delivery of high quality UN-REDD Programme services and results through the creation and implementation of efficient and effective interagency quality assurance, reporting, and coordination mechanisms;
  • Provide administrative and logistical support to Policy Board and the agencies’ REDD+ management teams;
  • Develop and implement innovative approaches to facilitate knowledge sharing among UN-REDD Programme staff, participating countries, and interested stakeholders;
  • Develop and nurture existing and new partnerships and manage external relations at the Programme-level; and
  • Develop a donor relations and resource mobilization strategy, and coordinate implementation of such a strategy.

In particular, the Senior Programme Officer (SPO) will support the Secretariat’s delivery of these key results in relation to UN-REDD National Programmes and other support to the 46 UN-REDD partner countries.


The EEG REDD+ team is responsible for a growing portfolio of $100m.  The work is primarily concentrated in the UN-REDD Programme, a collaborative partnership with FAO and UNEP (see below).  UNDP is also a Delivery Partner for the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF).  In addition, the team is responsible for other REDD+ initiatives and ensuring overall quality assurance.  The team especially works closely with the UNDP-GEF team to provide guidance on GEF-funded projects related to REDD+ and with the Low Emissions, Climate Resilient Development (LECRD) team to ensure UNDP’s efforts on REDD+ contribute to broader transformational change.

The EGG REDD+ team is a multi-practice initiative, working closely with the Democratic Governance Group (DGG), the Poverty Group, the Capacity Development Group, the Gender Unit and the Civil Society Unit.  A team member is currently based in the UNDP Oslo Governance Centre and the team collaborates closely with the DGG Anti-Corruption Programme.

EEG coordinates country-level activities with the Regional Bureaux, working closely with the UN Resident Coordinators and Country Offices.  The EEG REDD+ team can support the REDD+ initiatives of the regions and country offices and provide quality assurance on a full cost-recovery basis.

Functional Responsibilities

The functions of the Senior Programme Officer (SPO) are:

  1. Management of inter-agency Quality Assurance of support to countries;
  2. Enhance Coordinated Delivery of UN-REDD Results at the National Level;
  3. Partnership Development, Dialogue and Advocacy;
  4. Knowledge, Lessons and Tools Development; and
  5. Programme Development and Resource Mobilization.

The key results expected from the SPA are:

1. Management of inter-agency Quality Assurance of support to countries

  • Develop/manage results-based reporting framework for National Programmes and other support to UN-REDD countries, including monitoring the progress of National Programmes.
  • Fulfill secretariat requirements to review and process National Programmes.
  • Report/respond to the Policy Board on matters pertaining to National Programmes and other support to UN-REDD countries.
  • High-level contribution to the workplan, strategy, practices, and management of the secretariat.
Key Result:  UN-REDD support to national actions is widely recognized for its high quality and contributes to measureable changes in the REDD+ Readiness of UN-REDD countries.

2. Enhance Coordinated Delivery of UN-REDD Results at the National Level 
  • Develop and issue guidelines and other tools to enhance the coordinated delivery of National Programmes and other support to countries.
  • Analysis and synthesis of National Programme implementation approaches and experience into guidelines, programming kits, training and other implementation support products.

Key Result:  UN-REDD National Programmes are recognized as models for UN Joint Programmes in terms of coordination, harmonization and innovative mechanisms to ensure the UN Agencies deliver as one.

3. Partnership Development, Dialogue and Advocacy

  • Facilitate integration of UN-REDD’s support to countries with other relevant initiatives, such as the FCPF, FIP and GEF.
  • Develop strategic partnerships to strengthen the overall results of the National Programmes.
  • Develop high-level dialogue, aligned vision, engagement, and coordination with international REDD+ partners, private sector, innovative leaders and the UNFCCC Secretariat.
  • Develop other strategic opportunities for the UN-REDD Programme to provide support to countries.

Key Result:  UN-REDD is widely recognized for its ability to drive change in the REDD+ discourse. UN-REDD is a “sought after” partner in supporting national REDD+ strategies.

4. Knowledge, Lessons and Tools Development

  • Gather lessons and experiences from the UN-REDD’s national support to inform REDD+ countries.
  • Facilitate knowledge sharing between REDD+ countries – both within the UN-REDD Programme and within other initiatives, such as the FCPF, the GEF and Norway’s International Carbon Forest Initiative.
  • Analysis and synthesis of data, information, results and knowledge into papers, lessons, guidelines, methodologies, programming kits, and other tools and codified new knowledge products.

Key Result:  UN-REDD is widely recognized as a source of cutting edge tools, knowledge and information on the development and implementation of national REDD+ strategies. 

5. Programme Development and Resource Mobilization

  • Contribute to the overall management of the UN-REDD Programme through the Management Group.
  • Provide leadership in developing UN-REDD’s overall strategy for supporting countries, with particular reference to the UN-REDD Programme’s role in Phase 2 & 3 REDD+ support, results-based payments and Tier 2 national support.
  • Contribute to UN-REDD resource mobilization efforts, with particular reference to increasing funds available for national actions.
  • Undertake resource mobilization missions and organize targeted efforts (such as round tables, Ambassador briefings etc) in coordination with the UN Agencies’ teams.

Key Result:  Continued growth in the quality, scope, impact and influence of the UN-REDD’s support to countries.

Impact of Results

The results of the work of the SPO impact directly on the standing and reputation of the UN-REDD Programme and UNDP as effective and trustworthy partners on all issues associated with REDD+.  These range from being an effective contributor to countries’ development objectives, to being a trusted partner with other initiatives, through to demonstrating UNDP’s ability to meet the standards associated with delivering climate finance to developing countries.  The knowledge, skills, networks, and decisions of the SPO will influence whether or not UNDP is effective in assisting developing countries to participate in a future UNFCCC REDD+ mechanism and use REDD+ financing to achieve transformational change and development outcomes.

The UN-REDD Programme inter-agency Secretariat is expected to enhance the standing and reputation of the participating UN Agencies through the provision of strategic services and enhanced coordination that will ensure the achievement of the UN-REDD Programme’s expected results.


Given the highly complex technical and political nature of REDD+ and the unique collaborative nature of the UN-REDD Programme between three UN Agencies, the position of SPO requires a complex combination of advanced technical, managerial, policy, strategic, networking, and leadership skills together with a full understanding of the complexity of development, climate change, and forest and land use issues, policies and negotiations, at the portfolio and international levels.

Functional Competencies


  • Demonstrated intellectual leadership and ability to integrate knowledge with broader strategic, policy and operational objectives;
  • Independent judgment and discretion in arriving at complex and delicate decisions;
  • Excellent negotiation skills and ability to persuade and influence others to reach agreement on complex issues;
  • Ability to apply technical knowledge relating to GHG emissions reductions in forests, with a solid understanding of the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, the cost drivers of abatement actions, and the social fundamentals necessary for success;
  • Capacity to work with multiple stakeholders and across a wide range of disciplines.

Leadership & Management:

  • Strong managerial/leadership and decision-making skills;
  • Proven record of building and managing teams and creating an enabling environment, including the ability to effectively operate in a matrixed environment, and design training/skills enhancement initiatives to ensure effective transfer of knowledge/skills;
  • Demonstrated flexibility in leadership by performing and/or overseeing the analysis of complex programme issues in an international, multi-cultural setting;
  • Good judgment and decision-making skills.

Planning and Organizing: 
  • Proven ability to plan and organize work in a complex team and institutional environment;


  • Mature judgment and initiative;
  • Proven ability to provide strategic direction and ensure an effective work structure to maximize productivity and achieve goals.
  • Excellent drafting ability and communication skills, both oral and written; ability to defend and explain difficult and complex issues with respect to key decisions and positions to staff, senior officials and members of legislative and oversight bodies.
  • Excellent presentation skills.
Client Orientation: 
  • Ability to identify needs and propose appropriate solutions as well as establish and maintain effective relationships with outside collaborators and other contacts, including representatives of Member States and the public.
  • Demonstrated integrity, ability to stand by the decisions that are in the Organization’s interest and resist undue pressure in decision-making;
Commitment to Continuous Learning: 
  • Willingness to keep abreast of new developments in the relevant technical field and to develop own managerial and leadership skills.

Human Resources Management:

  • Ability to coach, mentor, motivate and develop staff and encourage excellent performance;
  • Ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor the work of others;
  • Ability to make timely decisions;
  • Ability to create an enabling work environment and consider work/life issues.
Building Trust: 
  • Reputation for dealing honestly and openly with issues;
  • Recognized and highly respected by peers, clients and staff.

Corporate Competencies 

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism.

Demonstrated integrity, ability to stand by the decisions that are in the Organization’s interest and resist undue pressure in decision-making.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

Edudation: Master’s degree or equivalent experience in environmental policy, law, natural resource management, or other relevant field.

Experience: 10 years or more of progressively responsible relevant leadership and management in the fields of development, ecosystem management and forest/land use.

Portfolio management at the regional or international level, with a track record of mobilizing resources, meeting deadlines and delivery targets.

Experience with multi-lateral or bilateral quality assurance measures and results-based monitoring frameworks for development projects.

Previous experience developing and appraising large-scale, complex ecosystem management projects/programmes in developing countries.

Demonstrable track record of developing networks and effective partnerships.

Experience working with UNDP, FAO, UNEP in delivering results at the national level is highly desirable.

Language Requirements: Excellent command of written and spoken English is essential; Proficiency in either Spanish or French is also required. Knowledge of another UN language is an advantage.


Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time (CET)
  • 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.
  • For staff positions UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  
Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: FTA
Contract level: P5
Contract duration: One year

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This vacancy is closed.