Vacancy Details

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Applications to vacancies must be received before midnight Copenhagen time (CET) on the closing date of the announcement.
Vacancy code VA/2013/B5004/2652
Position title Regional Technical Advisor, Multiple positions
Level ICS-11
Department/office GPSO, Development Group
Duty station Multiple
Contract type Fixed Term
Contract level P4
Duration One Year
Application period 10-Jul-2013 to 19-Aug-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.”
-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, our vision is to always satisfy partners with management services that meet world-class standards of quality, speed and cost effectiveness.

UNOPS provides services in sustainable infrastructure, sustainable procurement and sustainable project management, with projects ranging from building schools, roads, bridges and hospitals to procuring goods and services and training local personnel.

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

We employ more than 6,000 personnel annually and on behalf of our partners create thousands more work opportunities in local communities. Through our headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark and a network of regional and country offices, we oversee activities in more than 80 countries.

UNOPS is committed to achieving a truly diverse workforce.

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.

Background Information - Job-specific

The UNDP Environment and Energy Group (EEG) is based in UNDP’s Bureau of Development Policy. EEG is responsible for providing leadership and technical support for the delivery of the Environment and Sustainable Development pillar of UNDP’s Strategic Plan. In particular, EEG assists UNDP Programme countries to develop the capacity to fully incorporate environmental management objectives into development at national and local levels, but also at global and regional scales, and thus ensure that development is sustainable. The principal areas of work are: environmental mainstreaming, environmental finance, adaptation to climate change, and local governance of natural resources.

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, as defined by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is referred to as “REDD+”.  EEG’s REDD+ Team is globally spread, with advisors in New York, Geneva and Oslo.  Regional teams are located in UNDP’s Regional Centres in Bangkok (Asia-Pacific) and Panama (Latin America and the Caribbean), while the regional team for Africa is in Nairobi in order to be co-located with UNEP’s REDD+ Team.  The regional teams support UNDP’s country offices and partners in their region.  Support to UNDP country offices is coordinated closely with the Regional Bureaux.

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.  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 team can support the REDD+ initiatives of the regions and country offices and provide quality assurance on a full cost-recovery basis.

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.

Expected Contribution to the REDD+ Team

Regional Technical Advisor REDD+ (RTA) are primarily responsible for:
  • Providing high quality technical policy, programming, implementation support and oversight,
  • Collaborating with UN-REDD, FCPF and other REDD+ partners at regional and national levels; and
  • Knowledge and capacity development services to UNDP country offices and project/programme teams.
RTAs have regular contact with UNDP Country Offices and national counterparts throughout the project cycle for UNDP programmes and projects related to REDD+.  Where EEG operates a Delegation of Authority to the Country Office, the RTA is responsible for quality assurance and provides specialized technical services.  In all cases, the RTA makes recommendations to the UNDP Resident Representative or Country Director on necessary courses of action in response to changes in the country context and new programme and resource mobilization opportunities.  

When requested, RTAs represent UNDP in international and regional fora, liaise with external clients and a broad range of constituencies and UNDP counterparts in the Government, civil society as well as counterparts from other international organizations. RTAs promote good cooperation and coordination among programme and operations staff and between the Country Office and Government counterparts.

The RTAs will be based in Bangkok, Nairobi, and Panama. Each RTA will report to the Senior Regional Technical Advisor for their respective region, under the overall guidance of the Principal Technical Advisor (REDD+) and in close collaboration with global advisors and other members of UNDP’s REDD+ team.

Required Selection Criteria

Given the highly complex technical and political nature of REDD+ and the unique collaborative nature of UNDP’s REDD+ work, the position of RTA requires a complex combination of advanced technical, managerial, policy, strategic, and networking 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 Responsibilities

1. Development, formulation and review of programmes and projects, with the associated resource mobilization when needed;

  • Work with clients to develop and formulate national Readiness Preparation Proposals (R-PPs) 
  • Coordinate the submission and approval of R-PPs, National Programmes and relevant REDD+ interventions 
  • Provide timely and quality information and technical advice on sources of funds, policies, priorities and activities; 
  • Provide guidance in the process of preparation, design, submission and approval of programme/project concepts and full-fledged proposals for financing; 
  • Liaise with potential financing agencies and institutions. 
  • Prepare Terms of Reference, identify and evaluate experts, and review reports to source technical expertise and support.
  • Identify and suggest to the PTA priorities and entry-points for UNDP assistance; 

2. Quality assurance and oversight of programme implementation (technical, coordination, application of guidance and tools);

  • Be accountable for the application of REDD+ guidance, tools, approaches and procedures
  • Supervise and contribute to the implementation, monitoring , evaluation and adaptive management of approved programmes and projects in UNDP country offices; 
  • Work with clients in the design and development of programmes/projects; establish indicators, benchmarks and work plans; 
  • Maintain portfolio and corporate information systems;
  • Lead the preparation of semi/annual progress and final reports; 

3. Build strategic initiatives and partnerships;

  • Contribute to a strategic understanding of, and engagement with, the substantive technical issues, institutions, and processes within the region; 
  • Establish contact and develop strategic partnerships with other agencies, donors, NGO’s, the private sector, scientific institutions and the like; 
  • Develop strategic UNDP policy position papers and internal briefing notes; 
  • Participate in retreats, regional strategic planning, pipeline management exercises, etc.;

4. Responsible for the provision of technical and policy advisory services to national and regional teams and stakeholders engaged in REDD+ and related matters; 

  • Contribute to policy development and provide guidance in their implementation. Maintain a trusted leadership role among the countries served; 
  • Advise the Regional Practice/Team Leader and Senior RTA in the region of trends and issues with respect to REDD+; 
  • Advise the Principal Technical Advisors of trends and issues in the countries served. 

5. Knowledge generation and sharing.

  • Apply lessons from best practices to develop resource kits and other knowledge materials.
  • Improve the technical quality of projects, policies, practices, guidelines, advisory notes, publications and the like;
  • Facilitate the preparation of Community of Practice meetings;  
  • Design and organize training courses to facilitate knowledge sharing.

Impact of Results

The results of the work of the Regional Technical Advisor impact directly on the standing and reputation of UNDP globally as an effective and trustworthy partner.  These range from being a trusted partner in the UN-REDD Programme, to having a reputation for delivering expected results, through to demonstrating UNDP’s ability to meet the standards associated with being a Delivery Partner for the FCPF.  The knowledge, skills, networks, and decisions of the Regional Technical Advisor 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.


Technical Competencies:

  • Strong managerial and coordination skills, including ability to coordinate the development of large, complex programmes
  • Ability to apply technical knowledge relating to GHG emission reductions in forests with a solid understanding of the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, the costs of abatement actions and the social fundamentals necessary for success
  • Proven knowledge and detailed understanding of the concept of REDD+
  • Demonstrated leadership in overseeing complex programming issues, including the ability to achieve results in multi-faceted processes without relying on traditional hierarchical structures
  • Demonstrated ability to programme and develop internationally financed forest conservation/sustainable-use projects in developing countries
  • Capacity to work with multiple stakeholders and across a wide range of disciplines
  • Demonstrated ability to operate effectively in a highly complex organizational context
  • Proven track record of innovation and business development, preferably in the area of REDD+
  • 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.
  • Capacity to work with multiple stakeholders and across a wide range of disciplines.

Corporate Competencies:

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

Functional Competencies:

Development and Operational Effectiveness

  • Ability to lead strategic planning, change processes, results-based management and reporting;
  • Ability to lead formulation, oversight of implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development projects and;
  • Ability to apply development theory to the specific country context to identify creative, practical approaches to overcome challenging situations.

Knowledge Management and Learning

  • Promotes knowledge management in UNDP and a learning environment in the office through leadership and personal example;
  •  In-depth practical knowledge of inter-disciplinary development issues;
  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development in one or more Practice Areas, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills and;
  •  Seeks and applies knowledge, information, and best practices from within and outside of UNDP

Education/Experience/Language requirements


Master’s degree or equivalent experience in environmental policy, environmental law, natural resource management, climate-change policies and/or other relevant field.

  • Minimum of 7 years practical working experience in developing countries with environment issues, including climate change, forest carbon and REDD+ .
  •  Extensive experience with project development, implementation and management is essential
  •  Experience in the policy development processes associated with climate change and REDD+ is desirable;
  • An understanding of the REDD agenda in the context of UNFCCC negotiations, the challenges and opportunities is desirable;
  • Thorough understanding of the forest and biodiversity conservation issues\environment policies and governance systems in the countries of the region would be an asset;
  •  Demonstrated strategic technical and intellectual skills in substantive area;
  •  Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain strategic partnerships;
  • Demonstrated leadership, facilitation and coordination skills;
  • Demonstrated entrepreneurial abilities and demonstrated ability to work in an independent manner;
  •  Full computer literacy;
  • Working experience in an international organization is an advantage as is in-depth knowledge of UNDP policies, procedures and practices.


Excellent command of written and spoken English is essential; Proficiency in Spanish is also required for posts covering Latin America and French is highly desirable for posts covering Africa.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: FTA
Contract level: P4
Contract duration: One Year

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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.  

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.
Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

This vacancy is closed.