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Re-advertised: Regional Adviser, Sustainability & Climate, Fixed Term, P-5, Nairobi, Kenya, Eastern & Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) #127458


  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Nairobi
  • Grade: Senior level - P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
    • Environment
    • Meteorology, Geology and Geography
    • Climate Change
  • Closing Date: Closed

The Eastern & Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) has a newly established role which will oversee the Sustainability & Climate portfolio as we strive to reach the Sustainable Development Goals in 2030. If you believe that you have the experience and skills for this role, we would like to hear from you.

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, an advocate.

Disasters, climate change, and environmental degradation present significant and escalating threats to the well-being of children globally, jeopardizing the progress achieved in child survival and development. Over a billion children are exposed to severe risks from climate and environmental hazards such as heatwaves, floods, and cyclones. Consequently, it is imperative for countries to establish climate-resilient, low-carbon social services encompassing water and sanitation, healthcare, education, nutrition, social protection, and child protection to tackle current threats and prepare for increasingly severe impacts.
In alignment with our commitment to protect children and young people worldwide, UNICEF is launching its Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (SCAP) 2023-2030. The SCAP prioritizes urgent climate action through systematic change in partnership with public and private sectors to prioritize the needs of children and young people and build their resilience to the climate threats at hand. The SCAP strives to mainstream sustainability and climate action both internally and externally, through protecting the lives, health and well-being of children and their communities; empowering children with developmental opportunities and skills; and reducing emissions and the environmental footprint within UNICEF.

How can you make a difference?

This role will lead guidance for policies, programmes, and activities, and general support for the integration and mainstreaming of climate action and sustainability in UNICEF’s Eastern and Southern Africa Region (ESAR), as well as serve as a leading global expert on key CEED (Climate, environment, energy and Disaster Risk Reduction/ DRR) areas. The position will report to the Deputy Regional Director for the ESAR region with a ‘dotted-line’ to the Associate Director for Sustainability and Climate Action in New York HQ.

This position’s responsibilities are twofold and include

 Provide regional leadership of the Sustainability and Climate Action plan, including for:

  • Country Office Implementation of the foundational elements (i.e., data and analysis, advocacy strategy, development of country strategy, implementation of ESS and greening initiatives, staff training)
  • Development and implementation of sustainability and climate as part of all country programmes and advocacy in the region
  • Design and Implementation of suitable multi-country projects in areas of acceleration in the region
  • Development of country and regional evidence, advocacy & partnerships

Provide Global technical expertise on one (or more) of the following key sectors:

  • Climate Finance
  • Environmental Finance (GEF, etc.)
  • Renewable Energy
  • Data and Evidence generation

Key functions and accountabilities

  • Regional Sustainability and Climate Leadership
  • Partnership Development
  • Integration of Sustainability & Climate in Country Programs
  • Technical Support and Multi-Country Projects

In addition, the role would be expected to be a Global technical specialist on one (or more) of the following key sectors:

  • Climate Finance: Lead the development of a ‘catalytic’ package designed to unlock climate finance opportunities for UNICEF and governments with whom UNICEF works. This will include feasibility studies and assessments to develop proposals for climate finance; identifying most promising opportunities for financing climate-resilient and accessible Health, Education and WASH services; capacity building for country offices to develop proposals and secure the large-scale funding needed to provide climate-resilient social services for children and young people. 
  • Environmental and Biodiversity Finance: Lead the establishment of partnerships with organizations focused upon environmental and biodiversity conservation and sustainability initiatives; oversee the execution of funded projects, ensuring alignment with UNICEF's sustainability and climate action plan; lead the measurement of the environmental and social impact of projects, focusing on child well-being and sustainable development.
  • Renewable Energy: Provide technical expertise in renewable energy solutions to UNICEF RO’s and CO’s and partners, with a focus on child-centric approaches; Develop renewable energy projects that ensure the critical social service sectors and humanitarian aid that children need to survive and thrive are transformed towards sustainable energy; Support renewable energy capacity building and awareness among UNICEF staff.
  • Data and Evidence Generation: Conduct key studies on climate change impacts on children, environmental hazards, and disaster risk reduction strategies; Gather and analyze global and region-specific data to inform evidence-based policy recommendations; Use data-driven insights to advocate for policies and interventions that prioritize child well-being in climate, energy, and environmental initiatives.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in  climate change, environmental science, engineering, disaster management, International Development, International Relations, Government, Public Administration, Public Policy, Social Policy or other relevant disciplines is required.
  • A minimum of 10 of relevant professional experience in areas related to sustainability, international development, disaster management, environmental issues, public policy, social policy, and children’s health and wellbeing is required.
  • Specific experience in policy/advocacy/programming, implementation, monitoring, review and evaluation related to climate change, environment or disaster risk reduction is required preferably in a developing country context.
  • In-depth knowledge on climate, environment, and DRR (CEED) impacts, assessments, and adaptation solutions required as well as at least one of the Global technical specialist sectors listed above (Climate Finance; Environmental Finance; Monitoring and Evaluation; Renewable Energy; Data and Evidence generation).
  • Familiarity with children’s rights in the context of climate change, environmental degradation and disaster risk reduction required.
  • Expertise in staff capacity building, developing tools, and providing training, particularly as part of a global/regional role in support of other country offices will be considered an asset.
  • Experience working on CEED issues within UNICEF or other international development agencies is considered an asset.
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate...

UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: UNICEF Values

UNICEF competencies required for this post are…

(1) Builds and maintains partnerships (2) Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (3) Drive to achieve results for impact (4) Innovates and embraces change (5) Manages ambiguity and complexity (6) Thinks and acts strategically (7) Works collaboratively with others (8)Nurtures, leads and manages people

During the recruitment process, we test candidates following the competency framework. Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels: competency framework here.

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF is committed to promote the protection and safeguarding of all children. 


UNICEF’s active commitment towards diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children. For this position, eligible and suitable persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance.  Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments are also subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Should you be selected for a position with UNICEF, you either must be inoculated as required or receive a medical exemption from the relevant department of the UN. Otherwise, the selection will be cancelled.

All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

This vacancy is now closed.
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