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Regional Technical Specialist - Francophone Africa (SCALA) (Home-based. Part-time, 75%)

Remote | Dakar

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Remote | Dakar
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2024-05-27

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core principles at UNDP:  we value diversity as an expression of the multiplicity of nations and cultures where we operate, we foster inclusion as a way of ensuring all personnel are empowered to contribute to our mission, and we ensure equity and fairness in all our actions. Taking a ‘leave no one behind’ approach to our diversity efforts means increasing representation of underserved populations. People who identify as belonging to marginalized or excluded populations are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about working at UNDP including our values and inspiring stories.
UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy work carried out at HQ, Regional and Country Office levels, forms a contiguous spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan.

Within the GPN, the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policies and guidance to support the results of UNDP's Strategic Plan. BPPS's staff provides technical advice to Country Offices, advocates for UNDP corporate messages, represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder for including public-private dialogues, government, and civil society dialogues, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas. BPPS works closely with UNDP's Crisis Bureau (CB) to support emergency and crisis response. 

BPPS’s Hubs on Nature, Climate, Energy and Waste, with the support of the Vertical Fund Programme Support, Oversight and Compliance Unit, works with governments, civil society, and private sector partners to integrate nature, climate, energy and waste related concerns into national and sector planning and inclusive growth policies, support country obligations under Multilateral Environmental Agreements, and oversee the implementation of the UN’s largest portfolio of in-country programming nature, climate change, energy and waste.

The newly established UNDP Climate Hub is the arrowhead of UNDP’s commitment to the “Climate Promise” that aims to support programming countries designing and implementing pledges under the Paris Agreement, including ambitious National Determined Contributions, with climate change mitigation and adaptation interventions fully embedded in the national development planning and budgetary processes. The Climate Hub will build on UNDP’s existing over USD 4 billion country-level climate portfolio on Climate Change Policies and Strategies, Climate Change Adaptation, Climate Change Mitigation, Climate and Forests, covering over 142 countries, as well as on UNDP’s Nature portfolio, UNDP’s Sustainable Finance Hub, UNDP’s Digital offer and other relevant portfolios on youth, gender, health, climate security among others. 

The UNDP Climate Hub is responsible for: 

  • Thought leadership on Climate and to be the custodian of UNDP policy positions on Climate; 
  • Strategy and vision formulation; 
  • Pipeline development in coordination with the other hubs and the Vertical Fund Programme Support, Oversight and Compliance Unit; 
  • Provision of integrated policy and programme support to Country Offices; 
  • Global engagement, advocacy in collaboration with BERA; 
  • Integration across thematic areas;
  • Strategic Partnerships development and resource mobilization; 
  • Lead and support global flagship initiatives and partnerships on climate; 
  • Serve as focal point with relevant UN coordination mechanisms and Conventions (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change); 
  • Cross-organization knowledge and learning; and 
  • Innovation.

Under the climate hub, UNDP’s Climate adaptation portfolio assists government partners to scale up the integration of climate change adaptation into policy, planning, and investments at both national and local levels through the support to the National Adaptation Planning (NAP) process and the NDCs. UNDP supports climate change adaptation action in the context of agriculture and food security, water resources, coastal zone management, ecosystems protection, public health, resilient infrastructure, urban resilience, livelihoods, and climate information/early warnings.  

Under the portfolio, it is also working to enable countries to harness the land use and agriculture sectors’ potential for climate change mitigation and adaptation, aligned to countries’ national climate pledges through its Support Programme on Scaling up Climate Ambition on Land Use and Agriculture through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) (SCALA). This German Ministry of Environment (BMU)-funded Programme is currently under implementation and is designed to assist countries to translate their NDCs and/or NAPs into actionable and transformative climate solutions in land use and agriculture with multi-stakeholder engagement. This Programme is a joint effort of UNDP and FAO. It works across 12 countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. A key outcome of the programme is to increase private sector engagement and investment to support the achievement of NDCs and NAPs.   

Within this overall context, UNDP is recruiting a Regional Technical Specialist, especially to support francophone countries (Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal), and other SCALA countries as required, and provide other advisory support on climate finance, adaptation investments and project concept note development.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the comprehensive guidance of the UNDP Technical Specialist overseeing NAP and the SCALA programme coordination, the Regional Technical Specialist embarks on a critical mission to foster resilience and adaptability to climate change within two dedicated countries under the SCALA programme. This role also extends to delivering global technical advisory services aimed at escalating investment in climate adaptation, with a pronounced focus on land use and agriculture sectors.

Strategic Technical Assistance and Programme Implementation:

  • Offer technical support to the two assigned countries (Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal) under the SCALA programme, ensuring a tailored approach to meet their unique climatic challenges, particularly in land use and agriculture. This involves devising strategic plans, providing high-level policy advice, and identifying innovative adaptation solutions that align with each country's specific needs and priorities.
  • Engage deeply in analytical work to uncover critical policy issues and gaps, thereby enhancing policies and practices that underpin climate resilience and sustainable agriculture.

Partnership Development and Liaison:

  • For the two countries (Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal), liaise with Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other pivotal agencies, fostering programmatic and operational synergies across the board. This role entails maintaining dynamic communication channels with government bodies, private sector stakeholders, and international partners to bolster the Programme’s objectives.
  • Catalyze regional exchanges, technical assistance ventures, and resource mobilization activities by cultivating strategic partnerships. This includes creating platforms for dialogue, sharing innovative practices, and securing support from a broad spectrum of stakeholders.

Quality Assurance and Synergy Creation:

  • Ensure the impeccable quality and timely delivery of all Programme deliverables across the two SCALA countries (Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal). Oversee the integration of Programme activities with other strategic climate and development initiatives, such as the NDC Support Programme, Climate Promise, and various international funding mechanisms, to amplify impact and foster cohesion across environmental and development goals.

Advisory Support and Project Development:

  • Provide expert advisory services on scaling up climate investments, particularly in the realms of land use and agriculture for the whole SCALA Programme and the NAP portfolio, when needed. This entails conducting cutting-edge research, drafting analytical pieces and policy briefs, and offering guidance on innovative financing and private sector engagement strategies.
  • Provide advisory support on project development, and, as such, advice on project design, guide on information needs, propose financing mechanisms, and review project idea and concept notes.

Knowledge Management and Capacity Building:

  • Champion knowledge management initiatives by generating and disseminating vital knowledge products, such as technical guides, toolkits, and success stories. This role is instrumental in enhancing the Programme's learning environment, sharing lessons learned, and showcasing achievements in climate finance and adaptation strategies.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of capacity-building programs aimed at bolstering national and regional capabilities in climate adaptation, thereby ensuring that governments and communities are better equipped to face climate challenges.

High-Level Advocacy and Representation

  • Craft and provide critical technical inputs for briefings and speeches for UNDP officials at high levels, ensuring that the Programme's objectives and achievements are effectively communicated to a global audience. This involves representing the Programme in various forums, advocating for robust climate action, and engaging with key stakeholders to elevate the dialogue on climate resilience.

Core Competencies
  • Achieve Results: LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact
  • Think Innovatively: LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems
  • Learn Continuously: LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences
  • Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands
  • Act with Determination: LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results
  • Engage and Partner: LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity
Cross-Functional & Technical Competencies
  • Communication
    • Ability to communicate clearly, concisely and unambiguously through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience.
    • Ability to manage communications internally and externally, through media, social media and other appropriate channels.
  • Customer Satisfaction/Client Management
    • Ability to respond timely and appropriately with a sense of urgency, provide consistent solutions, and deliver timely and quality results and/or solutions to fulfil and understand the real customers' needs. Provide inputs to the development of customer service strategies. Look for as to add value beyond clients' immediate requests. 
    • Ability to anticipate clients' upcoming needs and concerns.
  • System Thinking 
    • Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system
  • Knowledge Facilitation
    • Ability to animate individuals and communities of contributors to participate and
      share, particularly externally
  • Partnerships Management
    • Ability to build and maintain partnerships with wide networks of stakeholders,
      Governments, civil society and private sector partners, experts and others in line with
      UNDP strategy and policies
  • Nature, Climate and Energy
    • Climate Change Adaptation: agriculture/food security
  • Nature, Climate and Energy
    • Climate Change Adaptation: Public and private finance for adaptation solution
Required Skills and Experience
  • Master's degree (or equivalent) in environmental economics, agriculture economics, rural development, international development or other closely related fields.
  • Bachelor’s degree in the above-mentioned fields with additional 2 years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of Master's degree.
  • Minimum 7 years (with Master’s degree) or 9 years (with Bachelor’s degree) of experience in climate change, agriculture and/or rural development project management and implementation, and policy support.

Required Skills:

  • Sound understanding and experience of sustainable human development, rural development, climate change adaptation, vulnerability and impacts of climate change and other related sustainable human development issues demonstrated through work experience is required.
  • Demonstrated experience in implementing agriculture and climate change projects in Africa is required.
  • Demonstrated experience in project development and investment strategies is required.

Desired Skills:

  • Experience in supporting developing countries and especially African countries governments in a technical advisory role, project development role or other related functions is an asset.
  • Knowledge and experience of UNDP and/or UN agency and/or other development organizations is an asset.
  • Experience with donors (bilateral, multilateral banks and others) is an asset.
  • Experience in designing large scale projects on agriculture and climate change in an asset.


  • Excellent writing, editing, and oral communication skills in English.
  • Proficiency in French is required. 
  • Proficiency in Spanish is an asset.

Institutional Arrangement

  • The incumbent will work from home;
  • The incumbent will report to and be directly supervised by Technical Specialist on National Adaptation Plans/SCALA Global Coordinator;
  • The incumbent will be given access to relevant information necessary for execution of the tasks under this assignment;
  • Given the global consultations to be undertaken during this assignment, the incumbent is expected to be reasonably flexible with his/her availability for such consultations taking into consideration different time zones;
  • The incumbent will be responsible for providing her/his own working station (i.e. laptop, internet, phone, scanner/printer, etc.) and must have access to a reliable internet connection;
  • The incumbent will engage/interact with the Supervisor by email and Teams/Zoom on a regular basis. In addition, the incumbent will also engage with other UNDP colleagues based in NY, relevant regional hubs, and country offices through these same virtual platforms;
  • The incumbent shall work home-based for the duration of the assignment, hence should be able to work independently and be easily accessible through email, Teams, Zoom, etc.
Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment. 
UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.
Applicant information about UNDP rosters
Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.
UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.  
UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status. 
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