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Project Specialist for Planning


  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Manila
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2024-06-26

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 has been working with national and international partners in the Philippines on the issue of the circular economy. UNDP is working with the European Union in implementing the EU Philippines Green Economy Programme (The Programme). The Programme has the purpose of supporting the Philippines' transition towards a green economy, including circular economy, reducing waste and plastic, as well as increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment to support climate change mitigation. The Programme acknowledges that the transition to circular economy will have other added benefits such as reduction of the use of energy and greenhouse gas emissions, improve biodiversity and natural capital, decreased pollution levels, and climate change adaptation.

The Programme addresses three main levels:

  • Establishing a Policy Dialogue Platform at the central government level to mobilize EU expertise to facilitate policy formulation, improve city-to-city collaboration through supporting the development of a National Circular Economy Strategy and Roadmap, extend the dialogue to promote renewable energy/energy efficiency, and to apply the dialogue's outcomes.
  • Working with local government units (LGUs) where EU expertise will support to define and implement circular economy, climate change, and energy policies with a human rights and gender-responsive perspective, outreach and support of local business and civil society, and support less advanced LGUs.
  • Enhancing engagement of the private and financial sectors into the circular waste economy creating better conditions for private sector investment by supporting business-driven waste reduction strategies and circular solutions in the production process.

The Programme has 4 specific objectives:

  • SO1: Improved circular economy and climate change policies and reduced GHG emissions
  • SO2: Enhanced practices of the circular economy by the LGUs in collaboration with the private sector and civil society sector, with a focus on youth and gender equality
  • SO3: Enhanced engagement of the private and financial sectors in circular, waste-reduction economy
  • SO4: Increased energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment

UNDP is responsible for the implementation and execution of SO2 with the purpose of enhancing the capacities and practices of local government units (LGUs) on circular waste economy in collaboration with private and civil society organizations (CSOs), with focus on youth and gender equality.

Key results expected at the end of the Project include:

  • Reduced volume of waste generated and sent to landfills in partner LGUs.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions reduced and avoided (tonnes of CO2eq) from reduced waste and implementation of circular economy initiatives.
  • At least 20 LGUs have established circular economy models, including introduction of source separation and collection systems for wastes recycling, diversion, repurposing and other CE initiatives.
  • Additional number of organizations applying CE and sustainable consumption and production practices in partner LGUs
  • Additional jobs (including green jobs) created across the circular economy value chain, disaggregated by gender and groups.
  • At least 10 LGUs in which nationally defined green procurement criteria have been applied.
  • About 15 LGUs that feed their NDC reporting with improved gender and youth sensitive data on co-benefits of CE

UNDP Philippines takes overall responsibility and accountability for the delivery of the project outputs. It will be accountable for managing the project, including the monitoring and evaluation of project interventions, achieving project results, and for the effective use of resources, in compliance with UNDP rules and regulations, policies and procedures. These include relevant requirements on fiduciary, procurement, environmental and social safeguards, and other performance standards.

UNDP is seeking a Project Specialist for Planning to lead the planning and coordination of activities under SO2: enhanced practices of the circular waste economy by the LGUs in collaboration with the private sector and the civil society sector, with focus on youth and gender equality. The Project Specialist for Planning will work with a team of UNDP specifically assigned to work on this programme, including the Project Manager, Deputy Project Manager, project team, consultants, LGU Hub Coordinators, CO Communication team, and other partners such as the EU, GIZ, IFC, Expertise France, LGUs, and relevant CSO and private sector organizations.

Under the overall guidance of the EU-GEPP/Green LGUs Project Manager, the Project Specialist for Planning will work under the direct supervision of the GEPP Deputy Project Manager. The Project Specialist for Planning will work closely with the PMU, LGUs and other stakeholders as applicable and relevant to administration, finance, procurement and planning aspects of GEPP work.

He/she will coordinate the work of staff involved in finance, administrative, travel and other support staff of the Project.

Under the overall guidance of the EU-GEPP/Green LGUs Project Manager, the Project Specialist for Planning will work under the direct supervision of the GEPP Deputy Project Manager. The Project Specialist for Planning will work closely with the PMU, LGUs and other stakeholders as applicable and relevant to administration, finance, procurement and planning aspects of GEPP work.

He/she will coordinate the work of staff involved in finance, administrative, travel and other support staff of the Project.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Under the overall guidance of EU-Green Economy Programme in the Philippines (GEPP)/Green LGUs Project Manager with direct supervision of the Deputy Project Manager, the Project Specialist for Planning will contribute to the regular updating, preparation, monitoring and reporting of the Green LGUs Project Annual Work Plans (AWPs); support in meeting the finance, procurement and other compliance requirements of the project; and provide high-quality professional planning and strategic management support to project team and partners to ensure overall efficient and timely delivery of the activities and outputs in accordance with workplans. S/he shall:

Provide strategic management services in work and financial planning and monitoring, project finance, procurement, and other administrative compliance requirements of GEPP S02/Green LGUs Project.

  • Ensure regular assessment of strategic, implementation, action plans identifying areas of emphasis to guide project improvements and future plans.
  • Lead strategic and effective planning, standardization/mainstreaming, coordination, and updating of the project's work and financial plan as well as other administrative and fiduciary requirements to support overall project implementation.
  • Execute management support related activities by advising with the coordination of administrative, procurement and finance support personnel, planning and capacity building of project team and partners on UNDP POPP standards. Customize standardized/streamlined systems for GEPP-specific administrative, financial and procurement processes in line with the requirements of UNDP and the donor, and in consultation with the Project Management Unit (PMU);
  • Ensure completion of assurance activities required by UNDP, spot checks, and audits.
  • Ensure compliance to UNDP administrative, finance and procurement reporting requirements, rules and procedures.
  • Supervise monitoring progress, watch for plan deviations, and propose course corrections when needed within project board-agreed tolerances to achieve results.
  • Coordinate the preparation and submission of financial and progress reports to UNDP and donor/partner on a quarterly, semi-annual and annual basis (as needed);
  • Manage and monitor the administration and finance related project risks, recommend actions or decisions as required, and update the status of these risks by maintaining the project risks log.
  • Recommend administration and finance-relevant amendments to the project within the parameters set by UNDP and Donor/partner.
  • Monitor and manage any strategic risks/issues facing the project; submit new risks/issues to the PMU for consideration and decision on possible actions if required; update the status of these risks/issues by maintaining the Project Risks/Issues Log.
  • Ensure GEDSI concerns are integrated into administration, finance and procurement activities of the project during the planning stage, and before the implementation of the project activities.
  • Contribute to project audit and spot-checking exercises and prepare management responses to the comments.

Provide strategic support to the LGU planning aspects of the GEPP Project, in coordination with the PMU and Project Partners.

  • Advise the overall planning of works of the partner LGUs as needed, and ensure coherence with the other Outputs, as well as integration of all activities into a Project Plan, budgets and resources.
  • Provide strategic guidance and quality assurance in the planning and conduct of LGU needs assessment and capacity development aligned with the Project Document.
    • Provide guidance, technical support, and quality assurance of the planning strategies of the LGUs to ensure the quality and timely submission and finalization of related project activities, workplan, and reports are in accordance with UNDP policies, procedures, and guidance.
    • Provide guidance and training to strengthen the capacity of the PMU and LGUs in strategic planning processes to ensure that activities are aligned with the corporate system, ensuring the readiness for future audits and evaluations.
    • Provide inputs to training design and capacity development packages for local governments on project planning.
    • In coordination with LGUs and partners, and other relevant entities covering the entire process of CE, support the project team and the PMU to facilitate the formulation of CE Portfolio/Strategy, identify their capacity building needs, assist in developing trainings and other capacity development activities, and support the planning, procurement of goods and services, financial management, monitoring etc.
  • Conduct planning meetings/workshops with LGU project partners under the guidance of the Project Manager and Deputy PM and in close coordination with the GEPP Project team.
  • Attend workshops/ conferences and events relevant to administration, finance, procurement or LGU planning aspects of GEPP work and contribute constructively to advance UNDP role/position.

Ensure proper documentation review, updating and quality assurance. 

  • Ensuring timely data consolidation and documentation of the administration, finance, procurement and planning aspects of GEPP work and provide periodic updates to project team and/or PMU as inputs to decision-making and for monthly, quarterly, and yearly reporting purposes as advised by the Project Manager.
  • Undertake review and assist in writing project progress reports and related documents, specifically on the administration, finance, procurement or planning aspects of GEPP work, in close collaboration with the GEPP Project Team.
  • Contribute to reviewing and finalizing meeting minutes, briefing notes, and presentations related to above representations where appropriate in a timely manner and in close coordination with GEPP Project.
  • Undertake review, monitoring and consolidation of supporting documents for administration, procurement and financial reports corresponding to key project deliverables as advised by the Project Manager.

Lead knowledge and capacity building and knowledge sharing: 

  • Proactively identify and pursue opportunities for the documentation and communication of best practices, programme results, and lessons learned under the project.
  • Support establishment of knowledge platforms and innovative mechanisms for capturing and disseminating knowledge from the project; and ensure development of knowledge resources and products to share with project partners and to support UNDP’s engagement in this area. 

The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the Office and the Organization


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.

 People Management competencies: 

  • UNDP People Management Competencies can be found in the dedicated site.

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies: 

Partnership Management      

  • Relationship Management: Ability to engage with a wide range of public and private partners, build, sustain and/or strengthen working relations, trust and mutual understanding.

Business Direction & Strategy             

  • Strategic Thinking: Ability to leverage learning from a variety of sources to anticipate and respond to future trends; to demonstrate foresight in order to model what future developments and possible ways forward look like for UNDP.; Ability to develop effective strategies and prioritize plans in line with UNDP's objectives, based on the systemic analysis of challenges, potential risks and opportunities; linking the vision to reality on the ground, and creating tangible solutions.
  • 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.

Business Development           

  • Knowledge Generation: Ability to research and turn information into useful knowledge relevant for context or responsive to a stated need.

Digital & Innovation   

  • Systems Thinking & Transformation: Understand that complex problems need a non-reductionistic, holistic approach.; Ability to explore challenges from multiple perspectives by zooming in and out, with a focus on relationships and flows rather than individual elements; understand how certain dynamics and conditions are driving and influencing an issue.; Ability to develop a collective understanding by a mapping systems and their dynamics (e.g. flows or resources, information; power relations); is able to handle ambiguity and can help others navigate it.; Being able to identify intervention points to leverage change and system transformation by setting out a coherent collection of multiple interventions to probe the system for desirable effects. Understand that change is non­ linear and unpredictable; being comfortable and able to work with emergence.

2030 Agenda: Planet 

  • Nature, Climate and Energy: Green Economy: Circular economy concepts, policies and tools

2030 Agenda: Prosperity

  • Inclusive Growth: Social inclusion
Required Skills and Experience:
  • Advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent) in Environmental or Natural Sciences, Natural Resource Management, Engineering, Industrial Ecology, Economics, Public Policy, Social Science, Development Management, Urban Planning, Environmental Management Planning or other relevant fields is required.
  • A first-level university degree (bachelor’s degree) in the areas mentioned above in combination with additional 2 years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of master’s degree
  • Minimum of 7 years (with master’s degree) or 9 years (with bachelor's degree) of progressively responsible professional experience in development cooperation, international relations, public administration, project management and planning, or a related field is required.
  • At least 5 years of experience in strategic planning, including managing and coordinating multi-year work and administrative and financial planning and related reporting, procurement, audit, and/or consolidation of programme documents at the country level is required.
  • At least 3 years of professional experience in circular economy, green economy, environment and climate change, sustainable development, systemic design/portfolio approaches, or innovation is required.
  • Experience working with local government units, particularly on planning is desirable.
  • Understanding and familiarity with UN policies, processes, and programming or experience of completing UN assignments would be an asset.
  • Experiences in conducting training, as a trainer, to personnel and/or external partners to support results-based work and financial planning, procurement and reporting is desirable.
  • Experience in the use of a modern web-based data management system for planning, administration, finance and/or procurement, is desirable.
  • Planning license is an advantage.

Required Languages:

  • Fluency in oral and written English and Filipino is required. 
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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