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South-South Consultant

Nairobi (Kenya)

Background Information - Job-specific

South-South Cooperation (SSC) is a broad framework for collaboration among countries of the South in the political, economic, social, cultural, environmental and technical domains. Involving two or more developing countries, it can take place on a bilateral, regional, sub-regional or interregional basis. It is a means of supporting capacity-building efforts in developing countries and countries with economies in transition through systematic partnership-building and the exchange of expertise, experiences, best practices and knowledge among experts and institutions of the South. Collaboration in which traditional donor countries and multilateral organizations facilitate South-South initiatives through the provision of funding, training, and management and technological systems as well as other forms of support is referred to as triangular cooperation (TrC).

Policy and Programme Division coordinates and tracks the implementation of SSC in UN Environment to facilitate coherent and effective adoption and implementation of SSC in the design and implementation of UN Environment Programme of Work projects (PoW). Policy and Programme Division also plays an active role in promoting inter-linkages with the rest of the UN system while monitoring and following-up on strategic and political issues related to SSC, to ensure that SSC policy developments feed into UN Environment programming and delivery at global, regional and national levels while lessons from implementation of SSC in UN Environment feed global SSC initiatives.

The contributions of North-South, South-South, and Triangular Cooperation are important in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals. UN Environment’s work recognizes and reflects the growing significance of SSC in sustainable development. As such, UN Environment’s Medium Term Strategy for 2018–2021 indicates that it will refocus some of its support towards SSC, while recognizing its complementarity with traditional schemes of cooperation.

Objective of the Consultancy

The purpose of this Consultant is to support the Policy and Programme Division on South-South Cooperation activities by preparing guidance materials that help in enhancing a coherent SSC understanding in UN Environment’s Divisions and Regional Offices (ROs), support inter-regional SSC initiatives and help the integration of SSC in the implementation of UN Environment PoW.

The international individual contractor will also provide support to UN Environment’s growing partnership and engagement with China, which includes preparing briefs on the Chinese government’s plans, policies and challenges faced on ecological and environmental issues as well as intelligence for partnership building and resource mobilization.

Functional Responsibilities

Tasks and responsibilities

  • Under the supervision of the South-South Cooperation Principal Officer, the consultant will perform the following tasks and responsibilities:
  • Contribute to identification and mapping of Belt and Road initiatives/projects/case studies across UN Environment Divisions and Regional Offices. Identify and provide information and updates including its projects documents at regional and country levels with BRI elements for Policy and Programme Division reports and documents.
  • Prepare SSC’ briefs and status updates and provide inputs to concept notes on Belt and Road Initiative; review and incorporate comments from consultations with colleagues within UN Environment.
  • Plan, organize and support coordination meetings on Belt and Road Initiative; organize briefing materials; take notes of meetings and follow up on actions.
  • Follow up with members of International Coalition for Green Development on the Belt and Road and support their participation in the Coalition.
  • Liaise with Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China on arrangements of the launch of International Coalition for Green Development on the Belt and Road. Coordinate and support confirmed participants to attend the launch event.
  • Provide support to existing inter-regional and inter-agency South-South Cooperation activities where UN Environment is engaged or could be engaged through enhanced integration with the Programme of Work.
  • Organize and coordinate workshops/training programmes in the context of South-South Cooperation to strengthen the capacity of developing countries on project development, technology transfer, information and expertise sharing.
  • Support intelligence gathering to facilitate development of partnership building with Chinese institutions/partners and resource mobilization.
  • Perform other relevant tasks as required.


  • Maps of the South-South Cooperation and Belt and Road initiatives/projects/case studies across UN Environment Divisions and in the Regional Offices.
  • Fosters effective and relevant partnership through South-South and triangular cooperation at regional, sub regional and country level which echoes UN Environment’s Medium Term Strategy for 2018-2021.
  • Documents on the lessons from the implementation of SSC in UN Environment as well as lessons from good and promising practices from other institutions and partners.
  • Records and notes of meetings of the South-South Cooperation and BRI that have clear follow up actions.
  • Assist to maintain closed collaboration with UN Offices on South-South Cooperation and other sister agencies and programmes.
  • Enhanced SSC engagement in partnership with China and other developing countries through relevant legal instruments.
  • Operationalize thematic teams in divisions and regional offices to contribute to International Coalition for Green Development on the Belt and Road.
  • Establishment and operationalize International Coalition for Green Development on the Belt and Road.


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in Environmental management, Political sciences, Social sciences, Art, business administration, management, economics or a related field.) is required. 
  • A first-level university degree in combination with additional four of relevant and qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  • A minimum of four years of relevant experience in the field of environmental policy, environmental management, programme and project planning & management, organizational development or related area is required.  
  • Skills in programme management, project management,  resource mobilisation and managing outreach programmes are essential.


  • Fluency in English is essential.  
  • Fluency in Chineseis desirable.


Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • 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.
  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • For staff positions only, 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.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: International Individual Contractor Agreement Contract level: IICA-1
Contract duration:1 year (position is renewable subject to performance and availability of funds).

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS supports the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices, always satisfying or surpassing our partners’ expectations.

With over 7,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, wherever they need it.

A flexible structure and global reach means that we can quickly respond to our partners' needs, while offering the benefits of economies of scale. 
East Africa Hub

Located in Nairobi, Kenya, the East Africa Hub manages a growing portfolio of engagements, including associated strategic and operational risks. The East Africa sub-region currently consists of an established Operation Centre in South Sudan and a portfolio of engagements managed by the Kenya based East Africa Hub office. This includes primarily transactional projects in partnership with the Nairobi based UN Agencies UN-Habitat and UNEP, and multiple ‘operational’ projects in Somalia, Tanzania, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya and several island states.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Nairobi (Kenya)
  • Grade: IICA-1, International Individual Contractors Agreement - Junior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2018-07-25

What does it mean?

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