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Senior Advisor on NDC

New York City (United States of America)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: New York City (United States of America)
  • Grade: P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
    • Climate Change
  • Closing Date: 2020-02-19

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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 policy 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 fora 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 ensures that issues of risk are fully integrated into UNDP’s development programmes. BPPS assists UNDP and partners to achieve higher quality development results through an integrated approach that links results-based management and performance monitoring with more effective and new ways of working.  BPPS supports UNDP and partners to be more innovative, knowledge and data driven including in its programme support efforts.
Addressing climate change is one the key global challenges and priorities for UNDP. Working in over 170 countries and territories, UNDP is uniquely placed to work with all sectors of society to help mobilize the institutions and resources required to support countries implement their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the context of the Paris Agreement. UNDP is launching a global effort to support developing countries in the preparation and submission of their enhanced NDC to the UNFCCC in 2020. Building on its decades of experience supporting climate action, and its current portfolio of USD 3.2 billion in grant financing for 140 countries in collaboration with the vertical funds, bilateral and multilateral partners, UNDP will provide financial and technical support to countries to revise their NDCs. The objective is to ensure that as many countries as possible submit an enhanced NDC with increased ambition and following more inclusive and transparent processes.
The Senior Advisor will play a substantive role in guiding the implementation of UNDP’s strategy to support the NDC process. He/She will be primarily responsible for providing technical, policy, and programme implementation support and oversight, and for guiding knowledge and capacity development services to enhance the ambition of NDCs. This oversight and implementation support services will be targeted to guide UNDP (at the country offices level as well as regional hub and HQ levels) and client government counterparts as well  shape the engagement and alignment of the planned UNDP supported work with that of other UN agencies, Inter-Governmental Organizations, NGO’s, donors, and the private sector, as appropriate. The Senior Advisor is expected to lead and guide UNDP’s work on NDC in a wide range of strategic areas for NDC enhancement, including: formulation of technical and policy guidance, guiding the application of innovative policy and financial mechanisms, development of cutting-edge strategic partnerships, raising the profile of impacts and visibility of results, and promoting effective learning and knowledge management.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the strategic guidance of the BPPS Deputy Director, the Senior Advisor will be responsible for:
1.Substantive leadership and quality assurance of policy advisory services:
•Coordinate GPN inputs to articulate UNDP’s core service offer on NDCs while also being responsive to the articulation with the SDGs.
•Monitor global research on emerging trends and bottom-up knowledge and learning; extract success factors that can improve policy and programming delivery and/or impact.
•Provide guidance to GPN on NDCs and support design of programmatic approaches that can encourage coherence and leverage UNDP portfolio and multi-disciplinary expertise and explore joint approaches with other relevant initiatives.
•Assess critical internal capacity needs and propose/implement GPN technical assistance response to strengthen UNDP COs to support the NDC processes.
•Foster an environment of collaboration and learning that encourages real-time sharing of information, insights and success stories via NDC Hub, COPs, as well as through a variety of mediums including webinars, etc. 
2.Coordination and delivery of technical assistance, policy development and programme support:
•Ensure effective implementation of UNDP’s NDC support strategy by coordinating inputs of GPN and other key staff, ensuring that key results are achieved according to agreed timelines and budgets.
•Guide the design and implementation of a system for monitoring key data and information to track progress on UNDP’s organization wide support towards enhancing NDCs and provide regular updates to senior management.
•Review key products and resources under UNDP’s NDC Support Strategy ensuring alignment with UNDP’s strategic priorities and messaging, with especial consideration to the SDGs and taking into account other relevant UNDP support services including engagement with vertical funds.
•Monitor global progress and trends to anticipate emerging needs and issues on NDC support.
•Contribute to substantive analysis and research that positions UNDP as a thought leader on the NDC-SDG nexus, drawing upon unique country perspectives.
3.Substantive leadership for content development and curation of tools and resources, from across UNDP’s network of expertise
•Lead the use of the SDG integrator tool in the context of the NDC to address critical NDC bottlenecks.
•Foster a collaborative corporate approach to NDC support that encourages multi-disciplinary solutions and integrated approaches to delivering technical and policy services aligned with the ideal of NextGenUNDP.
•Design a system to document learning and evidence that can stimulate the uptake of best practices and knowledge on NDC enhancement.
•Enhance understanding on substantive technical and policy issues, including minimum quality standards, to maximise impact of tools used in the delivery of NDC support.
4.Knowledge management and community of practice networking:
•Lead development of UNDP guidance and policy briefs that provide UNDP staff (at all levels of the organization) with substantive knowledge to deliver the identified core service offer on NDCs to country clients.
•Provide substantive guidance on how knowledge management can contribute more effectively in strengthening technical capacities at different level to support the NDC process.
•Contribute to strategic direction for flagship publications and corporate events and meetings on NDCs; ensure knowledge products are aligned with corporate principles and priorities.
•Contribute to advocacy and messaging on NDC ambition, NDC-SDG alignment and other key nexus; support ExO, BERA and GPN leads to identify strategic opportunities for raising UNDP visibility.
•Lay foundation for whole-of-society approaches in the NDC design and implementation to ensure more inclusive process and enhance knowledge and dissemination about climate actions at the global level, based on country experiences.
5.Representation, advocacy, and partner engagement for effective policy positioning:
•In coordination with the BPPS thematic leads, develop and strengthen partnerships with relevant development partners, donors, UNCT, NGOs, the private sector, and scientific institutions to support NDC implementation and acceleration.
•In coordination with Head of Climate Change, support resource mobilization efforts to strengthen and expand UNDP support on NDC. 
•In coordination with the BPPS thematic leads, identify and foster strategic partnerships within the UN system that can enhance UNDP’s corporate offer on NDCs and achieve greater impact.
•Support strategic partnerships and collaboration on NDC implementation at the global level, such as the NDC Partnership, LEDS Global Partnership, IKI NDC Cluster, donors, and other relevant partners.
•Represent UNDP in international fora, sharing knowledge and research that can help shape global and regional responses and programming on NDCs. 


  • Innovation: Ability to make new and useful ideas work
  • Leadership:Ability to persuade others to follow
  • People Management: Ability to improve performance and satisfaction
  • Communication: Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform
  • Delivery: Ability to get things done
  • Policy advice and guidance: Ability to lead technical teams in the support to countries and ensure that programme and project deliverables are adequately linked to policy design/making
  • Vision setting to contribute to global climate change efforts: Ability to efficiently identify priorities to define a sound course of actions to ensure high-quality and strategic results 
  • Technical qualities of deliverables: Ability to provide effective guidance to UNDP staff in the delivery of the NDC work to ensure the soundness of results and credibility of the process established to produce and manage the NDCs 
  • UNDP corporate strategy: Ability to define strategic and concrete linkages between NDC delivery and UNDP’s strategy on linking climate change and sustainable development  
  • Partnerships and donor relations: Ability to engage with other agencies, donors, and other development stakeholders and forge productive working relationships
  • Knowledge management and communications: Ability to guide the preparation of knowledge products and communication strategies to ensure appropriate buy-in from key partners, including government counterparts
  • Climate Change:  Knowledge of climate change mitigation and adaptation concepts and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations
  • Resource mobilization: Ability to support fund-raising strategies 

Required Skills and Experience

•Master’s degree or higher in environmental sciences, economics, business, or social sciences.
•At least 10 years of relevant progressively responsible experience on climate change at the international level. 
•Demonstrated experience in designing programmes and strategies to support the implementation of global initiatives to address climate change. 
•Extensive experience in advising governments and institutions at high level on technical and policy issues related to climate change.  
•Solid understanding of the Climate Paris Agreement and the technical and policy areas of the Nationally Determined Contributions.
•Substantive knowledge of the climate negotiation processes and their relevance for policy design and decision making for the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions. 
•Solid understanding of the capacity building needs to strengthen technical and institutional capacities to implement climate actions at country level.
•Extensive experience in advising national governments on the design and implementation of climate change polices and initiatives.
•Extensive working experience in international organizations, especially in UN organizations.
•Extensive network of international organizations and thinktanks in areas related to climate change, sustainable development, finance and other relevant areas. 
Language Requirements:
•Excellent knowledge of English, presentation and communication skills.


Important information for US Permanent Residents ('Green Card' holders)

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.

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UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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