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(Re-Adv) National Coordinator of the SDG Integration initiative in the Aral Sea region

Tashkent (Uzbekistan)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Tashkent (Uzbekistan)
  • Grade: SB-4 (SC8/SC9), Service Contract, Local Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Poverty Reduction
    • Environment
    • Managerial positions
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
  • Closing Date: 2020-02-16

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The gradual shrinking of the Aral Sea, that used to be one of the largest inland lakes of the world, is among the greatest environmental disasters leading to far-reaching consequences for communities and life surrounding it. The Sea has now fallen to one quarter of its size leading to a host of issues including the loss of a large fishing community and the fish population. Exposed beds of the sea that blows sand and pesticide deposits to surrounding population is the cause for respiratory and other major illnesses particularly to children and pregnant women. The UN, countries surrounding the Aral Sea, and donors continue to raise the issue at different levels and develop programs to mitigate the adverse impacts of the Aral Sea on the economy, environment, health, and biodiversity.

In August 2018, the President of Uzbekistan proposed to the heads of States represented in IFAS to make the Aral Sea region a zone of environmental innovation and technology (Concept Note was drafted).The objective of this initiative has been to draw investments to the region that can bring in environmentally-friendly technologies, improved natural resource management, prevent desertification and migration of communities, among others. As a follow up to the commitment, a high-level International Conference on the “Aral Sea Region – Zone of Ecological Innovation and Technology” was held on 24-25 October 2019 to gain further international support to the idea of the Concept Note and broader.

UNDP’s SDG Integration team has selected Uzbekistan among the first set of 1st mover countries where dedicated support will be extended to identify innovative solutions to a complex, long-standing development challenge. Integration will be key in the design of the programme of support taking into consideration the multi-faceted impacts of the Aral Sea disaster, as well as the future implications for water resources in the region.

The Government of Uzbekistan has welcomed UNDP’s support for strategic inputs at the conference and the draft Concept Note, and to think further in terms of medium to long-term support that can enable the country to deal better with the impending crisis.Two missions of the SDG integration team conducted during 9-11 September and 8- 11 October 2019 to take a deep-dive into the issues, looking into the environmental, human, social and economic challenges that have emerged and persisted due to the gradual disappearance of the Aral Sea.

As a follow-up to the deliberations during the Conference on 25 October 2019, the Government of Uzbekistan has requested support form UNDP to help operationalize the concept to make ‘The Aral Sea - A zone of Ecological and Innovation Technologies’. This entails long-term engagement and dedicated support for the region of Karakalpakstan.

SDG integration team will help take this initiative forward with support from an international expert who will be the anchor for this long-term engagement and provide relevant technical input to the development of concepts, operational and/or action plans, funding proposals, and other document. As part of this team effort, the National Coordinator of SDG integration initiative in the Aral Sea region will work in the UNDP Country Office in Uzbekistan to ensure the effective coordination of these efforts by UNDP at country level.


Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key expected outputs:

  • Finalization of the Concept Note of Aral Sea region - Zone of Ecological Innovation and Technologies.

  • Support setting up of a government led process and structure for innovative and integrated approach – promote the adoption of systems approach of working around the Aral Sea region and establishment of coordination structure among government entities. 

  • Development and support to Partnership/Visibility for the Aral Sea region, including support in the organization of the Business Forum (June 2020); side-event at the 2020 GA session for the resolution on announcing the Aral Sea region as the zone of ecological innovation and technologies.

  • Portfolio review/sense making: support identifying the portfolio of priority projects to implement the Concept note; agree on UNDP led projects.

  • Support the preparation of priority projects under the Operational Framework/Roadmap, including climate risk assessment, feasibility/concepts/proposals development.

Duties and Responsibilities

Planning and Organization of work:

  • Closely coordinate and work with the SDG integration team and the International Consultant to plan the support to be provided by the UNDP’s SDG integration team to the Government of Uzbekistan in finalizing and operationalizing of the draft Concept of Aral Sea region - Zone of Ecological Innovation and Technologies (further referred to as the “Concept”)

  • Closely collaborate with the UNDP Country office management, programme and operations teams, as well as projects working in the Aral Sea region to ensure coordinated vision and approach within the Country Office to support the Government of Uzbekistan in turning the Aral Sea region into a zone of ecological innovation and technologies

  • Serve as the liaison function between the Government ministries and the SDG integration team to organize the work on achievement of the above listed outputs, including the organization of country missions, meetings, round table discussions, etc. of the SDG integration team with local stakeholders

  • Provide inputs and advisory support to the establishment of coordination structure among government entities on implementation of the Concept

  • Ensure outreach and close coordination of the SDG integration initiative in the Aral Sea region with the UN agencies, IFIs and development partners present in Uzbekistan and working on the Aral Sea issue

Support the design of UNDP’s programmatic interventions in the Aral Sea region:

  • Conduct background research and provide inputs to identifying the priority programmatic interventions to address the consequences of the Aral Sea disaster through an innovation perspective

  • Plan and organize the conducting of required assessments and feasibility studies for projects in the Aral Sea region, including the comprehensive Climate risk assessment in the Aral Sea region, Integrated Water resource management Plan o the delta of Amudarya and etc.

  • Work with the SDG integration team and the International Consultant to develop the portfolio of priority projects in the Aral Sea region designed to implement the Concept

  • Support the development of  programmes/projects for UNDP’s implementation: lead the drafting of  project proposals for potential resource mobilization from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), Adaptation Fund and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), facilitate internal and external discussions, as well as development of full-fledged project documents working closely with the Sustainable Development Cluster team, consultants and national partners

Promotion of financing options, including innovative finance instruments to the programmes in the Aral Sea region in support of the goals of the Concept

  • Map all potential donors and financing options of programmes in the Aral Sea region to implement the Concept

  • Work with the SDG integration team and UNDP Accelerator Lab to explore new/innovative financing instruments, such as crowdfunding, green/social bonds, Islamic finance instruments, etc.

  • Seek collaboration with the IFIs and Government institutions to initiate blended finance options to fund priority interventions on implementation of the Concept

  • Coordinate the development and submission of project proposals to vertical funds such as GEF, Adaptation Fund and GCF

  • Conduct diagnostic study of the private sector engagement perspectives to the implementation of the Concept and organize discussions, build partnerships with the private sector to promote the private sector engagement to the implementation of the Concept

Analytical functions and the role in knowledge sharing

  • Participate and contribute in conceptual design, development and peer-review of various knowledge and policy products (ie, briefs, project concepts and proposals, reports, infographics, diagnostics, one-pagers, guides, presentations etc.) as part of the operationalization of the Concept

  • Facilitate knowledge and best practice sharing with the government, donors, stakeholders, experts, academia, clients, donors, and other partners on efforts aimed at implementing the Concept of ‘Aral Sea region – zone of ecological innovation and technologies’.



Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrating ethics and integrity  
  • Promotes the vision, mission and strategic goals of UNDP
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism
  • Sharing knowledge across the organization and building a culture of knowledge sharing and learning. Promoting learning and knowledge management/sharing is the responsibility of each staff member.
  • Fair and transparent decision making; calculated risk-taking
  • Creating and promoting enabling environment for open communication

Functional Competencies:

Functional competencies include strong managerial/leadership experience and decision-making skills as well as proven ability to provide strategic direction in practice area. In-depth practical knowledge of sustainable development issues. Excellent project managerial skills.

1. Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise

  • Understands more advanced aspects of primary area of specialization as well as the fundamental concepts of related disciplines
  • Excellent programme formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation skills; Ability to develop detailed operational plans, budgets, and deliver on them)
  • Excellent knowledge of Results Based Management; Ability to synthesize program performance data and produce analytical reports to inform management and strategic decision-making
  • Proven ability to lead a practice area and drive for results with a strong knowledge of results-based management and to manage complex budgetary arrangements. Demonstrated substantive leadership and ability to integrate knowledge with broader strategic, policy and operational objectives. Ability to develop and maintain strong relationships with diverse partners and clients.
  • Performs analysis of reform implementation scenarios, and contributes to the formulation of institutional responses
  • Identifies needs and interventions for capacity building of counterparts, clients and potential partners

2. Communications and Networking

  • Excellent communication (written and verbal) and analytical skills. Proven ability to coordinate activities of a complex nature in a multi-stakeholder environment as well as ability to communicate convincingly orally and in writing on multifaceted subjects.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively across disciplines in a multi-cultural environment is important. Willingness to integrate ideas of others into own thinking and applies newly acquired skills.
  • Ability to persuade others to follow

3. Knowledge Management and Advocacy

  • Creates effective advocacy strategies
  • Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments
  • Demonstrates comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the current guidelines and project management tools and utilizes these regularly in work assignments
  • Keeps abreast of new developments in area of professional discipline and job knowledge and seeks to develop him/herself professionally

4. Development and Operational Effectiveness

  • Makes the case for innovative ideas documenting successes and building them into the design of new approaches
  • Identifies new approaches and strategies that promote the use of tools and mechanisms
  • Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement;
  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work.

5. Leadership and Self-Management

  • Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Demonstrates good oral and written communication skills.


Required Skills and Experience


  • An advanced university degree or equivalent in economics, finance, environmental studies, science or development studies;


  • Minimum 3 years of relevant working experience in programme and project implementation and coordination in such field of human development, rural development, economy, environment and energy, agriculture, water and others; past working experience in government and international development organization will be an asset;

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English and Russian. Knowledge of Uzbek is an asset.



  • Strong analytical and coordination skills in handling complex tasks;

  • Ability to manage multiple tasks at the same time and under pressure, creativity and propensity to innovate;

  • Ability to communicate sensitively and effectively across different constituencies and different cultures;

  • Ability to work harmoniously in a team;

  • Computer skills (standard Microsoft Office applications and Internet use).



Important applicant information

All posts in the SC categories are subject to local recruitment.

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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