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Programme Specialist - Green Economy

Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)
  • Grade: NO-C, National Professional Officer - Locally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Economics
  • Closing Date: 2020-10-29

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Ethiopia has demonstrated successive, rapid and strong economic growth in the past decade, with average growth rate of 10% that led to poverty reduction significantly. Building on the successful implementation of the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP), I&II, which will end in 2020, and following the socio-economic and political reform observed in the last two years, and taking the Climate Resilience Green Economy (CRGE) as framework; now Ethiopia has developed the Homegrown Economic Reform Programme (HGER), that aims to address structural issues and sustain a rapid and inclusive economic growth setting the country on a path to prosperity. The HGRE call for building a resilient and diversified middle-income economy, driven by the private sector; eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; building human capabilities; creating a modern policy and institutional framework; and creating an efficient, resilient and well-functioning financial market. The HGER will implement a forthcoming 10-Year Perspective Plan, which is based on five strategic pillars: macroeconomic stability; quality of economic growth; productivity and competitiveness; implementation capacity at all levels; and a resilient green economy.   Ethiopian government is committed to transform the economy to be resilient and green.
Aligned fully with the CRGE and guided by the UNDP Strategic Plan, 2018-2021, the emerging UNDP strategic offer for Africa and the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), the new Country Programme Document (CPD) 2020-2025 for Ethiopia approved in June 2020 is expected to assist Ethiopia to promote leapfrogging to a green economy and faster adaptation to climate change. 
As clearly outlined in the new CPD, UNDP will focus on access to renewable, affordable and clean energy as a major catalyst for the transition to a jobs-rich green economy, ensuring that women and female-headed households benefit from this investment. UNDP will work at the three levels: policy analysis, advocacy and advisory services to de-risk and create an enabling environment for the emergence of a market at scale for renewable energy services; prototyping of business models and technologies with private sector participation; and development of bankable projects to crowd-in investment. Partnerships with sister agencies will be emphasized as will South-South cooperation, tapping into ongoing collaboration with the Government of China and others. In addition, UNDP will build up its portfolio on sustainable urbanization, continuing work on urban waste management, combining livelihoods improvement, development of urban greenery and climate change mitigation. Building on continued support to the Beautifying Sheger Project in Addis Ababa, a Smart Cities Hub will focus on solutions using digital and analogue technologies to boost inclusion, sustainability and resilience, with a special focus on the role of women in advancing the New Urban Agenda. 
In light of this important role for renewable energy and sustainable urbanization, UNDP Ethiopia intends to recruit a full time Programme Specialist – renewable energy, low carbon development and resilient cities. The Programme specialist will work under the overall guidance of the Resident Representative and Deputy Resident Representative (programs) and will be placed under the direct supervision of the Team Leader – Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development Unit. 
The incumbent will be responsible for the overall management of the UNDP programme in the area of promoting renewable energy, low carbon development, waste management and sustainable and resilient cities development and ultimately accelerating the implementation of the CRGE. The Programme Specialist works in close collaboration with the Country Office (CO) projects and programme staff, operations team, programme staff in other UN Agencies particularly with Habitat, UNDP HQs staff and Government officials, technical advisors and experts, multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors and civil society to successfully implement the UNDP programme.  The Programme Specialist works on a daily basis with colleagues in the UNDP CO and at the project level, necessitating that the incumbent be able to develop and maintain viable working relationships with colleagues across the organization and in government offices, and be able to work with them in a responsive client orientation and in results oriented and problem solving manner. As part of the CO’s commitment to innovation, the incumbent will also work with the Accelerator Lab team, policy and research team  and other colleagues to explore, experiment and apply innovative approaches in the area of energy, urbanization including adopting protocols that are supported by evidence and best practices. 

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions:
  • Spearhead in-depth technical reviews of the state of the transition to a green economy in Ethiopia, as set out in the country’s Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy (CRGE), working closely with the Policy Unit;
  • Provide high-quality, expert-level advice on evidence-based policies, institutional, legal and regulatory reforms needed to drive systemic change and transformation to accelerate the transition to a green economy;
  • Encourage innovation on the green economy (energy, urban ecosystems, waste management, circular economy), working closely with the Innovative Finance Lab and Accelerator Lab.;
  • Build networks and partnerships with domestic and external, private and public, organisations/entities/institutions to foster technical, financial and programmatic collaboration;
  • Manage and monitor the UNDP Country Office green economy portfolio (e.g. on renewable energy, low-carbon development and resilient cities programmes, projects and strategies).
Duties and Responsibilities:
1.Lead analytical work and provide high-quality advisory services:
  • Co-designs, organizes and participates in the execution of analytical work that builds a strong knowledge base on green economy issues in Ethiopia, working closely with the in-house Policy Unit and with national and international partners, drawing on global good practice;
  • Provides high-quality, expert level and evidence-based advice to government and other partners on institutional, policy, legal and regulatory issues and options for expanding the scope, scale and effectiveness of efforts to accelerate the transition to a green economy;
  • Participates in technical work related to the rollout of new and innovative policy and regulatory instruments, institutional models and financing options (e.g. de-risking steps, legislation, regulatory rules, taxes and subsidies, design of public-private business models);
  • Functions as the Head a.i. of the UNDP Smart Cities Lab, playing a central technical role in its design, launch and on-going operations, including testing/prototyping of new instruments, business models, delivery systems, working closely with the Innovative Finance Lab and the UNDP Accelerator Lab.;
  • Synthesises good practices and lessons learnt that are directly relevant to policy development and programme design and implementation.
2.Ensure effective formulation and implementation of programmes and projects on green economy issues, focusing on quality control of the full cycle of programming from formulation, implementation, M&E and reviews, focusing on  achievement of the following results: 
  • Designs and formulates programmes and projects for green economy development (e.g. renewable energy, ecosystem management, sustainable urban development) that address the areas of work outlined in the Country Programme Document (CPD);
  • Manages, supports and coordinates timely, transparent and effective implementation of programmes and projects collaborating closely with implementing partners and responsible parties at federal and regional levels;
  • Provides technical advice to Government in assuming leadership and strategic oversight of the planning, budgeting, implementation and monitoring of programmes and projects;
  • Ensures programmatic collaboration and performance monitoring of ecosystem reform and development portfolio across the Country Programme, working closely with other programme staff (e.g. Policy Unit, Accelerator Lab, innovation ecosystem, ICT start-ups); 
  • Provides technical support and expert advice for monitoring and reviews of the UNSDCF and the Country Programme in the area of development finance and financial inclusion.  
3.Develop and sustain strategic partnerships including successful resource mobilization, focusing on achievement of the following results:
  • Develops and maintains strong collaborative relationships with the Government at federal and regional levels, development partners (WB, EU, EIB, AfDB, DFID, others) and sister UN agencies/entities (including UNCDF);
  • Embeds UNDP within and, where needed, builds national, regional and international practitioner networks dedicated to development finance and financial inclusion;
  • Develops and sustains deep and wide-ranging policy and programmatic partnerships with the private sector at national and regional levels, especially core institutions involved in the green economy;
  • Initiates, formulates and effectively follows-through on an innovative fundraising/resource mobilization strategy that elicits financial support from a wide range of private, non-profit and public sector partners, both domestic and external, to sustain and expand UNDP programmes and projects;
  • Provides donor intelligence in the areas of the green economy;
  • Acts as the lead technical representative of UNDP in professional and decision-making for a dealing with green economy issues.  


Core Competencies:
Ability to make new and useful ideas work.
  • Level 5: Creates new and relevant ideas and leads others to implement them;
Ability to persuade others to follow.
  • Level 5: Plans and acts transparently, actively works to remove barriers;
People Management:
Ability to improve performance and satisfaction.
  • Level 5: Models high professional standards and motivates excellence in others;
Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform.
  • Level 5: Gains trust of peers, partners, clients by presenting complex concepts in practical terms to others;
Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement.
  • Level 5: Critically assesses value and relevance of existing policy / practice and contributes to enhanced delivery of products, services, and innovative solutions.
Technical/Functional Competencies
People Management:
  • Level 5: Originate: Catalyses new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise;
Building Strategic Partnerships:
  • Level 5: Originate: Catalyses new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise;
Resource Mobilization:
  • Level 5:Originate: Catalyses new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise;
  • Level 5: Originate: Catalyses new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise;
SDGs Championing:
  • Level 5: Originate: Catalyses new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Master’s Degree or equivalent in energy/environmental/ natural resources management, environmental economics, economics (macro or micro), urban planning and development or closely related subjects in the social/environmental sciences.
  • A minimum of 5 years of relevant experience at the national or international level in green economy and/or environmental management issues, in the public and/or private sector, in NGOs, international organisations or international financial institutions (IFIs);
  • Hands-on experience in design, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes and projects; 
  • Relevant professional experience in low carbon development such as Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and climate financing would be a major asset;
  • Proficiency in the use of standard office software.
Language Requirements:
  • Fluency – at a high level – in English, written and verbal.


Important applicant information

All posts in the GS 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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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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