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UNDP Environmental Finance Regional

Istanbul (Turkey)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Istanbul (Turkey)
  • Grade: GS-6, General Service - No need for Higher Education - Locally recruited position - Administrative support
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Poverty Reduction
    • Banking and Finance
    • Environment
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
  • Closing Date: 2021-01-26

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UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

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.

The Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has corporate responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP’s Strategic Plan.  BPPS’ staff provides technical advice to Country Offices, advocates UNDP corporate messages, represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private dialogues, government and civil society dialogue initiatives, South-South and Triangular cooperation initiatives, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas.  BPPS works closely with UNDP’s Crisis Bureau to support emergency and crisis response.  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.

Based in UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, the Environmental Finance Unit helps countries achieve the simultaneous eradication of poverty and significant reduction of inequalities and exclusion by assisting Country Offices in accessing environmental finance for sustainable development. This objective is achieved through five inter-related areas of work: (i) sustainable management of ecosystem goods and services; (ii) scaling up of climate change adaptation and mitigation; (iii) sustainable, affordable and accessible energy services; (iv) sustainable management of chemicals and waste; and (v) improved water and ocean governance. These areas of work are fully aligned with the four environmental outputs of the UNDP Strategic Plan.

UNDP is an accredited implementing entity to the following environmental vertical funds: (i) the funds managed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF): the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund (GEF TF), the Nagoya Protocol Implementation Fund (NPIF), the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF). As an Implementing Agency for these funds, UNDP offers countries highly specialized technical services for eligibly assessment, programme/project formulation, due diligence, mobilization of required co-financing, project implementation oversight, results management and evaluation, performance-based payments and knowledge management.

The Environmental Finance Unit is responsible for providing leadership, technical support and implementation oversight to the delivery of environmental vertical funds. The Unit is organized into a number of substantive technical teams with staff located in both HQs and UNDP's Regional Hubs in Addis Ababa, Istanbul, Panama, and Bangkok, and with a decentralized structure in terms of financial, operational, and budget managements with authority delegated to respective managers located in HQ or in the region.

The environmental vertical fund projects in Europe and CIS and Arab States are supported at the national level by UNDP Country Offices (COs) and at the regional level by Regional Coordination Units (RCUs). The projects are located in Anglophone, Francophone and Russophone countries.

Under the overall supervision of the Regional Technical Advisors (RTAs) and coordination and guidance of the corresponding Regional Team Leader (RTL), the Programme Associate will facilitate the effective delivery of EF Unit's portfolio in Europe and CIS and Arab States, by providing support and oversight throughout the development,implementation, monitoring/evaluation and closure of projects. This includes effective portfolio data management and monitoring, to maximize COs' timely compliance with UNDP and vertical fund requirements.

The Programme Associate will work in close collaboration with the Operations, Programme and Project teams in the CO and EF Unit's HQs global team/staff to resolve complex programme-related issues and to ensure a consistent quality service delivery.


Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of key functions:
  1. Management and Support to projects under development (pipeline);
  2. Monitoring and support to projects (after vertical approval);
  3. Portfolio Monitoring and Support (includes projects under development and under implementation);
  4. Country Office Capacity Support;
  5. Self-Development, Learning, Knowledge Management.
Management and Support to projects under development (pipeline)
  • Coordinate document processing related to project development in the region (regional and country level projects) as relevant to all stages of the project cycle;
  • Collection, analysis and checking for accuracy and consistency of information against established formats; 
  • Updating the EF Unit project data base (PIMS+); 
  • Tracking required information for project completion and/or processing requirements; 
  • Following-up on correspondence with project proponents, Country Offices (COs) and EF Unit Headquarters; and
  • Processing documentation for submission, including final quality check regarding accuracy and compliance with formats and guidelines.
Expected Results: Projects under development are fully compliant with UNDP and vertical fund requirements.
Monitoring and support to projects (after vertical fund approval)
  • Effective communication to COs on the processes relating to Delegation of Authority (DOA) and ensure COs receive a DOA Letter and the approved final UNDP Project Document and any other associated/necessary documents and requested clearance (including financial and technical clearance) in a timely manner once EF Unit receives an approval/endorsement from a source of funds;
  • Ensures Annual Work Plans are submitted for Regional Technical Advisor’s (RTA) approval and Authorized Spending Limit (ASL) issuance;
  • Assist the Regional Technical Advisors in reviewing projects' annual and multi-year work plans in a timely manner, ensuring compliance with Donor requirements in terms of budgeting and identify irregularities; 
  • Assist the Management and Programme Support Analyst in regional portfolio analysis, in particular, ensuring all data necessary for the analysis is collected from COs and consistent for any specific projects under his/her portfolio;  
  • Assist COs in completing budget revision processes in time for on-going projects under his/her portfolio.
Expected Results: Effective monitoring and timely support to projects after vertical fund endorsement ensuring all UNDP and vertical fund timelines and milestones are met.
Portfolio Monitoring and Support (includes projects under development and under implementation)
  • Ensure all project information in EF Unit database (PIMS+) is correct and up to date at all time from the creation of a project in PIMS+ until the project’s operational and financial closure for projects under his/her portfolio;
  • Monitor project delivery and submission of progress reports and budget revisions for the region, identifying reasons for shortfall in delivery and alert RTAs of any projects with concerns;
  • Undertake financial monitoring of the portfolio in the region and analyze individual projects’ budgets and budget revisions in close coordination with the COs and RTAs;
  • Assist in all aspects of regional portfolio management, including tracking of standard project related management actions, monitoring and evaluation requirements and progress reports (TPR/APR, PIR) including processing of required documentation;
  • Maintains the electronic project data base fully updated and, where necessary, organizes and maintains hard-copy files of all projects and associated information and official documentation;
  • Assist in the preparation, updating, and dissemination of PowerPoint and other presentations and in managing dissemination of information that describe the work and achievements of EF Unit via the media; 
  • Conduct financial follow-up and advise Country Offices (or executing agencies in case of regional or global projects without Project Principle Resident Representatives) with regard to the deployment of the funds and the project closure, as well as, the preparation of the quarterly reports flagging to the RTA any discrepancies, need for action, or progress in disbursement;
  • Maintain close contact with COs on projects in varying stages of the project cycle, tracking project development and/or implementation progress against established time-frames for project maturation and/or the attainment of implementation milestones as indicated in project annual work plans, recommending courses of action as appropriate and bringing to the RTAs’ attention all technical issues that require attention/resolution;
  • Draft correspondence and assist with other administrative tasks, as required;
  • Backstop other members of the Team and performs ad-hoc tasks, as required, to ensure the Team will deliver at the highest standard;
  • Support in all aspects of the organization of meetings, seminars, and workshops including making timely conference room booking, assisting in preparing, sending, and following up on invitations, agendas and/or background documentation, etc.
Expected Results: Effective monitoring and timely support to projects under implementation ensuring all UNDP and vertical funds’ timelines and milestones are met.
Country Office Capacity Support
  • Managing information flow between COs and HQ on the regional portfolio to meet all reporting requirements;
  • In coordination with RTAs, advise environmental focal points on procedural issues, approval processes and associated time-frames related to Environmental Finance project cycle management, according to the UNDP POPP, Environmental Finance Programming Manual, and any other appropriate Advisory Notes and guidelines;
  • Assist COs, Europe and CIS Team, or HQs on staff recruitment processes and consultant procurement processes, including the development of TORs, finalizing advertisements, long and short listing, organizing interviews, ensuring necessary records and documentation throughout the recruitment process, etc., as requested by RTAs;
  • Work in close collaboration with the EF Unit Management and Programme Support Unit and the operations, programme and projects’ staff in COs as required for resolving complex issues related to project administration or portfolio management;
  • Organize EF Unit training programmes and workshops in the region as appropriate, including logistics, communications with COs, documentation requirements, and any other logistical and administrative support. 
Expected Results: Country Offices are supported effectively and efficiently to ensure they meet UNDP and vertical funds’ timelines and milestones.
Self-Development, Learning, Knowledge Management
  • Learn from and contribute to corporate knowledge tools including programming manual and PA training manuals;
  • Organize and participate in EF Unit training programmes and workshops as required, oversee logistics, documentation, and preparation/review of budget and authorization of expenses;
  • Coordinate focal area knowledge management activities. Manage dissemination of information through Power Point or similar means, resulting in public awareness of the work and achievements of the EF Unit;
  • Undergo training in UNDP and vertical fund requirements.
Expected Results: The PA continually learns from and improves the effectiveness of corporate knowledge tools, training programmes, marketing and communications, and contributes to the overall EF Unit knowledge management.



  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work.
  • Ability to persuade others to follow.
People Management
  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction.
  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform.
  • Ability to get things done.
Quality Assurance
  • Ability to perform administrative and procedural activities to insure that quality requirements and goals are fulfilled.
Results-based management
  • Ability to manage programmes and projects with a strategy aimed at improved performance and demonstrable results.
Data Management
  • Ability to organize and retrieve data in a useful fashion.
Data Analysis
  • Ability to evaluate data and derive relevant findings.
Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Knowledge of methodologies, tools, systems and apply practical experience in planning, monitoring, evaluating and reporting.
Knowledge Management
  • Ability to efficiently handle and share information and knowledge.
Project Management
  • Ability to plan, organize, motivate, and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals.



Required Skills and Experience

  • Secondary education with at least 6 years of relevant experience preferably with specialized certification in Business or Public Administration, Finance or related area; 
  • A Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Political Sciences, Social Sciences, Natural Resources Management or other closely with at least 3 years of relevant experience would be desirable;
  • Certification in project management would be an added advantage.
  • Minimum of 6 years of experience, or 3 years with a Bachelor’s degree, in financial resources management, budget management, programme/project management or Administrative support functions;
  • Solid experience in project oversight and/or management highly desirable;
  • Knowledge of tools and methodologies to follow-up on projects or project cycle management preferred;
  • Experience at the national or international level with organizations that manage grants is an advantage;
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, as a minimum; database management as a plus);
  • Good knowledge of an ERP System (such as Atlas) and UNDP Procurement, Finance and/or Accounting structure will be considered an advantage. 
Language Requirements
  • Fluency in written and spoken English and Turkish; 
  • Knowledge of Russian, French, and/or Arabic strongly desired;
  • Proficiency in other UN languages is an asset.


Important applicant information

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

Externally advertised GS fixed-term appointment and temporary appointment (TA) positions located in New York/Washington D.C. are open to candidates who are either US Permanent Residents, US Citizens or holders of a valid G4 visa at the time of their application and whose G4 visa has been acquired on account of their employment in the UN Systems based in New York or Washington, DC.

Selected candidates who meet the above mentioned eligibility criteria are responsible for their own travel and/or relocation costs.

Selection to GS fixed-term appointment positions at Headquarters requires passing a UN administered clerical test (ASAT). External applicants to General Service (GS) positions in New York who already possess a Bachelor’s degree or an accredited certification in a technical field (e.g. IT, Finance, or Procurement) will not need to obtain/pass the UN Administrative Support Assessment Test (ASAT). However, passing specialized tests (e.g. Finance and Accounting technical assessments) may still be required for some General Service (GS) positions, as specified in the vacancy announcement.

Applicants under serious consideration for short-listing of posts requiring accountancy and finance skills, must take the UNDP Accountancy and Finance Test (UNDP AFT) prior to short-listing.

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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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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