Technical Officer – Health and Environment
Ulan Bator (Mongolia)
A safe and clean environment is integral to the full enjoyment of a wide range of human rights and to advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. According the World Health Organization (WHO), unhealthy environments account for almost a quarter of all deaths globally amounting to 13 million deaths annually worldwide. The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health estimated that in 2015 there were nine million premature deaths due to pollution alone with a highly unequal geographical burden; 92% of all pollution-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. The urgency for action on pollution is clear, given the devastating impact it has on health and development, as well as on biodiversity, ecosystems and water sources.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including stroke, heart disease, diabetes, lung cancer and pulmonary diseases, are a key development challenge and exposure to pollution is a major cause of NCD morbidity and mortality. Both NCDs and exposure to pollution are also emerging risk factors associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. People with pre-existing chronic conditions are more vulnerable to severe disease progression and are at an elevated risk of dying from it. This makes addressing air pollution and NCDs essential components of effective COVID-19 responses.
Along with partners such as the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), UNICEF, civil society and academia, UNDP works at the nexus of health and environment including by supporting policymakers to take multi-sectoral action and implement cost-effective policies which respond to growing environmental threats such as pollution. UNDP focuses on reducing inequities and supporting affected populations to know and claim their rights, paying explicit attention to the most marginalized, the knowledge and needs of women and girls, and to leaving no one behind. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including stroke, heart disease, diabetes, lung cancer and pulmonary diseases, are a key development challenge and exposure to pollution is a major cause of NCD morbidity and mortality. Pollution at the global, national and community levels poses a significant threat to social, economic, and environmental development and sustainability. Efforts to accelerate progress across the SDGs depends in large part on our success in addressing pollution challenges, including those directly affecting the health of our planet’s ecosystems and human wellbeing. In addition to having a significant direct impact on biodiversity on which billions depend for their livelihoods, and on public heath, pollution also comes with economic costs including productivity losses, healthcare costs, and long-term ecosystem damages. Both NCDs and exposure to pollution are also emerging risk factors associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. People with pre-existing chronic conditions are more vulnerable to severe disease progression and are at an elevated risk of dying from it. This makes addressing air pollution and NCDs essential components of effective COVID-19 responses.
UNDP, funded by the European Commission/Environment Directorate-General, has initiated a three-year project (October 2020-September 2023) to support the governments of India, Mongolia and Ethiopia to address pollution as a key environmental determinant of NCDs, and as part of broader efforts to respond to environmental degradation and the changing climate. The project pursues action in four areas:
- Developing and piloting a methodology to calculate the NCD-related health costs of inaction on air pollution as well as the return on investment in selected cost-effective and nationally-prioritised interventions (investment case), focusing initially on air pollution and including co-benefits such as those related to climate change mitigation, to inform planning and budgeting purposes;
- Enhancing governance structures and coordination mechanisms across environment, health and other relevant ministries (transport, energy, planning, agriculture, etc.) to enable joint analysis of main sources of air pollution as well as joint planning and financing for prioritised national actions engaging civil society and private sector partners, as relevant;
- Advancing effective laws, policies, standards and regulations through conducting a legal environment assessment in pilot countries, that is expected to lead to strengthened parliamentary and civil society action on air pollution to mitigate its impacts on the environment and health, and building capacities for oversight and enforcement where gaps are in implementation, and ensuring greater transparency in decision-making and budgeting; and,
- Facilitating the scale-up of action on air pollution and health in other countries through high-profile and broad dissemination of the methods, approaches as well as lessons learnt from the pilots.
Under the overall guidance and direct supervision of the Project coordinator, Technical Officer will manage the in-country project activities and will report to the National Project Coordinator.
Duties and Responsibilities
Summary of Key Functions:
- Implement project activities by mobilizing goods and services, and managing budgets and timelines;
- Manage, monitor, evaluate and report on country-level progress including measures to address challenges and opportunities and contributing to technical discussions and providing guidance where needed;
- Conduct background research and interviews, and assist collection of data and other information for the use of the Investment Case and the Legal Environment Assessment; and
- Organize communications and visibility activities in close collaboration with UNDP regional hubs and Headquarters, including events and meetings (national/regional) to disseminate project outcomes and tools used.
Implement project activities, including by mobilizing goods and services, creating and maintaining partnerships, and contributing to technical discussions and providing guidance where needed
- Provide technical guidance and recommendations related to project objectives, and pollution and health challenges in the project country.
- Liaise with the government counterparts, EU Delegation, UN organizations (especially WHO, UNICEF, UNEP), development partners (ADB, WB, SDC), civil society, academia, and other stakeholders to implement project objectives and enhance multisectoral action in the project country.
- Organize country-level technical meetings with key stakeholders, including relevant ministries and civil society groups.
- Create new and foster existing partnerships for project implementation within and outside of the UN organizations.
Manage documentation, budgets and timelines, and monitor and report on country-level progress including measures to address challenges and opportunities
- Organize periodic meetings with the key project stakeholders to evaluate progress, strengthen multisectoral approach, and plan for activities.
- Manage documentation, including create and maintain electronic folders on project documents, correspondence, and reports.
- Manage project budgets and timelines.
- Prepare national periodic progress reports in close collaboration with the EU Delegations and UNDP HQ.
Conduct research and interviews, and assist collection of data and other information for the use of the Investment Case and the Legal Environment Assessment
- Conduct background research on pollution and health, and their economic impacts in the project country.
- Conduct background research for the development of the Legal Environment Assessment on health and environment.
- Collect information and data for the use of the Investment Case and Legal Environment Assessment, working closely with WHO, RTI and other stakeholders, including conduct interviews with the ministries and civil society groups.
Organize communications and visibility activities in close collaboration with UNDP regional hubs and Headquarters, including events and meetings to disseminate project outcomes and tools used
- Organize national/local technical meetings, workshops, events and conference sessions, and support regional and global communications and advocacy efforts.
- Prepare communications materials such as flyers and presentations, and meeting reports.
- Provide materials for the internal/external project website.
- Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards
- Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
Knowledge Management and Learning
- Promotes knowledge management in UNDP and a learning environment in the office through leadership and personal example
- Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development in one or more Practice Areas, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills
Development and Operational Effectiveness
- Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting
- Ability to lead formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes and projects
- Ability to formulate and manage budgets, manage contributions and investments, manage transactions, conduct financial analysis, reporting and cost-recovery
- Ability to implement new systems and affect staff behavioral/attitudinal change
- Strong IT skills, knowledge of ATLAS system desirable
- Excellent knowledge of financial rules and regulations, accounting
- Excellent knowledge of Results Management Guide and Toolkit
Management and Leadership
- 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
- Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities
Required Skills and Experience
- MA degree or BA degree in public health, environment, environmental law or related disciplines.
- A minimum three (3) years (with Masters’ degree), or, minimum five (5) years (with Bachelors’ degree) of relevant experience at the national and/or international level in project/programme administration, policy analysis and research, statistics and other related fields
- Experience in public health, environment policy and/or air pollution related projects
- Demonstrated ability to translate research and evidence into well-written, policy relevant communications (e.g. policy briefs, discussion notes, academic papers, and guidance documents)
- Experience in facilitating multi-stakeholder action on health or environmental issues.
- Proficiency in IT software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.) is required.
- Fluency in English and Mongolian, both spoken and written.
Important applicant information
All posts in the SC categories are subject to local recruitment.
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