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Senior Programme Manager

Bonn (Germany)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Bonn (Germany)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2021-05-10

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Background Information - Job-specific

Water and Energy Cluster (WEC)

​UNOPS Water and Energy Cluster (WEC) supports the design and management of multi-stakeholder initiatives by providing services in financial and grant management, procurement, human resources, and project management.

The cluster has supported projects in the areas of water resource management, climate change adaptation, mitigation and transparency, energy access and distribution and environmental conservation under the Paris Agreement. The WEC has also supported operations and financial management services, in Vienna, the rest of the ECR region and beyond.

The main partners include UN agencies, bilateral agreements (with the Nordics, Germany, and Italy), the Green Climate Fund and several NGOs (such as CIFF and CWF).

Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT)

The Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT) helps countries better assess the impacts of their climate policies and actions, and fulfil their transparency commitments under the Paris Agreement. It does this by increasing the overall transparency capacities of countries, including the capacity to assess the contribution of climate policies and actions on countries’ development objectives, and providing appropriate methodological information and tools to support evidence-based policy-making. ICAT’s innovative approach is to integrate these two aspects.

ICAT currently works with more than 40 developing countries worldwide to support their work on NDCs, including tracking of implementation, further policy development and related Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV).  Work covers sectoral policies (renewables, energy efficiency, transport, etc.) and cross-cutting aspects such as the link to sustainable development benefits, transformational change, and integration of subnational and non-state actors.

ICAT is funded by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Italian Ministry of Ecological Transition (IMET) and the ClimateWorks Foundation.

Functional Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the ICAT Director, the Senior Programme Officer will perform the following responsibilities:

1. Programme development planning and coordination
  • Coordinate the development and articulation of the ICAT Strategy for country support and the development of regional climate action transparency hubs under the overall strategic guidance of the ICAT Director.

  • Translate the ICAT country and regional engagement strategy into implementation/results in line with approved work plans and associated monitoring mechanisms and draft project documents.

  • Coordinate and collaborate with relevant stakeholders, in particular ICAT’s implementing partners and the partner countries, to ensure aligned and coherent planning and implementation processes.

2. Stakeholder coordination and ICAT representation
  • Represent the Initiative at external meetings at country, regional and global level, including at forums such as the UNFCCC COPs. This will entail country visits and may include high-level meetings at ministries and international organizations that lead ICAT engagement in the country or region.

  • Establish and build relationships with ICAT partner country governments and partnering regional organizations, including at high level, as well as relevant actors at the UN, international organizations, NGOs, donors, and climate change stakeholders for the purposes of facilitating activities and improving the quality and relevance of programme implementation.

  • Coordinate, participate in, and/or contribute to the Initiative Coordination Team (ICT) and Country Tool Box Group (CTG).

  • Support the development of communication strategies, including the resource mobilization strategies, where relevant, to maximise communication impact and outreach and build awareness of ICAT objectives and impacts.

  • Support design, coordination and dissemination of public information products and communication activities as well as gather and draft content for communications products and platforms.

  • Support preparations for official meetings, events, briefings, and field visits, and prepare talking points, briefing notes, presentations and speeches for the Director and other senior UN officials.

3. Initiation and follow up of programme development opportunities
  • Stay abreast of climate change issues and policies, and cross-cutting priorities, such as gender, diversity and sustainability to be included in programme design as relevant.

  • Coordinate the identification, design, and formulation of new activities to meet ICAT objectives.

  • Coordinate preparation of programme documents, including concept notes, proposals, and associated budgets.

  • Draft and/or review funding agreements and other project documents required for the signature and implementation of new project activities.

  • In coordination with UNOPS Resource Mobilization personnel, support the review, submission, negotiation, and signature of funding agreements.

4. Programme management
  • Analyze project agreements and adopt work plans and budgets, and develop compliance plans and monitoring frameworks to guide relevant colleagues.

  • In collaboration with relevant personnel, establish monitoring mechanisms to measure delivery and impact against approved targets and indicators.

  • Provide review/input to scopes of work for grantee selection and procurement processes to ensure the requirements of the project agreements are reflected in agreements with implementing partners. Review implementing partner reports to ensure requirements are being met.

  • Track programme results against targets, alert management if delivery is not on track, compile data and draft reports to internal and external stakeholders and support the Director to prepare for internal reviews.

  • Coordinate information flow between implementation teams, management and donors, particularly related to any deviations that would require revisions to the relevant legal agreement; when required, coordinate budget and work plan revisions.

  • Prepare, and provide editing support for high quality summaries and analytical reports, including, but not limited to, project reports, annual reports, situation reports, briefing notes, and other UN reports. Prepare written summaries of meetings/visits and ensure relevant team members implement follow-up actions, as appropriate; research and prepare input for analytical, and sometimes sensitive, documents for the Director and the Donor Steering Committee.

5. Knowledge management and document management and innovation
  • Maintain records of programme files and other necessary programme documents such as documentation of decisions and actions taken on programme issues.

  • Implement relevant standards, tools and templates to effectively manage programme development and implementation.

  • Identify, contribute to, record and share the ongoing development and implementation of best practice, lessons identified, and innovative approaches to improve overall programme performance.

  • Contribute to the management and upkeep of risk management and issue management logs and processes.

6. People management
  • Perform programme team management tasks as assigned.

  • Ensure the effective planning, recruitment and development of a flexible workforce with the skills and competencies needed to ensure optimum performance, and ensure gender and geographical diversity.

  • Lead and motivate the programme team.

  • Foster a positive work environment, respectful of both men and women, and ensure that the highest standards of conduct are observed.

  • Have a thorough understanding of UNOPS personnel contract modalities (including ICA and Staff).

7. Other responsibilities
  • Act as OIC for the ICAT Secretariat in the absence of ICAT Director.

  • Carry out any other related duties as needed.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

  • Advanced University Degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in environmental management/sciences, international relations, economics, education, development studies, and/or other relevant fields relevant for climate action transparency and capacity-building, OR

  • First-level University degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent) combined with two additional years of relevant professional experience may be accepted in lieu of the master’s degree.

  • At least ten years of progressive professional experience in project / programme management and/or coordination.
  • Of which, at least seven years of this experience relevant to climate change or environmental management required.
  • Relevant experience is defined as progressive experience in programme/project development or management related to climate change and/or environmental management/assessment, in either public or private sector organizations.
  • Experience in international cooperation and in working with developing countries and/or capacity building is desirable.

  • Good understanding of global aspects of environmental protection and urban planning a distinct advantage.

  • Good understanding of the UN 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and/or the New Urban Agenda is desirable.

  • Relevant experience in representing national or international delegations in UN and international fora would be an asset.

Language Requirements:
  • Fluency in written and spoken English is required.

  • Proficiency in another UN language (Arabic/Chinese/French/Spanish/Russian) is required.

  • Working knowledge of a third UN language would be a valuable asset.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: Fixed-term staff contracts
Contract level: ICS-11 / P-4

Contract duration: One year initially, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and funding availability.

For more details about United Nations staff contracts, please follow this link:


Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.(for levels IICA-2, IICA-3, LICA Specialist- 10, LICA Specialist-11, NOC, NOD, P3, P4 and above)
Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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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