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Int Chief Technical Specialist

São Tomé (Sao Tome and Principe)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: São Tomé (Sao Tome and Principe)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2021-05-12

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Country Office:
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) operates in over 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, to reduce inequalities and to increase sustainability. Within this challenging scenario, partnership development is a crucial aspect for the achievement of UNDP goals.
UNDP STP (Sao Tome and Principe) works to achieve transformation change that will lead to freedom from poverty and insecurity for every Santomean, young or old, man or woman.
UNDP assists in the achievement of the country own priorities.  In partnership with the Government, the United Nations system, the donor community and other development stakeholders, UNDP contributes to institutional development efforts and strengthens the capacity of national partners through projects and interventions in several areas. Is committed to the highest standards of transparency and accountability and works in close coordination with the local government to maximize the impact of its development efforts on the ground.
The Portfolio CESA develops and supports the implementation of projects that support economic inclusive growth and promote environmental sustainability, in order to provide better and fairer living conditions to the present population and to preserve the planet for future generations.
The CESA portfolio has two key targets organized programmatically in two clusters:
1.Make growth inclusive and sustainable, and promoting decent jobs and security for all
2.Improve natural resources management and people’s resilience to climate change, natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies.
Youth, women, rural populations and other vulnerable groups are paid special attention when developing CESA projects to ensure that no one is left behind from development, which will encourage resilient societies.

Project context:
The terrestrial biodiversity and forest ecosystems of São Tomé and Príncipe are under pressure from various threats, especially conversion for infrastructure and agricultural developments and forest degradation from unsustainable exploitation. There is one protected area on each island, however, management is weak due to limited staffing, capacity and financing. The buffer zones are poorly defined, and land and resource use unsustainable. This is compounded by weak legal and institutional frameworks and the absence of land-use planning and environmental law enforcement. There are no attempts to reduce the impacts from charcoal-making, and there are few livelihood options for communities to reduce unsustainable activities.
The project “Enhancing Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Land and Natural Resource Management”, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and UNDP, brings a long-term solution to the challenges and threats to the biodiversity conservation in São Tomé and Principe, based on the grounds that the terrestrial biodiversity and high conservation value forest ecosystems in São Tomé and Príncipe are effectively protected in adequately financed and managed protected areas, avoiding the loss of globally important species and habitats, and that forest ecosystem services and natural resources are maintained and sustainably managed in well-defined buffer zones and across the wider landscape through effective integrated land-use planning and management, compliance with environmental law, the successful establishment of a new sustainable coconut-based charcoal value chain, and the reorientation of high-impact traditional charcoal-makers to new livelihood activities.
The project aims to “Safeguard globally significant terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystems services by strengthening national capacities and frameworks for biodiversity and natural resource management, integrated land use planning and environmental law enforcement as well as enhancing protected area management and the sustainability of charcoal production” through the implementation of four project components:
1) Enhancing systems and enforcement for biodiversity conservation and integrated landscape and natural resource management;
2) Management, monitoring and financing of PAs and adjacent key biodiversity and forest areas;
3) Reducing forest degradation and ecosystem loss from unsustainable charcoal-making; and
4) M&E, Knowledge Management and Gender.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall supervision of Deputy Resident Representative (DRR) and matching managers of the CESA Portfolio Manager and the General Director of Environment, the International Chief Technical Specialist (CTS) will provide technical advisory services and management support and will work closely with the Project Management Unit (PMU) to ensure that the implementation of the Project meets the highest technical standards and is informed by the latest thinking and best practice in conservation circles. The CTS will provide technical expertise to all components of the Project, high quality advice services to the Government and others project stakeholders, as well as to the UNDP CO. The CTS will facilitate knowledge building and sharing.

1)    Strategic guidance and policy support

  • Provide top quality policy advice and technical guidance to implementing partners, country office and government on matters related to biodiversity conservation, natural forest management, energy efficiency and climate change.
  • Contribute to a strategic understanding of, and engagement with, the substantive technical issues, institutions, and processes, including through establishing contact and developing strategic partnerships with other agencies, donors, NGOs, the private sector, scientific institutions, etc.
  • Ensure that new strategic opportunities for UNDP are realized, UNDP’s technical focus is leading edge and innovative, UNDP has strong partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders, and that UNDP has a trusted leadership role in the technical area of expertise.

2)    Project formulation and implementation

  • Oversee the effective and efficient management and quality control of the GEF project including planning and timely delivery of results taking into consideration the work plans and consistency with the priorities of corporate planning documents.
  • Oversee and support inception, contracting and start-up of the project including establishment/update of indicators, benchmarks and work plans.
  • Guide project implementation partners in implementation, troubleshooting and adaptive management while providing ongoing technical support and guidance as needed.
  • Ensure the effective application of result-based management (RBM), including through the development of a strategy for financial and substantive monitoring and its implementation, identification of operational and financial problems and development of solutions.
  • Assist the National Project Coordinator in the mobilisation of all project inputs, supervision over project staff, consultants and sub-contractors.
  • Assist the National Project Coordinator in the preparation of the Combined Project Implementation Review/Annual Project Report (PIR/APR), the inception report, technical reports, Quarterly Operational Reports (QOR) to the GEF and the quarterly financial reports for submission to UNDP, GEF and any other donors and Government Departments, as required.
  • Provide technical assistance in filling indicators for the GEF project including METT, scorecards, etc.
  • Finalize the terms of reference for consultants and subcontractors and contribute to their recruitment process.
  • Provide technical contributions to the development of training programs, update training programs and in some cases facilitate some training.
  • Provide technical review of project outputs and make recommendations to the PMU.
  • Advise on the achievement of project level outcomes and impacts in terms of increasing the management effectiveness of PAs, reducing forest degradation from charcoal production, and improving environmental law enforcement.
  • Provide strategic inputs into project implementation, including adaptive management measures.
  • Provide inputs to the PMU on a strategic approach to stakeholder engagement with governmental and non-governmental partners.
  • Strengthen partnerships with leading national and international institutions and expert groups.
  • Assist in project risk management, through identifying critical issues, helping to troubleshoot problems and developing mitigation measures.
  • Participate in project meetings, on an as-needed basis.
  • Draft technical documents and terms of reference, as required.
  • Organize and lead technical meetings.
  • Assist the National Project Coordinator in liaison work with project partners, donor organizations, NGOs and other groups in order to ensure the effective coordination of project activities.
  • Document lessons learnt from project implementation and make recommendations to the Steering Committee for more effective implementation and coordination of project activities.
  • Perform other tasks as may be requested by the PMU, Steering Committee, and other project partners.

3)    Development of partnerships, resource mobilization and donor relations

  • Advice and guide the CO in the identification of complementary programmatic areas, lead the development and formulation of proposals and contribute to the resource mobilisation efforts.
  • Support the development of Partnerships and Resources Mobilization efforts for the expansion of the Sustainable Environment Portfolio.
  • Support relevant government institutions and projects in developing strategic partnerships with UN agencies, international financial institutions, government agencies, bilateral and multilateral donors, private sector, civil society in the specific thematic areas based on UNDP’s strategic goals, country needs and donors' priorities.
  • Analyse and research information on donors to identify possible areas of cooperation and actively contribute to resource mobilization efforts.
  • Provide timely and quality information and technical advice on sources of funds, policies, priorities and activities – including the Global Environment Facility funds, the Green Climate Fund, other multilateral donors, bilateral donors and foundations.
  • Establish and implement with all stakeholders the projects exit strategy.

4)    Communication and Knowledge Management

  • Support the development of a Biodiversity communication plan for the portfolio and oversee its implementation, in close collaboration with the CO communications team.
  • Work with the PMU and the project M&E + KM Officer to develop clear messaging for project stakeholders.
  • Assist in the implementation of knowledge management activities, including distilling and documenting lessons learned, and developing strategic messaging for the project.
  • Support knowledge management, codification and dissemination of lessons learned.
  • Actively contribute to UNDP networks and communities of practice, prepare reports and communications pieces effectively show-casing socio-economic development benefits as well as environmental results.

5)    Other tasks that may be required


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    Detailed list of competencies can be accessed through
 and hiring managers are encouraged to familiarize themselves for more information
Competency Name
Competency Definition    Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Competency Name
Competency Definition    Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Competency Name
Competency Definition    Level 5:Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Competency Name
Competency Definition    Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Competency Name
Competency Definition    Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Competency Name
Competency Definition    Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Competency Name
Competency Definition    Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Competency Name
Competency Definition    Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes 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 PhD in specific areas related to the project theme will be highly valued. Work experience of additional 2 years with proven success in areas related to the project theme can compensate bachelor’s degree holders OR
  • A bachelor’s degree in a subject related to natural resource management, environmental sciences  biology or a connected field.


  • Minimum of 7 years for a Master’s degree  or 9 years for a Bachelor degree of experience in natural resource management (preferably in the context of protected area design, monitoring and management).
  • Proven experience working with ministries, national or provincial institutions that are concerned with natural resource and/or environmental management.
  • Specialized knowledge of environment and natural resource management issues, concepts and principles and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.
  • Proven ability and experience in providing technical advisory services on biodiversity and ecosystem management, and sustainable land and forest management.
  • Proven experience in formulation of quality proposals in the theme of natural resources management and related areas for GEF, GCF and other donors.
  • Previous experience in GEF projects implementation is desirable.
  • Experience of working with International Organizations and/or Private Sector will be valued.

Language Requirements:    

  • Excellent command of English (writing, speaking and reading)
  • Working knowledge of Portuguese (or alternatively Spanish)

Other:    Describe any additional qualifications:

  • Non-Smoking environment
  • Excellent computer skill (Word, Excel), good experience on intranet browsing and familiarity with the IT management system.



Important information for US Permanent Residents ('Green Card' holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment. 

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

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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