Project Assistant - Innovation Small Grant Aggregator Platform (ISGAP)
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UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy work carried out at HQ, Regional and Country Office levels forms a contiguous spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan.
Within the GPN, the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP’s Strategic Plan. BPPS’s staff provides technical advice to Country Offices; advocates for UNDP corporate messages, represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private dialogues, government and civil society dialogues, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas. BPPS works closely with UNDP’s Crisis Bureau (CB) to support emergency and crisis response. BPPS ensures that issues of risk are fully integrated into UNDP’s development programmes. 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.
UNDP’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan emphasizes the critical links between environmental sustainability, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and broader efforts to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement. As part of the Global Policy Network in the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP’s Nature, Climate Change, and Energy (NCE) Team promotes and scales up integrated whole-of-governance approaches and nature-based solutions that reduce poverty and inequalities, strengthen livelihoods and inclusive growth, mitigate conflict, forced migration and displacement, and promote more resilient governance systems that advance linked peace and security agendas.
The NCE Team works with governments, civil society, and private sector partners to integrate natural capital, environment and climate concerns into national and sector planning and inclusive growth policies; support country obligations under Multilateral Environmental Agreements; and implement the UN’s largest portfolio of in-country programming on environment, climate change, and energy. This multi-billion dollar portfolio encompasses: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services including forests; Sustainable Land Management and Desertification including food and commodity systems; Water and Ocean Governance including SIDS; Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation; Renewable and Modern Energy; Extractive Industries; Chemicals and Waste Management; Environmental Governance and Green/Circular Economy and SCP approaches. This work advances crosscutting themes on innovative finance, digital transformation, capacity development, human rights, gender equality, health, technology, and South-South learning. UNDP's Nature, Climate and Energy practice spans 137 countries, with a portfolio directly benefiting 86 million people. Our support to Governments focusses on enabling an inclusive, resilient, green recovery by: building competency to accelerate access to sustainable energy and climate and nature-positive policies and finance; scaling capacity to ensure No One is Left Behind; catalyzing SDG and Paris-aligned investments (public and private); delivering client-focused solutions that respond to countries' immediate, mid- and long-term recovery and socio-economic development priorities; and leveraging our on-the-ground presence and networks to unlock bottom-up solutions that deliver lasting impacts at country level.
In addition to UNDP’s bilateral partnerships on nature climate and energy, UNDP is an accredited multilateral implementing agency of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Multilateral Fund (MLF), and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) which includes the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund (GEF Trust Fund); the Nagoya Protocol Implementation Fund (NPIF); the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF); and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF). As part of UNDP’s partnership with these vertical funds, UNDP provides countries specialized integrated technical services for eligibility assessment, programme formulation, capacity development, policy advice, technical assistance, training and technology transfer, mobilization of co-financing, implementation oversight, results management and evaluation, performance-based payments and knowledge management services. The Nature, Climate and Energy Team focuses on managing the oversight of climate and environmental financial resources from global trust funds to catalyze and unlock other types of public and private financing for sustainable development. This includes oversight of the design as well as implementation phase of projects (together with Country Offices and Regional Bureas), as well as portfolio level oversight and management.
At the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP25) in Madrid (the United Nations Climate Change Conference), the Adaptation Fund has launched a new US$10 million pilot grant programme to foster innovation in adaptation in developing countries. The programme targets a broad range of potential finance recipients, including non-governmental organizations, community groups, young innovators and the private sectors.
The programme is part of the Adaptation Fund’s innovation facility, providing small grants to developing countries to support innovation for effective, long-term adaptation to climate change. Two of the Adaptation Fund’s accredited multilateral implementing entities (MIEs), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), receive US$5 million each to administer and aggregate a small grants project (up to US$250,000 each). In December 2020, European Commission and UNDP signed an additional €10 million funding contribution to this programme.
UNDP acts as small grant aggregators for innovation in adaptation, making small grants available to a broad scope of stakeholders on a competitive basis. The programme will focus on producing the Expected Results of the ‘Strategic Focus 2 (Innovation)’ in the Adaptation Fund Medium-Term Strategy 2018-2022, which are:
- (Expected Results 3) New innovations encouraged and accelerated - Development of innovative adaptation practices, tools and technologies encouraged and accelerated; and
- (Expected Result 4) Evidence base generated - Evidence of effective, efficient adaptation practices, products and technologies generated as a basis for implementing entities and other funds to assess scaling up.
Therefore, AF-EU-UNDP Innovation Small Grant Aggregator Platform (ISGAP) is designed to support the development, diffusion and evidence building of innovative adaptation practices, tools, and technologies in developing countries. ISGAP will be establishing an effective and efficient backbone management architecture and network of global best practitioners to:
- competitively source and screen innovative adaptation project ideas;
- grant funding and administering to bring selected project ideas to fruition;
- provision of customized technical and business development capacity building, incubation, and acceleration support; and
- knowledge management and sharing and result-based monitoring and evaluation.
Leveraging this infrastructure, ISGAP aims to achieve the project objective through the following complementary outcomes:
- Development of innovative adaptation practices, tools and technologies promoted and accelerated. Evidence of effective, efficient adaptation practices, products and technologies generated as a basis for implementing entities and other funds to enable scaling up;
- Timely and efficient completion of business milestones demonstrated through additional investment and/or support capitalization for scaling;
- Lessons learned codified, documented, and disseminated leading to adoption or replication of project introduced innovations.
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the overall supervision of the ISGAP Project Manager and direct coordination and guidance of the Regional Team Leader (RTL), the Project Assistant will facilitate the AF-EU-UNDP Innovation Small Grant Aggregator Platform Programme, by providing support and oversight throughout the implementation, monitoring/evaluation and closure this project. The Project Assistant works in close collaboration with project team based in the UNDP Bangkok and Istanbul Regional Hubs, UNDP HQs staff, and project grantees to successfully deliver project goals. The Project Assistant promotes a client and results-oriented approach consistent with UNDP rules and regulations and ensures high quality and accuracy of work. S/he works in close collaboration with other Programme Assistants/Associates, Administrative Associates, as well as, staff in the Regional Hubs, UNDP HQs, and COs as required for resolving complex programme-related issues and exchange of information.
Summary of Key Functions:
- Administration and implementation of operational and financial services for the project
- Administrative support to the Project Management Unit (PMU)
- Facilitation of knowledge building and knowledge sharing
Administration and implementation of operational and financial services for the project
- Maintain the office operations and budget for the PMU;
- Responsible for updating the UNDP project information repository system (PIMS+) and finance application (ATLAS), tracking required information and following up on correspondence with project proponents, Country Offices and Headquarters, and processing documentation for submission, including final quality check regarding accuracy and compliance with formats and guidelines;
- Assist the Project Manager with tracking project delivery through monitoring of project grantee report & performance;
- Assist the Project Manager with preparation of project budgets and revisions;
- Assist the Project Manager and Finance Associate with monitoring the project expenditures, the deviation from the approved AWP and the need for budget revision;
- Provide the information/reports on the financial/accounting situation of the project and propose solutions to improve the situation;
- Assist the Project Manager with compilation of necessary financial data for donor reporting.
Administrative support to the PMU
- Responsible for making logistical arrangements for project personnel, experts, Government and UNDP officers for project workshops;
- Provide the necessary logistical and administrative support for the bi-annual Project Board Meetings;
- Support the Project manager to monitor the work and deliverables of project consultants and report to the Procurement Analyst for high quality and timely contractual management;
- Serve as a custodian for PMU stationary, supplies, and distribution among PMU members and project personnel keeping a log of distribution;
- Maintain financial documents filling system in the PMU;
- Perform other related duties and backstopping other project assistants as necessary.
Facilitation of knowledge building and knowledge sharing
- Assist Project staff with relevant input on UNDP Rules and Regulations, in particular on budgetary issues;
- Synthesis of lessons learned and best practices in programme and project finance;
- Sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice.
- Good knowledge of an ERP System (such as Atlas) and UNDP programming and budget structure is required, with knowledge of procurement will be considered an advantage;
- Knowledge of UNDP Environmental Finance is an advantage.
Required Skills and Experience
- Secondary Education preferably with specialized certification in Administration, Accounting or Finance;
- Bachelor‘s Degree in Business or Public Administration, Environment Management, Economics, Social Sciences or other relevant fields with at least 2 years of relevant experience would also be accepted;
- Certification in project management would be an advantage.
- Minimum 5 years for secondary school, or 2 years for Bachelor’s degree holder, of progressively responsible administrative or programme experience is required at the national or international level;
- At least 2 years of experience in project budget and financial management, logistic/travel arrangement and workshop organization, administrative and/or procurement support/management required;
- Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.) and knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages, experience in handling of web-based management systems.
- Fluency in written and spoken English and Thai.
- Certification in project management would be an advantage.
Important applicant information
All posts in the NPSA categories are subject to local recruitment.
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