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Senior Programme Specialist - Sustainable Development Policies

Marseille (France)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Marseille (France)
  • Grade: IICA-3, International Individual Contractors Agreement - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
  • Closing Date: 2021-10-26

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Background Information - Job-specific

From 1 July 2021 UNOPS hosts the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI), based in Marseille (France). The CMI is a multi-partner knowledge exchange platform where development agencies, governments, local authorities, and civil society from around the Mediterranean convene to exchange ideas, discuss public policies, and identify regional solutions to address regional challenges in the Mediterranean.

By acting as a knowledge sharing center that links ideas to policy making and reforms, the CMI benefits from the technical support of UNOPS and other member countries and institutions such as the World Bank. By focusing on integration beyond national borders, under a development perspective, the CMI’s agenda complements the work of the European Commission and the Union for the Mediterranean, as well as that of Mediterranean research institutes, think tanks, and other regional partners.

  • The CMI is the only Mediterranean institution bringing together governments, international financial institutions, local authorities, and civil society.

  • The CMI fosters synergies between development lenders, governments, technical partners, and citizens.

  • The CMI leverages technical expertise, financial resources, and networks.

  • The CMI offers a neutral platform for dialogue using its multi-partner model.

  • The CMI aims at promoting regional development through Mediterranean integration, on the basis of inclusive growth and decreasing disparities between member countries.

  • The CMI promotes scaling-up of successful experiences at the local, country, and regional level.

Given the realities of Mediterranean countries and the dynamics of the region, the CMI selectively focuses on the following main pillars, with youth and gender are cross-cutting themes. They are:

  • Socioeconomic transformation

I.1 Co-development and Integration

I.2 Human capital mobility

  • Resilience

II.1 Climate Change Resilience (incl. Energy, Water, Territorial Resilience to Climate Change) 

II.2 Conflict: Forced Displacement 

  • Promoting projects led by civil society through the CMI-hosted “Dialogue of the Two Shores Technical Platform”

Functional Responsibilities

The CMI is looking for a “Senior Programme Specialist - Sustainable Development Policies”. Under the direct supervision of the director of CMI, the incumbent will play a central part in the overall structure of CMI, acting as a Team Leader for specific activities, as she/he will :

  • lead the activities of CMI’s Climate Change Resilience pillar (II.1)

  • actively contribute to selected activities of CMI’s Co-development and Integration pillar (I.1) that also have a link with Sustainable Development issues and the SDGs and

  • actively contribute to the activities of the Dialogue of the Two Shores Technical Platform (III) on sustainable development. 

Specifically, the incumbent  will be expected to perform the following duties: 


Within the Climate Change Resilience pillar, the incumbent will : 

  • Lead the CMI’s three active programmes : the “Mediterranean Forum on Energy and Climate Change”, the “Regional knowledge programme on water” and the “Territorial Resilience to Climate Change” programme. This shall include :

  • Leading analytical work and knowledge production to promote energy transition, support adaptation and mitigation to climate change and promote an SDG-agenda in the Mediterranean. 

  • Increase understanding of Mediterranean stakeholders on the challenges and opportunities of cooperation on SDGs and Climate Change Resilience, between Europe and the South-East Mediterranean 

  • Organize and lead high-level policy dialogues workshops and host debates that provide increased understanding of the opportunities and implications of going towards a Mediterranean Green Deal and aligning with the SDGs

  • Organize and Lead CMI’s World Water Day, an annual event that draws the world’s attention to key global water issues.

  • Lead training sessions to strengthen the capacity of national, sub-national actors and local communities to achieve transformative reforms and align with the SDGs,

  • Develop strong working relationships with CMI partners invested in this pillar (incl. World Bank, UK government, Union for the Mediterranean, Plan Bleu), senior public officials, other international organisations, private sector representatives, civil society and other stakeholders with a strong commitment to SDGs.

  • Supervise and support junior staff in each of the three programs, reviewing their work and providing feedback

  • Contribute to the “CMI Post-Covid strategy papers”, especially for themes that link economic development with Sustainable Development issues (such as Climate Change and Women Empowerment)

  • Develop strong working relationships with CMI partners invested in this pillar (incl. World Bank, FEMISE, Union for the Mediterranean, Growth Dialogue, International Trade Center), senior public officials, other international organisations, private sector representatives, civil society and other stakeholders.

Within the “Dialogue of the Two Shores Technical Platform”, the incumbent will :

  • Maintain an open dialogue and conduct consultations with all D2R stakeholders, including the 16 project leaders of D2R, IFIs and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (initiator of the D2R initiative), responding to their need for a continued dynamic of exchange and collaboration among them.

  • Organize and lead high-level events that connect D2R project leaders with IFIs and other partners and that reinforce an ecosystem of actors that contribute to a sustainable Mediterranean
  • Develop strong working relationships with CMI partners invested in this pillar (incl. French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, IFC, EIB), senior public officials, other international organisations, private sector representatives, civil society and other stakeholders.


For the first pillar, the incumbent will:

- Communicate and overlook the scientific/technical contributions of consortium members to project proposals 

- Follow-up of selected contracts, research projects budgets and deadlines

- Lead the monitoring and research of funding opportunities, initiate contact with potential donors and contribute to the fund-raising strategy as one of the TTLs and as part of the CMI Partnership team 

- Lead the preparation for tenders when applicable, including designing the project Concept Notes and Full Applications 

- Follow-up with financial contributors and prepare monitoring documents

The incumbent will work with a range of countries and across various policy areas, on projects often supported by CMI technical partners (international and local). Your role will be diverse – it is likely to involve making recommendations on improving policies, advising on the design, coordination and implementation of reforms, presenting the outcomes of your work to ministers and senior officials, animating policy dialogues and communities of practice with partners from CMI countries, and providing advice to both beneficiaries, partners and clients.

This role will require occasional travel to a range of CMI partner countries. For more information on the CMI programme and its partner countries, please visit :

The incumbent  will report to the CMI Director based in Marseille, who will define the reporting requirements mainly:

- Enhanced technical excellence of the knowledge products in the area of sustainable development (including water, energy and territorial resilience).

- Expanded partnerships and successful fundraising efforts to finance the sustainable development pillar.

- Links established with project incubation to identify sources of funding for selected regional investment projects .

Education/Experience/Language requirements

a. Education 
An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in a relevant discipline, such as international economics, international relations, environmental or political science is required. 

b. Work Experience 

A minimum of (7) seven years of progressively responsible experience in areas of EU-Mediterranean cooperation and development, including economic research and analysis, policy formulation and project management is required.
Extent and relevance of experience in liaison and coordination with multiple stakeholders is required.

Experience as a contributor to reports/publications and events relevant to EU-Mediterranean cooperation and development (lead contributor a plus) is required.

An excellent understanding of the EU-Mediterranean context, actors, and of relevant disciplines that impact EU-Mediterranean cooperation and development, including economics, climate change and trade integration is required.

Demonstrated experience working and cooperating with Mediterranean stakeholders (think-tanks, policy makers, institutions, civil society) would be a plus.

Experience in developing international project proposals would be a plus.

Outreach, communication and public presentation in Mediterranean / international fora experience would be an asset.

c. Language 

Fluency in English and French is required. Fluency in Arabic is desirable. 


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.
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. 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.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: Individual Contractor Agreement (ICA)
Contract level: International ICA-3 / ICS-11

Contract duration: Up to 200 working days within 12 month duration.  Renewable subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance.

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: 

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.

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

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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