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Programme Officer (Project Preparation and Partnerships)


  • Organization: UN - United Nations
  • Location: Bonn
  • Grade: Mid level - P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • External Relations, Partnerships and Resource mobilization
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: Closed

Org. Setting and Reporting

Desertification, along with climate change and the loss of biodiversity were identified as the greatest challenges to sustainable development during the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Established in 1994, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. The Convention focuses on the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the drylands, where some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and peoples can be found. In the UNCCD 2018-2030 Strategic Framework Parties to the Convention further specified their goals to reach “A future that avoids, minimizes, and reverses desertification/land degradation and mitigates the effects of drought in affected areas at all levels and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world”.

The Global Mechanism is an institution of the UNCCD, mandated to assist countries in the mobilization of financial resources from the public and private sector for activities that prevent, control or reverse desertification, land degradation and drought. As the operational arm of the convention, the Global Mechanism supports countries to translate the Convention into action and to achieve LDN at the national level. The GM has supported more than 100 country Parties to formulate national voluntary targets to achieve LDN and is also scaling up support to Parties in their efforts to develop and implement Land Degradation Neutrality transformative projects and programmes in collaboration with international partners.
At the fourteenth session of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP14), Parties adopted a set of decisions that demand a rapid scaling up of action on several fronts. These decisions focus on solutions that put people, especially the most vulnerable, first. Notable decisions included accelerating work on achieving land degradation neutrality, improving land tenure systems, better preparing for drought and encouraging gender responsiveness. At the entry into the Decade for Action and Decade for Ecosystem Restoration, parties agreed it is time to move from plans and targets towards implementation on the ground.

The Global Mechanism (GM) is currently spearheading several initiatives to implement its resources mobilization mandate and respond to Parties’ need for innovative approaches to attain the Convention’s aims. These initiatives include:

(i) The Land Degradation Neutrality Target Setting Programme (TSP) to support countries in the setting and strengthening of voluntary, policy coherent, quantitative, time bound and geographically explicit LDN targets and associated measures to achieve SDG target 15.3 by 2030.

(ii) The partnership for project preparation which supports countries in the development of gender-responsive Transformative Projects and Programmes (TPPs) through the provision of financial and technical support to prepare project projects and programmes jointly with traditional and non-traditional partners as well as the private sector.

The Global Mechanism is implementing the “Project Preparation Partnership for Transformative Land-based Solutions (PPP Project)” funded by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, represented by the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development. The overall goal of the project is to improve rural livelihoods by increasing land productivity and building climate resilience through accelerating global work on transformative land-based solutions. The objectives of the project are to improve capacity of countries to design transformative land-based interventions and to increase financing flows towards transformative land-based projects to address desertification, land degradation and drought. The project also makes use of the strategic positioning of the UNCCD in hosting the Great Green Wall (GGW) Accelerator and G20 Initiative on Land Degradation and Habitat Loss.


Under the direct supervision of the LDN and Land Restoration Programme Coordinator and overall supervision of the Managing Director, and in close collaboration with the TSP and TPP team leads, the private sector team, the Sahel team and UNCCD Administrative and Legal services, the incumbent will be responsible for leading the implementation of the “Project Preparation Partnership for Transformative Land-based Solutions”.

Specifically, the incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:

1. Participates in day-to-day implementation, monitoring and reporting of the “project preparation partnership for transformative land-based solutions” project;
2. Coordinates activities related to work planning, project delivery and budget management in accordance with the project agreement and UN rules and procedures;
3. Prepares progress reports and ensures project financial reports are prepared timeously in close collaboration with UNCCD Administrative Services;
4. Organizes and prepares reports of project coordination meetings and ensures project reviews and evaluations are implemented;
5. Identifies problems and issues to be addressed, proposes corrective actions and tracks follow-up;
6. Coordinates the development and implementation of the project main components:
a. capacity building and an online tool to support the development of high quality land-based projects;
b. global project preparation partnership framework governance structure including implementation arrangements, standard operating procedures for the partnership and as well as templates for Memoranda of Understanding, concept notes and Letters of Agreement according to partner type, as well as practical guidance and the appropriate tools for a transparent partner selection process in accordance with UN rules and procedures.
c. regionally balanced pipeline of national, multi-country and regional flagship land-based projects in close coordination with TPP lead, regional leads, the private sector team and the Sahel team
d. pilot projects to demonstrate proof of concept, best practices and new innovations to catalyze and generate the required awareness and interest for project developers and financing partners;
7. Provides substantive support to the identification, negotiation and finalization of partnership agreements in accordance with the approved process and procedures and recommend further refinement and improvement based on lessons learnt;
8. Liaises closely with the private sector team to ensure compliance with UNCCD procedures and policy’s on collaborating with the private sector and the private sector strategy:
9. Supports regional leads to ensure project preparation support is provided to country Parties in a timeous and cost-effective manner taking into consideration the needs, capacity and local context;
10. Prepares various written outputs such as guidelines, background papers, reports, briefing/guidance notes, communication products, and provides inputs to publications and official UNCCD documents;
11. Prepares training and capacity building materials, organizes capacity building and other project events and produces event reports and evaluation results;
12. Cooperates closely with UNCCD Secretariat by:
a. Ensuring that where relevant, partnership agreements are developed in close consultation with the External Relations and Partnerships (ERPA) unit of the Secretariat of the UNCCD;
b. Supporting the Managing Director of the Global Mechanism to ensure relevant evidence from the partnership is fed back to the work of the Global Mechanism, and the policy, scientific, and communication work of the UNCCD Secretariat.
13. Reviews relevant documents and reports, liaises with parties, strategic and funding partners and establishes relevant working arrangements to deliver the project effectively;
14. Supports resource mobilization to grow the partnership and increase resources for implementation of the main project components including resources to support project preparation;
15. Performs any other job-related activity required to achieve the goals and objectives of the Global Mechanism and the UNCCD secretariat.


Professionalism: Knowledge and understanding of project management, donor relations and establishment and management of partnerships with public and private sectors; Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Conceptual, analytical and political skills. Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in project management, contract management, international relations, business administration, law or related fields is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of 5 years of progressively responsible experience in international development, project development and management, contract management, partnership building, or donor relations is required.

Experience working with financing partners and multi-lateral development banks is desirable.

Demonstrated experience working with private sector would is desirable.


For the position advertised, fluency in English (both oral and written) is required; knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which will be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

This is a project position. The initial appointment will be for a period of one year. Any extensions of the appointments are subject to the availability of the funds.

Individual contractors and consultants who have worked within the UNCCD in the last six months, irrespective of the administering entity, are ineligible to apply for professional and higher temporary or fixed-term positions and their applications will not be considered.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


This vacancy is now closed.
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