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Circular Economy Specialist | UNEP Young Talent Pipeline


  • Organization: UNEP - United Nations Environment Programme
  • Location: Nairobi
  • Grade: Volunteer - International Youth - International recruited Volunteer
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Economics
    • Environment
    • Public Policy and Administration
  • Closing Date: Closed

Mission and objectives

Since its inception in 1972, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has been the global authority that sets the environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

UNEP’s mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, UNEP works through its divisions as well as regional, liaison and out-posted offices and a growing network of collaborating centres of excellence.


UNEP's Industry and Economy Division provides solutions for economic decision-makers and helps change the business environment by offering platforms for dialogue and cooperation, innovative policy options, pilot projects, and creative market mechanisms. It works through three main branches: Chemicals and Health; Energy and Climate and Resources and Markets.

The Resources and Markets Branch promotes Resource Efficiency, Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP), and Circular Economy policies, practices, and initiatives through the engagement of governments, the business community, and civil society organizations. It further works on building circularity in high-impact sectors (textile, plastics, electronics, and metals), by implementing innovative actions on policy, business, and technology, as well as convening relevant stakeholders to promote the transition towards sustainability and circularity in sectors.

This post is in the Resources and Markets Branch of the Industry and Economy Division (IED) at UNEP HQ in Nairobi, Kenya.

Task description

The UN Volunteer position is in the Resources and Markets Branch of the Industry and Economy Division (IED) at UNEP HQ in Nairobi, Kenya. Under the direct supervision of the Head of Global Opportunities for Sustainable Development Goals, and the Chief of the Resources and Markets Branch.

Specifically, the International UNV will undertake the following tasks:

  • Lead consultation process with stakeholders, including businesses, governments, and other stakeholders and regional and global platforms on the circular economy, and coordinate public reviews of documents
  • Support the organization of meetings, webinars, conferences, workshops on the issues of circular economy and its application in different industrial sectors
  • Critically analyse value chains to assess their impacts, and identify hotspots for reducing resource consumption and waste
  • Use your knowledge and technical expertise to carry out research and offer innovative solutions and circular economy recommendations for stakeholders
  • Collaborate with partners like WTO, UNIDO, Regional Economic Commissions, Regional Development Banks in order to develop a high-quality and consistent strategy including policy and programs that benefit the environment.
  • Keep a mapping on UNEP’s circular economy activities and support coordination of internal cooperation meetings. • Structure a set of tools and services that supports national implementation of SDG 12.
  • Undertake other related or administrative tasks, when assigned. Results/Expected Outputs • Fully acquainted with UNEP’s approach to circular economy to support its implementation of projects and activities, also working with the private sector and other stakeholders.
  • Coordination of UNEP’s work on circular economy facilitated
  • Circular economy-related projects and assignments that contribute to the implementation of the UNEP Programme of Work project successfully implemented
  • Contributed to technical delivery of related project activities 
  • Contributed to the development of fundraising activities
  • Successful outreach and communication activities to inform and connect stakeholders and build a partnership network

Eligibility criteria


From 27 years of age


Candidate must be a national of a country other than the country of assignment.


Required experience

3 years of experience in relevant fields; of which at least two years in economics, public policy, environmental management, or sustainable development is required. Prior experience with governments and/or at the international level is advantageous.

  • Proficiency in PowerPoint, Excel, and data analysis
  • Be reliable and efficient; know how to organize oneself and coordinate one’s work
  • Be creative, enthusiastic, curious, and willing to learn more, with a problem-solving approach.
  • Be confident to work well in teams and efficient in delivering work.
  • Communicate effectively and persuade diverse audiences, and work effectively with a wide range of clients
  • Know how to handle complexity and evolve in a fast-paced environment by yourself, and take impactful initiatives

Area(s) of expertise

Development programmes, Economics and finance

Driving license



English, Level: Fluent, Required

Required education level

Bachelor degree or equivalent in economics, public policy, environmental economics and natural resource economics, environmental science and engineering, environmental policy, behavioral science, environmental management, or other related fields.

Competencies and values

  • Professionalism: Ability to identify issues, formulate opinions, make conclusions and recommendations; 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 gen-der perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
  • Planning and organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
  • Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly in-terprets messages from others and responds appropriately; proven interpersonal skills; 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 in-formation and keeping people informed; good spoken and written communication skills, including ability to prepare clear and concise reports; ability to conduct presentations, ar-ticulate options and positions concisely; ability to make and defend recommendations; ability to communicate and empathize with staff (including national staff), military person-nel, volunteers, counterparts and local interlocutors coming from very diverse back-grounds; ability to maintain composure and remain helpful towards the staff, but objective, without showing personal interest; capacity to transfer information and knowledge to a wide range of different target groups.
  • Genuine commitment towards the principles of voluntary engagement, which includes solidarity, compassion, reciprocity, and self-reliance; and commitment towards the UN core
This vacancy is now closed.
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