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Programme Specialist – Nature, Climate, Energy (Nationals only)


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Job Description


Programme Specialist – Nature, Climate, Energy (Nationals only)

  • Country: Malaysia
  • Organization: UNDP
  • Deadline:  2023-11-23
  • No of Vacancies: N/A
 Duties and Responsibilities
  • Provides strategic direction, coordination, and management of programme/unit.
  • Ensures accountability, quality control and effective oversight.
  • Ensures the integration of women empowerment and gender equality into programming and budgeting/resource allocation in the area of Environment and supports the Gender Team’s efforts to uphold the CO’s Gold Gender Equality Seal award.
  • Establishes and maintains strategic partnerships and supports resources mobilization in cooperation with Senior Management and other programme units.
  • Leads innovation and ensures identification of development and climate financing solutions.
  • Ensures provision of top-quality advisory services and facilitates knowledge building and management.

Provides strategic direction, coordination, and management of the programme/unit in the area of environment, achieving the following results:

  • Leads the analysis of the political, social, and economic situation in the country and ensures collaborative and coordinated preparation/revision of CCA, UNSCDF, CPD, annual business planning, dialogue compact, Integrated Work Plan and ROAR, project documents, their work plans and other programmatic documents.
  • Identification and analysis of strategic programmatic areas of cooperation based on strategic goals of UNDP, country needs and donors’ priorities and operationalization of CPD with the Government and other partners of UNDP. Identifies and leads engagement on possibilities for joint programming with other UN Agencies.
  • Oversees programme/ project design with development partners, UN Agencies and implementing partners for the portfolio, ensuring robust articulation of Theory of Change and results from framework linking inputs and activities to programme outputs and outcomes, supported with evidence to report on the Strategic Plan and CPD indicators
  • Localization of the UNDP Programme and Operations Policies and Procedures (POPP) as related to programme and project implementation at the level of the country office as well as CO business processes mapping and the establishment of internal Standard Operating Procedures in project management, control of the workflows within the unit.
  • Constant monitoring and analysis of the programme environment, timely adjustment of programme, measuring of the impact of the projects, and that results, and lessons learned to inform analysis, policy and programme, and project work.

Ensures accountability, quality control and effective oversight, achieving the following results:

  • Strategic oversight of portfolio programmes/projects and compliance with corporate programming, quality assurance, and reporting requirements. Specific oversight on the vertical funds projects to ensure compliance with their programming requirements, including planning, monitoring, evaluations and quality assurance. Organize annual work planning and quarterly progress reviews and ensure adequate monitoring and quality assurance.
  • Ensures robust oversight of key performance indicators of the portfolio and leads implementation of corrective strategies and measures based on risk-informed analysis and trends.
  • Facilitates and quality assures the completion of the GEF checklist and ensures appropriate separation of duties is in place and maintained throughout the project cycle.
  • Applies programme management and monitoring modules of Quantum and corporate and regional tools and mechanisms. Performs the function of Manager Level 2 in the ERP for development projects transactions approval in line with the CO ICF, as required.
  • Applies UNDP’s Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) framework in the assigned portfolio, including the review of projects’ Social and Environmental Screening Procedures (SESP) and ensuring adequate establishment of safeguards and management plans.
  • Oversees portfolio compliance with the Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfer (HACT) framework covering micro assessments, audits, spot checks and programme visits, ensuring appropriate remedial actions are implemented for adequate risk mitigation. Oversee the management of project-level cash transfers to Implementing Partners/Responsible Parties in accordance with UNDP Financial Rules and Regulations and HACT guidelines.
  • Performs programme finance oversight measures (incl. tracking of NIM advances, monitoring programme delivery progress, co-financing and other IFD parameters; escalating and advising the CO Management on timely remedial actions required) to improve CO compliance within the assigned portfolio.
  • Ensures that the unit-specific enabling actions included in the annual Integrated Work Plan are implemented and goals in the Country Office compact are met. Oversees the contribution of the unit to the CO’s performance in corporate KPIs.
  • Ensures high-quality project/programme reports are regularly prepared following RBM principles; alignment of financial with narrative reports and timely submission of donor reports, other reports and briefs as required.
  • Ensures implementation of effective programme and risk management systems to achieve high quality of results.
  • Ensures compliance with a cost-recovery system for the services provided by the CO to projects in close collaboration with the Operations Specialist.

Establishes and maintains strategic partnerships and leads resources mobilization in cooperation with Senior Management and other programme units achieving the following results:

  • Development and implementation of CO partnerships and resource mobilization strategies to achieve programme outcomes related to Environment area.
  • Supports deployment of partnership strategies and related actions with a focus on programme portfolio development and the identification of sustainable and predictable funding mechanisms for the implementation of the country programme, including but not limited to GCF and GEF.
  • Leads and maintains strong and strategic working relations with Government counterparts as well as other national stakeholders and international partners.
  • As part of the overall CO’s RM strategy, review the development of new project concepts to ensure the Project Documents and financial agreements are developed with high quality and in line with UNDP rules and procedures.
  • Leads engagement, networking and mobilization of experts of the international development community, government partners, UN Agencies, and prominent think tanks.
  • Determines programmatic areas of cooperation, based on strategic goals of UNDP, country needs and donor priorities in order to support mobilization of resources to support the achievement of programme outcomes.
  • Leads development of strategies for Government cost-sharing in the Environment area.
  • Clear donor reports and ensure that conditions of partnership agreements are met by projects under the unit.

Leads innovation and ensures identification of development and climate financing solutions achieving the following results:

  • Actively champions, promotes and facilitates innovation and innovative approaches to the delivery of results.
  • Leverages innovative approaches, resources, and collaborative efforts to enhance programme and project impact.
  • Leads close unit cooperation with the SDG Impact and Acceleration Unit in exploring, experimenting and solution mapping the frontier’s challenges identified for climate change adaptation and mitigation and climate financing solutions and energy transition.
  • Leads the design of the climate finance strategy, as well as a comprehensive landscape and key stakeholder analysis to determine implementation activities existing in climate financing, and the key stakeholders involved.
  • Leads and facilitates sector mapping to inform financing priorities and strategies for nature, climate and energy programming. Ensures the development of green project pipeline generation for development/climate financing.
  • Facilitates assessment of barriers and opportunities to enable private sector participation in nature, climate and energy investment and analyzes potential incentives for financial institutions to increase financing of green projects.
  • Quality assures all required capacity and risk assessments, including private sector due diligence.

Leads provision of top-quality advisory services and facilitates knowledge building and management achieving the following results:

  • Translates evaluation findings, real-time monitoring data, and applied learning to learn to formulate adaptations in UNDP’s programme / project and policy advisory work.
  • Coordination and support development institutions working towards addressing national development priorities in collaboration with the Government and other strategic partners.
  • Ensures capacity building of national counterparts for effective management and compliance with funding partner’s requirements including those of vertical funds.
  • Maintains effective network with development partners and Government at the national level and sub-national level and where necessary links up with the corporate Global Policy Network of UNDP and other international actors.
  • Leads the implementation of awareness building and advocacy around UN/UNDP events and observances related to environmental conventions on climate change (UNFCCC), Biodiversity (CBD) Desertification (UNCCD) and chemical conventions.
  • Sound and proactive contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice.
  • Writes and communicates on best practices and lessons learned linked to programme and policy goals.
  • Facilitates knowledge building and management especially between the programme and projects and organization of trainings for the operations/ projects staff on relevant programme issues.

Ensures the integration of women empowerment and gender equality into programming and budgeting/resource allocation and supports the Gender Team’s efforts to uphold the CO’s Gender Equality Seal aspirations and requirements achieving the following results:

  • Ensures that women empowerment and gender mainstreaming is integrated and applied in all programmes/projects from the design to implementation, including planning and budgeting, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, as well as reporting in line with and using the corporate gender equality commitments, tools and strategies.
  • Ensures that the team applies gender analysis for environment programme planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring and evaluation to understand why and how issues affect women and men differently and unequally within a particular context and what options exist to address them.
  • Ensures that gender is mainstreamed in programme related documents such as: technical briefs, analytical reports, assessments, communication strategy, terms of references, call for proposals, requests for proposals etc.
  • Guides the programme portfolio projects are up to date in terms of gender mainstreaming where needed.
  • Participates and contributes to the CO and Inter-Agency (if applicable) gender focal teams actively making sure that the responsible activities under the respective plans are implemented successfully on an annual basis.
  • Ensures that the programmatic indicators targets are achieved in line with CO’s Gender Equality Seal requirements.

Supervisory/Managerial Responsibilities: The Programme Specialist will be responsible for supervision, performance management and development of the Programme Associate and relevant project-funded personnel.

 Core Competencies:
  • Achieve Results:  LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact
  • Think Innovatively:  LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems
  • Learn Continuously:  LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences
  • Adapt with Agility:  LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands
  • Act with Determination:  LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results 
  • Engage and Partner:  LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion:  LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity

People Management: UNDP People Management Competencies can be found on the dedicated site.

Cross-Functional & Technical Competencies:

Business Direction & Strategy – Strategic Thinking

  • Ability to develop effective strategies and prioritized plans in line with UNDP’s objectives, based on the systemic analysis of challenges, potential risks and opportunities, linking the vision to reality on the ground, and creating tangible solutions
  • Ability to leverage learning from a variety of sources to anticipate and respond to future trends; to demonstrate foresight in order to model what future developments and ways forward look like for UNDP.

Business Direction & Strategy – System Thinking

  • Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system.

Business Development – Knowledge Facilitation

  • Ability to encourage individuals and communities of contributors to participate and share, particularly externally.

Business Management – Result-based Management

  • Ability to manage programmes and projects with a focus on improved performance and demonstrable results.

Business Management – Partnerships Management

  • Ability to build and maintain partnerships with wide networks of stakeholders, Governments, civil society and private sector partners, experts, and others in line with UNDP strategy and policies.

Business Management – Risk Management

  • Ability to identify and organize action around mitigating and proactively managing risks.

Business Management – Portfolio Management

  • Ability to select, prioritize and control the organization as programmes and projects, in line with its strategic objectives and capacity.
  • Ability to balance the implementation of change initiatives and the maintenance of business-as-usual, while optimizing return on investment.
Required Skills and Experience
  • Master’s Degree in Development Financing, Environmental Economics, Natural Resources Management, Climate Change, International Development, Business Administration, Public Administration, Development Economics, Economics, International Relations, Political Sciences, Social Sciences, or related field.
  • A Bachelor’s degree in the above disciplines with additional 2 years of relevant experience will be given due consideration.
  • Minimum 5 years with Master’s degree or 7 years with Bachelor’s degree, of working experience at the national or international level in providing policy and/or management advisory services on nature, climate or energy.
  • At least 2 years of the above experience should be in providing oversight and advisory services to multiple complex development projects in the area of nature, climate change, energy, development/climate financing or disaster risk reduction.
  • Understanding of policy development processes is an advantage.
  • Demonstrated multi-stakeholder facilitation and coordination skills.
  • Proven people management and multi-cultural teams experience preferably in the technical area of climate change reporting and/or transparency is an advantage.
  • Working experience in a UN Agency and/or an international organization is an advantage.
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages, experience in handling web-based management systems.


  • Proficiency in English and National Language.


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