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Note: This position is listed for reference purposes only. Applications for this position are no longer being accepted.

CLOSED: Consultant: international expert on climate change and development

Job description


The purpose of this assignment is assist the United Nations Development Progamme (UNDP) in strengthening its positioning and collaboration with the World Bank in promoting adaptation to climate change at the country level, especially in relation to the World Bank's newly-launched international climate change funds. The assignment will consist of
(a) reviewing, commenting on and suggesting edits to key UNDP and World Bank documents,
(b) visiting 5-6 key countries and working with UNDP, donor and government representatives on accessing climate change funds,
(c) helping prepare for global or regional consultations and joint missions to counties and
(d) working with UNDP?s Montreal Protocol Unit on the forthcoming replenishment of the Multilateral Trust Funds.


Climate change could negate decades of progress and undermine efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Recognizing the need to lower the risks that climate change poses to hard-won development gains made by developing countries, UNDP has been an active player on the climate-change scene since the early 1990s. Notably, UNDP, together with the World Bank and UN Environment Programme (UNEP), is one of the three founding members of the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

As the United Nations' global development network, UNDP's goal is to align human development and climate change responses with a particular focus on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable communities and countries. Win-win activities such as energy efficiency and decentralized renewable energy technologies can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote socio-economic progress. For example, a shift from fossil fuel based energy to renewable energy alternatives can produce development dividends in the form of reducing the energy bill of oil-importing countries, reducing gender inequalities, improving health, increasing energy security, providing increased access to energy for the rural poor, and reducing local environmental health impacts. Similarly, embedding adaptation concerns into development policies and practices across sectors can address vulnerability to current and future climate risks, thus shoring up socio-economic development gains.

Climate change mitigation and adaptation objectives are intimately linked at the country level. The on-going UNDP climate change portfolio supports both mitigation and adaptation policy responses. To paraphrase a recent UNF report, this integrated approach is grounded in the fact that mitigation is essential to avoid the unmanageable, while adaptation is no less essential to manage the unavoidable. For example, greater energy access through improved energy efficiency and decentralized renewable energy technologies enables communities to diversify sources of livelihood and income, and better adapt to adverse impacts of climate change. Reduced emissions through sustainable land management practices increase the resilience of ecosystems to climate change, in turn improving the resilience and adaptive capacities of vulnerable communities.

Experience with Mitigation. In the past 15 years, UNDP has mobilized approximately $2 billion to fund energy efficiency and clean energy development projects in over 100 countries, principally through the GEF and associated co-financing. In line with UNDP's climate change goal, UNDP projects have focused on promoting greenhouse gas reduction activities that do not slow down but rather accelerate socio-economic progress.

Projects have evolved from supporting technology demonstration projects, to establishing an enabling environment for direct investment towards environmentally-friendly and climate-friendly technologies and practices. As an illustration, in the case of wind power, where UNDP may have supported pilot wind farms in the past, it now focuses on the policy change and institutional development needed to promote greater private sector investment in wind energy (such as smart wind tariffs, power purchase agreements, and capitalization of pilot financial instruments).

Through its work on sustainable land management and biodiversity conservation, UNDP has directly reduced CO2 emissions from land use change, specifically from land degradation and deforestation, over an area of more than 1 million km2. More importantly, it has gained significant experience in helping countries develop the systemic and institutional frameworks and capacities to manage land use and land use change, including decentralized and participatory governance, enhanced property rights, land use planning, and transforming market systems to deliver financial payments to small farmers and other landowners maintaining on-farm ecosystem goods and services, including carbon stocks.

UNDP's Montreal Protocol Programme has, over the last 15 years, eliminated over 60,000 tonnes of ozone depleting substances that are also potent greenhouse gases. By 2010, the Montreal Protocol as a whole will have prevented the equivalent of between 9.7 and 12.5 gigatonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. The acceleration of the phase-out of the last group of substances (HCFCs) that are both ozone depleting as well as global warming gases was approved in September 2007, and will enable the Montreal Protocol Programme to continue to play an important role in climate change mitigation.

Recognizing the role that carbon finance could play to attract and drive direct investment towards lower carbon technologies in developing countries, a major focus of UNDP's mitigation efforts is on increasing the ability of countries to access carbon markets, in particular the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI), in a manner that allows them to capitalize on the double dividend of greenhouse gas mitigation along with socio-economic progress.

To date, UNDP has implemented CDM and JI capacity development activities in over 20 countries. It has also recently established the MDG Carbon Facility to assist developing countries in leveraging carbon finance for clean energy development and sustainable land use practices. Building on UNDP/GEF market development activities and UNDP capacity development efforts for CDM and JI, the MDG Carbon Facility provides dedicated project management services to individual project investors in emerging carbon markets. The core objectives of the Facility are:
(i) up-scaling carbon finance in countries that are presently under-represented; and
(ii) promoting carbon projects that contribute both to climate change risk management and to the MDGs.

Experience with Adaptation

Responding to demand, UNDP has been increasingly active in identifying and supporting innovative adaptation projects across a range of sectors and countries. As one of the three GEF Implementing Agencies, UNDP has been providing assistance to over 100 countries in preparing national climate change vulnerability assessments and national communications to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Based on their National Adaptation Plans of Action, UNDP expects to be in a position to help over 30 least developed countries access resources from the UNFCCC Least Developed Countries Fund, managed by GEF, to implement priority adaptation initiatives over the next two years.

The key focus has been on building capacities of developing countries, at all levels, to embed and integrate resilience building and adaptive capacity into domestic policies, and investment decision-making processes and practices. The overall objective is to promote adoption of ?no regrets? short- and long-term coping strategies to reduce adverse impacts on vulnerable communities and countries. UNDP has been developing analytical resources (such as the Adaptation Policy Framework, country climate risks profiles, portfolio screening methodologies) to support planning for adaptation measures in range of developing countries.

UNDP has also built-up experience in working with poor communities to increase their resilience to weather-related shocks, particularly through the work on drought risk reduction, led jointly by the Drylands Development Centre and the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR). BCPR's work, under its Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Program, aims to support national counterparts with developing both a disaster risk perspective and the human, financial, technical and legislative capacity, civil society preparedness, and coordination systems required to effectively manage and reduce risk. Its growing network of Disaster Risk Reduction Specialists provides an excellent foundation for broadening the scope of climate risk reduction efforts.

Projected impacts on transboundary water resources due to climate change and climate variability include hydrologic changes, reduction in the quality and availability of water supplies, and the potential for increased competition for water resources in transboundary basins, among others. Through its $500 million portfolio in water governance and the management of international waters, UNDP has also developed the capacity of water-stressed countries and countries sharing large water bodies to identify, design, and implement remedial measures to enable all stakeholders to cope with increasing water scarcity in a transparent and equitable manner.

Existing Partnerships

UNDP has been pursuing mitigation and adaptation activities in close partnership with the World Bank, Regional Development Banks, other UN agencies, and a range of other civil society partners. One of the unheralded achievements of the GEF, as a network organization, has been to provide a common platform to the World Bank, UNDP and UNEP to harmonize their strategic approaches for global environment management. The UNDP GEF portfolio co-implemented with either the World Bank or UNEP amounts to about $500 million.

In complement to this cooperation as GEF Implementing Agencies, a crucial step forward in Delivering as One UN at the country level has been the MOU between UNDP and UNEP on climate change, signed by the UNDP Administrator and the UNEP Executive Director on 15 November 2006. Also notable is the Nairobi Framework that brings together a number of institutions, including UNDP, UNEP, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the UNFCCC, in developing the capacity of low income countries to access the CDM.

Another important partnership is the UNDP-Spanish MDG Achievement Fund that was launched in 2007 to promote a coordinated response of the UN system to key MDG challenges, including adaptation to climate change. Close to $94 million has already been allocated under this Fund to inter-agency initiatives to strengthen the adaptation capacity of developing countries as part of the first batch of approved projects.

A number of complementary partnerships are currently under discussion. Notably, UNDP, the Food and Agricultural Organization of UN, and UNEP are reviewing options to pilot Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) at the country level, in close partnership with the World Bank.
Although important in their own right, these partnerships will need to be strengthened and expanded to enable developing countries to meet the climate change challenge. The impacts of climate change and of a lower-GHG emission economy fall across a variety of sectors, such as energy, agriculture, health, water resources and infrastructure. Effective solutions to tackle climate change will require integrated national policy responses. Partnerships across a wide range of national, bilateral and multilateral development agencies will be required to mainstream climate change into all development decision-making processes.

Scope of work

Based on the above, UNDP's Environment and Energy Group (EEG) within the Bureau for Development Policy is currently seeking the services of an International Expert on Climate Change and Development to further strengthen its positioning and collaboration with the World Bank and other development partners in promoting adaptation to climate change at the country level, especially in relation to the World Bank's newly-launched international climate change funds. The specific tasks to be undertaken include the following:

1. Review in detail the different versions of the World Bank papers related to the establishment of the new international climate change funds (e.g. strategic framework paper, proposal for a clean technology fund, proposal for a strategic climate fund, etc.) as well as relevant reports from the UNFCCC, inter-agency and other bodies. Prepare briefing notes for the EEG Director as requested.

2. Review the draft June 2008 UNDP strategy paper ?Climate Change at UNDP: Scaling Up to Meet the Challenge?, make recommendations on how it can be strengthened, and prepare a 2-page Executive Summary of the report. Work with the UNDP Communications Office on finalization of the document.

3. Advise the EEG Director on the multidimensional aspects of the climate change issue and the positioning of UNDP as a key partner in helping countries access the new international climate change funds being channeled through the World Bank and other bodies. Review and comment on documents and reports from various sources and prepare briefing notes as requested.

4. Visit 5-6 selected countries (from a group currently comprising Brazil, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, South Africa, Thailand and Zambia) on scoping missions, discuss with the respective UN Resident Coordinators and UNDP Country Directors the climate change implications on development processes, brief them on the new international climate change funds being channeled through the World Bank and other bodies, and help them assist the respective governments make informed investment decisions concerning these new funds and ways to align them with ongoing national level development priorities including sustainability and poverty reduction. Each country visit would last one week.

5. Prepare brief reports on the results of each mission for the EEG Director, specifying what follow-up activities would be required in the respective country.

6. Explore the possibility of convening regional or global consultations bringing together interested developing country and donor representatives as well as international experts for brainstorming sessions on alternative approaches to fully utilize the new climate change financing regime.

7. Following the scoping missions, draft proposals for possible joint missions (World Bank, UN bodies, international and national experts) to 5-6 countries to help governments assess alternative investment options available to them to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while promoting national goals of sustainable development and poverty reduction under the World Bank Strategic Climate Fund and Clean Technology Fund, taking into account both World Bank and UN system development frameworks in their analysis (e.g., UN Development Assistance Framework). The senior-level international experts would also advise on processes required for subsequent processing of proposals by the World Bank.

8. As senior expert, advise the Chief of the Montreal Protocol Unit of EEG on policy issues including issues related to the forthcoming MP replenishment.


The expert will work under the direction of the EEG Director at UNDP headquarters in New York City and will undertake missions to the five (or more) countries as requested. Within the contract budget and duration, the EEG Director can, based on evolving needs, either reduce one country mission and redeploy those resources to additional work days at HQ or to add a mission to a sixth country and decrease the work days at HQ accordingly. Mission costs will be paid at standard UNDP rates for travel and per diem. A more detailed work plan will be developed by the expert in consultation with the EEG Director following the start of the assignment.


During the contract period, the International Expert on Climate Chang and Development will produce the following deliverables:

1. Briefing notes on World Bank papers on the new international climate change funds.

2. Recommendations on strengthening, a 2-page executive summary, and a final version of UNDP?s strategy on ?Climate Change at UNDP: Scaling Up to Meet the Challenge.?

3. Comments, advise and briefing notes on positioning UNDP as a key partner in helping countries access the new climate change funds being channeled through the World Bank

4. Detailed back to office reports on visit to 5-6 selected countries, specifying what follow-up activities are required in each country.

5. Concept note on the possibility of convening regional or global consultations on the new climate change financing regime.

6. Draft proposals for possible joint donor missions to 5-6 countries to help governments assess alternative investment options available to them to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while promoting sustainable development and poverty reduction.

7. Advise the Chief of the Montreal Protocol Unit of EEG on policy issues including issues related to the forthcoming MP replenishment.

Corporate Competencies:

Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN?s values and ethical standards
Advocates and promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UN
Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
Treats all people fairly without favoritism
Functional Competencies:

Coordination Effectiveness

Ability to lead the design and implementation of climate change activities, strengthening of strategic partnerships for UNDP implementation.
Ability to build and sustain effective partnerships with UN Agencies and main constituents, advocate effectively, communicate sensitively across different constituencies.

Development and Operational Effectiveness

Ability to lead formulation of strategies and their implementation
Ability to negotiate with donors and internal units; ability to identify and analyse trends, opportunities and threats to fund-raising
Excellent drafting and presentation skills
Ability to plan and organize work programme
Ability to work with minimum supervision
Ability to apply RM and partnerships building theory to the specific country context
Strong IT skills

The accomplish the above tasks, the International Expert on Climate Change and Development will need to posses the following qualifications:

Master's Degree in Economics, International Development, Public Administration or a relevant technical field (for example, Chemistry)
A minimum of 20 years of relevant work experience in the fields of environment and development, especially related to climate change.
A minimum of 10 years work experience within UNDP or another development organization, with in-depth knowledge of UNDP?s environment programmes, personnel and financing structures.
In-depth knowledge of the workings of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol.
In-depth knowledge of the emerging World Bank climate change funds and a general knowledge of World Bank operations.
Familiarity with UNDP operations and programmes at the country level.
Proven ability to consult, advise and build consensus among senior managers in relevant development organizations in the area of environment and development.
Fluency in written and spoken English; proficiency in Spanish or French desirable.
Proficiency in the use of computers and office software packages (word processing, e-mail, presentations, spreadsheets, etc).

Contract type


Additional information



  • Themes:Capacity Development, Climate Change
  • Countries/Regions:United States of America

  • Short URL:http://preventionweb.net/go/3107

Note: This position is listed for reference purposes only. Applications for this position are no longer being accepted.

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