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Environment and energy practice leader

United Nations Development Programme - Egypt (UNDP Egypt)


The successful applicant for this position will be offered a Fixed Term Appointment (FTA).

UNDP’s Strategic Plan 2008-2011 and the 2008 regionalization paper articulate the corporate requirement to bring timely and effective substantive and technical services to country offices through strengthened practice architecture at the global, regional and country level.

The UNDP practice architecture serves as a framework for better organizing UNDP to provide consistent policy advisory services, more relevant and substantive policy knowledge, and a better linkage between policy, programming and capacity development. The value of the practice architecture lies in its comprehensive structure to solidify UNDP and its staff into a global team that ensures coherence, consistency, alignment and quality assurance in the way UNDP delivers services both within UNDP and to development partners and programme countries.

The Bureau for Development Policy (BDP) is responsible for articulating UNDP’s development policy, using evidence gathered through country applications, regional experiences and global interactions. BDP has a key role to play in helping country offices to accelerate human development by supporting them in the design and implementation of programmes and projects that effectively contribute to national policies and results. Driven by demand, and working through the Regional Bureaus and Regional Service Centres, BDP provides the tools, analysis and capacities that country offices need to make a real difference in UNDP’s practice areas.

BDP’s support to UNDP’s Strategic Plan 2008-2011 is focused in 4 practices (Poverty Reduction, Governance, Environment and Energy, HIV/AIDS) and 2 thematic areas (Capacity Development and Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment). These practices/thematic areas in turn are supported both at the global and regional levels by policy advisors with expertise in areas relevant to UNDP’s key results as laid out in the Strategic Plan.

BDP supports country offices through the 6 Regional Service Centres (RSCs) in Bangkok, Bratislava, Cairo, Dakar, Johannesburg and Panama City. The practice management structure at the RSC level is composed of a dedicated Practice Leader for each practice/thematic area, a Knowledge Management Team Leader, and a number of technical policy and programme advisors and specialists. The Practice Leader coordinates the regional community of practice with the global practice, regardless of funding source, to promote consistency and coherence within the practice.

Practice/Thematic Approach

The Environment and Energy Group (EEG) focuses its work in support of the Environment and Sustainable Development results area of the Strategic Plan. Within this, 4 key areas of work are identified: environmental mainstreaming; environmental finance; climate change adaptation; and local access to environment and energy services. Substantive expertise is delivered to country offices through specialized technical teams located in the Regional Service Centres. Each team is composed of technical experts in substantive thematic areas such as climate change, energy, chemicals, water, land and biodiversity. Teams in the Regional Service Centres are supported by a small leadership and management team in headquarters. This team supports practice management and coordination, policy development and advocacy, programme development and quality assurance, and research and knowledge management at the global level.

EEG provides an integrated package of services consisting of policy, programme and implementation support, including providing assistance in combining and sequencing different sources of funds to enable country offices to deliver project solutions to partner countries. Sources of funds for this work include the Biennial Support Budget (BSB), Global Cooperation Framework (GCF), Environment and Energy Thematic Trust Fund (TTF), GEF Trust Fund, Least Developed Country Fund (GCF), Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), Adaptation Fund, and Multilateral Fund of the Montreal Protocol (MLF). Sources of funds also include bilateral donors, foundations, the private sector, and increasingly complex environmental finance mechanisms such as premiums associated with the market price of regulatory and voluntary carbon market instruments. Currently EEG is supporting country-office led programmes valued at nearly $1 billion per year.

Regional Context

UNDP’s vision for the environmental work in the Arab States is ensuring the environmental sustainability within the context of the unique characteristics and challenges facing the Arab States. In particular, recognizing the vulnerability of the Arab States region to the threat of climate change – in terms of freshwater stress, sea-level rise and food security – and tailoring interventions to the country typologies in the region, EEG’s priorities focus on strengthening the resilience of critical systems and catalyzing access to environmental financing. This includes:

In the area of climate risk management, raising the profile of adaptation to climate change as a necessary development strategy, especially in the areas of water resource management and land degradation, while continuing efforts to encourage a better understanding and need to mitigate greenhouses gases, as well as to develop strategies and programmes promoting conversion to renewable and cleaner energy sources, particularly solar and wind.

In the area of environmental finance, strengthening UNDP’s support to initiatives related to carbon finance including (a) combining GEF-funded projects in the area of climate change mitigation with projects funded under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and (b) enhancing regional coordination and capacity building for CDM financing, including through South-South cooperation.

In the areas of integrated resource management and market transformations, building “strategic regional frameworks” as platforms for combining and sequencing environmental financing.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Practice Leader’s role is to strengthen the global practice architecture in the region, with an emphasis on practice co-ordination, strengthening the capacity of country offices, and helping connect country offices to regional and global experiences. The incumbent will help ensure the quality and relevance of programmes and projects in the area of environment and energy in the Arab States region, working to ensure consistency across global, regional and national levels. To that end, the Practice Leader’s functions will be fully integrated into the structure, planning and delivery of the Regional Service Centre. Because of these regional and global obligations, the incumbent will be accountable for the delivery and quality of results to both the Deputy Regional Director (DRD) at the RSC in Cairo and the EEG Practice Director in New York.

The main function of the Environment and Energy Practice Leader in the Arab States region is to:

- support the Environment and Energy Practice in the region, enhancing UNDP’s credibility in delivering a highly visible programme in the region which in turn is linked to UNDP’s overall delivery of the Strategic Plan 2008-2011;
- help coordinate the work of global and regional programmes in the politically complex environment of the region, including the work of the Global Environment Facility and Drylands Development Centre;
- facilitate both substantively and operationally the work of specialized policy advisors, technical advisors, and project staff working in the region;
- monitor the large volume of financial resources from multiple sources being invested in the region in the area of environment and energy;
- oversee the environmental pillar of the regional programme to ensure synergy with related programmes in the region.

This integrated approach translates into joint work planning and joint performance assessment. The Career Review Group will take place in the RSC with the participation of the Practice Directors, who can ensure consistency between Practice Leaders in the different regions and provide advice on learning and career development in the practice.

The incumbent will be responsible for the following functions:

- Practice Coordination

• Provide substantive coordination among and between environment and energy staff working in the region and other personnel engaged in related activities in the RSC, including the regional programme;
• Coordinate advocacy for environment and energy issues in the region including the promotion of UNDP’s global policies, norms and standards and the sharing of the global experiences in this field;
• Collaborate with the Practice Director and Practice Manager in headquarters to ensure that the RSC programme is up to date on evolving policies;
• Support the further development of the environment and energy practice in the region;
• Provide substantive reporting on the practice area in the region, enhancing UNDP’s credibility in delivering a highly visible programme which in turn is linked to UNDP’s overall delivery of the Strategic Plan 2008-2011;
• Compile practice workplans in the region, including for the Regional Programme;
• Ensure liaison with country offices to support the inclusion of environment and enegy issues at the planning stages of country offices (and regional programmes);
• Support the Global Tracking system for the practice;
• Help coordinate the work of global and regional programmes in the politically complex environment of the region, including the work of the Global Environment Facility and Drylands Development Centre
• Promote the development of a community of practice (COP) in the region and catalyze and connect global, regional and national experiences including collaboration across the region and across practices;
• Coordinate and capitalize on the approaches and tools in other practices.

- Policy Development and Advocacy

• Support the development of corporate policies and guidance in the area of environment and energy in consultation with the Practice Director in BDP New York, drawing especially on lessons learned from the Arab States region;
• Provide substantive inputs to international forums to help shape global and regional development strategies, policies, norms and standards;
• Provide substantive inputs to UNDP corporate discussions and inter-agency coordination mechanisms in the area of environment and energy, drawing especially on lessons learned from the Arab States region;
• Represent UNDP (and UN partner organizations) in various forums on international development to promote corporate messages in the field of environment and energy;
• Mobilize external partnerships in support of UN/UNDP initiatives.

- Policy Advisory/Programme Support-Delivery

• Provide policy advisory services to country offices and, in consultation with them, to governments and other partners in the region in a specialized technical area related to environment and energy;
• Provide policy advisory services to the Bureaux’s regional programme;
• Contribute to the design and formulation of national and regional programmes, drawing on lessons from related programmes and initiatives in the region and from global experiences;
• Provide effective support and backstopping for, and timely feedback and reporting on, the implementation of programmes in support of the environmental objectives;
• Strengthen the internal capacity of UNDP Country Offices on the implementation of corporate development frameworks in the field of environment and sustainable development;
• Facilitate access to, and the effective use of, financial resources that have been mobilized for national and regional projects in the area of environment and sustainable development.

- Programme Development and Quality Assurance

• Coordinate the development of partnerships in the Arab State region in the field of environment and sustainable development;
• Lead the development of resource mobilization strategies, in liaison with EEG and RBAS, especially related to innovative financing mechanisms on climate change, land degradation, etc.
• Co-ordinate the delivery of demand-driven services to country offices and regional programmes, ensuring a high degree of professionalism in that support, e.g., timelines, responsiveness, quality in deliverables, etc;
• Monitor partnership opportunities and donor intelligence and inform RBAS of new developments, e.g., changing donor priorities, new donor pledges, donor funding modalities, etc.;
• Effectively position UNDP’s environmental capacities within the UN system to foster consistent approaches within the region by monitoring the activities of non-UNDP players;
• Provide guidance and leadership for to engage civil society organizations in regional and country programmes, promote civic engagement and establish strategic partnerships;
• Engage national and regional partners on environmental policies and programmes in collaboration with UNDP Country Offices and the UN Country Teams;
• Coordinate partnership building with regional and local institutions and consultancies;
• Maintain and strengthen partnerships with key multilateral institutions, including regional development banks, and key regional institutions;
• Support the development of funding proposals, especially focussed on regional programmes and projects and including multiple project partners;
• Promote quality standards and assurance in the implementation of national and regional programmes in the field of environment and energy.

- Knowledge Management (KM)

• In co-ordination with the Practice Director and appropriate HQ technical advisors, assist in generating and codifying region-wide lessons learnt and best practices to shape UNDP’s strategies in the region and globally;
• Support regional events that includes components on knowledge dissemination and sharing and support the corporate KM agenda;
• Support the development of knowledge systems, support the utilization of KM strategies and tools and link KM to business processes;
• Develop and/or expand an expert roster for the region in the field of environmental management and sustainability;
• Promote UN-wide knowledge management strategies;
• Promote cross-practice approaches and cross-regional collaboration that feeds back to the global level.

The Practice Leader’s role will impact the strengthening of the global practice architecture of UNDP, the quality and relevance of programme and project services in the area of environment and energy, and the results of UNDP’s programmes in the region. In turn this will impact UNDP’s capacity to deliver on its Strategic Plan 2008-2011.



- Demonstrates integrity and fairness, by modeling the UN/UNDP’s values and ethical standards;
- Promotes the vision, mission and strategic goals of UNDP;
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.


- Strong ability to apply various practice/thematic area related development theories to the specific context, including translating practice principles into effective policy and programme interventions in the field;
- Strong substantive knowledge of practice area and ability to link knowledge to UN/UNDP global policies, treaties, processes and frameworks;
- Capacity to interact with senior officials and credibly influence senior decision makers in UNDP programme countries and other international development organizations;
- Strong analytical, negotiation and communication skills, including ability to produce high quality practical advisory reports and knowledge products, represent the organization and present global policies, norms and tools;
- Professional and/or academic experience in one or more of the areas of practice/thematic area.


- Demonstrates high level technical skills and expertise in a particular substantive thematic area;
- Demonstrates ongoing up-to-date familiarity with global processes and practices in a particular substantive technical area;
- Demonstrates deep familiarity with the programme and project development and implementation process in a particular substantive area.


- Demonstrated ability to think strategically and to provide credible leadership;
- Innovative approaches/experience on global development issues;
- Demonstrated intellectual leadership and ability to integrate knowledge with broader strategic overview and corporate vision;
- Demonstrated flexibility in leadership by performing and/or overseeing the analysis/resolution of complex issues;
- Strong managerial/leadership experience and decision-making skills with proven track record of mature judgments;
- Ability to conceptualize and convey strategic vision from the spectrum of development experience;
- Knowledge and expertise/recognized expert in practice area;
- Proven ability to lead a practice area and drive for results;
- Demonstrated ability to be accountable for practice’s global policies.

Managing Relationships

- Demonstrated well developed people management and organizational management skills;
- Strong ability to manage teams; creating an enabling environment, mentoring and developing staff;
- Excellent negotiating and networking skills with strong partnerships in academia, technical organizations and as a recognized expert in the practice area;
- Strong resource mobilization and partnering skills and ability to accept accountability for management of large volume of financial resources.

Managing Complexity

- Ability to address global development issues;
- Substantive knowledge and understanding of development cooperation with the ability to support the practice architecture of UNDP and inter-disciplinary issues;
- Demonstrated substantive leadership and ability to integrate knowledge with broader strategic, policy and operational objectives;
- A sound global network of institutional and individual contacts.

Knowledge Management and Learning

- Ability to strongly promote and build knowledge products;
- Promotes knowledge management in UNDP and a learning environment in the office through leadership and personal example;
- Seeks and applies knowledge, information and best practices from within and outside of UNDP;
- Provides constructive coaching and feedback.


- Mature judgment and initiative;
- Proven ability to provide strategic direction in practice area;
- Independent judgment and discretion in advising on handling major policy issues and challenges, uses diplomacy and tact to achieve results.

Required Skills and Experience


- An advanced university degree in an environment, energy and development related field.


- 10 years of overall relevant professional experience as well as a proven professional record in the practice area. Work experience from a developing country context is highly desirable.
- A track record of extensive national and international working experience with increasing managerial responsibilities in the development arena and UNDP’s practice areas and the ability to link to global policy development for UNDP.
- Experience in leading/managing knowledge product development and dissemination.

Language Requirements

- Fluency (both written and verbal) in English and Arabic. Fluency also in French strongly preferred.

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  • Additional location info Cairo
  • Closing Date 29 Nov 2011

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