Regional Technical Specialist for Climate Change Adaptation

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)
Languages Required: 
English and French


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The Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has corporate responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP’s Strategic Plan.  BPPS’ staff provides technical advice to Country Offices, advocates UNDP corporate messages, represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private dialogues, government and civil society dialogue initiatives, South-South and Triangular cooperation initiatives, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas.  BPPS works closely with UNDP’s Crisis Bureau to support emergency and crisis response.  BPPS assists UNDP and partners to achieve higher quality development results through an integrated approach that links results-based management and performance monitoring with more effective and new ways of working.  BPPS supports UNDP and partners to be more innovative, knowledge, and data driven including in its programme support efforts.
The Cluster on Natural Capital and Environment focuses on integrating UNDP’s economic, social and environmental work into a coherent sustainable development policy and programming framework. It seeks to provide an integrated package of services, as part of the Global Policy Network, covering all strands of sustainable development, including on integrated development planning and inclusive and sustainable growth, sustainable livelihoods and economic recovery in post crisis situations and natural capital and the environment. 
UNDP-GEF staff assist partner countries to develop and implement programmes and projects that combine and sequence resources from a wide range of global environment and climate funds, financial mechanisms, and instruments including, but not limited to: the GEF managed family of vertical funds such as the GEF Trust Fund, the Special Climate Change Fund and the Least Developed Countries Fund, the Adaptation Fund, the Green Climate Fund, as well as, a variety of multilateral, bilateral, national, sub-national and private sector sources.
Staff are organized into thematic teams of technical specialists led by Principal or Senior Technical Advisors (PTAs/STAs).  Each team leader supports, guides, and supervises a team of Region-based Technical Advisors (RTAs) and Specialists (RTSs).  RTAs and RTSs work in close collaboration with other technical specialists at both global and regional levels.  While RTAs and RTSs have global responsibilities in their area of specialized technical expertise, they are deployed from Regional Hubs, normally close to the countries to which they provide most support, and have a secondary line of reporting to the Regional Team Leaders on the countries they support.  
The strategic objective of the Climate Change Adaptation Team is to develop the capacity of national and sub-national Governments for adaptation planning and support countries in accessing, mobilizing, and implementing adaptation finance for resilient development. To achieve this, the team focuses its efforts into the following signature programmes:  

  • Supporting integration of climate risks into national/sub-national planning and budgeting:  Supports national and sub-national governments (with focus on Ministries of Finance and planning bodies) to develop and strengthen policies, institutions, capacities and knowledge for climate-risk informed medium- to long-term planning, and to make use of the full range of public and private financing mechanisms to support adaptation investments;
  • Advancing resilient Livelihoods, Food and Agricultural systems, Water Security, Coastal Zone management, and Ecosystems:  Advances climate resilient livelihoods across vulnerable sectors and populations promoting socio-economic development , especially for the poor, women, and indigenous peoples. Also, provides assistance to country-led efforts on gender-responsive, climate change risk management in the context of food security and resilient agriculture, water resources, coastal zone development, ecosystem restoration and management, public health, and climate change-related disaster risks;
  • Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems for Climate Resilient Development: Supports the development of climate information and Early Warning Systems (EWS) across a range of countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific in order to help them respond to both short-term/rapid onset climatic hazards (e.g. cyclones, floods and storms), as well as long-term/slow onset hazards (e.g. drought and long-term climate change).
  • Promoting private sector engagement in adaptation: Supports the engagement of private sector in the adaptation portfolio through understanding of barriers, risks, and opportunities to the private sector in adaptation. Works with the private sector experts and other RTS/RTAs to help design and deliver projects that advance unlocking of private sector investments to support adaptation on the ground.

The RTS for Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) works under the overall supervision of the UNDP-GEF PTA on Climate Change Adaptation.  The RTS will be part of the UNDP-GEF team located in UNDP’s Regional Hub in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and will work closely with the regional hub teams across poverty, governance, inclusive growth, disaster risk management, private sector, SDG financing, and other areas. The RTS will support country offices in the Africa region, in coordination with the Country Desk Officers, and is expected to travel frequently.  RTS may be periodically redeployed, in accordance with capability, consent, and due process, to a different regional hub as needed.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Regional Technical Specialist for Climate Change Adaptation is primarily responsible for providing high quality technical policy, programming, implementation support and oversight, and knowledge and capacity development services, to UNDP country offices in the region.  Secondary clients might include other UN agencies, governments and inter-governmental organizations, NGO’s, donors, and the like.  Specific results are expected in the areas of:

  • Innovation, Strategic Leadership, Policy Dialogue and Advocacy (10%)  
  • Portfolio Management (10%)
  • Resource Mobilization (35%) 
  • Development Impact (35%)
  • Learning, Knowledge Management and Self Development (10%)
  • Developing and carrying out a personal learning plan (5%).

Key result:  UNDP recognized as a learning and knowledge management organization.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Master’s degree or higher in economics, law, business administration, social sciences with a specialization in environment and development, or other closely related field of relevance to climate change adaptation.


  • Minimum of 7 years’ experience working with developing countries on climate change adaptation, climate finance (e.g. microfinance), and/or sustainable development;
  • Experience with project development, implementation and management (direct project management experience is preferable); 
  • Familiarity with GEF- and GCF-financed adaptation projects is an advantage;
  • Experience in the policy development processes in substantive technical area; 
  • Experience working with private sector/public-private partnerships especially on financing and operations for small, medium and multinational enterprises;
  • Experience in cross-sectoral program coordination and facilitation; 
  • Strong analytical, communication, and advocacy skills; 
  • Experience working in Africa and/or Asia region highly desirable;
  • Working experience in an international organization is an advantage as is knowledge of UNDP policies, procedures and practices.

Language Requirements

  • Excellent knowledge of the English language, with exceptional writing, presentation and communication skills;
  • Fluency in written and spoken French; 
  • Proficiency in other UN languages is an asset.