UNOPS Vacancy: GEF Small Grants Programme Global Manager - New York, United States of America

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Vacancy code: VA/2016/B5003/10164
Position title: GEF Small Grants Programme Global Manager
Level: ICS-13
Department/office: ECR, DGC, Small Grants
Duty station: New York, United States of America
Contract type: Fixed Term
Contract level: P6
Duration: 12 months
Application period: 01-Jun-2016 to 10-Jul-2016
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Background Information - UNOPS 
  • UNOPS supports the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.
  • Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices, always satisfying or surpassing our partners’ expectations.
  • With over 7,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, wherever they need it.
  • A flexible structure and global reach means that we can quickly respond to our partners' needs, while offering the benefits of economies of scale.
Background information- ECR
Based in Geneva, the Europe and Central Asia Regional Office (ECR) supports UNOPS offices throughout the region through: management, financial and programmatic oversight of global and country-specific portfolios, clusters and operations centres, including hosting services; fund and management advisory services; project implementation; procuring goods and services; and managing human resources.

ECR ensures that projects are executed to the highest standards, providing a shared knowledge base and ensuring that best practices and lessons learned are disseminated between business units and projects across the entire region.

ECR strategy is to: 
  • Strengthen UNOPS role in operationalizing the Sustainable Development Goals with particular emphasis on health, environment and economic development.
  • Position UNOPS in the Balkan sub-region, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
  • Strengthen the implementation of ECR global and regional programmes, with revitalized partnerships in infrastructure, procurement and project management.
  • ECR operates global portfolios from offices in Geneva, Brussels and New York, and country-specific programmes from its operations and project centres located in Eastern Europe and Central Asian countries. 
Background Information - Small Grants Cluster
Small Grants Cluster
UNOPS executes the UNDP-implemented Small Grants Programme though the Small Grants Cluster. Funded by the Global Environment Facility, the Small Grants Programme efficiently channels direct grants to non-governmental and community-based organizations to help them cope with climate change; conserve biodiversity; protect international waters; reduce the impact of Persistent Organic Pollutants; and prevent land degradation. Helping communities with their initiatives for sustainable livelihoods while generating global environmental benefits is the core inspiration of the Small Grants Programme.

Functional Responsibilities:
Launched in 1992, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) has been promoting grassroots actions to address global environmental concerns. SGP aims to deliver global environmental benefits in the GEF focal area of biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, protection of international waters, prevention of land degradation (primarily desertification and deforestation), and elimination of persistent organic pollutants through community-based approaches. SGP is a corporate programme of the GEF. It is implemented by UNDP and executed by UNOPS. As of today, SGP has funded over 20,000 community-based projects covering more than 120 countries. It has gained considerable experiences at the community level, including adapting to climate change while addressing issues of the GEF focal areas.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) is implemented by UNDP on behalf of the GEF Partnership. As the responsible Executing Agency, UNOPS provides services to UNDP for administrative, financial and legal aspects of grant-making and country operations.

Through the SGP modality, the GEF provides assistance to Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) in developing countries, and countries in transition, for efforts to address global environmental challenges in five focal areas: biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, international waters, land degradation, and elimination of chemicals.

At present, 126 countries participate in SGP having ratified the conventions on biological diversity and climate change. Since 1992, a cumulatively 20,252 projects have been funded by SGP around the world. From 2011-2014, during its 5th operational phase, SGP secured over $250 million in GEF funding to address global environmental challenges through community-based approach in the GEF focal areas. It is expected that significant additional GEF funding will be mobilized for community-based work in support of global environmental objectives through the SGP in the coming years.

This position is global in nature and therefore can be based at either HQ or one of UNDP’s Regional Hubs.

Functions / Key Results Expected:
Under the overall guidance of the UNDP-GEF Head and Principal Technical Advisor for Low Emissions Climate Resilient Development (LECRDS), the Global Manager has lead responsibility for programme management by the CPMT, including the following:

Strategizing future programme directions and development
  • Liaising with the GEF Secretariat and GEF Council on strategic policy development, implementation and funding replenishments
  • Liaison with the GEF Secretariat and annual reporting to the GEF Council
  • Present reports at GEF Council and represent the programme at GEF Council Meetings, GEF NGO Consultations and the GEF Assembly
Consult with GEF Implementing Agencies, UNDP, multilateral and other donor partners, for upstream mainstreaming and synergies, and in response to guidance from the project Steering Committee.

Supervision, coordination, support of programme establishment, operations, implementation and monitoring in participating countries 
  • Periodically update global SGP manual, including global strategic framework, operational guidelines, M&E framework, resources mobilization and communications strategies, as well as, issuance of additional documentation as necessary.
  • Provide guidance on new focus areas of GEF and selected issue areas, including participatory methodologies, indigenous peoples, gender, and capacity-building.
  • Promote coordination and "mainstreaming" with UNDP core activities and with large and medium-size GEF projects in support of the SDGs and UNDP Strategic Plan.
  • Review and provide feedback on country reporting.
  • Provide day to day responses to high-level ad hoc requests from NCs and COs for guidance and advice, particularly in problem solving and troubleshooting, as needed in coordination with the Deputy Global Manager.
  • Organize and participate in biennial global and regional NC workshops.
  • Liaise with UNOPS on administrative and financial matters, including review of expenditures and size of new grant allocations, and NC performance evaluation.
  • Upon guidance from the project Steering Committee, select new participating countries, in consultation with Regional Bureaux and UNDP-GEF staff.
  • Guide and supervise country start up activity, including establishment of country structures, staffing, and review and clearance of proposed country programme strategies.
Resources mobilization: 
  • Ensure GEF Council benchmark of co-financing is met, including identifying and actively pursuing opportunities for global level co-financing, including with UNDP itself, other UN system, multilateral and bilateral donor governments, foundations, international NGOs, and other appropriate sources.
  • Communications and Outreach, including analysis and dissemination of lessons learned
  • Promote identification, analysis, documentation and dissemination of programme experience and learning at project, country programme, regional and global levels
  • Network with other organizations engaged in activities in areas of interest and negotiate Memorandums of Understanding for collaborative activities, as appropriate
  • Organize SGP participation in relevant international fora, including conferences and other meetings such as Conference of the Parties (COPs) and NGO activities related to environmental agreements, and workshops on issues of direct interest
  • Maintain an SGP global website and ensure linkages to other relevant sites, as appropriate.
Provide overall management of the CPMT team comprised of more than 7 professionals and 2 support staff to achieve the SGP overall objectives
  • Oversee preparation and monitoring of individual staff work plans, ad hoc work assignments, and mission travel 
  • Recruit new staff as required.
  • Provide leadership to ensure a management system is in place and evolving over time as needed to supervise and support the work of over 200 SGP country-based staff in more than 121 countries. 
Impact of Results:
The results of the work of the Global Manager impact directly on the global standing and reputation of the SGP as an effective and trustworthy partner on all issues associated with GEF focal areas, poverty reduction, and community empowerment. These range from being a trusted partner in the global policy dialogue, through being a provider of cutting edge advice, training, tools and materials to developing countries, to efficiently delivering high quality, high impact programmes and projects on the ground. The knowledge, skills and decisions of the Global Manager will determine whether or not SGP is effective in assisting communities in developing countries to achieve global environmental benefits and sustainable human development.


Core competencies:  
  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards.
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNOPS.
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Treats all people fairly without favouritism. 
Functional competencies: 
  • Ability to lead and manage a diverse group of staff to achieve results in a responsible and collaborative manner through clear direction, supervision and modeling behavior.
  • Ability to communicate ideas and concept in writing and orally, clearly and convincingly.
  • Ability to go beyond established procedures and models and to introduce new approaches and strategic innovations.
  • Ability to establish and maintain broad strategic networks and partnerships with UN agencies and other international partners to promote partnership and build alliances to advance organizational interests and competencies 
Education/Experience/Language requirements: 
  • Master’s degree or higher in environment/natural resource/development management, or other closely related field, preferably including at least one of the GEF focus areas (biodiversity, climate change/energy, protection of international waters, desertification).
  • At least 15 years’ experience in environment/natural resource/development management-related field, including experience or close familiarity with the work of UNDP or other UN system development agencies at the developing country level.
  • At least 4 years of experience in senior level programme management, including substantive, personnel, financial and administrative management.
  • At least 4 years of experience working in developing countries. Experience in more than one geographical region highly desirable.
  • At least 4 years of experience working closely with developing country NGOs and CBOs, including in activities dealing directly with community-level and familiarity with community-based approaches.
  • Solid familiarity with and experience in applying participatory methodologies.
  • Excellent communication skills (written, verbal, interpersonal and intercultural).
  • Demonstrated resources mobilization capacity.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English. Working knowledge of Spanish and/or French highly desirable. 
Contract type, level and duration
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment
Contract level: P-6
Contract duration: 12 months

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  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.
  • It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.
  • Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.