United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Senior Programme Manager (Programme Adviser, Indigenous Peoples and Local Community Engagement)

United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Job Description

Background Information - Job-specific UNDP’s Global Programme on Nature for Development brings together three different initiatives – the Equator Initiative, the New York Declaration on Forests Global Platform, and the National Biodiversity Initiative under one program in order to identify, foster, showcase and celebrate nature-based solutions that help achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at local, national, and international levels. The work of the Global Programme on Nature for Development contributes to UNDP's Strategic Plan 2018-2021 by charting sustainable development pathways through the conservation, restoration and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems; and by promoting inclusive and effective democratic governance in the area of natural resources. The Equator Initiative brings together the United Nations, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organizations to recognize and advance indigenous and local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. The Equator Initiative seeks to recognize the success of local and indigenous initiatives; create opportunities and platforms to share knowledge and good practice; inform policy to foster an enabling environment for local and indigenous community action; and develop the capacity of indigenous peoples and local communities to scale-up their impact. The Equator Initiative is built upon three equally important pillars: -          The Equator Prize is awarded biennially to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. As local and indigenous groups across the world chart a path towards sustainable development, the Equator Prize shines a spotlight on their efforts by honoring them on an international stage. -          Equator Dialogues are an ongoing series of community-driven meetings and exchanges, held in conjunction with related international forums. Equator Dialogues provide opportunities for people to share experiences, develop capacities and influence policy. -          Equator Knowledge is a research, documentation and learning program focused on local best practice in sustainable development. The Equator Initiative works with partners to identify, document, and analyze the success factors of local best practice, and to catalyze ongoing peer-to-peer learning, knowledge exchange and replication of best practice. The Global Platform for the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF), is a partnership of governments, multinational companies, civil society and indigenous peoples who strive to halve deforestation by 2020 and to end it by 2030. The NYDF outlines ten ambitious global targets related to protecting and restoring forests. The Global Platform for the New York Declaration on Forests seeks to fill an important gap in multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration necessary to achieve the goals of the NYDF. The NYDF Global Platform works to increase ambition, forge new partnerships and accelerate progress on the NYDF goals by responding to NYDF endorsers’ requests for a dedicated, multi-stakeholder platform to re-invigorate political endorsement of the NYDF, to facilitate coordination and communication, to share best practices, resources and lessons, and to support ongoing monitoring of progress. The National Biodiversity Initiative supports countries to manage their ecosystems and biodiversity in order to improve national planning and governance of biodiversity, ecosystems, and development, and to promote resilience for sustainable development. The National Biodiversity Initiative works in three project areas: National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) Support, National Reporting, and Capacity Building. The use of spatial data for spatial planning is a cross-cutting theme across these project areas. Knowledge Sharing is a main goal of the Equator Initiative, the National Biodiversity Initiative, and NYDF. The Equator Initiative has a large series of research papers, books, and other publications focusing on local approaches to poverty reduction and conservation, informed by community-based initiatives. 180 case studies in over 30 languages have documented the Equator Prize Winners’ innovative practices that deliver the win-win-win solutions that ensure social, economic, and environmental sustainability. The National Biodiversity Initiative works in partnership with UN Environment’s MapX to share knowledge on the role of spatial data in biodiversity planning, policymaking, and reporting through story maps. The NYDF Global Platform aims to use case studies about NYDF endorsers from a variety of stakeholder groups, including companies, governments, indigenous peoples and NGOs in order to share best practices and challenges in implementing the NYDF goals. Learning for Nature is a capacity-building offer provided by the Global Programme on Nature for Development, cutting across the three areas of work. This program connects biodiversity policymakers, change-makers, and on-the-ground subject matter experts to facilitate the delivery of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Access to the global multi-stakeholder networks mobilized by the NYDF, the Equator Initiative, and the National Biodiversity Initiative allows Learning for Nature to circulate knowledge while promoting best practices. Building on our learnings on the ground, we seek synergies, build linkages, and engage thousands of course participants on their journey towards sustainable development solutions for people, nature, and resilient communities. Learning for Nature invites its audiences to explore opportunities for building capacity to scale up efforts for nature-based sustainable development through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), webinars, self-paced e-learning modules, and private Training Courses. Functional Responsibilities The Global Programme for Nature for Development is seeking a Senior Programme Manager [Programme Adviser] to develop and implement a coherent and overarching strategy to support Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities’ solutions, rights and engagement across all of NfD’s current and future offerings, such as the Equator Initiative, NYDF Global Platform, NBI, and others. This role focuses on strategic guidance, advocacy, outreach, communications and network and relationship-building to ensure that IPLC solutions, traditional knowledge, rights and participation are coordinated and scaled as follows: Through the Equator Initiative:
  • spotlight and scale Equator Prize-winners' best practices and solutions;

  • Coordinate presence of representatives of indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLC) through organizing and programming Community Dialogues at relevant global events such as CBD COPs, World Conservation Congress etc., to provide a space for capacity building, peer-to-peer learning, and policy impact;

  • Maintain partnerships with Equator Initiative partners, relevant Civil Society Organizations, governments and diplomatic representations, and collaborators;

  • Support and where needed coordinate meetings and workshops to advance engagement of IPLCs with governments and investors;

  • Identify potential impact investable Equator Prize winners, bottlenecks and solutions to accelerate investments in community-based projects;

  • Support development of knowledge and communications materials and research to document best practice of indigenous peoples and local communities’ solutions;

  • Support proposal and report writing for various donors.

New York Declaration on Forests Global Platform: 
  • Coordinate engagement and communications with IPLC NYDF endorsers to highlight their good practices and promote their needs related to the fulfillment of the NYDF Goals

  • Produce an IPLC Pathway for the Achievement of the NYDF Goals informed and consulted with IPLC endorsers and destined for use by government and private sector endorsers

  • Convene meetings, consultations, and dialogues as needed to highlight and promote IPLC solutions; to link stakeholders for the achievement of IPLC priorities, and others

  • Promote the NYDF to IPLC and other audiences and increase IPLC endorsement, including across Equator Initiative Prize-winners

UNDP Climate Promise/Nationally Determined Contributions:
  • As part of the UNDP Climate Promise, and in response to IPLC needs, produce an IPLC Climate Solutions for the NDCs Pathway, Service Offer, and Country Briefs and Spatial Action Analysis framework in collaboration with IPLC stakeholders, the UNDP Climate Team, and other relevant colleagues and stakeholders

  • Work together with UNDP Country Offices, Regional Bureaux, and other relevant colleagues to implement the IPLC Pathway in line with the objectives of the Climate Promise

Spatial data:
  • Expand the offering of the UN Biodiversity Lab to include IPLC-relevant data sets in order to support the IPLC Climate Solutions for the NDCs and other relevant spatial work

  • Develop innovative solutions and approaches to achieve the overall strategic goals of NfD, including utilizing frontier technologies such as drones, cell phones etc.

  • Identify capacity building needs of IPLCs related to producing, vetting, or using spatial data

  • Ensure that spatial data sets are generated or vetted by IPLCs where it concerns their lands and territories.

Learning for Nature/Capacity Building:
  • Produce MOOCs and webinars on IPLC topics, both for IPLCs (for example, How IPLCs can engage in the NDC or NBSAP processes, etc.) and created by IPLCs to other stakeholders (ie, capacity building

  • Conceptualize and produce visual and audio communications to spotlight and promote IPLC climate and other solutions through video, podcasts, and written materials

  • Coordinate communications with IPLC constituencies outlined above in a coherent manner through social media, newsletters, email distribution lists, etc.

Policy Work
  • Follow deliberations and work of the Rio Conventions (UNFCCC, CBD, UNCCD) to inform and advance all work listed above

  • Develop policy responses as appropriate to engage with various other international fora

Monitoring and Progress Controls The consultant will report to the Manager of the Global Programme on Nature for Development.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

  • Master’s degree in international relations, sustainable development, environmental management/sciences, social/political science, business administration and management, and/or other relevant field is required.

Work Experience
  • A minimum of 7 years of working experience on at least one of the following topics at a conceptual and/or practical level is required: community-based natural Resource Management and local sustainable development; indigenous peoples rights; biodiversity/climate change/environmental protection;

  • Prior experience supporting international events, communications and/or local development is considered a strong asset;

  • Experience designing and executing large events such as award ceremonies an asset

  • Experience coordinating and facilitating capacity building workshops for local and indigenous communities required

  • Experience in engagement with environmental processes and mechanisms, including but not limited to the CBD, UNFCCC, Global Environment Facility, the Green Climate Fund, the Small Grants Programme, etc is highly desired;

  • Experience supporting management of UN or UNDP project would be an important asset

  • Experience in Project Development and/or proposal writing would be an important asset.

  • Fluency and excellent writing ability in English is required.

  • Fluency and excellent writing ability in French and/or Spanish is required.

  • Fluency and excellent writing ability in additional languages is considered a strong asset, in particular UN languages and Portuguese


Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.(for levels IICA-2, IICA-3, LICA Specialist- 10, LICA Specialist-11, NOC, NOD, P3, P4 and above)
Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: International Individual Contract Agreement Contract level: IICA-3 Contract duration: On-going For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: https://www.unops.org/english/Opportunities/job-opportunities/what-we-offer/Pages/Individual-Contractor-Agreements.aspx

Additional Considerations

  • 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.

  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.

  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types

  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.

  • 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.

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development. UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources. Working with us UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines. Diversity With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates. Work life harmonization UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. Sustainable Development Cluster (SDC) Based in New York, the Sustainable Development Cluster (SDC) supports diverse partners with their peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations. The SDC’s services include Grants Management, development and special initiatives support, and technology support to the UN and UN agencies. The SDC is part of the New York Service Cluster that supports the United Nations Secretariat, as well as a broadening community of other New York-based United Nations organizations, bilateral and multilateral partners in the delivery of UNOPS mandate in project management, infrastructure management, and Procurement Management.
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