United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Knowledge Management and Digital Partnership Specialist

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Job Description

Result of Service

1. Provide support on the Design, deployment and operation of knowledge management platform 2. Design, develop and expand the Digital Partnership 3. Develop and deliver monthly technical newsletter highlighting the identified best practices, case studies, lessons learned and other relevant contents 4. Organize at least six technical webinars on methodology and technology on plastic leakage assessment and monitoring in collaboration with technical partner

Work Location

Home Based

Expected duration

01 March 2021 - 31 March 2022

Duties and Responsibilities

Purpose: The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. UN Environment Asia and The Pacific Office helps to implement its global programmes in the regions by initiating, coordinating and catalyzing regional and sub-regional cooperation and action in response to environmental problems and emergencies.

An environmental threat that has attracted an unprecedented level of attention in recent years is marine litter, mainly due to plastic waste. About 80% of plastic waste entering the ocean comes from land sources. This plastic leakage is closely correlated with plastic production and consumption (especially plastic packaging) as well as waste management practices. Annual global plastic production from 1950 to 2015 increased from 2 million metric tonnes to 380 million metric tonnes, and about 60% of this increase occurred in Asia. Asia is also responsible for much of this plastic consumption, especially for the packaging, while waste management capacity is unable to cope. It is necessary to promote regional Coordination and collaboration to manage plastic wastes, including microplastics flowing to the ocean through the major rivers such as the Ganges River and the Mekong River.

Building on the project “Promotion of Countermeasures Against Marine Plastic Litter in Southeast Asia and India (CounterMEASURE)”, which focused on identification of sources and pathways of major plastic leakage in India and along the Mekong River, a new project phase, “Promotion of action against marine plastic litter in Asia and the Pacific (CounterMEASURE II), was announced in May 2020. CounterMEASURE II aims to generate, share and disseminate scientific knowledge on plastic pollution in the Ganges, Mekong and selected rivers in Sri Lanka and Myanmar, to inform policy and decision-making processes at local, national, regional and global level. The second phase will also look at the impact of plastic pollution on wildlife, particularly migratory species and support Policy Advocacy on these issues.

Initiatives have created a wealth of knowledge base and expertise throughout the region. However, the capabilities of regional organizations and institutes in disseminating and sharing their findings are limited. Information is not enriched through regional cooperation, and information and expertise bases largely remain scattered around the region and fail to provide the multiplier effect that could be achieved if it were nurtured with more support for regional knowledge exchange. Generating information, knowledge to inform and support policy-making processes as well as strengthening the science and practitioners’ community for knowledge sharing and co-learning will continue into CounterMEASURE II. New information generated, analyzed and reported will be monitored, assessed, and managed to provide a foundation and reference to all project teams, and the overall Project Management Team to ensure quality and credible information for reporting on the Project output.

In CounterMEASURE project, partners and stakeholders use several digital technologies to monitor and assess the plastic leakage, including drone, image recognition technology using Machine Learning (Deep Learning), natural language processing technologies, and earth observation. Given its complexity of the plastic leakage mechanism relying on multiple factors, it is important to band together to draw upon each other’s expertise to create innovative or complementary products and services. The project aims to scale the knowledge management operation by expanding the digital partnership with a wide range of stakeholders to promote open innovation, citizen science, and civic tech.

CounterMEASURE project will develop a knowledge and Data Management platform to support building an ecosystem of generating and sharing knowledge to inform, influence, and monitor the policy implementation to reduce plastic leakage into the river-basin. The platform will be organized by three components: 1) knowledge graph as a backend database to store knowledge and data as well as to provide a better search capability; 2) knowledge and data management frontend as an interface to provide users a search functions to obtain and visualize the data, maps, and other plastic related information, and 3) Wiki space to facilitate the knowledge sharing and collaboration to operate of expert network and working group to develop knowledge product.

Objective: The Knowledge Management and Digital Partnership Specialist will carry activities under the CounterMEASURE project’s Focal Area on Knowledge Management to promote the participation and dissemination of digital knowledge.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: An advanced university degree in environment science, information technology, engineering, social science, natural science, business, and equivalent work experience.

Experience: • A minimum of 5 years of professional work experience in the field of knowledge management, partnership engagement, platform development and operation, product/service design • Demonstrable experience in writing and editing knowledge and advocacy materials in the field of technology and/or plastic pollution issues. Please attach or provide links to at least 3 samples of previous work in your application, preferably relevant to this assignment • Demonstrable experience in facilitating consultations, workshops, and partner engagements is required • Demonstrable experience in design thinking, user experience (UX) design, user-centered design is desirable • Demonstratable experience in designing, developing and operation Digital Platform is desirable • Experience in citizen science and/or civic tech activities is desirable • Technical knowledge in the area of information technology and/or plastic pollution, waste management and marine litter issues is desirable • Experience in developing and/or operating wiki site and wiki software (Confluence or MediaWiki) is an asset • Experience in Agile project management is an asset • Experience in working with open source community is an asset • Working experience in a multicultural environment including United Nations would be an asset Language: Fluency in written and spoken English is required.

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