SDP – Partnership Specialist, Climate Investment Platform

SDP – Partnership Specialist, Climate Investment Platform

Type of offer:

Specialist Development Programme (SDP):
The Specialist Development Programme (SDP) seeks to strengthen UNDP’s capacity to support countries to make the 2030 sustainable development agenda a reality with a particular focus on crisis countries and the humanitarian development nexus. The Programme is implemented within the framework of UNDP’s Junior Professional Officer Programme.

The candidate will receive a UNDP Letter of Appointment under the UN Staff Rules and Regulations and will be entitled to a compensation package including among others salary based on the UN salary scale for the professional category, post-adjustment, travel to/from the duty station, installation costs comprising relocation shipment/settling-in grant, and an annual learning allowance. Furthermore, the candidate will be enrolled in medical insurance scheme and in the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund. As an international staff member, the candidate will be eligible to apply for rental subsidy, spouse and child allowance, child education grant as applicable.

Job purpose and organizational context:
UNDP seeks to appoint a dynamic and ambitious Partnership Specialist at its Headquarters in New York to champion the Climate Investment Platform (CIP; see description below), and to coordinate closely with current and future CIP partners. In order to support the development of the CIP, the government of Denmark has made seed funding available for an initial two year ‘start-up phase’ of the CIP (the ‘CIP Start-Up Phase Project’). The Partnership Specialist will be part of the Project Management Unit (PMU) housed within UNDP to execute on the CIP Start-up phase and support the establishment and scaling of the CIP’s global activities. The Partnership Specialist will work with other UNDP staff in the Nature, Climate and Energy Team, UNDP Regional Bureaux, Regional Service Centres, and Country Offices, and report to the CIP Start-Up Phase Project Coordinator.

Nature, Climate and Energy at UNDP
UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy work carried out at HQ, Regional and Country Office levels, forms a contiguous spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan.

Within the GPN, the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP’s Strategic Plan.  BPPS’s staff provides technical advice to Country Offices, advocates for UNDP corporate messages, represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private dialogues, government and civil society dialogues, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas. BPPS works closely with UNDP’s Crisis Bureau (CB) to support emergency and crisis response.  BPPS ensures that issues of risk are fully integrated into UNDP’s development programmes. 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.

UNDP’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan emphasizes the critical links between environmental sustainability, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and broader efforts to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement. As part of the Global Policy Network in the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP’s Nature, Climate Change, and Energy (NCE) Team promotes and scales up integrated whole-of-governance approaches and nature-based solutions that reduce poverty and inequalities, strengthen livelihoods and inclusive growth, mitigate conflict, forced migration and displacement, and promote more resilient governance systems that advance linked peace and security agendas.

The NCE Team works with governments, civil society, and private sector partners to integrate natural capital, environment and climate concerns into national and sector planning and inclusive growth policies; support country obligations under Multilateral Environmental Agreements; and implement the UN’s largest portfolio of in-country programming on environment, climate change, and energy. This multi-billion dollar portfolio encompasses: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services including forests; Sustainable Land Management and Desertification including food and commodity systems; Water and Ocean Governance including SIDS; Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation; Renewable and Modern Energy; Extractive Industries; Chemicals and Waste Management; Environmental Governance and Green/Circular Economy and SCP approaches. This work advances crosscutting themes on innovative finance, digital transformation, capacity development, human rights, gender equality, health, technology, and South-South learning.

In addition to UNDP’s bilateral partnerships on natural capital, environment and climate, UNDP is an accredited multilateral implementing agency of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Multilateral Fund (MLF), the Adaptation Fund (AF) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) which  includes the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund (GEF Trust Fund); the Nagoya Protocol Implementation Fund (NPIF); the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF); and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF)). As part of UNDP’s partnership with these vertical funds, UNDP provides countries specialized integrated technical services for eligibility assessment, programme formulation, capacity development, policy advice, technical assistance, training and technology transfer, mobilization of co-financing, implementation oversight, results management and evaluation, performance-based payments and knowledge management services.

UNDP’s approach to energy aligns with the SDG 7 targets (renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy access), and is formulated around a Signature Solution on energy as set out in UNDP’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan. Clean, reliable, and affordable energy is a key driver of sustainable development. UNDP’s signature solution on energy has three main areas of focus: in low-income countries, on energy access (electrification, clean cooking), with a UNDP commitment to electrify 100 million individuals by 2030; in middle-income countries, helping achieve transformational change and accelerate a just energy transition, including a focus on smart cities (energy efficiency, e-mobility, rooftop PV, battery storage); and in crisis settings, providing sustainable energy solutions in situations of displacement, around energy as a means to build resilience.

The Climate Investment Platform (CIP)
Reinforced by the urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic recovery, the importance of delivering financial resources to assist developing countries in tackling climate change is paramount. As UN Secretary-General Guterres noted on April 28, 2020, there is “a profound opportunity” to steer the world on “a path that tackles climate change, protects the environment, reverses biodiversity loss and ensures the long-term health and security of humankind”.

Given the global call to raise ambition on climate action, the UN SG’s Climate Action Summit in September 2019 resulted in the announcement of a new initiative, the Climate Investment Platform (CIP), spearheaded by UNDP, SEforAll and IRENA, in coordination with the GCF. The four announcing partners have now advanced the CIP, with many additional institutions, initiatives and countries having since expressed interest in partnering.

The CIP’s problem statement recognizes that the climate finance ecosystem today is cluttered and fragmented. The ‘supply side’ in climate finance– development banks, funds, UN system actors and others – have put in place significant resources to help developing countries scale-up climate investment. However, developing countries’ governments and private sector – the ‘demand side’ – often struggle to navigate these options and access support. There can many similar ‘supply side’ initiatives addressing a particular issue, creating clutter and fragmentation. Each has its own criteria, requirements and process. The result is an inefficient, and often ineffective, climate finance ecosystem.

The CIP’s objective is to act as an inclusive partnership and a global public good that will provide integrated and streamlined support to developing countries and the private sector to accelerate climate investments, with the ultimate goal to contribute to the realization of ambitious NDCs.

The CIP is framed around four tracks, with each track bringing together a coalition of key partner institutions and initiatives to streamline the development of bankable projects by project proponents in developing countries and align the supply of climate finance to declutter the climate finance space: 

Track 1: Targets (helping countries to raise and specify their climate targets in NDCs)
Track 2: Policies and Regulations (providing support for well-designed, implemented and enforced policies and regulations to scale-up private investment)
Track 3: Financial De-risking (increasing access to risk-transfer instruments that ensure bankability of climate investment opportunities and crowd-in private capital)
Track 4: Market Place climate investment deal-making (connecting investors and project sponsors to achieve financial closure)
Each track acts as a building block, addressing a key step in the climate investment value-chain, and together the four tracks propose a comprehensive framework to deliver system-wide transformation across major economic sectors, including energy, infrastructure, cities, among others, with the start-up phase focusing on the energy transition.

The CIP Start-up Phase Project
In order to support the development of the CIP, the government of Denmark has made seed funding available for an initial two year ‘start-up phase’ of the CIP (the ‘CIP Start-Up Phase Project’). The start-up phase of the CIP will launch country-level activities; the establishment of the CIP network and brand; and the advancement of the CIP’s design in relation to its full-scale operation as an inclusive partnership. It is envisaged that this start-up phase will be oriented around learning-by-doing, real-time adjustments to the CIP model, and making informed recommendations on rapidly and effectively taking CIP to scale. The start-up phase will then be followed by the full scale-up of the CIP. 

The CIP Start-up phase project, which has three primary activities, organized into corresponding workstreams:

Activity 1: Identify and launch country-level activities to offer and deliver services along the four Tracks.
Activity 2: Establish CIP’s messaging and perform outreach activities with a view on broadening its support base and awareness.  
Activity 3: Advance the CIP’s design as an inclusive partnership, taking a light, nimble and adaptative management approach.
UNDP is creating a Project Management Unit (PMU) to execute on the CIP Start-up Phase Project during this two-year period.  Among the team members of the PMU, UNDP seeks to hire a Partnership Specialist to facilitate coordination amongst the CIP partners, to attract and onboard new partners to the CIP, and to develop and implement strategic, thematic offers under the CIP leveraging the assets and strengths of various partners to enhance the added value of the CIP to declutter the climate finance space.

Conduct outreach to key potential strategic partners, comprising of donor country governments, key development finance institutions, and existing climate finance initiatives.
UNDP is seeking to appoint a dynamic Partnership Specialist as part of the CIP Start-up Project team. The Partnership Specialist will work closely with the Communications Specialist, and will support the CIP Coordinator to engage with and consult with CIP announcing partners, as well as potential future CIP partners, stakeholders and interest groups. The engagement and consultations may take place at strategic meetings and high-level events, at the international, regional and country level, and will include development banks, the UN system, bilateral donors, inter-government bodies, research organisations and think tanks, and civil society. The Partnership Specialist will support dialogue with governments, including Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island States (SIDS). These partnership engagements and consultations will be country-driven, delivering concrete results in relation to the objectives and targets laid out in the CIP Start-up Phase Project Document. The Partnership Specialist is also expected to engage internally within UNDP, with the purpose of galvanizing synergies with initiatives, projects and programmes that relate to the CIP.

Location: New York, United States
Organization: UNDP
Deadline: October 18, 2020
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