Job Opening

Posting Title: PROGRAMME MANAGEMENT OFFICER (Project Post), P3
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: NAIROBI
Posting Period: 10 September 2020 - 09 October 2020
Job Opening Number: 20-Programme Management-UNEP-139658-R-Nairobi (X)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

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. UNEP's Science Division is responsible for analyzing the state of the global environment, providing early warning information and assessing global and regional environmental trends to catalyze and promote international cooperation and action on the environment. This includes water quality, its monitoring focused on freshwater ecosystems, and the production of relevant assessments of water quality worldwide, but also other domains such as air quality and oceans monitoring.

UNEP's Global Environment Monitoring for Freshwater (GEMS/Water) Programme, established in 1978 to collect global water quality data for assessments of status and trends in global inland water quality, forms a key part of the UNEP's global mandate in the area of water. The GEMS/Water Programme aims at improving water quality monitoring in freshwater ecosystems. Data and information on water quality provided by participating countries contribute to developing a global overview of the condition of water bodies and statements on changes and trends at global, regional and local levels. The Programme maintains a water quality database GEMStat ( and provides capacity development on all aspects of water quality monitoring. GEMS/Water is also UNEP's operational mechanism for SDG indicator 6.3.2 reporting. In addition, UNEP's Science Division coordinates the work of the World Water Quality Alliance (WWQA), that provides Governments and stakeholders with evidence-based assessments, scenarios, solutions and services on water quality issues and analysis and advice on persistent and emerging water quality and related development issues. The WWQA was formally launched in September 2019, bringing together a wide range of expertise from UNWater members, international research institutes, space agencies, private sector and civil society to tackle the global water quality crisis.

This post is located in the Global Environment Monitoring Unit of the Science Division at the Nairobi duty station. Under the supervision of the Head, Global Environment Monitoring Unit, the incumbent will be responsible for the following:


(1) Coordinate the day-to-day project management, including financial management, of the UNEP Global Environmental Monitoring System (GEMS)/Water in its Global Environment Monitoring Unit (GEMU).

(2) Integrate the monitoring focus area of GEMS/Water with thematic activities such as the WWQA which addresses nexus interlinkages such as with health, ecosystems and food systems and the global water quality assessment and liaise with UNEP’s Inter-divisional Working Group on Water and UN-Water. Coordinate and mainstream the role of GEMS/Water in the implementation of the Integrated Monitoring Initiative for Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

(3) Assist the GEMS/Water partners and the Unit to implement the newly adopted GEMS/Water Strategy 2020-2024 and to identify and mobilize co-benefits to related work in the WWQA. Identify project possibilities and develop proposals for complementary donor support and contribute to the substantive discussions/reporting and briefings on the programmatic activities.

(4) Partnership with collaborating agencies and countries: Facilitate the development of and maintain partnership across UNEP Divisions, the UN-Water and collaborating agencies such as the the German Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG), Germany, hosting the GEMStat, and the University College Cork - National University of Ireland, Cork (UCC) hosting the GEMS/Water Capacity Development Centre. Work with countries/institutions, river basin organisations and the GEMS Regional collaboration partners and networks, National Focal Points and the UNEP World Environment Situation Room (WESR) team to enable and support open data access and information flow and assist in country reporting. Facilitate the transfer of recommendations drawn from the analysis of GEMS/Water data and information into policy making processes and work with countries on utilizing the water quality information in reporting on achievements in the relevant target/s under the SDGs. Prepare appropriate responses to day to day correspondence and requests specifically directed to the GEMS/Water Global Programme Coordination Unit.

(5) Capacity Development: Work with the University College Cork (UCC) and partners to ensure that tools, training modules and methodologies developed during the GEMS/Water implementation are made accessible to stakeholders in the target areas and globally; coordinate relevant training activities with partners and ensure their delivery.

(6) Supervise junior professionals and general staff to perform reporting and administrative duties appropriate to the implementation of GEMS activities (water, air, oceans, as relevant); drafting comments on technical reports prepared by other units or offices, as appropriate; prepare drafts in response to correspondence from the general public for technical information and advice.

(6) Perform other relevant duties as required and assigned


PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to the water sector. Technical/scientific and practical understanding of water quality monitoring and assessment including drivers of change. Ability to identify issues, identify key strategic and technical partners on global to national and sub-national scale across all levels of society. Ability to analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Ability to conduct data collection using various methods. Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis, including familiarity with and experience in the use of various research sources, including electronic sources on the internet, intranet and other databases. Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

TEAMWORK: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

PLANNING & ORGANIZING: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.

ACCOUNTABILITY: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.


Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in environmental or natural sciences, environmental management, hydrology, hydrochemistry or related area is required. A first level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of five (5) years of experience at the national and international levels in the field of environmental assessment, sustainable development or environment related programmes is required.
Three (3) years of experience, out of the five (5) years, in international project management is required.
Experience in working with partners in developing economies is desirable.
Experience in data assimilation, modeling and knowledge management is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates for this position may include a substantive assessment which will be followed by a competency-based interview.

Special Notice

Appointment against this post is for an initial period of one year and may be subject to extension. Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply on-line as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening. On-line applications will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided.

If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. If the problem persists, please seek technical assistance through the Inspira "Need Help?" link.

Individual contractors and consultants who have worked within the UN Secretariat in the last six months, irrespective of the administering entity, are ineligible to apply for professional and higher temporary or fixed-term positions and their applications will not be considered.

Internal Applicants – when completing the PHP, ensure ALL fields, ALL professional experience and contact information are completed and up to date. This information is the basis for the hiring manager to assess your eligibility and suitability for the position and to contact you.

Pursuant to section 7.11 of ST/AI/2012/2/ Rev.1, candidates recruited through the young professionals programme who have not served for a minimum of two years in the position of their initial assignment are not eligible to apply to this position.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

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