Job Opening

Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: NAIROBI
Posting Period: 16 October 2020 - 29 November 2020
Job Opening Number: 20-Programme Management-UNEP-141488-R-Nairobi (R)
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 United Nations systems designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level. Its mandate is to set the global environmental agenda, promote the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serve as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. Africa Office represents UNEP in Africa and coordinates the implementation of its regular programme of work in the region, among other activities. The Office ensures that there is effective and efficient delivery of timely interventions in response to regional, sub-regional and national needs and that there is better coherence and coordination in delivery of environmental capacity-building and technical support at all levels in response to country needs and priorities. The work of UNEP in Africa is spread over seven key thematic areas: Climate Change; Resource Efficiency; Resilience to Disasters and Conflicts; Environmental Governance; Chemicals, Waste and Air Quality; Healthy and Productive Ecosystems; and, Environment Under Review.

The Chemicals, Waste and Air Quality Sub-Programme, under which this position falls, assists countries and regions in managing, within a life-cycle approach, chemical substances and waste that have potential to cause adverse impact on the environment and human health and prevent and mitigate air pollution.

This post is located in the Africa Office at the Nairobi duty station.

Under the direct supervision of Regional Director, UNEP Africa Office and within delegated authority, the incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:


•Serves as a senior policy officer, advising UNEP, and particularly the Regional Director and the Subprogramme Coordinator for Chemicals, Waste and Air Quality, on overall policy direction and country needs in the Africa region that require UNEP’s attention.
•Serves as the primary UNEP focal point in the region on delivery of the Programme of Work in the area of chemicals, waste and air quality; Keeps abreast of, analyses and reports on latest developments related to the field of chemicals, waste and air quality; Liaises with UN country teams/ Resident Coordinators, other UN specialized agencies, local, regional and international non-governmental organizations, national research institutes, national government institutions, relevant MEAs /conventions, etc. on matters related to chemicals, waste and air quality;
•Prepares strategies on the environmental policy aspects of UNEP’s regional work related to the sound management of chemicals and waste and improving air quality in the context of the Medium-Term Strategy and Programme of Work; Organizes follow-up work in the region, including inter-agency technical review meetings to support policy development work and decision-making on important issues based on country needs; ensures the consideration and regional implementation of recommendations emanating from relevant reports, including global and regional chemicals, waste and air quality assessments.
•Assists regional institutions and national governments, including relevant stakeholders: Supports the UN Development System processes related to the chemicals, waste and air quality agenda at national and regional levels; Provides a forum for direct participation in problem identification and policy analysis; Coordinates technology transfer and promotes the adoption of best options suited to national conditions and encourages innovative local solutions; Supports resource mobilization to support UNEP’s activities in the Africa region.
Strategic Planning and Coordination
•Supports regional strategy development in the area of chemicals and pollution and helps translate the UNEP Medium-Term Strategy for the Africa region/ portfolio
•Engages with teams across the Africa Office and Divisions to develop concepts and full project documents/ programme elements that can deliver on the Expected Accomplishments and their indicators in the region
•Oversees the delivery of the Programme of Work in the Africa region, with emphasis on priority topics such as improved waste management and the prevention of plastic pollution, building on lessons learned
•Acts as the regional focal point for the chemicals, waste and air quality sub-programme including related MEAs: In collaboration with the chemicals and waste MEA Secretariats and relevant UNEP Divisions, provides substantial support to national focal points on the implementation of actions agreed by the Conferences of the Parties; In consultation with MEAs, supports implementation of national and regional activities such as MEA related workshops, training programmes and capacity building activities in preparation for various MEA events and processes; Supports the mainstreaming of chemicals and waste MEAs implementation into national development processes; Coordinates the regional input into UNEP’s programming related to capacity building, policy support, data, information and knowledge management, access to technology, and development of standards within the area of chemicals, waste and air quality; Provides the necessary support to internal and external processes of UNEP including its governing bodies; Prepares situation reports as necessary to national and global partners.
•Coordinates UNEP’s work in the region, in collaboration with the relevant UNEP Division(s) and the global Sub-programme Coordinator for Chemicals, Waste and Air Quality, to help countries build capacity in the area of chemicals and waste and to facilitate access to air quality measures and technologies; Work through partnerships with key actors to catalyse action towards the sound management of chemicals and waste, including through multi-stakeholder partnerships and strategic alliances to scale up the use of tools and guidelines, and to improve the mainstreaming of chemicals and waste management in health and other key sectors; Develops region and country-specific recommendations based on the analysis of pertinent information.
•Facilitates a coordinated approach in the region in the area of capacity building and technology transfer in the field of chemicals and waste and improving air quality; Assists countries to integrate chemicals, waste and air quality considerations in the development and implementation of national and regional development strategies and within the UN system for country assistance; Advises on resource mobilization as well as the proper use and spending of related donor contributions, channelled through UNEP as well as UN system-wide efforts.
•Ensures appropriate monitoring and reporting on the implementation of UNEP’s programme of work within the Africa region and helps making the programmatic results visible in the region and globally.
•Establishes and maintains contacts with counterparts, senior officers and technical staff in relevant MEA/Conventions Secretariats, other UN specialized agencies, local, regional and international non-governmental organizations, national research institutes, national government institutions, etc.; Ensures appropriate mechanisms to facilitate collaboration and exchange of information both in and outside of the UN system, as it relates to the field of chemicals, waste and air quality.
•Organizes and participates in relevant working groups, meetings, conferences, consultations with other agencies and partners on chemicals and waste-related issues.
•Establishes strong partnerships with UN sister agencies and MEA Secretariat focal points in the region, as well as external partners to leverage capacity building support and facilitate access to technology on chemicals and waste issues, particularly with and in support of the chemicals related MEAs.
•Facilitates coordination with institutions with primary implementation responsibility: Facilitates coordination of national governments, UN Agencies, business, civil society organisations; Furthers the collaboration between the chemicals and waste MEAs to strengthen their support to national and regional level actors; Develops and maintain a network for collaboration and partnerships within UNEP, UN organizations, governments and expert institutions, and promotes the mobilization of resources for programme activities; Develops a database of best practices in the area of chemicals, waste and air quality in the Africa region.
•Performs other duties as required.


PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to particular sector, functional area or other specialized fields. Ability to identify issues, 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 Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
COMMUNICATION: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
ACCOUNTABILITY: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honors 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.
CLIENT ORIENTATION: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in chemistry, chemical engineering, environment, development or a related field is required. A relevant first-level university degree in combination with two (2) additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience in environmental project/programme development in the fields of capacity building, policy development, technology transfer, and chemicals and waste management is required.
Experience in international organization, preferably within the UN system is desirable.
Experience in regional issues, chemicals and waste-related plans, programmes and activities as well as conventions is desirable.


Fluency in English (both oral and written) is required; knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

No Fee


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