Job Opening

Posting Title: UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) – Operations Associate Consultant
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 21 October 2022 - 07 November 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-United Nations Environment Programme-193678-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

UNEP FI requires an Operations Associate to:

• Provide the UNEP FI Secretariat with support in managing the Annual General Meeting, the Global Steering Committee and the Leadership Council.
• Support to strengthen internal systems for resource mobilization, project delivery and operational efficiency and effectiveness. Support monitoring of UNEP FI work programme implementation and performance monitoring, evaluation and reporting.
• Support donor-funded project tracking, donor reporting and partnership management.
• Establish and implement strategy and processes to track donor proposals and project funding pipelines.
• Support stakeholder engagement processes for supporting institution outreach, onboarding, risk management, results monitoring and continuous improvement.
• Support internal knowledge management in UNEP FI.

Work Location

Geneva, Switzerland

Expected duration

12 months

Duties and Responsibilities

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.

The overall objective of the UNEP’s Economy Division is to encourage decision makers in government, local authorities, and industry to develop and adopt policies, strategies and practices and technologies that promote sustainable patterns of consumption and production, make efficient use of natural resources, ensure safe management of chemicals, and contribute to making trade and environment policies mutually supportive. It promotes the development, use and transfer of policies, technologies, economic instruments, managerial practices, and other tools that assist in environmentally sound decision making and the building of corresponding activities.

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is the strategic partnership between the United Nations and over 450 banks, insurers, and investors. For 30 years UNEP FI has been shaping and driving the international sustainable finance agenda, setting global standards, and growing a global network of leading financial institutions. Through its work-streams and regional activities, peer learning, methodology development, training and research, UNEP FI carries out its mission to help the financial industry align with and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals and with that take on the crucial role it must play in achieving a sustainable future.

The Governance of UNEP FI reflects the nature of the Initiative as a partnership between UNEP and a global network of financial institutions spanning the banking and insurance industries. In addition to industry boards, two governance bodies overseeing the initiative: the Annual General Meeting and the Global Steering Committee. The Annual General Meeting is an assembly of all Members with the ultimate decision- making authority for UNEP FI. The Global Steering Committee oversees the strategic orientation of the Initiative and is composed of representatives from across the memberships’ core constituencies. In addition, UNEP FI is advised by the Leadership Council, a high-level advisory body Chaired by Inger Andersen, UNEP Executive Director, and composed of CEOs of banks and insurers currently represented on one of the elected UNEP FI governance bodies. The Council meets annually to provide vision and strategic direction to UNEP FI in orienting its role in shaping, mainstreaming and deepening sustainability integration across the industry.

UNEP FI is looking for a consultant to support the UNEP FI Secretariat in managing these governance bodies.

In addition, UNEP FI has a strategic objective to implement global programmes through regional delivery, to develop the technical capabilities of finance professionals and support implementation of industry frameworks including the Principles for Responsible Banking and Principles for Sustainable Insurance. UNEP FI also focuses on system-level change through policy & regulatory engagement. The work programme is delivered through industry and thematic workstreams and regional coordination.

Our six thematic workstreams focus on areas including policy & regulation, climate change, nature, the Sustainable Development Goals, pollution and circular economy and social & human rights. Our programme is delivered through resources including donor funds (foundations, governments etc). Donor-funded projects are aligned with strategic priorities and annual work plans.

UNEP FI requires an operations associate to strengthen processes to support work programme implementation, monitoring, evaluations and reporting and fundraising coordination. The associate will also support change management to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of internal coordination across workstreams, knowledge management, resource mobilization and project delivery.

The operations associate will be responsible for UNEP FI operational and governance processes to support the initiative’s work programme delivery.

Overall objective:

• Facilitate effective oversight by governance bodies. The GSC, the AGM and the Leadership Council are advising on UNEP FI’s strategy and work programme and the Secretariat is delivering operations effectively and efficiently.
• Coordinate governance bodies in accordance with governance documents, decision-making processes and internal policies and procedures, ensuring continuous improvement of UNEP FI’s engagement of governance bodies and good governance policies, procedures and practices.
• Effective operations to support work programme resource mobilization, implementation, monitoring and reporting
• Effective and timely planning systems and processes to support project management and donor reporting.
• Strengthen processes for stakeholder engagement.
• Strategy for multi-year fundraising and process to monitor donor funding proposals and pipeline.
• Internal knowledge sharing supported across UNEP FI’s Secretariat.

Output expectations:

• Five Global Steering Committee meetings are organized in 2023
• The 2023 Annual General Meeting is organized in Q4 2023.
• The 2023 Global Steering Committee election is undertaken in 2023.
• The Leadership Council meeting is organized in Q4 2023.
• Meeting documents are disseminated and outcomes/decisions/ follow up actions monitored.
• UNEP FI’s project implementation for 2023 is reported in UNEP’s Programme Information and Management System (PIMS) and to the Global Steering Committee in a timely manner.
• Strategy for multi-year funding for UNEP FI and explore cross-cutting funding opportunities.
• Project support and monitoring system in place effective and timely donor reporting
• Donor proposal and funding pipeline monitoring process established.
• Stakeholder/partnership engagement processes strengthened.
• Internal knowledge management process established.
• Support project planning processes, evaluations, monitoring and reporting and implementation of related recommendations within the UN system.

Specific tasks and responsibilities:


Governance Coordination (50%)
• Coordinate UNEP FI governance processes to ensure effective implementation of related policies across governance bodies (Leadership Council, Global Steering Committee (GSC), Industry Boards and Annual General Meeting (AGM)
• Provide reporting to GSC and coordinate GSC, and Leadership Council meetings, including establishing agendas, meetings schedules, coordinating logistics, background papers, presentation slides, minutes, monitoring and reporting on action items.
• Coordinate GSC election voting and onboarding process and dissemination of GSC-related materials and Leadership Council membership.
• Coordinate succession planning of governance body members and performance reviews (attendance, decision-making).
• Coordinate effective delivery of AGMs (and any Extraordinary General Meetings) and related preparatory and outcome documents.
• Support effective monitoring of governance decisions to ensure consistency and reporting on implementation.
• Liaise with the members of governance bodies as appropriate to support meetings.
• Maintain forward-looking meeting calendar.
• Monitor and advise on UNEP FI’s adherence to its governance policies.
• Support implementation of UNEP FI’s due diligence /risk policy across Governance bodies.

Support monitoring of UNEP FI work programme implementation and performance monitoring and reporting:

• Develop monitoring and reporting in coordination with colleagues, while minimizing administrative burdens, to actively contribute to the narrative contractual, financial and other specific reporting.
• Support bi-annual reporting and coordinate project evaluations and implementation of recommendations.
• Coordinate monitoring and reporting against UNEP FI’s project document indicators and related UNEP processes including the Programme Information and Management System (PIMS).
• Support UNEP FI’s bi-annual work programme implementation reporting.
• Support quality control of UNEP FI outputs.
• Support implementation of recommendations from UN evaluations.
• Support coordination of evaluation, project document, monitoring and reporting processes within the UN system.
• Support coordination on UNEP FI’s Project Document and related processes, evaluations, monitoring and reporting within the UN system.
• Support implementation of UNEP FI’s due diligence /risk policy.

Develop process and support monitoring of projects including project tracking, quality controls, monitoring and evaluation and reporting:

• Co-ordinate with UNEP FI’s Secretariat to establish and maintain organizational processes and tools that support operations to implement UNEP FI’s strategy and work programme effectively and efficiently across teams. Support project managers to enhance processes to ensure alignment of activities, consistency of quality controls and adherence to publications processes.
• Support systems for effective planning & organizing across industry, thematic and regional work plans and monitoring, evaluation and reporting on implementation progress to management team and governance bodies.
• Help establish professionalism and consistency in project management systems and processes for service delivery and client engagement.
• Establish and maintain organizational systems and processes to support operational best practice in areas such as project management, quality controls, risk management, results/performance monitoring, stakeholder engagement, knowledge management and continuous improvement within existing systems while minimizing administrative burdens.

Develop fundraising strategy and establish and maintain processes to track donor proposals and project funding pipelines:

• Establish pipeline to track donor/partner proposals and monitor adherence to UNEP FI’s Implementation Framework.
• Establishing and implementing a resource mobilisation strategy and processes to facilitate multi-year fundraising and donor-funded project delivery aligned with UNEP FI’s strategic priorities and internal processes.
• Establish and maintain system to identify and monitor fundraising opportunities.
• Establish pipeline to track donor/partner proposals and monitor adherence to UNEP FI’s Implementation Framework.
• Support engagement with donors/partners as appropriate.
• Support proposal development, project planning, and donor reporting to optimise efficiency and effective delivery across teams.
• Establish and maintain project tracking system for donor-funded projects, including fundraising proposals, resource allocations, partnerships and reporting to donors and governance bodies.

Support stakeholder engagement processes including relationship management, risk management, results monitoring and continuous improvement:
• Support effective engagement and monitoring of supporting institutions/partners to ensure alignment with strategic priorities.
• Establish and maintain processes to manage relationships with supporting institutions, including onboarding, risk management, goal setting, results monitoring.

Support internal knowledge management in UNEP FI:
• Liaise with admin and communications colleagues to ensure consistency and alignment with UN rules, procedures etc in project planning and delivery, adherence to internal deadlines etc.
• Support knowledge sharing within the Secretariat, e.g. through weekly team meetings, inductions and learning and development to build on achievements and lessons learned.
• Support team building across UNEP FI.
• Support management team, admin and communications colleagues to ensure operational consistency and alignment with UN rules, procedures etc in project planning and delivery, adherence to internal deadlines, alignment on UNEP FI strategic priorities etc.
• Provide coaching and mentoring to more junior members of the team, including sharing technical knowledge, learning and expertise where appropriate.

The consultant shall be under the overall supervision of the Head of UNEP FI and report directly to the Programme Management Officer – Signatory Relations, UNEP FI. The consultant will work closely with colleagues in the governance, thematic and industry teams.

Qualifications/special skills

Education: Master’s degree in business, governance, finance, international relations, environmental strategy, administration, project management or related field (or equivalent experience). A First degree could be taken in lieu of advanced degree provided the selected candidate has 7 years of relevant experience.

Professional Experience:

Five years of professional experience in operations management/project management /service delivery and/or governance/stakeholder engagement. Experience in improving organizational delivery across functions and/or project monitoring and evaluation processes. Strong organizational skills and knowledge of best practice in project management.

Strong relationship management and oral communication skills and excellent written communication skills for report, minute, and agenda writing, document editing and general correspondence.

Experience of governance best practice within a third or public sector setting. Experience of arranging and preparing senior level meetings, including preparing agendas, notes of decisions and papers, ensuring high-quality documentation is disseminated on time and in accordance with policy and procedures. Proven ability to manage several processes simultaneously, with ability to plan, manage and prioritise deliverables to achieve agreed outcomes. Reliable - delivers consistently high quality within agreed timeframes.

Proven track record of ability to liaise with professionals at all levels (including Board Members and peers), evidence of integrity and discretion when handling confidential and sensitive information. Experience of drafting and interpreting governance documents and designing mechanisms for the implementation of governance best practice. Experience of developing and supporting learning and development and appraisal/performance review systems, at Board level. Understanding of risk management.

Proven track record of project management and fundraising/donor coordination. Experience of developing project plans and applying mechanisms for monitoring, evaluation and reporting. Experience of knowledge management/internal communications. Excellent people skills and ability to influence.

Special skills/knowledge: Knowledge of project management, change management and/or organizational effectiveness models or systems.


Language: English is the working language of UNEP FI. Knowledge of other official UN languages such as French is an asset.

No Fee


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