Appointment against this position 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.
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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. This post is located in UNEP's Executive Office (EO), at the Nairobi duty station.
Under the overall guidance of the Executive Director and the Deputy Executive Director, the incumbent will perform the following:
1) Advise the Executive Director and Senior Management:
• On scientific aspects of UNEP's strategic priorities and programme of work as set out in UNEP's Medium Term Strategy which encompass:
i) Climate Change;
ii) Disasters and conflicts;
iii) Ecosystem management;
iv) Environmental governance;
v) Harmful substances and harzardous waste;
vi) Resource efficiency - sustainable consumption and production;
• Incorporate relevant science in UNEP's work across the six priority areas and ensure coherence through well defined inter-linkages;
• Strengthen UNEP's credibility and visibility in the scientific arena;
• Ensure use of sound science and technology in UNEP initiatives;
• Ensure appropriate communication and collaboration links among UNEP, internationally coordinated research programmes, and global observing systems of key environmental variables;
• Manage evolution of the international research agenda, by identifying gaps in environmental knowledge, data and current research from a UNEP perspective;
• Manage relevant emerging issues;
• Advise effective methods for ensuring that policy relevant findings are disseminated to various stakeholders;
• Ensure mainstreaming science and technology elements in the implementation of the Bali Strategic Plan on Technology Support and Capacity Building,
• Influence the design and implementation of research programmes;
• Ensure engagement of UNEP with networks of scientists and scientific institutions and with existing scientific panels;
• Ensure further technical in-house capacity that UNEP may need to make a measurable impact on the environment.
2) Contribute to the implementation of UNEP’s mandate and programme of work delivery through the following roles and responsibilities:
• Promote science that can integrate the environmental, social and economic pillars of sustainable development;
• Prepare regular briefing notes for the Executive Director and UNEP senior management on developments in science and technology;
• Act as the interface between the Executive Director and scientific advisory committees and groups linked to UNEP.
• Act as the scientific spokesperson for the Executive Director and represent the UNEP at high level scientific and technical meetings and intergovernmental/international fora;
• Provide guidance to UNEP staff and research fellows who engage in production and dissemination of scientific and technical information products;
• Engage in dialogue with the international science community;
•Ensure the scientific credibility, legitimacy, relevance and integrity of UNEP's work;
• Provide scientific guidance to the biennial programme of work development process with Thematic Coordinators of sub-programmes and other entities that review the scientific and technical soundness and consistency of the programme as a whole;
• Advocate effective utilization within UNEP of scientific knowledge, based on the best-available research and data, in addressing global issues on the environment and sustainable development.
• Perform other related duties as required.
• Professionalism: Expert knowledge of a broad range of environmental issues, demonstrated capabilities as evident from published scientific papers and experience from scientific programming, scientific assessments, and provision of scientific advice, as well as work experience in the policy domain. Familiarity with issues of relevance to both developing and developed countries and at different scales from global to local. Clear understanding of the science that can integrate the environmental, social and economic pillars of sustainable development. 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.
• Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to other, 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 keeping people informed.
• Teamwork: Works collaborative with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; shares credit for
team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
• Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: Empowers others to translate vision into results; Is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; Establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; Anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; Drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; Shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; Demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.
• Judgment/Decision-making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision, and; makes tough decisions when necessary.
Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in natural or social science discipline relevant to addressing the current and future environmental challenges 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.
A minimum of fifteen (15) years of progressively responsible experience in substantive areas related to scientific research, environmental assessment, environmental monitoring, environmental and social policy research, scientific programme management or related scientific areas, is required. Proven track record in scientific leadership, including a substantial record of publications in leading scientific journals and of providing advisory services to governmental, global intergovernmental and scientific or industry fora is required.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language would be an advantage.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
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, including but not limited to, respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to, whether they have committed or are alleged to have committed criminal offences or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
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.
Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the At-a-Glance on "The Application Process" and the Instructional Manual for the Applicants, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.
The screening and 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, including but not limited to, their education, work experience, and language skills, according to the instructions provided on inspira. Applicants will be disqualified from consideration if they do not demonstrate in their application that they meet the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations. Applicants are solely responsible for providing complete and accurate information at the time of application: 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 a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.
Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at midnight (New York time) on the deadline date.
THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.