National Specialist – Climate and Environment
Description of assignment title: National Specialist – Climate and Environment
Assignment country: Nepal
Expected start date: 10/01/2023
Sustainable Development Goal: 13. Climate action
Volunteer category: National UN Volunteer Specialist
Host entity: UNICEF
Duration: 12 months (with possibility of extension)
Number of assignments: 1
Duty stations: Kathmandu
Mission and objectives
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
In all of its work, UNICEF takes a life-cycle based approach, recognizing the particular importance of early childhood development and adolescence. UNICEF programmes focus on the most disadvantaged children, including those living in fragile contexts, those with disabilities, those who are affected by rapid urbanization and those affected by environmental degradation.
UNICEF was created with a distinct purpose in mind: to work with others to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination place in a child’s path. We advocate for measures to give children the best start in life, because proper care at the youngest age forms the strongest foundation for a person’s future.
We promote girls’ education – ensuring that they complete primary education as a minimum – because it benefits all children, both girls and boys. Girls who are educated grow up to become better thinkers, better citizens, and better parents to their own children. We act so that all children are immunized against common childhood diseases, and are well nourished: no child should suffer or die from a preventable illness. We work to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among young people because it is right to keep them from harm and enable them to protect others. We help children and families affected by HIV/AIDS to live their lives with dignity.
We are UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone. And we never give up.
A livable planet for every child.
The climate crisis is a child rights crisis. Recent record heat waves, flooding and drought in many countries signal a challenging ‘new normal’. The impacts of climate change and environmental shocks on children are clear. Virtually every child on earth is already affected by climate change, environmental degradation, biodiversity loss and disasters. In South Asia, every child is affected by at least one or more climate and environmental hazard. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives and Pakistan are countries where children are at extremely high risk of the impacts of the climate crisis. This year alone we have seen flooding in India, Bangladesh and Nepal; heat waves and drought in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan; cholera outbreaks in Afghanistan and Pakistan; and cyclones in India and Bangladesh. Action is falling short, which means that the impacts upon children and young people will worsen in the coming decades. Children will bear the brunt of impacts, particularly those in communities that have contributed the least to global greenhouse gas emissions. Without immediate action and ambitious investment, there is no doubt that climate change will reverse the hard-earned gains in sustainable development goals for children and their communities seen in recent years.
UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA) is committed to achieve societal transformation necessary so that children can live in a sustainable, clean and safe environment to children. Guided by UNICEF’s core principles and to support every child, UNICEF ROSA aims to scale up support to countries to transition towards sustainable and climate resilient development for children. Such a transition is vital to UNICEF’s efforts in key sectors (WASH, health, education, child protection, nutrition,and social protection), and can play an important role in broader efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change in the region. In this context, UNICEF ROSA is responding through a variety of avenues, including by prioritizing programming and partnerships opportunities to scale up investment in climate action for children.
How can you make a difference?
The objective of this position is to work with UNICEF ROSA to respond to increasing country office demand for up-to-date information on climate and environmental issues affecting children, identifying opportunities that can support UNICEF SAR country offices to best leverage the most relevant programming, advocacy, fund mobilization and partnerships opportunities for children and young people.
Within the delegated authority and under the supervision of the Regional Adviser – Climate and Environment or his/her designated mandated representative(s), the UNV National Specialist – Climate and Environment will provide technical, analytical, knowledge management support to country offices in the South Asia Region (SAR) to better conceptualise programme proposals, mobilise funds, design and implement climate, environment, energy and DRR (CEED) programmes, assist with advocacy, communications assets and youth led engagements that help accelerate and scale up priority CEED activities in SAR. More specifically, key duties and tasks for this position may include the following activities, determined as priorities throughout the year.
- Research, analyses and keeping up to date track of recent CEED and socio-economic data, evidence, national, regional and international climate and environmental policies, processes and plans affecting children.
- Support the team in proposal development of multi-country programmes, climate and environment finance, cross sectoral coordination, etc.
- Coordinate and collaborate with COs and sections to identify opportunities, solutions and concrete actions to address climate change and environmental degradation.
- Stocktake and map ongoing and emerging climate and environment programmes and innovations in the region relevant to UNICEF.
- Support regional and country offices in implementing UNICEF’s Environment and Social safeguards Policy and Standards.
- Support the team on capacity development and trainings of COs and partners.
- Support knowledge products on climate, energy, environment, and disaster risk reduction, including toolkits, guidance, technical notes, policy memos, briefs, guides, investment cases and reports as required.
- Collaborate with internal and external working groups, networks and youth groups to support and strengthen CEED programmes in SAR countries.
- Develop communications briefs, coordinating events and meetings, including preparations for the Climate Change COP.
- Liaise with UNICEF ROSA staff and young CEED champions to advance youth empowerment efforts.
- Maintain regional partnerships and identify prospective partners. Coordinate with UNICEF CEED network at the global and regional levels.
Furthermore, UN Volunteers are encouraged to integrate the UN Volunteers programme mandate within their assignment and promote voluntary action through engagement with communities in the course of their work. As such, UN Volunteers should dedicate a part of their working time to some of the following suggested activities:
- Strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the concept of volunteerism by reading relevant UNV and external publications and take active part in UNV activities (for instance in events that mark International Volunteer Day);
- Be acquainted with and build on traditional and/or local forms of volunteerism in the host country;
- Provide annual and end of assignment self-reports on UN Volunteer actions, results and opportunities.
- Contribute articles/write-ups on field experiences and submit them for UNV publications/websites, newsletters, press releases, etc.;
- Assist with the UNV Buddy Programme for newly-arrived UN Volunteers;
- Promote or advise local groups in the use of online volunteering or encourage relevant local individuals and organizations to use the UNV Online Volunteering service whenever technically possible.
Age: 27 – 80
Nationality: Candidate must be a national or legal resident of the country of assignment.
5 years of experience in the national and/or international level in climate, environment, clean energy, climate finance in developing country context; professional experience in South Asia is an asset, as is experience working in the UN or other international development organization; Excellent oral and written skills in the English language with demonstrated ability for logical and analytical writing; Excellent interpersonal skills; culturally and socially sensitive; ability to work inclusively and collaboratively with a range of partners, including grassroots community members, religious and youth organizations, and authorities at different levels; familiarity with tools and approaches of communications for development; Solid overall computer literacy, including proficiency in various MS Office applications (Excel, Word, etc.) and email/internet; familiarity with database management; and office technology equipment; Self-motivated, ability to work with minimum supervision; ability to work with tight deadlines; Sound security awareness; Have affinity with or interest in volunteerism as a mechanism for durable development, and the UN System; Ability to work independently within deadlines and under pressure; Well organized and structured, good attention for detail; Strong drive for results, taking pride in delivering as per expectation in terms of quality and timeliness; Ability to work and adapt professionally and effectively in a challenging environment; ability to work effectively in a multicultural team of international and national personnel;
Area(s) of expertise
Energy and environment
English, Level: Fluent, Required
Required education level
Master degree or equivalent in a relevant area, such as climate, environment, energy, climate finance or engineering.
Competencies and values
Professionalism: demonstrated understanding of operations relevant to UNICEF; technical capabilities or knowledge relevant or transferrable to UNICEF procedures and rules; discretion, political sensitivity, diplomacy and tact to deal with clients; ability to apply good judgement; ability to liaise and coordinate with a range of different actors, especially in senior positions; where appropriate, high degree of autonomy, personal initiative and ability to take ownership; resourcefulness and willingness to accept wide responsibilities and ability to work independently under established procedures; ability to manage information objectively, accurately and confidentially; responsive and client-oriented;
Integrity: demonstrate the values and ethical standards of the UN and UNICEF in daily activities and behaviours while acting without consideration of personal gains; resist undue political pressure in decision-making; stand by decisions that are in the organization’s interest even if they are unpopular; take prompt action in cases of unprofessional or unethical behaviour; does not abuse power or authority;
Teamwork and respect for diversity: ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries; excellent interpersonal skills; ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and harmonious working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, mixed-gender environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity; sensitivity and adaptability to culture, gender, religion, nationality and age; commitment to implementing the goal of gender equality by ensuring the equal participation and full involvement of women and men in all aspects of UN operations; ability to achieve common goals and provide guidance or training to colleagues;
Commitment to continuous learning: initiative and willingness to learn new skills and stay abreast of new developments in area of expertise; ability to adapt to changes in work environment.
Planning and organizing: effective organizational and problem-solving skills and ability to manage a large volume of work in an efficient and timely manner; ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor (own) work; ability to work under pressure, with conflicting deadlines, and to handle multiple concurrent projects/activities;
Communication: proven interpersonal skills; good spoken and written communication skills, including ability to prepare clear and concise reports; ability to conduct presentations, articulate options and positions concisely; ability to make and defend recommendations; ability to communicate and empathize with staff (including national staff), military personnel, volunteers, counterparts and local interlocutors coming from very diverse backgrounds; capacity to transfer information and knowledge to a wide range of different target groups;
Flexibility: adaptability and ability to live and work in potentially hazardous and remote conditions, involving physical hardship and little comfort; to operate independently in austere environments for protracted periods; willingness to travel within the area of operations and to transfer to other duty stations within the area of operations as necessary;
Genuine commitment towards the principles of voluntary engagement, which includes solidarity, compassion, reciprocity and self-reliance; and commitment towards UNICEF’s mission and vision, as well as to the UN Core Values.
Living conditions and remarks
The duty station is Kathmandu, Nepal. Nepal is a unique and diverse country and ROSA is a unique operation. It provides for an interesting and enriching environment, but also requires a mature level of cultural awareness, as well as more stamina and commitment than elsewhere to make life comfortable and affordable. Therefore, flexibility and the ability and willingness to live and work in harsh and potentially hazardous conditions, involving physical hardship and little comfort, are essential. As this is a national UN Volunteer assignment, the UN Volunteer will be responsible for arranging his/her own housing and other living essentials. National UN Volunteers are part of the malicious insurance plan.
United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme that welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, care protected characteristics. As part of their adherence to the values of UNV, all UN Volunteers commit themselves to combat any form of discrimination, and to promoting respect for human rights and individual dignity, without distinction of a person’s race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.
UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for UN Volunteers with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the recruitment process and afterwards in your assignment.
Note on Covid-19 vaccination requirements
In addition to duty station-specific vaccine requirements, appointments are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the appointment. It does not apply to UN Volunteers who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their contracts.
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