National UNV Specialist – Climate and Environment
Assignment country: Nepal
Expected start date: 15/02/2024
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 and young people. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfil 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.
The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the Organization does – in programmes, in advocacy and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias, or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life – in its social, political, economic, civic, and cultural dimensions — their rights are violated. This is why the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations. The climate crisis is a child rights crisis. South Asia is a climate hotspot. It is home to over 625 million children and has the highest number of young people globally. Children are uniquely vulnerable to and affected by climate change. Almost 76% of children are exposed to soaring temperatures and 600 million are highly vulnerable to vector-borne diseases as well as
alarming levels of air pollution. This presents the region with an unprecedented challenge. The situation is worsened by severe water scarcity intensified by climate change, impacting 347 million children – the highest in the world. Despite contributing only 8 per cent of global carbon emissions, South Asia suffers disproportionately from the consequences of climate change. Children and young people have consistently made urgent calls for their voices to be heard and their needs to be addressed in the response to the climate crises. As the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has pointed out, taking their rights and their views into account would lead to more ambitious and effective policies on environmental protection.
Effective responses to climate change and environmental degradation for and with children and young people are thus an essential component of UNICEF’s words and actions and a cross-cutting priority in UNICEF’s Strategic Plan 2022-2025.
The key duties and tasks for this position may include the following activities, determined as priorities throughout the year.
- Provide technical support to SAR country offices to implement foundational and mainstreaming elements.
- Assist country offices and programme sections in developing and scaling up focused areas of accelerators.
- Coordinate with country offices on SCAP activities and document ongoing progress of implementation.
- Coordinate with HQ to ensure smooth delivery of SCAP and CEED programme priorities and guidelines to country offices.
- Track and coordinate regional sustainability and climate programmes and initiatives.
Programme management and monitoring
- Support multi-country programme planning, development, and implementation particularly focusing on the areas of accelerators.
- Provide support in developing multi-country concept notes and proposals aimed at accessing climate and environment funds from a variety of sources.
- Support work planning and end-year reporting processes on climate and environment outcome and output results.
- Assist in monitoring climate and environment indicators (e.g., CSIs and other corporate reporting processes) to assess programme effectiveness and delivery of results
Policy and Advocacy support
- Track international, regional and country level climate and environment policy processes and negotiations (e.g., COP, UNFCCC, interagency processes) particularly impacting children and young people.
- Carry out secondary research to enhance understanding on the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation on children in South Asia and support evidence generation, advocacy to promote children’s welfare and development.
- Support internal and external coordination mechanisms and partnerships on climate, environment and child rights issues.
- Provide support on regional communications and advocacy efforts, support with content development, messaging and awareness to promote UNICEF programmes for visibility, fund raising and partnerships opportunities. Knowledge Management and Capacity Support
- Coordinate data collection, analysis and evidence generation activities for emerging trends on climate, identify and advance cross-sectoral programming and advocacy opportunities.
- Support with consolidation of best practices, country case studies, lessons learned and regional publications.
Support country offices with knowledge exchange opportunities.
- Draft policy papers, briefs and other strategic materials for ROSA management, country offices and partners.
- Support in organizing capacity development trainings to sections, country offices and partners including on environment and social safeguards, climate finance, clean energy, climate resilient urban development, among others.
- Provide support to the team in organisation of the regional climate coordination group meetings at regular intervals.
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.
As an active team member of UNICEF ROSA Climate and Environment Team, efficient, timely, responsive, client-friendly and high-quality support rendered to ROSA and its beneficiaries in the accomplishment of her/his functions, including:
- Technical support on climate and environment programmes and foundational and mainstreaming elements of the SCAP;
- Data, research and analysis to consolidate scientific evidence, policy developments at the regional and international levels;
- High-quality, compelling advocacy and knowledge products, policy briefs, articles, blogs including upkeep of the website content;
- Maintain internal and external coordination and partnerships.
- Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD) perspective is systematically applied, integrated and documented in all activities throughout the assignment
- A final statement of achievements towards volunteerism for peace and development during the assignment, such as reporting on the number of volunteers mobilized, activities participated in and capacities developed
Age: 27 – 80
Nationality: Candidate must be a national or legal resident of the country of assignment.
- 2 years of experience in climate and environment or in relevant professional work is required.
- Experience in country office support with climate and environment programmes and project formulation, budget planning and management in the South Asia Region is required.
- Familiarity with children’s rights in the context of climate change, environmental degradation and climate related disaster risk reduction is an asset.
- Knowledge of UNICEF policies and procedures or other international development agencies is considered an asset.
- 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 effectively in a multicultural team of international and national personnel; 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; sound security awareness;
- Self-motivated, well organized and structured; good attention for details; ability to work with minimum supervision; ability to work with tight deadlines;
- Have affinity with or interest in volunteerism as a mechanism for durable development, and the UN System.
Area(s) of expertise: Energy and environment
Driving license: –
English, Level: Fluent, Required
Required education level
Master degree or equivalent in environment, climate change or related engineering field is required.
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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