Mitigation Economist Technical Specialist

Application Deadline :22-May-13 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-4
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :1 year
Expected Duration of Assignment :1 year


UNDP Environment and Energy Group (EEG) is based in UNDP’s Bureau of Development Policy and is responsible for providing leadership and technical support for delivery of the Environment and Sustainable Development pillar of UNDP’s Strategic Plan.  Its main focus is to help countries develop the capacity to fully incorporate environmental sustainability into development at national and local, but also global and regional, levels.  The principal areas of work are in environmental mainstreaming, environmental finance, adaptation to climate change, and local governance of resources, including energy.

With its technical focus, the Environment and Energy Group (EEG) is organized into substantive technical teams to provide support to countries in the area of climate change through different initiatives. One such initiative is the Low Emission Capacity Building (LECB) Programme funded by the European Commission, the German Government and the Australian Government. The programme is  be carried out in 25 countries, following a country-driven, multi-stakeholder approach, and has two overall objectives: 1. to build public sector capacity on developing greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory systems, nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs), low-emissions development strategies (LEDS), and monitoring, verification, and reporting (MRV) procedures; and 2. to build private sector capacity for mitigation actions in selected sectors (e.g. cement, iron and steel, petrochemicals, fertilizers).

Additionally, UNDP will seek to assist other countries not included in the LECB Programme that are interested in developing green low-emissions, climate resilience development strategies (Green LECRDS), upon request by national governments.  This assistance will be provided to countries that are planning to initiate a discussion process on how climate change actions can be developed and implemented in the context of national priorities.  Seed funding will be provided to prepare these initiatives that will serve as the basis to initiate discussions on low-emission policies to assist national or sub-national government put forward a climate change agenda that can more effectively contribute to their sustainable economic development goals.

In this context, UNDP is looking for a Mitigation Economist Technical Specialist who will report to the  Principal Policy and Technical Advisor for Green LECRDS, as the Primary Supervisor and to the LECB Programme Manager, as the Secondary Supervisor. The Technical Specialist will have substantive knowledge on the areas of mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and economic assessment of mitigation options. The Technical Specialist will work closely with UNDP Country Offices (COs) and national teams by providing substantive guidance on methodological issues and technical implementation of project activities in the area of mitigation analysis. He/she will also work with respective government and private sector counterparts, as appropriate, and with other experts at both global and regional levels.  He/she will provide on-line technical support to countries and carry out site visits, as required, to facilitate/lead substantive discussions, guiding projects’ teams in the formulation and implementation phases of the projects.

The Technical Specialist will be responsible for providing methodological guidance, technical advice, and regular backstopping to country teams, ensuring that the studies carried out by countries meet the necessary quality standard and deliver the expected technical outputs. The Technical Specialist will be based in UNDP Headquarters, in New York. 

Duties and Responsibilities

The Technical Specialist will be primarily responsible for providing high quality technical and policy support, and knowledge and capacity development services to national teams and UNDP COs. He/she will work with other UN agencies, governments, inter-governmental organizations, NGOs, donors, the private sector, and other key stakeholders.  He/she will keep the Programme Manager informed of technical and policy concerns and needs in the countries, and propose measures to address such items. Specific functions expected are indicated below:

Support national teams and UNDP Country Offices in carrying out their mitigations analysis under the LECB Programme 

  • Guide national teams and consultants in the design of activities related to the mitigation analysis of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as part of the projects to be implemented by participating countries. This will include the identification of appropriate methodologies and tools to be adopted for the mitigation analysis by countries; 
  • Provide guidance to countries on cost assessments of mitigation options, including feasibility analysis and prioritization of these options as NAMAs. Work with selected private sectors/industries to assist them in the identification of mitigation actions to address GHG emissions as part of a business case;
  • Provide technical assistance to national teams on ensuring sound designs of appropriate linkages between the mitigation analysis and NAMAs, LEDS, and MRV systems, including solutions to address key barriers to implementation;
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of the project activities at the national level, assisting national teams on the financial feasibility and structuring of prioritized NAMAs and engagement of private sector;
  • Provide the necessary technical support, guidance, and follow up of the studies carried out under the national projects to ensure that outcomes of the mitigation analysis are of high quality standard.

Key result: Targeted technical backstopping activities in all countries for their mitigation analysis. Countries produce sound mitigation analysis that can be used to identify financial opportunities. UNDP has a trusted leadership role in the technical area of expertise of mitigation work.

Technical backstopping and training to carry out the mitigation analysis/NAMA and LEDS design and other related components of LECB Programme

  • Develop technical guidance to support project implementation at the national level; and peer-review, comment on, and seek to improve, the technical quality of the mitigation analysis/NAMA and LEDS design;
  • Provide on-line assistance to national teams, answering queries and providing guidance/solutions on their mitigation studies; carry out site visits, as needed, to guide work at the national level;
  • In coordination with countries, identify required capacity building activities to carry out mitigation analysis in the context of NAMA and LEDS, assess previous works that may provide inputs to the work under the Programme and assist countries in developing the terms of reference for their mitigation work;
  • Design and carry out training workshops on mitigation analysis/NAMA and LEDS design, in coordination with the Programme Manager, and on the basis of technical gaps and capacity development needs;
  • Provide countries with a thorough understanding of the methodological options available for their mitigation work, including cost analysis, and assist them in selecting the most appropriate tools based on the scope of work, information available and technical capacities.

Key result: Technical assistance to national teams provided efficiently and effectively.  UNDP recognized as providing outstanding support to countries in the areas of mitigation analysis/NAMA and LEDS design.

Support to integrated low-emission, or energy efficient solutions in line with broader Green LECRDS

  • Provide technical guidance on identification of mitigation options, including related cost analysis, under initiatives carried out at the sub-national level ;
  • Assist countries in the development of project profiles that can be used to leverage funding for the mitigation options identified at the national or sub-national level;
  • Identify priorities and entry-points for UNDP assistance in the development of Green LECRDS related initiatives, with emphasis on the mitigation analysis, ensuring coordination with the LECB Programme, as appropriate;
  • Identify technical expertise required, assist with the preparation of TORs, identify and evaluate experts, and review draft reports produced under Green LECRDS related initiatives.

Key result: Support and technical guidance provided in the identification priority mitigation solutions in the context of Green LECRDS.

Guidance to international consultants and Centers of Excellence supporting the LECB Programme.

  • Provide substantive guidance to centers of excellence and consultants on support to countries to achieve expected results from their mitigation actions;
  • Identify and establish a network with relevant industry associations to work with private sector in countries where mitigation actions/NAMAs on selected industries are to be identified and developed;
  • Assess technical assistance provided by centers of excellence and consultants to ensure that national teams are receiving the appropriate support;
  • Establish and maintain partnerships with relevant international and national institutions on substantive technical issues to ensure the necessary institutional networks;
  • Ensure that sub-regional/global networks of technical assistance are monitored to provide timely and coherent support to countries.

Key result: Expert networks are providing high-quality and timely technical backstopping for the implementation of the  LECB Programme at the national level.

Learning, Knowledge Management and Self Development

  • Evaluate, capture, and synthesize lessons and stimulate the uptake of best practices and knowledge that can be used in the broader context of NAMAs, MRV and LEDS;
  • Assist with preparation of lessons learned, impacts and results that can be disseminated to other countries and can feed into UNDP programming;
  • Developing and carrying out a personal learning plan.

Key result: UNDP recognized as a learning and knowledge management organization in the areas of mitigation analysis.

Impact of Results:

The results of the work of the Technical Specialist impact the standing and reputation of UNDP in all participating countries.  Overall, the decisions taken by the Technical Specialist also impact: the relations and credibility of UNDP with governments, civil societies, and donors; programme success or failure; the efficiency and effectiveness of resource allocations within UNDP.  The Technical Specialist has regular contact with Country Offices and national teams in monitoring the technical quality of the studies carried out.  The Technical Specialist makes recommendations to the LECB Programme Manager and Principal Technical and Policy Adviser on necessary actions in response to changes in the country context and new programme and resource mobilization opportunities.  When requested, the Technical Specialist represents UNDP in international and national fora, liaises with external clients and a broad range of constituencies and UNDP counterparts in the Government, local and international media, and civil society, as well as counterparts from other international organizations. The Technical Specialist promotes good cooperation and coordination among programme and operations staff and between the Country Offices and Government counterparts.


Technical Competencies:

  • Ability to provide guidance on the design of mitigation actions, low-emissions development strategies, NAMAs, GHG inventory systems, and monitoring, reporting and verification; procedures, in the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change;
  • Ability to guide the design and implementation of multi-sectoral and sectoral programmes and projects at different scales; and
  • Ability to work with multiple stakeholders across a wide range of disciplines.

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability ;
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism.

Functional Competencies:

Development and Operational Effectiveness

  • Ability to lead strategic planning, change processes, results-based management and reporting ;
  • Ability to lead formulation and oversight of implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development projects ;
  • Ability to apply development theory to the specific country context to identify creative, practical approaches to overcome challenging situations.

Knowledge Management and Learning

  • Promotes knowledge management in UNDP and a learning environment in the office through leadership and personal example;
  • In-depth practical knowledge of inter-disciplinary development issues;
  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development in one or more Practice Areas, acts on learning plan, and applies newly acquired skills;
  • Seeks and applies knowledge, information, and best practices from within and outside of UNDP.

Management and Leadership

  • Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and results for the client and responds positively to feedback;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities;
  • Effective leadership and mentoring as well as conflict resolution skills ;
  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills;
  • Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure;
  • Proven networking, team-building, organizational and communication skills.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Masters degree or higher in economics, or energy related areas, business, or social sciences with focus on environmental economics.


  • Minimum of 7 years experience in climate change, ideally in the areas of mitigation, GHG inventory systems, energy planning, financial assessments to address climate change, or other relevant fields;
  • Substantive experience with carrying out solid mitigation analysis, especially in the energy sector and other related sectors;
  • Solid knowledge and expertise in some mitigation tools such as LEAP, MARKAL, and others;
  • Extensive experience on conducting cost analysis of mitigation options through cost curves, cost-benefit analysis, etc. as well as sound understanding of the financing structure and funding opportunities for NAMAs and mitigation action;
  • Substantive knowledge of the technical and policies issues related to the design of NAMAs, LEDS, and MRV systems;
  • Demonstrated experiences in carrying out training activities for mitigation analysis;
  • A solid understanding on the linkages between NAMAs and LEDS  and national development priorities, including MDGs;
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain strategic partnerships; leadership, facilitation and coordination skills;
  • Extensive experience working in countries with different regions, with a solid understanding of capacity building needs and delivery of training in the area of mitigation analysis;
  • Demonstrated entrepreneurial abilities and demonstrated ability to work in an independent manner;
  • Working experience in an international organization is an advantage as is knowledge of UNDP policies, procedures and practices.

Language Requirements: 

  • Excellent knowledge of the English language, with exceptional writing, presentation and communication skills;
  • Knowledge of French or Spanish  highly desirable;
  • Proficiency in other UN languages is an asset.

FC: 23031

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