Senior Nature Economist

Location : Home-based
Application Deadline :04-Nov-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :IPSA (Regular)
Post Level :IPSA-12
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :1 year

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Instructions to Applicants: Click on the "Apply now" button. Input your information in the appropriate Sections: personal information, language proficiency, education, resume and motivation. Upon completion of the first page, please hit "submit application" tab at the end of the page. Please ensure that CV or P11 and the Cover letter are combined in one file.

The following documents shall be required from the applicants:

Applicants must submit a duly completed and signed  UNDP Personal History Form (P11) and/or CV indicating all past positions held and their main underlying functions, their durations (month/year), the qualifications, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate, and at least three (3) the most recent professional references of previous supervisors. References may also include peers.

A cover letter (maximum length: 1 page) indicating why the candidate considers him-/herself to be suitable for the position.


  • International mission travel may be required; 
  • The BSAFE course must be successfully completed prior to commencement of travel;
  • The  incument is responsible for obtaining any visas needed in connection with travel with the necessary support from UNDP and for ensuring they have vaccinations/inoculations when travelling to certain countries, as designated by the UN Medical Director;
  • S/he is required to comply with the UN security directives set forth under
  • The incumbent will be responsible for making his/her own mission travel arrangements in line with UNDP travel policies;  
  • All related travel expenses will be reimbursed as per UNDP rules and regulations upon submission of an F-10 claim form and supporting documents.

Office/Unit/Project Description:

UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy work carried out at HQ, Regional and Country Office levels, forms a contiguous spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan.

Within the GPN, the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP’s Strategic Plan.  BPPS’s staff provides technical advice to Country Offices; advocates for UNDP corporate messages, represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private dialogues, government and civil society dialogues, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas. BPPS works closely with UNDP’s Crisis Bureau (CB) to support emergency and crisis response.  BPPS ensures that issues of risk are fully integrated into UNDP’s development programmes. BPPS assists UNDP and partners to achieve higher quality development results through an integrated approach that links results-based management and performance monitoring with more effective and new ways of working.  BPPS supports UNDP and partners to be more innovative, knowledge and data driven including in its programme support efforts.

Under the Strategic Plan covering the period 2021-2025, UNDP’s work in Ecosystems and Biodiversity (EBD) has as an overall strategic objective to maintain and enhance the goods and services provided by biodiversity and ecosystems in order to secure livelihoods, food, water and health, enhance resilience, conserve threatened species and their habitats, and increase carbon storage and sequestration. The strategic plan also places a strong emphasis on UNDP’s role in catalysing SDG finance, supporting governments and the private sector to mobilize finance at scale, developing pipelines of investments aligned with the goals and directing capital flows towards these country pipelines via the SDG Investor Platform and Goal-oriented financing tools and services, such as sovereign debt instruments and SDG Impact Standards for private equity funds, bonds and enterprises.

UNDP is in the process of developing the acceleration plan on biodiversity financing towards the goal of redirecting global finance flows from nature negative to nature positive, as a prerequisite system change for achieving the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Programme and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  This will entail a series of strategic interventions working with both public and private financial institutions and developing flagship tools and products through cutting edge studies.  It will build on existing and emerging streams of relevant workstreams and maximize UNDP potential as the  knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and the integrator for collective action to realize the SDGs, with a programme footprint in 170 countries.

Institutional Arrangement

  • The incumbent will work from home;
  • The incumbent will report to, and be directly supervised by, the Principal Technical Adviser (Ecosystems and Biodiversity ). 
  • The incumbent will be given access to relevant information necessary for the execution of the tasks under this assignment;
  • The incumbent will be responsible for providing her/his own work station (i.e. laptop, internet, phone, scanner/printer, etc.) and must have access to reliable internet connection;
  • Given the global consultations to be undertaken during this assignment, the incumbent  is expected to be reasonably flexible with his/her availability for such consultations taking into consideration different time zones.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Senior Nature Economist will lead on expanding and strengthening nature economics work of UNDP in support of sustainable development. He/she will be responsible and accountable for management and coordination of UNDP activities in this subject area, including supervision of assigned staff, acting as a senior technical advisor on nature economics, reporting to Head of Ecosystems and Biodiversity at BPPS. He/she will work closely  with UNDP economists and the UNDP Financial Sector Hub (FSH) ensuring integrated support to countries in the area of sustainable development finance. The incumbent will contribute to the development of strategies and action plans for UNDP to engage in external partnerships, communications, and resource mobilization in the area of nature economics.

Innovation, Strategic Leadership, Policy Dialogue and Advocacy (15%)

  • Provide strategic leadership for development and implementation of nature finance acceleration drive of UNDP, providing strategic guidance, engagement and sustantive technical inputs.
  • Ensure that key decision-making activities, representational functions and major deliverables on the subject matter as planned each year, are coordinated and implemented in a strategic manner.
  • Coordinates with other counterparts across the GPN and other UNDP offices, UN entities and groups to ensure effectiveness of collaboration in programming and implementing initiatives on the subject matter.
  • Advise UNDP management on nature-related risks and safeguards with respect to UNDP’s own or delegated investment projects, screening on demand relevant investment plans to ensure their net zero or positive nature influence.
  • Deliver strategic advice to UNDP country offices on programming opportunities in the area of nature economics.
  • Develop position and advises on UNDP interaction with other UN agencies on the matters of nature economics, oversees implementation of resulting decisions and initiatives.
  • Coordinate and quality assure briefs, speeches, and reports on the subject matter of nature economics, in support of representational commitments by UNDP senior management in their interactions with multiple internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ensure effective communication flow with FSH, BIOFIN, other units within BPPS, BERA and regional Bureaux that might be involved in subject-matter collaboration.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of the Partnerships and Communication Action Plan (PCAP) of BPPS, focusing on the area of nature economics.

Partnership Development and Resource Mobilisation (35%)

  • Lead design and implementation of a partnership and resource mobilization strategy in the area of nature economics, ensuring coordination with relevant internal units.
  • Manage the partnership with TNDF, its members and Secretariat, providing quality peer review of TNDF products.
  • Manage partnership with UN and non-UN entities and civil society on matters related to embedding nature into banking sector, insurance sector and public financing.
  • Support partnerships with a range of existing partners in the area of nature economy and finance, providing high quality technical materials and inputs.
  • Lead resource mobilsiation from donors and partners, in support of the activities in the area of nature economics, including coordination of development of project proposals.
  • Support UNDP units and management in advocacy and partnership discussions in the area of nature economics and sustainable development.
  • Undertakes other responsibilities as assigned by supervisor related to Partnerships & Resource Mobilization.

Management of Nature Economics Portfolio  (40%)

  • Provide oversight of nature economics and finance portfolio, managing personnel assigned for the programme.  
  • Lead implementaiton of  the nature finance acceleration drive of UNDP, ensuring quality and timely implementation, with close coordination with economists and relevant projects and programmes.
  • Develop and oversee implementation of projects, non-project work-plans and budgets assigned to the nature economics unit, monitor delivery and take corrective action.
  • Oversee monitoring and evaluation of assigned projects and non-project activities and ensure available resources for M&E, ensuring that appropriate methodology and guidance are applied in line with the results-based management approach for maximum institutional effectiveness.
  • Lead on the integration of results and products in the area of nature economics into UNDP’s strategic documents and interventions.
  • Facilitate management of country office demand for, and prioritization of, nature economics matters ensuring timely and high-quality programmatic support.
  • Engage with Regional Hubs and Country Offices to address any programme opportunities or operational issues in the subject matter area.
  • For all assigned projects, oversee preparation of reports, including project financial status, analysis of income, allocations, budgets, expenditure and delivery rates.
  • Oversee compliance of projects and assigned non-project activities with policy guidance on proper and effective use of the resources and procurement activities in line with UNDP rules and regulations.
  • Lead on maintenance and oversight of internal controls compliance by assigned projects.
  • Oversee procurement processes and asset management for assigned projects in line with UNDP rules and regulations.

Knowledge Management & Communication (10%)

  • Oversee implementation of the communications and advocacy strategy in the area of nature economics.
  • Facilitate application of UNDP nature economy products such as Targeted Scenario Analysis, Nature Bonds, Nature Insurance, working jointly with FSH and other relevant UNDP units.
  • Oversee the preparation of annual reports (project and non-project as stipulated by UNDP and donors), and quality assure strategic presentations and other communications material in the subject matter area, for use in external briefings and on the external website.
  • Keep abreast of major institutional initiatives and political events relevant to the subject matter of nature economics, providing advice and guidance to relevant UNDP colleagues on necessary actions and decisions.
  • Facilitate regular information sharing and planning across the different teams within BPPS on opportunities and coordination in the area of nature economics.



  • Ability to persuade others to follow

Stakeholer Management:

  • Ability to manage multiple stakeholders and balance often contradictory expectations, building and maintaining effective relationship.

Knowledge, result management:

  • Ability to capture, develop, share and effectively use information and knowledge.  
  • Ability to manage programmes and projects with a strategy aimed at improved performance and demonstratable results

Collaboration and Partnership building:

  • Ability to engage with other agencies, donors, and other development stakeholders and forge productive working relationships.

Internal Reporting and Accountability:

  • Ability to create internal reporting and accountability processes and standards Quality Assurance:

Project Management:

Ability to plan, organize and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals

Required Skills and Experience

Minimum Academic Education

  • Masters Degree or equivalent Advanced Degree in economics or finance related disciplines.
  • Bachelor's degree in economics or finance field with additional two  years of experience may be accepted in lieu of the Masters degree.

Years of relevant Work experience

  • Minimum of 10 years’ experience working with developing countries on biodiversity finance and nature related economics subject with direct linkage with ecosystems and biodiversity management;
  • Experience in supporting policy development processes linked to ecosystems management and biodiversity conservation;
  • Demonstrable experience in developing and maintaining strategic partnership
  • Experience in portfolio and project management (direct experience an advantage) and guiding project implementation and management;
  • Full computer literacy.

Required  skills and competencies


  • Highly developed inter-personal, negotiation and teamwork skills, as well as networking aptitude.
  • Strong nuanced teamwork skills - balancing initiatives with the collaborative approach that is required for the distributed team and network of partners
  • Proven analytical, negotiating, communication and advocacy skills to manage complex partnerships.
  • Strong skills in multi-tasking for timely and quality delivery.

Desired additional skills and competencies

Working experience in an international organization is an advantage as is knowledge of UNDP policies, procedures and practices.

Required Language(s) (at working level)

Fluency in English, with strong writing, presentation and communication skills;  Fluency in another UN language is an advantage.  

If you are experiencing difficulties with online job applications, please contact the eRecruit Helpdesk.

© 2016 United Nations Development Programme