Regional Energy Specialist for RBA - IPSA 11 - Office-Based


Location : Pretoria, SOUTH AFRICA
Application Deadline :30-May-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :IPSA (Regular)
Post Level :IPSA-11
Languages Required :
English  
Duration of Initial Contract :12 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :1 year (possibility of extension up to a total of four years)

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.


Background

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:

Personal CV or P11, 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.

Managers may ask (ad hoc) for any other materials relevant to pre-assessing the relevance of their experience, such as reports, presentations, publications, campaigns or other materials.

 

Office/Unit/Project Description

a) Organizational Context

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.

b) UNDP’s work on Energy and the Sustainable Energy Hub

UNDP has been a leading advocate and the largest UN implementing agency for the energy transition at global, regional and national levels for several decades. UNDP’s Energy Programme supports policy makers with high quality data to make informed decisions on selecting and designing cost-effective public instruments to promote private investment in clean energy, contributing to SDG 7 and in line with UNDP’s ‘signature solution’ on energy. UNDP has a successful track record in using policy instruments to de-risk and catalyze investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy access projects, including a series of sustainable energy initiatives specifically adapted to the needs (and resilient recovery) of fragile and crisis-impacted countries.

Under the new Strategic Plan (2022-2025), energy is one of UNDP’s six signature solutions – alongside poverty and inequality, governance, resilience, environment, and gender equality - to support countries towards three directions of change: structural transformation, leaving no one behind and resilience. Scaled-up programming efforts on energy access and the energy transition will be coordinated under the newly established Sustainable Energy Hub (SEH), which represents parts of the organization’s systematic and programmatic approach to respond to the energy and climate change agendas. As per UNDP’s new Strategic Plan 2022-2025, the first objective of UNDP is increasing energy access for those furthest behind. By speeding up investment in distributed renewable energy solutions, especially for those hardest to reach and in crisis contexts, it aims to increase access to clean and affordable energy for 500 million people by the year 2025. The Africa Minigrids Programme, for example, is improving the financial viability of renewable energy mini-grids in 18 countries, encouraging private investment, lower tariffs and expanded service.

Second, UNDP will work to accelerate the clean energy transition and access through systems changes that support inclusive, green and resource-efficient economies. This work will capitalize on technological gains, clean energy innovations and new business models in the energy sector.

Through the Sustainable Energy Hub, UNDP will harness networks, experience and innovation to scale-up energy programming efforts and shape policy, building on the existing portfolio of energy projects, covering over 100 countries to harness clean energy and support the energy access and transition as well as on UNDP’s Climate Promise, UNDP’s Sustainable Finance Hub and UNDP’s Digital offer. UNDP will also work with Governments in programme countries as they recover and build forward better from COVID-19 and with investors to unlock and harness public and private finance to power progress towards multiple SDGs.

Finally, recognizing that change will be disruptive, UNDP will strive to ensure that such transitions are just, and that their impact on vulnerable people is understood and duly mitigated.

c) Background on Regional Engagement

To provide country support and work with relevant teams for local action, the Sustainable Energy Hub is structured to work in close contact with UNDP’s Regional Hubs (i.e., Africa, Asia Pacific, Arab States/Middle East & North Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe and Central Asia). Therefore, the Regional Energy Specialist will be located at the Regional Centre to which he/she applies.

The Regional Energy Specialist will work closely with  the Regional Team Leaders for Nature, Climate and Energy and other regional specialists in the regional team to advance the sustainable energy agenda, while engaging with country offices in the region and enabling strategic partnerships with regional organizations and partner UN agencies. Therefore, working closely with other regional specialists, the Specialist will provide policy and programme support to: (1) de-risk energy investments; (2) scale up energy finance; (3) promote innovation, technology, and data for sustainable energy, (4) enable SDGs through an inclusive, just energy transition, (5) advance energy access and transition policies and the enabling policy environment e.g. on carbon pricing, energy auditsand fossil fuel subsidy reform; and (6) expand energy access for poor and displaced communities, among other activities.

Based in one of UNDP’s Regional Hubs, the Regional Energy Specialist will be supervised by the Regional Team Leader for the NCE Team (primary supervisor). The person will also work closely with the Director of the Sustainable Energy Hub in UNDP Headquarters (secondary supervisor).

 

Institutional Arrangement

  • The Regional Energy Specialist will be located at the Pretoris, South Africa; and will work at the UNDP Office
  • The Regional Energy Specialist will work in collaboration with the BPPS/NCE Energy team and the Director of the Sustainable Energy Hub.
  • The Regional Energy Specialist will report to, and be directly supervised by, the Regional Team Lead (primary director) and the Director of the Sustainable Energy Hub (secondary supervisor).
  • The Regional Energy Specialist will be given access to relevant information necessary for execution of the tasks under this assignment.
  • The Regional Energy Specialist will be provided a working station (i.e., desk, laptop, docking station, monitor, internet, scanner/printer access, assignment specific software, etc.) through support of the Sustainable Energy Hub.
  • Given the global scope of the work to be undertaken during this assignment, the Regional Energy Specialist is expected to be reasonably flexible with his/her availability taking into consideration different time zones.


Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work

The NCE Team requires the support of Regional Energy Specialists to deliver on the activities described below. The scope of work over the course of the period will vary depending on the specific assignment and region.

(1) Innovation, Strategic Leadership, Programme Support and Policy Advice

* Develop and define strategic approaches for UNDP’s work on sustainable energy and climate change mitigation, drawing on UNDP’s existing work under the Sustainable Energy Hub as well as an analysis of the global/regional policy context.

* Support UNDP’s work to assist countries at the regional level in designing energy policies to support energy access priorities  promote the energy transition and foster low carbon growth in the context of their sustainable development efforts, aligned with the service offer under the Sustainable Energy Hub.

* Provide expert advice and support in establishing strategic partnerships and developing new partnerships with UN agencies, donors, NGOs, private sector and other.

* Contribute to the development and implementation of new strategic programming and partnerships in areas of energy access and the energy transition to achieve results set within UNDP’s Strategic Plan, Energy Offer, SIDS Offer, and the work plans of Sustainable Energy Hub and the regional NCE team.

* Collaborate with global, regional, national and sub-national staff to promote UNDP’s de-risking approach and implementation of the corporate sustainable energy strategy.

* Provide support to Regional Hub and Country Office teams in their application of risk management tools across country typologies by answering questions, providing guidance and sharing relevant documents and lessons learned.

* Provide guidance and input on energy policies in UNDP’s Climate Promise initiative.

* Support country offices in developing and implementing strategic energy policy frameworks, as well as policy-related interventions in energy programmes and projects.

* Work collaboratively with the mitigation, adaptation and climate and disaster risk management policy staff to identify policy issues regarding the implementation of energy-related SDGs and the nationally determined contributions (as they relate to energy).

* Apply multi-disciplinary approaches, including through setting up, coordinating, and engaging with other relevant technical teams,  to meet policy and programming needs in line with corporate guidance and standards.

(2) Policy Positioning and Representation

* Under the guidance of the Regional Team Leader, mobilize, foster and strengthen strategic partnerships with UN entities,  and other relevant bodies at the regional level, and provide inputs to those partnerships in support of UNDP initiatives;

* Prepare briefing notes and speeches. Advocate the importance of the thematic area in various fora at the regional level, including academia and civil society, with a view to deepen related political commitment and related reforms.

* Support Regional Team Leader in engagement in UN interagency coordination in relevant policy areas by organizing and participating in regional meetings.

* Provide regional support to UNDP’s Sustainable Energy Hub, where needed.

(3) Research and Knowledge Management

* Provides substantive inputs for HQ policy briefs/position papers prepared in collaboration with other practices that address links between energy and development concerns.

* Coordinate and conduct analysis of data, case evidence and research findings to distill relevant lessons from regional projects and programmes to inform policy formulation and guidance and other products.

* Develop relevant analysis on issues related to energy, including on emerging issues of significance to the region, and contribute to new research, technical paper or reports, as needed by the Regional Hub and/or the Sustainable Energy Hub.

* Collect and compile information on the energy profiles of countries in the region, including key indicators and policies, and identify areas of strategic significance for programming and policy work.

* Support the development of sustainable energy policies and tools, including for crisis contexts (where relevant, as these efforts may vary by region).

* Coordinate team contributions and support to corporate Knowledge Management activities, at region-specific level to help influence/advance policy dialogue in the thematic area in collaboration with policy teams at HQ and in Regional Hubs.

* Contribute regional energy insights and programming priorities to knowledge networks and communities of practice.

* Coordinate and perform knowledge extraction, analysis, documentation, codification of results/lessons learned in the specific thematic area and verify that knowledge sharing and content management is in line with guidelines and performed using corporate tools.

* Contribute, and coordinate as requested, substantive inputs for energy programming outputs (e.g. work-plans, project documents, inception missions, workshops, technical working papers, methodologies).


Competencies

Core

Achieve Results:

LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact

Think Innovatively:

LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems

Learn Continuously:

LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences

Adapt with Agility:

LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands

Act with Determination:

LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results

Engage and Partner:

LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration

Enable Diversity and Inclusion:

LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity

 

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies 

Thematic Area

Name

Definition

Business Direction & Strategy

Strategic

Thinking

Ability to develop effective strategies and prioritized plans in line with UNDP’s objectives, based on the systemic analysis of challenges, potential risks and opportunities; linking the vision to reality on the ground, and creating tangible solutions

Ability to leverage learning from a variety of sources to anticipate and respond to future trends; to demonstrate foresight in order to model what future developments and possible ways forward look like for UNDP

Business

Development

Knowledge

Generation

Ability to research and turn information into useful knowledge, relevant for context, or responsive to a stated need

Business

Development

Integration

within the UN

Ability to identity, and integrate capacity and assets of the UN system, and engage in joint work; knowledge of the UN System and ability to apply this knowledge to strategic and/or practical situations

2030 Agenda: Planet

Nature,Climate

And Energy

Energy: Energy access

2030 Agenda: Planet

Nature,Climate

And Energy

Energy: Energy planning, Derisking energy investment and financial appraisal

2030 Agenda: Planet

Nature,Climate

And Energy

Energy: Renewable Energy


Required Skills and Experience

Min. Education requirements

  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in energy, engineering, environment, economics, business administration, social sciences or related disciplines

Min. years of relevant work experience

  • 7 years of professional work experience providing policy advice and programme support in the general area of Energy Access, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy or Climate Change  in different development contexts is required;. 
  • Experience working in developing country settings is required;

Required  skills

  • Experience in providing policy advisory services to governments related to sustainable energy and energy planning is required;
  • Experience with the design and/or implementation of development projects to promote energy investment is required.

Desired skills in addition to the competencies covered in the Competencies section

  • Experience working in multiple countries of Africa region is an asset 
  • Experience in fragile and crisis contexts is an asset;
  • Experience working with multilateral organizations and/or the UN system is preferred.
  • Experience working with a wide set of energy stakeholders, such as the private and financial sector, government, and civil society is preferred;
  • Field experience in energy related projects in developing countries contexts is preferred.
  • Knowledge of other UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish) is highly desirable.

Required Language(s)

  • Excellent command of written and spoken English is required;

Professional Certificates

  • N/A



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