Programme Associate Vacancy in Ethiopia 2021

UNDP, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)


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.


UNDP’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan emphasizes the critical links between environmental sustainability, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and broader efforts to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement. As part of the Global Policy Network in the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP’s Nature, Climate Change, and Energy (NCE) Team promotes and scales up integrated whole-of-governance approaches and nature-based solutions that reduce poverty and inequalities, strengthen livelihoods and inclusive growth, mitigate conflict, forced migration and displacement, and promote more resilient governance systems that advance linked peace and security agendas.


The NCE Team works with governments, civil society, and private sector partners to integrate natural capital, environment and climate concerns into national and sector planning and inclusive growth policies, support country obligations under Multilateral Environmental Agreements, and implement the UN’s largest portfolio of in-country programming on environment, climate change, and energy. This multi-billion dollar portfolio encompasses: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services including forests; Sustainable Land Management and Desertification including food and commodity systems; Water and Ocean Governance including SIDS; Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation; Renewable and Modern Energy; Extractive Industries; Chemicals and Waste Management; Environmental Governance and Green/Circular Economy and SCP approaches. This work advances crosscutting themes on innovative finance, digital transformation, capacity development, human rights, gender equality, health, technology, and South-South learning.


In addition to UNDP’s bilateral partnerships on natural capital, environment and climate, UNDP is an accredited multilateral implementing agency of: the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Multilateral Fund (MLF), the Adaptation Fund (AF) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) which  includes the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund (GEF Trust Fund); the Nagoya Protocol Implementation Fund (NPIF); the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF); and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF)). As part of UNDP’s partnership with these vertical funds, UNDP provides countries specialized integrated technical services for eligibility assessment, programme formulation, capacity development, policy advice, technical assistance, training and technology transfer, mobilization of co-financing, implementation oversight, results management and evaluation, performance-based payments and knowledge management services..


Under the overall supervision of the Environmental Finance Unit Regional Technical Advisors (RTAs) and direct coordination and guidance of the NCE Regional Team Leader (RTL), the Programme Associate will facilitate the effective delivery of Environmental Finance Unit's portfolio in Africa, by providing support and oversight  throughout  the  development,  implementation,  monitoring/evaluation  and closure of Environmental Finance Unit projects.  This includes an effective portfolio data management and monitoring, to maximize COs' timely compliance with UNDP and Vertical Fund requirements.


The Programme Associate will work in close collaboration with the Operations, Programme and Project teams in the CO and Environmental Finance Unit HQs global team/staff to resolve complex programme-related issues and to ensure a consistent quality service delivery.


Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of key functions:

Management and support to projects under development (pipeline);

Monitoring and support to projects (after vertical fund approval);

Portfolio Monitoring and Support (includes projects under development and under implementation);

Country Office Capacity Support;

Self-Development, Learning, Knowledge Management.

Duties and Responsibilities:


  1. Management and support to projects under development (pipeline):

Coordinate document processing related to project development in the region (regional and country level projects) as relevant to all stages of the project cycle;

Checking for accuracy and consistency of information against established formats;

Updating the Environmental Finance Unit project data base (PIMS+);

Tracking required information for project completion and/or processing requirements;

Following-up on correspondence with project proponents, Country Offices (COs) and Environmental Finance Unit Headquarters;

Processing documentation for submission, including final quality check regarding accuracy and compliance with formats and guidelines;

Expected Results: Projects under Development are fully compliant with UNDP and vertical fund requirements.


  1. Monitoring and support to projects (after vertical fund approval):

Effective communication to COs on the processes relating to Delegation of Authority (DOA) and ensure CO receives a Delegation of Authority Letter and the approved final UNDP Project Document and any other associated/necessary documents and requested clearance (including financial and technical clearance) in a timely manner once Environmental Finance Unit receives an approval/endorsement from a source of funds;

Ensures Annual Work Plans are submitted for Regional Technical Advisor’s (RTA) approval and Authorised Spending Limit (ASL) issuance;

Assist the Regional Technical Advisors in reviewing projects' annual and multi-year work plans in a timely manner, ensure compliance with Donor requirements in terms of budgeting and identify irregularities;

Assist Management Programme Support Analyst in regional portfolio analysis, in particular, ensuring all data necessary for the analysis is collected from COs and consistent for any specific projects under his/her portfolio; 

Assist COs in completing budget revision processes in time for on-going projects under his/her portfolio.

Expected Results: Effective monitoring and timely support to projects after Vertical Fund endorsement ensuring all UNDP and Vertical Fund timelines and milestones are met.


  1. Portfolio Monitoring and Support (includes projects under development and under implementation):

Ensure all project information in Environmental Finance Unit database (PIMS+) is correct and up to date at all time from the creation of a project in PIMS+ until the project’s operational and financial closure for projects under his/her portfolio;

Monitor project delivery and submission of progress reports and budget revisions for the region.  Identify reasons for shortfall in delivery and alert RTAs of any projects with concerns;

Undertake financial monitoring of the portfolio in the region and analyse individual projects’ budgets and budget revisions in close coordination with the COs and RTAs;

Assist in all aspects of regional portfolio management, including tracking of standard project related management actions, monitoring and evaluation requirements and progress reports (TPR/APR, PIR) including processing of required documentation. Maintains the electronic project data base fully updated and, where necessary, organizes and maintains hard-copy files of all projects and associated information and official documentation;

Assist in the preparation, updating, and dissemination of Power Point and other presentations and in managing dissemination of information that describe the work and achievements of the Environmental Finance Unit via the media;

Carry out a financial follow-up, advise Country Offices (or executing agencies in case of regional or global projects without Project Principle Resident Representatives) with regard to the deployment of the funds and the project closure, as well as the preparation of the quarterly reports flagging to the RTA any discrepancies, need for action, or progress in disbursement;

Maintain close contact with COs on projects in varying stages of the project cycle, tracking project development and/or implementation progress against established time-frames for project maturation and/or the attainment of implementation milestones as indicated in project annual work plans, recommending courses of action as appropriate and bringing to the RTAs’ attention all technical issues that require attention/resolution;

Draft correspondence and assist with other administrative tasks, as required;

Backstop other members of the Africa Team and performs ad-hoc tasks, as required, to ensure the Team will deliver at the highest standard;

Support in the organization of meetings, seminars, and workshops by making timely conference room booking, assisting in preparing and sending invitations, following up on invitations with phone calls, assisting in preparing agenda and/or background documentation, assisting in setting up telephone conference call for video-conference meetings, and coordinating logistics with maintenance unit for publications display whenever necessary;

Backstop other Programme Associates and performs ad-hoc tasks as required.

Expected Results: Effective monitoring and timely support to projects under implementation ensuring all UNDP and Vertical Fund timelines and milestones are met.


  1. Country Office Capacity Support:

Managing information flow between COs and HQ on the regional portfolio to meet all reporting requirements;

In coordination with RTAs, advise Environmental Focal Points on procedural issues, approval processes and associated timeframes related to the vertical fund project cycle management, according to the UNDP POPP, respective vertical fund Programming Manual, and any other appropriate Advisory Notes and guidelines;

Assist COs, Africa Team, or HQs on staff recruitment processes and consultant procurement processes, including the development of TORs, finalizing advertisements, screening applications, organizing interviews, ensuring necessary records and documentation throughout the recruitment process, etc., as requested by RTAs;

Work in close collaboration with the Environmental Finance Unit’s Management and Programme Support Unit and the operations, programme and projects’ staff in COs as required for resolving complex issues related to project administration or portfolio management;

Organize Environmental Finance Unit training programmes and workshops in the region as appropriate, including logistics, communications with COs, documentation requirements and any other logistical and administrative support.

Expected Results: Country Offices are supported effectively and efficiently to ensure they meet UNDP and Vertical Fund timelines and milestones.


  1. Self-Development, Learning, Knowledge Management:

Learn from and contribute to corporate knowledge tools including programming manual and PA training manuals;

Organize and participate in Environmental Finance Unit training programmes and workshops as required.  Oversee logistics, documentation, and preparation/review of budget and authorization of expenses;

Coordinate focal area knowledge management activities. Manage dissemination of information through Power Point or similar means, resulting in public awareness of the work and achievements of Environmental Finance Unit;

Undergo training in UNDP and Vertical Fund programme requirements.

Expected Results: The PA continually learns from and improves the effectiveness of corporate knowledge tools, training programmes, marketing and communications, and contributes to the overall Environmental Finance Unit knowledge management.








Ability to make new and useful ideas work.

Level 3: Adapts deliverables to meet client needs.


Ability to persuade others to follow.

Level 3: Proactively seeks and recognizes contributions of others.

People Management:

Ability to improve performance and satisfaction.

Level 3: Appropriately involves team in different stages of work and decision-making.


Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform.

Level 3: Expresses information and views with adaptive reasoning and appreciation for complexity and variation.


Ability to get things done.

Level 3: Takes responsibility for addressing critical situations and delivering core value.



Knowledge Management:

Ability to capture, develop, share and effectively use information and knowledge.

Level 3: Implement & Manage: Exercises skills and knowledge independently, demonstrating ability to manage self and team responsibilities, in area of work.

Project Management:

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

Level 3: Implement & Manage: Exercises skills and knowledge independently, demonstrating ability to manage self and team responsibilities, in area of work.

Monitoring and Evaluation:

Knowledge of methodologies, tools, systems and apply practical experience in planning, monitoring, evaluating, and reporting.

Level 3: Implement & Manage: Exercises skills and knowledge independently, demonstrating ability to manage self and team responsibilities, in area of work.

Budget Management:

Ability to support budgetary aspects of work planning process, drawing and management of team budgets.

Level 3: Implement & Manage: Exercises skills and knowledge independently, demonstrating ability to manage self and team responsibilities, in area of work.

Event, Meeting, and Workshop Facilitation:

Ability to plan and organize events.

Level 3: Implement & Manage: Exercises skills and knowledge independently, demonstrating ability to manage self and team responsibilities, in area of work.


The ability to acquire goods, services or works from an outside external source.

Level 3: Implement & Manage: Exercises skills and knowledge independently, demonstrating ability to manage self and team responsibilities, in area of work.

Quality Assurance:

Ability to perform administrative and procedural activities to ensure that quality requirements and goals are fulfilled.

Level 3: Implement & Manage: Exercises skills and knowledge independently, demonstrating ability to manage self and team responsibilities, in area of work.

Trust Fund Management:

Knowledge of managing trust funds including contributions, allocations, and delivery analysis.

Level 3: Implement & Manage: Exercises skills and knowledge independently, demonstrating ability to manage self and team responsibilities, in area of work.

Required Skills and Experience


Secondary education, preferably with specialized certification in Business or Public Administration, Finance or related area;

A Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Political Sciences, Social Sciences, Natural Resources Management or other closely related fields will also be accepted.

Certification in project management and/or procurement would be an added advantage.


Minimum of 7 years of experience, or 4 years’ experience with a Bachelor’s degree, in financial resources management, budget management, and/or Administrative support functions;

Solid experience in project oversight and/or management highly desirable;

Knowledge of tools and methodologies to follow-up on projects or project cycle management;

Experience at the national or international level with organizations that manage grants or vertical funds is an advantage;

Mastery in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, as a minimum, database management as a plus) and demonstrated experience in web research;

Good knowledge of an ERP System (such as Atlas) and UNDP Procurement, Finance and Accounting structure will be considered an advantage;

Knowledge of environmental vertical funds is an advantage.

Language Requirements:

Fluency in written and spoken English and Amharic;

Spanish, French and/or Portuguese would be an added advantage;

Proficiency in other UN languages is an asset.


Important applicant information


All posts in the GS categories are subject to local recruitment.


Applicant information about UNDP rosters


Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.


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