Specialist, Sustainability and Climate – UNDP, (International Contract)

Job Title: Specialist, Sustainability and Climate – UNDP, (International Contract)

Job Identification: 9746

Locations: Singapore, Singapore

Apply Before: 04/20/2023, 04:59 AM

Job Schedule: Full time

Agency: UNDP

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Grade: IPSA-10

Vacancy Type: International Personnel Service Agreement

Practice Area: Management

Contract Duration: 1 Year with Possibility for extension

Education & Work Experience: Master’s Degree – 5 year(s) experience OR Bachelor’s Degree – 7 year(s) experience

Required Languages: English

Desired Languages: other UN languages

Job Description: Specialist, Sustainability and Climate – UNDP, (International Contract)


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.

Office/Unit/Project Description  

The UNDP Global Centre for Technology, Innovation and Sustainable Development (GC-TISD) aims to identify, co-create, and share innovative and technological solutions for sustainable development. 

We aim to catalyse new insights, partnerships and action in the countries where UNDP works. Our areas of focus are: Sustainability and Climate, Smart Cities and Urbanisation, Digital Inclusion, Digital Sustainable Finance, and Digital Public Goods. 

The GC-TISD leverages Singapore’s deep expertise, solutions, knowledge, and ecosystem of Government and private sector partners, as well as knowledge from experts and partners around the globe, and across UNDPs Global Policy Network. 

More specifically, the GC-TISD connects policymakers, practitioners, think tanks, business, and other relevant stakeholders to each other from across the globe for learning and sharing of best practices on the themes of technology, innovation, and partnerships for sustainable development.

The GC-TISD is a joint initiative of the Singapore Government and UNDP, currently being led by a small team that is focused on programme and partnership development.

The UNDP GC-TISD was setup in 2018, and is currently at the outset of its next iteration – to run between 2022 and 2025. 

Our Singapore Government partners are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment, the Public Service Division, the Ministry of Communications and Information, the Infocomm Media Development Authority, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and the National Research Foundation. We collaborate with governments worldwide through the following:

  • Agile Policy Development Support: Supporting governments in defining the policies and regulations needed for the digital and innovation economies, and providing guidance and methodologies to assist governments on agile policymaking.
  • Research and Thought Leadership: Providing research, analysis, and insights on emerging technologies across a range of thematic areas, including integrating the experiences of UNDP Country Offices with foresight and horizon-scanning.
  • Partnership and Global Ecosystem Building: Catalysing global and national digital and innovation ecosystems across thematic areas that are committed to digital inclusion and fostering collaborations with different players in the digital inclusion space.
  • Knowledge Exchange and Capacity Building: Collecting local intelligence and grassroots innovations across thematic areas, and ensuring that lower-income countries are equal participants in global discussions and explorations of digital inclusion.

Duties and Responsibilities: Specialist, Sustainability and Climate – UNDP, (International Contract)

Climate change is the single greatest challenge humanity has ever faced, threatening water and food security, health, livelihoods, and the safety of billions of people together with drastic negative impacts on global ecosystem balance.

UNDP’s ambitious “Climate Promise” is the world’s largest offer of support to developing countries on delivering the Paris Agreement, with a focus on countries’ national climate pledges, or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

More specifically, the Climate Promise supports over 125 countries/territories to enhance and implement their climate ambitions under the Paris Agreement, with focus on greater emissions reduction and resilience building. 

The second phase of the Climate Promise, launched in 2021 at COP26 in Glasgow, focuses on turning these climate pledges into concrete action. This includes NDC implementation, climate advocacy, and long-term planning to ensure inclusive climate action at the speed and scale required to keep global temperature below 1.5°C. 

The Specialist will work to deliver a number initiatives within the space of sustainability and climate change, specifically at the intersection of the expertise and knowledge of Singapore and priority areas of the Climate Promise/UNDP’s . 

Drawing on the data and insights generated through the Climate Promise, two core issues have been identified as key bottlenecks for acclerating delivery of the Paris Agreement: 1) scaling up investment in NDCs and 2) tracking and reporting on progress towards national targets and global goals. 

Building on these findings, the Specialist will focus on specific areas where Singaporean expertise and knowledge can have a catalytic effect, such as carbon finance (carbon tax), as well as issues of transparency and data for climate action. 

S/he will also play a role to coordinate and connect the dots on other relevant issues towards delivering climate action, such as air pollution and novel food systems, as well as help identify further opportunities for engagement.

The utilization of digital and other technologies within each area will be considered cross-cutting and at the heart of this work.

The Specialist will be required to quickly build relationships with key internal and external constituencies, and to leverage their professional network and expertise to scale the workstreams.

Under the supervision of the Director of the GC-TISD and with a dotted line to the Deputy of the Climate Promise,  the Specialist will: 

i). Undertake research and support the establishment of thought leadership on innovations in sustainability and climate change,  with a focus on data and transparency and carbon finance (carbon tax), as well as broader issues related to climate change mitigation and adaptation, including issues of air pollution, novel food systems, and other priority areas over time.  Responsibilities include: 

  • Participating as a technical advisor in the thematic areas of the GC-TISD as part of the support offered by the Climate Promise.
  • Providing research, analysis, and insights on the above topics in the form of think pieces, blogs, and other content to be shared with an external audience. These will draw on Singapore’s expertise and align with demand as articulated by the Climate Promise team. 
  • Identify relevant case studies and comparative insights from across UNDP, drawing on the data and knowledge of the Climate Promise, and undertake foresight and horizon-scanning to understand how these fit into a broader innovation landscape in the areas of data and transparency, carbon finance, air pollution, and innovative food systems, with a specific focus on the utilization of innovative digital and other technologies. Singaporean expertise will ‘anchor’ these outputs.
  • Support the delivery of an annual ‘Flagship Event’ of the GC-TISD in Singapore within the broad areas of Sustainability and Climate (with a focus on the priority areas noted above) in conjunction  with the Climate Promise, and identify and participate in other relevant convenings and dissemination opportunities.

ii). Lead knowledge exchange and capacity building opportunities. Responsibilities include: 

  • Document and synthesize Singaporean practice and innovation in the areas of sustainability and environment, including but not limited to the establishment and management of the carbon tax, air pollution monitoring and response systems, and novel food systems; make this knowledge available through unque, engaging formats so as to catalyze interest and action globally. 
  • Build strategic alliances and specific outputs with government, technology and other private sector partners working on in Singapore, to amplify the work of the GC-TISD in support of the Climate Promise and NDCs. 
  • Keep abreast of emerging innovations in Singapore that may support the implementation of the NDCs and broader environmental action. 
  • Within the above, identify and support convenings and collaborations to increase knowledge, learning, and understanding of emerging trends and technologies in the areas above –  particularly for lower-income countries.

iii). Support coordination of a data and transparency and carbon finance initiative delivered under UNDP’s Climate Promise portfolio, in partnership with UNFCCC.  Responsibilities include:

  • Undertake day-to-day management and coordination of the roll out of the ongoing data initiative, in close coordination with Singapore partners, UNFCCC, global Climate Promise team, climate transparency technical experts, digital/data team experts, CDO and others, i.e. ensuring tasks are delivered on time, organizing regular coordination meetings, raising risks and flags in delivery, ensuring that all stakeholders are well-informed and updated on progress
  • Provide support to  expert consultants related to NDC data generation and establishing data systems for tracking and aggregating NDC-related data that strengthen reporting on NDCs and enable carbon markets
  • Regularly report to management about progress and results of data initiative
  • Inform development of joint broader proposal with UNFCCC to strengthen the data management system and link to UNDP’s support to countries on transparency systems         

Institutional Arrangement

The Specialist will work under the supervison of the Director of the GC-TISD and with a dotted line secondary reporting arrangement  to the Deputy of the Climate Promise.Travel arrangements: UNDP will cover the cost of travel of the individual to the duty station, as well as their return to their home upon completion of their services.

Travel costs are covered only in the event that the function will be undertaken physically in the duty station and excludes working from home arrangements.


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 2: Facilitate conversations to bridge differences, considers in decision making 
Cross-Functional & Technical competencies () Thematic AreaNameDefinitionBusiness Direction & StrategyEntrepreneurial ThinkingAbility to create clarity around UNDP value proposition to beneficiaries and partners and to develop service offers responding to client needs based on UNDP’s organizational priorities and mandateNature, Climate and Energy  Climate Change Policies: Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)Technical knowledge of NDCs and ability to generate insights from comparative analysis of different NDCs.  Business DevelopmentKnowledge generationAbility to research and turn information into useful knowledge, relevant for content, or responsive to a stated needBusiness ManagementProject ManagementAbility to plan, organize, prioritize and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goalsBusiness ManagementPartnerships ManagementAbility to build and maintain partnerships with wide networks of stakeholders, Governments, civil society and private sector partners, experts and others in line with UNDP strategy and policiesBusiness ManagementDigital Awareness and LiteracyAbility and inclination to rapidly adopt new technologies, either through skilfully grasping their usage or through understanding their impact and empowering others to use them as needed

Required Skills and Experience

Min. Education requirementsA Master’s degree, preferably in international development, sustainability, environment, climate, international affairs, development economics, or other relevant field; or or Bachelor’s degree in any of the above fields with relevant work experience.
Min. years of relevant work experience With a Masters Degree, at least five (5) years of professional work experience in in either public sectors (local, national or multilateral, including UN) or private (academia, non-governmental sector, corporate). With a Bachelor Degree, at least 7 years work experience in the above areas.  
Required  skills Proven track record of and technical/advisory experience in designing innovation policies or projects for clients Demonstrated expertise in innovation and working in the development sector Ability to successfully manage multi-stakeholder projects Demonstrated knowledge of climate change issuesAnticipates obstacles and applies practical solutions Builds professional networks with institutional partners
Desired skills in addition to the competencies covered in the Competencies sectionExperience in client-advisory within the area of sustainability and/or climateExperience implementing projects in developing countries Knowledge of the UN systemKnowledge of the UNFCCC process, particularly related to issues of NDCs and transparencyExcellent negotiating and communication skills and ability to mobilize support from a wide range of partners 
Required Language(s) Proficiency in written and spoken English required. Professional working knowledge of other UN languages would be an asset.


Important information for US Permanent Residents (‘Green Card’ holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents.

UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment. 

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

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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Simon Tyrus Caine is a solar energy expert with more than 10 years experience in the solar sector. Simon has worked and lived in more than 5 countries. Simon has been involved in solar installations, solar project development, solar financing as well as business development in the solar sector. At SolarEyes International, Simon manages content development and day to day operations of the organisation.

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