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Chief Technical Advisor (Duty Station: Alofi, Niue)

samoa

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: samoa
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: Closed

Background
 
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core principles at UNDP:  we value diversity as an expression of the multiplicity of nations and cultures where we operate, we foster inclusion as a way of ensuring all personnel are empowered to contribute to our mission, and we ensure equity and fairness in all our actions. Taking a ‘leave no one behind’ approach to our diversity efforts means increasing representation of underserved populations. People who identify as belonging to marginalized or excluded populations are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about working at UNDP including our values and inspiring stories.
 
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.

The objective of the AREAN project is to enable the achievement of low carbon energy access, sustainable energy and green growth targets of Niue as stated in the Niue Sustainable Energy Road Map (NiSERM), which is the basis of the country’s latest Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement. The government has been, and continues to be, very focused on the achievement of its renewable energy and energy efficiency targets, especially the generation of 80% of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2025; however, the available financial and technical resources will not be enough to guarantee a timely and full achievement of said targets without additional support from international donors. 

The design of AREAN follows a holistic approach to the removal of all the barriers, by synergistically interconnecting all the activities of five (5) different components, namely: 

  • Improvements in Energy Integrated Development Policy and Planning. 
  • Institutional Capacity Building on Low Carbon Development.
  • Improvements in the Financing of Low Carbon Development Initiatives. 
  • Climate Resilient and Low Carbon Technologies Applications; and 
  • Enhancement of Awareness on Low Carbon Development. 

The project will be implemented over 63 months, spanning from 2019 to 2024, and the total amount of GHG emission reductions is estimated to be about 112.2 kilotons CO2. The GHG emission reductions will be partly realized during the implementation period of the AREAN project and partly achieved after the completion of the project, throughout the lifespan of the equipment provided for the demonstration projects as well as other investment type activities.

Project Outcome 1:

Improved policy and regulatory frameworks in the application of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies in the energy end-use sectors.

Project Outcome 2: 

Effective enforcement of plans, policies and regulations, and implementation of programs/projects on the application of climate resilient and low carbon technologies in the end-use sectors.

Project Outcome 3: 

Increased availability of, and access to, financing for sustainable energy, energy access and low carbon development initiatives in the energy supply and demand sectors.

Project Outcome 4.1: 

Climate resilient and low carbon techniques and practices adopted and implemented in the energy supply and energy end-use sectors.

Project Outcome 4.2:

Enhanced confidence in the viability of climate resilient and low carbon technology applications in the energy supply and demand sectors.

Project Outcome 5:

Enhanced levels of awareness and attitude towards climate resilient and low carbon development in the energy supply and energy end use sectors.

The project will be implemented over 5 years, beginning in 2019. UNDP is the GEF Implementing Agency and the Ministry of Infrastructure (MOI), is the project’s lead Implementing Partner and responsible party.

The project is being nationally executed as per UNDP National Implementation Modality (NIM) procedures. According to UNDP guidelines on National Implementation Modality (2011), the Government is responsible for the management and delivery of programme activities to achieve project outcomes/outputs. Government regulations, rules and procedures therefore apply to project implementation if they do not contravene the principles of the Financial Regulations and Rules of UNDP.

Project monitoring and evaluation will be conducted in accordance with established UNDP and GEF procedures and will be provided by the project team and the UNDP Multi-Country Office (UNDP-MCO) in Apia with support from the UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia-Pacific (RBAP) region in Bangkok.

The hired consultant will work with the AREAN Project Manager. Reports and documentation will be shared with the AREAN Project Manager promptly, with a copy to the UNDP MCO Assistant Resident Representative of Environment and Climate Change Unit. 

Duties and Responsibilities:

The Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) will be responsible for providing strategic direction and overall technical backstopping to the project team in the implementation of activities as defined in the project document and in the inception report. He/she will render technical support to the Project Manager (PM) under a joint arrangement with the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Project Management and Coordination Unit. 
  • He/she will work under the guidance of the AREAN Project Manager (PM). The CTA is expected to provide technical advice to the project team and assist the PM to organize and supervise the work of the project hired consultants.
  • Under the supervision of the PM, the CTA will coordinate the provision of the required technical inputs, including assisting in executing the implementation strategy, recruiting and supervising experts and technical advisors’ inputs, and ensuring coordination and leveraging resources from other initiatives. The CTA will provide guidance and support on both strategic project matters, quality control of technical expertise and aspects of day-to-day management as required.
  • The responsibilities and tasks that the CTA is expected to assume over another year of implementation are detailed in this document. 
  • The scope of work for the CTA will include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following key activities:

Provide technical advice on the project implementation strategy and plan .

  • Provide technical expertise and strategic guidance to all project components, assuming quality control of interventions, and support the PM in the execution of the planned activities under the project as stipulated in the project document, inception report and approved work plans and budgets.
  • Give input and guide development of technical training packages on the use of the RE/EE technology for both supply and end-use sectors. 
  • Advise on key policy and legal issues pertaining to the project.
  • Develop Terms of Reference for new consultants and sub-contractors that will be necessary for the implementation of the project and assist in the selection and recruitment process; recommend best candidates and technical approaches, provide quality assurance function to sub-contractors.
  • Provide supervisory function on the technical work carried out by consultants hired by the project including assisting the PM in coordinating the work of consultants and sub-contractors, helping to ensure the timely delivery of expected outputs, and effective synergy among the various sub-contracted activities.
  • Provide guidance to ensure that works carried out under contract with the AREAN project meets the highest technical and professional standards.
  • Review and provide comments on the technical reports and knowledge sharing materials produced by the project components.
  • Provide clearance of the deliverables submitted by the technical contractors (individual contract holders, companies, national institutions); Assist the PM to mobilize staff and consultants for the mid-term and terminal evaluation, and in undertaking revisions in the implementation plan and strategy based on mid-term and terminal evaluation recommendations.

Project management and monitoring

  • Facilitate the PM in the preparation and revision of the Multi Year Work Plan and the Annual Work Plans (AWPs) Budgets, project procurement plan , as well as the drafting and reviewing of Terms of References and specifications of materials and equipment procured by the project. 
  • Advise the PM in the designing of an appropriate Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Framework; and develop suitable monitoring tools for the project activities (both baseline and incremental) that link to the log frame’s indicators, midterm and end of the year target, means of verification, and risks and assumptions, including advising on the implementation of such tools.
  • Identity project risks and elaborate relevant mitigation measures as well as updating the current/existing project risks.
  • In line with the preceding task, assist the PM in the designing and implementation of appropriate scheme to track the implementation of co-financed activities of the project and the amount of committed co-financing that have been realized.
  • When appropriate and necessary, assist the PM in adjusting the Project Results Framework following the recommendations of the mid-term evaluation. 
  • As required from time to time, provide guidance to the PM in the preparation of other reports requested by donors and Government Departments.
  • Provide hands-on support to the PM, project staff and other government counterparts in the areas of project management and planning, management of site activities, monitoring, and impact assessment.
  • Guide the PM in the preparation of the Project Implementation Review/Annual Programme Report (PIR/APR), technical reports, quarterly progress and financial reports for submission to UNDP and the GEF.
  • Guidance and train the project team in updating the GEF Tracking Tools/GEF Core Indicators before Terminal Evaluation mission.
  • Advice on establishing and managing monitoring and evaluation programs for all aspects of the project following the Log Frame of the project and on the preparation and finalization of the Annual Project Report/Project Implementation Review as required by the UNDP/GEF M&E system.
  • Advise the PM in evaluating annually the extent by which the barriers that the AREAN Project is expected to remove have been achieved.
  • Advise the UNDP, NPD, PM and Project Team and independent evaluators in the conduct of the Terminal Evaluation (TE), exit strategy and the project closure process and other UNDP-GEF requirements.
  • Facilitate the PM in the preparation of the project final report (including the best practices, lessons learnt etc.)
  • Support any other relevant tasks as assigned by the Director General of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the AREAN Project Manager.

Build strategic partnerships.

  • This position will be in the Project Management Coordination Unit (PMCU) and be an expert advisor in liaising with project partners, donor organizations, NGOs and other groups to ensure effective coordination of project activities and potential leverage of additional resources.
  • Engage on and contribute to policy dialogues within the Niue Ministry of Infrastructure (MoI) and other relevant agencies.

Communication and knowledge management

  • Contribute to the definition of a knowledge management, communications and awareness raising strategy.
  • Provide guidance on knowledge management, communications and awareness raising and on document lessons from programme implementation and make recommendations to the Project Board for more effective implementation and coordination of programme activities.
  • In the event of other potential tasks emerging, these will be discussed between the Project Manager, UNDP Programme Officer for Environment & Climate Change, and the Chief Technical Adviser to review workloads and if necessary, reassign priorities.

The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the Office and the Organization

Competencies:

Core competencies:

  • 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: 

Business Direction & Strategy             

  • System Thinking: Ability to understand and deal with a business situation in a manner that is likely to lead to a good outcome Knowledge and understanding of the operational frameworks in the organization and ability to make good judgments and quick decisions within such frameworks.
  • Effective Decision Making: Ability to take decisions in a timely and efficient manner in line with one’s authority, area of expertise and resources.

Business Development           

  • Knowledge Generation: Ability to research and turn information into useful knowledge, relevant for context, or responsive to a stated need.
  • Collective Intelligence design: Ability to bringing together diverse groups of people, data, information or ideas, and technology to design services or solutions.

Business Management           

  • Results-based Management: Ability to manage programmes and projects with a focus at improved performance and demonstrate results.
  • Partnership Management: Ability 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 policies.

Partnership Management      

  • Relationships Management: Ability to engage with a wide range of public and private partners, build, sustain and/or strengthen working relations, trust and mutual understanding.
Required Skills and Experience:

Education:
  • Advanced university degree (master's degree or equivalent) in Engineering, with a focus on either Energy technologies, Renewable Energy technologies, and electric power systems is required. or a first-level university degree (bachelor’s degree) in the above-mentioned fields of study, in combination with an additional two years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the advanced university degree. 
Experience:
  • Minimum 7 years’ experience (with a master’s degree) or, minimum 9 years (with a bachelor’s degree) of professional experience in Renewable Energy Systems, Energy Efficiency Technology Applications, Grid Stability Management, with substantive work undertaken in the electricity and energy sector as well as a good understanding of mainstreaming gender and other cross-cutting priorities such as climate change mitigation.
  • Sound understanding of the UNDP-GEF Project Cycle Management, with demonstrated experience in designing and facilitating processes to enhance project implementation and its adaptive management through the application of M&E tools, including results-based management logical frameworks.
  • Experience and sound understanding of procurement and supply chains within the pacific context including existing strong connections with energy goods and services suppliers within regional market.
  • Extensive experience with the Niue Energy Sector (Electricity and Renewable Energy Sub-Sector) would be an advantage.
  • Experience in working with communities, including community-based management and co-management initiatives, NGOs and multiple sectors of government, using mechanisms to develop common visions among stakeholders and including consulting with senior executives and civil servants is desired.
  • An understanding of the Government of Niue procedures and policies would be an advantage. 
  • Experience working in Niue in a similar role would be an advantage.
  • Experience working in any Pacific Island Countries or comparable island nations is an advantage.

Required Languages:

  • English (oral and written) is a requirement, with sound written and presentation skills using plain English.
  • Working knowledge of another UN language is an advantage.
Disclaimer
 
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.
 
Non-discrimination
 
UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.  
 
UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status. 
 
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