Senior Programme Management Assistant 233 views

Job Summary
Grade: G-7, Associate
Employment Type: Full-time
Occupation: Programme and Project Management
Location: Montreal (Canada)
Closing Date: 31 Dec 2019

Org. Setting and Reporting

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, world leaders agreed on a comprehensive strategy for ‘sustainable development’. One of the key agreements adopted at Rio was the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Convention has three main objectives: the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) is located in Montreal and is administered by UNEP. This post is located in the Convention on Biological Diversity, Science, Society and Sustainable Futures Division (SSSF). Under the general guidance of the Head of the Division and the direct supervision of the Senior Programme Management Officer of the Biodiversity Science, Policy and Governance Unit (BSPG), the incumbent will perform the following duties:


For supporting Parties to implement the Convention and COP decisions on ecosystem conservation and restoration, in collaboration with programme officers, director and support staff/consultants as part of a team:
A. Delivers a full range of project management support services: a) Proposes and develops strategies and plans to address COP decisions: identifies key issues, gaps and opportunities, makes use of current research, national planning and reporting documents, as well as discussions with national focal points, and communications with external partners; b) Drafts project plans including resources required, timeline, budget, outreach and teamwork required; consults with programme officers, directors, other units for finalizing plans; c) Suggests donors, prepares grant requests, monitors budget, communicates with donors to keep them informed and involved in the development and delivery of projects and fulfills their reporting requirements; d) Prepares legal agreements such as Memoranda of Cooperation/Understanding, funding agreements (collaborating with legal and administrative officers), and terms of reference; e) Provides guidance to contractors and assistants on substantive and procedural matters; reviews and drafts assessments of their work, approves payments; f) Monitors the development, budget and reporting for projects, anticipates issues and responds quickly to situations as they arise and determines solutions, escalates to supervisors when needed; g) Determines if other input is required, such as from other staff, and involves them as needed to achieve the outcomes; h) Provides updates to supervisors on completion;
B. Develops and delivers technical support: a) Plans and organizes workshops/meetings, anticipates problems and proposes solutions: determines, contacts, engages, and contracts a host government through an Exchange of Letters, working with national focal points; liaises with conference services; drafts notifications to Parties including mandate, objectives, nomination criteria; vets delegates and experts for funding their participation; disburses delegate payments; guides other team members working on logistics; reviews invoices (e.g. at conference venues); b) Drafts agendas for workshops defining goals and outcomes, identifies background documents and required experts; amending the agenda for achieving the goals as new information and experts are identified; c) Facilitates workshops or expert meetings, drafts and delivers presentations and group exercises, responds to questions from participants, assists delegates, and ensures smooth running of the workshop, anticipating and solving problems independently; d) Determines opportunities for and organizes outreach events (defines purpose, develops agenda, draft materials, identifies speakers, facilitates or presents at events, provide reporting); e) Develops information and outreach documents (e.g. background and briefing notes, statements, guidance, meeting documents, reports, presentations), providing research and analysis based on most reliable information; f) Based on agreement with Unit and Division management delivers CBD messaging by representing the Secretariat in meetings and events; g) Responds to external requests for specialized information; h) Services CBD official meetings e.g. the Conference of the Parties (COP) and the Subsidiary Body on Scientific Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA).
C. Maintains and creates partnerships: a) Maintains, and identifies new, partnerships to support or go beyond agreed plans; b) Maintains good, consistent, diplomatic communications with country representatives (e.g. to deliver technical support, respond to questions), donors (for project updates, consultations and reporting), and with experts and partners; c) Identifies and fosters synergies in implementation across conventions, determines and proposes collaborative activities; d) Collaborates with multiple partners on products (e.g. journal articles, guidance documents), workshops and other events; e) Articulates and gets feedback from partners on CBD plans, actions, perspectives and mandates; D. Performs other duties as assigned.


Professionalism: Shows pride in work and achievements. Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges. Remains calms in stressful situations.

Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; Places team agenda before personal agenda; Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

Planning and Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; Identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; Uses time efficiently.


Completion of high school diploma is required. Additional technical qualifications are desirable.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten (10) years of relevant work experience in programme or project administration, technical cooperation or related area is required.
Experience in supporting activities in the field of biodiversity is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of other UN languages is an advantage.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include a substantive assessment which will be followed by a competency-based interview.

Special Notice

Appointment against this post is for an initial period of one year and may be subject to extension. Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply on-line as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening. On-line applications will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided.

If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received.. If the problem persists, please seek technical assistance through the Inspira “Need Help?” link.

Internal Applicants – when completing the PHP, ensure ALL fields, ALL professional experience and contact information are completed and up to date. This information is the basis for the hiring manager to assess your eligibility and suitability for the position and to contact you.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


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