Current Opportunities at United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

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Current Opportunities at United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

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The United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the world’s 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 environment.

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Evaluation Consultant for Mid-Term Evaluation of the UNEP Project “Sustainable Cities Impact Program Global Platform (SCIP-GP)” GEF 10452

THE EVALUATION.

  • In line with the UNEP Evaluation Policy and the UNEP Programme Manual , the Mid-Term Evaluation (MTE) is undertaken approximately half-way through project implementation to analyze whether the project is on-track, what problems or challenges the project is encountering, and what corrective actions are required. A key aim of the Mid-Term Evaluation is to encourage reflection and learning by UNEP staff, the implementing partners and key project stakeholders. The Evaluation Consultant should therefore, consider how reflection and learning can be promoted, both through the evaluation process and in the communication of evaluation findings and key lessons.

THE PROJECT

  • Cities are the main contributors to climate change, accounting for around 70% of global carbon emissions, and can give the world the best chance of reversing its course towards a more sustainable path. The Sustainable cities Impact Program Global Platform (SCIP-GP) is a Global Environment Facility (GEF) Funded project intended to influence 9 targeted cities through capacity building, knowledge sharing and advocacy in order to enable cities to improve sustainability through i) policies, regulations and plans, ii) behaviours and utilization of better technologies and iii) investments.
  • The SCIP GP project intended to bring together global, national and local champions that want to work together towards a common vision of sustainable and integrated development. Its objective is that: ‘cities pursue integrated urban planning and implementation and increase their ambitions, to deliver impactful sustainable development outcomes with global environmental benefits (GEBs)’ (Endorsement Package, 2020).

THE EVALUATION CONSULTANT

  • The Evaluation Consultant, will work under the overall responsibility of the Evaluation Manager. Information and liaison support will be provided by the UNEP Task Manager and Fund Management Officer. The Evaluation Consultant will be responsible, in close consultation with the Evaluation Manager, for overall management of the Evaluation and timely delivery of its outputs. The Evaluation Consultant will ensure that all evaluation criteria and questions are adequately covered.

SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES.

  • In close consultation with the Evaluation Manager, the Evaluation Consultant will be responsible for the overall management of the Evaluation and timely provision of its outputs, data collection and analysis, and report writing. More specifically, the Evaluation Consultant will undertake the following:

Inception phase of the Evaluation, including:

  • preliminary desk review and introductory interviews with project staff;
  • draft the reconstructed Theory of Change of the project;
  • prepare the evaluation framework;
  • develop the desk review and interview protocols;
  • draft the survey protocols (if relevant);
  • develop and present criteria for country and/or site selection for the evaluation mission;
  • plan the evaluation schedule;
  • prepare the Inception Report, incorporating comments until approved by the Evaluation Manager
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Data collection and analysis phase of the Evaluation, including:

  • conduct further desk review and in-depth interviews with project implementing and executing agencies, project partners and project stakeholders;
  • (where appropriate and agreed) conduct an evaluation mission(s) to selected countries, visit the project locations, interview project partners and stakeholders, including a good representation of local communities. Ensure independence of the Evaluation and confidentiality of evaluation interviews.
  • regularly report back to the Evaluation Manager on progress and inform of any possible problems or issues encountered; and

Reporting phase, including:

  • draft the Main Evaluation Report, ensuring that the evaluation report is complete, coherent and consistent with the Evaluation Manager guidelines both in substance and style;
  • liaise with the Evaluation Manager on comments received and finalize the Main Evaluation Report, ensuring that comments are taken into account until approved by the Evaluation Manager
  • prepare a Response to Comments annex for the main report, listing those comments not accepted by the Evaluation Consultant and indicating the reason for the rejection; and
  • (where agreed with the Evaluation Manager) prepare an Evaluation Brief (2-page summary of the evaluand and the key evaluation findings and lessons)

Managing relations, including:

  • maintain a positive relationship with evaluation stakeholders, ensuring that the evaluation process is as participatory as possible but at the same time maintains its independence;
  • communicate in a timely manner with the Evaluation Office on any issues requiring its attention and intervention.
  • The Evaluation Consultant shall have had no prior involvement in the formulation or implementation of the project and will be independent from the participating institutions. The consultant will sign the Evaluation Consultant Code of Conduct Agreement Form.
  • The evaluation Consultant will be selected and recruited by the UNEP Evaluation Office through an individual consultancy contract.
  • Comprehensive terms of reference will be shared with the consultant separately.

Qualifications/special skills

  • A university degree in environmental sciences, international development or other relevant political or social sciences area is required and an advanced degree in the same areas is desirable
  • A minimum of 7 years of technical/evaluation experience is required, preferably including evaluating large, regional or global programmes and using a Theory of Change approach
  • A good/broad understanding of integrated/sustainable urban development is desired.
  • Working knowledge of the UN system and specifically the work of UNEP is an added advantage.

Languages

  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this consultancy, fluency in oral and written English is a requirement and proficiency in Spanish is desirable, and knowledge of any of the following would be an advantage: Portuguese, French, Mandarin, Bahasa and Hindi.
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Science Writer

Duties and Responsibilities

  • The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), established in 1972, 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. UNEP through the Office of the Chief Scientist provides strategic coordination of and input to the science and analytics that inform the organization’s decisions, policies, interventions, and publications.
  • To help navigate current and future uncertainty and disruptive change, while effectively delivering on its mandate, UNEP is looking to put in place a mechanism to establish an institutionalized approach to strategic foresight and horizon scanning with the view to developing an anticipatory and future-oriented culture. This mirrors the growing interest and demand for foresight that is also reinforced by the United Nations reform agenda and the Secretary-General’s report on ‘Our Common Agenda’, which calls for all UN agencies, as well as all UN member states, to engage foresight practices more deeply and apply the derived insights to address global systemic risks. This work will also contribute to achieving UNEP’s 2022-2023 Programme of Work and Medium-Term Strategy 2022-2025, through the Science-Policy Subprogramme (Project A5: Output 2: Developing and implementing a Strategic Foresight trajectory).
  • To achieve these goals, the Office of the Chief Scientist will undertake a series of complementary activities to enhance UNEP’s internal capacity and capabilities for applied strategic foresight, futures thinking and environmental horizon scanning. The foresight process will kick-start with a scenario building exercise and an exploratory scanning of signals largely derived through a digital Delphi survey. This will be followed by global level structured sensemaking session with the Foresight Expert Panel to interpret, analyse and cluster the emerging signals and their potential for disruptive change, with a view to informing the identification of specific areas for action. Following this global analysis, a series of regional workshops will be held to review the preliminary outputs of the global horizon scan/ Foresight Expert Panel with the view to providing the necessary contextualization to validate and adjust the initial identification of emerging signals of change and provide information on regionally specific issues, risks, and opportunities.
  • The outcomes of the horizon scanning, and foresight exercise will culminate into a Global Report to be published in 2024. This report will be supplemented with regionally specific information that was drawn from each of the regional workshops. It is also expected that the Report together any relevant insights and recommendations put forward through the regional workshops will inform the deliberations of the sixth UN Environment Assembly in February 2024 and the Summit of the Future in September 2024.
  • To support this process, specifically the drafting of the Global Foresight Report, an experienced and talented consultant is requested to work as a science writer to communicate the findings of the horizon scanning and foresight process and to produce easily accessible text, including key messages. The consultant will also coordinate the creation of visually attractive, modern, and easily interpretable infographics, illustrations and other types of visualisations to draw attention to and facilitate the understanding of the content, key findings, and key messages of the Report. The consultant will be involved in the editorial and writing work, the preparation and launch of some initial key messages summary of the Global Foresight Report at the sixth UN Environment Assembly in February 2024 and the full report ahead of the Summit of the Future in September 2024.
  • The consultant will be home based, with the possibility of missions as and when required for official duties.
  • Under the supervision of the Programme Management Officer, in the Office of Chief Scientist, and in close coordination with the Senior Program Coordinator, the consultant will be responsible for the following duties:
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OCS activities on Strategic Foresight (75% of time)

  • Finalizing the drafting of the UNEP scenario report
  • Copyediting, the set of regional contextualization foresight reports
  • Preparing and submitting a clean, edited, and formatted version of the Global Foresight Report for online and print dissemination.
  • Preparing and submitting a clean, edited, and formatted version of the UNEP Scenarios Report.
  • Drafting a set of visually attractive, modern, and easily interpretable summary and keynote messages to be distilled from the Global Foresight Report to facilitate the understanding of the content, key findings, and key messages contained therein

OCS activities on Enhancing Science use and uptake (25% of time)

  • Drafting a Science Strategy for UNEP and an Engagement strategy for the Office of the Chief Scientist
  • Drafting A set of five Issues Briefs

Qualifications/special skills

  • First level academic degree in journalism, communication or equivalent is required. The applicants will be required to send to UNEP examples of their previous work including texts where they have synthesised scientific messages for various audiences to demonstrate their experience and knowledge in science editing and writing in addition to their Personal History Profile (PHP), as part of the selection process.
  • A minimum of five years of professional experience in journalism and/or science writing and working on similar assignments required.
  • Proven and practical experience in the designing of multiple communications products notably focused on science writing are required.
  • Practical experience with materials related to different fields of science, the environment, and/or environmental sustainability is required.
  • Demonstrated journalistic background experience applicable to science writing and analysing key messages for multiple audiences is desirable.

Languages

  • Fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Working knowledge of another UN official language is desirable.

Closing Date: 16 October 2023

Method of Application

 

Current Opportunities at United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

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