Climate Change Specialist (NPSA10), Accra, Ghana At UNDP – United Nations Development Programme

Closing date: Thursday, 2 November 2023

Job Identification : 14210

Locations : Accra, Ghana

Posting Date : 10/17/2023, 05:46 PM

Apply Before : 11/02/2023, 03:59 AM

Job Schedule : Full time

Agency : UNCDF

Grade : NPSA-10

Vacancy Type : National Personnel Service Agreement

Practice Area : Nature, Climate and Energy

Bureau : Regional Bureau for Africa

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 : Local language of the duty station

Vacancy Timeline

2 Weeks

Job Description


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 United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 46 least developed countries. With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.

The Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility (LoCAL) is a mechanism to integrate climate change into local authorities’ planning and budgeting through the regular intergovernmental fiscal transfer system using performance-based grants in a participatory and gender sensitive manner, increase awareness and capacities to respond to climate change at the local level including through ecosystem-based solutions, and increase the quality and number of local investments that address climate change. LoCAL combines performance-based climate resilience grants (PBCRGs), which ensure programming and verification of change expenditures at the local level, with technical and capacity-building support. It uses the grants and demonstration effect to trigger further flows for local climate action including global climate finance and national fiscal transfers. LoCAL also aims to support private finance for small and medium businesses and municipal finance and public-private partnerships. LoCAL is currently active in 17 countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, with another 13 countries preparing to join (at the design stage).

UNCDF is bringing its expertise in promoting a green and climate resilient local communities and economies for returnees, youth and women to support job creation in regions of departure, transit and return in Ghana, creating local ecosystems that facilitate the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and enabling the transition of local economies to green and climate resilient development under the Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana (GrEEn) project, funded by the European Union Trust Fund for Africa. This intervention is being implemented in 10 MMDAs. This project contributes to addressing the root causes of irregular migration through green and climate resilient local economic development and improving future prospects of beneficiaries, by creating employment and enterprise opportunities in selected sectors and regions (Ashanti and Western). The action aims at supporting job creation in regions of departure, transit and return of Ghana, creating local financial ecosystems that facilitate the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and enabling the transition of local economies to green and climate resilient development.

UNCDF is also implementing under the project, Promoting Green and Climate Resilient Local Economies in Ghana – Applying circular economy (CE) and climate smart agriculture (CSA) principles and solutions to local development pathways in 6 MMDAs. The objective of the Action is to contribute to build green and climate resilient local economies in Ghana, applying circular economy and climate-smart agriculture (CSA) principles and solutions to local development pathways with funding from the Government of Norway.

In whole, UNCDF’s interventions are expected to achieve the overall objective through increasing selected District Assemblies’ access to climate finance to plan and implement locally led green and climate resilient public investments, while consolidating a country-based and internationally recognized mechanism to channel climate finance for local action through the performance-based climate resilience grant (PBCRG) system.

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work

As part of the project team, the Climate Change Specialist will specifically contribute to the effective delivery of the projects’ activities in the target Districts under Results 1 of the GrEEn project and under the intervention promoting climate resilience whilst applying CE and CSA principles and solutions, using the Local Climate Change Adaptive Living Facility (LoCAL) approach.

The Climate Change Specialist will be responsible for providing technical, policy, and programming implementation support and oversight, and knowledge and capacity development services for the effective deployment of LoCAL programmatic activities, for providing operational support to the LoCAL Facility, and is also expected to contribute to LoCAL’s resource mobilization activities on an ongoing basis.

Summary of key functions:

  •  Technical Assistance Management and implementation (40%)
  •  Policy advisory and technical services (30%)
  •  Knowledge management and communication (20%)
  •  Networking and partnership building (10%)

A. Technical Assistance management and implementation (40%)

  •  Provide technical inputs and overall technical and management oversight of specialized technical assistance (TA) assignments on climate risk assessments, vulnerability assessments at the local level, establishment of a national local information system for adaptation (LISA) and similar assignments to increase the use of climate data at the MMDAs level;
  •  Provide technical advice and capacity building support (“learning by doing”) to target MMDAs and local stakeholders for the progressive roll out and uptake of tools introduced to advance the use of climate data at the local level;
  •  Provide technical advice and capacity building support (“learning by doing”) for the integration of climate change adaptation considerations, climate smart agriculture, circular economy principles, in the local development investment plans and budgets that foster job creation, gender equality and green and climate resilient local economies;
  •  Support the project team (Technical Specialist and Field Officers) in the review and improvement of Adaptation Annual Investment Plans, ensuring compliance with the LoCAL standard on climate change adaptation mainstreaming (e.g., adaptation investment prioritization, review and advise of climate rationales, advise on technical specifications accounting for climate change risks, etc.);
  •  Lead on the uptake by and assistance to target MMDAs on LoCAL M&E tool for adaptation (Assessing Climate Change Adaptation Framework – ACCAF), ensuring its application along the planning cycle and capacity building to MMDAs as deemed needed;
  •  Support the project team in the monitoring of project activities, the identification of operational and financial challenges and recommend solutions, as deemed needed;
  •  Support identification and sourcing of technical expertise and support, including assisting with the preparation of TORs, identification and evaluation of experts and reviewing reports;
  •  Liaise regularly with UNCDF Regional Office and the LoCAL Global Secretariat as appropriate to share information on project implementation;
  •  Contribute to ensure quality planning (annual, and quarterly work-plans), reporting, monitoring and evaluation of the project;
  •  Ensuring the timely and effective management of the activities under responsibility as scheduled.

B. Policy advisory and technical services in climate change (30%)

  •  Provide policy, regulatory and technical advice on climate change adaptation issues, including climate smart agriculture, circular economy and environmental sustainability to government counterparts at the national and sub-national levels;
  •  Provide technical advice on nationally led climate-related initiatives and processes on adaptation, upon the request of the Government of Ghana to UNCDF;
  •  Support the Technical Specialist in maintaining close working relationships with the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Environmental Protection Agency, National Development Planning Commission, Development Partners and other key stakeholders at various levels in order to support the quality of LoCAL mechanism deployment and its scale up;
  •  Support in the preparation of necessary briefings and update for UNCDF’s effective participation in project meetings, workshops, thematic working groups, and other relevant events;
  •  Support UNCDF’s efforts on advocacy, policy and technical dialogue on topics of expertise, including participation and contribution to policy-driven research and reviews on environment and climate change issues (e.g., NAP process, NDC implementation, revisions to local development planning and budgeting manuals and guidelines for climate change mainstreaming; national and subnational climate budget coding; integration of climate change in tendering, procurement and delivery processes, monitoring and reporting practices);
  •  Advise UNCDF and UN Country Team on relevant national and international developments on climate change solutions, circular economy, climate smart agriculture and assist in identifying coordinated approaches.

C. Knowledge Management and Communication (20%)

  •  Support in the organization of consultative meetings, seminars and workshops to drive analytical and policy work as of relevance for the GrEEn project and LoCAL and in areas of specialty;
  •  Identify key knowledge constraints in areas of work and organize learning, knowledge exchange, trainings, workshops, etc. to build the awareness and capacities on relevant themes (i.e., climate change, local climate risk assessments, environmental sustainability, mainstreaming, climate smart agriculture, circular economy, etc.);
  •  Contribute to the implementation of the Communication and Visibility Plan of the project, in collaboration with project team, partners and technical consultants;
  •  Identify, collect, and disseminate best practices and lessons learned from the project in areas of specialty;
  •  Liaise as needed with the relevant Ministries, National and International Research Institutes, NGOs, and other relevant institutions to collect and disseminate information relevant to LoCAL;
  •  Coordinates closely with LoCAL Secretariat on knowledge management and communication to ensure a common message across countries and regions;
  •  Enhance UNCDF’s visibility and profile on climate change, climate finance, circular economy, climate smart agriculture and local climate resilience in Ghana.

D. Networking and Partnership Building (10%)

  •  Work with the project team to identify and pursue strategic partnerships, opportunities for collaboration and synergies within the climate change community in Ghana and in the region;
  •  Contributes to the implementation of LoCAL in United Nations Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) and Delivering as One agenda, and support co-operation with UN sister agencies and partners to identify and develop synergies with relevant in-country projects with a focus on policy and capacity development for climate change mainstreaming;
  •  With the Technical Specialist, support cooperation with UN agencies, government, technical partners, bilateral donors and other financing institutions in order to identify and mobilize support for LoCAL;
  •  Provide technical inputs and support in resource mobilization efforts, including supporting the drafting of funding proposals, concept notes, etc.

Institutional Arrangement

The Climate Change Specialist ultimately reports to the Technical Specialist (Local Government Finance) in Accra, Ghana and under a delegated authority at the Global Secretariat and works in close collaboration with other LTF and LoCAL colleagues in the regional office/HQ based, country and across the region. This position will be based in Accra, Ghana.


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


  •  Advocacy strategy: Ability to create and implement advocacy strategies which lead to impactful change.

Partnership management

  •  Multi-stakeholder engagement and funding: Knowledge and ability to forge multi-stakeholder partnerships, and remove any obstacles to resource mobilization and multi-stakeholder funding platforms.

Partnership management

  •  Strategic engagement: Ability to capture and sustain attention, interest and agreement of high-level, influential policy and decision makers and secure their buy-in of high-level vision and objective.

2030 Agenda: Planet

  •  Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery: Climate Risk Management Disaster and Climate Risk Governance.

2030 Agenda: Planet

  •  Nature, Climate and Energy: Climate Change Policies: Climate Finance.

2030 Agenda: Planet

  •  Nature, Climate and Energy: Climate Change Policies: Governance / integrated planning for climate change investments in the context of urbanization.

2030 Agenda: Planet

  •  Nature, Climate and Energy: Climate Change Adaptation: strategies.

Required Skills and Experience


  •  Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management, Climate Science, Geographic Studies, International Development, Economics, Statistics or a related field.
  •  Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field with additional two years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  •  Minimum of five years (with master’s degree) or seven years (with bachelor’s degree) experience in the field of climate change adaptation and mitigation, environmental management and/or climate science applied to development;
  •  Minimum of three years’ experience related to environmental assessments, climate risk and vulnerability assessments, climate modelling, geographical information system (GIS) and/or risk mapping, in particular at the local level is required;
  •  Minimum of 3 years’ experience related to climate smart agriculture;
  •  Experience in design and development of specific circular economy projects;
  •  A minimum of five years’ experience working on policy, regulatory and technical advisory services with national and local counterparts, preferably in Ghana, will be considered as an asset.

Required skills:

  •  Work experience with local governments, local stakeholders, local communities, and with addressing gender equality as project objective and/or cross-cutting issue in developing countries;
  •  Strong networking capabilities and ability to associate him/herself with a range of actors (inter alia central and local governments; policy makers; national statistics office, donors, local communities, women and youth) with a view to building relations and facilitating links.

Desired skills:

  •  Knowledge of current developments in local economic development for the most vulnerable (women and youth) is desired;
  •  Knowledge of current developments in climate change and local economic development for the most vulnerable (women, youth and returnees) is desired;
  •  Experience with a UN organization/agency is desirable;
  •  Experience with Quantum and UNDP Procurement Processes is desired, but not a requirement.


  •  Excellent speaking and proficient writing skills in English is a requirement.
  •  Fluency in the local language is desirable.


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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