Principal Technical Advisor/Global Lead, Plastics Offer, New York, United States

Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme

Country: USA

City: New York

Office: UNDP New York, USA

Closing date: Friday, 13 May 2022

Job Identification : 3253

Locations : New York, United States

Posting Date : 04/28/2022, 08:51 PM

Apply Before : 05/13/2022, 03:59 AM

Job Schedule : Full time

Agency : UNDP

Grade : P5

Vacancy Type : Fixed Term

Practice Area : Nature, Climate and Energy

Bureau : Bureau for Policy and Programme Support

Contract Duration : 1 Year with Possibility for extension

Education & Work Experience : Master’s Degree - 10 year(s) experience

Required Languages : English

Vacancy Timeline

1 Week

Mobility required/no mobility

mobility required

Job Description


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.

UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy work carried out at HQ, Regional and Country Office levels, forms a contiguous spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan.

Within the GPN, the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP’s Strategic Plan. BPPS’s staff provides technical advice to Country Offices; advocates for UNDP corporate messages, represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private dialogues, government and civil society dialogues, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas. BPPS works closely with UNDP’s Crisis Bureau (CB) to support emergency and crisis response. BPPS ensures that issues of risk are fully integrated into UNDP’s development programmes. BPPS assists UNDP and partners to achieve higher quality development results through an integrated approach that links results-based management and performance monitoring with more effective and new ways of working. BPPS supports UNDP and partners to be more innovative, knowledge and data driven including in its programme support efforts.

UNDP’s 2022-2025 Strategic Plan emphasizes the critical links between environmental sustainability, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and broader efforts to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement. It advocates for placing nature at the heart of national economies and development and fiscal planning. As part of the Global Policy Network in the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP’s Nature, Climate Change, and Energy (NCE) Team promotes and scales up integrated whole-of-governance approaches and nature-based solutions that reduce poverty and inequalities, strengthen livelihoods and inclusive growth, mitigate conflict, forced migration and displacement, and promote more resilient governance systems that advance linked peace and security agendas.

The NCE Team leads the implementation of the UN’s largest portfolio of in-country programming on environment, climate change, and energy. Plastic pollution, especially marine plastic debris, is becoming a prominent issue in international agenda. Plastic pollution is a cross-cutting issue with connections to biodiversity, land degradation, water, oceans, climate change, chemicals and waste and a number of sustainable development goals. UNDP has a significant portfolio which are relevant to plastics and solid waste management under different thematic portfolio. With the growing concerns about plastic pollution in the public and global agendas, UNDP has received increased demands for services in plastic waste management. To ensure global coherence and effectiveness of UNDP plastics portfolio, in November 2021, UNDP launched its Plastics Offer document to provide a coherent global framework for UNDP’s local to global actions towards a zero plastic waste future.

Position Purpose

Under the direct supervision of UNDP NCE Director, the Principal Technical Advisor/Global Lead on Plastics Offer will lead be responsible for:

Overall strategic directions and position;
Portfolio and partnership development;
Research and knowledge management;
Strategic communications, dialogues and advocacy;
Team management and coordination.

Key Duties and Accountabilities

Global thought leadership, strategic positioning, and implementation of UNDP Plastics Offer

Example of Duties:

Keep abreast of developments in global plastics policy development, dialogues and practices, identify UNDP’s key contribution and entry points, and position UNDP with unique roles in supporting countries to fight against plastics pollution.

Develop an integrated UNDP global plastics platform/program and lead UNDP’s local to global actions to implement UNDP Plastics Offer with a coherent approach towards a shared vision.

Establish UNDP as a prominent development player and a knowledge powerhouse to provide global thought leadership on plastics and related environment and development issues to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Ensure the integration and scaling of good practices in integrated plastics management through programs/projects developed to address plastics pollution and related environment and development issues (oceans, chemicals/waste, climate change, and ecosystems).

Represent UNDP in international and national fora, liaises with external clients and a broad range of constituencies and UNDP partner organizations.

Portfolio/Partnership Development, Resource Mobilization & Networking

Example of Duties:

Develop programmes, projects and other initiatives through close consultations with partner governments and UNDP Country Offices for multilateral funds (GEF and GCF), bilateral donors and private sectors.

Collaborate with the GEF, GCF and its agencies, global conventions, governments, civil society organizations, academia and the private sectors to increase programmatic impact and visibility for UNDP’s plastics portfolio.

Develop and maintain networks of friends and partners for plastics, and position UNDP as a prominent player focusing on holistic approaches and integrated local to global actions.

Develop partnerships with multi-lateral organisations, bilateral donors, the private sector, and non-traditional donors to mobilize additional resources.

Develop and implement partnerships with other institutions, programmes and projects

Research, Knowledge Management and Technical Guidance

Example of Duties:

Conduct research/portfolio review, identify key challenges, barriers and policy and develop innovative solutions, cutting edge policy papers and knowledge products related to plastics management.

Develop knowledge management strategy and key elements to facilitate innovation diffusion and knowledge sharing.

Lead and coordinate analysis and synthesis of data, information, results and knowledge related to plastics management into papers, lessons, guidelines, methodologies, programming kits, training, and other new tools and knowledge products.

Communications, Dialogues and Advocacy

Example of Duties:

Identify and connect leading country offices and centres of good practices and knowledge, and support the development of policy/practice centers.

Develop and expand UNDP’s Friends of UNDP Plastics Offer, and ensure UNDP’s linkages and synergies with partners‘ interventions

Lead plastics team to facilitate global learning through Plastics and Planet Community of Practices (COP) and organize UNDP’s "Let’s Talk Plastics" webinar series to connect science, policy and practices.

Guide Plastics Offer’s regular communications, campaigns, outreach and visibility activities.

Team management and coordination

Example of Duties:

Establish and lead UNDP’s plastics team acting from local to national to global level under a coherent framework with a shared vision.

Ensure linkages and synergies with UNDP’s other thematic teams, regional centers and country offices.

Inspire and grow team capacity and improve team effectiveness


Excellent research, analytical and writing skills with a track record of publication in environment and development field.

Experiences with multilateral funds, various development organizations, governments, private sector and civil society organizations.

Extensive developing countries‘ working and living experiences with a deep understanding of needs of developing countries and people/communities at the risk of being left behind.

Extensive experience in management of programmes consisting of multiple projects, distributed across multiple countries.


Master’s degree in public policy, international development, environment, or closely related field in management, science, economics or policy is required.

PhD degree in public policy, international development, environment, or closely related field in management, science, economics or policy is a strong asset

Experience, Knowledge, and Skills

At least 10 years of progressively more responsible relevant technical, leadership and management in the field of developing and implementing plastics, ocean, chemicals and waste management portfolio.

Proven track record of resource mobilization experience from bilateral donors, non-vertical fund sources;
Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain strategic partnerships, including with UN and international organizations, NGOs and the private sector;
Working experience in an international organization is an advantage as is knowledge of UNDP policies, procedures and practices.

Excellent knowledge of the English language, with exceptional writing, presentation and communication skills;
Working level proficiency in another UN language is desirable.

Expected Demonstration of 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

People Management

UNDP People Management Competencies can be found in the dedicated site.

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies

Business Direction & Strategy

Negotiation and Influence - Ability to reach an understanding, persuade others, resole points of difference, gain advantage in the outcome of dialogue, negotiates mutually acceptable solutions through compromise and creates in-in situations

Entrepreneurial Thinking - Ability to create clarity around UNDP value proposition to beneficiaries and partners and to develop service offers responding to client needs based on UNDPs organizational priorities and mandate

Business Management

Communication - Ability to communicate in a clear, concise and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience

Communication - Ability to manage communications internally and externally, through media, social media and other appropriate channels

Business Development

Knowledge Generation - Ability to research and turn information into useful knowledge, relevant for content, or responsive to a stated need

UNDP Representation - Ability to represent UNDP and productively share UNDP knowledge and activities; advocate for UNDP, its values, mission and work with various constituencies

External Relations and Advocacy

Partnership Management / Resource Mobilization - Ability to identify funding sources, match funding needs (programmes/projects/initiatives) with funding opportunities, and establish a plan to meet funding requirements

2030 Agenda: Planet

Chemicals and Waste Management - Practical application

For external applicants, please note that continuance of appointment beyond the initial 12 months is contingent upon the successful completion of a probationary period.


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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