Green Transition Specialist, Istanbul

Organization: UNDP

Country: Turkey

City: Istanbul

Office: UNDP in Istanbul, Turkey

Closing date: Sunday, 17 July 2022


Description of assignment title: Green Transition Specialist

Assignment country: Türkiye

Expected start date: 10/15/2022

Sustainable Development Goal: 13. Climate action

Volunteer category: International UN Volunteer Specialist

DoA reserved for persons with disabilities: No

Host entity: UNDP

Type: Onsite

Duration: 12 months (with possibility of extension)

Number of assignments: 1

Duty stations: Istanbul


Mission and objectives

As the United Nations lead agency on international development, UNDP works in 170 countries and territories to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities, and to build resilience to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Our work is concentrated in three focus areas; sustainable development, democratic governance and peace building, and climate and disaster resilience.


UNDP IRH is implementing a joint EU&UNDP initiative called the "Mayors for Economic Growth (M4EG) Facility". The M4EG Facility targets an existing network of more than 350 local authorities/municipalities in the Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine). The intention of the M4EG is to explore means to ‚embrace complexity‘ to foster more resilient, sustainable, and attractive towns and cities through new innovative tools and approaches. The M4EG is a flagship initiative and a learning journey for the EU and UNDP to explore new tools and approaches in development. The initiative applies system thinking through 3 key work streams: a) lead a cohort of 12 local authorities/cities through a 2-3 year long ‚Portfolio Journey‘ of designing, activating (through grants), learning and managing a portfolio that seeks to address a complex socio-economic challenge faced by the respective city, b) develop a new generation local economic development plans (LEDPs) which are more bottom-up, green, flexible and adaptable, and c) devise an Urban Learning Programme that will provide learning opportunities to the network around a range of issues, including moving toward net zero carbon economy. Carbon-intensive industries, such as oil, gas and coal, which emit the heat-trapping gases that cause climate change into the atmosphere, will need to cease to exist. However, this necessary shift to a green economy threatens the livelihoods of industry workers and even the economic stability of whole regions. Hence there is an increasing emphasis on a ‚just transition‘ of our economic systems to ensure that human rights are at the center of any transformational shift. There is a strong need to engage all those who will be impacted, from the workers to landlords, unions, families and communities, for the proposed changes to be fair for all. This holistic approach with seeing and engaging all interconnected parts in the economic system is the best way to achieve meaningful change to more resilient, sustainable and inclusive economies and societies. The Just Transition Declaration, agreed at the UN Climate Change Conference in Scotland, recognizes the need to ensure that no one is left behind in the transition to net zero economies - particularly those working in sectors, cities and regions reliant on carbon-intensive industries and production. Countries of the Eastern Partnerships (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) are emerging economies where large segments of the populations and many provinces and regions have remained stagnant, while others have prospered. The uneven prosperity makes vulnerability of parts of the population a key challenge. Difficult geographical characteristics, relatively small size of the economies, lack of diversification and reliance on old models of growth inclusive heavy dependency on fossil fuel industries, and demographic challenges associated with emigration and low fertility rates combined with exposure to macroeconomic risks in the external environment, create a complex development picture. The transformation of overall growth into welfare improvements is not occurring in a balanced manner across households and regions. The region is characterized by high informality and uneven access to good jobs.

Task description

The Green Transition Specialist will be an integrated team member of the regional M4EG team based at the UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub of the Regional Bureau for Eurasia, and will work alongside the Project Leads in the five implementing Country Offices. She/he/they will support the strengthening of the green and just transition focus in the work with the municipalities in the M4EG network, and overall support the mainstreaming of climate change related areas as part of the urban makeover/transformation of the M4EG. Under the direct supervision of the M4EG Regional Project Manager, the Green Transition Specialist will undertake the following tasks: Supporting the development of a ‚green and just transition‘ offer to the municipalities in the M4EG network, including: o Devise a draft background note and concept on green & just transition in secondary cities in the EaP with relevant partners inside and outside UNDP, and help conduct stakeholder and feedback consultations to this end; o Support the planning and organization of misc. learning sessions at regional and country levels on climate change related areas, including moving toward a zero-carbon economy and innovate and green financing mechanisms; o Support devising a course module on climate change related aspects as part of the Urban Learning Center; o Support the development of a communication package on green transition to the members of the network, in close cooperation with the Country Office project leads. Helping to ensure that the aim of a transformation shift to a net zero economy is up front and center throughout the work of the M4EG, including: o Review of the concept and methodology of the new LEDP and other materials as part of the forthcoming Urban Learning Programme/Center, and work alongside and learn from Arup and Climate KIC as partners to this end; o Support data gathering and analysis on climate change related areas relevant to the municipalities part of the Portfolio Journey, and provide recommendations if relevant; o Ad hoc support as need emerges, including requests from Country Office leads and participating municipalities around research, data and learning; o Capture learning lessons and data on zero carbon economy and climate change related areas; o Actively engage, as a M4EG project team member, in networks on climate change and urban transformations.

Eligibility criteria

Age: 27 - 80

Additional eligibility criteria

This assignment is funded by the Government of Norway and therefore specific criteria apply: - Candidates must be Norwegian nationals. - Candidates who already served on a UN Volunteer Specialist assignment funded by Norway are not eligible. - Candidates may apply to a maximum of three assignments and indicate the order of preference in the ‚Additional remarks field. - Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. The selection will be done by the UN Host Entity at the level of the country of assignment. Interviews will be conducted by the UN Host Entity between 27 July and 17 August. Application deadline: 17 July 2022 +++ UN Volunteer entitlement calculator: +++


Candidate must be a national of a country other than the country of assignment.

Donor priorities



Required experience

3 years of experience in alternative growth trajectories, climate change, or related field.

Experience in projects related to local economic development, and/or climate change is desired, ideally in a low- or middle-income setting. The following skills and experience are considered an asset:

Knowledge of social, economic, environmental and climate energy, finance and industry statistics, including qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis.

Experience in organizing learning sessions and workshops.

Area(s) of expertise

Economics and finance, Energy and environment

Driving license



English, Level: Fluent, Required Russian, Level: Fair, Desirable

Required education level

Master degree or equivalent in Economics or environmental sciences

Competencies and values

Accountability Adaptability and Flexibility Commitment to Continuous Learning Communication Planning and Organizing Professionalism Respect for Diversity Working in Teams

Other information

Living conditions and remarks

Turkey is an upper middle-income country, with highly-urbanized cities and well developed infrastructure systems. Most of Turkey is assessed to be at security level 1-Minimal. Security level 2 Low applies to Ankara and Istanbul. Seismic activity remains one of the primary hazards in Turkey. Turkey’s population of nearly 81 million is almost entirely Muslim. Turkish is the official language. English predominates as the second language. The post will be located in Istanbul, which has a population of around 15M people, and straddles the European and Asian continents. Istanbul is a UN Hub for the Europe and Central Asia Regional Offices of several UN agencies, including UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women among others. There is a lively and large group of international community. Istanbul International Airport and Sabiha Gokcen Airport have direct connections with all European, Central Asian and global cities. Istanbul provides modern services and entertainment opportunities and an elaborate medical services system. Healthcare is exceptionally good with various public and private hospitals with experienced doctors and medical staff, some of whom speak English. No specific vaccination is required to enter Turkey. Considering the rapidly changing pandemic situation in Istanbul, travellers should consult the receiving entity or the partner UN Agency, or UNDSS about the latest travel requirements/restrictions.

Inclusivity statement

United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme that welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, care protected characteristics. As part of their adherence to the values of UNV, all UN Volunteers commit themselves to combat any form of discrimination, and to promoting respect for human rights and individual dignity, without distinction of a person’s race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.

Note on Covid-19 vaccination requirements

Selected candidates for certain occupational groups may be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) in line with the applicable host entity policy

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