Programme Specialist – Climate and Security Risk – Liptako Gourma Authority

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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.

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 supporting the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan.

Within the GPN, the Crisis Bureau guides UNDP’s corporate crisis and fragility-related strategies and vision for crisis prevention, response, and recovery. The Bureau is responsible for support prevention, crisis response, resilience, recovery, and peacebuilding work under the auspices of UNDP’s Strategic Plan. Crisis Bureau staff provide global strategic advice to UNDP management and technical advice to Regional Hubs and Country Offices; advocate for UNDP corporate messages, represent UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora, and engage in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas. As part of the Global Policy Network (GPN), the Crisis Bureau works in an integrated manner with UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS), ensuring that issues are fully integrated into UNDP’s development programmes. Peace outcomes are delivered in a coherent manner, working across the GPN that including the Governance team in the Bureau of Policy and Programme Support.

Conflict Prevention, Peacebuilding and Responsive Institutions

The Conflict Prevention, Peacebuilding and Responsive Institutions (CPPRI) Team covers the following thematic/programming areas as part of the GPN:

  • Conflict prevention and peacebuilding;
  • Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE);
  • Core government functions, including local governance in transition, conflict, and fragile settings
  • Climate security

The Liptako Gourma Authority (LGA)

The tri-border region of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, referred to as the Liptako-Gourma region, has over the past years become the epicentre of the escalation of violence which engulfs the Sahel. The conflict drivers include a complex mix of political grievances, jihadi ideologies, competition over natural resources, protection of interests linked to wide-spread transboundary organised crime, inter- and intra-community conflicts for power and influence, etc. while the perpetrators of violence include several violent extremist groups, armed political movements, criminal groups, self-defence groups and militias as well as national and international military forces. Some of these groups also cooperate, openly or tacitly, around joint interests. Data from the ACLED database show that reported fatalities for the first half of 2020 are at 90% of the (full) 2019 annual tally for the entire (Western) Sahel, most of which has taken place in the Liptako-Gourma region, pointing to a rapidly deteriorating situation.

It is against this background that international, regional and national actors have increasingly been mobilising in the fields of security, development and humanitarian aid to stem the violence, protect civilians, address humanitarian needs and create the necessary conditions for a return to peaceful governance and development. Recently, the international community, including the EU and the AU, have announced reinforced military efforts as well as much needed initiatives to enhance coordination and cooperation between security and civilian actors to help ensure that tactically successful military action is backed up by national and regional capacity to ensure a return to state-controlled and civilian-led security, a reinforcement of state presence, access to social services and support for local livelihoods, with the overall objective of reducing or eliminating violence, build trust and establish the preconditions for addressing the root causes of the conflict and the political grievances.

In this context, UNDP and its partners started in October 2020 in the Liptako-Gourma region in a pilot phase of its approach to stabilization understood as support for the transition period from violent conflict to post-conflict early recovery, building on its experience in the Middle East and currently in the Lake Chad Basin. At the same time, and given the rapidly changing context, UNDP aims to take stock of the complex landscape of actors and conflict drivers in Liptako-Gourma and to formulate a value proposition within the emerging strategic policy and programmatic frameworks for the region, in close consultation and coordination with other actors on the ground. In this endeavor, and based on a formal request, UNDP will support the Liptako-Gourma Authority, a sub-regional organization composed of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, with which UNDP has an ongoing partnership since its inception in 1970 and which has recently seen its mandate extended from a focus on cross-border cooperation on natural resources management and infrastructure to also include security.

Meanwhile, during their Conference in Ndjamena, Chad in February 2021, the G5 Sahel Head of States and Governments called for a “civilian surge” citing the UNDP stabilization initiative. Henceforth, UNDP and the Federal Republic of Germany agreed that this was the moment for a scaled-up phase in the Liptako-Gourma region. Within that framework, UNDP has set up a task team, including a Project Manager, a Project Analyst & MNE Adviser, a Climate Security Risks Expert, and a Project Assistant. The task team is based at the LGA and work closely with the LGA Management and Technical Units in the spirit of contributing toward building LGA capacity while also implementing the pilot phase and laying the foundation for a full-scale stabilisation mechanism. The task team, through the Project Manager, reports to the UNDP Western and Central Sahel Hub Manager in Dakar and will work in close consultation and cooperation with the Stabilization Unit in the Dakar Hub.

Job Purpose And Organizational Context

As a member of the Conflict Prevention, Peacebuilding and Responsive Institutions Team (CPPRI) and the Stabilization Team – Liptako Gourma Authority, the Programme Specialist – Climate and Security Risk – Liptako Gourma Authority will provide technical guidance on climate, environment, peace, and security. They will work with teams in the Crisis Bureau and as part of the Regional Bureau for Africa as well as across UNDP’s Global Policy Network (GPN) particularly with NCE, the Regional Hubs, Country Offices and Global Policy Centers, supporting the development of substantive approaches, products and tools on responsive, accountable, and effective institutions to support policy and programming services to UNDP Country Offices.

The Programme Specialist – Climate and Security Risk – Liptako Gourma Authority will report directly to the Stabilization Advisor of the LGA Task Team and the Team Leader – Climate Security Risk in the Conflict Prevention, Peacebuilding, and Responsive Institutions, Crisis Bureau, UNDP and work closely with UNDP Country Offices, Regional Hubs and the CSM.

UNDP adopts a portfolio approach to accommodate changing business needs and leverage linkages across interventions to achieve its strategic goals. Therefore, UNDP personnel are expected to work across units, functions, teams, and projects in multidisciplinary teams in order to enhance and enable horizontal collaboration.

Duties And Responsibilities

  • Focus on understanding climate security-related issues in the region and providing advisory to LGA through the UNDP Secretariat
  • Enhance the capacity of the LGA to address climate security in stabilization efforts in the region through the platforms provided by the LGA;
  • Work in close coordination with the LGA to support their efforts in establishing a clear position on climate security, articulating linkages to global debates, including the Climate Security Mechanism, relevant Security Council Resolutions, and others as appropriate, while making use of and localizing the UN Climate Security Mechanism Toolbox and conceptual approach;
  • Based on specific demands, and at the request of the LGA, provide technical advice and assistance to the Member States who are interested in addressing the climate security nexus at the country level;
  • Lead information collection and provide analytical inputs and context-specific updates to the UNDP representative in the CSM and support CSM-led knowledge management activities;
  • Identify and map key processes, stakeholders (including regional actors such as the African Union and African Development Bank), Special Political Missions, Private Sector, NGOs and audiences that need to be engaged (including Government, NGOs/Community-led organizations inclusive of women and youth groups), to address climate security issues that would promote a ‘New Way of Working in the Liptako Gourma region
  • Provide strategic policy advice and analysis on climate security to the Liptako Gourma countries, and regional hubs;
  • Provide oversight on mainstreaming climate security approaches into national and local policy, strategy, and planning processes of the Liptako Gourma region countries;
  • Facilitate LGA’s partnerships and programming on climate security

Lead The Climate Security Thematic Area And

  • Act as a focal point between the LGA and other partners to establish synergies and enhance interlinkages between the outputs of those organizations on climate security;
  • Coordinate the organization of specific policy dialogues and other Member-States driven events through the LGA platforms to ensure they are informed by ongoing regional research and other initiatives that address the climate security nexus in the region;
  • Facilitate the identification of potential programmatic entry points that can be considered by different actors to support the LGA and its Member States’ strengthen climate security initiatives at the country level;
  • Identify areas of collaboration, project opportunities, capacity development and gaps on climate security and RSS Pillar 6 and develop concept notes and Project Implementation Plans (PIPs) that would enhance systemic engagements with UN initiatives, AU and other regional entities;
  • Document best practices and lessons learnt on climate security policy and programming, tools, institutional arrangements, and mechanisms, including integrated climate security and early warning and prevention mechanisms in the Liptako Gourma region;
  • Mobilize, foster, and strengthen partnerships with Member States, including the Group of Friends on Climate Security, the informal experts’ group to members of the Security Council on climate security, the Climate Security Experts Group and Network, the research community and civil society in the region.
  • Advise the LGA’s resource mobilization efforts on climate security
  • Analyzes trends and identifies opportunities for resource mobilization in the region, conducts donor mapping and contributes to resource mobilization strategies and ensures alignment with corporate and regional goals
  • Faciliatesthe preparation and submission of concept notes and project proposals on climate security and advises on regional and country pipelines;
  • Ensures compliance with partner’s requirements, including monitoring, narrative and financial reporting, and evaluation;
  • Prepares presentations, updates, and project briefs as per donor’s requirements;
  • Prepare reporting, monitoring and evaluation of climate security-related programmatic activities according to the donor’s requirements.
  • Contributes to UNDP and CSM’s knowledge management, advocacy, and communication
  • Engages in cross-regional exchange of knowledge by collaborating with the Climate Security Mechanism, the P4 Climate and Security Risk Programme Specialist in Dakar, the Climate and Security Risk Policy Expert in the Lake Chad Basin Commission and policy teams in the Regional Hub;
  • Contribute to knowledge-based tools and guidance to help influence/advance policy dialogue in the thematic area and present such material at various fora;
  • Supports UNDP knowledge generation, lessons, innovations, policy developments, programmatic offers, and practice experiences on climate security in the Liptako Gourma region;
  • Contributes to drafts notes, background papers, talking points, speeches, and other correspondence for senior UN officials;
  • Provides up-to-date information to senior officials regarding substantive political matters and country or regional issues with a focus on climate-related security risks. Engage in building and strengthening knowledge, understanding, and importance of UNDP’s climate security and peace-building work and value to a wide range of partners;
  • disseminate study findings/ report of the sub-regional climate-related security risks and risk strategy of the Liptako Gourma among partners
  • Update Liptako Gourma regional offices, CO’s and CSM HQ with regular climate security information on changing development priorities for input into UNDP’s communication, advocacy, policy making and strategy setting including informing CSM’s/HQ on communication/ outreach approaches and types of information products on climate security needed to respond to LGA
  • Contribute to the coordination of a sub-regional study on climate-related security risks/ country-level climate security assessments considering country-specific climate-related security risks and solutions/ recommendations

The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the Office and the Organization.



Achieve Results

  • Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact.

Think Innovatively

  • Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems.

Learn Continuously

  • Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences.

Adapt With Agility

  • Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands.

Act With Determination

  • Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results.

Engage And Partner

  • Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration.

Enable Diversity And Inclusion

  • Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity.

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies

2030 Agenda: Peace – Conflict Prevention, Peacebuilding and Responsive Institutions:

  • Community engagement for prevention, response, and social cohesion.

2030 Agenda Peace – Conflict Prevention, Peacebuilding and Responsive Institutions:

  • Dialogue, Mediation and Reconciliation.

Business Management – Project Management

  • Ability to plan, organize, and control resources, procedures, and protocols to achieve specific goals.

Partnership Management – Relationship Management

  • Ability to engage with a wide range of public and private partners, build, sustain and/or strengthen working relations, trust and mutual understanding.

Business Developmesnt – Knowledge Generation

  • Ability to research and turn information into useful knowledge, relevant for content, or responsive to a stated need.

Business Management – Portfolio Management

  • Ability to select, prioritise and control the organization´s programmes and projects, in line with its strategic objectives and capacity; ability to balance the implementation of change initiatives and the maintenance of business-as-usual, while optimising return on investment.

Business Direction & Strategy – System Thinking

  • Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system.


Required Skills and Experience

  • Advanced university degree (Master’s Degree or equivalent) in political science, conflict studies, political economy, climate, environment, or other related social sciences or
  • A first-level university degree (Bachelor’s degree) in the areas mentioned above in combination with additional two years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of Master´s degree.


  • Minimum 7 years (with Master´s degree) or 9 years (with Bachelor’s degree) of progressively responsible experience in the areas of climate security, climate change, environment, conflict prevention and/or peacebuilding.
  • Experience working with the UN/UNDP and/or other international institutions on climate security, climate change, environment, conflict prevention and/or peacebuilding is required;
  • Experience in climate change, environment, conflict prevention and/or peacebuilding programmes in is desired;
  • Experience in conflict and political analysis, and strategy development required;
  • Programme design and management, and results monitoring experience within the United Nations system in climate security, climate change, conflict prevention, and peacebuilding will be considered an asset;
  • Proven policy, advisory and advocacy experience, and track record of engagement with senior officials in the UN, government and external partners are desired.

Language Requirement

  • Fluency in English is required
  • Fluency in French is required
  • Knowledge of other UN languages is a plus.


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.


UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.

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