Project Associate

  • Anywhere
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 UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges.

Sri Lanka is significantly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and UNDP has been supporting the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) since 1967 to achieve sustainable human development in economic, social and environmental fronts. Working closely with GoSL at national, regional and local levels, the Climate and Environment Team (CET) of UNDP carries out projects that deal with promoting environmental sustainability, renewable energy, climate resilience and managing risks posed by disasters.

As per the need for the collective actions to limit the GHGs emissions within the safe standards, Sri Lanka ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1993 and the Paris Agreement in 2016. As a non-annex 1 Party to the Convention, Sri Lanka is obligated to implement decisions of the Conference of Parties (COP) and also report their progress to the UNFCCC. The Climate and Environment Team cluster supports the Government of Sri Lanka with their international obligations related to environmental conservation and climate change.

In the climate space, UNDP is supporting the Government with its reporting obligations to the UNFCCC, the “Development of the First Biennial Transparency Report, the Second Biennial Transparency Report and Fourth National Communication of Sri Lanka to UNFCCC” (Sri Lanka: BTR1, BTR2 and NC4) project aims to strengthen technical and institutional capacity to assist Sri Lanka to mainstream climate change concerns into sectoral and national development priorities.

Against this backdrop, a Project Associate, guided by the National Project Coordinator – Climate Action of CET, UNDP, is required to support the day-to-day administrative, financial, and procurement-related project activities of the project components 1, 2 and 4 of the BTR1 + BTR2 and NC4 project to achieve stated outcomes and outputs in accordance with UNDP/GoSL Guidelines for Nationally Implemented Programmes and the UNDP’s Country Programme Action Plan (CPAP). The Associate will also support with logistical and administrative-related activities for component 3 of the BTRs-FNC project [DS1] in consultation with the Project Management Unit (PMU) while ensuring full alignment with UNDP rules and regulations.

Duties And Responsibilities

The Project Associate is expected to provide their time towards BTR1, BTR2 and NC4 project and their scope of work would include:

Project administration, implementation and operational support

  • Support the Project Director/ Manager and the technical team of Climate Change Secretariat (CCS) of the Ministry of Environment and Project Coordinator in implementation of activities of the project.
  • Support planning and delivering project implementation under component 1,2 & 4 of BTR1, BTR2 and NC4 by liaising with the Country Office’s Finance, Procurement, Human Resources and IT teams towards. In consultation with CCS and the PMU, support with logistical and administrative activities related to component 03 of BTR1 + BTR2/NC4.
  • Support the Project Coordinator with planning, monitoring and evaluation activities for the projects.
  • Support preparation and updating of project work plans, budgets, briefs, reports and other documents as necessary.
  • Support organization and coordination of meetings, training sessions, workshops, project events and prepare minutes as required.
  • Ensure timely and smooth implementation of all project logistics including following up with contractors.
  • Maintain communication with stakeholders within the relevant government institutions pertaining to the projects’ scope of work.
  • Maintain a forward schedule of deadlines, meetings, and workshops and proactively work towards that schedule.
  • Assist with travel and logistic matters for the project team.
  • Perform other tasks and duties as assigned by the supervisor to support overall CET portfolio tasks related to operations and administration implemented with the Ministry of Environment as assigned by the supervisor.

Finance and procurement support

  • Support overall finance management activities of the project including preparation and disbursement of payments following mandated processes.
  • Assist in procurement processes; assist the PMU in preparation of Terms of Reference (ToRs) for consultants, service provider contracts and ensure full compliance of procurement activities with UNDP and Government of Sri Lanka procurement guidelines.
  • Support the procurement processes of goods and services and management of the inventory of assets and custodian items.
  • Perform any other tasks assigned by the supervisor.

Institutional Arrangements

The Project Associate will be under the direct supervision of and report to the National Project Coordinator – Climate Action, Climate and Environment Team.



Achieve Results: LEVEL 1: Plans and monitors own work, pays attention to details, delivers quality work by deadline

Think Innovatively: LEVEL 1: Open to creative ideas/known risks, is pragmatic problem solver, makes improvements

Learn Continuously: LEVEL 1: Open minded and curious, shares knowledge, learns from mistakes, asks for feedback

Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 1: Adapts to change, constructively handles ambiguity/uncertainty, is flexible

Act with Determination: LEVEL 1: Shows drive and motivation, able to deliver calmly in face of adversity, confident

Engage and Partner: LEVEL 1: Demonstrates compassion/understanding towards others, forms positive relationships

Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 1: Appreciate/respect differences, aware of unconscious bias, confront discrimination

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies

Thematic Area Name Definition

External Relations & Advocacy Event planning and execution Ability to plan, manage and execute public and private events to ensure that they support and amplify individual communications and advocacy initiatives, as well as UNDP’s overall brand and mandate.

Operations: Administration Event management Ability to manage events, including venue identification, accommodation, logistics, catering, transportation and cash disbursements, etc.

Business Management Partnerships Management Ability to build and maintain partnerships with wide networks of stakeholders. Governments, civil society and private sector partners, experts and others in line with UNDP Strategy and Policies

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

Business Management Monitoring Ability to provide managers and key stakeholders with regular feedback on the consistency or discrepancy between planned and actual activities and programme performance and results.

2030 Agenda Gender Gender Mainstreaming

Required Skills And Experience

Min. Education requirements

  • Secondary Education (GCE A/L) is required OR
  • University degree (bachelor’s degree or equivalent) in Finance, Accounting, Project Management, Environment, or any other relevant area will be given due consideration but it’s not a requirement.

Min. Years Of Relevant Work Experience

  • Minimum of 6 years (with secondary education) or 3 years (with a bachelor’s degree) of experience supporting Project Finance functions, Project management or related fields is required.
  • Experience with environment and natural resource management related projects is desired.

Required Skills

  • Solid overall computer literacy, including proficiency in various MS Office applications (Excel, Word, etc.) and email/internet; familiarity with database management; and office technology equipment.
  • Experience in building and maintaining partnerships with Government, other development partners and the private sector with good interpersonal skills.
  • Outstanding presentation skills/experience

Desired skills in addition to the competencies covered in the Competencies section

  • Experience in providing support in coordinating and implementing development projects is desirable.
  • Proven ability to work and adapt professionally and effectively in a challenging environment; ability to work effectively in a multicultural team of international and national personnel.
  • Demonstrated capacity to undertake assigned responsibilities and work under pressure.
  • Previous experience with UN systems would be an advantage.
  • Experience with environment and natural resource management related projects is desired.

Required Language(s)

  • Fluency in spoken and written English is required.
  • Working knowledge of Sinhala or Tamil is required.


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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