National Project Associate, Accra, Ghana At UNDP – United Nations Development Programme

Grade : NPSA-6

Vacancy Type : National Personnel Service Agreement

Practice Area : Governance

Bureau : Regional Bureau for Africa

Contract Duration : 1 Year with Possibility for extension

Education & Work Experience : Bachelor’s Degree – 3 year(s) experience

Required Languages : English and any local Ghanaian language

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 Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and UNDP’s Green Commodity Programme (GCP) have worked in partnership since 2015. Phases I and II of the partnership were successful in strengthening the Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil Platform and facilitating the development and initial implementation of the National Action Plan on Sustainable Palm Oil, as well as supporting the formulation and launch of the Coffee National Action Plan in Peru, guided by the multi-stakeholder Peruvian National Coffee Platform. During these phases the UNDP GCP also engaged with regional and global sustainable production initiatives, advocating for improved synergies between global level buyers/traders and producer companies, further refined methodologies and tools for effective multi-stakeholder collaborative action and facilitated portfolio wide learning and knowledge-sharing.

In 2023, SECO and UNDP GCP started the Phase III of the “Effective Collaborative Action for Sustainable Commodity Production and Trade” project. The goal of Phase III is to advance multi-stakeholder collaboration for systemic change. Through it, UNDP will foster the adoption of sustainable production through facilitating effective multi-stakeholder collaborative initiatives in globally important agricultural commodity systems in five countries to catalyze a shared vision and multi-stakeholder collaborative action for transforming those systems. Achievement of this objective will be facilitated by UNDP through effective multi-stakeholder collaborative action, addressing the challenges presented by siloed stakeholders, mistrust and diverging agendas. This new phase will build on the work and successes of the prior two phases and it will continue work in Indonesia (Palm Oil) and Peru (Coffee), while also starting new interventions in Ghana (cocoa), Brazil (soy and beef), and Malaysia (palm oil).

Ghana is a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and has made significant progress in responding to the provisions of the Paris Agreement. One of such is progress made under Article 5 of the Paris Agreement on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation, Forest Degradation and sustainable management of forests, conservation and enhancement of Forest Carbon stocks (REDD+) with a 25-year REDD+ Strategy in place.

Ghana through the Forestry Commission has identified five main strategic jurisdictional programmes under Ghana’s REDD+ Strategy in response to climate change. Out of the five programmes, the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme (GCFRP) has been developed as the premier emission reductions programme from the REDD+ Strategy (GRS) by the Government of Ghana through the Forestry Commission and Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) with funding support from the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) of the World Bank. The programme seeks to significantly reduce carbon emissions resulting from cocoa expansion into forests while improving farmers’ 2 livelihoods through the promotion of appropriate climate-smart cocoa production approaches, including intensification and yield enhancement. A landmark achievement was the first results-based payment for emission reductions and removals from GCFRP for the period June-December, 2019 paid out through the FCPF of the World Bank, as per the Emission Reductions Purchase Agreement (ERPA).

On the ground, implementation of GCFRP is routed through Hotspot Intervention Areas (HIA) situated within the GCFRP operational area which consists of Asunafo – Asutifi, Kakum, Ahafo Ano South Atwima Mponua Atwima Nwabiagya, Sefwi Wiawso – Bibiani, Juaboso – Bia and Atewa. In order to ensure manageable intervention landscape sizes, the HIAs are selected to cover about 200,000 ha each and altogether account for approximately 30%-40% or 2 million – 2.5 million ha (maximum) of the total GCFRP area. The HIAs are selected on the basis of the intensity of the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, existing projects and interventions, adequate capacity and implementation structures, population, etc.

The HIA is designed to foster collaboration among a formal consortium of key stakeholders, including private sector cocoa companies, NGOs and government agencies, through an established HIA Implementation Committee with representatives from both the HIA Management Board and the Consortium on this committee. The landscape is divided into a series of sub-landscape HIAs (Sub-HIAs) which together cover the area of the whole HIA. Each sub-HIA provides localized leadership and governance within defined boundaries which reflect divisional or sub-chief jurisdictions and/or appropriate environmental/geographic boundaries. Key aspects of creating or supporting Sub-HIAs are determining the boundaries, the zoning of conservation areas and development areas, as well as the creation of sub-HIA and HIA by-laws and then a Management Plan. At the landscape level, all the Sub-HIAs have representatives on an umbrella body—the HIA Landscape Management Board. This Board has a formal relationship with the Consortium and is advised by the highest level of Patrons from the Traditional Council.

In Ghana, the Effective Collaborative Action for Sustainable Commodity Production and Trade project will form part of the GCFRP HIA structure by forming a multi-stakeholder platform for dialogue, learning and coordination at the sub-national level, that fosters and promotes dialogue and collaboration among all HIA Governance Boards and other structures. Themes and issues of the dialogues will be related to all HIA functions: collaboration with stakeholders in landscapes, operationalization of HIA structures and learning and exchange mechanism, amongst others. The platform for dialogue will not focus on typical national-level issues such as government policy or national institutions, except, perhaps, on how they relate to HIAs. The proposed sub-national multi-stakeholder platform has broad support by all stakeholders in the landscapes to exchange critical landscape information, best practices, and lessons to reduce deforestation and forest degradation at scale. The proposed sub-national multi-stakeholder platform is designed to improve cross-organizational efficiency and streamline the HIA’s governance and landscape management structures, and interventions while enhancing and promoting stakeholder relationships.

The UNDP FACS Team, together with the national project team, will support the country level interventions through ad hoc exploratory sessions, customized training, coaching and ‘case clinics’, with the aim of having the UNDP Effective Collaborative Action methodology at the heart of project implementation, while also offering advisory services to help align the multi-stakeholder dialogues with co-creation of technical interventions that genuinely influence sustainability in agricultural commodity systems.

About the Partners

UNDP and Forestry Commission are committed to maintaining a sustainable commodity supply chain through the establishment of a collaborative multi-stakeholder platform in Ghana, leveraging on the HIA governance structure developed under the GCFRP.

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries globally, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.

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. Learn more at or follow at @UNDP.

Forestry Commission (FC) is a government organization under the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources of the Republic of Ghana and established by the Forestry Commission Act, 1999 (ACT 571) whose mission is to sustainably develop and manage Ghana’s forestry and wildlife resources. FC is responsible for the regulation of utilization of forest and wildlife resources, the conservation and management of those resources and the coordination of policies related to them. The Commission embodies the various public bodies and agencies that were individually implementing the functions of protection, management, the regulation of forest and wildlife resources. These agencies currently form the divisions of the Commission: Forest Services Division; Wildlife Division; Timber Industry Development Division; FC also operates the Training Centre; and the Resources Management Support Centre.

FC has made significant progress in responding to the provisions under Article 5 of the Paris Agreement on REDD+. A landmark achievement was the first results-based payment for emission reductions and removals from GCFRP for the period June-December, 2019 paid out through the Carbon Fund of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) of the World Bank, as per the Emissions Reductions Purchase Agreement. The distribution of the proceeds is guided through a well consultated benefit sharing plan for GCFRP, developed as part of the requirements of the Carbon Fund.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the guidance and direct supervision of the National Project Manager, the incumbent assists in the effective and efficient management of the project through a range of actions contributing to the design, planning, management, and monitoring of project activities, and as directed by the Director of the Climate Change Directorate of FC. The Project Associate is expected to work with other key stakeholders in the implementation of all activities approved in the project’s annual work plans. The incumbent needs to be able to work independently, lead processes, and be comfortable working in complex environments. The incumbent applies and promotes the principles of results-based management (RBM), as well as a client-oriented approach consistent with UNDP rules and regulations.

a) Operational and administrative management

 Support the formulation of work plans and provide daily support for the timely execution of the project work plans (including administrative management activities in accordance with corporate compliance rules and practices).  Assume overall responsibility for administrative matters of a more general nature, such as registry and maintenance of project files and records.  Steer the coordination, preparation and follow-up of communication and meetings with the Oversight Group.  Assists in monitoring the progress throughout the project cycle using Signals of Change methodology as a way to regularly assess progress in line with the annual work plan.  Arrange travels as required, ensuring proper use of UNDP resources and client satisfaction.  Drafts meeting minutes and comprehensive reports.  Supports other project-related activities as required by the National Project Coordinator/Manager.  Undertake any other assignment(s) as determined by the Director, Climate Change.

b) Financial management

 Prepare Request for Payments and ensure the supporting documents are available and in accordance with UNDP rules.  Prepare budgets, budget revisions and financial reports and monitor the expenditures related to the project.  Function as the point of contact on operational questions.

c) Support the implementation of the HIA multi-stakeholder process

 Organize multi-stakeholder workshops and events in collaboration with the National Project Manager/Coordinator and the Facilitator.  Support the development of relationships and liaise with key project stakeholders and partners [SECO representation in country, donors, other government agencies, relevant private sector actors etc.].  Coordinate with the key counterparts of the project and assist in information dissemination.

d) Reporting

 Under this assignment members of the PMU, including the Project Associate, are required to report directly to the Director Climate Change within the entire duration of tenure.  As per the nature of the NPSA contract, the Project Associate will also perform occasional reporting duties to the UNDP CO and FACS teams as needed.

e) Other duties as assigned.

Institutional Arrangement

Under the supervision of the National Project Manager and the Director of Climate Change Directorate at the Forestry Commission, the Project Associate works in close collaboration with the project team and with UNDP Global FACS team for effective achievement of results, anticipating and contributing to resolving complex project-related issues and information delivery. The incumbent is expected to exercise full compliance with UNDP programming, financial, procurement and administrative rules, regulations, policies and strategies, as well as implementation of the effective internal control systems. The role is also expected to be based at the Forestry Commission.



  •  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

Thematic Area



Business Direction and Strategy

Strategic Thinking

  •  Ability to develop effective strategies and prioritized plans in line with UNDP’s objectives, based on the systemic analysis of challenges, potential risks and opportunities; linking the vision to reality on the ground, and creating tangible solutions.
  •  Ability to leverage learning from a variety of sources to anticipate and respond to future trends; to demonstrate foresight in order to model what future developments and possible ways forward look like for UNDP.

Business Direction and


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.

Business Direction and


Negotiation and


  •  Ability to reach an understanding, persuade others, resolve points of difference, gain advantage in the outcome of dialogue, negotiates mutually acceptable solutions through compromise and creates win-win situations.

2030 agenda-people


  •  Gender mainstreaming

Business Management

Partnership 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. Sets overall direction for the formation and management of strategic relationships contributing to the overall positioning of UNDP Partnership.

Partnership Management

Strategic Engagement

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  •  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 objectives Business.

Management Customer




  •  Ability to respond timely and appropriately with a sense of urgency, provide consistent solutions, and deliver timely and quality results and/or solutions to fulfil and understand the real customers’ needs. Provide inputs to the development of customer service strategy. Look for ways to add value beyond clients’ immediate requests. Ability to anticipate client’s upcoming needs and concerns.

Required Skills and Experience


  •  Bachelor’s degree in Project Management, Natural Resources Management or related sciences, Business, International Development, Finance, Public Administration or related fields.


  •  At least 3 (three) years of professional experience.

Required Skills:

  •  Knowledge of project cycle management in the public or private sector, or international organizations.
  •  Demonstrated understanding of the national context.
  •  Ability to engage with high-level stakeholders from both the public and private sector.
  •  Highly skilled with MSOffice.
  •  Ability to work independently and complex.
  •  Excellent communication, report writing and analytical skills.

Desired additional skills and competencies:

  •  Experience related to the cocoa value chains and/or the forestry sector of the pertinent commodity sector.
  •  Demonstrate satisfactory understanding in jurisdictional REDD+
  •  Experience with multi-stakeholder collaboration processes.
  •  Experience with UNDP or other UN agencies is an advantage.

Required Language(s):

  •  English and any other Ghanaian language

Professional Certificates:

  •  Any relevant professional certificate(s) in the area of required competencies would be an asset but it is not mandatory.

N.B. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.


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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February 2024