Policy Specialist – Green Recovery and Transition (P3) At UN Development Programme


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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.

Managed by BPPS, the Seoul Policy Center (USPC) was established in 2011 as the UNDP Seoul Policy Center for Global Development Partnerships following an agreement between the Government of the Republic of Korea (RoK) and UNDP signed in Nov 2009. The Center’s functions and activities were set out to include: (1) To serve as the immediate interface with the Government on all aspects relating to the evolving Republic of Korea – UNDP partnership; (2) To serve as knowledge center for comparative experiences and approaches of new development partners in reducing poverty and achieving sustainable human development; and (3) To facilitate and promote learning, networking, policy dialogue and consultation among new development partners and to contribute to capacity development in developing countries. USPC’s profile has continued to evolve since its inception.

While undertaking incremental improvements where needed, the new triennial work programme (2023-25) will continue to be anchored in its original mandate and build on the Centre’s existing vision as facilitator of global knowledge exchange and country-level application on innovative and tested-and-proven development solutions for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Center will carry out the related policy research and analytical work to more strongly contribute to corporate thought leadership on development cooperation and SSTC priorities and related global development debates through the following substantive areas: (i) Development Cooperation Approaches and Modalities; (ii) Governance and Gender (including a focus on Anti-corruption and SGBV); (iii) Green Recovery and Transition (including a focus on Sustainable Forestry); and (iv) Private Sector Engagement. Cross-cutting issues such as digital transformation and inclusive approaches to leave no one behind (e.g. gender, youth) will be considered for all substantive areas.


The Policy Specialist based in the Seoul Policy Centre is responsible for contributing substantive advice and

technical expertise, advocacy, relationship building and knowledge to the thematic area of environment within the Seoul Policy Centre, BPPS, and UNDP as a whole. S/he collaborates with teams across UNDP’s Global Policy Centres, Regional Hubs, and Country Offices, to provide quality policy services and advance UNDP’s credibility in this thematic area, delivering coherence and technical advice. S/he is responsible for performing and contributing to the following:

  • Policy Research and Development
  • Policy Advice / Programme Support Delivery
  • Policy Positioning and Representation
  • Partnerships, Resource Mobilization and Strategic Planning
  • Knowledge Management

Policy Research and Development:

  • Lead the conduct of research and development to contribute to the Centre’s policy and research agenda, including the resilience portfolio’s research on green transition and the ROK’s Green New Deal
  • Coordinate and conduct analysis of data, case evidence and research findings to distill relevant lessons from projects and programmes to inform policy formulation and guidance;
  • Undertake policy research in close collaboration with UNDP’s Nature, Climate and Energy (NCE) Team and GPN colleagues in support of UNDP’s strategic ambitions and Strategic Plan implementation in this area.
  • Support the quality assurance of policy services and foster policy innovation in the specific thematic area by reviewing lessons learned and evaluations to enhance programme delivery;

Policy Advice / Programme Support Delivery:

  • Monitor and support implementation activities in ongoing SDG Partnerships on Sustainable Forestry in Indonesia and the Philippines and three new SDG Partnerships to be selected next month, including substantive content preparation for webinars, capacity building activities, knowledge products and follow up with government counterparts
  • Support country-led discussions on Green Inclusive Recovery/Transition and related policy papers for potential submission to country governments; support the development of new service offers for COs in this substantive area
  • Lead formulation of new programming and meet policy and programming needs in line with corporate guidance and standards and in direct support of UNDP’s Energy and Environment Integrated Service Offers.

Policy Positioning and Representation:

  • In close collaboration with UNDP’s Nature, Climate and Energy (NCE) Team and GPN colleagues, represent UNDP, as appropriate, in key green recovery, environment, and sustainable development fora, including on technical and expert bodies
  • Coordinate and draft briefing notes and speeches;
  • Advocate the importance of the thematic area in various fora, including academia and civil society;
  • Develop and strengthen relations with relevant policymakers and researchers, donors, regional and sub-regional organizations, including with UNEP and sister UN agencies working on issues of inclusive growth, green transition, green recovery and sustainable forestry
  • Maintain and strengthen ongoing partnerships with local partners, such as, Korea University, the Global Green Growth Institute, Korea Environment Corporation, Ministry of Environment, Korea Energy Agency and Korea Forest Service and National Institute of Forest Science. Explore and new partnerships and new partnering modalities with Korean Entities in this substantive area in close collaboration with NCE and GPN colleagues.

Partnerships, Resource Mobilization and Strategic Planning:

  • Support the Centre Director to engage with global and local partners
  • Conduct outreach and communications activities on relevant Centre services in support of achieving UNDP Strategic Plan Outcomes in close collaboration with BPPS and BERA;
  • Provide substantive and content input to contribute to mobilizing, fostering and strengthening strategic partnerships with UN entities and other relevant bodies and provide inputs to those partnerships in support of UNDP initiatives;
  • Coordinate team and Centre contributions and support to corporate activities to help influence/advance policy dialogue in the thematic area in collaboration with GPN including policy teams in Global Policy Centres, at HQ and in Regional Hubs;
  • Coordinate and perform knowledge extraction, analysis, documentation, codification of results/lessons learned in the specific thematic area to help ensure internal synergies and inform the broader policy work of BPPS, and verify that knowledge sharing and content management is in line with guidelines and performed using corporate tools; and
  • Support the formulation of USPC’s next three-year programme, and the development of revised focus areas for research and project implementation.

Knowledge Management:

  • Coordinate team contributions and support to corporate KM activities to help influence/advance policy dialogue in the thematic area in collaboration with policy teams in Global Policy Centres, at HQ and in Regional Hubs;
  • Coordinate and performs knowledge extraction, analysis, documentation, codification of results/lessons learned in the specific thematic area to help ensure internal synergies and inform the broader policy work of BPPS, and verify that knowledge sharing and content management is in line with guidelines and performed using corporate tools;
  • Support the Director in advancing development cooperation discussion, knowledge exchanges and experience sharing, and contributing case evidence to the broadening and deepening of UNDP’s SSTC modalities.

Supervisory/Managerial Responsibilities:

  • The Policy Specialist will manage a team with one consultant and two interns.


Core 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 Competencies:

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

Cross-Functional & Technical Competencies:

Business Direction & 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 & 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

Business Development: UNDP Representation

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

Business Management: Results-based Management

  • Ability to manage programmes and projects with a focus at improved performance and demonstrable results

Digital & Innovation: Innovation management

  • Being able to create strategies, conditions, structures and systems to enable innovation at an organisational level. Ability to navigate uncertainty and ambiguity, is able manage projects-based principles of adaptation and emergence. Ability to shape demand for innovation services, navigate political constraints and make the case for allocation of resources to innovation, connect the appropriate innovation approaches based on business needs and make the case for innovation to be integrated at the planning level within their context. Having in-depth theoretical and experiential knowledge of innovation processes, methods, capabilities.

Digital & Innovation: Portfolio design & management

  • Ability to identify leverage points in systems and design interventions that address them. The value of the interventions is determined not in isolation, but as part of the overall portfolio and their coherence. Ability to design processes that extract learning on an ongoing basis from existing portfolios, so that learning accrues over time and new options for action are continuously generated. Build a learning ecosystem around a complex development challenge: being able to mobilise a variety of stakeholders and help them learn and work together. Understand key principles of systems and complexity theory.

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



  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in environmental policy, environmental law, economics, natural resource management, sustainable development, rural development, climate-change policies and/or other relevant fields.

Experience, Knowledge, and Skills:

  • 5 years of professional work experience providing policy advice and programme support in the general area of sustainable development, climate change and green growth in different development contexts;
  • Substantive experience in project management, events organization and/or knowledge management is required.
  • Prior work experience with international organizations required; UNDP experience is an additional advantage
  • Experience working in developing country settings is required.
  • Demonstrated capacity to write clear and well-constructed reports and knowledge products is required.
  • Excellent knowledge of English, both written and oral.
  • Experience in the usage of computers, office software packages, video conferencing platform (including Zoom), and social media is required.
  • Familiarity with green recovery/transition, sustainable forestry and development cooperation is a strong asset.
  • Experience with policy research and publications on topics such as sustainable development, green transition, climate, environment, and sustainable energy is a strong asset.
  • Working knowledge of another UN language is desirable.

Please note that continuance of appointment beyond the initial 12 months is contingent upon the successful completion of a probationary period.

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How to apply

Please refer to the official posting and apply at: bit.ly/USPCcareers

June 2024