Programme Associate, Equator Initiative

  • Added Date: Friday, 11 January 2019
  • Deadline Date: Thursday, 17 January 2019

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Programme Associate, Equator Initiative

Job categories: Administration, Programme Management

Vacancy code : VA/2018/B5004/17020

Department/office : NYSC, SDC, Development and Special Initiatives Portfolio

Duty station : New York, United States of America

Contract type : Local ICA Support

Contract level : LICA-6

Duration : Up to 90 working days, ASAP - October 2019

Application period : 17-Dec-2018 to 17-Jan-2019

Applications to vacancies must be received before midnight Copenhagen time (CET) on the closing date of the announcement.

Background Information - Job-specific

UNDP’s Global Programme on Nature for Development brings together three different initiatives – the Equator Initiative, the New York Declaration on Forests Global Platform, and the National Biodiversity Initiative under one program in order to identify, foster, showcase and celebrate nature-based solutions that help achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at local, national, and international levels. The work of the Global Programme on Nature for Development contributes to UNDP's Strategic Plan 2018-2021 by charting sustainable development pathways through the conservation, restoration and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems; and by promoting inclusive and effective democratic governance in the area of natural resources.

The Equator Initiative brings together the United Nations, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organizations to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. The Equator Initiative seeks to recognize the success of local and indigenous initiatives; create opportunities and platforms to share knowledge and good practice; inform policy to foster an enabling environment for local and indigenous community action; and develop the capacity of indigenous peoples and local communities to scale-up their impact.

The Equator Initiative is built upon three equally important pillars:

  • The Equator Prize is awarded biennially to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. As local and indigenous groups across the world chart a path towards sustainable development, the Equator Prize shines a spotlight on their efforts by honoring them on an international stage.

  • Equator Dialogues are an ongoing series of community-driven meetings and exchanges, held in conjunction with related international forums. Equator Dialogues provide opportunities for people to share experiences, develop capacities and influence policy.

  • Equator Knowledge is a research, documentation and learning program focused on local best practice in sustainable development. The Equator Initiative works with partners to identify, document, and analyze the success factors of local best practice, and to catalyze ongoing peer-to-peer learning, knowledge exchange and replication of best practice.

The Global Platform for the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF), is a partnership of governments, multinational companies, civil society and indigenous peoples who strive to halve deforestation by 2020 and to end it by 2030. The NYDF outlines ten ambitious global targets related to protecting and restoring forests. The Global Platform for the New York Declaration on Forests seeks to fill an important gap in multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration necessary to achieve the goals of the NYDF. The NYDF Global Platform works to increase ambition, forge new partnerships and accelerate progress on the NYDF goals by responding to NYDF endorsers’ requests for a dedicated, multi-stakeholder platform to re-invigorate political endorsement of the NYDF, to facilitate coordination and communication, to share best practices, resources and lessons, and to support ongoing monitoring of progress.

The National Biodiversity Initiative supports countries to manage their ecosystems and biodiversity in order improve national planning and governance of biodiversity, ecosystems, and development, and to promote resilience for sustainable development. The National Biodiversity Initiative works in three project areas: National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) Support, National Reporting, and Capacity Building. The use of spatial data for spatial planning is a cross-cutting theme across these project areas.

Knowledge Sharing is a main goal of the Equator Initiative, the National Biodiversity Initiative, and NYDF. The Equator Initiative has a large series of research papers, books, and other publications focusing on local approaches to poverty reduction and conservation, informed by community-based initiatives. 180 case studies in over 30 languages have documented the Equator Prize Winners’ innovative practices that deliver the win-win-win solutions that ensure social, economic, and environmental sustainability. The National Biodiversity Initiative works in partnership with UN Environment’s MapX to share knowledge on the role of spatial data in biodiversity planning, policymaking, and reporting through story maps. The NYDF Global Platform aims to use case studies about NYDF endorsers from a variety of stakeholder groups, including companies, governments, indigenous peoples and NGOs in order to share best practices and challenges in implementing the NYDF goals.

Learning for Nature is a capacity-building offer provided by the Global Programme on Nature for Development, cutting across the three areas of work. This program connects biodiversity policymakers, change-makers, and on-the-ground subject matter experts to facilitate the delivery of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Access to the global multi-stakeholder networks mobilized by the NYDF, the Equator Initiative, and the National Biodiversity Initiative allows Learning for Nature to circulate knowledge while promoting best practices. Building on our learnings on the ground, we seek synergies, build linkages, and engage thousands of course participants on their journey towards sustainable development solutions for people, nature, and resilient communities. Learning for Nature invites you to explore opportunities for building capacity to scale up efforts for nature-based sustainable development through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), webinars, self-paced e-learning modules, and private training courses.For further information please go to:,,,, or

Functional Responsibilities

The Equator Initiative is seeking the support of a Programme Associate to facilitate the delivery of the program activities with a focus on support with the implementation of the Equator Prize. This role comprises support to outreach and communications efforts, liaison with and support to organizations nominating for the Equator Prize, support to the selection process identifying the winners, and preparation of community representatives for their travels to New York to participate in the Equator Prize Award Ceremony and associated activities. The assignment is supervised by the Manager of the Global Programme on Nature for Development.

Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Outreach support (approx. 20%): Implement detailed outreach strategy for the Equator Prize (e-mail outreach, social media, research on additional contacts, liaison with previous winners etc.); provide technical support to nominations and management of inquiries; provide support to communications efforts such as creation and dissemination of social media materials.
  • Support to selection process (approx. 20%): Handle nominations for the Equator Prize, provide technical support to the members of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC); ensure nominations are evaluated correctly and in a timely manner; provide support to the organization of the Technical Advisory Committee meeting; manage translations.
  • Support to due diligence process (approx. 20%): Conduct desk top review to verify information provided by shortlisted organizations, and liaise with referees.
  • Support to travel preparations (approx. 25%): Support Equator Prize winner representatives in their travel preparations for New York for the Award Ceremony; gather information from winner organization for case studies.
  • Support to Equator Prize community dialogues (approx. 15%): Help organize community dialogue workshops, including logistical support, volunteer management etc.

Education/Experience/Language requirements


  • High school diploma or equivalent is required
  • Bachelor’s degree or advanced university degree in international relations, sustainable development, environmental management/sciences, social/political science, business and management, and/or other relevant field is desirable and may substitute four years of the required experience.

Work Experience

  • Six years of experience working on at least one of the following topics at a conceptual and/or practical level is required: biodiversity/climate change; human/civil/indigenous rights; social entrepreneurship/impact investing; local economic development; civil society engagement and education.
  • Previous work experience demonstrating exceptional ability to organize, multi-task, and turn around quality work under tight deadlines.
  • Prior experience (e.g. through internships or voluntary work) in international affairs, supporting international events, communications and/or local development is considered a strong asset;
  • Prior experience working at the local level on sustainable development, indigenous and/or human rights issues in developing countries would be an asset;

Functional Competencies

  • Effective communications and computer skills (MS Office, Internet research);
  • Detail-oriented, produces quality outputs in a timely manner.


  • Fluency and excellent writing ability in English is required.
  • Fluency and excellent writing ability in French or Spanish is required.
  • Fluency and excellent writing ability in additional languages is considered a strong asset, in particular UN languages and Portuguese.**USA Work Authorization requirement:**
    Valid USA work authorization is required, e.g. US citizenship, US permanent residency, G4 visa.
    H1B or F1 CPT/OPT is not accepted as UNOPS would not be able to sponsor visas for a retainer consultancy position.

UNOPS Competencies

Integrity & Inclusion

Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.

Leading Self and Others

Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.


Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).

Results Orientation

Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.


Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.

Solution Focused

Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.

Effective communication

Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: Local ICA
Contract level: LICA-6
Contract duration: Up to 90 working days, ASAP - October 2019.
Valid USA work authorization is required, e.g. US citizenship, US permanent residency, G4 visa. For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.
Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

This vacancy is archived.

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