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.

The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 46 least developed countries. With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.

The Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility (LoCAL) is a mechanism to integrate climate change into local authorities’ planning and budgeting through the regular intergovernmental fiscal transfer system using performance-based grants in a participatory and gender sensitive manner, increase awareness and capacities to respond to climate change at the local level including through ecosystem-based solutions, and increase the quality and number of local investments that address climate change. LoCAL combines performance-based climate resilience grants (PBCRGs), which ensure programming and verification of change expenditures at the local level, with technical and capacity-building support. It uses the grants and demonstration effect to trigger further flows for local climate action including global climate finance and national fiscal transfers. LoCAL also aims to support private finance for small and medium businesses and municipal finance and public-private partnerships. LoCAL is currently active in 17 countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, with another 13 countries preparing to join (at the design stage).

UNCDF has supported the Government of Malawi (GoM) design the LoCAL-Malawi Mechanism with aims of increasing District access to climate finance for implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAP)-aligned change adaptation priority investments in Malawi (outcome 1) – which includes sectors such as Water and Sanitation; Health and Sanitation; Solid waste; Education; Agriculture and natural resources; Forestry; Biodiversity; and will consolidate a standard and internationally recognized country-based mechanism of performance-based climate resilience grants in the country, further attracting climate finance, domestic and international (outcome 2). LoCAL aims to raise awareness and strengthen capacities for subnational climate change adaptation at subnational level (output1); support the integration of climate change into local planning and budgeting processes and finance local adaptation interventions and investments in NDC and NAP-aligned adaptation sectors (output 2) and deploy at scale across the country an effective performance-based climate resilience grant system (financing mechanism) that can attract various sources of climate finance (output 3). Within this programme context, UNCDF is seeking a Programme Specialist (National Coordinator), NPSA to contribute to the effective delivery of the Programmes activities in Malawi.

Scope of Work

The National Coordination Specialist will provide policy, regulatory and technical advice to the national counterparts, district councils and wards in relation to the LoCAL programme activities and with a focus on the integration of climate change and environmental sustainability into public planning and budgeting systems at subnational level. The National Coordination Specialist will also be responsible for providing technical, policy, and programming implementation support and oversight, and knowledge and capacity development services for the effective deployment of LoCAL programmatic activities, for providing operational support to the LoCAL Facility, and is also expected to contribute to LoCAL’s resource mobilization activities on an ongoing basis.

Summary of key functions:

1. Programme management and implementation 

2. Policy outreach, partnership building and resource mobilization

3. Policy, regulatory and technical advice to government counterparts and key stakeholders

4. Coordination with government counterparts, UN system and development partners 

5. Knowledge management and communication

1. Programme management and implementation 

Oversee the day-to-day implementation of selected LoCAL activities, with a focus on climate change and environmental sustainability; Lead delivery and achievement of objectives by working with and supporting implementing partners’ project related activities; Ensure the integrity of LoCAL Annual Work Plan, budget, financial resources, review of budget requirements, delivery and the consistent application or rules and regulations; Provide effective programme and project design, supervision, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, reporting and completion of assigned LoCAL activities, in close collaboration with UNDP, UNRCO, the LoCAL Facility Manager and the LoCAL Facility (global); Contribute to the management of the risk log of the project; Support identification and sourcing of technical expertise and support, including assisting with the preparation of TORs, identification and evaluation of experts and reviewing reports; Contribute to the preparation and timely submission of comprehensive technical and financial reports in line with contractual agreements including semi-annual reporting; Ensuring the timely and effective management of the activities as scheduled.

2. Outreach, partnership building and resource mobilization

Develop strategies to mobilize additional resources based on programme requirements and new opportunities; Maintain close working relationships with key national and subnational institutions and other key stakeholders at various levels in order to support the quality of the execution of the PBCRGS and its key results areas; Support negotiations on co-operation with UNDP, the UN system, Government, Malawi’s parliamentary committee on natural resources, bilateral development agencies, and other technical partners to identify and develop synergies with relevant in-country projects and technical partnerships for LoCAL with a focus on policy and capacity development for climate change mainstreaming and climate finance; Build effective and efficient partnerships at the operational level with national counterparts and financial and technical partners; Organize consultative meetings, seminars and workshops to drive analytical and policy work of the Programme.

3. Policy, regulatory and technical advice to government counterparts and key stakeholders 

Ensure adequate provision of technical, policy and regulatory assistance and advice to national and subnational governments in the field of public financial management, good governance, decentralization, adaptation planning/programming, climate finance, climate change issues and environmental sustainability, climate change mainstreaming into planning, budgeting, investment plans, implementation, and monitoring of adaptation measures (performance assessments); Provide technical advice and capacity building support (“learning by doing”) for the piloting and establishment of a local information system for adaptation and of a climate risk assessments for subnational adaptation (including projections and mapping) addressing hazards, vulnerabilities and exposure of local governments in relation to climate change including desk review, data collection, preliminary design of the system, analytical writing, piloting, consultation and validation and gradual deployment of the local climate information system; Support the strengthening of capacities, institutions and systems with a focus on local level adaptation mainstreaming and the strengthening of public financial management systems for climate change (e.g. by facilitating and undertaking capacity needs assessments; the development of capacity building programmes; the organization of training workshops; and on-the-job learning); Strengthen the quality of the monitoring and evaluation and reporting of LoCAL in line with the ‘Assessing Climate Change Adaptation Framework’ (e.g. preparation and monitoring of the annual work plan, 3 organization and participation in M&E field missions, proposing corrective measures, contribution to the preparation of annual reports); Provide technical advice and capacity building support (“learning by doing”) for the integration of environment and climate change issues in the local government development and investment plans and budgets that foster job creation, gender equality and green and climate resilient local economies; • Provide technical advice and capacity building support for the adequate integration and costing of environment and climate considerations (e.g. specifications, cost estimations, etc) in the investments delivered in the context of the Programme; Lead the technical dialogue and provision of policy and technical advisory services to national and local government counterparts in relation to climate change information and assessments, climate mainstreaming, climate finance and (direct) access to international climate finance (e.g. through accreditation to the Green Climate Fund).

4. Coordination with government counterparts, UN system and development partners 

Serve as the UNCDF focal point in working groups and steering committees on the issue of environment and climate change and related sectors and provide inputs for conducive policy and regulatory environment; Manage UNCDF’s commitments within the UNDAF Results Matrix, ensures effective application of results - based management tools, monitors initiative work plans, programme effectiveness and achievement of results; Coordinates and provides substantive contributions from UNCDF on LoCAL mechanism in the CCA and UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), promotes thematic and sectoral synergies and coordination of programme activities and execution with development partners in Malawi, The Gambia and any other assigned LoCAL country in the region; Coordinate closely with development partners and UNRCO on LoCAL development and delivery, identifies approaches and modalities to achieve development targets by ensuring synergies and coordination between UNCDF LoCAL global programme and development partners in Malawi (or any other assigned LoCAL country), as well as provide technical, policy and programmatic advice to the UNRCO on relevant themes.

5. Knowledge management and communication

Identify key knowledge constraints and organize learning, knowledge exchange, training, workshops, etc. to build the awareness and capacities on relevant themes (i.e. climate change, local climate risk assessments, environmental sustainability, mainstreaming, in support of women and youth employment, etc.); Contribute to the implementation of the Communication and Visibility Plan of the Programme, in collaboration with Programme team, partners and technical consultants; Identify, collect and disseminate best practices and lesson learned from the Programme in areas of specialty; Manage the process of convening national and regional stakeholders to share lessons learned on selected themes.

Institutional Arrangement

The National Coordination Specialist reports to the LoCAL Global Programme Manager based in Kampala, Uganda and works in close collaboration with other LTF and LoCAL colleagues in the regional office/HQ based and country and across the region. This position will be based in Lilongwe, Malawi.


Core Competencies

Achieve Result:  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

Show Managerial Courage; Demonstrate Empathy and Emotional Intelligence; Build an Enabling Workplace; Lead with Humility.

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies


Advocacy strategy Ability to create and implement advocacy strategies which lead to impactful change.

Partnership management

Multi-stakeholder engagement and funding Knowledge and ability to forge multi-stakeholder partnerships, and remove any obstacles to resource mobilization and multi-stakeholder funding platforms. Strategic engagement 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 objective.

Programme and Policy

2030 Agenda: Planet

Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery Climate Risk Management Disaster and Climate Risk Governance Nature, Climate and Energy Climate Change Policies: Climate Finance; Climate Change Policies: Governance / integrated planning for climate change investments in the context of urbanization; Climate Change Adaptation: strategies.



Master’s degree in environmental science and management, climate science, geographic studies, international development, economics, statistics, or a related field. Bachelor’s degree in the related fields with additional 2 years of relevant experience will be given due consideration in lieu of Master’s degree.


Minimum five (5) years with Master’s degree or seven (7) years with Bachelor’s degree of experience in implementing/coordinating development projects in the fields of climate change and/or environmental sustainability and decentralization; At least three (3) years managerial /professional level work experience working on policy, regulatory and technical advisory services with national and subnational stakeholders is highly desirable; A minimum of three (3) years’ experience related to environmental assessments, climate risk and vulnerability assessments, climate modelling, geographical information system (GIS) and/or risk mapping, in particular at the local level is highly desired;  Work experience with local governments, local stakeholders, local communities, and with addressing gender equality as project objective and/or cross-cutting issue;  Work experience with central government institutions/ministries and knowledge of government systems;  Strong networking capabilities and ability to associate him/herself with a range of actors (inter alia central and subnational governments; CSOs, NGOs, policy makers; national statistics office and donors, and local communities) with a view to building relations and facilitating links;  Knowledge of current developments in local economic development for the most vulnerable (women and youth) is desired;  Experience with a UN organization/agency is desirable;  Experience with ATLAS and UNDP Procurement Processes is desirable but not a requirement.

Required Language(s)

Fluency in English. Other major languages spoken in Malawi, e.g. Chewa, Yao, Tonga, Sena, and Elomwe is desirable.


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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.

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