Programme Management Specialist

United Nations Office for Project Services

Istanbul, Turkey

UNOPS supports partners to build a better future by providing services that increase the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of peace building, humanitarian and development projects.  Mandated as a central resource of the United Nations, UNOPS provides sustainable project management, procurement and infrastructure services to a wide range of governments, donors and United Nations organizations.

New York Service Cluster (NYSC) supports the United Nations Secretariat, as well as other New York-based United Nations organizations, bilateral and multilateral partners in the delivery of UNOPS mandate in project management, infrastructure management, and procurement management.

Sustainable Development Cluster (SDC) supports diverse partners with their peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations. It was formed by combining the following portfolios: Grants Management Services (GMS), UN Technology Support Services (UNTSS), Development and Special Initiatives Portfolio (DSIP) It provides Services to partners' programmes that are designed, structured, and managed with a global perspective and primarily serving partners that are headquartered in New York.  The SDC has a footprint of approximately 125 countries.

UNOPS supports the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) which is implemented by UNDP’s Local Action Cluster of the Nature, Climate and Energy (NCE) unit of BPPS on behalf of the GEF Partnership. It is executed by UNOPS. The SGP is a signature programme and a central part of the UNDP Local Action Cluster of NCE.

SGP grant making promotes community-based innovation in addressing global environmental issues and improved, more sustainable livelihoods through initiatives led by civil society and community organizations, with special consideration for Indigenous peoples, women, youth and persons with disabilities. SGP has supported over 25,000 community-based projects in over 125 countries in biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and adaptation, sustainable land management protection of international waters, and sound chemicals and waste management. Over the years, SGP has developed extensive partnerships at global, national and local levels. See for further background information. 

The Nature, Climate and Energy team within the UNDP Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) in New York exercises strategic, technical and fiduciary oversight for all of its GEF and bilateral partnership activities, including the SGP. Within the NCE, the Local Action Cluster, led by its Principal Technical Advisor, provides the overall global oversight of the SGP, including strategic, thematic, and operational guidance and support to Country Programmes. As the responsible Executing Agency for numerous partnerships, UNOPS provides services to UNDP for human resources, and administrative, financial and legal aspects of grant-making and country operations.  

The Programme Management Specialist (Europe and Central Asia and Arab States Regions)  will work for the Local Action Cluster in Europe and Central Asia and the Arab States (SGP Regional Focal Point) and form part of the SGP Central Programme Management Team (CPMT) and the Istanbul Regional Hub (IRH). He/she will contribute to Local Action cluster strategic objectives as follows: responsibility for execution support to country programmes in Europe and Central Asia and the Arab States; implementation of the GEF Small Grants Programme and other partnerships; supervision of Country Programme staff vis a vis Country Programme Strategy development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation; as well as identification of upscaling, resource mobilization, and knowledge generation opportunities regarding local actions. He/she will coordinate closely with related projects and programmes in the countries of the region and provide regular updates to the regional NCE team. 

The Programme Management Specialist (Europe and Central Asia and Arab States Regions) will provide implementation support to SGP globally with a particular focus on the Europe and Central Asia and Arab States regions under the NCE Local Action Cluster. He/she will contribute to Local Action cluster strategic objectives by supporting the implementation and monitoring of the GEF, ICCA GSI, and other financed initiatives based on an evolving assessment of country demands.  

The incumbent of this position will be personnel of UNOPS under its full responsibility.


Master’s degree preferably in international development, community development, natural resource management, climate change adaptation/mitigation, rural development or other closely related field.



  • A minimum of five (5) years of experience in the design, implementation and/or management of projects and application of integrated community-based approaches to conservation and sustainable development issues.
  • At least three  (3) years of related work with civil society organizations in one or more developing countries.
  • Working experience in the concerned regions (Europe and Central Asia and the Arab States)  is required.


  • Working experience at the field and country levels on community-based initiatives is an asset;
  • Familiarity with the work of UNDP, the Global Environment Facility, including the Small Grants Programme, or other similar grant-making programmes is an asset;
  • Experience in strategic planning, partnership development, systems analysis, and organization of complex programmes is an asset.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English is required.
  • Proficiency in French is highly desired.
  • Russian and/or Arabic language would be an asset.