Project Associate

United Nations Development Programme

Colombo, Sri Lanka

As per the need for the collective actions to limit the GHGs emissions within the safe standards, Sri Lanka ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1993 and the Paris Agreement in 2016. As a non-annex 1 Party to the Convention, Sri Lanka is obligated to implement decisions of the Conference of Parties (COP) and also report their progress to the UNFCCC. The Climate and Environment Team cluster supports the Government of Sri Lanka with their international obligations related to environmental conservation and climate change. 

In the climate space, UNDP is supporting the Government with its reporting obligations to the UNFCCC, the “Development of the First Biennial Transparency Report, the Second Biennial Transparency Report and Fourth National Communication of Sri Lanka to UNFCCC” (Sri Lanka: BTR1, BTR2 and NC4) project aims to strengthen technical and institutional capacity to assist Sri Lanka to mainstream climate change concerns into sectoral and national development priorities.

Against this backdrop, a Project Associate, guided by the National Project Coordinator – Climate Action of CET, UNDP, is required to support the day-to-day administrative, financial, and procurement-related project activities of the project components 1, 2 and 4 of the BTR1 + BTR2 and NC4 project to achieve stated outcomes and outputs in accordance with UNDP/GoSL Guidelines for Nationally Implemented Programmes and the UNDP’s Country Programme Action Plan (CPAP). The Associate will also support with logistical and administrative-related activities for component 3 of the BTRs-FNC project [DS1] in consultation with the Project Management Unit (PMU) while ensuring full alignment with UNDP rules and regulations.

Duties and Responsibilities

 The Project Associate is expected to provide their time towards BTR1, BTR2 and NC4 project and their scope of work would include:

 Project administration, implementation and operational support 

  • Support the Project Director/ Manager and the technical team of Climate Change Secretariat (CCS) of the Ministry of Environment and Project Coordinator in implementation of activities of the project.
  • Support planning and delivering project implementation under component 1,2 & 4 of BTR1, BTR2 and NC4 by liaising with the Country Office’s Finance, Procurement, Human Resources and IT teams towards. In consultation with CCS and the PMU, support with logistical and administrative activities related to component 03 of BTR1 + BTR2/NC4.
  • Support the Project Coordinator with planning, monitoring and evaluation activities for the projects.
  • Support preparation and updating of project work plans, budgets, briefs, reports and other documents as necessary.
  • Support organization and coordination of meetings, training sessions, workshops, project events and prepare minutes as required.
  • Ensure timely and smooth implementation of all project logistics including following up with contractors.
  • Maintain communication with stakeholders within the relevant government institutions pertaining to the projects’ scope of work.
  • Maintain a forward schedule of deadlines, meetings, and workshops and proactively work towards that schedule.
  • Assist with travel and logistic matters for the project team.
  • Perform other tasks and duties as assigned by the supervisor to support overall CET portfolio tasks related to operations and administration implemented with the Ministry of Environment as assigned by the supervisor. 

Finance and procurement support

  • Support overall finance management activities of the project including preparation and disbursement of payments following mandated processes.
  • Assist in procurement processes; assist the PMU in preparation of Terms of Reference (ToRs) for consultants, service provider contracts and ensure full compliance of procurement activities with UNDP and Government of Sri Lanka procurement guidelines.
  • Support the procurement processes of goods and services and management of the inventory of assets and custodian items.
  • Perform any other tasks assigned by the supervisor.

Institutional Arrangements

  • The Project Associate will be under the direct supervision of and report to the National Project Coordinator – Climate Action, Climate and Environment Team.

Required Skills and Experience

Min. Education requirements

  • Secondary Education (GCE A/L) is required OR
  • University degree (bachelor’s degree or equivalent) in Finance, Accounting, Project Management, Environment, or any other relevant area will be given due consideration but it’s not a requirement.

Min. years of relevant work experience 

  • Minimum of 6 years (with secondary education) or 3 years (with a bachelor’s degree) of experience supporting Project Finance functions, Project management or related fields is required.

Required skills 

  • Solid overall computer literacy, including proficiency in various MS Office applications (Excel, Word, etc.) and email/internet; familiarity with database management; and office technology equipment.
  • Experience in building and maintaining partnerships with Government, other development partners and the private sector with good interpersonal skills. 
  • Outstanding presentation skills/experience

 Desired skills in addition to the competencies covered in the Competencies section

  • Experience in providing support in coordinating and implementing development projects is desirable.
  • Proven ability to work and adapt professionally and effectively in a challenging environment; ability to work effectively in a multicultural team of international and national personnel.
  • Demonstrated capacity to undertake assigned responsibilities and work under pressure.
  • Previous experience with UN systems would be an advantage. 
  • Experience with environment and natural resource management related projects is desired.

Required Language(s)

  • Fluency in spoken and written English is required.
  • Working knowledge of Sinhala or Tamil is required.