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Senior Program Officer, NbS finance, pipeline development and feasibility

Vacancy #:   5866
Unit:   Enterprise and investment
Organisation:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   Environmental Law Centre, Bonn, Germany
Reporting to:   Senior Programme Coordinator, NBS Finance
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   P2
Expected start date:   01 March 2022
Type of contract:   Max-term (24 months)
Closing date:   31 January 2022
BACKGROUND
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private, and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development, and nature conservation to take place together. Headquartered in Switzerland, IUCN Secretariat comprises around 950 staff in more than 50 countries. Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,300 Member organisations and some 15,000 experts. It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments, and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools, and international standards. IUCN provides a neutral space in which diverse stakeholders including governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities, indigenous peoples organisations and others can work together to forge and implement solutions to environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development. Working with many partners and supporters, IUCN implements a large and diverse portfolio of conservation projects worldwide. Combining the latest science with the traditional knowledge of local communities, these projects work to reverse habitat loss, restore ecosystems, and improve people’s well-being.
NbS is an all-encompassing concept for the use of nature as direct contribution to issues such as economic and social development, climate change adaptation, food security, water security, human health, and disaster risk reduction. IUCN is looking to scale up service provision through its NbS Global Facility by providing tailor-made financing, technical assistance, and policy influencing mechanisms for the accelerated deployment and implementation of NbS. The Subnational Climate Fund Initiative (SCF) is a global blended finance initiative that aims to invest in and scale up mid-sized, climate-resilient, low-carbon infrastructure and nature-based solutions in developing countries. SCF aims to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns by investing in sustainable private infrastructure through SCF’s Fund. SCF will also feature a dedicated, grant- funded Technical Assistance Facility – providing local capacity building, project development support, and certification for climate and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) impacts prior to investment.
The Senior Programme Officer, NbS Finance, will support the design and delivery of a set of programmatic priorities and activities of IUCN in support of the Centers, business lines, and broader Nature-based Solutions (NbS) finance streams under the supervision of the Senior Program Coordinator, NBS Finance, within the Centre for Economy and Finance Enterprise and Investment Team. This should be done in collaboration with the Science & Data Centre and other Centres as appropriate. Furthermore, they will advise the Senior Program Coordinator, provide technical leadership for identifying, developing, and backstopping the NbS investment pipeline for the Sub-national Climate Fund (SCF) across various sectors, and contribute to multiple stakeholders' capacity on sustainable finance and NbS. Furthermore, the Senior Programme Officer will substantially contribute to efforts to mobilize knowledge, data, resources, partners, and networks to broaden the scope and impact of the finance portfolio regarding the priorities mentioned above and represent, as appropriate, IUCN as technical lead with relevant partners, global partnerships, meetings, and events. With having an excellent understanding of investment process, the Program Officer will collaborate continuously with the private financial sector actors, project developers, and other public and private instructions with a complementary mandate and take learnings from SCF to expand the experience to launch a new product.

This position maybe based in either Bonn, Germany or Gland, Switzerland (to be discussed).
JOB DESCRIPTION
The Senior Programme Officer, NbS Finance, will be responsible for the following:

1. Technical advice and quality assurance of the NbS pipeline of investable projects

• Act as a technical lead on the NBS investment pipeline development for SCF and, more broadly, for the blended finance vehicles supported by IUCN accelerating the growth of nature-positive investable projects, including:
o In the early pipeline development stage –In collaboration with the Fund's partners and in coordination with IUCN’s country teams, screen the early investment pipeline for their eligibility for financing and their technical soundness, and identify opportunities to integrate and or further improve on NbS.
o Such technical support to the investment pipeline is aimed to increase the sustainability and scope of positive environmental and social outcomes from the funds' investment. Relevant sectors in the project pipeline include conservation, regenerative agriculture, sustainable forestry (and land-based and landscape approaches), renewable energy, waste and water, and energy efficiency projects.
o In the pre-feasibility and feasibility stages of technical assistance - provide technical advice and coordinate internal expert input from IUCN, including from global technical experts and regional/country technical staff on the project pipeline pertinent to NbS and relevant E&S safeguards to support the decision making of the Technical Assistance Facility and the Fund when allocating support.
o In the investment approval stage – advise the decision-making bodies of the Fund on the best practice and use of metrics and measurement of impact on biodiversity, climate, and local community development for the NBS portfolio of projects.
o During the investment period – in coordination with the national teams, support SCF in monitoring the project pipeline to the extent that’s feasible under the existing fund arrangement.
o Participate in relevant internal meetings and decisions made by the SCF technical assistance facility comprising IUCN, R20, Gold Standard and Pegasus Capital Advisors.

• Provide support to the ongoing SCF SGD impact and NbS certification process piloted by the Fund in collaboration with the Gold Standard, including on the development of new screening tools, guidance materials and advice/technical assistance to project developers.
• Contribute to capacity-building activities and develop content to new knowledge products on best practices and growing experience from NbS investments, including exploring new and innovative methods to capture impact from NbS on climate, biodiversity, and local economic development alongside financial returns to increase the value proposition of NbS to investors and project developers.

2. Project portfolio management and delivery

• Ensure effective, efficient, and adaptive management of IUCN project resources (financial, human, and intellectual) to deliver on the goals of NbS finance initiatives.
• Support design and develop new thematically aligned projects, and project components relevant to NbS finance and learning, particularly with GEF and GCF.
• Provide technical oversight to projects and lead the project teams for results with clarity in roles and responsibilities and accountability for outcomes.
• Ensure alignment of technical assistance, capacity building with the fund managers and private sector partners are aligned with the NbS Facility's "finance catalyst".
• Contribute to project planning, data capturing, reporting based on adaptive and results-oriented management of the SCF.

3. Building Partnerships, Representation, and Resource Mobilization

• Build additional internal and external capacity, influence, and be IUCN's external facing on NbS finance (including climate, biodiversity, and economic development), supporting the NbS Facility and IUCN's institutional goals on financing for nature.
• Participate in meetings, conferences, and platforms of relevance to the work program described above to advance and showcase IUCN technical and thought leadership to influence and mobilize new networks, partners, and stakeholders.
• By working with IUCN teams and project partners, contribute to communications and joint storytelling to demonstrate feasibility and viability of NBS investments from the blended finance models and particularly SCF.

Competencies:
. Enthusiastic commitment and vision, characterized by:
• A commitment to nature conservation and sustainable development.
2. Integrity, maturity and trust, as characterized by:
• Unimpeachable integrity as evidenced by behavior.
• Proven ability to effectively collaborate with colleagues and clients.
• Clear commitment to embracing and contributing to a culture of high performance and accountability.
• Demonstrated commitment to working within teams diverse in gender, nationality and background to achieve business results.
3. Professional competencies, characterized by:
• A track record of developing and implementing innovative finance projects around NbS, or equivalent record of relevant finance expertise
• Ability and commitment to act in accordance with IUCN’s core values including, integrity, respect for diversity, safety and dignity at work and professionalism as described in IUCN’s Code of Conduct and Professional Ethics, IUCN’s Policy on Protection from Sexual Abuse, Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Harassment, and IUCN’s Policy on Safety and Security.
• Well-developed interpersonal and communication skills.
4. Commitment to accountable and high-quality delivery
• A clear and unambiguous work ethic that understands the necessity of, and demonstrates willingness to adhere to, institutional procedures and standards.
• An enthusiasm for and commitment to understanding and contributing to tangible, equitable and durable change processes in the field of conservation and sustainable development.
5. Sound judgment and decision making, characterized by:
• Well-organized and logical in thought and action.
• Ability to listen and receive feedback, take into consideration alternative points of view and retain some flexibility.
• Ability to anticipate, assess and account for political and reputational risk associated with contested or divergent issues.
REQUIREMENTS
  • Relevant technical background on NBS: Advanced degree (Master’s or PhD) in environmental and civil engineering, environmental science, natural resources management, and investment and finance flows, with 8+ years of relevant experience as environmental assessment and management professional, pertinent to the sectors relevant to NbS. Has a track record working with financial institutions with a good understanding of the investment process and business culture.

• Scientific rigor and analytical skills: Understands and applies robust, evidence-based approach to inquiry and analysis.

• Project Management: Demonstrates an understanding and previous delivery of programs and projects aligned to intervention hierarchies and Theories of Change, plus demonstrable experience in applying rigorous safeguards, monitoring, learning, risk, budget allocation, including cost recovery.

• Planning and organizational efficiency: Ability to organize workflows to optimally allocate time, resources, people, and other inputs for the effective and efficient delivery of tasks and initiatives at increasing levels of complexity. Displays the ability to prioritize, manage and balance operational task flows and identify, anticipate and address critical operational dependencies.

• Scientific and grant writing skills: Evidence of consistent portfolio fundraising for project portfolios.

• Knowledge transfer and presentation skills: Experience in planning and developing messaging in terms of effective knowledge uptake, understands, and showing the ability to adapt to the target audience.

• Stakeholder Networking and Convening: Effectively bringing stakeholders together and moving networks beyond discourse to action.

• Fluent English. Knowledge of French and/or Spanish is an asset,

• Excellent interpersonal and networking skills, especially within multi-stakeholder contexts

• Good knowledge of web-based and information technology

• Effective communicator to a wide range of audiences,

• Well-developed writing skills,

• Available for travel.

• The above job description contains the main duties and responsibilities for this position. However, in a small organization such as IUCN, staff members are expected to show flexibility in their approach to work and be willing to undertake other tasks that are reasonably allocated to them, but which are not part of their regular job description. Where any task becomes a regular part of an employee's responsibilities, the job description will be changed in consultation with the employee and the Human Resources Management Group. Being an international organization, the institution reserves the right to re-assign duty stations for any internationally recruited position, after consultation with staff members and taking into account their personal circumstances.
SALARY
The minimum gross annual salary for this position is EUR 54'960. While this is an indicative amount effective as of the current date, changes may occur as per IUCN's compensation practices without prior notice. The same applies to other organisations hosted by IUCN.
APPLICATIONS

Applicants are requested to apply online through the HR Management System, by opening the vacancy announcement and pressing the "Apply" button.

Applicants will be asked to create an account and submit their profile information. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. The vacancy closes at midnight, Swiss time (GMT+1 / GMT+2 during Daylight Saving Time, DST). Please note that only selected applicants will be personally contacted for interviews.

Other job opportunities are published in the IUCN website: http://www.iucn.org/involved/jobs/


About IUCN

IUCN is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,300 Member organisations and some 10,000 experts. It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools and international standards.

IUCN provides a neutral space in which diverse stakeholders including governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities, indigenous peoples organisations and others can work together to forge and implement solutions to environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development.

Working with many partners and supporters, IUCN implements a large and diverse portfolio of conservation projects worldwide. Combining the latest science with the traditional knowledge of local communities, these projects work to reverse habitat loss, restore ecosystems and improve people’s well-being.

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