Project Design Specialist

United Nations Development Programme, Beijing, China

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
Above 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
10th January, 2020

Job Description


Please note that UNDP is not in the position to accept incomplete applications - please make sure that your application contains all details as specified below in this notice.


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), acting as an implementing agency of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), is providing assistance to the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs (MARA) of the Government of China (GOC) in the preparation of the UNDP-GEF Full Size Project (FSP) “Enabling Zero Carbon Energy in Rural Towns and Villages in China (EZCERTV) Project ”. The main objective of the project is the acceleration of zero-carbon transformation in China's rural area to contribute to global climate change mitigation and the achievement of the United Nations sustainable development goals (SDG).

Project Description

This project will facilitate the application of appropriate technological, institutional and policy-oriented options that would make the growth of rural towns and villages in China is a sustainable manner making use of available clean energy resources to promote and support socio-economic growth that contributes to increased climate resilience, productivity and income generation of the town/village citizens, and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). The focus is on the decentralized optimal and efficient utilization of clean energy resources that support zero carbon town and village development, significantly reducing the use of coal and the inefficient use of biomass energy resources. The project will cover the following;

Establishing and enforcing supportive policy/regulatory frameworks and institutional mechanisms to facilitate low carbon energy technology applications to achieve zero carbon rural towns and villages;

Showcasing of applicable RE-based energy generation (power and non-power applications) in rural towns/villages, including appropriate EE technologies, as well as zero carbon development planning of towns and villages.

Enhancement of the information and awareness capacity of government authorities and citizens on zero carbon development and RE and EE technology applications in rural areas; and,

Improving the availability/access to financial resources for financing low carbon energy technology applications in rural towns/villages.

The project involves theimplementation of investment-type activities comprising the design, planning and implementation of the low carbon energy technology applications, and piloting of the application of zero carbon town and development planning. Through the proposed project, enhanced application of appropriate renewable energy delivery mechanisms, and energy conservation and energy efficiency technologies will be carried out in pursuit of low carbon rural development and ultimately the establishment of zero carbon towns and villages in rural areas of China. Such applications will result in the transformation of energy production into low/zero carbon emitting decentralized energy generation and distribution systems through the utilization of available indigenous renewable energy resources in rural areas and smart grid systems. The low carbon systems will be in accordance with the characteristics of the available renewable energy resources, the suitable combination of the use of such resources, and the prevailing climate/weather conditions in the various climate regions of the country. These will also be designed to be independent of the existing grid that distribute fossil fuel-generated electricity, through the installation of energy storage systems, and equipping these with smart control systems that will enable comprehensive load and energy management system that will result in optimal generation cost for a green, clean, renewable energy-generated electricity. The demonstrations of such systems, including zero carbon town and village development will be carried out in select rural towns/villages in Heilongjiang, Hebei, Hubei, Anhui, Gansu, and Yunnan. As part of the “Rural Revitalization” strategy of the government, the MARA will promote the results of these demonstrations and intensify the project publicity and promotion efforts in other provinces like Sichuan or Qinghai.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Project Development Specialist (PDS) will be the EZCERTV Project Development Team (PDT) Leader and will be responsible for quality assurance and timely preparation of all reports and documentation, including the finalized UNDP Project Document (ProDoc) and CEO Endorsement Request, with all mandatory and project specific Annexes and supporting documentation. S/he will be responsible for managing all consultants on the PDT and coordinating the Team’s work.

Within the framework of this ToR, the PDS is expected to perform the following tasks and duties:

  • Lead the implementation of the design, development and preparation activities for the EZCERTV Project;
  • Facilitation (or assistance in the facilitation) of the LFA workshop, and preparation of the LFA workshop proceedings report, development and articulation of the project’s theory of change;
  • Finalization of the agreed project logical framework (PPM), i.e., the project objective, outcomes and outputs, as well as success indicators and targets, means of verification and assumptions/risks;
  • Lead the PDT that will comprise of the individual experts that will be engaged, and coordinate with pertinent Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) personnel;
  • Conduct of an analysis and improvement of private sector role in China’s energy and utilities, transport, and rural development.
  • Coordination of the tasks to be implemented by individual experts and other members of the PPG for the design and development of the EZCERTV Project;
  • Carry out detailed analysis of cost-effectiveness of the project, and preparation of the EZCERTV project budget;
  • Development of a detailed Monitoring and Evaluation Plan and Budget;
  • Overseeing the preparation of a Stakeholder Engagement Plan and the Gender Action Plan and Budget;
  • In coordination with UNDP-GEF EITT Team (A&P region), review the outputs of each expert to ensure that UNDP-GEF requirements (e.g., incremental reasoning, incorporation of gender equity, contributions to SDG achievement, etc.).
  • Consolidation of all the deliverables of the PDT members (i.e., the individual experts) for use in the design of a holistic project based on the agreed project PPM.
  • Consolidation of verified estimated energy savings and associated GHG emission reductions (direct by EOP, lifetime direct and consequential) from the various experts into the prescribed GEF Core Indicators.
  • Preparation of the draft and finalized versions of the Project Document and the CEO Endorsement Request (CER) Document;
  • Coordinate and/or carry out, the responding to the GEFSec and GEF Council comments on the Project Document and CER Document;
  • Finalization of the Social and Environmental Screening Procedure (SESP); and,
  • Preparation of the finalized versions of the Project Document, CER Document, and Tracking tool.

Reporting Lines

  • The international consultant serving as the project design team leader will report to the Head, Environment Unit, of UNDP-China, in close consultation with national counterparts.
  • The deliverables shall be first submitted to UNDP-China for review and approval. All deliverables are subject to technical clearance and approval from UNDP-GEF Sr. Technical Advisor and CO in order to process payments to the consultant.
  • The primary responsibility of the team leader is to lead work on development and preparation of the EZCERTV project document for submission to GEF Secretariat.

Expected Deliverables:

The key products to be delivered are as follows:

  • Logical Framework Analysis Workshop Report
  • Report on the analysis and improvement of private sector role in China’s energy and utilities, transport, and rural development.
  • Well written and concise UNDP ProDoc with all required sections and Annexes, in line with the standard UNDP-GEF ProDoc template and annotated guidance;
  • Completed GEF CEO Endorsement Request;
  • Responses to GEFSec, GEF Council and STAP comments
  • All documentations from GEF PPG exercise (including technical reports, etc.); and Validation Workshop Report
  • Payment for Services

Payments are based upon output, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR. The international consultant shall receive payment in four installments from UNDP as follows:

  • 30% upon submission of reports (LFA workshop proceedings and PPM after completion of in-country missions and consultations;
  • 30% upon preparation and acceptance of the draft UNDP Project Document, GEF-7 CCM Core Indicators and CEO Endorsement Request Document;
  • 30% upon clearance by Senior Technical Advisor of the project documentation fully compliant with the enforced GEF rules and standards and its submission to GEF Secretariat which includes assistance to UNDP with response to any GEF Sec comments; and
  • 10% Upon GEF CEO Endorsement of the EZCERTV Project.

Responsibility for Expenses and their Reimbursement

  • This is a lump sum assignment. The Consultant will be responsible for all personal administrative and travel expenses associated with undertaking this assignment including office accommodation, printing, stationary, telephone and electronic communications, and report copies incurred in this assignment.
  • Responsibility for Managing the Work Plan

The principal responsibility for managing the consultant will line with the UNDP China and with the Senior Technical Advisor at the UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub. The timeframe and duration of activities are estimated to be broken down as follows:


Duration (estimated)

  • Preparation of the Project Design and Preparation Work plan and Methodology/Approach, agenda/program for stakeholder consultative workshops for design and validation of project
  • Development of Project Results Framework (Log Frame)
  • Preparation of Draft UNDP Project Document; CEO Endorsement Request Document and GEF Core Indicators
  • Finalization of Project Document, CER Document and all Annexes
  • Revision/Finalization of Documents following responses to the GEF comments
  • The drafts of the CEO Endorsement Request Document, UNDP Project Document, and required annexes (inclusive of the GEF Core Indicators) that are fully compliant with the enforced UNDP/GEF rules and standards shall be submitted for comments to UNDP by May 2020. UNDP and the stakeholders will submit comments and suggestions within 10 working days after receiving the drafts. The finalized documents, after responding to comments, and making revisions based on the responses and suggestions of the GEFSec/GEF Council, shall be submitted to the GEF Secretariat no later than end of October 2020.


Technical work

  • Strong expertise in engineering with a focus on renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) an advantage.
  • Proven experience in leading design of project proposals, particularly on RE & EE.
  • Familiarity with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and other similar related international conventions.
  • Ability to be strategic, creative and proactive in project design and leading technical teams including understanding new terminology and concepts easily.
  • Familiarity with UNDP/GEF programming policies, templates and requirements for project design especially climate change mitigation.


  • Maturity and confidence in dealing with senior members of national institutions.
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Excellent technical writing and written communication skills, with analytic capacity and ability to synthesize relevant collected data and findings for the preparation of quality analysis for the project proposal.
  • Excellent coordination skills and result oriented collaboration with colleagues – especially for this case the national level consultants.


  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP.
  • Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback.
  • Good team player with the ability to maintain good relationships.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Postgraduate in a relevant field, such as Engineering, Applied Sciences, Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, and related subjects
  • At least 10 years’ experience designing and/or implementing energy projects in developing countries
  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • Proven and extensive international experience in designing and implementing renewable energy (particularly solar PV) and energy efficiency projects.
  • Proven extensive experience in UNDP/GEF project formulation/design
  • Knowledge of other donors’ including EU, ADB and WB project implementation and funding mechanisms would be an advantage
  • Ability to conduct research and analysis and strong synthesis skills
  • Builds strong relationships with national consultants, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to critical feedback; consensus-oriented
  • Highly developed inter-personal, negotiation and teamwork skills, networking aptitude.

Languages:Excellent oral and written English skills are essential.


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