The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)

Strategic Group Lead: Enabling regional and global mechanisms for sustaina…

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)

Strategic Group Lead: Enabling regional and globa…

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), based in Kathmandu, Nepal, is the leading institute for the study of the Hindu Kush Himalaya. An intergovernmental knowledge and development organisation with a focus on climate and environmental risks, green economies, and sustainable collective action, we have worked in our eight regional member countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan – since our foundation. 

Entering our 40th year, ICIMOD is perfectly positioned to support the transformative action required for the HKH to face the challenges of the escalating effects of climate change, pollution, water insecurity, increased disaster risk, biodiversity loss, and widespread socioeconomic changes. We seek to raise our ambition to support the required transformative action to step up our engagement through to 2030. .

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), based in Kathmandu, Nepal, is the leading institute for the study of the Hindu Kush Himalaya. An intergovernmental knowledge and development organisation with a focus on climate and environmental risks, green economies, and sustainable collective action, we have worked in our eight regional member countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan …

Strategic Group Lead: Enabling regional and global mechanisms for sustainable action

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We are looking for a senior professional with excellent strategic leadership and policy engagement  skills, along with strong experience in international and/or regional climate and environment policy  and legislative environments. This position will suit someone who can build vision, develop and  nurture collective thinking, and is focused on delivering measurable impact. The candidate must be comfortable leading, inspiring, and working with cross-cultural teams; be open and flexible to innovation and change; and uphold the highest levels of ethics, quality, and teamwork standards.  The position has a strong representational role, so excellent communications, outreach, and  networking skills are essential, together with familiarity of working at the highest levels of  government and other institutions. 

Join us in our mission-driven work to build and share knowledge that drives regional policy and  action and attracts investment that enables the diverse countries and communities of the HKH to transition to a greener, more inclusive, and climate-resilient development.

You will be based at ICIMOD’s head office in Kathmandu, Nepal, working in a cross-cultural, impact oriented environment. Kathmandu is a lively and exciting place to live. People are friendly, living  costs are comparatively inexpensive, food is delicious (with a range of local and international  cuisines), and there are good local and international schools and a low crime rate. Nepal offers amazing trekking trails, white water rafting, and wildlife and birdwatching safaris, combined with a  very rich cultural heritage and charming yet lively nightlife. 

The Role 

Role: Strategic Group Lead - Enabling Regional and Global Mechanisms for  Sustainable Action 
Location: Kathmandu, Nepal. Frequent travel in the HKH region will be required. 
Salary: Competitive 

Position Overview 

This is a unique opportunity to lead our new Strategic Group on Building Regional and Global  Mechanisms for Sustainable Action – in the vibrant working culture and environment that is ICIMOD.  This is an important new position that will hold responsibility for both coordination of ICIMOD’s response to the HKH Call to Action and especially the establishment of a regional mechanism for  the HKH (under the supervision of the Director General) as well as the delivery of the wider Strategic  Group’s portfolio (under the supervision of the Deputy Director General), ensuring that we  collectively meet the commitments enshrined in the new Strategy 2030: Moving Mountains and in our Medium-Term Action Plan V (MTAP V): Embracing Change and Accelerating Impact (2023–2026).  The position will work closely with the two other Strategic Group Leads. 

Our work leverages knowledge for impact through four key pathways: policy, innovation and scaling,  regional collaboration, and capability building. As a Strategic Group Lead, you will lead work along  all four impact pathways; however, this Strategic Group will have a much stronger focus on regional cooperation and policy as well as bringing together the outcomes and outputs of other Strategic  Groups into regional and international policy forums.

About our Strategic Group on Building Regional and Global Mechanisms for Sustainable Action 

This Strategic Group focuses on regional and global agendas. It brings together work that demands  cooperation and collaboration at a strategic and region-wide level since such coordinated efforts  are essential for the truly effective protection of HKH’s natural assets. This Strategic Group recognises that regional effort needs to be complemented by global engagement and action, as what  happens in the rest of the world has significant effects on the HKH. Thus, within this Strategic Group,  we intend to work regionally – aiming to deliver evidence-based knowledge and insights that will  lead to an effective mechanism for regional cooperation, as well as the right kinds of regional  investment frameworks – building on the commitments enshrined in the HKH Call to Action. We also  want to work internationally, in collaboration with others, strengthening our support to our eight  regional member countries to advocate for mountain issues in multiple regional and international  processes pertaining to climate, environment, and development as well as amplifying the voices of  mountain communities, especially of women, marginalised groups, and the youth, in these forums. 

Responsibilities  

In addition to assuming leadership of ICIMOD’s commitment towards building support for a regional  mechanism for the HKH, you will play a critical role with the two other Strategic Group Leads and  the Deputy Director General in leading the delivery of ICIMOD’s Strategy 2030 and MTAP V, ensuring  this Strategic Group’s results align with our Vision and Mission, as well as our High-Level Outcomes  and Long-Term Impact Areas.  

You will hold strategic oversight for two Action Areas – ‘Building Institutions for Regional Cooperation  and Collaboration’ and ‘Strengthening Global Leadership in Sustainable Mountain Development’ – and which will entail oversight of around 15–20 professional staff, as well as several key staff who  provide specialised advisory and support services. Leading a Strategic Group entails responsibilities  at the highest levels. You will hold vertical (within the Strategic Group) and horizontal (working across  other Strategic Groups and with leads of specialised units, i.e. Communications; Strategic Planning,  Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning; Programme, Grant, and Partnership Management)  responsibilities.  

As one of the Strategic Group Leads, you will be a member of the Senior Management Committee,  ICIMOD’s highest strategic management decision-making body chaired by the Director General, to  contribute to its overall development and delivery of its mandate.

More specifically, you will have the following responsibilities: 

1. Strategic leadership and vision 

  • Provide strategic vision and intellectual leadership for all Strategic Group work and ensure  that the Action Areas deliver against their MTAP V outcomes and targets 
  • Identify and bring in regional and global partnerships that facilitate delivery along ICIMOD’s  impact pathways (i.e. policy, innovation and scaling, regional cooperation, and capability  building)  
  • Represent ICIMOD in regional and international forums and serve as an influential voice on  climate and environment issues, investments for climate action and sustainable  development, mountain concerns, rapid changes occurring in the HKH and other mountain  regions, etc. to senior policy and decision-makers, funders and finance institutions, and  practitioners, thus positioning ICIMOD as a thought leader  
  • Maintain close collaborative working relations with the two other Strategic Groups to ensure  integration, collaboration, cross-working and learning across all Action Areas
  • Keep the Strategic Group teams up to date on emerging trends, innovations, and learning 
  • Oversee, track, and manage risks 

2. Design and deliver a road map for implementing commitments towards  developing an effective regional mechanism 

  • Lead the process working alongside the Director General to design a series of activities for  the establishment of a regional mechanism, building on the work done to date 
  • Manage the secretariat to the HKH Call to Action High-Level Task Force 
  • Through the High-Level Task Force, identify key scientists and policymakers in the Regional  Member Countries on key thematic areas of ICIMOD – climate impacts, cryosphere, water,  risk reduction, air quality, biodiversity solutions, resilient livelihoods, etc. – and establish  initial contacts for establishing science–policy forums on these topics 

3. People management 

  • Supervise the two Action Area Coordinators, ensuring they nurture and sustain high performing teams, acting as the secondary supervisor for all Action Area staff 
  • Hold oversight for best-fit positioning and time allocations of Action Area staff, and ensure  that Action Area Coordinators maintain coherent, inspired, and motivated staff that deliver  results  
  • Supervise the group of specialised advisory and support services staff posted to the  Strategic Group, ensuring that effective services in Finance, Programme Management and  Administration, Communications, and Monitoring and Reporting are provided to the Strategic  Group and Action Areas, and maintain close connections with the respective heads of units (i.e. Strategic Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning; Programme Management and  Finance; Communications) 
  • Nurture a learning environment within the Strategic Group, where open and productive  debate is encouraged, and skills development is provided for all staff at all levels 

4. Portfolio management: results and budgets 

  • Hold overall accountability for achieving the MTAP V high-level results (High-Level Outcomes  and Long-Term Impact Areas), ensuring that Action Areas outcomes are aligned, consistent,  and complementary  
  • Support the design of effective, strategic intervention priorities in close coordination with the  Action Area Coordinators, ensuring that ICIMOD’s key cross-cutting issues are fully  incorporated, and innovation and digital technology opportunities are captured 
  • Oversee appropriate allocation of the Strategic Group budget and human resources and  preparation of work plans, ensuring linkages are made between Action Areas within the  Strategic Group, and with other Strategic Groups where relevant  
  • Monitor implementation in the Action Areas, including follow-up on quality and performance,  also ensuring that financial targets and standards are met and approving budgets at the  appropriate delegated authority level 
  • Ensure that Action Area Coordinators provide timely monitoring and quality reporting as  required institutionally by the Strategic Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Unit  and specific funders of projects 
  • Provide critical and objective analysis of work areas to inform decision-making on priorities,  and to, where necessary, reorientate or close less productive lines of work 

5. Communication and outreach 

  • Review and approve all Strategic Group and Action Area communication strategies, plans, and campaigns to maximise outreach and engagement and alignment with the institutional  communication strategy 
  • Ensure communication is consistent across the Strategic Group and that staff within the  Action Areas are given opportunities to represent ICIMOD in line with their expertise  
  • Ensure appropriate targeting of knowledge products and communications to maximise  opportunities across all four impact pathways 

6. Business development and resource mobilisation 

  • Make an active contribution to business development and resource mobilisation (BDRM) in  close liaison with the Head of BDRM and representing the Strategic Group and its Action  Areas on the ICIMOD Resource Mobilisation Committee  
  • Find and identify emerging opportunities relevant to the Strategic Group; leverage networks  and relationships; develop and maintain a constructive dialogue with funders, as required; explore co-funding opportunities involving regional partners and/or member countries, and  keep the BDRM Unit up to date with such engagements 
  • Support proposal and concept note development with guidance and coordination from the  BDRM Unit and source the right Action Area staff for project idea development in  consultation with the Action Area Coordinator 

Candidate profile  

Essential 

  • Postgraduate degree in a relevant subject (e.g. international relations, climate and  environment policy, economics, public administration, social sciences and sustainable  finance) 
  • At least 15 years of work relevant work experience, of which at least 10 years should be in  a leadership or management position working in the field of climate change, environmental  and/or natural resource management, sustainable policy and/or development, and/or  relevant fields 
  • Excellent management skills, gained by managing large-scale policy, development, and/or investment programmes 
  • Recognition as a thought leader in a relevant field and a track record of delivering significant  outcomes  
  • Excellent interpersonal and people management skills with experience working in  multicultural environments 
  • Proven communication and outreach skills, including public speaking, presentation, and  writing skills in English 
  • Commitment to promoting and supporting gender equity and social inclusion 

Preferred 

  • A good understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing the HKH and other  mountainous regions 
  • A good understanding of the governance systems of countries in the HKH region 
  • Experience in integration of gender equity and social inclusion into programming, applying  inter-, multi-, and transdisciplinary approaches 
  • Experience in fundraising  
  • A vast network of contacts in government organisations, businesses, research institutions,  INGOs and NGOs, and/or media

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