The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)

Strategic Group Lead: Shaping Green and Resilient Mountain Economies

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)

Strategic Group Lead: Shaping Green and Resilient…

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: Shaping Green and Resilient Mountain Economies

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We are looking for a senior professional with excellent strategic leadership and management skills  and strong technical experience on issues pertaining to the management of climate and environment  issues, with a special focus on green and inclusive mountain economies. This position will suit  someone who can build vision, develop and nurture collective thinking, and is focused on delivering measurable impact. The Strategic Group Lead must be comfortable leading and inspiring  multidisciplinary and 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 communication, outreach, and networking skills are essential. 

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 Hindu Kush  Himalaya (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 - Shaping Green and Resilient Mountain Economies 
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 Shaping Green and Resilient  Mountain Economies – in the vibrant working culture and environment that is ICIMOD. This is an  important new position that holds responsibility for the delivery of the entire portfolio of the  Strategic Group, 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 and report to the Deputy Director General. 

Our work leverages knowledge for impact through four key pathways: policy, innovation and scaling, regional collaboration, and capacity enhancement. As an Strategic Group Lead, you will  lead work along all our four impact pathways and play a key leadership role to ensure that our work delivers the highest-level result. 

About our Strategic Group on Shaping Green and resilient mountain economies 

This Strategic Group will focus on addressing the challenge of limited viable livelihood opportunities  in the mountains, which are being further negatively impacted by climate change, biodiversity loss,  the pandemic, increasing poverty, and outmigration. Responses thus far have been largely small scale and insufficient, and the work of this Strategic Group will focus on exploring what kinds of  environmentally sustainable but economically viable and socially inclusive solutions exist both at  local and landscape levels – especially in the face of a world heading for 1.5 °C and beyond.

We are uniquely placed to build on our rich history of work on adaptation and resilient mountain  solutions, but to do so we must take a significant step up and embrace the contextual realities and  understand what kinds of policy, institutional, and technological interventions are required. We need  to establish new partnerships, especially to take these solutions to scale. An important element of  this work will be to ensure just transitions – so that the costs and benefits of these green and resilient  economy approaches are fairly and equitably distributed, and do not serve to further increase  marginalisation. This Strategic Group contains two Action Areas, within which projects are housed  and results delivered. 

Responsibilities  

You will play a critical role with the two other Strategic Group Lead and the Deputy Director General  in leading the delivery of ICIMOD’s Strategy 2030 and the MTAP V, ensuring our 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 ‘Adapting and Transforming Livelihoods’ and Restoring 

and Regenerating Landscapes – which are the focus for programming. You will therefore hold  oversight for about 40 core programmatic 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 responsibilities (within the Strategic Group) and horizontal 

responsibilities (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). 

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  • Ensure that the Action Areas deliver significant outcomes  
  • 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  all matters relating to climate and environment and development in our mountain areas 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. 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 who 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, Communication, 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; Communication) 
  • 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 

3. 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 

4. 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 

5. 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 

  • Technical qualifications and a postgraduate degree (minimum master’s) in a subject relevant  to social development, development studies, economics, sustainable livelihoods, natural  resources management and governance, climate adaptation, and/or sustainable  development  
  • At least 15 years of relevant work experience, of which at least 10 years should be in a  leadership or management position  
  • Recognition as a thought leader in a relevant field and a track record of delivering significant  outcomes  
  • Excellent management skills, gained by managing large-scale policy, research, or  development programmes
  • 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 
  • Experience in science to policy and/or practice approaches 
  • 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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