Job Opening

Posting Title: Consultant to Propose Options of Sustainable Meeting Modalities in the time of COVID pandemic at the Coordinating Unit for the UNEP/Mediterranean Action Plan
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: ATHENS
Posting Period: 12 May 2021 - 30 May 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-United Nations Environment Programme-155353-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

Options are presented and tested on the ground in organizing intergovernmental/technical meetings at the MAP system incorporating the operational sustainability consideration in response to the COVID pandemic and new normal standard after the pandemic.

Work Location

Home-based

Expected duration

The contract will be for a period of 2 months from the date of the last signature.

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment (UNEP) is the United Nations system’s designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action. UN Environment’s ecosystems Division works with international and national partners, providing technical assistance and advisory services for the implementation of environmental policy, and strengthening the environmental management capacity of developing countries and countries with economies in transition. The Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) is one of the UN Environment’s Regional Seas Programs encompassing a comprehensive system of activities for the protection and the sustainable development of the Mediterranean region based on a legal framework (the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols). The Convention involves the 21 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea as well as the European Union. The individual consultancy assignment is for the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP), Athens, Greece.

Under the Decision IG.24/14 on the Programme of Work and Budget for 2020-2021, the 21st Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (COP21, Naples, Italy, 2-5 December 2019) mandated the Coordinating Unit for the Mediterranean Action Plan with enhancing the sustainability of MAP operations under Output 1.1.2 of 2020-2021 Programme of Work and Budget, for which a consultant is required for conducting a comparative analysis of various different modalities of UN meetings employed in response to the challenges/constraints imposed on by the COVID19 pandemic and for developing proposals with innovative approaches/options to be adopted for future MAP meetings during and post COVID time including that of the 22nd Meeting of the Contracting Parties scheduled in December 2021 as well as for assisting in implementation of the approach/option selected.

The MAP system organizes numerous inter-governmental meetings of medium size (50 to 400) as well as those of technical nature throughout the biennia under its Programme of Works in order to fulfill the mandate entrusted by Meetings of Contracting Parties of the Barcelona Convention.

In the wake of COVID19 pandemic, many of the Multilateral Environment Agreements of UNEP as well as other UN Agencies were obliged to convert their meetings which usually take place in-person into virtual meetings or those of hybrid combining both virtual and in-person modalities, and/or altering the compositions/duration/timing of meetings already planned/scheduled prior to the outbreak of the pandemic.

MAP under its framework of Sustainable Operations Task Force, will conduct a comparative analysis to draw lessons learned and best practices of other UNEP Offices including MEAs as well as other UN Agencies to be considered in organization of future meetings of the MAP system by identifying the challenges experienced during the COVID19 pandemic and different meeting modalities employed in response to the challenges.

The assignment includes the following key tasks (See Annex I for implementation schedule)

1. An inception report and a detailed workplan approved by the MAP.

a. Familiarize with the subject by reading materials and meeting with MAP staff virtually and agree on the approach and methodology used in implementing the consultancy assignment;
b. Develop a detailed workplan in line with the schedule stipulated in this Terms of Reference (TOR) and submit a concise inception report to be reviewed and approved by the MAP.


2. A report on challenges and opportunities identified by the MAP systems in organizing meetings since the wake of the COVID19 Pandemic from the viewpoint of sustainable operations;

a. Identify key elements to be considered in organizing meetings within the MAP system and challenges/opportunities in the outbreak of COVID19 pandemic by interviewing the identified stakeholders including the MAP staff, those of Regional Activity Centres, and meeting participants;
b. Develop questionnaires to be answered by the meeting participants of the MAP system, obtain responses, and analyse them.


3. A comparative analysis of different options adopted by UNEP Offices including MEAs as well as other UN Agencies which organize similar intergovernmental/technical meetings as the MAP system;

a. Perform desk study regarding the modalities of intergovernmental meetings employed by UNEP Offices including MEAs as well as relevant UN Agencies;
b. Conduct interviews with staff from UNEP Offices including MEAs as well as relevant UN Agencies where relevant.

4. At least three options proposed for the consideration of the MAP system supported with detailed analysis of various key elements of meeting organizations with cost implications through market research.

a. Develop a comparison table for three different options for the September MAP Focal Point Meeting as well as for the 22nd Meeting of the Contracting Parties listing key elements of meeting organization and clearly indicating the differences among them including the cost implication of selection of different options by conducting a market research.

5. A report on the implementation plan of the modalities selected for the 2nd MAP Focal Point meeting in September and 22nd Meeting of Contracting Parties in December 2021.

a. Concretize the steps to be taken in the implementation of the selected options for the plan of the modalities selected for the 2nd MAP Focal Point meeting in September and 22nd Meeting of Contracting Parties in December 2021.

b. Perform other duties in connection with the outputs/tasks described above as agreed in the inception report and the workplan.

Expected outputs:

1. An inception report and a detailed workplan approved by the MAP;
2. A report on challenges and opportunities identified by the MAP system in organizing meetings since the wake of the COVID19 Pandemic from the viewpoint of sustainable operations;
3. A comparative analysis of different options adopted by UNEP Offices including MEAs as well as other UN Agencies which organize similar intergovernmental/technical meetings as the MAP system;
4. At least three options proposed for the consideration of the MAP system supported with detailed analysis of various key elements of meeting organizations with cost implications through a market research;
5. A report on implementation plan of the approaches/modalities selected for the future MAP meetings including the 22nd Meeting of Contracting Parties to take place in December 2021;
6. A final report on the consultancy.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent) in political science, international relations, environmental science, law, or equivalent experience is required;
Experience: a minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience at the international level is required. Working experience with and knowledge of Multilateral Environmental Agreements and Regional Seas Programmes is required;
Experience in organization of international meetings/conferences including logistical arrangement as well as substantive arrangement such as preparation of meeting documents is required;
Knowledge of Rules of Procedures of the United Nations conferences including that of Meetings of the Contracting Parties is an asset.
Language: Fluency (both oral and written) and excellent writing skills in English are required. Working knowledge of French and/or other working language of the MAP system (Spanish and/or Arabic) is an asset.

No Fee

THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.

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