Job Opening

Posting Title: Consultant on Drugs and Environment
Department/Office: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Duty Station: VIENNA
Posting Period: 05 July 2021 - 26 August 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime-159000-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The consultant will be responsible for the following tasks:
- Cary out a comprehensive review of the literature, both scientific (published in peer-reviewed journals) and grey (national reports and other accessible publications), and of available data (including from geospatial analysis) from international, regional and national organizations;
- Develop a conceptual framework to guide the research and frame the development of the booklet;
- Attend the annual meeting of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the WDR 2020;
- Mobilize additional data from ongoing research activities in the field and from national authorities through UNODC field offices;
- Liaise with UNEP and other relevant external stakeholders on the topics researched;
- Produce a first draft of the booklet on the impact of drugs on the environment (approx. 15,000-25,000 words) based on an analysis of the data and other information available, and where possible supplemented with examples take from the literature, including charts and tables as necessary.
- Perform other related tasks, as required.

Work Location

Home-based and Vienna

Expected duration

1 September 2021 – 31 December 2021 (with possibility of extension until the end of June 2022)

Duties and Responsibilities

UNODC’s flagship report, the World Drug Report (WDR) is an annual publication, which aims to improve the understanding of the world drug problem and to contribute towards fostering greater international cooperation for countering its effect on health, governance and security. The Report is made of a number of booklets. Each year the Report provides an overview of the world drug situation with regard to the illicit cultivation and production of drugs, as well as their trafficking and use; it also includes thematic chapters that highlight an area of interest from a research and policy perspective.

The World Drug Report is produced by the Research and Trend Analysis Branch, with the Drug Research Section in the lead and involvement of expert staff across the Branch and in other Branches/Divisions across the UNODC. Furthermore, for some of the topics that require in-depth review and analysis, external experts are also contracted to contribute.

The purpose of the assignment is to produce a stand-alone booklet of the WDR on the impact of drugs on the environment and contribute to its integration into the 2022 edition.

This consultancy involves both home-based (initial months) and in-person presence in Vienna UNODC HQ. The consultant will work under the supervision of the Chief of the Drug Research Section and in close cooperation with colleagues from the Research and Trend Analysis Branch, Division of Policy Analysis (DPA).

This booklet will aim at getting a better understanding of how the illicit production and trafficking of drugs and related chemicals, the use of drugs and some drug control responses can have adverse effects on ecosystems, and at providing the knowledge needed for the design and implementation of evidence-based policies and effective practices to reduce the impact of drugs on the environment.

The research that will be undertaken aims at providing a comprehensive review of the impact, in its different manifestations, drugs can have on the environment at global level and in the regions. It will analyse the clearing of forests, one of the principal environmental concerns resulting from illicit crop cultivation, but also from drug trafficking; and the impact of drug cultivation and drug manufacture (chemicals) on natural resources. It will review evidence on the different environmental impact that different responses to illicit drug supply can have and the need for mainstreaming good practices.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications:

• Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) degree in social sciences, criminology, policy analysis, environmental sciences, geography, forensic sciences, or a related field is required. A first level university degree in similar fields in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


• Minimum of 7 years of experience in the field of social sciences, criminology, policy analysis, environmental sciences, geography, forensic sciences, or a related field is required;
• Track record of scientific publications on drugs and/or on the environment, or proven contribution to published reports on such topics is required;
• Experience of working on at least one of the following issues: impact of illicit drug cultivation on the environment; impact of drug trafficking on the environment; impact of illicit drug manufacture (chemicals) on natural resources: impact of drug use on the environment; impact of anti-narcotic operations and other supply reduction responses on the environment; impact of socio-economic development responses on the environment is desirable;
• Experience in producing analytical publications according to UN standards is desirable;
• Good record of analytical work based on qualitative and quantitative data sets is required;
• Excellent planning and organizational skills are required;
• Demonstrated analytical, research, writing and communication skills are required.


• English and French are working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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