Job Opening

Posting Title: Climate Risks and Human Mobility in Northern Central America
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 10 November 2021 - 17 November 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-United Nations Environment Programme-167724-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The consultancy will articulate how to analyse and discuss the connection between climate, security and migration, providing a concrete action plan for an evidence based, cross sectoral collaboration in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and regionally in Northern Central America.

Work Location

home based

Duties and Responsibilities


Countries in Northern Central America – Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador – have suffered from a wide range of climate hazards, including recurring droughts and extreme rainfall events, destroying harvests and leading to food shortages. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projections for the subregion include an increase in heavy precipitation and in risk of land slides and flooding, coastal erosion and other physical sea level impacts, bleaching of coral reefs, degrading and receding rainforest, reduction in fisheries stock and increase in frequency and extension of dengue fever and malaria. These biophysical and biological risks are closely intertwined with local livelihoods, implying gender-differentiated impacts on women, men, girls and boys, related for instance to traditional roles related to food/water security, land access or economic independence.

Viable livelihoods, including agriculture and fisheries that are exposed to climate pressures and shocks, are connected to the complex dynamics of human mobility, comprising displacement, migration and planned relocation. This is taking place in a context where illicit economies provide ‘alternative’ livelihoods and homicide rates remain at high levels despite public policies addressing citizen security. Notwithstanding an emerging literature on climate effects and security in the sub-region, the link to illicit economies represents a gap area in research.

The Climate Security Mechanism (CSM), a joint DPPA-UNDP-UNEP initiative, aims to promote integration of climate-related security risk dimensions in the work of UN development, climate change and security actors, including in political analysis and prevention strategies as well as policy, planning and programming decisions. CSM is rolling out support in nine field locations. One of these locations is Northern Central America (NCA), more specifically Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador where CSM is carrying out its work with financial support by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

In the subregion, CSM supports existing UN work to incorporate a climate related security risk -lens to analysis and response design. The scope of this consultancy will contribute to the human mobility workstream. It will inform CSM and IOM collaboration in search of nuanced understanding of the urbanization dynamics: cities as areas receiving population from other areas both inside and outside the countries, and cities as presenting particular climate and social vulnerabilities and risks for internal migrants and local communities.

Description of tasks:

The successful candidate will support UNEP/CSM and IOM in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and in the Northern Central America region by conducting:

A desk review of literature and data that helps to understand what type of relevant information is available and identify gap areas. The research should connect sectoral information to a narrative, across environmental, security, human mobility/urbanisation and other perspectives.

A scoping study report outlining areas of interest for further study or other activities, formulating possible research or interview questions, mapping existing platforms, processes and partners and identifying sources of information for an in-depth additional analysis.

Qualifications/special skills

Competency: Demonstrated ability to collect, analyze and synthesize information from a wide variety of written and verbal sources and present the resulting information in a clear and concise format. Excellent writing, editing and communication skills. Ability to carry out work independently as well as efficiently working in team. Combining a critical lens with a solution-driven and constructive approach.
Academic Qualifications: Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in international relations, environmental sciences, development studies or other relevant discipline.
Experience: At least ten years’ professional experience in climate/environmental security or climate change, migration, disaster risk reduction or conflict prevention. Experience with research and policy formulation for UN, government, and/or bilateral/multilateral organizations and/or academia. Experience of climate security analysis or policy formulation in Central America highly desirable.
Language: Fluency in written and spoken English, knowledge of the Spanish.

No Fee


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