Job Opening

Posting Title: Impact-based Forecasting databases in the context of Global Risk Assessment Framework - Consultant
Department/Office: United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
Duty Station: PANAMA CITY
Posting Period: 19 July 2022 - 27 July 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction-186294-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

Two weeks after signature of the contract, the consultant shall submit a detailed workplan outlining tasks, key informants, and schedule of monthly deliverables which will form the basis for monthly payments. The workplan shall include a list of risk information to be sought/collected, and pertinent links, and other background information relevant to the development of a RiX prototype (national risk profile Pillar 1 of GRAF) focusing on IBF data. Further deliverables are as follows:

1. Preliminary list of available, disposable and priority information that the countries are producing regularly and that can be used for impact-based forecasting, including an assessment of legal provisions related to data collection, access, and revision cycles.

2. The type and quality of data available in each country and current information management systems in Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, including how information is collected, types of software, models, storage, sharing, information management strategies, visualization, analytical functionalities, automated linkages, operational architecture, etc is assessed.

3. A national Risk Information eXchange (RiX) platforms for Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago developed in partnership with the national government, other partners and in consultation with UNDRR’s GRAF Data Analyst (in Panama and Geneva).

4. Collating available IBF and risk information – disaggregated to the degree possible by sex, age, disability status, economic, geographic/administrative area, etc - into Risk Information eXchange (RiX) platforms for Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, in common user-friendly formats.

5. The development of specialized IBF and risk analytics, including scoping and providing inputs on pertinent country-level studies (catalyzing new risk information) supported.

6. Gaps and opportunities to inform training and capacity building activities to enhance the understanding and application of risk knowledge assessed.

7. RiX and GRAF-related trainings supported (logistics and content-wise) to enhance the understanding and application of the Risk Information eXchange (RiX) platforms for Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.

Work Location

Home based

Expected duration

5 months.

Duties and Responsibilities

Created in December 1999, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) is the designated focal point in the United Nations system for the coordination of disaster reduction and to ensure synergies among the disaster reduction activities of the United Nations and regional organizations and activities in socio-economic and humanitarian fields. Led by the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNDRR has around 100 staff located in its HQ in Geneva, Switzerland, and 5 regional offices and other field presences. Specifically, UNDRR coordinates international efforts in disaster risk reduction, and guides, monitors and reports on the progress of the implementation of the international strategy for disaster reduction, now the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, 2015-2030; campaigns to create global awareness of disaster risk reduction benefits and empower people to reduce their vulnerability to hazards; advocates for greater investments in disaster risk reduction to protect people's lives and assets, and for increased and informed participation of men and women of all stakeholder groups in reducing disaster risk; and informs and connects people by providing practical services and tools such as Prevention Web, publications on good practices, and by leading the preparation of the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction and the organization of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The Climate Risk Early Warning Systems (CREWS) is a specialized initiative that aims at saving lives, assets and livelihoods in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). It is a financing mechanism that is driven by the expertise and specialist networks of its implementing partners: The World Bank GFDRR (the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery), WMO (World Meteorological Organization) and UNDRR. In 2015, CREWS was announced by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan. Later that year, CREWS was launched at the 21st Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris by five countries – Australia, France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands – with the mandate to work directly with countries at high risk to extreme climate events. Since then, UK DFID (Department for International Development) and Switzerland have joined CREWS, as well as Canada.

The CREWS Caribbean initiative - Strengthening Hydro-Meteorological and Early Warning Services - is a regional project that seeks to strengthen and streamline regional and national systems and capacity related to weather forecasting, hydrological services, multi-hazard impact-based forecasting and warnings and service delivery for enhanced decision-making. Similarly, the implementing partners together with major regional partners have finalized the preparation of A Strategic Roadmap for Advancing MHEWS (Multi-hazard Early Warning Systems) in the Caribbean 2020-2030. The Roadmap focusses on a set of Strategic Initiatives (SIs) that have a “break-through” potential that provide a framework for further actions to build upon that are achievable in the near to mid-term and of interest and need to the region. SIs exhaustively addressing all challenges of the regional EWS (Early Warning Systems), but rather, a next, critical step towards gearing up towards a MHEWS (Advancing Multi-hazard Early Warning Systems), that when carried out together, deliver a sum greater than the parts.

MHEWS across the 19 CDEMA PS (Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency Participating States) is a key output, particularly since the Caribbean region is highly exposed to natural hazards. Specifically, seismic hazards, hydro meteorological hazards such as hurricanes and tropical storms, floods, drought, landslides and storm surge, have caused significant damage in the region. Amongst the most damaging hydrometeorological events were numerous hurricanes: Ivan’s passage over Grenada which resulted in 2004 in damage and losses of about 200% of GDP; Tomas (2010) which caused impacts representing more than 40% of Saint Lucia’s GDP; Matthew (2016) which gave rise to about 22% of GDP loss in Haiti. More recently, in September 2017, Irma devastated several islands of the northern lesser Antilles (Barbuda, Sint-Maarten, Anguilla, Virgin Islands) resulting in the subsequent full evacuation of the island of Barbuda (1800 people) and huge damage in the others; Maria devastated Dominica which resulted in damages and losses of over 220% of GDP and severely impacted Puerto-Rico with at least 4000 casualties. Climate change is expected to further exacerbate hazard levels while unplanned urban expansion and inadequate construction practices are continuously increasing vulnerability. In these contexts of regional exposure and vulnerability to disaster, EWS can be set up to avoid or reduce the impact of hazards such as floods, landslides, storms, and forest fires.

The adoption of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction created new requirements and new opportunities for those involved in building resilience to the shocks to which societies are exposed, and articulated the need for improved understanding of risk in all its dimensions. In response to this challenge, UNDRR was called upon by its partners to establish the Global Risk Assessment Framework (GRAF) to accelerate action on improving access and use of risk information to inform decision-making and transform behaviors for disaster risk reduction.

The GRAF aims to support Member States, the UN system and other stakeholders to better understand and manage disaster and climate-related risks. It aims to increase the availability of risk data and improve risk information and analysis to inform development and humanitarian planning and decision-making.

The GRAF is anchored in four complementary workstreams or pillars, each underpinned by strategic objectives. The first two pillars are focused on increasing the access to, and availability of, quality risk information, including climate change related data. The second two pillars aim to support countries to ensure the sustainability of their development pathways by building capacity to make planning and financing decisions based on quality systemic risk information. Each of the four objectives is essential to achievement of sustainable results: strengthened core data (Pillar 1) is the foundation for improved innovative analytics (Pillar 2). Enhanced technical quality and human capacity development (Pillar 3) contribute to improved global networks and advocacy (Pillar 4) that will help ensure the data, analysis and research generated is used effectively to support risk-informed decision-making. For further information on the four GRAF pillars, please see the GRAF Background section at the end of the document.

PURPOSE

The impact-based forecasting databases in the context of GRAF Consultant will be responsible for engaging stakeholders, in particular from the Governments of Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, facilitating knowledge transfer, and working closely with consultants, experts, and other stakeholders to map the data environment for IBF (Impact-Based Forecasting) in both countries and provide high-quality tailored technical assistance to the country aligned to the four pillars of the GRAF.

The work aims to support that Information and data are identified and mapped for effective MHEWS and Impact-based Forecasting, and linking this information with the RiX (Risk Information eXchange) platform that consolidates for each country open-source risk information and datasets to strengthen national risk data ecosystems in the context of GRAF.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

1. Prepare a preliminary list of available, disposable and priority information that the countries are producing regularly and that can be used for impact-based forecasting, including an assessment of legal provisions related to data collection, access, and revision cycles.

2. Support the development/ evolution of Risk Information eXchange (RiX) platforms for Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, providing a two-way learning channel between GRAF and the two above mentioned countries.

3. Assess the type and quality of risk related data available and current information management systems in use in Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, including types of software, models, storage, sharing and interoperability, information management strategies, visualization, analytical functionalities, automated linkages, operational architecture, etc.


4. Consolidate, harmonize, and prepare available risk information – disaggregated to the degree possible by sex, age, disability status, economic, geographic/administrative area, etc - into common user-friendly formats.

5. Prototype a national risk profile in partnership with the national governments, notably ODPM (Office of Disaster Preparedness ad Management) in Trinidad and Tobago, and CDC (Civil Defense Commission) in Guyana, other partners and in consultation with UNDRR’s GRAF Data Analyst in Panama and Geneva.

6. Support the development of specialized risk analytics, including scoping and providing inputs on pertinent country-level studies (catalyzing new risk information)

7. Assess gaps and opportunities to inform training and capacity building activities to enhance the understanding and application of risk knowledge.

8. Support and facilitate (logistics and content-wise), IBF, RiX and GRAF-related trainings to enhance the understanding and application of risk knowledge.

9. Engage with other RiX and GRAF Consultants, as part of a ‘community of practice’ to share lessons across different country and UN contexts.

Qualifications/special skills

Skills: Familiarity with government knowledge management resources (sector, macro, sub-national) is an advantage along with recent engagement with Pacific Island Government counterparts in the areas indicated.
Academic Qualifications: Bachelor’s Degree in disaster risk, risk analysis and management, risk modelling, geography, development, or a related field is required.
Experience: A minimum of two (2) years relevant experience in information management, statistics, risk modelling (including hazard, vulnerability, and exposure), and/or development, adaptation, and resilience is required.

Experience in data conversion, management of quantitative and qualitative data systems, integration and projection, or mapping/GIS software is highly desirable.
Language: Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another UN language is an advantage.

Additional Information

*FEMALE CANDIDATES ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO APPLY. UNDRR values diversity among its staff. We welcome applications from qualified women, men, and people with disabilities.

** Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted **

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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