Job Opening

Posting Title: Targeted Scenario Approach Economist Specialist - level C
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: VIENNA
Posting Period: 10 May 2023 - 23 May 2023
Job Opening Number: 23-United Nations Environment Programme-208277-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The final result of the service will be a fully developed, government-approved, Targeted
Scenario Analysis - TSA report for the agreed target sites and themes and themes in Kyrgyzstan.

Step 5: TSA results
16. Present the preliminary TSA results to decision-makers and stakeholders; and review the outline of the TSA report.
17. Facilitate the drafting of clear policy and management-related recommendations based on the range of possible benefits and economic impact of BAU vs. SEM; and the rationale to shift from BAU to SEM. The recommendations should include a set of simple and direct policy and/or management reforms needed for the decision-makers. The recommendations will be operational and backed up by credible data from the results of the analysis.
18. Based on initial feedback from decision-makers and stake holders, lead the preparation the draft report (including an action plan), and submit the draft report for comments.
19. Lead the incorporation of comments to draft report and complete the final report.
20. Coordinate the preparation of a short policy brief and action plan document for decision makers and communications purposes.
21. Provide input to prepare a short “lessons learned” document based on the TSA implementation process.

Work Location


Expected duration

6.5 months

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.
The UNEP Vienna Programme Office hosts the Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention. Additionally, to activities in the Carpathian Region and its portfolio in the South-East Europe, the Vienna Office – as a mountain hub is currently coordinating various activities in other mountain regions related in particular to climate change adaptation such as the inter-regional Programme “Climate resilient mountain ecosystems for resilient livelihoods and mountain flagship species – Vanishing Treasures“.

VT has set the following objectives:
• Improve the adaptive capacity of mountain ecosystems while maintaining related ecosystem services
• Promote alternative livelihoods for local communities
• Train wildlife managers in protected areas in climate-smart wildlife conservation, including adaptation to climate change through nature-based solutions
• Improve communication between climate research and biodiversity conservation practitioners to ensure that the conservation sector appropriately responds to recommendations for adaptive action.
• Promote and develop a green infrastructure approach, including restoration of habitats & corridors, creation and maintenance of buffer zones and steppingstones, and rehabilitation of swamps and water catchment areas while increasing agricultural productivity or providing alternative forms of income to local communities facing the impacts of climate change
Achieving the above-listed objectives is challenging.
Therefore, it is indispensable for local leaders and decision-makers to understand the economics supporting policy reform to shift from unsustainable agricultural and livestock practices to more sustainable ecosystems and biodiversity-friendly livelihoods such as climate-smart agriculture, nature-based tourism, and other non-timber extracting activities.

Targeted Scenario Analysis (TSA)
UNDP developed Targeted Scenario Analysis to respond to the growing demand from decision makers and stakeholders for effective policy-relevant economic analysis tools to advance productive sectors’ policy reform, and therefore, the national Sustainable Development Goals.
UNDP's Targeted Scenario Analysis (TSA) offers a practical approach to connecting policy objectives with fit-for-purpose economic analysis. TSA enables the conversion of economic data into sustainable sector development policy.
TSA captures and presents the value of ecosystem services to target decision-making, not in a generic, abstract manner. TSA makes a direct comparison, based on a range of indicators, between two policy scenarios: a business-as-usual (BAU) and sustainable ecosystem management (SEM) scenario. A vital element of a TSA is that it is conducted for a particular productive sector and tailored to the specific objectives of the public or private decision-maker of the targeted sector. Policy scenarios are compared in close consultation with the decision-maker (the TSA client).
The main product of the TSA is a package of policy recommendations supported by the economic evidence of the benefits of shifting from BAU to SEM, supported by graphs illustrating the relative change over time of key monetary and non-monetary indicators rather than a single static value change.
Of the three VT regions, the Central Asian region, and specifically Kyrgyzstan, is covered under this TOR. The VT programme will be implementing a TSA study on biodiversity and alternative sustainable livelihoods the Kyrgyz Alatoo mountains.

TSA Objective
In general, the TSA's objective is to improve decision-making by providing evidence-based economic information on the possible economic gains and losses that may result from continuing to use unsustainable agricultural practices and the potential gains of shifting to more sustainable sectoral development policies related to livestock and small-scale agriculture, community nature-based tourism, living incomes, sustainable ecosystems and biodiversity conservation, and protected area management.

The TSA's evidence-based economic and social information will promote informed decision-making to improve local, regional, and national policy and increase public and private investment in sustainable sector development in the targeted landscape. In addition, the data generated by the TSA could directly contribute to improved local livelihoods, land use planning and zoning, local farming practices, and resolution of human-wildlife conflicts. The TSA will also increase public awareness of the mobilization of financial resources to support the implementation of regional gorilla habitat conservation strategies and action plans.

The TSA will provide evidence-based answers to some of the following critical sectoral development policy questions:

1. What are the short, medium, and long-term economic gains (net benefits) and potential short-term losses for the regional and local economy resulting from maintaining the BAU scenario, considering the different ecosystem and biodiversity management approaches linked to local livelihoods and sectorial productivity?
2. What are the estimated net gains (net revenue) for local communities from switching from BAU to SEM?
3. How will vulnerable groups, including women, benefit (net income and access to decision-making) from the switch from BAU to SEM?
4. What is the estimated cost of switching from BAU to SEM? That is, the estimated annual costs of developing and implementing local development plans such as municipal and community nature-based tourism plans, community-based livestock and agriculture plans, land use planning including cash crops and restoration including sustainable forest management (SFM), and climate-smart agricultural models (e.g., redirection of sustainable livestock and cash crops to restored areas), and establishment of biodiversity connectivity corridors integrated in climate action plans.
5. How does switching to SEM compare to the cost of no action (maintaining BAU)?
6. What will be the potential environmental and economic impact of establishing a selected and innovative financial mechanism to support PA management, biodiversity-positive agriculture, and livestock management to mitigate human-wildlife conflict? For example, forest conservation financial incentives and access.
7. How will the change from BAU to SEM impact the viability of alternative livelihoods? Estimated short- and medium-term profit and loss trends, including better access to markets and improved value chains.

The TSA compiler will lead the economic analysis and compile the TSA data required for the structuring and production of the TSA report, following the TSA methodological standards throughout the TSA implementation. The TSA compiler will work under the guidance of the Senior Technical Specialist and under the supervision of the Programme Management Officer (responsible manager of the “Vanishing Treasures” programme at UNEP Europe, Vienna Office – Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention).
The consultant will be closely supported by a national-level economist and the Senior Technical Specialist in all 5 Steps of the TSA. The consultant will also work with the UNEP Programme Management Officer, national-level VT implementing partners, as well as key stakeholders such as national or local decision makers and the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Programme (GSLEP) on the implementation of the following tasks, including the technical and the additional coordination elements related to the 5-Step approach of the TSA methodology. Each Step will be tailored to the context in the VT target sites in Kyrgyzstan, and the exact roles and responsibilities of the entire team will be defined during the inception workshop.

Main Tasks
Step 1: Preparation and definition of the purpose, scope and objective of the TSA
1. Review and become fully familiar with the UNDP’s TSA Guideline (TSA’s 5 Step process); and prepare an annotated outline for the report and share it with decision-makers and stakeholders. the TSA Guidance could be downloaded at:
2. Review literature, related projects and case studies on ecosystems valuation that could be relevant to the TSA (at national level, in other countries in the region, and countries in other regions).
3. Participate in the inception mission to the country to meet with decision makers and key stakeholders to provide input to the revision of the TORs, verification of focal points, define the team’s responsibilities and update work plan (a draft implementation plan is included in Annex 1 to this TOR).
4. Provide inputs for the inception report to implement the TSA; and thereafter, provide short bi-monthly progress and results reports.
5. Facilitate the definition of the decision-makers’ objectives for the TSA, selection of criteria and indicators and any other relevant information.
6. Provide input to refine the scope of the TSA (selecting the main issues to be analyzed or policy questions to be responded).
7. Prior to any field work, and based in the above indicated reviews, verify all possible interrelations between the selected economic activities and the natural resource base. This task includes:
a. Facilitate the construction of a conceptual model of all existing interactions between the ecosystem and economic development and any productive sectors affected by current unsustainable practices. The model should be concise and descriptive, rather than analytical or mathematical, and should include its potential and possible limitations.
b. Based on the conceptual model, collaborate to the identification of actual and potential environmental inputs (including goods and services) that the ecosystems provide to productive activities affected by unsustainable practices; including the targeted local farmers and indigenous people.
8. Collaborate to the identification of information gaps, considering the selected criteria and indicators.

Step 2: Definition of the BAU and SEM baseline
9. Based on existing information, workshop results, focus groups and expert interviews, provide a detailed description of the BAU scenario and proposed SEM scenario. Describe the process of reaching agreement with key stake holders. This information will be included in the drat TSA report.
10. Facilitate the definition of the BAU and SEM baseline for the analysis.

Step 3: Selection of criteria and indicators
11. Based on the progress in Step 1 and 2, facilitate any additional actions to define and justify the relevant indicators for each SEM scenario, including any questions related to the targeted policy, development plan and/or investment decision. Ensure that there is a sound and defensible justification for the selection of indicators and their relationship with the ecosystems, and changes in the indicator
12. In coordination with the local TSA national economist, facilitate the research, technical activities and field visits (as needed).

Step 4: Formulation of BAU and SEM scenarios, and analysis
13. Based on the selected criteria and indicators, select any additional valuation method (as needed) that will be applied to construct the BAU and SEM scenarios for each indicator.
14. Apply valuation methodology and start constructing BAU/SEM scenarios. Whenever primary data is collected, provide a detailed description of the valuation methodology used and its rationality; and, how the estimated values respond to changes in the temporal and spatial dimension. In addition, provide an account of uncertainty in the analysis. This will help provide a background analysis on how generalizable the results are. The selection of valuation methods will be shared with key stakeholder through their respective focal points.
15. Lead the different levels of analysis, for example:
a. Breakdown of net values and benefits of key ecosystem services using the selected indicators under BAU and SEM; include an estimation of the sub-sectors’ multiplier effect (when appropriate). In addition to the financial and economic (and other) benefits arising from shifting to SEM, consider the potential gain or loss from shifting from BAU to SEM to other closely related sectors, e.g., water supply, NTFP, food security and nature-based tourism.
b. Analyze how ecosystem management costs and net benefits are distributed, including net income and net benefits or losses affecting the poorest and most vulnerable groups.
c. Identify benefits, winners and losers, and potential economic activities for SEM without affecting their economy and livelihoods.
d. Assess the cost of shifting from BAU to SEM and responsibilities.
e. With the contribution from the national economist, describe the way in which these economic values and services are reflected in economic and development indicators at national and subnational levels. This could cover both economic and development policies, strategies and sectorial development plans, community-based PA management plans, and other relevant documents such as food and poverty reduction strategies, forestry strategies, CC strategies, finance strategies, conservation and environmental strategies and risk reduction strategies, etc.
f. Lead the construction of the BAU and SEM graphs for each indicator with its respective narrative.

Qualifications/special skills

A Master's degree in economics, environmental economics and / or finance, or a closely related field is required;
Work experience with developing countries on finance and economics related to ecosystems, biodiversity, agriculture and livelihoods;
Work experience in the development, implementation and management of projects is required
Work experience in the processes of sector policy development associated with sectors such as natural resources management, ecosystems and biodiversity, agriculture, and livestock is required
Work experience in economic scenario analysis and in implementing TSA in developing countries is highly desirable;
Work experience in the target regions is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required.

No Fee


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