Natural disasters are a main source of risk for the poor, and present a serious obstacle to achieving sustainable social and economic development. Disasters affect the poor most severely; measures taken to manage hazards and reduce their impact provide an effective vehicle to make substantial advances in the fight against poverty. Since 1980 the World Bank has lent more than US$26 billion for projects related to natural disasters. The East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) region is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of natural disasters, ranging from earthquakes to floods to drought. Since 1990, natural disasters in the region have caused more than $50 billion in damage and affected more than 2 billion people (CRED – EM-DAT database).
Climate change adds an additional burden especially on low lying Pacific island countries, where the impacts of sea level rise and more frequent, intense cyclones, rainfall and other hazards threaten to wipe out development gains. From FY04-07, the Bank has provided financing (or managed trust fund resources of) about $1.5 billion in the region to support primarily post-disaster interventions in response to floods, typhoons, earthquakes, and the 2004 Asia tsunami.
The Bank is taking a more strategic approach to disaster risk management, shifting from focusing on post-disaster recovery and reconstruction to supporting clients to address ex ante disaster risk management efforts and policies. Focus is also given to enhancing the resilience of client countries to the potential impacts of climate change through targeted adaptation and vulnerability reduction programs.
The Disaster Risk Management Team, housed in the Transport, Energy and Urban Sustainable Development unit (EASIN) of the East Asia and Pacific Sustainable Development Department (EASSD) in Washington, DC, provides leadership in the region to introduce disaster risk management (DRM) and mitigation practices in development activities and improve emergency response efforts. The team works closely with the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), which aims at developing comprehensive DRM programs in focus countries by leveraging relatively large amounts of grant resources ($4-5 million/country). In EAP these include Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines and the Pacific Islands.
The key priorities of the DRM team are: business development and technical assistance; team building and emergency preparedness; knowledge and learning; GFDRR monitoring and follow-up; building regional partnerships.
The DRM team is supported by Country Focal Points within each country, by the cross-sectoral, virtual network of staff working across the region, and by the regional Quick Response Team (QRT) in the event of an emergency. The DRM and climate change adaptation program for Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands is carried out by staff based in Sydney, Australia, with the support of staff located in country offices in Port Moresby, Dili and Honiara and in Washington DC. The program – which includes several operations under preparation and supervision in Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Marshall Islands and programs with regional institutions (SOPAC, SPREP) and donor partners - is rapidly growing.
To this end, the World Bank is seeking to recruit a disaster risk management and climate change adaptation specialist, to be located in Sydney, Australia to work with the Senior Disaster Risk Management/Climate Change Adaptation specialist, also based in Sydney, in the development and implementation of the expanding Pacific DRM/CCA work program.
Duties and accountabilities
The successful candidate will report to the Pacific Sustainable Development Sector Leader based in Sydney and will receive day-to-day operational guidance from the Sr. Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Specialist, also based in Sydney. In addition, technical guidance and access to Bank-wide knowledge resources will be provided by the Regional DRM Coordinator as well as SD Sector Leaders based in Washington.
The successful candidate will:
1. Support, as a key member of the Pacific DRM/CCA team, the scaling-up, management and implementation of the GFDRR-funded activities in a way that leverages GFDRR resources into a comprehensive DRM and climate adaptation program for the Pacific:
-Provide technical advice and quality support to teams working on the GFDRR-financed projects as needed;
-Undertake monitoring and evaluation of the GFDRR-funded program by finalizing performance indicators and preparing progress reports as well as other information required by the GFDRR Secretariat;
-Review planned Bank projects to identify opportunities for DRR mainstreaming and climate change adaptation and provide technical support to task team leaders (TTLs) on operations;
-Contribute to the development of a CCA/DRM program for the Pacific that builds on a variety of World Bank-managed financing instruments (GFDRR, GEF, PPCR, Trust Funds, etc);
-Contribute to coordination of the program activities with key partners, such as AusAID and NZAID, as well as with regional organizations such as SPREP and SOPAC;
-Develop a close dialogue and partnership with key government counterparts in countries of focus to better understand and respond to their DRM and climate change adaptation related needs.
2. Build strong partnerships with senior government counterparts on mainstreaming DRR/CCA;
3. Support country teams in integrating DRR and CCA into new country assistance strategies /country partnership strategies/poverty reduction strategy papers;
4. Liaise with Bank teams working on DRR/DRM and CCA projects to synergize efforts and build a coherent, integrated and efficient program of interventions, at country and regional level;
5. Provide operational support in the event of an emergency in the region, by participating in emergency response activities like the performance of damage and loss assessments.
-Advanced university degree in urban planning, disaster risk management, economics, finance, or other relevant discipline, with at least 5-8 years of relevant professional experience.
-Deep knowledge and understanding of the key issues related to disaster risk management.
-Familiarity with climate change adaptation issues as they relate to disaster risk reduction.
-At least five years of direct DRM experience in East Asia and the Pacific.
-A proven ability to interact and communicate effectively with senior government officials -Strong analytical abilities, quantitative skills, and excellent writing and communication capabilities.
-Ability to work flexibly on a range of assignments, and adjust to and prioritize a variety of complex evolving tasks.
-Proven ability to analyze diverse operational products/outputs across multiple sectors and extract key information and lessons as they apply to future business direction.
-Proven ability to lead strategy development for complex agendas, with clear focus on key business/operational outputs. • Ability to work independently, in consultation with senior staff.
-Ability to work in a team environment.
-Willingness and ability to travel extensively. It is expected that at least 60 percent of the time will be in the focus countries. The position is being located in Sydney because of easy access to the countries. Applicants should have the legal rights to work in Australia to apply for this position.
Duration: 3 years
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