Background Information - UNOPS
UNOPS plays a critical role in providing management services for our life-saving, peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations. I have seen many examples of how these activities help suffering people in troubled parts of the world.” Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General. UNOPS mission is to expand the capacity of the UN system and its partners to implement peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations that matter for people in need. Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, UNOPS vision is to always satisfy partners with management services that meet world-class standards of quality, speed and cost effectiveness.By assisting UN organizations, international financial institutions, governments and other development partners, UNOPS makes significant, tangible contributions to results on the ground.UNOPS employs around 3,500 personnel annually and on behalf of its partners creates thousands more work opportunities in local communities. With its headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark, a network of five regional offices and a further 20 operations and project centres, UNOPS oversees activities in more than 80 countries.
Background Information - UNISDR
The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) is a strategic framework, adopted by United Nations Member States in 2000, aiming to guide and coordinate the efforts of a wide range of partners to achieve substantive reduction in disaster losses and build resilient nations and communities as an essential condition for sustainable development. The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) is the secretariat of the ISDR system. The ISDR system comprises numerous organizations, States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, financial institutions, technical bodies and civil society, which work together and share information to reduce disaster risk. UNISDR serves as the focal point for the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) – a ten year plan of action adopted in 2005 by 168 governments to protect lives and livelihoods against disasters. UNOPS has been requested to assist in the implementation of this activity.
This position will be located in the Risk Knowledge Section of the UNISDR secretariat at Headquarters. The Risk Knowledge Economist will report to the Head of the Risk Knowledge Section. The focus of this job is to lead the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programmes, operations and other activities referring to the core functions of the Risk Knowledge Section, in the context of the Strategic Framework 2025 and Work Programme 2012-2015 of the UNISDR secretariat.
Summary of core functions
• Monitoring progress by regions and countries against the Hyogo Framework of Action (HFA) using the on-line HFA Monitor tool
• Developing a credible information base on patterns and trends in disaster risk through global risk modeling and analysis
• Building and institutionalizing methodologies and systems for accounting for disaster loss and impact, for tracking investments in disaster risk reduction and for designing cost-effective risk management strategies
• Identifying key opportunities and challenges for advancing disaster risk reduction and influencing policy at all levels through the publication of biennial Global Assessment
• Reports on Disaster Risk Reduction.
• Providing substantive policy advice and briefs in support of the coordination and advocacy activities of the UNISDR secretariat.
• Define and coordinate UNISDR support to the development of methods and tools to track investment in disaster risk reduction by national governments, including at the sector and territorial level. In particular, develop conceptual models to measure public investment in risk reduction and suggest financial planning, budgeting, administrative and other mechanisms to implement these models in the context of different institutional and legislative systems.
• Coordinate econometric and systems analysis intended to measure the direct and indirect impact of disasters in regional economies and their urban centers, including impacts on economic growth and productivity, employment and welfare, equality and gender, poverty, health and education. Design research methods and tools to identify the factors and variables that explain vulnerability to hazard and resilience to disaster impacts, including the impact on the private sector. Draft analytical reports for publication, including sections of the UN Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR). Advise the development of on-line statistical and visualization tools to display results.
• Coordinate and provide policy advice to governments and regional organizations on the design of optimized and cost-effective investment strategies in disaster risk management, including investments in disaster risk reduction, risk sharing, through insurance, capital markets and other means and social protection. In coordination with UNISDR regional offices and other partners such as development banks and the insurance sector, initiate and support outreach activities to governments, including training workshops, seminars, etc.
• Develop mechanisms to monitor public investments in disaster risk reduction, including through the on-line HFA Monitor.
• Carry out policy research and development on key disaster risk reduction issues, challenges and opportunities for the UNISDR secretariat
• Assess issues and trends on the basis of published literature and evidence
• Draft substantive policy advice and briefs andmake presentations to conferences, workshops, seminars and training events.
• Provide substantive guidance and support to the communications and outreach work of UNISDR.
• Provide substantive backstopping to resource mobilization activities, in support of the key processes of the Risk Knowledge Section in particular and of UNISDR secretariat in general, with bilateral and multilateral donors, foundations and others, and for cost-sharing arrangements with partners, to support programme execution and implementation.
• Coordinate the preparation of strategic and programme plans and budgets; prepare programme and project documents;
• Ensure that activities are monitored and evaluated and that progress reports are prepared in a timely fashion.
• Perform other duties as required by the Head of the Risk Knowledge Section.
Work implies frequent interaction with the following
• Senior officers in UNISDR secretariat, UN funds, programmes and other UN specialized agencies. Representatives and officials in national governments, international organizations, the private sector and civil society organizations as well as in scientific, technical and academic organizations working on disaster risk reduction.
• Facilitates the adoption of methods to track public investment in disaster risk reduction by national governments, including through public investment planning systems.
• Produces policy recommendations, analytical papers, substantive sections of the GAR and other reports and studies, in particular economic analysis of disaster impacts, vulnerability and resilience.
• Supports the identification and adoption of cost-effective risk management strategies by governments.
• Generates sustainable partnerships and strategies to ensure the timely and cost-effective delivery of results.
• The personnel is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.
• Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches of disaster risk reduction, in particular with respect to risk identification, loss accounting and public investment in risk management.
• Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems.
• Ability to conduct data collection using various methods.
• Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis, including familiarity with and experience in the use of various research sources, including electronic sources on the internet, intranet and other databases.
• Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities.
• Shows pride in work and in achievements
• Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter
• Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results
• Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns
• Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges;
• Remains calm in stressful situations.
• Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
• Speaks and writes clearly and effectively;
• Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately
• Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication
• Tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience;
• Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
• Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals
• Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise
• Is willing to learn from others
• Places team agenda before personal agenda
• Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position
• Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
• Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies
• Identifies priority activities and assignments
• Adjusts priorities as required
• Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work
• Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning
• Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary
• Uses time efficiently.
• Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments
• Delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules;
• Supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments
• Takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.
• Actively seeks to improve programmes or services
• Offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs
• Promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas
• Takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks “outside the box”
• Takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things
• Is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.
• Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view;
• Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems;
• Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.
Commitment to Continuous Learning
• Keeps abreast of new developments in own occupation/profession;
• Actively seeks to develop oneself professionally and personally;
• Contributes to the learning of colleagues and subordinates;
• Shows willingness to learn from others
• Seeks feedback to learn and improve.
• Keeps abreast of available technology
• Understands applicability and limitation of technology to the work of the office;
• Actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks;
• Shows willingness to learn new technology.
• Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in economics.
• A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
• A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in economic analysis, with particular emphasis on public finance and the economics of disaster risk reduction.
• In depth knowledge of the economics of disaster risk reduction, as demonstrated through publications.
• Experience with national government or with a relevant technical assistance project in at least one developing region desired.
• Understanding of the international policy framework and institutional architecture of disaster risk reduction desired. Wide network of
disaster risk reduction researchers and practitioners, particularly in the economics field desired.
• Familiarity with methodologies and information systems for loss accounting and risk assessment desired.
• Fluency in English (both oral and written) is essential and in another working language of the UN Secretariat desirable. Knowledge of a third UN official language is an advantage.
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