UNDP works closely with governments in high disaster-risk countries to build capacities at the national, sub-national and local levels for reducing disaster risk. A major role of the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) is to support UNDP Country Offices in the formulation and implementation of programme and projects for disaster risk reduction. As part of this support, BCPR fields National Disaster Reduction Advisors (NDRA) in selected high disaster-risk countries.
Under the overall authority of the Resident Coordinator (RC)-Resident Representative (RR) and the supervision of the Deputy Resident Representative (Programmes) of the Country Office and the technical supervision of the BCPR Regional Disaster Reduction Advisor for West and Central Africa the NDRA is responsible for providing technical advice and strategic direction for the development and implementation of disaster risk reduction programmes at the country level.
Niger is one of the world's poorest countries, with a poverty headcount ratio of 63%, and ranks last on the Human Development Index . It is currently faced with a number of political, economic and humanitarian challenges: first, an overall political transition following a coup d’état in February 2010 with elections planned for early 2011; second, an alarming food security situation, which is affecting nearly half of the population; and third, an economy that has slowed down considerably with negative growth (-1.2%) for 2009-2010. The situation has been further aggravated by recent floods. These multiple challenges come within a broader context of high poverty, insecurity and vulnerability levels, and lack of progress towards the MDGs. Thus, both the weak socio-economic context and fragile ecosystem render the country particularly vulnerable and limits its capacity to adapt and respond to chronic food insecurity.
As a Sahelian country Niger is heavily affected by natural disasters such as drought and floods. The drought of 1972-74 and 1984-85 had a huge impact on the people (30 - 40 000 refugees) and livestock (7 million killed). The impact of the recent floods (1998, 2006, 2009 et 2010) is extremely high on the population and the economy of Niger. According to CRED damages related to disaster in Niger are between 8.5 and 17,5 between 2000 and 2008
With regards to the present humanitarian situation, the Government declared the country to be in a state of “critical food insecurity,” caused by insufficient rains leading to a poor harvest for 2009-2010. In December 2009, a rapid Government-led survey concluded that up to 7.1 million people (47.7% of the population) were at risk of food insecurity, of which 2.7 million (22% of the population) have been classified as being ‘severely vulnerable’ and in need of urgent support. The number of those severely affected has since increased to 3.3 million as of April 2010. The survey also noted the higher vulnerability levels in urban areas, particularly with new migrants, as well as for women. The results of a nutritional survey undertaken in April 2010 also indicate that the nutritional situation in Niger has deteriorated considerably over the last 12 months. The global acute malnutrition rate has reached 16.7 % for children aged less than five and 21.7% for children 6-35 months, a level far above the 15% warning threshold. Other consequences are additional health hazards such as the development of epidemic prone diseases, increasing infant and child morbidity and mortality rates, as well as increasing animal mortality. In addition, the survey also outlined a cereal deficit of nearly 120,000 tons, and a fodder deficit of nearly 16 million tons of dry materials, rendering vulnerable approximately 65% of the estimated 8.8 million livestock in Niger.
The effects of climate change, including a gradual desertification process and a high degree of inter-annual climate variability; and an evolving societal context, marked by changing patterns of traditional assistance within the society, which have weakened ties because of the high poverty rate, migration to urban areas, and the breakup of larger families.
BCPR past support to disaster risk reduction (DRR) in Niger
In DRR areas from 2004 to 2008 UNDP supported the following activities in Niger: integration of DRR issues in the SDRP (poverty reduction strategy) and the Country Programme Action Plan (CPAP) 2009-2013; emergency support provided to the “Dispositif National de Prevention et de Gestion des Crises Alimentaires (DNPGCA)” on drought (2005) and floods (2007, 2007 and 2009); formulation of a national emergency plan focusing on food security; Training on information management; setting up of national database for the identification of the vulnerable areas; Another important initiative is the Niger conflict/disaster development analysis (CDA) also called the integrated analysis of risk factors with the aim of promoting dialogue and establishing a consensus on the priorities in term of peace in Niger
BCPR current support to DRR in Niger
BCPR and the Country Office are currently finalizing the programme on the strengthening of the capacities of Niger for the prevention and management of crises. This programme is in line with the PSRP and the CPAP which identified the following priorities: (i) institutional, technical and logistics capacity building of the “Dispositif National de Prevention et Gestion des Crises Alimentaires” (ii) support to the implementation of the national crisis prevention and management strategy and plan of action and the integration crisis related issues in local development plans; (iii) strengthening the capacities of communities and local level institutions in dealing with crisis prevention and management (iv) support the management and prevention of socio-political conflicts. Gender is a cross-cutting theme articulated around and within these areas. It is a 12 million dollar programme for the coming three years and it is expected that BCPR (3 to 4 million) and other partners will contribute in the financing. Discussions are also on-going on climate risk management
The position requires a high degree of technical knowledge of disaster risk reduction, ability to quickly analyze and understand the country context, build partnerships, develop innovative solutions and mobilize regional and global knowledge to meet the specific country needs.
The main emphasis of the NDRA post in the specific country context – The NDRA will support the implementation of the multi-year UNDP programme and he/she will also support coordination with other UN agencies, IFIs and other development partners as well as resource mobilization efforts.
Duties and responsibilities
- Provide leadership and technical input for the design, development, and implementation of UNDP/ UN disaster reduction risk reduction initiatives in support of the national governments;
- Identify specific needs and demands of the country programmes in different technical areas – climate change, risk identification, urban risk management, pre-disaster recovery planning – and help build partnerships at the national, regional or global levels to meet those needs. Where possible, serve as a broker in harnessing regional and global support through BCPR to respond to such needs;
- Analyse the socio-economic environment, disaster-risk and institutional context to provide advisory services in the field of disaster reduction, identifying catalytic areas where disaster risk reduction can be integrated and add value to other, ongoing or planned UNDP support interventions;
- Coordinate UNDP disaster reduction efforts with the other International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) system partners – government agencies, UN agencies, the World Bank, national and international NGOs, academic and technical institutions -- at the country level. Where suitable (such as in One-UN Pilot Countries), serve as a resource for the ISDR system in ensuring that the national government receives a coherent package of support from the System;
- Contribute substantively to the work of the UN working group on Early Recovery that UNDP is coordinating;
- Support the implementation of Climate Change and adaptation initiatives such as the African Adaptation Programme and the Climate - Risk Management technical Assistance supported by BCPR;
- Identify and follow up on potential opportunities for resource mobilization in support of disaster risk reduction programmes. This may include support from bilateral development partners, the international financial institutions, as well as cost-sharing with the host government. As needed, advise the Country Office (CO) on the preparation of project proposals for submission to the BCPR Project Appraisal Committee (BPAC) for resource allocation;
- Monitor ongoing projects substantively through discussing project work plans, progress and performance; conduct evaluation missions and write TORs for consultants; propose direction and solutions in steering committee meetings, visit project sites to monitor and assess implementation; resolve problems in execution and implementation streamlining relations between national project directors, consultants and executing agencies. Seek complementarities and integration with ongoing projects in other portfolios;
- In post-disaster situations, in coordination with the Regional Disaster Reduction Advisor (and other support available from regional and global level) advise the Country Office on recovery issues including: utilization of emergency grants; post-disaster assessments; formulation of early recovery frameworks/ programmes; reorientation, as appropriate, of existing CO programmes to meet recovery needs; and planning for longer term recovery.
- Distil lessons learned and good practices and share them with the CO, the United Nations Country Team (UNCT), BCPR, the CPR - Network and the wider disaster reduction community of practice. Participate in regional and global practice development meetings on disaster risk reduction;
- Mentor UNDP/ UN system staff members and/ or project personnel working on disaster reduction issues.
- Advocate, promote awareness and understanding of the links and mutually supportive goals and objectives of disaster reduction, sustainable development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals;
- As appropriate, on behalf of UNDP/ UN system provide policy level advice to the host government in the development of institutional, legislative and policy frameworks for disaster risk reduction;
- As needed, based on country level experience, provide inputs for the formulation of UNDP/ UN system policy, guidelines and practice notes on disaster risk reduction and recovery. Report on key trends in UNDP/ UN system programme portfolio at the country level and its policy implications.
- Integrity and fairness: embodies UN values and promotes the well-being of all individuals regardless of gender, religion, race, nationality, or age;
- Cultural sensitivity and adaptability: communicates effectively with and relates to people of different cultures, demonstrating an ability to see issues from other perspectives;
- Strong corporate commitment: works to achieve the goals of UNDP as a whole making significant contributions to corporate priorities or initiatives led by other UNDP offices and bureaus.
- Knowledge of the international disaster reduction system;
- Knowledge of country’s hazards, vulnerabilities and risks;
- Ability to provide inputs for disaster risk assessment and its application to risk management decision-making.
Management and leadership:
- Ability to build strong relationships with external actors – cultivate productive relationships with donors, partners and other important institutions and individuals;
- Excellent oral and written communication skills;
- Ability to anticipate and understand client needs, formulate clear strategic plans, prioritize interventions, and allocate resources according to priorities;
- Ability to develop innovative solutions - encourages and contributes creative solutions to address challenging situations.
- Ability to establish effective working relations in a multicultural team environment;
- Resourcefulness, initiative, and maturity of judgment.
Required skills and experience
- Advanced university degree in social sciences or discipline relevant to disaster reduction with internationally recognised contributions to the theory and practice of disaster reduction.
- Proven record of achievement over 5 years of increasingly responsible experience in planning and managing technical co-operation strategies and relevant advocacy programmes in disaster reduction, emergency response and post-disaster recovery. Extensive field experience in disaster environments and an in-depth knowledge of issues in the country;
- Application of theoretical knowledge in the design, management and evaluation of complex, multi-disciplinary capacity building programmes involving national governments, civil society and international organisations. Well proven analytical and writing skills.
- Demonstrated abilities and contributions to policy and guideline formulation, resource mobilisation, team building, team leadership and management, preferably in a capacity related to the UN system. Experience in establishing inter-organisational networks and partnerships at the operational level.
- Fluency in French and English an asset.