The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has an established record of supporting disaster risk reduction (DRR) in Haiti – through a major programme which has been operational since 1999. It is a trusted partner of government institutions working in this area. UNDP’s current programme ‘Support for the National System for Risk and Disaster Management’ focuses on five priority areas:
• Support for institutional capacity development to government and coordination;
• Disaster preparedness and recovery;
• Risk identification, with a particular focus on seismic risk reduction;
• Public information/awareness raising, training and information technology; and
• Integration of disaster risk reduction into recovery and development, with a particular focus on urban risk reduction.
The programme has an important component of supporting continued and expanded support to the Civil Protection Agency (DPC) at both national and departmental levels. The DPC is the lead body within government for emergency preparedness and response. Since its creation important progress has been made in terms of its capacity and expertise. This is particularly noticeable in recent times in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake when the DPC was heavily affected and its credibility was put into question. The fact that today DPC is once again recognised at both national and sub-national levels as being the responsible government institutional for preparedness and response, and has been highly responsive to tropical storms in 2010 and 2011, is testimony to its strength. This said DPC continues to be highly dependent on donor support – and in larger terms Haiti remains heavily reliant on international assistance when disasters occur.
Since 2011, there has been a significant decrease in humanitarian funding and resources, and the related transition of the cluster system to the government. The result is that during the 2012 and 2013 cyclone seasons the government will not be able to rely as much on the humanitarian community. In addition, 2012 marks the start of the MINUSTAH draw down. There is strong political pressure to see MINUSTAH withdraw over the next 5 years – this will also result in a significant reduction in nationally based assets (e.g. man power/expertise; equipment and communications). In addition, the DPC have seen its long term resources reduced in comparison with the previous years and will have to rely on reduced technical and financial support. In this context and considering that the DPC depends widely on international capacities and donors, the government will have to face much more pressure – in terms of resources mobilisation and capacities for an adequate response to disasters. The decrease in Humanitarian capacity in particular means that in practical terms if there is a major disaster in 2012 there will be additional burden on the government for coordination and response.
In this context, the Disaster and Risk reduction unit is in need of a targeted international post. An important function of the post will be to support critical capacity of government to prepare for and respond to disasters when they occur; and to contribute to related lessons learning and targeted capacity transfer. The post will also help to identify and support strategies of capacity transfer – with a particular focus on working with the clusters to transfer key tools and approaches to the government for disaster response. The post is a Development Project Funded (DPF) Post.
Under the supervision of the Disaster Risk Reduction Head of Unit:
Preparation and response:
• Contribute to build capacity of the government for the preparation and response to the 2012 cyclone season, with a particular focus on departmental and local levels.
• Strengthen the disaster risk contingency planning process
• Strengthen the feedback loop in the event of flooding/hurricanes to ensure that the Civil Protection Agency (DPC) and partners address any urgent problems or gaps in government capacity as they occur.
• Contribute to the cluster transition strategy with a particular focus on supporting the transfer of targeted tools to the DPC in the preparation for and during the cyclone season.
• Ensure the continuity of the preparation and response activities of the DPC through the training of DPC national and departmental actors on: (a) the coordination procedures both within and between the national, departmental emergency management structures; and between national and international (humanitarian and MINUSTAH) structures; (b) new communication and technical tools.
• Support departmental and national simulation exercises (SIMEXs) aimed at testing and improving the National System.
Knowledge management :
• Documentation of lessons learnt through the preparation and response to the cyclone season.
• Supporting an analysis of government preparedness and response capacities which will result in a 5-year strategy and a road map.
Strategic support to UNDP's Disaster Risk Management programming:
• Participate in interagency collaboration and partnership building on the cluster transition strategy.
• Contribute to the identification of new resource mobilization opportunities.
This post will contribute to promoting government led coherent support of the international community to national capacity (trough the Haitian Civil Protection Agency) to effectively prepare and respond to disasters. A significant focus of the work will be contribute to build capacity of the government for the preparation and response to the 2012 cyclone season, with a particular emphasis on departmental and local levels.
Through this post UNDP will also seek to contribute, in practical terms, to the development of a medium term capacity support strategy for the government on preparedness and response. The result of this strategy will be to serve as a platform against which the government and its key donors can contribute to ensure that the National System, and the DPC within it, has more sustainability – including in terms of human resources.
• At minimum a Masters degree in a development studies, social sciences, international relations, politics, economics, geography, disaster management, climate change or environment.
• 2-years minimum of relevant work experience in the field of disaster management;
• Prior experience of working in a developing country;
• Previous experience of working with developing country government is an advantage;
• Previous experience of working with UN agencies or international organizations on disaster management issues (preferably with UNDP);
• Strong interpersonal skills and ability to communicate and work well with diverse people: race, nationality, age and gender sensitivity.
• Fluency in French and English;
• Knowledge of Haitian Creole and Spanish is an asset.