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Programme specialist in disaster reduction (Arab States)

Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery - UNDP (BCPR-UNDP)


The Arab States region is exposed to a range of sudden onset as well as slow onset natural hazards. Hazards affecting countries in the region include drought, flooding, landslides and earthquakes. The societal exposure and vulnerability to these natural hazards combine to create disasters and disaster risks. In several countries of the region (especially the ones on the African continent), climate-related disasters constrain development and the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals. The institutional capacities to understand and manage disaster risks vary significantly across the region, with some countries having significant technical capacities while others in a nascent phase of institutional development. UNDP has been working with programme countries in the region to give an added impetus to DRR efforts. The Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery  has been supporting UNDP country offices in the region to develop comprehensive capacity development programmes in support of national governments.

BCPR is recruiting a Programme Specialist (Disaster Reduction) to provide technical advice and strategic direction for the implementation of risk management programmes in country offices in the Arab Region, in anticipation of potential natural disaster. In collaboration with the UNDP Country Offices and the UNDP Regional Centre in Cairo, the Programme Specialist (Disaster Reduction) will be responsible for coordinating all aspects of the disaster reduction portfolio in the Arab States region, including achievement of expected results as a contribution to the outcome areas identified by the BCPR Strategy and UNDP strategic plan for natural disaster reduction.

He/she will provide leadership for the strategic planning functions in support of risk management including risk reduction principles and practices in recovery initiatives in the wake of natural disasters. In collaboration with BCPR and the Regional Centre in Cairo, the Programme Specialist (Disaster Reduction) will also interact with external partners ranging from local stakeholders to regional and international organizations involved in disaster risk management of a country, to support the disaster reduction aspects of the country development portfolio.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Programme Specialist (Disaster Reduction) will perform the following tasks

Function 1: Technical Advice, Practice Development and Knowledge Management
- Provide appropriate technical support to ongoing disaster reduction and recovery projects and technical guidance to disaster reduction specialists working with the Country Offices on UNDP supported DRR programmes
- Provide policy level inputs for the development of national and regional disaster reduction strategies and institutional and legislative systems for mainstreaming disaster risk reduction into national development planning and programming
- Organize a training workshop for Arab States DRR Community of Practice to provide Country Offices with an introduction to programming for DRM.
- In co-ordination with the Regional Centre in Cairo, provide relevant substantive inputs to knowledge management, including responding to Country Office requests for information on best practice and offering referrals to experts and expert institutions.
- Substantively contribute to consultations on appropriate disaster risk reduction policy initiatives and present evidence based inputs for policy development based on the lessons learned and thematic results of UNDP’s experience in disaster risk reduction
- Design and implement plan for assessment of earthquake response capacities in six countries in the region;

Function 2: Advocacy and Resource Mobilization
- Support regional advocacy efforts related to promotion, adoption and endorsement of regional disaster reduction strategies
- Facilitate internal advocacy efforts related to mainstreaming disaster reduction into UNDP supported development initiatives in the region.
- Identify and follow up on potential opportunities for resource mobilization in support of disaster risk and recovery in the Arab Region
- Prepare funding proposals and briefings in support of UNDP resource mobilization efforts related to disaster risk reduction in the Arab Region
- Identify critical components for the development of strategic partnerships and alliances relevant to the achievement of UNDPs overall strategy and policies in the region, with other UN organizations, multilateral organizations, regional member state organizations, scientific, academic and technical organizations and with donors and programme countries


Corporate Competencies
- 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 by making significant contributions to corporate priorities or initiatives led by other UNDP offices and bureaus


- Knowledge of the international disaster reduction system at field and headquarters levels
- High level of technical and contextual knowledge of disaster risk management issues and their linkages with development trends in the Arab States.
- Knowledge of state of the art developments in most of the key thematic areas: risk identification, climate risk management, urban risk management, post disaster needs assessment and recovery planning
- Excellent computer/information systems skills

- Ability to build strong client relationships - establishes lasting relationships and substantive dialogue with clients that create valuable intervention opportunities for the office/unit
- Ability to build strong relationships with other external actors – cultivates 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 manage projects effectively - consistently ensuring timeliness and quality of project work
- 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
- Excellent interpersonal and supervisory skills
- Excellent analytical and organizational skills
- Resourcefulness, initiative, and maturity of judgment

Required Skills and Experience

- Advanced University Degree in international development and/or a related field.

- A minimum of 7 years of experience in disaster risk management including field experience;
- Experience in developing/application of risk information tools at different levels.

- Fluency in English (spoken and written) is a requirement. Working knowledge of Arabic and/or French will be considered an asset.



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  • Additional location info Cairo
  • Closing Date 25 Jun 2010

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