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Disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation specialist

World Bank, the (WB)

Background & General Description:

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 Pacific (EAP) region is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of natural disasters, ranging from earthquakes to tropical cyclones. 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 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 EAP 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 EAP Disaster Risk Management Team 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 DRM and climate change adaptation (CCA) program for Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands is carried out by staff based in Sydney, Australia and Suva, Fiji, with the support of staff located in World Bank 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/SPC, SPREP) and donor partners - is rapidly growing. With the support of GFDRR and in close consultation with the government of Vanuatu and development partners the World Bank has identified a Disaster Risk Management Program for Vanuatu. This Program supports the Government of Vanuatu in developing hazard monitoring and early warning capacity, in providing risk information for development zonation and in mainstreaming and integration of DRR and CCA into development and sectoral policies and plans.

To this end, the World Bank is seeking to recruit a local Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Specialist to be placed in the Vanuatu Meteorological and Geo-hazard Department (VMGD) of the Government of Vanuatu in Port Vila, to work on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation programs in Vanuatu.

Duties & Accountabilities


The Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Specialist will report to the World Bank Pacific Sustainable Development Sector Leader based in Sydney. World Bank operational guidance will be provided by the Sr. Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Specialist, based in Sydney and technical guidance will be provided by the Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Specialist based in Suva.

Day-to-day oversight and management will be provided by the Director of the VMGD.

Specific Duties

1. Support the Government of Vanuatu in coordination of DRM and CCA activities – 40%

a) Strengthen in-country capacity of government counterparts to plan and implement DRM and CCA activities
b) Provide technical and secretarial support to the NAP task force and the National Advisory Committee of Climate Change (NACCC) to facilitate coordination and integration of DRM and CCA initiatives
c) Promote the integration of DRM and CCA in development and mainstream DRM and CCA programs and initiatives into the planning and budgetary process.
d) Establish and improve communication channels between VMGD and the NDMO and other Government entities to enhance awareness through, for example, organizing workshops or assisting in developing basic guidelines and codes of practice.

2. Support development and implementation of the World Bank/ GFDRR DRM and CCA program – 40%

a) Support the preparation and subsequent implementation of World Bank DRM and CCA program in Vanuatu under the guidance of the respective task team leaders (TTLs).
b) Review planned and ongoing World Bank projects in key sectors (justice, energy, infrastructure, communication and private sector development) to identify opportunities for DRR mainstreaming and climate change adaptation and provide technical support to TTLs on operations.
c) Facilitate country engagements of visiting World Bank teams and consultants by providing logistical support, liaising and organizing meetings with Government departments, development partners and other relevant stakeholders
d) Represent the World Bank, as required, at internal and external coordination meetings and deliver presentations on World Bank DRM and CCA program portfolio. Ensure regular communication and coordination with the joint World Bank/ADB Vanuatu country liaison office and adhere to World Bank reporting requirements.

3. Manage a comprehensive, in-country sectoral dialogue with critical stakeholders – 20%

a) Strengthen in-country partnerships, coordinate and organize steering meetings with relevant government agencies, CSOs, donors and development partners relating to project activities.

b) Seek opportunities for collaboration and leveraging with other development partners.

c) Promote and facilitate knowledge exchange and dissemination in DRM and CCA between sectors and development partners

Selection Criteria:

Advanced degree relevant to CCA/DRR, including but not limited to earth sciences, environmental sciences, natural resource management, engineering or economics.

At least five years of relevant experience in the areas related to climate change and disaster risk management.

Familiarity with the GoV’s operational, budgeting and other processes.

Ability to work independently and be accountable for quality delivery.

Ability to undertake technical review and provide technical guidance and support to counterpart agencies.

Fluency in written and spoken English is essential. Knowledge of Bislama, French or other languages is an asset.

Highly developed communication and advocacy skills, including the ability to write concisely and clearly.

Ability to take initiative and identify opportunities for collaboration.

Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment, with efficiency, competence and integrity.

Knowledge of World Bank policies and practices, including institutional, operational and technical aspects related to the World Bank’s project cycle would be an advantage.

Field experience in post-disaster recovery and reconstruction assignments would be an advantage.

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  • Additional location info Port Vila
  • Closing Date 1 Apr 2011

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