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Disaster Risk Reduction Consultant

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP)

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Tsunamis pose a significant threat to coastal communities in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean regions, emphasizing the need for robust preparedness and response measures. In the period between 1970 and 2022, there were 2.04 million fatalities and $2.71 trillion in economic damages from disaster events in Asia and the Pacific. Tsunamis accounted for 12% of fatalities and 11% of economic damages, making them the third most fatal and fourth most economically damaging hazard.

As part of ongoing efforts to enhance disaster risk reduction through early warning systems, UNESCO-IOC, with the support of UNESCAP, proposes a comprehensive capacity assessment on tsunami preparedness. UNESCAP, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, plays a pivotal role in advocating for regional efforts for disaster risk reduction. Particularly, the Disaster Risk Reduction Section of UNESCAP focuses on developing policies and strategies to build resilience and reduce the impact of disasters on communities in the Asia-Pacific region. Through its Trust Fund for Tsunami, Disaster, and Climate Preparedness, UNESCAP supports projects that contribute to effective and sustainable end-to-end early warning systems for coastal hazards, such as tsunamis.

The proposed 2024 Tsunami Preparedness Capacity Assessment builds upon previous capacity assessments conducted in 2005 and 2018 by UNESCO-IOC. Its overarching goal is to renew the capacity assessment for the UNESCO-IOC Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWMS) while expanding the scope to include the Pacific Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (PTWS). This assessment aims to provide a comprehensive narrative on the progress made since the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, offering insights to policymakers at the subregional level on further needs for tsunami preparedness across the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Aligned with the United Nations Secretary-General's Early Warnings for All (EW4All) initiative, the assessment focuses on emphasizing the importance of addressing capacity development needs of early warning systems for geophysical hazards. Sixteen countries, including eight from the Asia-Pacific region, participating in the EW4All initiative stand to benefit from this exercise. Furthermore, the assessment dovetails with the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2023, UNESCO-IOC Tsunami Programme, UNESCO-IOC Tsunami Ready Recognition Programme, Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, and the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction.

The project aims to provide a platform to commemorate achievements over the last two decades in regional cooperation to strengthen tsunami preparedness. This initiative seeks to mobilize support and political will for further strengthening end-to-end tsunami warning and mitigation in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, acknowledging the progress made and identifying specific gaps and capacity development requirements at regional and national levels. The project aligns with the broader goals of the UNESCAP's Trust Fund for Tsunami Disaster and Climate Preparedness, aiming to address identified gaps through regional cooperation and the integration of scientific advancements.

Under the direct supervision of the Programme Manager of the Trust Fund for Tsunami, Disaster and Climate Preparedness of UNESCAP, and ongoing guidance and leadership of the Head of Secretariat for the UNESCO-IOC Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWMS), the consultant will be responsible for supporting coordination of the overall project timeline and budget, assist with organization of workshops, facilitation of travel and management of UNESCAP deliverables. It is expected that the consultant will be based in Bangkok, Thailand.

Ultimate result of service

To contribute towards strengthening Tsunami risk reduction and management for resilient and sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific through regional cooperation and the sharing of best practices. Specific roles and responsibilities include:

  1. Monitor project work plans, ensuring alignment with project objectives and timelines with all partners, including monitoring project expenditures and timeline, donor reporting, coordinating closely with the finance and administrative team.
  2. In collaboration with UNESCO-IOC, coordinate and organize expert workshops, capacity building efforts, consultations, and high-level sessions as required by the project timeline, including facilitating the participation of all stakeholders.
  3. Lead the drafting, review and validation of the key Policy deliverables, to ensure the successful endorsement and adoption. Also including supervising editors, designers, and printers engaged to finalize project Policy deliverables to high quality. a. Tsunami preparedness recommendations for ASEAN policymakers and b. Tsunami preparedness recommendations for SAARC policymakers
  4. Develop communications products, including presentations, impact stories, and recommendations to incorporate into new programming for the Trust Fund for Tsunami, Disaster and Climate Preparedness.
  5. Incorporate project learnings into broader UNESCAP programming and activities as needed.

Qualification requirements/Evaluation criteria

  • Education: Master's degree in project management, disaster risk management or related field.
  • Language: Proficiency in English. Any other UN languages are desirable.
  • At least 5 years of professional experience in working in Asia-Pacific in disaster risk management or related field.
  • Familiarity with tsunami preparedness, early warning systems is advantageous. Demonstrated experience in supporting the coordination of complex, multi-stakeholder projects, preferably in the field of disaster risk reduction or related areas.
  • Strong organizational and communication skills, with the ability to coordinate diverse teams and stakeholders.

Apply via Inspira, Job opening ID 223634

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