Sri Lanka nationals: Disaster Risk Reduction Specialist

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Position Type: 
Full-Time
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)
Languages Required: 
English and Sinhala and/or Tamil

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Background

Sri Lanka’s changing climate and erratic weather patterns have increased the severity of the natural hazards that impact the island nation. Sri Lanka has been facing droughts over the past three years, with dry conditions and low levels of water for agricultural and drinking purposes impacting on many communities. With over one and a half million people affected by these prevailing drought conditions across the country, the humanitarian community and the Government of Sri Lanka have provided humanitarian relief across affected districts. Simultaneously, Sri Lanka’s seasonal monsoons have delivered high levels of rain to other areas, causing flooding and landslides. The Southwest Monsoon of May 2017 affected over 630,000 people in 15 districts and the Southwest Monsoon of May 2018 affected over 150,000 people.

Inter‐monsoonal rains in these districts are causing further damage to infrastructure and heightening the risks of further landslides, whilst having little effect on the levels of water available for drought‐affected districts. In addition to the prevailing natural hazards, Sri Lanka witnessed a man‐made disaster in the form of the collapse of the Meethotamulla garbage dump.

The United Nations in Sri Lanka is supporting the Government through the Ministry of Irrigation, Water Resources and Disaster Management to reduce and manage the effects of the drought with enhanced coordination and facilitation with the UN agencies on the ground, together with international and local partners. This also includes the mitigation of flood and landslide risks and improving preparedness for future crisis response.

Under the direct supervision of the Head of the Resident Coordinator’s Office (RCO) / RCO Team Leader and the overall guidance of the UN Resident Coordinator (RC), the DRR Specialist strengthens the capacity of the UN Country Team (UNCT), the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) and other relevant actors in the support of the goals related to Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change Adaptation, and humanitarian coordination, under the overall umbrella of UN support to the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL).

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions:

The DRR Specialist should be an expert focused on the development and implementation of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) programmes, policies and projects, that can also support in a humanitarian coordination role when required.

Advise the RC/UNCT on Disaster Risk Reduction and related fields

  • Facilitate the implementation of the UNCT Strategy on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation
  • Provides technical expertise and guidance in the coordination of the implementation of joint agency projects conducted under the UNCT strategy, or other DRR/CCA projects;
  • Provides technical inputs into the work of the multi-stakeholder coordination mechanism at all levels and other relevant institutions.
  • Conduct capacity-building at all levels (from national to local) for UN/HCT, Government and community members on DRR and CCA
  • Support partners to work toward the objectives of frameworks such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change

 Coordinate with the Government counterpart and various stakeholders for effective coordination and policy dialogue in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction

  • Advise on key policy issues pertaining to DRR; engage on and contribute to policy dialogues on all levels, including at the national level;
  • Ensure Knowledge Management and Learning, providing technical inputs in conducting DRR related research as well as the dissemination of research findings and recommendations to the stakeholders; and
  • Identify and document DRR programming best practices and lessons learned.

Provide strategic support to the RC/UNCT and HCT on matters of humanitarian coordination, as required

  • Provide coordination support to the RC/UNCT and HCT during a crisis response
  • Provide technical support to the RC/UNCT and HCT on emergency response coordination during disaster situations as well as on preparedness for response discussions and activities
  • Provide strategic guidance to the Humanitarian Coordination Associate on matters of humanitarian coordination.

Impact of Results

  • The above key results will ensure the identification of significant humanitarian issues and the development of well-reasoned, innovative suggestions and approaches to problem resolution. They will also help meet organizational objectives and provide sound analytical inputs and advice with respect to DRR/CCA activities and the coordination of humanitarian action.

Competencies

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of the UN
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism
  • Fulfils all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment.

Functional Competencies:

  • Proven analytical skills: ability to conduct independent research and analysis, identify issues, and recommend appropriate solutions.
  • Strong diplomatic skills and capacity to build and maintain partnerships with a number of stakeholders (UN Agencies, Government entities, other development partners and the private sector)
  • Fully proficient computer skills and use of relevant software and other applications, e.g. word processing, spreadsheets, internet, Powerpoint and experience in handling of web-based management systems.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, proven networking, team‐building, organizational and communication skills.
  • Seeks and applies knowledge, information and best practices inside and outside the UN.
  • Ability and sensitivity to work with a wide cross‐section of partners, including Government, I/NGOs and private sector.
  • A self‐starter, able to inspire and influence action and work under pressure.
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude.
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities.
  • Ability to handle sensitive information with confidentiality.

Technical Competencies:

  • Ability to undertake extensive research.
  • Demonstrates strong analytical oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to engage effectively with other implementing agencies supporting the respective
  • UN agencies, development partners, the private sector, etc.
  • Good understanding of the governance structure and systems in Sri Lanka, including the current political economy context.

Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Master’s Degree in Environmental Management, Business or Public Administration, social work, social sciences, public administration, international development, International Relations, or related field
  • A minimum of five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in Disaster Risk Reduction, climate change adaptation, humanitarian affairs, emergency preparedness, crisis/emergency relief management, rehabilitation, development, or other related area is required. Field experience in humanitarian affairs in a complex emergency or natural disaster context is required.

OR

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Management, Business or Public Administration, social work,   social sciences, public administration, international development, International Relations, or related field
  • A minimum of Seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience in Disaster Risk Reduction, climate change adaptation, humanitarian affairs, emergency preparedness, crisis/emergency relief management, rehabilitation, development, or other related area is required. Field experience in humanitarian affairs in a complex emergency or natural disaster context is required

Experience:

  • Experience with inter-cluster/agency coordination in the humanitarian context is desirable. Experience in a humanitarian context within the UN common system or other comparable international organization is desirable.

Language Requirement:

  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills in English and fluency in Sinhala and/or Tamil.