Individual Contractor (Geospatial Information Technology, Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction, Training & Capacity Development, Project Management)

United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Entry Level (0-2 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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UNOSAT is the operational satellite applications programme of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). It is a technology-intensive programme active since 2000 in applied research and innovative applications relating to geospatial information technology and satellite analysis. UNOSAT also delivers tailor-made training courses to its beneficiaries on the use of geo-information technology for humanitarian aid, human security, disaster risk management, territorial planning and environmental monitoring.

Funded under the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP), the CommonSensing project led by UNITAR-UNOSAT aims to improve resilience to climate change, including disaster risk reduction, and contribute to sustainable development in three Commonwealth Pacific island countries: Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. These and other SIDS are exposed to the damaging effects of climate change. Such changes in the climate system have direct effects on the economy as well as overall development and even threaten the very existence of many SIDS. Urgent action is therefore required to develop climate resilience. The CommonSensing project supports the IPP’s priorities to deliver a sustainable social and economic benefit to emerging and developing economies, in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

CommonSensing aims to support beneficiary countries in achieving Goal 9 (Innovation and Infrastructure) and Goal 13 (Climate Action) of the 2030 Agenda. The project focuses on developing national capacities in the use of satellite technologies for longer-term sustainability and business continuity by providing beneficiary countries with knowledge and skills in four main thematic areas: disaster risk, food security, climate information and climate finance with a view to strengthening evidence-based decision-making and dossiers to access climate funding

General Objectives of the Contract

The incumbent will work hand in hand with identified key stakeholders and decision-makers from the national government in Vanuatu as well as project partners including Satellite Applications Catapult, the Commonwealth Secretariat, Devex, Radiant.Earth, University of Portsmouth, the UK Met Office and Sensonomic to support national stakeholders in driving climate change and disaster resilience through two main sets of activities: 

  • Developing and implementing geospatial and climate information and decision-making tools through the CommonSensing Platform and mainstreaming their use;
  • Building capacity to process and understand geospatial and climate information for decision-making and improved access to climate finance.

Responsibilities/Description of Professional Services

Under the overall supervision of UNOSAT Specialist in charge of Disaster Risk Reduction, Disaster Mapping and Climate Services Section, in close coordination with the project manager and the CommonSensing project team, the incumbent will:

1. Support the implementation of stakeholder coordination activities in Vanuatu by:

  • Providing required coordination support to project partners, national / regional stakeholders and country focal point (Ministry of Climate Change through the CC&DRR PMU/Department of Climate Change) for the implementation of project activities at country level;
  • Regularly liaising with national and regional stakeholders to share information on project implementation activities and to identify potential technical collaborations;
  • Support the Country Focal Point to establish a Technical Steering Committee to guide the implementation of the CommonSensing project activities in Vanuatu, including providing admin and secretariat support to the Committee
  • Drafting Invitation letters, meeting/workshop/event agendas and reports including regularly updating the stakeholder mailing list;  
  • Providing logistical support to project partners for transportation and hotel bookings during country visits as required.
  •  Regularly liaising with UNOSAT Country Experts in Fiji and the Solomon Islands.

2. Contribute to the effective implementation of training and capacity development activities in Vanuatu by:

  • Providing overarching technical assistance to key stakeholders and decision-makers from national government to strengthen information generation and develop the use of technological solutions developed by CommonSensing partners;
  • Providing substantive inputs to training/coaching/mentoring curriculum development including design, preparation of training material / manuals and delivery of training and capacity development activities targeting selected national stakeholders in Vanuatu.
  • Facilitating cooperation and activities with national and regional stakeholders for cross-sectoral data collection.
  • Preparing, and organizing relevant geospatial datasets for training courses, awareness raising / workshop events and for the implementation of the CommonSensing Platform;
  • Liaising with country stakeholders to select training participants, support logistical planning for training events, ensure proper training materials are provided and conduct evaluations of trainings in accordance with UNITAR Quality and Assurance standards, including drafting training evaluation reports;
  • Involving training participants in relevant aspects of project implementation through a dedicated community of practice platform to ensure sustainability;
  • Providing technical backstopping services in the field of Geospatial Information Technology use to key stakeholders from the national government;
  • Actively participating and contributing to regional and national Geospatial Information Technology conferences and GIS working groups;

3. Support overall in-country coordination, guidance, monitoring, outreach, and reporting by:

  • Coordinating with designated country focal point, national stakeholders, and lead the effective implementation of the overall project in Vanuatu in a complementary and mutually supportive fashion, and report regularly to the Project Manager and CommonSensing Project Team.
  • Establishing and maintaining good working relations with relevant institutional and organisational partners (e.g. local authorities, international organizations and donors, civil society, media, other UN bodies etc);
  • Drafting weekly, monthly and bi-annual progress reports on stakeholder coordination activities.
  • Supporting project management related activities by drafting work plans, technical reports and systematically capture lessons learnt from the project implementation; identify follow-up actions and submit them for consideration to project manager and CommonSensing project partners as required;
  • Ensuring gender mainstreaming within all project and capacity building activities;
  • Collecting indicators from national and regional stakeholders to update the CommonSensing Logical Framework and Theory of Change;
  • Monitoring identified programme risks and bottlenecks; submit new risk and strategic implementation advice to project manager for consideration and decision if required; update the status of project risks and bottlenecks by updating logs;
  • Ensuring wide dissemination and visibility of CommonSensing project achievements; participate in national and international fora, making substantive contributions as appropriate;

4. Perform any other duties/tasks as required

Measurable Outputs/Deliverables/Schedule of Deliverables

  • Efficient day-to-day support to the implementation of overall project management, stakeholder coordination and capacity building related activities;
  • Successful delivery of trainings, workshops and awareness raising events, including technical backstopping activities targeting national/regional stakeholders in Vanuatu;
  • Logistical arrangements are made for the delivery of training events, workshops and awareness raising events;
  • Timely preparation and delivery of training materials, training evaluation reports, technical reports, workplans, M&E reports and e-news;
  • Timely provision of weekly and monthly progress reports, required technical documents, training evaluation reports, including required inputs to project deliverables;
  • Technical meetings and calls with national/regional stakeholders and project partners are regularly held;

Performance Indicators for Evaluation of Results

  • All project related tasks and activities are successfully implemented / delivered according to project work plans and defined deadlines;
  • All required project reporting documents and deliverables are properly formatted, proofread and submitted in timely manner according to deadlines;
  • National and regional stakeholder network is well established and maintained. Stakeholder contact list is regularly updated and all project related events are planned and organized well in advance and in an efficient manner.
  • Most relevant available geospatial data are collected and well organized to be used for training courses and technical backstopping activities;
  • Material and handouts for awareness raising events, workshops and training courses are prepared at least 10 working days prior to event/course delivery;
  • Training courses are successfully delivered according to UNITAR-UNOSAT quality standards.


  • Professionalism: To perform GIS analysis, to independently write reports and follow up on project tasks according to defined work-plans. Knowledge and understanding of UN system. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations.
  • Planning & Organizing: Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities. Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Based on the supervision received, develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments with minimal supervision; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary in a coordinated manner; uses time efficiently.
  • Commitment to continuous learning: Keeps abreast of new developments in own occupation/profession; actively seeks to develop oneself professionally and personally; contributes to the learning of colleagues and subordinates; shows willingness to learn from others; seeks feedback to learn and improve.
  • Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; very good inter-personal skills and a demonstrated capacity to deal with colleagues and counterparts from different backgrounds, and proven ability to function in a multi-cultural and multi-ethnical environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity;.
  • Technology awareness: Keeps abreast of available technology; understands applicability and limitation of technology to the work of the office; actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; shows willingness to learn new technology.
  • Communication: Excellent communication skills (spoken, written and presentation), including the ability to draft/edit a variety of written documents, such as technical and scientific papers, reports, studies, and other communication materials, articulating ideas in a clear and concise style; ability to prepare and deliver targeted and results-oriented presentations; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed; strong interpersonal and communication skills including facilitation skills in training related activities.


Minimum experience


Minimum requirements

Education: University degree (Bachelor or equivalent) in Geography, Geo-informatics, Engineering, Environmental Science, Climate Change, Urban/Territorial Planning or related discipline.

Experience: A minimum of two years of work experience in disaster risk reduction, climate change, environment, spatial planning or related fields.

Languages: Fluency in oral and written English is essential.

Desired requirements

Previous experience in training design, develop and delivery in the field of geospatial information technology will be considered an asset. Knowledge of another official UN language would be an advantage. 


General conditions of contracts for the service of individual contractors apply. This position is located in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

UNITAR shall place no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs (Charter of the United Nations - Chapter 3, article 8).  

English and French are the two working languages of the United Nations Secretariat.  Priority will be given to the applicants from the under-represented regions at UNITAR.

How to apply

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible after the vacancy has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the vacancy announcement. 

Only complete applications will be considered. A letter of motivation as well as the P11 form/ Curriculum Vitae are to be sent at