Individual Consultant (Climate Information Services Expert)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Harare, Zimbabwe 🇿🇼


PROJECT DESCRIPTION                                                                       

Zimbabwe received funding from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for the project entitled “Building climate resilience of vulnerable agricultural livelihoods in southern Zimbabwe”. The objective of the proposed project is to strengthen resilience of agricultural livelihoods of vulnerable communities, particularly women, in southern Zimbabwe in the face of increasing climate risks and impacts. The project will contribute to the following GCF Fund-level impacts for adaptation: 1.0 “Increased resilience and enhanced livelihoods of the most vulnerable people, communities and regions” and 2.0 “Increased resilience of health and well-being, and food and water security” for vulnerable smallholder communities in southern Zimbabwe.

The GCF project noted that the key climate change risks in Zimbabwe stem from increasing temperatures, more variable rainfall, and the intensification of extreme weather events. The greatest intensity of impacts is experienced in the southern provinces, where the majority of smallholder farmers, especially women, depend on rainfall and bear the brunt of these climate risks threatening their food, livelihood and income security. Thirty percent (30%) of the country’s 14.5 million people and 45% of its rural population reside in the southern Zimbabwe region. Agriculture Ecological Regions (AERs) IV and V are characterized by low rainfall and significant exposure to climate risks, as depicted in past, current and predicted climate scenarios. These regions suffer from persistent high food deficits, the highest number of drought-related livestock deaths, high food prices in lean seasons and, in specific areas, a high risk of climate-induced flooding. The selected project area is predicted to suffer increased inter-annual variability in water availability.

The project outcomes will strengthen the adaptive capacities of vulnerable smallholder farmers, especially women, to climate change induced impacts on their agroecosystems and livelihoods through revitalization of irrigation schemes, upgraded water and soil moisture management and water use efficiency, climate-resilient agriculture, improved access to climate information and markets, and partnerships with public and private sector actors.

To achieve these outcomes the project proposes to overcome the identified barriers through implementation of the following three interlinked Outputs, using GCF and co-financing resources:

  • Increased access to water for climate-resilient agriculture through climate-resilient irrigation systems and efficient water resource management;
  • Scaled up climate-resilient agricultural production and diversification through increased access to climate-resilient inputs, practices, and markets; and
  • Improved access to weather, climate and hydrological information for climate resilient agriculture.

The project is being implemented by the Government of Zimbabwe in partnership with UNDP for seven years from June 2020 to May 2027.The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement (MoLAFWRR) is the implementing partner. The project therefore aims to enhance the water security for smallholder farmers in light of evolving climate risks by enabling revitalization and climate-proofing of irrigation schemes and improving water use efficiency and enhancing soil moisture management on rain-fed lands. It will strengthen the capacities of vulnerable smallholder farmers through Farmer Field Schools and peer-to-peer support to scale up climate-resilient agriculture, with access to resilient inputs, markets, and actionable climate information across the 137 priority project wards in 15 districts within Manicaland, Masvingo and Matabeleland South Provinces.

Currently, government weather and water monitoring infrastructure is weak and insufficient for comprehensive data collection, analysis and provision of timely information to smallholders for climate adaptation of their agroecosystems and water resource use. More importantly, there is limited knowledge or capacity to effectively forecast future weather and climate impacts on water and smallholder agro-ecosystems as a result of weak forecast systems and the trained staff able to combine and analyze different sources of information and data. Building the national capacity to undertake these types of analyses are a key requirement for broadly applying and using both collected weather and hydrological data and forecasts. At the same time, the Department of Agriculture Technical and Extension Services (AGRITEX), and the Meteorological Services Department (MSD), do not have sufficient capacities to generate or disseminate the user-oriented climate information required by smallholder farmers, particularly women, for climate-adaptive agro-ecosystem planning and management. The smallholders themselves lack the capacity to apply and use the agro-climatic advisories for agricultural and water resources management.

Against this background, the project seeks the support of a part time qualified and self-motivated national climate information services expert with experience and/or knowledge of climate dynamics, weather forecasting, climate services provision, climate information generation, climate adaptation options in agriculture and water resources management for both small holder irrigation and dry land farmers to develop climate information packages and dissemination protocols that will increase access to weather and climate information improved agricultural productivity, water resource management and enhances climate change resilience. The CIS expert will support technical service providers and small holder farmers address the lack of access to weather and climate information to support resilience-enhancing water resource management and resilient crop/livestock production.The above- mentioned barriers to be addressed currently limit smallholders’ attempts to transit from subsistence and near-subsistence to more diverse and climate-resilient crop and livestock production and the food security through generation and dissemination of appropriate climate and weather information to smallholder farmers for climate-risk informed water and agricultural management.

He or she will enable Smallholder farmers to access and use appropriate climate and weather information to inform climate risk management, water resource management and agricultural planning. He or she will strengthen institutional support capacities and technical knowledge of institutional service providers such as AGRITEX and MSD to provide services, including climate information, early warning and climate risk-informed disaster planning and climate-resilient agricultural advice for farmers to adapt their production practices to climate driven drought, mid- season dry spells and other climate risks in Zimbabwe stemming from increasing temperature, more variable rainfall and the intensification of extreme weather events.

The Climate Information System Expert will therefore design and guide the flow of all climate information services within service providers and to small holder farmers in the targeted areas including capacity building of farmers and relevant institutions on the same.

OBJECTIVES OF THE ASSIGNMENT                                                                       

The main objective of this assignment is to provide climate information services expert support in the establishment of a Climate Services Information System (CSIS) consisting of an appropriate user engagement interface, a climate product development base and an effective service access mechanism that is responsive to user-needs underpinned by capacity development. Such support includes:

  • Development of information products to strengthen existing national satellite/observation-based weather, 10-day and seasonal forecasts and advisories targeted to smallholder farmers;
  • Setting up climate information services flow frameworks between data collection observation network, global centres, satellite providers, weather and climate service providers (MSD) and extension service providers;
  • Development of climate information packages and dissemination protocols that will increase access to weather and climate information, improved agricultural productivity, water resource management, and enhances climate change resilience.

Duties and Responsibilities

SCOPE OF WORK                                                                       

The CIS expert will be responsible for the overall co-ordination , management and mainstreaming of climate information across the project `s three outputs as well as dealing with climate risks and climate proofing value chains from production through to marketing, capturing lessons learnt from complementary sectors and facilitation of multi-sectoral initiatives and investments to adapt to climate change. His/her tasks will be divided into the core areas defined under scope of work below and will work primarily with MSD, CCMD, WFP, ZINWA, , centres of Excellence, Agritex and Department of Irrigation, 21 Irrigation Management Committees, 251 FFS structures and 5 innovation platforms , in close collaboration with the PMU and 6900 lead farmers. He/She will also collaborate with other consultants working on related areas such as PICSA, Climate Smart Agriculture and Hydrology to ensure seamless and sustainable provision of tailor-made climate information, products and services to smallholder farmers and key stakeholders.

Broad functions to be performed by the incumbent include:

  • Carrying out multi-stakeholder consultations with service providers and users to determine the suite of climate information products and services that enhance climate resilient agriculture and water resource management for irrigation and dryland agriculture. This will build on the feasibility studies undertaken in the project;
  • Carrying out institutional and skill capacity assessments to inform the design of a sustainable climate information services frameworks;
  • Development of information products to strengthen existing national satellite/observation- based weather, 10-day and seasonal forecasts and advisories targeted to smallholder farmers;
  • Collaborating with the Hydrological forecasting consultant to ensure that the Training of national level ZINWA staff (partnering with UZ)) in the use of water resource models (two trainings in WEAP and Pitman models) as well as the development of regular hydrological forecasts ingest input data such as daily updates of hydro-met observations and forecasts from weather/climate observations and forecasts;
  • Developing protocols and frameworks for seamless flow of climate information services including data from observation network, forecasts from climate service providers |(e.g. MSD) to users (smallholder farmers and irrigation management committees) and advisories from extension service providers (e.g. AGRITEX, DOI) including feedback mechanisms;
  • Disseminating climate information through mobile phones, television, website community radio, community meetings and local posters and bulletins;
  • Development of a draft climate Information services flow manual with specified standards in consultation with stakeholders, services providers, MSD, WFP, ZINWA, DOI,Agritex the PMU and other consultants;
  • Capacity building on climate product development (in liaison with UoR) and climate information service provision through various dissemination platforms;
  • Implementation of emerging climate information needs for users during project implementation.

More specifically

Providing effective expert support in all stages of climate information service provision for both the irrigation and dry land small holder farmers:

  • Conduct a capacity needs assessment and develop a capacity development strategy to address knowledge and technical gaps climate information services flow;
  • Facilitate in the verification and updating of the baselines on access to the weather and climate information, appropriate dissemination channels and products;
  • Provide technical assistance in the formulation and development of a climate information services manual with minimum standard requirements for Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS)practices for the irrigation and dry land small holder farmers;
  • Facilitate participatory training workshops for lead farmers to facilitate farmer to farmer learning to scale up uptake of climate information for climate resilient agriculture and water resource management;
  • Facilitate the procurement process and installation of relevant climate information service technologies and equipment to generate and disseminate climate information through different platforms;
  • Develop and conduct training on climate information services for the MSD, AGRITEX, ZINWA, DOI, irrigation committees, Centers of excellence.

Design and formatting of advisories and distribution of messages, based on the sectoral products, to community radio stations and other channels such as mobile phones (SMS messaging), community radio, community meetings and local posters and bulletins:

  • develop operating procedures and associated software/code development for regular production of these weather information products;
  • establish collaborative multi-institutional task teams aimed at incorporating feedback on usability and information content as well as indigenous knowledge, gained through participatory analysis and discussion in the products product development process;
  • develop new tailored products to inform decision making for food security and water resource management under the NEWU, and to be used as part of the information dissemination network to smallholder farmers through SMS-based and radio services;
  • develop information products to strengthen existing national satellite/observation-based weather;
  • appropriately package Weather/climate/hydrological information and combined with other sources of information related to household vulnerability/food security by multi-institutional task teams (AGRITEX & MSD);
  • develop systems to provide forecasts of water availability for irrigation (allowing catchment managers to better plan their expected water allocations and dam releases) and dryland crops, based on weather forecasts, seasonal forecasts and water resource models;
  • develop tailored sectoral forecasts for climate resilient water resource management, irrigation management and dryland cropping, building on activity 3.1 outputs;
  • develop information products to strengthen existing national satellite/observation-based weather;
  • stablish collaborative multi-institutional task teams and incorporate feedback on usability and information content as well as indigenous knowledge, garnered through participatory analysis and discussion in the design of climate products and climate service provision.

Facilitate access to and use of climate and weather information for improved water resource management, agricultural planning and climate risk management:

  • support the establishment of a comprehensive, functional and sustainable climate services information system to enhance the resilience of agricultural livelihoods;
  • establish and operate a system for dissemination of new advisories and warnings for both agriculture and water management through the media, including SMS and radio;
  • disseminate climate information through mobile phones, community radio, community meetings and local posters and bulletins;
  • train participants on the dissemination of climate services and information through platforms such as bulletins, mobile telecommunications, and radio programs, in collaboration with international and local universities;
  • integrate the PICSA work undertaken through Activity 3.3.3 into the Climate Services Information System and designing a sustainability CSIS strategy for the interventions beyond project life;
  • design and implement a programme for farmers on both rain-fed (dryland) and irrigable farms to promote access to agro-climate information for climate risk management;
  • provide farmers with information on available water-related resources (primarily irrigation and rainfall), extreme temperatures and evaporation, as well as the timing of these with respect to the crop growth cycle to effectively address weather and climate-related risks through adaptive management and planning during the growing season. This information can then be used to plan crop planting times, varietal choices, application of inputs (e.g., fertilizer), and irrigation scheduling;
  • organize community meetings to disseminate climate information.

Design a capacity building programme for, water managers and agricultural extension officers (ZiNWA, AGRITEX and IMCs):

  • the development of climate-related information packages for different periods in the cropping cycle and for different forecasting timescales (weather, 1-10 days and seasonal, 1-6 months);
  • the translation of weather/climate-related information into impacts on water availability for crops;
  • translation of information into understandable language (colloquial and technical);
  • the dissemination of information through appropriate media; and
  • training/explanations of how to use/interpret the information.

Build the capacities of institutional personnel to compile, interpret and produce actionable information for smallholders, and to distribute it through a variety of media, including SMS and other communication channels:

  • establish and operate a system for development of new advisories and warnings for both agriculture and water management and their dissemination through the media, including SMS and radio;
  • strengthen forecasting capacities of MSD, AGRITEX, DOI, ZINWA and irrigation committees to develop tailored weather and climate products;
  • establish linkages between the hydro-met observation network, weather and climate service providers and integrate satellite data into forecasts accessible by the centers of excellence and users;
  • support smallholders, local governments, the private sector, Catchment and Sub-Catchment Management Committees and others to understand and utilize climate/weather/hydrological information products for managing climate related risks.

Cross cutting issues:

  • closely work with the project Technical working group for consensus in the implementation of identified and agreed CIS practices;
  • liaise closely with respective Responsible Parties providing technical guidance on CIS managed by each of the RPs under the project to assigned sector staff;
  • liaise closely with the procurement specialist, gender specialist, environmental & social safeguard specialist, irrigation expert, project resilience advisor, innovation platforms and related CIS consultants to ensure smooth implementation of all climate information services;
  • prepare, present and maintain status reports for projects climate information services milestones under implementation on a quarterly basis;
  • perform monitoring field/on-site visits, upon implementation of the Climate Resilient Agriculture (CRA) practices in line with the training manual;
  • document all good CRA practices for upscaling.

Through the above-mentioned actions, the project will resultantly support effective implementation by smallholders of Climate Resilient Agriculture (CRA) and water resource management by mitigating the risk of climate-driven rainfall variability through more detailed, comprehensible and timely information.

EXPECTED DELIVERABLES                                                                       

While deliverables for subsequent years will be negotiated according to performance and the agreed work programme of climate information systems  implementation,  deliverables for the first  year are defined below. A total of 150 days will be allocated for the first year.

Year 1 deliverables:

  • Inception report;
  • Draft climate services information system;
  • Draft climate information service provision manual with specified standards in consultation with the PMU and MSD;
  • Capacity building on climate information services to the respective partners, irrigation and dry land lead farmers;
  • Draft data collection and information sharing platforms and protocols for knowledge management on climate service information systems;
  • Status reports for project’s climate information services milestones.

PAYMENT SCHEDULE                                                                       

Payments will be made based on the agreed financial proposal and released upon submission of a certificate of payment request, indicating deliverables achieved and days worked to be verified and cleared for payment by the supervisor.

Payment will be made to the Consultant as Lump Sum upon completion of work of a specific task as broken down below.

  • 10% Upon submission and approval of inception report with a detailed methodology and action plan;
  • 25% Upon completion of development of Climate Services Information System (CSIS);
  • 20% Upon completion of development of Manual on CIS provision and training material;
  • 20% When Weather and Climate information products (0-10 days, month to seasonal) developed and disseminated as bulletins, television, radio, sms etc in consultation with the RP;
  • 15% When Capacity building to MSD, Agritex on effective use of climate and weather information and products for resilient water management and agricultural planning is completed;
  • 10% Status reports for project climate information systems milestones on a quarterly basis.

INSTITUTIONAL ARRAGEMENTS                                                                  

The principal responsibility for managing this assignment lies with the UNDP Country Office, Zimbabwe. UNDP will mobilise internal technical expertise, including from Regional team as needed, to support the consultant’s work. UNDP will support the consultant’s engagement with stakeholders, arrange for meetings, field visits and coordinate with stakeholders and Government officials.

Under the overall guidance of the UNDP Head of PRECC and day to day supervision from the Project Manager, the consultant will be in charge of providing expert support in the management of all climate information services works financed under the project.


The consultancy is expected to run for a period of one year commencing 01 September 2022 during which the consultant is expected to work for 150 days.

IMPACT OF THE RESULTS                                                                       

The purpose of the consultant is to provide a specialised technical support to the MSD, ZINWA, DOI and AGRITEX Department, in upscaling integration of climate information service in planning, implementing and monitoring of the Zimbabwe Green Climate Fund project. Expected impacts are increase in productivity and enhanced climate change resilience on agriculture livelihoods.


Functional Competencies:

  • Excellent drafting, documentation and communication skills in English;
  • Knowledge of Climate Change and project management skills;
  • Proven record on similar documentation work at the National level;
  • Fluency in one local language and functional knowledge of a second language is an asset.

Corporate Competencies:

  • Promote the highest standards of ethics and integrity;
  • Support creativity and innovation;
  • Help create an enabling environment for open communication;
  • Share knowledge and support a culture of learning;
  • Demonstrate fairness and transparency.

Required Skills and Experience


  • An Advanced degree in Meteorology, Agriculture, Climate Change, Atmospheric Sciences, Environmental Sciences or other closely related field;


  • At least 8 years of climate service provision and/advisory to different users including small holder farmers and service providers;
  • Experience with weather forecasting, applied meteorology and climate change adaptation in the agriculture sector;
  • Demonstrated understanding of issues related to climate service systems and seasonal forecasting;
  • Experience in working with multi-disciplinary teams;
  • Good understanding of national and state government priorities, policies and planning process in climate change in Zimbabwe;
  • Project cycle experiences within United Nations system will be considered an asset;
  • Demonstrable experience in designing and packaging climate related messages and solutions in local languages an asset;
  • Experience working with government institutions and local communities and;
  • Excellent communication and analytical skills.


  • An excellent command of English and local language is required.

How to Apply

Interested and qualified individuals shoould submit the following to demonstrate their interest and qualifications:

  • Personal CV or P11 Form, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the candidate and at least three (3) professional references;
  • Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template provided in the link below;
  • Technical Proposal demonstrating full understanding of the TORs, approach and methodology to the task and workplan.

Please note that all the documents below must be submitted as one PDF file.

Applicants will be evaluated based on the Cumulative Analysis methodology [weighted scoring method], where the award of the contract will be made to the candidate whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

Technical Criteria weight; [70%];

Financial Criteria weight; [30%].

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% of the obtainable 100 points in technical evaluation would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.

Technical Evaluation Criteria:

Adequacy of Profile and Technical Proposal (Max 100 points)

General Conditions of Contract for the consultancy firms:

UNDP Personal History form (P11) required of all applicants:

Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability: