Local recruitment: Project Associate (Climate Adaptation and EbA Expert)

UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)
Bonn, Germany
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Junior (3-4 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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About UN University

For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing global problems of human survival, conflict prevention, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 13 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions across the globe.

United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)

Established in December 2003, UNU-EHS is part of the UNU system, a worldwide network of research and training institutes. Its mission is to advance human security through knowledge-based approaches to reducing vulnerability and environmental risks. For more information, please visit www.ehs.unu.edu.

About EVES: The Environmental Vulnerability & Ecosystem Services (EVES) section aims to understand the role of ecosystems and ecosystem services as a driver of disaster risk and as an opportunity for solutions to achieve sustainable development in the context of global change. Based on research and advocacy EVES advances ecosystem-based solutions in order to contribute simultaneously to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sendai Framework, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the Aichi biodiversity targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). EVES develops integrated social-ecological risk assessment methodologies and explores new opportunities for identifying appropriate ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation (Eco-DRR/EbA) measures in a spatially explicit and context-specific way as one element of an overall adaptation strategy. Resource degradation and concurrence for the use of scarce natural resources, such as water and soil, is an additional focus of EVES in the overall context of the Sustainable Development Goals. For more information please visit https://ehs.unu.edu/about/departments/eves

Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII): MCII was initiated as a charitable organisation by representatives of insurers, research institutes, and NGOs in April 2005 in response to the growing realisation that insurance solutions can play a role in adaptation to climate change, as suggested in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. This initiative is hosted at the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS). As a leading think tank on climate change and insurance, MCII is focused on developing solutions for the risks posed by climate change for the poorest and most vulnerable people in developing countries. www.climate-insurance.org

Economics of Climate Adaptation Facility (ECAF): UNU-EHS and MCII intend to share their knowledge and expertise in supporting the development of developing countries adaptation strategy via the Economics of Climate Adaptation (ECA) Facility. MCII/UNU-EHS will be tasked with the implementation of ECA methodology in developing countries in order to highlight climate adaptation measures including risk transfer. The Economics of Climate Adaption (ECA) Framework, originally developed by SwissRe and ETH, provides a unique and flexible approach to quantify costs for preventive measures and insurance products in order to assist facilitated decision-making. ECA bridges a gap between traditional cost benefit analysis, vulnerability assessment and impact assessment, as it fully integrates all three of them. ECA is open-source and integrates a probabilistic tool that offers a comprehensive risk analysis of selected hazards, assets and spatial scales. In case of successful funding, the project is expected to start in July 2019.


Under the authority of the Director of UNU-EHS and the guidance of the Head of EVES section, the successful candidate will be entrusted with the following tasks:

  • coordinate with and effectively support the MCII project lead in the successful implementation of related project tasks
  • prepare and participate in field missions, including workshops in target countries
  • participate in the timely preparation and submission of inputs to meet reporting requirements
  • participate in the development of stakeholder engagement concepts in collaboration with other team members
  • participate in project management activities and assist the project lead in coordinating one country
  • in cooperation with other team members and local stakeholders, identify relevant climate adaptation measures
  • identify relevant ecosystems in the context of adaptation to climate change
  • conduct ecosystem service assessment in the context of adaptation to climate change
  • select relevant ecosystem services and perform a pluralistic valuation including monetary valuation
  • identify ecosystem services and evaluate how they can be included into the assessment
  • contribute to the overall assessment of adaptation options from the ecosystem-based adaptation perspective

Required qualifications and experience

Required qualifications and experience include:

  • master’s degree in Environmental Sciences, Geography, Natural Resources Management, Environmental Economics, Sustainability Science, Ecology, or other relevant discipline
  • minimum of three (3) years of relevant working experience
  • experience working with ecosystem services and ecosystem service assessments
  • experience with valuation of ecosystem services including monetary valuation
  • experience with ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation and risk reduction in the context of the overall adaptation and DRR strategy
  • knowledge of vulnerability and risk frameworks is an asset
  • first-hand experience in project management would be an asset
  • experience in quantitative and qualitative methods is strongly encouraged
  • knowledge on statistical methods and tools (SPSS, Stata, R, etc)
  • proficiency in GIS tools such as ArcGIS, Qgis software, etc. is an asset
  • excellent presentation and communication skills with a fluency in spoken and written English; additional languages such as Spanish and Portuguese are an asset
  • excellent time management skills
  • strong team player with strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity
  • strong ability to carry out work independently
  • project management experience will be an asset
  • experience working with an international organisation is an asset
  • this position entails a high degree of travel

UNU is an inclusive employer and endeavors to create culture of inclusiveness. Applications from suitably qualified female candidates or underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged.


Remuneration will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Duration of contract

The successful candidate shall work under a Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) for a fixed period of twelve (12) months with the prospect of renewal. The combined duration of appointments under a PSA shall not exceed six (6) years.

This is a locally recruited post and no relocation allowances apply. The duty station will be Bonn, Germany. The successful candidate will be employed under a local contract and will not hold international civil servant status nor is he/she a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.

Starting date

As soon as possible (preferably by 02 September 2019).