Maldives nationals: Consultant to develop an integrated national disaster risk reduction strategy and climate change adaptation plan in Maldives

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR)


Result of Service

The consultant scope of work encompasses:
i. Provide advice to NDMA and Climate Change department to establish a time-bounded task force to develop the national integrated multi-sector DRR and climate change adaptation strategy and plan through consultative and analytical steps outlined in the action plan adopted in July 2022, building on the October 2022 CADRI capacity diagnosis mission and multi-stakeholder consultation, to be further through the consultant’s work, experts’ advice, peer-reviews and in consultations with additional development partners in the country.
ii. Support the implementation and consideration of the recommendations in the strategic planning process of the capacity diagnosis for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction applying, as relevant, international guidance and tools such as the CADRI tools and the UNDRR Strategic approach for capacity development and advising NDMA on support mechanisms and partners to mobilize for capacity diagnosis and capacity development.
iii. Review current status in terms of DRR and climate change adaptation policy, planning, investments and implementation tools including sector-level plans (e.g. agriculture and fisheries, infrastructure, water, costal zones, health, education, tourism, urban development, etc.) and assist focal points in the steering committee to identify their priorities for action and commitments for implementing a whole-of-government approach to climate and disaster risk management in line with international and regional commitments taken by the Maldives and building on existing regional plans, technical guidance and good practices from the Asia Pacific region and especially from other SIDS ( e.g. Pacific Resilience standards and Joint National Action Plans in the Pacific)
iv. Advise on roles and responsibilities of the national disaster (risk) management steering committee and opportunities to promote an inter-ministerial task force on climate change adaptation and disaster resilience, and to reactivate or reimagine a national inclusive multi-stakeholder mechanism such as a national resilience platform as a multi-stakeholder engagement mechanism on DRR and climate resilience building.
In concrete the consultant will be responsible for the following deliverables:
i. Detailed roadmap and work plan for the development of the integrated CCA and DRR plan and draft terms of reference proposed for the time-bounded task force charged to drive the formulation process, build awareness, and mobilize commitments.
ii. Technical inputs, coordination support and strategic guidance to integrate recommendations from the capacity diagnosis of country systems process conducted by CADRI tools and strategic capacity development approach and plan on climate and disaster risk reduction.
iii. Policy analytical papers identifying strategic recommendations and key priorities of action and implementation approaches to be considered by relevant taskforce/steering committee in the development of national integrated Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy and Climate change adaptation plan.
iv. Final consolidated draft for official consideration/approval on the integrated Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy and Climate change adaptation strategy and plan for the implementation of DRR targets and indicators in line with Maldives SAP and other relevant documents.
v. Communication and engagement plan to disseminate the joint plan and to mobilize commitment from partners and engagement of all stakeholders.
vi. Guidelines and standard operational procedures (SOPs) required to operationalize the work of multi-sector steering committee on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation/ resilience.
vii. Proposal terms of reference and structure of a national inclusive multi stakeholder engagement mechanism to support DRR and climate change adaptation implementation.
viii. Analytical paper on existing financing mechanisms for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation proposals for resilience steering committee consideration on financing mechanisms for comprehensive climate and disaster risk management.
ix. Workshops on dissemination and awareness raising with partners facilitated.

Work Location


Expected duration

6 months

Duties and Responsibilities

A. Background

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) is the United Nations focal
point for disaster risk reduction. UNDRR oversees the implementation of the Sendai
Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, supporting countries in its implementation,
monitoring and sharing what works in reducing existing risk and preventing the creation of new
In addition to obstacles common to other small island developing states (SIDS), Maldives’ major development challenges centre on the issues of inclusiveness, resilience to climate and disaster risks, and environmental sustainability. The social and economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic in a tourism-dependent economy could derail years of national efforts to achieve the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
The Maldives’ weather variability, ecosystem susceptibility to climate change impacts such as sea level rise and ocean acidification, and hazard risks has pushed the Maldives to be concerned about climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in all aspects of its development. Accordingly, there is a high degree of awareness of the need for an integrated approach to implementing the 2030 Agenda and many steps have already been taken. Already a decade ago, the Maldives drafted a Strategic National Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation 2010-2020 (SNAP). The Plan recognizes that climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction (DRR) have similar aims and may utilize the same tools that have proven effective over the years. Although this document was never fully ratified, the main tenets of the plan (integration between DRR and CCA planning and resilient development) have continue to drive decision-making in this regard. At the end of 2019, the government approved a national Strategic Action plan (SAP) which includes key priority policies on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation at national and local level. The National Spatial Plan 2020 – 2040 include objectives on climate resilient infrastructures and refer to environment sustainability and compliance with international commitments and key guiding principles for a development approach anchored in resilience and diversification of an inclusive and equitable economy, improved infrastructure systems and institutional capacities and conservation and promotion of unique environmental and cultural resource base.
As part of the COVID-19 national resilience and recovery plan (2020 – 2022), the government of Maldives have identified disaster preparedness as key focus on risk management Along with the increased focus on preparedness, the government remains committed to strengthen Maldives climate and disaster risk governance systems including through investments in strengthening coordination, capacity development, integrated risk information management systems, response capacities and damage and loss induced by disaster and climate change effects. The continued focus on the decentralization agenda and the renewed interest to support local governments on advancing local resilience agenda and step up their investments on community based DRR, requires the national government to pursue the development of a national disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation plan as an enabler for multi-sector integrated climate and disaster risk management system with capacities at all levels.
Back in February 2020, UNDRR in collaboration with the 2030 coherence initiative partners, especially United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) organized a scoping mission to Maldives to assess needs and entry points to support more integrated approaches to climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) and capacity development for risk-informed development
The mission highlighted opportunities to enhance coherence on DRR and CCA strategic planning and implementation through coordination strengthening, technical advice for climate and disaster resilient infrastructure planning, technical assistance on risk, damage and loss information management, and capacity development.
In July 2022, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) with support of UNDRR convened a kick-off multi-stakeholder consultation “National Workshop for Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy: Integrating Climate Futures into Multi-sectoral inclusive DRR planning in Maldives” which resulted in the adoption of an action plan towards development of an integrated national disaster risk reduction strategy and climate adaptation plan.
UNDRR has developed guidance on integrating disaster risk reduction into National Adaptation plans and a complement to the national words-into-action (WiA) guidance on national DRR strategies on how to integrate climate change considerations into national DRR planning process. Other guidance available by UNDRR and World Health Organizations (WHO) explain the rationale and suggest steps to better integrate public health emergencies into national disaster risk reduction systems. In collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). UNDRR has developed a compilation of references and tools on how to integrate climate change projections into national disaster risk assessments and plans to conduct additional technical training in the Maldives to enhance systemic risk capabilities.
The purpose of this consultancy is to support the government of Maldives in engaging all sectors and stakeholders in developing, promoting endorsement and planning for the implementation of a multi-sector, multi-hazard and inclusive disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation policy and strategic plan which will serve as a guiding document which aligns to all relevant national policies and plans and international normative framework such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the International Health Regulations and the Paris Agreement. The document should detail the governance arrangements for multi-level and multi-hazard disaster risk management and climate change adaptation, prioritize actions and contextualize approaches for climate and disaster risk management, and propose all enablers for implementing the priorities and strategies of the national strategic action plan (SAP) regarding managing climate and disaster risks
Under the overall supervision of the UNDRR Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, in consultation with UNDRR Bonn office, UNDP Regional Hub and UNDP Maldives Country office DRR portfolio managers, and under direct supervision and guidance of NDMA Maldives Chief Executive or delegated authority, the consultant will:
i. Assist in the process of integrating recommendations into the strategy and action plan from the Capacity for Disaster risk initiative (CADRI) partnership led capacity diagnosis on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation capacities at central and decentralized level and sectors
ii. Facilitate multi-sector and multi-stakeholder engagement and consultation in the development of joint strategy and national action plan on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, review and proposal of improvements on the governance mechanisms and implementation arrangements for comprehensive climate and disaster risk management
iii. Draft a multi-hazard, multi-sector, gender-responsive and inclusive Joint national adaptation plan and disaster risk reduction Strategy and action plan as prescribed by the Disaster Management Act and in line with DRR targets and indicators of Maldives Strategic Action Plan (SAP), the Sendai Framework for disaster risk reduction (SFDRR), Bangkok Principles for Implementation of the health aspects of the Sendai Framework, Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management Framework and United Nations Framework Conference for Climate Change (UNFCCC) guidelines for National adaptation plans (NAPs).
iv. Guide and assist the NDMA, the Climate Change department and the President’s office to assess most relevant multi-stakeholder engagement mechanisms and multi-sector committee to steer and oversee the implementation of the Joint DRR strategy and Climate change adaptation plan by providing strategic guidance, approving annual work plans, and reviewing progress through regular monitoring, progress review, evaluation, and learning.
v. Guide and assist the NDMA and the Climate Change department to work closely with local councils and Local Government Authority to ensure local government needs and responsibilities in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation are integrated into the national DRR and CCA integrated plan and to operationalize Disaster Management Councils at the island and atoll level by developing SOPs and guidelines to direct and coordinate the work of the DM councils to facilitate the implementation of local climate change adaptation, disaster preparedness and risk reduction activities at island and atoll level.
vi. Support NDMA and the Climate Change department in coordinating inputs from experts, peer-reviewers, and other advisors from development partners, such as other UN agencies, to ensure the national strategy benefits from the good practices and successful approaches tested in different contexts, especially in archipelagic islands states.
vii. Assist NDMA and the Climate Change Department, with technical support from UN, International Financing Institutions in mapping existing financial resources and identifying disaster risk reduction financing mechanisms and ensuring their integration in the Integrated National Financing Framework, sectoral and national planning, and budgetary processes.
viii. Support planning and facilitation of a national and at least 2 regional workshops to launch the joint plan and brief partners and stakeholders on the implementation mechanisms and inclusive governance arrangements; assist Task Force ( NDMA, Climate change department and President Office) in presenting key aspects of the new strategy and gathering feedback from local and decentralization stakeholders, in the Central-Local government policy coordination Forum planned tentatively February 2023.
ix. Formulate a communication and roll out strategy for the joint climate change adaptation and DRR strategic plan so raise awareness and mobilize commitments by stakeholders.

Qualifications/special skills

• Minimum of master’s degree in economics, geography, spatial planning or other social sciences, disaster risk management, climate change adaptation, development studies, environmental management, or related relevant fields is required. A first-level university degree in combination with 2 additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree
• Minimum four (4) years of relevant work experience, in policy and strategic planning and coordination or relevant areas with national or local entities, NGOs or international organizations is required.
• Professional experience in policy advice, and policy analysis related functions with progressive professional responsibility in areas related to climate change adaptation, and/or disaster risk reduction at sector, local or national level is desired.


Fluency in English is required. Maldivian/ Dhivehi fluency is desirable.

No Fee






IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development