Technical Specialist

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Erbil, , IQ


UNDP Iraq Mission Statement

UNDP is the UN’s global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. UNDP is on the ground in 166 countries, working with national counterparts on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. UNDP Iraq is part of the UN Country Team (UNCT) in Iraq, which is comprised of 16 resident and 4 non-resident agencies. The UNCT is part of the integrated mission with the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), established in 2003. UNDP works alongside the UNCT to strengthen coordinated effectiveness with the overall aim of achieving the SDGs and the post-2015 agenda.

Programme Context

UNDP Iraq is a major partner of the Government of Iraq (GoI) in its efforts to build resilience and address the vulnerabilities and shocks originating from political violence, environmental degradation, natural hazards and climate change. UNDP Iraq has established a dedicated programme team on environment to build capacities of the Iraqi authorities in tackling the pressing environmental challenges in the country. The team is engaged in scaling up efforts and expanding the portfolio through developing and designing several projects in responding to the national priorities and in line with the relevant SDGs for environment, energy, disaster risks management and climate change.

Since early 2014, UNDP has been engaged to build Iraq’s capacity on gender-responsive disaster risks management that provided targeted assistance at Federal, Regional and local levels. With funding support from the USAID/OFDA and the UK, UNDP has helped the GoI establish emergency alert and communication protocols designed to warn populations along the flood-path in the event of dam failure. Targeted messages were developed and delivered through multiple platforms to raise risks awareness of the vulnerable communities. Iraqi officials were trained on dam safety operations, supported by drills/simulations that took account of risks of the vulnerable population inhabiting the downstream. UNDP continues to help the Government to expand its’s efforts and adopt emergency preparedness measures that include end-to-end warning system, community preparedness, and risk education as well as dam safety practices.

Building on the achievement made in the past, UNDP Iraq, with funding support from the USAOD/OFDA,  has started implementation of Mosul Dam Emergency Preparedness (MDEP) Project from early 2019 and the objectives are to strengthen the ongoing GOI efforts through rapid deployment of emergency preparedness capacities, systems and tools to operationalize Governorate preparedness plans; risks advocacy at the vulnerable communities along the Mosul Dam flood path; drills/simulations to ensure readiness and strengthen emergency preparedness; strengthening of volunteer networks for community early warning and evacuation; emergency preparedness and safety measures of major dams and reservoirs; protection of major facilities along the Tigris flood plain to avoid domino impacts; and, mitigation of environmental risks of toxic and chemical pollution to reduce the impact.

UNDP Iraq is now engaged to recruit an International Technical Specialist (DRR) who will be responsible to provide technical leadership and manage effective implementation of the MDEP project towards delivering results in a timely and efficient manner.  

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall guidance of the UNDP Resident Representative and direct supervision of the Deputy Resident Representative (Programme), the International Technical Specialist will work closely with the counterparts and the partners and will guide the project team towards effective implementation of the project activities.   S/he will prepare annual and quarterly planning of activities to ensure outputs are achieved within deadlines. S/he will guide the project team and ensure the recruitment of appropriate technical experts and preparation of Quarterly Progress Reports, Annual Reports, and Final Reports. S/he will assist UNDP to report to the Project Board (PB), and Project Steering Committee (PSC), ensuring that the objectives of this project are met efficiently and effectively.

The International Technical Specialist is responsible for the achievement of project results and draws lessons that can both improve the sustainability of benefits from this project. S/he will report directly to the Deputy Resident Representative (Programme), and will specifically: 

  • Provide leadership for the disaster risks management of UNDP Iraq to enhance national capacities including emergency preparedness measures at the federal and governorate levels;
  • Mobilize funding from donors for the project, through identifying interested donors, explaining to them the importance of building Iraq’s capacities to deal with the emerging threats and risks of the disaster vulnerable communities in Iraq;
  • Mobilize actions to strengthen partnership with the Ministry of Water Resources and adopt measures to promote safe operations of dams and reservoirs taking into account of the lives and assets of the vulnerable people in the downstream;
  • Provide technical leadership and manage the planned activities for the protection of critical infrastructure under the project through mitigating risks due to natural, man-made and technological hazards;
  • Strengthen partnership with the Ministry of Health and Environment and ensure effective implementation of the planned activities of the project toward mitigating the risks of toxic and chemical pollution along the Tigris flood plain;
  • Develop detailed annual and quarterly work plans for implementation of the project, in addition to quarterly financial and narrative reports, mid-term review report, and annual project progress reports;
  • Draft terms of reference for national and international experts, support identification of the experts, and issue requests for contracting them;
  • Guide and coordinate with the project team and ensure qualitative and quantitative achievements of outputs and targets as defined in the Project document and work-plans;
  • Identify implementation challenges and undertakes remedial or mitigation measures, as appropriate. Ensure timely update of the project logs (risk, issue and learning logs);
  • Identify significant lessons or conclusions which can be drawn from the Project in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability, and networking;
  • Keep the Project Board/Steering Committee apprised of project progress and acts as Secretary. S/he plans and organizes meetings for the Board and or Steering Committee. Identify follow-on actions and submit them for consideration to UNDP Senior Management and the Project Board;
  • Ensure that all products and services of the project are implemented in a gender-responsive manner; e.g. through the identification and deployment of community volunteers, the training for government officials, etc;
  • Manage the transfer of project funds, assets, and files to implementing partners;
  • Contribute to learning and human resource development in the field of disaster risk reduction. Conduct training courses for government officials on disaster risk management;
  • Advocate and advise federal ministries and Governorates on mainstreaming disaster/climate risks into recovery and development planning and implementation;
  • Undertake any other related tasks as assigned by UNDP and the Project Board.
  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work.
  • Ability to persuade others to follow.
People Management
  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction.
  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform.
  • Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement.
  • Shows pride in work and in achievements; 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 and Organizing:
  • Identifies priority activities and assignments; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
Client Orientation:
  • Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; meets time line for delivery of product or services to clients.
  • Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; builds consensus for task purpose and direction with team members; supports and acts in accordance with final group decisions, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position.
Technological awareness:
  • Keeps abreast of available technology; actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; shows willingness to learn new technology.
Required Skills and Experience
  • Master’s Degree in Social Sciences, Development Studies, Environmental Management.
  • At least 7 years of proven record with increasingly responsible experience in planning and managing technical co-operation strategies and relevant advocacy programmes in disaster risk reduction, emergency response and post-disaster recovery;
  • Extensive field experience in disaster environments and in-depth knowledge of issues in the country;
  • Application of theoretical knowledge in the design, management and evaluation of complex, multi-disciplinary capacity building programmes involving national governments, civil society and international organizations;
  • Demonstrated contributions in institutional development, policy formulation, resource mobilization, team building, DRR training, team leadership and management, preferably in a capacity related to the UN system. 
  • Experience in establishing partnerships at the operational level. 
Language Requirements:
  • Proficiency in English. 





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development