Background / General description:
Natural hazards are a main source of risk for the poor, and present a serious obstacle to achieving sustainable social and economic development. Disasters affect the poor most severely; measures taken to manage hazards and reduce their impact provide an effective vehicle to make substantial advances in the fight against poverty. East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) is one of the most disaster-stricken regions in the world. Between 2000 and 2011, more than 1.6 billion people have been affected by disasters in EAP, and the region sustained some US$299 billion in losses, or over 61% of world’s total losses (US$490 billion) which is more than any other region (EM-DAT data as of September 2012, by WB regions).
Due to accumulation of people and assets in hazardous places, many cities across the world are turning into disaster hotspots. Exposure to cyclones and earthquakes in large cities is projected to rise from 680 million people in 2000 to 1.5 billion people by 2050. Floods in particular are a major hazard as they can have devastating impacts on dwellers in rapidly growing low- and middle-income cities in EAP, particularly the poor and vulnerable groups. In fact, the EAP region also accounts for about 40% of the total number of floods worldwide over the past 30 years. From 2000-2011, floods and storms in EAP caused an estimated US$23 billion in losses (EM-DAT data, per WB regions).
As of July 1, 2014, the World Bank Group has introduced fourteen Global Practices (GPs) as well as five Cross-Cutting Solution Areas (CCSAs) to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients. GP Social, Urban, Rural And Resilience” (SURR) covers a wide gamut: (i) developing green, inclusive and resilient cities; (ii) addressing the social inclusion of the poor, vulnerable and excluded groups through accountable institutions, and ensuring compliance with social safeguards; (iii) enhancing urban and rural development through supporting and managing the urban-rural transition, assisting local development through developing land tenure, management and information systems; and (iv) assisting in disaster risk management through issues of risk assessment, risk reduction (including flood management, urban drainage, coastal management, and retrofitting of infrastructure), disaster preparedness (including hydromet services, early warning systems, and civil defense), risk financing, and resilient reconstruction (including post-disaster damage and loss assessment).
Disaster risk management (DRM) is a large and growing part of the World Bank’s overall portfolio of lending and technical assistance. As part of the GPSURR, the DRM team in EAP works closely with clients to shift from post-disaster response to holistic risk reduction and mitigation, supporting them through lending, technical assistance, advisory services, institutional capacity-building and knowledge-sharing. The World Bank has been helping EAP countries to prepare and projects focusing natural disaster management, vulnerability reduction, risk transfer (including development policy loans with a catastrophe deferred drawdown option (CAT-DDO), and emergency recovery and reconstruction. Examples include flood protection projects in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam; reconstruction in China after the Wenchuan and Lushan earthquakes, and in the Pacific following cyclones; the largest CAT DDO Bank-wide in the Philippines and the creation of the largest geospatial database and sovereign catastrophe risk insurance pool in the Pacific (PCRAFI); as well as a range of DRM lending operations and technical assistance in Vietnam, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, and other countries. The overall DRM Portfolio in EAP is split about between ex-ante risk reduction and post-disaster reconstruction projects. This investment program is supported by a large TA program funded by GFDRR and other TFs. In the next 4-5 years the program is expected to significantly increase in emerging lines of activities including the scaling up of multi-hazard risk mitigation for critical infrastructure, urban flood risk management, seismic risk reduction, strengthening of hydro-meteorological services, and the systematic use of decision support tools, etc.
DRM in inherently a cross-sectoral discipline, and collaboration between sectors as well as other regions are keys for optimal outcomes. To foster knowledge-sharing and institutional capacity-building, the EAP DRM Team supports a range of knowledge and learning activities with support from the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). The extended EAP DRM extended team is a vibrant network of practitioners striving to integrate disaster resilience into development investments. The team supports communities of practice (COP) activities, including on Urban Flood Risk. The goal is to serve as a central venue to share resources, information and events that relate to specific DRM area.
The World Bank is working to support more than 20 countries in the East Asia and Pacific region, which is home to nearly 2 billion people. This diverse region includes Cambodia, China, Fiji, Indonesia, Kiribati, Korea, the People’s Democratic Republic of Lao (Lao PDR), Malaysia, Marshall Islands, FS Micronesia, Mongolia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Vietnam.
The Bank established its hub in Singapore to better connect Singapore’s first class expertise to Bank clients and teams and also to enhance our ability to deploy our best talent into country programs in EAP.
Note: If the selected candidate is a current Bank Group staff member with a Regular or Open-Ended appointment, s/he will retain his/her Regular or Open-Ended appointment. All others will be offered a 2 year term appointment.
Duties and Accountabilities:
The consultant will be reporting to the Practice Manager for EAP Urban and DRM, under guidance of EAP DRM Regional Coordinator. S/he will support and substantively contribute to DRM operations, technical assistance projects, analytical work, and knowledge sharing activities. Specific responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:
Operations and Technical Assistance
• Contribute to the identification and preparation of lending and trust funded projects, specifically in the preparation of (i) project proposals; (ii) project concept notes; (iii) project identification documents; (iv) project appraisal documents; (v) negotiations and board packaged; (vi) grant proposal and budgets; (vii) grant funding request, etc.
• Contribute to the execution of lending and trust fund projects, specifically (i) drafting and reviewing terms of reference; (ii) drafting implementation status and results reports; (iii) updating project information; (iv) preparing project briefs; and (v) liaising with among other units in the Bank.
• Support grant funded activities, including projects financed by the GFDRR, by reporting to management and, as necessary, to donors on grant implementation and preparing progress reports, as well as other communications information required for the GFDRR Secretariat and other donors;
• Participate in missions and draft mission preparation and monitoring documents, including (i) Mission Announcement Letters; (ii) Aide-Memoires; (iii) Back-to-Office Reports; and (iv) Implementation Status and Results Reports.
Policy dialogue, analytics and knowledge agenda
• Participate and substantively contribute to the development and implementation of DRM portfolio in the region;
• Support the DRM team’s policy dialogue, including contribution to Policy Notes, Country Notes, Country Partner Strategies, and other policy documents;
• Contribute to the DRM knowledge agenda through (i) preparation of analytical and good practice briefs and knowledge products; (ii) active contribution to communities of practice efforts including EAP DRM Practice Group and the Urban Flood Community of Practice (UFCOP); (iii) support of the team’s communication and dissemination efforts.
Technical expertise and support
• Provide technical support on critical issues related to disaster risk reduction investments, technical assistance, and analytics, including different products and services.
• Provide support to teams, as needed, in an event of a natural disaster affecting EAP countries through contributions to the post-disaster losses and needs assessments, recovery and reconstruction planning, and development for emergency operations.
Minimum Bachelor’s degree or advanced degree in Economics, Geography, Finance, Environment, Urban Planning, Civil Engineering, Hydrology, Public Policy/Administration, Natural Resources Management, or other related field.
• At least two years of relevant experience in the areas related to natural hazards, disasters, humanitarian affairs, vulnerability assessment, climate change, and disaster risk management.
• DRM Policy, Strategy, and Institutions – Familiarity with disaster risk management institutions and governance concepts, emergency preparedness and recovery strategies, and a range of disaster risk financing alternatives.
• Familiarity with East Asia and Pacific client countries and World Bank procedures, operational policies, and products.
• Proven ability to communicate effectively and develop written content and presentations for different audiences.
• Demonstrated professional/technical skills, trouble shooting and problem solving capabilities with respect to clients, superiors and peers.
• Excellent analytical skills.
• Ability to work in a team environment, but to also take ownership of assigned tasks, work independently, requiring only general guidance even on complex issues.
• Ability to work flexibly on a range of assignments, and adjust to and prioritize a variety of complex evolving tasks.
• Excellent written and spoken command of English. In addition, knowledge of EAP languages is a plus.