UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.
UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.
Job Purpose and Organizational Context
The accelerating effects of climate change increasingly extend beyond the domains of the environment and development and into the political and social realm. Adverse impacts on ecosystems affect livelihoods, in particular those of populations depending on natural capital. Such pressures interact with social, political, economic and demographic dynamics and, when critical thresholds are met and coping capacities exhausted, can create a web of cascading effects that may ultimately threaten human, community, national and international security.
While climate change does not cause violent conflict in and of itself, it can multiply risks known to contribute to insecurity, overburden state capacity, and make already vulnerable communities more desperate and susceptible. The pathways through which these risks play out are highly contextual and determined by the localized interplay of climatic hazards, the parameters of exposure, and, most importantly, the vulnerability and coping capacity of states and societies. The risks are greatest where institutions and communities are unable to manage the stress or absorb the shock of multi-hazard events and stressors and become trapped in a vicious cycle. Situations of conflict and insecurity, where underlying vulnerabilities are pronounced and adaptive capacity is weak, are likely to exacerbate the adverse effects of climate change.
In view of these complex interlinkages between climate, peace and security, a more holistic approach is needed to find sustainable solutions. This includes recognition of the importance of effective, accountable and participatory local governance; equitable management of and access to natural resources and ecosystem services; availability of climate-sensitive alternative livelihoods; and the peaceful and safe management of migration and displacement. The possible implications of disruptions to systems must be understood in the short term as well as the more medium and long term. Such an approach can be the catalyst for collective efforts to address climate change in conjunction with other potentially destabilizing factors and ultimately facilitate a systemic shift away from crisis response towards coordinated risk prevention, early warning and effective adaptation. The United Nations, at HQ and in the field, plays an important role to ensure integrated analysis and response in this context.
In 2018, UNDP, DPPA and UNEP jointly established the Climate Security Mechanism (CSM), an interagency initiative to strengthen the capacity of the UN system to systematically address the linkages between climate change, prevention and sustaining peace. The CSM develops guidance and supports action in the field by working with UN entities to integrate considerations of climate-related security risks into analysis, planning and programming. Focus regions in the global portfolio of the CSM include West Africa and the Sahel, Central Africa, the Horn of Africa, the Arab States, Northern Central America, and the South Pacific. At the beginning of this year, the CSM entered Phase II of its work programme (2020-2022), which will build on the progress, expertise and partnerships built in Phase I (2018-2019).
The Policy Specialist will be hosted at the offices of DPPA/PMD, primarily supporting the analytical, partnership-building and knowledge management work of DPPA under the CSM, in close collaboration with operational teams in DPPA, UNDP and UNEP. A regional focus will be on DPPA’s work in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Pacific to provide support to and advise field missions, special political missions and UN Country Teams on national, sub-regional and regional strategies to address climate-related security risks.
The Policy Specialist will have a primary reporting line to Team Leader, Policy and Mediation Division, DPPA and second/administrative reporting line to Head, Conflict Prevention, Peacebuilding & Responsive Institutions (CPPRI).