LAKI-MENA Consultant

United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)
Home-Based / Remote
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
10+ Years
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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Result of Service

Bridging priority knowledge gaps on climate change adaptation in the MENA region, building capacity and enhancing long-term resilience.

Work Location



Expected duration

From: 5 December 2020 To: 30 April 2021

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. The Regional Office for West Asia delivers advisory services and capacity building support to countries to achieve environment and sustainable development objectives.

Adaptation knowledge gaps have been identified as a barrier to widespread and successful adaptation actions, despite the growing body of adaptation knowledge. At the same time, the persistence and recurrent documentation of such gaps suggests the need for a better alignment of the supply of and demand for adaptation knowledge that effectively respond to adaptation knowledge gaps. This also underlines the need for better understanding of these “knowledge gaps” based on evidence of adaptation knowledge challenges that practitioners and policy-makers encounter.

The Lima Adaptation Knowledge Initiative (LAKI) aims to address knowledge barriers that impede the implementation and scaling up of adaptation action. The LAKI facilitates and catalyzes the planning and implementation of efficient response actions at regional, national and sub-national levels through a participatory process of knowledge gaps identification, categorization and prioritization at subnational levels. The LAKI facilitates science-policy-practice dialogues to catalyze collaborations and the implementation of response actions that close these knowledge gaps. The scale of actions is in the context of various subregions and thematic domains (e.g. different sectors and areas of vulnerabilities). One of the key characteristics of the LAKI is to foster collaborative opportunities and resource efficiency by focusing on subregions with shared ecological and climatic characteristics.

The LAKI has two objectives:
• Bridge to close priority knowledge gaps. This entails sharing knowledge gaps and convening interested adaptation experts and institutions to undertake actions to close the priority knowledge gaps;

• Scale up to reach new subregions. This objective involves organizing priority-setting workshops in new subregions, with a focus on vulnerable developing countries such as the LDCs, small island developing States and African States.

This work is facilitated by the Nairobi work programme (NWP), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) knowledge to action hub for adaptation and resilience. The LAKI is a collaborative effort between the UNFCCC secretariat and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) through its Global Adaptation Network (GAN).

The first phase of the LAKI (2015-208) focused on understanding priority knowledge gaps for six subregions including the Andean, West Asia/Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), North Africa, Southern Africa, Indian Ocean islands, and Hindu Kush Himalayan. A total of eighty-five priority adaptation knowledge gaps (hereafter referred to as “priority gaps”) for targeted knowledge users were identified across the six subregions during the priority-setting workshops.

In the second phase of the LAKI specific to GCC and North Africa subregions, organizations working in the subregions have provided inputs to a stock-taking exercise in response to the invitation by the UNFCCC secretariat and in collaboration with UNEP Regional Office for West Asia (UNEP ROWA) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (UN ESCWA). The exercise sought to map out existing initiatives that are already working on priority gaps. The outcomes of the stock-taking exercise identified key partners and their interventions and laid the ground for pre-engagement consultations, undertaken between June and September 2020.

Building on ongoing initiatives in the subregions, a series of virtual technical expert meetings are planned that will focus on the design and formal expression of commitments of activities, which will narrow the priority gaps for intended knowledge users in the GCC and the North Africa subregions.

The objectives of the technical expert meetings are to:
• Identify and develop a road map of collaborative activities and responsible/interested organizations that will address the priority knowledge gaps in the subregions in response to the targeted knowledge users. This will be designed on the information from the stocktake exercise as well as pre-engagement with partners who will be invited to the meeting.
• Determine what additional expertise or capacity support is required to support activities, where relevant.
• Catalyse new collaborations and strengthen existing partnerships that support the closing of the priority knowledge gaps.

Objective of the consultancy:
The Consultant will perform an analysis of all the inputs received to date through the pre-engagements undertaken, attend, and where appropriate, facilitate the virtual technical expert meetings, and draft a report summarizing outcomes of these meetings. This report will outline deliberations in the meetings and a road map of collaborative activities, which will also be used as an advocacy tool to motivate and scale up future activities. The learning and action steps from the meetings will be shared with the wider adaptation community. The outcomes of this meeting will be also included in the annual report of the NWP, which will be considered by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) at an upcoming session (date TBD) as well shared and presented in relevant meetings and events under the NWP. The outcomes will also be disseminated via the UNFCCC, UNEP and ESCWA platforms.

Under the direct supervision of the Regional Climate Change Coordinator at UNEP-ROWA, the Consultant will carry-out, inter alia, the following duties and responsibilities:

1. Prepare an analysis and summary of pre-engagement activities (10 days)
A total of 12 pre-engagement meetings took place in 2020 with organizations in the MENA region working on 47 adaptation initiatives. The Consultant will:
• Review, repackage and summarize the key findings from the existing analysis of the pre-engagement work undertaken by the partners
• Ensure that the analysis focuses on:
o Identification of priority knowledge gaps where there is deficit of relevant activities
o Identification of activities that could be potentially scaled up within the same subregion or other subregion
o Identification of collaborative activities (new and scalable existing ones) and possible institutions that could address the priority knowledge gaps
• Develop a consolidated stocktake matrix that includes key adaptation initiatives, priority knowledge gaps, potential joint actions to fill the gaps and involved actors and institutions as a key product of the consultancy and to be included in the report.
• Present findings in a clear format, including the use of graphic and visual content, and in language understandable by non-experts

i. A ‘living’ summary report, a stocktake matrix, and a presentation from the analysis undertaken by the UNFCCC, UNEP and UNESCWA. This should be ready for the first workshop on December 8 and 10, 2020. The report should be regularly reviewed and updated to inform future workshops in January and February 2021. These updates should be shared via presentations in the 2021 workshops.

2. Attend, and where required, facilitate virtual consultation meetings (15 days)
At least 3 virtual technical expert meetings will take place between December 2020 and February 2021 (8-10 December 2020, January 2021 [Dates TBD], February [Dates TBD]), bringing together organizations involved in the pre-engagement. The Consultant will:
• Participate in relevant prep meetings with all partners where tasks will be delegated
• Support communication activities pre- and post- meetings
• Attend all meetings (virtually)
• Where required, facilitate all or part of the meetings
• Based on each meeting’s participants and the initiatives under discussion, prepare relevant material (case studies, questionnaires, etc) to support adaptation solutions for dissemination prior to the meetings, including on nature-based solutions (NBS), science-policy interface to inform adaptation strategies in key sectors and other relevant concepts for adaptation actions, adaptation finance opportunities, and mainstreaming adaptation in national development planning, among others

i. Prepared materials packaged for each meeting
ii. Knowledge products (e.g. templates, policy briefs and notes, etc.) that complement the meeting report. This will include a briefing paper.

3. Develop engagement synthesis report (10 days)
Based on the findings in the virtual expert meetings, the Consultant will write a final report for this phase of the LAKI project. The final report outline and methodology will be agreed in advance with UNEP and in consultation with partner organizations, and will include the following elements:
• A synthesis of the pre-engagement and virtual consultations
• Key takeaways from the expert meetings
• A roadmap of collaborative activities, including on data, capacity building, project scale-up, adaptation in NDC, among others in addressing the priority knowledge gaps in GCC and North Africa subregions
• Follow up action plan

i. Synthesis report

4. Develop monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan for future engagement (5 days)
To track progress achieved on activities identified in the engagement, the Consultant will develop an M&E plan. The plan should include the following, among others:
• Review current indicators and identify/define additional Indicators where necessary that are specific to monitoring the collaborative activities outlined under #3 above.
• Identify tools that will measure and monitor progress on the collaborative activities outlined under #3 above
• Create a quarterly (TBD) analysis plan and reporting template to monitor the action plan of the collaborative activities
• Plan for communication and dissemination

i. Monitoring and Evaluation plan

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: Advanced degree in public policy, climate change science, adaptation, environmental management, or similar field.
Experience: • At least 10 years of experience in the area of climate change policy, with a focus on adaptation
• Excellent research and analysis skills
• Exceptional and proven writing skills and an ability to convey information to a non-technical audience
• Documented ability in producing knowledge products such as policy briefs, synthesis reports, and communications
• Experience in stakeholder consultation, facilitation and knowledge sharing activities
• Ability to work independently
Language: Fluency in written and spoken English is required, proficiency in Arabic would be an advantage.