Sri Lanka nationals: Project Associate - (Disaster Risk Reduction Projects)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

, , LK


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.

Sri Lanka has increasingly experienced the adverse effects of climate change over the past decade. Recurrent extreme weather events and irregular climate trends are annually and frequently causing damages and losses in physical, social, economic and environmental sectors. Recurrent cycles of floods and droughts annually cause deaths & injuries to human lives and billions of dollars’ worth of economic damages and losses (PDNA 2016 & 2017). Additionally, the disasters and their impacts are aggravated by climate change. The considerable changes in the country’s disaster profile and events in the short term too are attributed to climate change. Changing weather patterns have led to drought conditions, flash floods, landslides, cyclones, occurring with more frequency and higher intensity, placing development gains at higher risk due to the associated losses and damages. Further, Sri Lanka simultaneously needs to confront hazards such as the sea-level rise, salinization, desertification which progress over longer time periods leading to severe consequences such as a drop in potable water, loss of agriculture, food production, biodiversity and habitat. 
UNDP’s disaster risk reduction efforts aim to ‘risk-inform’ development in line with the goals and targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR). Specifically, UNDP works with country partners to strengthen national and subnational policy; legal and institutional frameworks; foster greater coherence of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and climate adaptation efforts; provide access to risk information and early warning systems, and strengthen preparedness and recovery measures. UNDP’s ultimate goal is to strengthen the resilience of countries and urban and rural communities to disasters and climate change.
UNDP Sri Lanka works to integrate issues of climate, disaster risk and environment at the country level and focuses on building resilience and ensuring that development remains risk-informed and sustainable via partnerships with several government and non-government agencies, and ministries to facilitate potential solutions for some of the aforementioned challenges. 
In this background, UNDP Sri Lanka expects to extend its support to the Government of Sri Lanka through expanding its DRR and Climate project portfolio with the assistance of various donors and other development partners. Two such project interventions in disaster data and risk management include; 
  1. Digitalization of Disaster Data: Responding to the pressing and crucial development needs by changing the way disaster data is managed where institutions lack the ability to share, analyze, visualize and use data for policy/decision making, programme planning, budgeting  and more importantly in identifying the most vulnerable groups; 
  2. Disaster Risk Management: Enhancing pre-disaster preparation for recovery by developing country-specific Disaster Recovery Frameworks (DRF) for selected priority infrastructure sector(s), increasing financial preparedness for pre and post-disaster management, and capacity building and knowledge management on Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) and DRF methodologies. 
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the supervision and guidance of the National Project Coordinator, UNDP and Climate &  Environment team, the Project Associate – DRR Projects is expected to undertake the following tasks, in collaboration with the national consultants, international consultants and BRH engagements. The Project Associate will remain accountable for the duties and responsibilities defined as follows:
Duties and Responsibilities
  • Assist the National Project Coordinator in the preparation of detailed work plans for project activities, follow-up actions, and submitting timely, accurate reports of the ongoing project.
  • Technical support to ensure the timely and smooth implementation of all DRR project activities under the supervision of the National Project Coordinator.
  • Work closely with officials from the national and regional government and entities to ensure the smooth implementation of the project.
  • Technical support and coordination for the implementation of the DRR digital solution(s) in the country with private sector provisional engagement. This task will be led by local experts/consultants and IT or related service providers.
  • Technical support on DRR data (baseline, hazard, sectoral) collection and analysis using cloud-based/digital system/solutions and assist with the completion of the online database with support from the regional and local consultants.
  • Assist with conducting training programmes for government officials and relevant stakeholders to deliver DRR solutions.
  • Assist with conducting public and/or focused-group awareness programs and campaigns at the provincial and district levels in collaboration with the national, provincial, and district level DRR and other member agencies.
  • Facilitate collaboration with key development partners (e.g. UN agencies, NGOs, CSOs) private sector, and other key technical and donor agencies at the country and regional levels.
  • Provide substantive technical inputs to synergize the efforts of above DRR projects and UNDP (both Sri Lanka and regional hub) other initiatives.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned by the National Project Coordinator and C&E Team. 
  • Support the preparation and update of project work plans, budgets and briefs and other documents as necessary.
  • Support the timely preparation and submission of progress reports, project reviews, programme evaluations, and any other required project reports.
  • Provide technical support for progress reviews including Project Board Meetings, workshops, and other meetings as tasked by the project.
  • Assist in operations, financial and HR resources management, efficient procurement and logistical services.
  • Perform any other tasks assigned by the National Project Coordinator.
Impact of Results
  • The key results will support the smooth functioning of the finance, procurement, recruitment, logistics, transport and administrative functions of the project, in accordance with UNDP policies and procedures and donor requirements.  


Corporate Competencies:
  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards.
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of the UNDP.
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Ability and willingness to work as part of a team to meet tight deadlines and produce high-quality work.
Functional Competencies: 
  • Technical know-how and demonstrated experience/applications on the use of disaster risk reduction and management tools, applications and analysis. Applications and know-how on digital/ITC applications for the above tasks will be an advantage.
  • Knowledge of emerging climate and environment challenges and development priorities.
  • Understand the existing government structure and mechanism on disaster management and responses.
  • Strong analytical and strategic thinking abilities; A proactive, participatory and result oriented approach.
  • Ability to mainstream Gender perspectives to the programme
Required Skills and Experience
  • Secondary Education with 6 years of relevant and progressive experience in disaster-related fields such as agriculture, water and natural resources management, rural development, poverty reduction, environment, emergency/disaster management including post-disaster assessments, and with demonstrated interests in disaster risk reduction and sustainable development.
  • OR Bachelor’s degree in Science, Social Science, Environmental Studies, Development Studies, or equivalent in relevant fields of Science and Social Science with one years relevant and progressive experience in disaster-related fields such as agriculture, water and natural resources management, rural development, poverty reduction, environment, emergency/disaster management including post-disaster assessments, and with demonstrated interests in disaster risk reduction and sustainable development.
  • Previous experience in engaging similar disaster risk reduction and management related projectis desirable , and preference will be given for candidates who have working experience with development organizations.
  • Previous  UN experience will be an added advantage
  • Experience in building and maintaining partnerships with Government, other development partners and the private sector is  desirable.
Language Requirement
  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills in English, along with Tamil and/ or Sinhala