Northern Central America Climate Risks across Humanitarian-Development-Peace nexus

United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)

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Result of Service

In El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and regionally in Northern Central America, articulating what kind of research, analysis and evidence is helpful for the local debate, policy formulation and decision-making; linking to the opportunities and relevant existing agendas. Supporting UN in developing viable policy options and plans that are linked to existing policy frameworks to manage and address environment-related stresses and risks at national, regional and trans-boundary levels.

Work Location

Home based


Expected duration

40 working days between 15 April and 15 July 2021

Duties and Responsibilities


Countries in Northern Central America – Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador – have suffered from recurring droughts, destroying harvests and leading to food shortages. The International Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, projections for the subregion include increase in heavy precipitation and in risk of land slides and flooding, coastal erosion and other physical sea level impacts, bleaching of coral reefs, degrading and receding rainforest, reduction in fisheries stock and increase in frequency and extension of dengue fever and malaria. These biophysical and biological risks are closely intertwined with local livelihoods, implying gender-differentiated impacts on women, men, girls and boys, related for instance to traditional roles related to food/water security, land access or economic independence.

Viable livelihoods, including agriculture and fisheries that are exposed to climate pressures and shocks, are connected to the complex dynamics of human mobility, comprising displacement and urbanization. This is taking place in a context where illicit economies provide ‘alternative’ livelihoods and homicide rates remain at high levels despite public policies addressing citizen security. Notwithstanding an emerging literature on climate effects and security in the sub-region, the link to illicit economies represents a gap area in research.

The Climate Security Mechanism (CSM), a joint DPPA-UNDP-UNEP initiative, aims to promote integration of climate-related security risk dimensions in the work of UN development, climate change and security actors, including in political analysis and prevention strategies as well as policy, planning and programming decisions. CSM is rolling out support in nine field locations. One of these locations is Northern Central America (NCA), more specifically Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador where CSM is carrying out its work with financial support by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

In the subregion, CSM supports existing UN work to incorporate a climate related security risk -lens to analysis and response design. The scope of this consultancy will contribute to the dynamic assessment and data management workstream. In addition to combing qualitative and quantitative data and analysis, it is important to consider how such evidence-based analysis can inform policymakers and other stakeholders. Work on understanding climate security risks needs to connect to the institutional framework and policy priorities in the three Northern Central American countries and regionally. The consultancy will therefore focus on this ‘demand’ side.

In El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and in the Northern Central America region, conduct a preliminary mapping with governments on the national and local level, regional bodies, and civil society on NAPs, DRR strategies, conflict resolution strategies; local action plans on climate change adaptation, local dynamics on risk factors of climate change, related security risks, existing capacities to address these factors, government and/or local/CSO plans and interventions that are addressing risks currently.

Explore existing data, analysis and local/traditional knowledge and how it can inform planning and enable action, based on existing strategy/policy priorities.

Identify opportunities for an analysis of global trends, drivers and game changers relevant in the sub-region and which can support policy formulation with the tools to articulate a narrative and a long-term strategy of action. Propose ways in which research and expert opinion can support communicating a long-term vision, identifying main challenges and signaling a road ahead vis-à-vis key policy processes, including (but not limited to) as regards the implementation of the Agenda 2030 and leaving no one behind.

Explore regional opportunities to connect climate security research, data, analysis and local/traditional knowledge with policy. Compare commonalities between national priorities in the sub-region with a view to build on possible synergies for joint development.

Qualifications/special skills

Competency: Competencies: Demonstrated ability to collect, analyze and synthesize information from a wide variety of written and verbal sources and present the resulting information in a clear and concise format. Excellent writing, editing and communication skills. Ability to carry out work independently as well as efficiently working in team. Combining a critical lens with a solution-driven and constructive approach. Demonstrated experience in organizing and facilitating consultative processes at a High Level.
Academic Qualifications: Education: Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in international relations, environmental sciences, development studies or other relevant discipline.
Experience: Work Experience: At least ten years’ experience in climate change, DRR, and/or conflict prevention with UN, government and or international organizations in Central America. Previous work experience at a senior level in the region. Experience with research and policy formulation for UN, government, and/or bilateral/multilateral organizations and/or academia.
Language: Languages: Fluency in written and spoken Spanish, good knowledge of the English language (ability to express oneself in both oral and written form).