Senior Specialist (Environmental and Social Impact Assessment)

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Background Information – UNOPS

UNOPS supports the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices, always satisfying or surpassing our partners’ expectations.

With over 7,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, wherever they need it.

A flexible structure and global reach means that we can quickly respond to our partners’ needs, while offering the benefits of economies of scale. 

Background information- Cities Alliance

The Cities Alliance is the preeminent global partnership for the promotion of cities in poverty reduction and sustainable development. Headquartered in Brussels, it is a unique partnership with diverse members – local authorities, national governments, international non-governmental organizations, foundations and multi-lateral organizations – which have come together to strengthen both impacts and coherence in urban development. The Cities Alliance’s overall objectives are to support cities in providing effective local government, an active citizenship and a growing economy characterized by both public and private investment. 

Since its establishment in 1999, the Cities Alliance has become a global leader in supporting strategic city planning, slum upgrading strategies and national policies designed to make cities more inclusive and sustainable. Cities Alliance’s activities have helped leverage over US$1.5 billion in additional funding. The current Medium Term Strategy is focused on Promoting Equity in Cities through equitable economic growth, gender equality and partnerships.

Cities Alliance is an independent organization hosted by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), governed by a Management Board and Assembly of members. 

Within this context the Cities Alliance will manage a Monrovia City Programme / Liberia Country Programme to support local authorities in greater Monrovia to make the city and metropolitan region work for the urban poor, through an enabling national environment and empowered citizenship. The Monrovia City Corporation (MCC), Government of Liberia, acts as the lead partner agency for the Programme and Chairs the Programme Steering Committee.

The 5 year (2016-2020) programme will involve in depth consultation, community infrastructure projects, partnership and technical assistance investments with organized civil society groups, urban local authorities, national government bodies, international development partners and research/training institutions. The CA Secretariat will play an overall managerial, supervisory and quality assurance role for the entire Programme, including linking the greater Monrovia metropolitan area to international experience and CA membership. The Secretariat is responsible for reporting back on the Programme to its Management Board members, donors, and will conduct supervision missions and receive reports from the Programme’s international grantees for review. The CA Secretariat will also actively document the process and lessons learned, together with members, leveraging further resources for the Programme.

 
Functional Responsibilities

Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA)

The Consultant shall prepare and present to the Cities Alliance Secretariat an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) including all necessary additional documentation which may be required to satisfy specific Government of Liberia safeguard policies which may be triggered by the planned Programme activities in the 12 local government authorities which make up greater Monrovia (2016-2021).  

Under the ESIA process a socio-economic monitoring framework to cover the entire project area would be prepared which may include issues, should they be addressed by the Programme, of involuntary resettlement, land acquisition and losses of property and livelihoods covering both settlement and metropolitan wide impacts and risks.

The ESIA shall be prepared in a level of detail specific enough for incorporation into the governance of potential community small construction works as well as related policy and planning documentation (i.e. City Development Strategy), to allow these activities to be adequately safeguarded. The ultimate aim is to foster on the ground implementation of effective measures during the project execution and operational phases.

Scope of Work

The Consultant will design appropriate measures to avoid, mitigate, offset or compensate such impacts where possible and provide instruments for their implementation in form of environmental and social management and monitoring plans. This study includes all necessary assessments relating to potentially triggered safeguard policies from the Programme’s activities.

The Consultant shall be responsible for carrying out all necessary preparatory studies, field work, research and investigations (including the generation of new field data, as deemed necessary or appropriate) to compile the information required for the report. This includes the preparation of designs and tender documents for community infrastructure and slum upgrading projects and the monitoring of subcontracted activities under the Programme.

Initial Social and Environmental Screening Report

The Consultant shall assess the environmental and social impacts in accordance with Liberian environmental laws and regulations, with international good practice, as well as the World Bank Safeguard Policies (available on the World Bank external web site) in Liberia. These may be supplemented by similar policies and practices required by other International Financing Institutions (IFIs), such as the African Development Bank, and development partners active in Liberia such as USAID.

During the initial phase of the environmental and social assessment the Consultant will – in consultation with the Cities Alliance Secretariat – confirm which Safeguard Policies are triggered and include the appropriate documentation into the project deliverables. The purpose of an initial screening of the current environmental and social situation is to gain an overall understanding of the local baseline situation and the Programme and its supported projects current and potential future social and environmental impacts and provide an overview of the range and depth of issues to be subsequently studied in detail under the ESIA. This overview will set the focus for further studies, data collection or other resources that will be required for the conduct of the ESIA.

A preliminary stakeholder analysis will be conducted, indicating possible specialized interests and conflicts. The consultant will meet with representatives of the key stakeholders to review the findings of the preliminary assessment and receive feedback on any issues they feel are missing. Based on this stakeholder assessment, the Consultant will recommend the main channels and issues that are needed to engage in effective communication with these groups.

The report prepared during this initial assessment will:

  • Review and recognize past environmental/social performance and liabilities/risks
  • Elaborate a preliminary inventory of environmental and social impacts of the Programme’s activities regarding to community infrastructure and housing in greater Monrovia

In this initial phase all possible safeguards related impacts shall be identified and quantified as far as possible, albeit for some costs in terms of order of magnitude, for inclusion in the project cost estimate. The long term and irreversible impacts and those which cannot be mitigated shall be identified and analyzed as a priority.

The environmental screening will encompass direct and indirect impacts of the project. The scope of the screening will extend beyond the project site to upstream and downstream impacts.

The social screening will review land policy, land cadastre and other official documents, verify the population census, take stock of the land use in a screening manner, discuss with local authorities and community leaders the likely scale of socioeconomic impacts for communities potentially impacted by the Programme.

ESIA Report

The ESIA will build on results from the screening environmental and social screenings, but the level of detail and risk analysis shall be higher. The ESIA will be developed for greater Monrovia and shall contain a detailed identification of the base-line situation and of expected impacts of the proposed project. The ESIA shall include both a Mitigation Plan and a Monitoring Plan.

Activities for both environmental and social aspects shall run in parallel and be synchronized with particular reference to integration of environmental and social measures that may affect the design and/or costs of project activities.

A proposed structure for the ESIA is outlined below:

  • Executive Summary and Conclusions
  • Policy, Legal and Administrative Framework – Discuss the policy, legal and administrative framework and requirements (e.g. Government of Liberia, World Bank, relevant international environmental agreements, etc) as well as detailed stakeholder mapping.
  • Programme Description – describe the proposed programme and related projects and include the following information as relevant: location; general layout; size, capacity, etc; preconstruction activities; project / construction history, construction activities; schedule, staffing and support; facilities and services; operations; required off-site investments; and life span. Note: this is not an exhaustive list.
  • Baseline Data – assemble, evaluate and present baseline data on the relevant environmental characteristics of the study area including the physical, environmental, cultural property and socio-economic conditions. Any changes anticipated before the Programme commences should also be identified.
  • Environmental Impacts – determine and quantify where possible the significant positive and negative impacts, direct and indirect impacts, and immediate and long term impacts associated with the Programme’s activities. Identify those that are unavoidable or irreversible. Identify mitigation measures and explore opportunities for environmental enhancement. Characterize the extent and quality of available data.
  • Social Impacts – determine and quantify where possible the significant positive and negative impacts, direct and indirect impacts, and immediate and long term impacts associated with the Programme’s activities. Identify those that are unavoidable or irreversible. Identify mitigation measures and explore opportunities for environmental enhancement. Characterize the extent and quality of available data.
  • Analysis of Risk and Programmtic Alternatives – Systematically compare feasible alternatives. The comparative analysis should address (and quantify where possible): the environmental impacts; the feasibility of impact mitigation; capital and recurrent costs; the suitability of options under local conditions; related institutional, training and monitoring requirements. State the basis for selecting the proposed design, including the minimization of risk.
  • Instrumentation and Monitoring Framework – This will include a set of clear, measurable indicators to analyze the impact that the Programme will have on the communities. The indicators will differ over the Programme cycle (short and long term) as well as for different groups (impacts on resettlers different from hosts etc.). The framework will also indicate the time-frame where the indicator is relevant, the methodology to collect information for the indicator, the primary informants and the relative weight of the indicator. This framework will have a heavy focus on qualitative methods and indicators to contextualize quantitative data, thereby reflecting the mix of methods recommended for monitoring. There should be clarity on the institutional responsibilities for M&E with a balanced use of Government and civil society represented in the responsibility matrix.

3. Monitoring and Progress Controls

Output 1. Inception report – Timeframe (weeks from the date of commencement of services): 2 weeks

Output 2. Environmental and Social Screening report: 10 weeks

Output 3. Draft ESIA report: Timeframe: 18 weeks

Output 4. Final ESIA report: Timeframe: 22 weeks

The Cities Alliance Secretariat reserves 2 weeks review time for submission and approval of each output (included in the timeframe above).

Competencies
  • Familiarity with the work of the Cities Alliance and other multilateral, bilateral and civil society development partners in urban development
  • Strong understanding of social and environmental impact assessment, risk management and results-based management including M&E

Travel

  • Willingness to travel to Liberia required.
SKILLS
  • Experience in screening complex multi partner technical assistance projects and programmes for environmental and social risks
  • Work experience in Africa on sustainable and inclusive urban development, with additional experience in other developing regions an advantage
  • Experience working with UN agencies and/or other multilateral development institutions on M&E and Risk Management Frameworks
  • PRINCE2 Foundation or a similar project management certification (i.e. PMBOK, PMP, PMI) an asset
Education

University master’s degree in a relevant field.
Experience
  • A minimum of 15 years of professional experience in producing environmental and social impact assessments for international agencies 
  • Experience in screening complex multi partner technical assistance projects and programmes for environmental and social risks
  • Work experience in Africa on sustainable and inclusive urban development, with additional experience in other developing regions an advantage
  • Experience working with UN agencies and/or other multilateral development institutions on M&E and Risk Management Frameworks
  • PRINCE2 Foundation or a similar project management certification (i.e. PMBOK, PMP, PMI) an asset
Languages

·        Fluency in written and spoken English is required

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type:  INDIVIDUAL CONTRACTOR AGREEMENT
Contract level: INTERNATIONAL SPECIALIST LEVEL 4
Contract duration: Six (6) months.

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:
https://www.unops.org/english/Opportunities/job-opportunities/what-we-offer/Pages/Individual-Contractor-Agreements.aspx 

 
Additional Considerations
  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.
Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

APPLICANTS MUST INCLUDE A COVER LETTER WITH THEIR APPLICATIONS.

 

UNOPS/Cities Alliance IS DEDICATED TO THE GOAL OF BUILDING A GENDER BALANCED, CULTURALLY DIVERSE TEAM COMMITTED TO WORKING IN A MULTICULTURAL ENVIRONMENT. WE THEREFORE AIM TO ATTRACT QUALIFIED WOMEN CANDIDATES, WHO ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO APPLY


POSITION TYPE

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EXPERIENCE-LEVEL

DEGREE REQUIRED