International Consultant (Integrating Climate Change Adaptation into Local Development Planning Process)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Kabul, , AF


UNDP Global Mission Statement

UNDP is the UN’s global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with national counterparts on their own solutions to global and national development challenges.

UNDP Afghanistan Mission Statement

UNDP focus is helping Afghanistan build and share solutions to the challenges of Environment, Livelihoods, Gender, Rule of Law, Governance and Health. UNDP has been working in Afghanistan since 1966 in close partnership with government, civil society and other national and international partners. UNDP advocates for change and connect the Afghan government, NGOs, civil society and other partners to the knowledge and resources they need to help the Afghan people build a better life.

UNDP Livelihoods and Resilience Unit:

The focus of the UNDP Livelihoods and Resilience programme in Afghanistan is on reducing poverty and creating mechanisms that help the country to cope with socioeconomic stresses resulting from limited human development, the humanitarian crisis and climate change. Since most people depend on the land for an income, the Unit’s works on livelihoods is closely linked with efforts to protect the environment, bring sustainable energy to rural areas, and prepare for natural disasters.  The Unit works closely with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) that finances environment projects focusing on climate change and adaption, climate change induced risks and biodiversity. Presently the Unit is providing quality assurance and oversight to two GEF funded Project, i.e. Climate Change Adaptation (CCAP) and Climate-induced Disaster Risk Reduction Project (CDRRP) implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture (MAIL).

Project Background:

Climate change impacts are likely to negatively affect different socioeconomic sectors in Afghanistan. The most significant impacts are likely to be on the vital agricultural sector, upon which most of the Afghan population depends for its livelihood (80%, or 19 million people, State of the Environment, Afghanistan, 2008, NEPA). More recent data confirm that 80% of the population lives in rural areas, but it now represents around 26 million people. Decreased mean annual rainfall and the increased incidence of drought will lead to reduced viability of rain-fed and dry land farming in many areas. Small-scale traditional irrigation will also be impacted as rivers dry up. The predicted temperature rise will increase soil evaporation and reduce soil water availability, which will further exacerbate the severity of droughts when they occur. Loss of soil from degraded land will increase as intense precipitation events promote erosion and frequent droughts increase vegetation degradation.

The water sector too will be heavily impacted by climate change. The likelihood of changes in rainfall intensity and increased drought frequency and intensity will lead to reduced river flow, forcing Afghans to seek costly and less accessible alternative water sources. Increased demand on stressed and over-exploited underground water sources will lead to the drying up of essential wells and springs, further negatively impacting human health and livelihoods. The drying of wells has already been observed around Kabul city, where the current rates of water extraction in the Kabul basin has already led to a severe shortage of water. In addition, increases in flooding and erosion will lead to increased silt load in rivers and reduced water quality.

Strengthening the resilience of rural livelihood options for Afghan communities in Panjshir, Balkh, Uruzgan and Herat Provinces to manage climate change-induced disaster risks Project also known as Climate Change Adaptation Project (CCAP), is a five-year joint initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which commenced in April 2014. The main objective of the project is to increase the resilience of communities to climate change in four provinces of Afghanistan – Panjshir, Balkh, Uruzgan and Herat.

CCAP is co-funded by UNDP and the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), which is managed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The LDCF is a fund established under the climate convention and tasked to finance the implementation of National Adaptation Programs of Action (NAPAs).

As part of the first component of the project – “climate change risk and variability integrated into local planning and budgeting processes”, CCAP mainstreamed climate change adaptation measures into 15 Community Development Plans (CDPs) and 4 Provincial Development Plans (PDPs). However, the mid-term review of the project suggested that the adaptation measures CCAP developed so far are only “partial adaptation” and a broader package of measures considering livelihoods in general, disaster risk reduction etc. is needed.

Adapting Afghan Communities to Climate-Induced Disaster Risks, also known as Climate-Induced Disaster Risk Reduction Project (CDRRP), is a five-year joint initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which commenced in September 2017. The objective of the project, which is also known as the Climate-induced Disaster Risk Reduction Project (CDRRP), is to increase the resilience of target communities to climate- induced disaster risks in two provinces of Afghanistan – Jawzjan and Nangarhar.

As part of the fourth component of the project – “Institutional strengthening and regional knowledge sharing”, CDRRP needs to integrate climate change adaptation into 30 CDPs and prepare 2 Provincial Climate Action Plans with a focus on livelihoods and disaster risk reduction. As this is the first year of implementation for CDRRP, this activity has not started.

Overall objective of the consultancy:

The overall objective of this consultancy is to identify and integrate climate change adaptation measures into the Community Development Plans by surveying local socio-economic and natural environment and working closely with community members. These adaptation measures should prepare communities for the changing climate and inform future development projects, thus increasing the resilience of the target communities.

In addition, the consultant will review, edit and finalise the climate change scenario report, whose draft has already been prepared. Based on the finalised report, he/she will also develop a more concise and accessible version for readers with little technical background.

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work and Deliverables:

The international consultant, with the support from the project central and provincial teams, will review the work the project has done so far in integrating climate change adaptation measures into local planning. He/she will evaluate its impact, identify gaps and issues, and improve it by conducting further research and providing more detailed and evidence-based recommendations for communities in Uruzgan, Herat, Panjshir, Balkh, Jawzjan and Ningarhar provinces.

The consultant will also develop an implementation manual for this activity for future projects. Finally, he/she will review and finalize the climate change scenario report the project developed and, based on it, produce a shorter and more accessible version to be used by government partners, the civil society and the public.

Literature Review and Short Summary Report: The consultant will review credible publications on the issue of climate change in Afghanistan, including the Climate Change Scenario Report (CCSP) prepared by CCAP in 2017, to get a sense of how Afghanistan will be affected by climate change. He/she will then edit and finalize the CCSP and produce a short summary report – a shortened version of the CCSP – to be disseminated among different government sectors and used in public awareness raising campaigns;

Field Research: With the support of provincial project teams, the consultant will conduct field research in 45 target communities to assess their vulnerabilities to current and future climate variability. Before the research is conducted, the consultant should prepare a data collection manual (step by step guideline how to mainstream climate change into local planning) and give necessary trainings to the provincial team colleagues on data collection. The data should cover the geographical, environmental, economic and socio-political aspects of the local areas necessary for developing local responses to climate change;

Capacity Building: The consultant will prepare a practical manual on data collection and the development of adaptation measures. He/she will also build the capacity of a team of around 18 people working in 6 different provinces on adapting communities to climate change. By the end of the training, the trainees should be able to use the manual developed by the consultant, independently collect data, understand what good climate change adaptation measures are and the process of developing them;

Developing Adaptation Measures: Based on his/her literature review and field research, and with the support of the provincial teams, the consultant will develop a list of adaptation measures for each community, specifying their levels of regret[1] and cost-effectiveness. Some of these measures will be included in the CDPs (see the next task for details). Others might not be suitable for CDPs due to the nature of the interventions, such as land use regulation and index insurance schemes, but can be recommended to district/provincial governments and NGO actors. With the support of the provincial line ministries and experts from different sectors, the consultant will also develop a list of adaptation measures at the provincial level for 6 target provinces. The consultant will conduct workshops in these provinces to present the list to the provincial governor and explain their relative priorities;

Climate-proofing Community/Provincial Development Plans: The consultant will review the CDPs in the target communities, assess the extent to which CCA has been mainstreamed and study the budgetary arrangements. He/she will then select from the list of adaptation measures suitable ones to be included in the CDPs. These measures should have enough details to help improve the chance CDCs will secure and successfully implement them in the future.

Climate Change Scenarios: The consultant will review, edit and finalize the existing draft of the climate change scenario report. Based on the finalized report, the consultant will also develop a summary version for policy makers and readers with little technical background.

Expected[EY1]  Outputs and Deliverables; time frame and payment percentage

Deliverable 1: Inception report: To outline the objective, methodology, tools, outline/framework of the final reports, and workplan of the remaining work for the assignment (estimated 5 working days, payment of 10% of the consultancy fee after completion and approval of the Inception Report by UNDP and MAIL);

Deliverable 2: Change Scenario Short Summary Report: The short summary report should be a short version of the Climate Change Scenario Report (already developed by CCAP) with minimum jargon. This report will be used to brief other government ministries and the public on how the climate is going to change and how they can prepare for it. This should be a concise and accessible version for readers with little technical background. Estimated 25 working days, payment of 30% of the consultancy fee after completion and approval of the report by UNDP and MAIL;

Deliverable 3: Climate Change Adaptation Manual and Trainings: This manual should be a concise and practical guideline on how to collect data and develop adaptation measures for climate change at the community and provincial levels. The main audience of this manual is the field staff who will be collecting the data and developing the adaptation measures. It does not need to cover any background info on climate change in Afghanistan or theoretical discussion of methodologies. The manual should be developed in two sections: “data collection” and “adaptation measures”. After the “data collection” section is completed, relevant trainings should be provided to the provincial team to make sure they understand the manual and can conduct data collection successfully. Guidance on data collection should be provided to the provincial teams through the field research in 45 communities. Similarly, after the “adaptation measures” section is completed, the consultant will train the provincial teams on the process of developing such measures. Estimated 20 working days, payment of 20% of the consultancy fee after completion and approval of the report by UNDP and MAIL;

Deliverable 4: Adaptation Measures for 45 Communities: These adaptation measures should be suited to the local socio-economic and environmental context with a strong focus on livelihoods and climate-induced disaster risks. Estimated 13 working days, payment of 10% of the consultancy fee after completion and approval of the report by UNDP and MAIL;

Deliverable 5: Adaptation Measures for 6 Provinces: These measures should consider different sectors such as infrastructure, disaster risk reduction, land use, water and health with a strong focus on livelihoods. Estimated 12 working days, payment of 10% of the consultancy fee after completion and approval of the report by UNDP and MAIL;

Deliverable 6: Mainstreaming climate change adaptation into 45 Community Development Plans (CDPs) and 6 Provincial Development Plans: After reviewing current CDPs and PDPs and understanding the budgetary arrangements, some of the adaptation measures developed in deliverable 4 should be included in the CDPs and PDPs either as a separate document endorsed by the community, or community council or the local authorities or as part of the revised plans.  Estimated 25 working days, payment of 20% of the professional fee after completion and approval of the report by UNDP and MAIL.
[1] Adaptation measures can be classified into no-regret, low-regret and high-regret investments, according to the potential impact of the uncertainty associated with projections of future climate change. Page 55, Mainstreaming Climate Change adaptation into development planning: A guide for practitioners, UNDP&UNEP.


Analytical skills, communications abilities, teamwork.

Special skills requirements

Demonstrated knowledge of climate change and its impact in particular and environmental challenges in Afghanistan in general;

Strong analytical skills, such as statistical analyses, particularly applied to environment profiling;

Experience in editing and publishing, preferably in the field of Environment and Local Economic Development.

Functional Competencies:

Building Strategic Partnerships with relevant stakeholders;

Ability to identify needs and interventions for capacity building of counterparts, clients and potential partners.

Results Orientation:

Ability to take responsibility for achieving agreed outputs within set deadlines and strives until successful outputs are achieved.

Team Work and Communication skills:

Excellent time management skills;

Openness to change and ability to receive/integrate feedback;

Creating and promoting enabling environment for open communication;

Excellent interpersonal and communication skills. 

Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing

Identifies new approaches and strategies that promote the use of tools and mechanisms;

Knowledge of inter-disciplinary development issues.

Required Skills and Experience

Academic Qualifications:

Master’s degree in a Science or Social Science subject, such as Agriculture, Environmental Science and Climate Change;

Trained in research skills, designing research methodologies, collecting data and writing research papers and editing for non-technical audiences.

Years of experience:

Minimum of 5 years of experience in researching, especially in the field of climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction or natural resource management;

Experience of working on climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, or natural resource management preferred. Experience working in challenging environments preferred;

Demonstrated knowledge of GEF/LDCF projects would be an asset;

Working experience with the United Nations or similar organization in Afghanistan would be an asset;

Proven researching experience, involving research design, data collection and research paper writing and substantive paper editing;

Demonstrated experience in similar assignments is an asset;

Experience writing about complicated issues for audiences without technical knowledge.

Language requirements:

Fluency in written and spoken English required;

Knowledge of a local language, e.g. Dari, would be an advantage.

Work Arrangement:

Institutional Arrangements

Under the overall guidance of the Head of Unit, the Consultant will undertake the assignment. UNDP will provide office space and internet facility, logistical and other support service. The Consultant however is expected to bring his/her own laptop and mobile phone and meet local communications costs (UNDP will provide a local pre-paid SIM card). Costs to arrange meetings, workshops, travel costs to and DSA during field visits (if any), etc. shall be covered by UNDP.

Duration of the Work

The duration of the assignment is 6 months (with maximum 100 working days). Four missions to Afghanistan – each mission 16 calendar days.

Duty Station

Home based and Kabul (Four missions to Afghanistan and each mission may be 16 calendar days depending on the on-ground situation). Any official travel outside duty station will be covered by UNDP.

Price Proposal and Schedule of Payments:

The contractor shall submit a price proposal as below:

Daily Fee – The contractor shall propose a daily fee, which should be inclusive of his/her professional fee, local communication cost and insurance (inclusive of medical health insurance and evacuation). The number of working days for which the daily fee shall be payable under the contract is 100 working days;

The contractor shall propose a Living allowance at the Kabul applicable rate of USD 162 per night for his/her stay at the duty station. The number of nights for which the Living allowance shall be payable under the contract is 64 nights. The contractor is NOT allowed to stay in a place of his choice other than the UNDSS approved places. UNDP will provide MORSS compliant accommodation to the contractor. The payment of UNOCA accommodation shall be made directly by the contractor;

Travel & Visa – The contractor shall propose an estimated lump-sum for home-Kabul-home travels (four) (economy most direct route) and Afghanistan visa expenses.

The total Professional fee, shall be converted into a lump-sum contract and payments under the contract shall be made on submission and acceptance of deliverables under the contract in accordance with the schedule of payment linked with deliverables.

Evaluation Method and Criteria:

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology:

Cumulative analysis

The award of the contract shall be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

Responsive/compliant/acceptable, and;

Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

* Technical Criteria weight 70%

* Financial Criteria weight 30%

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49 points (70% of the total technical points) would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.

Technical Criteria for Evaluation (70 points)

Technical Criteria (40 Marks):

Criteria 1: Technical Approach and Methodology (Max 15 points). This should demonstrate that the Applicant has a clear understanding of the objectives of the assignment, required approach to delivery of the services, methodology for carrying out the activities and obtaining the expected output, and the degree of detail of the final outputs. The Applicant should also explain the methodologies proposed to adopt and highlight the compatibility of those methodologies with the proposed approach;

Criteria 2: Work plan (Max 10 Points). The Applicant should propose the main activities of the assignment, their content and duration, phasing and interrelations, milestones (including interim approvals by the Client), and delivery dates. The proposed work plan should be consistent with the technical approach and methodology, showing understanding of the TOR and ability to translate them into a feasible working plan;

Criteria 5: Interview (Max 15 Points).

Qualification and experience (30 Marks) [Evaluation of CV for shortlisting]

Criteria 3: Relevance of experience in area of specialization (social sciences, agriculture, geography, environment, climate change, or other related fields) (Max 10 points);

Criteria 4: Specific experiences in researching, Climate Change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and natural resource management  (Max 20 points)

Documents to be included when submitting the proposals:

Interested international consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications. Please group them into one (1) single PDF document as the application only allows to upload maximum one document:

Duly accomplished Confirmation of Interest and Submission of Financial Proposal Template using the template provided by UNDP (Annex II);

Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references.

Technical proposal:

A brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment; and

A methodology, on how they will approach and complete the assignment.