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Project Associate (Climate Change, Humanitarian System and Insurance)


Organisational Unit: UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)

United Nations University objectives

The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars, engaged in research, postgraduate teaching and capacity development, and dissemination of knowledge in furtherance of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The mission of UNU is to contribute, through research and capacity building, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems that are the concern of the United Nations and its Member States.

UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)

UNU-EHS, established in December 2003, is part of the UNU system, a worldwide network of research and training institutes. Its mission is to advance human security through knowledge-based approaches to reducing vulnerability and environmental risks. For more information, please visit

The Environmental Migration, Social Vulnerability & Adaptation Section (EMSVA) undertakes empirical research on social vulnerability and resilience as well as human mobility. The section also addresses climate change adaptation, including a range of activities such as disaster risk reduction and insurance-related approaches to help vulnerable countries and communities.

The Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII) was initiated as a charitable organisation by representatives of insurers, research institutes, and NGOs in April 2005 in response to the growing realisation that insurance solutions can play a role in adaptation to climate change, as suggested in the Framework Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. This initiative, hosted at the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), is focused on developing solutions for the risks posed by climate change for the poorest and most vulnerable people in developing countries. MCII provides a forum and gathering place for insurance-related expertise applied to climate change issues.

At the 2015 Summit in Elmau, the G7 announced a Climate Risk Insurance Initiative (”InsuResilience”) to help improve the resilience of poor people to climate stressors. Under the overall guidance of the German Federal Ministry for Development and Economic Cooperation (BMZ), and in cooperation with the German Development Bank (KfW) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), MCII contributes to the G7 CRII by facilitating dialogue among stakeholder groups, exploring barriers, and assessing the needs of different country groupings and stakeholders vis-a-vis the G7 CRII. MCII activities include private sector engagement as well as capacity building on resilience, insurance and risk reduction. MCII will draw on its wide network of experts to help complement the design of the G7 CRII with regards to providing technical advice and expert insight. For more information visit


Under the authority of the Director of UNU-EHS and guidance of the Executive Director of MCII, the successful candidate will be entrusted with the following tasks related to the work of MCII, including but not limited to the G7 InsuResilience Project:

  • support the MCII Executive Director and the project manager in all aspects of research design and implementation for the G7 project; in particular support the impact evaluation of an insurance product around the question "How does the introduction of climate insurance impact the resilience of households in developing countries?"
  • conduct literature reviews, desk studies, and expert interviews, in particular on topics such as resilience and risk transfer with a focus on poor and vulnerable populations, as well as related issues including loss and damage, adaptation, and climate risk management
  • develop a quantitative and qualitative methodology for an impact evaluation of an insurance product
  • support the preparation and implementation of fieldwork and data collection
  • support MCII in its strategic engagement around the humanitarian system
  • prepare research reports, policy briefs, and factsheets
  • prepare advisory material for G7 InsuResilience
  • support the organisation of stakeholder workshops and production of workshop reports
  • support the MCII policy team before and during international conferences, including the organisation of side events and exhibits at the UNFCCC climate negotiations and others, with the preparation of submissions and other tasks as required
  • support the MCII Executive Director and the project manager as necessary to write project proposals, develop research programs, and write scientific articles

Required qualifications and experience

Required qualifications and experience include:

  • master’s degree with high academic standing in Social Sciences, Geography, Economics, or other relevant field with an emphasis on Disaster Risk Management, Adaptation to Climate Change, Resilience
  • a minimum of one year of working or practical research experience related to climate impacts, adaptation, and environmental policy
  • experience in conducting both qualitative and quantitative research in the social sciences including excellent analytical skills
  • good understanding of climate risk insurance, community solidarity schemes, and disaster risk management
  • good understanding of the humanitarian system, its actors, interaction with climate change, and its challenges
  • good understanding of the climate policy process and institutions at national and international levels, climate policy ,and climate practice
  • experience in workshop organisation and workshop report writing
  • excellent communication and writing skills with fluency in spoken and written English; an additional UN language is desired; German language skills are an asset
  • strong ability to carry out work independently and in an international team
  • proven background and strong skills in participating in projects in multicultural settings, preferably related to climate change impacts, resilience, and climate policy
  • good team player with strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity
  • advanced computer skills (Microsoft Office, etc.); knowledge of statistical analysis software, e.g., STATA or SPSS, is an asset;


Remuneration will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Duration of contract

The successful candidate shall work under a Personal Service Agreement (PSA) for a fixed period of twelve (12) months, with the possibility of renewal. The combined duration of appointments under a PSA shall not exceed six (6) years.

This is a locally recruited post; no relocation allowances apply. The successful candidate will be employed under a local contract and will not hold international civil servant status, nor is he/she a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.

Starting date

As soon as possible (preferably in July 2017)

Interested applicants should submit their applications by e-mail (to, and must include the following:

  • a cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position
  • a curriculum vitae and a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form; please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations
  • a sample of academic writing, e.g., published article, blog post, or chapter of master’s thesis
  • an indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2017/UNU/EHS/PSA/PA/24**)**

The United Nations shall place no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. (Charter of the United Nations - Chapter 3, article 8)

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
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  • Organization: UNU - United Nations University
  • Location: Kerman
  • Grade: Junior - Internationally recruited position - Junior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Humanitarian Aid and Coordination
    • Environment
    • Meteorology, Geology and Geography
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Public Policy and Administration
    • Administrative support
    • Climate Change
    • Humanitarian Aid and Coordination
    • Environment
    • Meteorology, Geology and Geography
    • Public Policy and Administration
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Administrative support
    • Climate Change
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2017-05-16

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