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Energy and Environment Technical Working Group Coordinator, UNOPS IICA-3, Cox's Bazar

Cox's Bazaar (Bangladesh)

  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Cox's Bazaar (Bangladesh)
  • Grade: IICA-3, International Individual Contractors Agreement - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
    • Refugee rights and well-being
  • Closing Date: 2021-10-24

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UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is offering a full-time position at its UNHCR Sub-Office, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. The Position will be functioning with the UN agencies multi-sectoral TWG (Technical Working Group), giving a unique opportunity within UN systems as well as gain experiences.**

  • Title: Energy and Environment Technical Working Group Coordinator
  • Duty Station: Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh
  • Duration: Initially 12 months (with the possibility of extension)
  • Contract Type: UNOPS, IICA-3 (equivalent to P-4)
  • Closing date: 24 October 2021
  • Start date: as soon as possible

Organizational context:

Following the violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar, which began on 25 August 2017, more than 800,000 refugees have fled across the border into Ukhiya and Teknaf Upazila, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. The arrival of refugees put a large strain on the local environment. During the initial phase of the emergency, hundreds of thousands of refugees struggled to build emergency shelters with the materials they could find and used firewood from forest areas for cooking. This led to forest areas being cleared and trees being cut extensively. Important national forestry areas which were already under significant pressure before the influx have been further degraded, limiting livelihood opportunities for local communities. Critical biodiversity areas, like the Teknaf Wildlife Sanctuary (11,615 ha), Himchari National Park (1,729 ha) and Inani Protected Area (7,700 ha) are likely suffering degradation and over-exploitation of wood and other forest products. The refugee camps also intersected with one of the busiest corridors of Asian Elephants and several other highly threatened species, causing refugees to be faced with frequent human-elephant conflicts and with other wildlife such as snakes. Alteration of landscape due to deforestation and development activities increased risks related to landslides and other natural hazards (flooding, lightning) that becomes the worst during monsoon and cyclone season.

Studies from various UN agencies have shown that upstream vegetation clearance and further degradation of stream networks are associated with change in hydrology of the area, soil erosion, downstream sedimentation and shortage of water for communities living within the watershed. This creates significant protection risks through natural resource-based conflict with the host community and through diminishing local livelihoods as a result of environmental degradation. Denudation of once forested hills, movements of personnel, products and services cause particulate matter pollution in the dry season (as well as solid waste hazard) which interplaying with vector-borne diseases triggered by degraded and water-logged swamps. This may contribute to the spread of respiratory and communicable diseases and ultimately increase the vulnerability of refugees to the COVID-19 pandemic which is unprecedented and little knowledge is available to address.

Within a comprehensive response the Energy and Environment Technical Working Group (EETWG) have brought about 500 hectares of degraded land under mixed vegetation since 2018. A detailed camp greening strategy was developed to plan targeted plantation in collaboration with relevant sectors.

Since January 2019 the piloting of watershed management options in the largest stream network has been conducted to control sedimentation, water pollution and habitat improvement by engaging the community and combining empirical knowledge. Other assessments are planned to develop watershed restoration plan for two other important stream networks. For effective engagement of the community, innovative awareness-raising options are being used to sensitize on importance of environmental protection and conservation in humanitarian settings. On the other hand, to address the cooking fuel demand of the refugees and the host community, LPG and cooking set are being distributed and pressure cooker use as a means for saving cooking fuels is ongoing. Ongoing monitoring and evaluation inform the effectivity of the LPG programming and an assessment has been conducted to measure the contribution of LPG in controlling deforestation. The assessment has found 80% reduction in fuelwood demand of the refugee community due to LPG supply.

Ongoing Macro Settlement Plan (MSP) development acknowledged necessity of environmental protection as one of the main principles, a direct contributing factor to DRR and resilience building and as to strengthen the agenda of working towards a better living environment for the refugees. It is important that DRR options are aligned with environmental protection laws to ensure value for money in the longer term and create the enabling condition for the emergency phase to smoothly link with the development phase. From cost-effectivity perspective, environmental protection activities supported by strong monitoring data would ensure activities are synergistic and operation and maintenance schedule fits within the matrix. These data and empirical evidence will also support communication of the restoration results we are achieving in the refugee camps.

To address these issues 4 UN agencies are working together with the Cleaner Energy Program of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) under the Ministry of Disaster Relief and Management (MoDMR) to address cooking fuel demand, environmental regeneration, access to energy, fuel efficiency, DRR and food security for Rohingya refugees in the camps and for vulnerable host community members heavily impacted by the crisis.

The position

The EETWG is a multi-sectoral TWG aiming at building synergies amongst stakeholder efforts and initiatives across all sectors, promoting evidence-based discussion and Climate Action activities

Also identifying linkages between the Food Security, Site Management and Site Development (SMSD) and Shelter/NFI Sectors for the duration of the Joint Response Plan.The group is co-chaired by FAO (leading the technical support on aspects related to Natural Resource Management) and UNHCR (leading the technical support on aspects related to Energy, Health and Safety).

The TWG coordinator regularly updates the ISCG Senior Coordinator and engages actively with the Food Security, Shelter/NFI and Site Management Sectors. Membership of the EETWG is open to stakeholders active in relevant areas. The TWG is an action-oriented group promoting and implementing Climate Action Activities both traditional and non-traditional. It acts as a think tank to generate an innovative solution in terms of energy and environment and provides technical advice, documentation and recommendations to the concerned Sectors and partners while ensuring a cross-cutting linkage with other relevant Sectors (e.g., Wash, Nutrition, Protection (GBV sub-Sector), Health, etc.) and advocating for and guide to resource mobilization through relevant mechanisms

Over the last 3 years the EETWG has worked alongside the Refuge Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) to address the lack of access of cooking fuel in the camp. LPG has been distributed throughout the camp and refills are provided to the beneficiaries to curtail environmental degradation. Furthermore, under the guidance of the RRRC and Forestry Department EETWG has planted over 500 Hectares by end of 2020 to rehabilitate the land. Planting has been done for slope stabilization, roadside erosion, riparian ways for water filtration, and institutional planting for medical – education facilities. The blanket distribution of the LPG with the reforestation efforts has enabled the camp to mitigate these negative impacts felt at the beginning of the influx.

The Group continues to work on innovative environmental, energy, fuel efficiency programs to meet the needs of the beneficiary and the environment in and outside the camp. Other activities that the group is supporting is the coordination of Solar Projects including Solar Street Lights, Mini-Grids, Nano Grid, and Lightening Arrestors. The members of the EETWG are working closely with RRRC, ADB, BREB, World Bank and LGED to implement these projects in a well-coordinated manner. Since 2018 various funding mechanisms have funding restoration projects, for example, 3 agencies and partners have jointly restored 2,276 ha of deforested forestland inside and outside the camps

UN Agencies

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is the agency mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve global refugee problems. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. As an integral part of its refugee protection actions UNHCR is committed to ensuring sustainable and accessible energy use and sound environmental management in its operations. UNHCR partnered with WFP in developing the SAFE Strategy (2014-2018) initiative and works to integrate these approaches in this refugee context addressing Access to Energy Needs for refugees and other Persons of Concern. (http://www.unhcr.org/protection/environment/530f11ee6/global-strategy-safe-access-fuel-energy-safe.html)

WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year, on average, WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries. As a humanitarian agency, WFP has a duty to make sure its assistance is as nutritious as possible and conducted with safety and dignity. Recognizing that the delivery of food assistance should not be separated from the multiple challenges associated with properly cooking this food – whether it be safety, health, or environmental challenges – WFP committed in 2014 to reach 10 million people by 2020 through the Safe Access to Fuel and Energy (SAFE) initiative (the 10 x 20 campaign). SAFE (www.wfp.org/safe) promotes a coordinated humanitarian and development response to the challenges associated with the collection, supply and use of cooking fuel. The SAFE approach combines solutions associated with clean access to fuel and energy, including gender and protection issues, environmental rehabilitation, health and nutrition improvement and livelihood diversification.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is working to respond to the energy and environment needs in emergencies and protracted crises, particularly in the context of forced displacement, migration and climate change. Access to energy, which is vital for food security, is often highly constrained in emergencies and protracted crises. Lack of access to energy can expose people to a number of risks and challenges, including malnutrition, increased vulnerability to natural hazards and the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation. Energy needs is key factor in the perpetuation of a disproportionate work burden for women, protection risks, conflict and tension, unsustainable livelihood activities and health risks. The technical capacity and wider knowledge base on forest assessment, restoring degraded forestland, watershed and ecosystem is an added advantage of FAO that is being used in different part of the world having the same scenario of wood fuel crisis and associated degradation.

International Organization for Migration – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people. IOM is providing humanitarian assistance to twelve countries now – Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nigeria, South Sudan, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ukraine, Libya and Afghanistan. IOM is part of the global initiative on Energy for Displaced People: A Global Plan of Action for 2030 which is a global initiative that aim to mainstream clean energy solutions in humanitarian programming which has a more inclusive framework to meet the energy needs of displaced populations worldwide. The Global Plan of Action is also supported by IOM’s institutional environmental sustainability programme of work as mainstreaming cleaner energy solutions has been identified as one of IOM three strategic areas of action in line with the Sustainable UN strategy. While in Bangladesh IOM is committed in promoting the cleaner energy strategies to replace current use of wood fuel by refugee and host communities, focusing on the provision of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) and other cleaner energy alternatives if necessary.

The aim of the position is to renew inter-agency coordination efforts in the cross-cutting sectors of Energy and Environment in the Rohingya Refugee response in Cox’s Bazar to maximize beneficial outcomes and climate resilience for refugees and host communities through promotion of collaboration and complementarity between interventions and across sectors.

Objectives of the position:

  • Develop and ensure common technical standards of activities implemented by Partners in the energy and environment Technical Working Group (TWG).

  • Facilitate the development of a common strategic framework and guidelines on the EETWG response, including in the Joint Response Plan.

  • Provide advice on environment and energy to UN operations and Partners in Cox’s Bazar, if requested.

  • Ensure coordination of and coherence between assessments and analysis including efforts to mainstream energy and environment activities in other relevant sector assessments.

  • Ensure adequate monitoring, reporting and information sharing mechanisms are in place to review the impact of activities and progress against plans.

Duties and responsibilities

The Energy and Environment Technical Working Group (EETWG) Coordinator will work under the overall administrative supervision of the UNHCR Senior Operations/Technical coordinator, with overall guidance from the Heads of Sub-Offices of FAO, IOM, WFP and UNHCR in Cox’s Bazar.

The EETWG Coordinator will also at regular intervals update the Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) Senior Coordinator.

There will also be a functional reporting line to the Food Security, Shelter/NFI and SMSD Sector Coordinators to update on activities and ensure TWG activities adhere to the Joint Response Plan (JRP) and accurately reported through the ISCG reporting function.

The Coordinator will support FAO, IOM, UNHCR and WFP in the following areas:

Coordination:

  • Chair EETWG meetings, promoting interactive dialogue to promote potential projects and resolve any bottle neck issues. Update the ISCG, relevant sectors, stakeholders on ongoing work and ensure complementary programming between actors.

  • Support agencies working in the areas of energy and environment with the appropriate ‘best practice’ and direction to improve synergies, communication, partnerships between actors for increased coordination and impact if requested.

  • Advise all TWG member at all levels on joint activity implementation and potential opportunities and impacts, especially linked to other agency programmes including ensuring the interlink with different organizations and partners working on the same.

  • Provide technical guidance and field support on technologies, planning, planting, feasibility, implementation, and partnerships when requested.

  • While each agency is responsible for their own specific activities, under their organizational mandate, the coordinator will work to ensure effective communication and collaboration across agencies, government representatives and partners to achieve overall programme objectives

  • Develop regular presentations for key stakeholders for sharing relevant activities.

Planning and strategy development

  • Develop a common strategic framework and guidelines on the Energy and Environment TWG response in coordination with relevant sectors, identify geographical and thematic gaps in coverage.

  • Lead and coordinate the monitoring and implementation of the Long-Term Cooking Energy Strategy agreed with relevant stakeholders and ensure its continued visibility

  • Update agreed response strategies and action plans according to the context evolution.

  • Promote synergies with other actors active in complementary sectors.

  • Draw lessons from activities and beneficiary feedback to revise strategies/plans accordingly.

  • Ensure the EETWG response is guided by relevant policies, technical standards and commitments that the Government has undertaken under international human rights law.

  • Ensure as much is practical approval by relevant national and regional authorities of the strategic documents produced in the coordination of the EETWG. Submit strategic documents for approval of relevant national and regional authorities.

Technical support

  • Provide technical assistance on environment and energy to UN operations and other partners operating in and around the Rohingya refugee camps, if requested.

  • Identify appropriate regional technical partners on Climate Action to support operations in the Asia region; support country operations in identifying appropriate technical partners in the sector.

  • Identify technologies and approaches suitable for the regional refugee contexts and for host community, testing and piloting as necessary, with possibilities of scaling-up and replication identified.

  • Review and provide technical input on reports and proposals from the field with the aim of verifying compliance with UN policy priorities on refugee women and children, gender, adolescents and other related areas. This includes considering the cross-sectoral impact of energy and environment on other sectors such as education, livelihoods and protection.

  • Document and draw from good practices and lessons learned for dissemination in collaboration with relevant communities of practice through online platforms and other fora, scaling-up and implementation

Assessment and analysis

  • Collect and analyze available data related to energy and environmental activities.

  • Participate in joint sectoral needs assessment and analysis.

  • Ensure that national and/or internationally accepted and relevant standards and policies are applied and adapted in close coordination with the host country and relevant UN agencies and partners. Promote the integration of agreed cross-cutting issues (human rights, age, gender, diversity, and the environment) within the TWG using participatory approaches.

  • Secure commitments from participants in responding to needs and filling gaps, ensuring an appropriate distribution of responsibilities, with defined focal points where necessary.

  • Undertake technical needs assessments with partners to prioritize needs and services.

Monitoring, reporting and information sharing

  • Ensure adequate monitoring mechanisms are in place to review the impact of activities and progress against plans.

  • Ensure adequate reporting and effective information sharing in coordination with relevant sectors.

  • Provide input to information and content to be disseminated through the relevant sectors or related websites.

  • Regularly exchange information and best practices with relevant stakeholders.

  • Manage and moderate the EETWG forum, email and file storage, responding to queries and requests for advice. Through direct communication with relevant sectors, monitor relevant activities and collect data on implementation and progress, collating into multi-agency reporting format or additional format reporting and obtain consensus for publication of multi-agency reporting.

  • Map activities and provide graphics of coverage, in coordination with Shelter/NFI, Food Security and SMSD sectors.

  • Develop technical updates/bulletins/presentations on relevant activities to raise the profile of energy and environment activities in the response.

  • Advocacy and resource mobilization

  • Support in advocating for donors to fund energy and environment activities, while at the same time encouraging participants to mobilize resources through their usual channels.

  • Support in discussions with main stakeholders on prioritization, resource mobilization and advocacy on energy and environment issues.

  • Participate in relevant meetings and technical conferences.

  • Promote and support relevant technical training and capacity building of partners and beneficiaries to enable them to acquire the needed knowledge, skills, and sense of responsibility and ownership of programmes.

  • Support efforts to strengthen the capacity of National authorities and civil society.

  • Share relevant guidelines and information materials on energy and environmental activities.

Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required:

Experience and Education

  • Advanced University degree in a related (Energy or Environment) science or engineering field of study and more than five years of work experience

  • Minimum 5 years of professional working experience in a related field, preferably experience in developing countries related to environmental protection, alternative sources of energy; ecosystem restoration and natural resource management; in humanitarian settings

  • Experience in working in humanitarian situations and proven knowledge of sustainable energy and technical skills in set-up, design and monitoring of energy programmes from a multi-sectoral and protection perspective

  • Proven skills in programme management and coordination skills

  • Thinks innovatively and blends big ideas with realistic execution.

  • Ability to solve problems, use initiative, and manage work under limited supervision;

  • Applicant must have a working knowledge (proficiency/level C) of English (written and verbal), knowledge of Bengali is advantageous.

Essential Requirements

  • Knowledge of UN standards including consideration of cross sectorial issues related to settlement planning, protection, WASH, energy and environment etc.

  • Previous exposure to UN Cluster approach, preferably both at the global policy level and at field implementation level.

  • Experience in capacity building, project design, concept note development and implementation.

  • Proven skills in diplomacy, negotiation, and facilitation of capacity building processes.

  • Ability to work, live and travel in a challenging security environment with strict security guidelines.

Language Requirements:

  • Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.

Competency Requirements:

Core Competencies:

  • Accountability

  • Communication

  • Organizational Awareness

  • Teamwork & Collaboration

  • Commitment to Continuous Learning

  • Client & Result Orientation

Managerial Competencies:

  • Managing Performance

  • Judgement and Decision Making

  • Leadership

  • Managing Resources

Cross-Functional Competencies:

  • Analytical Thinking

  • Technological Awareness

  • Stakeholder Management

Location:

The successful candidate will be based with the team in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

Conditions:

The initial duration of contract is for 12 months, to align with our budget year 2021/ 2022 proportionally. This is a full-time role with working hours starting from 8.00am to 5.00 pm Sunday to Thursday (40 hours per week).

 

For more information about the position and how to apply, please click on apply below.

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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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