Local Expert on Biological Hazards Risk Assessment
Albania is a disaster-prone country. The four main hazards affecting the country are earthquakes, floods, forest fires and landslides. The International Disaster Database (EM-DAT) shows that, during 1979-2019, floods accounted for the major share of disaster events (38%), followed by earthquakes (15%). According to the annual World Risk Report (BEH-IFHV, 2020), which calculates the Disaster Risk Index due to earthquakes, storms, floods, droughts and sea-level rise for 181 countries in the world based on exposure and vulnerability (susceptibility, and coping and adaptive capacities), Albania has a high-risk index and ranks first in Europe and 60st in the world.
Biological hazards are of organic origin or conveyed by biological vectors, including pathogenic microorganisms, toxins and bioactive substances. Examples are bacteria, viruses or parasites, as well as venomous wildlife and insects, poisonous plants, and mosquitoes carrying disease-causing agents. These hazards are usually the result of a natural occurrence but can also result from deliberate or accidental release.
Biological hazards also pose a risk to animals, including livestock, and to plants. The consequences of a biological hazardous event may include severe economic and environmental losses. Some examples of recent large outbreaks, epidemics or pandemics due to biological hazards either on their own or following a disaster are: the Ebola Virus Disease (2013-2016), the ongoing outbreak of Zika virus infection, outbreaks of yellow fever (2016), and the ongoing Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic (2020-present).
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic situation has resulted in severe global social and economic disruption, including the largest global recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It has led to widespread supply shortages exacerbated by panic buying, agriculture disruption, food shortages, and decreased emissions of pollutants.
In Albania, the total number of affected by coronaviruses is 163,404 people, and 2,587 deaths. In the second quarter of 2020, Albania had an economic contraction of 10.2%. This recession was first driven by a contraction in investments, private and public consumption, as well as a large fall in exports of 35%. Trade, transport and hospitality services contributed to the recession with a 27% decrease. As for the employment rates, there was a loss of 34000 jobs and an increase of the unemployment rate by 12.5%, showing a deterioration of the labor market in Albania.
UNDP response on the pandemic situation was immediate and together with the UN family and other partners started to work on three priorities: supporting the health response including the procurement and supply of essential health products, under WHO’s leadership, strengthening crisis management and response, and addressing critical social and economic impacts.
The occurrence of different types of hazards impacts the society, economy and environment in the country, deteriorating country risk profile. Increased vulnerability follows increased physical exposure of people and assets. Higher levels of exposure are a result of many factors including a lack of integration of disaster risk criteria into development planning generally and at all levels, and a lack of compliance with existent safety norms and standards.
RESEAL project, intends to support the efforts of the Government of Albania for improving the disaster risk management (DRM) system in the country. The overall objective of the project is to strengthen Albania’s DRM system and support country’s efforts in becoming a fully-fledged member of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The project is in line with promoting the implementation of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) and is developed based on the Albania’s earthquake PDNA recommendations. Also, in light of the severe and acute public health emergency due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, measures related to risk preparedness and risk mitigation of biological hazards will be provided.
The project is built upon the results of an ongoing two-tier UNDP pilots i) National DRR Capacity Assessment and ii) pilot intervention in Lezha Municipality.
At central level, the findings of the DRR Capacity Assessment would facilitate the process of strengthening DRM policy framework through drafting of the National DRR Platform for DRR and the National DRR Strategy and its Action Plan. During the capacity assessment a parallel process focused on preparedness and response capacities related to management of biological hazards as a national and community priority. It has been recognized as part of the Sendai Framework and is globally addressed under the International Health Regulations. Civil Emergency Plans will be developed based on disaster risk reduction strategies, disaster risk assessment documents, civil protection capacities, new expert findings, as well as experiences gained in disaster management. At the institutional level, the project supports institutional strengthening of the new Civil Protection Agency (NCPA), whereas for creating an enabling framework for DRR, the project will further support membership to EUCPM.
Therefore, UNDP is seeking for qualified expertise to continue and expand its work in the area of DRR at national level and ensure the continuity and coherence through building upon the results and progress made in 2021. In this respect, the services of a Local Expert on Biological Hazards Risk Assessment are highly demanded for the continuation.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Local Expert on Biological Hazards Risk Assessment will work in close cooperation with the International Expert under the direct supervision of RESEAL Project Manager and in close coordination with UNDP Programme Officer for Environment and Climate Change to perform the following duties:
General duties of the Consultant
- Carry out a comprehensive biological hazards risk assessment in the study area;
- Build the capacities of the interinstitutional working subgroup to undertake similar assessments in the future;
- Provide specific recommendations on how to improve the biological hazards resilience;
More specifically the Consultant will:
- Be working with the project team, international and other national experts on risk assessment processes;
- Make necessary arrangements regarding meeting and interviews with relevant actors involved in the biological hazards risk assessment exercise;
- Provide necessary support in organization and management of overall assessment process;
- Organize introductory meetings with partners from the interinstitutional working subgroup on biological hazards risk assessment, and other relevant stakeholders to create a common platform for dialogue on capacity development;
- Plan a schedule of work for the risk assessment process and propose a methodology for the biological hazards risk assessment;
- Conduct a workshop with representatives of the interinstitutional working subgroup on infectious diseases (epidemic, pandemic) risk assessment, as well as other relevant stakeholders within the subgroup, to present and get feedback on the evaluation methodology and schedule of work;
- Assess biological hazards exposure;
- Assess biological hazards vulnerability and the potential from biological hazards;
- Organize and facilitate workshops, meetings and training sessions to relevant stakeholders to develop their capacities on biological hazards risk assessment;
- Explain the value and importance of biological hazards and risk assessments to relevant stakeholders, as well as the key steps and process, data requirements, challenges, implementation arrangements of the process, etc;
- Provide technical guidance and support for supervision of the implementation of biological hazards risk assessment;
- Review technical reports of the outcomes of biological hazards and risk assessment to verify if they are technically sound;
- Support the documentation of lessons learned and development of guideline on implementation of biological hazards risk assessment process for future use;
- Provide administrative and technical support in preparing reports, presentations, brochures, guidance notes related to biological hazards risk assessment for meeting, seminars, forums, trainings, etc.;
- Contribute to the preparation of the biological hazards risk assessment report, endorse it with the working subgroup, and present it to the Government for adoption;
- Other activities and functions in line with the main responsibilities and processes.
If unforeseen travel outside the Duty Station not required by the Terms of Reference is requested by UNDP, and upon prior written agreement, such travel shall be at UNDP’s expense and the Individual Contractor shall receive a per diem not to exceed United Nations daily subsistence allowance rate in such other location(s).
3 - Deliverables
Although almost all below listed deliverables are part of teamwork, the Consultant should directly contribute and be instrumental in ensuring the following deliverables are completed.
Deliverable 1 (D1)
- Inception report outlining:
- information on past biological hazards to understand the mechanisms, causes and damages;
- data availability for biological hazards risk mapping;
- proposed methodology for assessing risk based on an analysis of hazards, exposure, vulnerability and capacity;
- work plan, detailed timeline, milestones, site visits including proposed national and international staffing.
Deliverable 2 (D2)
- A synthesis report on Biologic Hazard Assessment and Risk Mapping covering:
- A non-technical executive summary;
- Overall description of the country and/or study area including geography, population, economy, agriculture, livelihoods, infrastructure and environment;
- Description of community vulnerability, vulnerable groups and the drivers of vulnerability;
- A comprehensive profile of each hazard, highlighting hazard prone areas, characteristics of hazards, plausible hazard intensity maps, and possible trends in the context of climate change;
- Technical recommendations for transfer of knowledge and data to local stakeholders and for ensuring continuing hazard assessments;
- Detailed explanation of the hazard assessment and mapping methodology for each hazard.
Deliverable 3 (D3)
- Detailed technical report on the process, calculations and models used for development of the hazard scenarios, as well as for the biological hazard prone areas identification and zoning;
- A set of digital biological hazard datasets in GIS formats;
Deliverable 4 (D4)
- A well-structured documentation of all the methodologies used in the study;
- Guidelines and training manual developed for the whole assessment process;
- A training for DRR decision-makers in government to ensure knowledge and skills transfer about risk assessments
- Completion and submission of the final report summarizing the result and giving relevant recommendations
Core competencies and values:
- Demonstrates integrity and fairness by modelling UN values and ethical standards;
- Demonstrates professional competence and is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results;
- Display cultural, gender, nationality, religion and age sensitivity and adaptability.
- Demonstrated analytical skills to identify obtain and synthesize information from various sources and formulate objectives and conclusions;
- Understanding of public information management and financial tools in disaster risk management;
- Demonstrated technical skills and work experience on Disaster Risk Management with a special focus on biological hazards risk assessment;
- Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to liaise effectively with government officials, community partners, as well as representatives of international organizations;
- Advanced computer skills (especially Microsoft office applications) and the ability to use information technologies as a tool and resource.
Required Skills and Experience
Advanced degree on biology, microbiology, biological engineering, and/or any related relevant field of study
- A minimum of 7 years in the area of public;
- Demonstrated outstanding technical expertise as relevant for the respective assignments;
- Direct experiences working with biological hazards disaster management activities would be preferred;
- Country specific knowledge is a must;
- Experience in working with academia, government agencies in Albania, development partners and or UN agencies would be an added value.
Fluency in Albanian and English, with excellent drafting, writing and presentation skills is required.
6 - Payment Schedule:
- First payment – 20%
That is upon completion of deliverables D1
- Second payment - 40%
Upon completion of deliverables D2
- Third payment – 30%
Upon completion of deliverables D3
UNDP applies a fair and transparent selection process that would consider both the technical qualification of Individual Consultants as well as their financial proposals. The contract will be awarded to the candidate whose offer:
- Is deemed technically responsive / compliant / acceptable (only technically responsive applications / candidates will be considered for the financial evaluation)
- And has obtained the highest combined technical and financial scores.
Technical Criteria - 70% of total evaluation – max points: 70
Criteria A: Education Background – max points: 20
Criteria B: Relevance of work experience – max points: 30
Criteria C: Expertise in conducting UNDAF evaluations/and or other programme reviews - max points 20
Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation – max points: 30
Interested applicants are advised to carefully study all sections of this ToRs and ensure that they meet the general requirements as well as specific qualifications described. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials.
The application should contain:
- Cover letter explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for the advertised position. Please paste the letter into the "Resume and Motivation" section of the electronic application.
- Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability & Detailed Financial Proposal - please fill in the attached form. Download Here (kindly use Firefox browser)
- Filled P11 form including past experience in similar projects and contact details of referees, please upload the P11 instead of your CV. Download Here (kindly use Firefox browser)
- Financial Proposal in ALL*- Specify a Total Lump Sum in Albanian Lek for the tasks specified in this announcement. The attached template may be used - Download Here (kindly use Firefox browser) Please note that the financial proposal is all-inclusive and shall consider various expenses incurred by the consultant during the contract period (e.g. fee and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services).
- Copy of Diplomas and copy of Passport.
- Technical proposal – specifying the methodology which the consultant will employ to conduct this assignment.
*Kindly note that Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability and Financial Proposal are two separate documents and should be both part of your application.
How to Submit the Application:
To submit your application online, please follow the steps below:
- Download and complete the UN Personal History Form (P11) for Service Contracts (SCs) and Individual Contracts (ICs); In the P11 Form make sure to include Email Addresses of the Persons who are willing to provide References on your past experience in working with them.
- Merge your UN Personal History Form (P11) for Service Contracts (SCs) and Individual Contracts (ICs), Financial Proposal Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability and cover letter into a single file. The system does not allow for more than one attachment to be uploaded;
- Click on the Job Title (job vacancy announcement);
- Click “Apply Now” button, fill in necessary information on the first page, and then click “Submit Application;”
- Upload your application/single file as indicated above with the merged documents (underlined above);
- You will receive an automatic response to your email confirming receipt of your application by the system.
Due to large number of applications we receive, we are able to inform only the successful candidates about the outcome or status of the selection process.
UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.