Consultant Specialist in Financing and Investment for the Regional Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction for the Americas and the Caribbean 2023
- Organization: UN - United Nations
- Location: Panamá
- Grade: Consultancy - Consultant - Contractors Agreement
- Banking and Finance
- Security policy
- Communication and Public Information
- Humanitarian Aid and Coordination
- Conflict prevention
- Disaster Management (Preparedness, Resilience, Response and Recovery)
- Documentation and Information Management
- Impact investing, Social venture capital
- Closing Date: Closed
Result of Service
A Regional Assessment Report 2023 focusing on financing and investment for DRR.Work Location
Six (6) monthsDuties and Responsibilities
Created in December 1999, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) is the designated focal point in the United Nations system for the coordination of disaster reduction and to ensure synergies among the disaster reduction activities of the United Nations and regional organizations and activities in socio-economic and humanitarian fields. Led by the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNDRR has around 100 staff located in its HQ in Geneva, Switzerland, and 5 regional offices and other field presences.
In adopting the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 – 2030 (Sendai Framework), the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda), the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Member States clearly identified the prevention of new risk, the reduction of existing risk and the strengthening of resilience as central to global efforts towards sustainable development.
The Global Assessment Reports on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR) serve to periodically demonstrate worldwide efforts to reduce disaster risk. The GAR is the product of contributions by different United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction ( UNDRR) partners, including from regional, national, and local governmental authorities, public and private sectors, the scientific and academic community, individual contributors, amongst others.
The Americas and Caribbean region is highly exposed to natural hazards. Combined with existing vulnerabilities, the context is one of great losses, even to the extent of exceeding many of the countries’ GDPs (Gross Domestic Product), thus challenging the overall sustainable development of the region. Additionally, climate change increases the frequency, intensity, and unpredictability of impacts, making it even more important for all countries across the region to possess strong capacities to manage the existing and emerging risks and to avoid the creation of new ones.
Based on this context, the development of a Regional Assessment Report (RAR) becomes a relevant instrument to enhance understanding of the current trends and patterns of risk in the region; increase understanding of disaster risk reduction (DRR) from a development, climate, and other emerging perspectives; provide focused policy recommendations for the region; and facilitate understanding and tracking of Sendai targets.
In 2021, UNDRR launched the first Regional Assessment Report on Disaster Risk in Latin America and the Caribbean (RAR21): Challenges for disaster risk reduction and progress towards the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030). The Report, based on today's most advanced and accepted scientific concepts, modes of analysis, and methods, takes stock of thirty years of efforts to reduce disaster risk and highlights challenges for the future, including the need for significant changes in understanding risk and its causality and, building on this, the need to rethink and innovate with mechanisms and governance structures for disaster risk reduction.
In coordination with the sub-regional Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) CDEMA (Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency)/CARICOM (Caribbean Community), CEPREDENAC (Coordination Center for the Prevention of Disasters in Central America and the Dominican Republic)/SICA (Central American Integration System), CAPRADE (Andean Committee for Disaster Prevention and Attention) /CAN (Andean Community) and RMAGIR (Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities of Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management)/MERCOSUR (Southern Common Market), the UNDRR Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean will facilitate the production of a Regional Assessment Report 2023 (RAR23). Preparing for RAR23 will rely, amongst other inputs, on the outcomes of the VIII Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean: "Science and Technology for Integrated Disaster Risk Management" (PR23) to be held in Punta del Este, Uruguay, from the 28th of February to 2 March 2023. This is so given the consideration the Regional Platform will afford to the progress and challenges faced in implementing the Sendai Framework and the updated 2021 Regional Action Plan (RAP); to proposals and collective responses to the challenges established in the RAR-LAC (Latin America and the Caribbean) 2021; and to the analysis of sustained, attractive, and valid mechanisms for the best use of technology in DRR.
The Regional Action Plan (RAP) for the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean was adopted by Member States at the V Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas (7-9 March 2017, Montreal, Canada) and updated at the VII Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean (1-4 November 2021, hosted virtually by the Government of Jamaica). It concentrated especially on Regional Initiatives for the implementation of Priority 3: Investing in Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience.
The main challenge that RAR23 will address has been posited after a consideration of the above contexts and arguments. Thus, the central objective is to consider the systemic nature of risk and the macro conditions that the region will face in the next five years in terms of the conditioning factors of its development processes; and to identify the public problem this signifies and generate evidence-based recommendations and courses of action to support the design and promotion of novel, inclusive, and sustainable financing mechanisms that support investment in all DRR components. This must be appropriate to the context and type of hazard, exposure, vulnerability, and disaster (rapid- or slow-onset, climatic, or geological, for example), developed within an appropriate governance framework and with a focus on increasing resilience.
The questions that will guide the report are:
a) What is the public problem that needs to be addressed, and how do we substantiate it scientifically and socially? How does it relate to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement, and the Sendai Framework? How can a better causal relationship be established between advances and setbacks in one agenda and its impact on the others?
b) Why does the development of the LAC (Latin America and the Caribbean) region need an informed debate on financing and investment in DRR? What should be the fundamental pillars of this debate and the main concerns, taking into consideration efficiency and equity objectives?
c) How can we guarantee a consideration of intersectionality issues, the intersectional gender perspective, and its importance in prioritizing investment, considering the light these shed on the differentiated impact of disasters on women, different age groups, race, ethnicity, and other situations such as capabilities, sexual orientation, and class, all interacting with each other.
d) Why, to increase resilience, must we jointly solve the challenges of investment, but also of funding? What should the countercyclical measures be in macroeconomic, fiscal, and investment terms to broaden countries' tax base and optimize public investment? What experiences have yielded good results in terms of investment in DRR, financial protection mechanisms (retention and transfer), fiscal strategies and budgetary policies in the face of disaster risk? How should the concern for funding and financial investment be complemented by actions in other modalities for promoting comprehensive DRR management, such as organizational and institutional reorganization to promote the elimination of existing "silos", among others? Which of the positive experiences introduced in the most economically developed countries in the North of the region are relevant for the countries of the South?
e) Do the region's efforts to invest in building knowledge, policy, and capacity to increase the resilience of people, livelihoods, infrastructure, and services have sufficient and appropriate financial mechanisms in place, complemented by the existence of appropriate enabling conditions? Is the private sector, including insurance companies, and local governments considered within these mechanisms? What are the main obstacles that countries face in securing adequate financing to address the underlying factors and drivers of disaster risk?
f) How can the efforts of different public (national and local), private and civil society actors be articulated in favor of investment that is based on the equitable organization and planning of territory, allowing a reduction in inequalities, and thus influencing one of the most relevant drivers of disaster risk? How can the capital gains derived from public investment in urban development be directed to finance disaster risk reduction, thus socializing gains from urban development processes, directing them to DRR?
g) Beyond the experiences of retention, transfer, and risk reduction in the region, which are mainly based on contingent and emergency funds (from loans, reserve funds, budget reallocations or donations) and disaster insurance or bonds, with their sometimes-required conditions in terms of risk reduction, what others are required to solve the challenges of risk financing in its DRR-resilience modality? What other innovative financing mechanisms are needed to leverage investment in all components of DRR, not just contingency, and to promote resilience building?
h) How can we enable these novel financial mechanisms to facilitate a coordinated disaster-climate approach, linking DRR in all its components and climate change (CC) adaptation synergistically, permitting more comprehensive and coordinated planning and financing?
i) How should risk governance be established, to properly consider and cover the systemic aspect of risk and ensure the involvement of sectors and territories in the design and implementation of inclusive financial mechanisms, starting with fiscal strategies and budgetary policies?
Duties and Responsibilities
The RAR will be produced in collaboration and consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, with thinkers, practitioners, experts, and innovators from across the Americas and the Caribbean. These stakeholders will support the RAR formulation process, providing information and analysis.
To prepare the RAR23, a full-time team will be formed, made up of a coordinator, two associated researchers and one research assistant. The present call for applications is focused on the Consultant Specialist in Financing and Investment.
The RAR will be elaborated with the advice of the RAR team of the UNDRR Regional Office for the Americas and The Caribbean. This team will be supported by a Technical Advisory Council and a Political Council, which will provide guidance and specialized advice.
The consultant will report to the Risk Knowledge officer of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean (ROAMC) and have the following duties and responsibilities:
a. Under the leadership of the RAR 23 Coordinator, the Financing and Investment Specialist should coordinate their work and collaborate with the UNDRR Risk Knowledge Officer and the Senior Regional Technical Advisor (collectively known as the RAR-UNDRR coordination team). and associated researchers.
b. Prepare a work plan for review and approval by the members of the RAR coordinating team.
c. Submit for approval of the RAR coordination team, the products agreed in the Work Plan.
d. Participate in virtual and face-to-face meetings and workshops with the RAR coordination team and associated researchers, to plan the work, report on progress and receive technical and strategic guidance.
e. Participate as a guest, when required, in the meetings of the Technical Advisory and the Political Councils.
f. Collect relevant and useful information for the formulation of RAR23, especially that referring to financing and investment in disaster risk reduction/disaster risk management. Information sources should include research, case studies, good practices, national, subregional, and regional experiences, bibliography and databases, interviews with key informants. For each of the sources, a synthetic summary of the relevant aspects for RAR23 must be prepared.
g. Coordinate remote work meetings with the national informants and other relevant actors in each country, to obtain the key information that contributes to the review, analysis, and synthesis of the available information.
h. Conduct specific interviews with key people and provide recordings and summaries of each of them ( with the support of the RAR23 Research Assistant).
i. Prepare an analytical summary of the current state of financing and investment in disaster risk reduction / disaster risk management, achievements, and challenges, presenting it in English and Spanish in an editable electronic format.
j. Based on the Concept Note and the Content Structure, prepare drafts of the chapters:
• Chapter 2: The LAC experience in financing and investing in DRR
• Chapter 4: Innovative financing mechanisms, closing gaps in DRR.
k. For the preparation of the drafts of the chapters, full use of the information collected, and the results of the interviews is required, in the same way, the inclusion of the contributions of the members of the RAR coordinating team, of the researchers associates and the Technical Advisory and the Political Councils.
l. The drafts of the chapters 2 and 4 must be submitted in an editable digital version for the approval of the RAR coordinating team and the Technical Advisory Council and the Political Council, both in English and in Spanish (the cost of translation will be borne by the UNDRR where necessary).
m. Based on the Concept Note, the Content Structure, as well as the information collected, provide specific contributions in writing, in an editable digital version, for the chapters:
• Chapter 1: Basic notions: sustainable development, resilience, disaster risk reduction (and disaster risk management), financing and investment
• Chapter 3: The public problem of disaster risk and financing and investment in DRR
• Chapter 5: Guidelines for accelerating financing and investment solutions, accepting, where appropriate, the variations that the themes and final contents of the chapters may suffer.
Master's degree in Economics, Finance, Disaster Risk Management, or related fields is required. A first-level university degree in combination with an additional 2 years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the Master's degree.
At least 5 years of progressive work experience in research on issues related to financing, investment, DRR/DRM, climate change, public policies and/or sustainable development is required.
Experience in research like the RAR, with national and international, governmental, intergovernmental, academic, and civil society organizations is desirable.
Experience of working in multicultural contexts is desirable.
Experience of working in contexts of stress and meeting deadlines is desirable.
Fluency in Spanish and English is required. Knowledge of another UN language is an asset.
*FEMALE CANDIDATES ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO APPLY. UNDRR values diversity among its staff. We welcome applications from qualified women, men, and people with disabilities.
THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.
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