Posting Title: Research assistant for the Regional Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction for the Americas and the Caribbean 2023
Department/Office: United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
Duty Station: PANAMA CITY
Posting Period: 01 March 2023 – 19 March 2023
Job Opening Number: 23-United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction-202928-Consultant
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Result of Servicea. An organized and managed information base with all the information received by the coordinator and associated researchers. b. A database of interviews conducted with key individuals, including recordings, transcripts, and summaries. c. A digital record of the “call for contributions”. d. An updated virtual schedule. e. Memories of workshops and virtual and face-to-face meetings.
Work LocationHome based
Expected durationSix (6) months
Background 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 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 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/CARICOM, CEPREDENAC/SICA, CAPRADE /CAN and RMAGIR/MERCOSUR, the UNDRR Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean will facilitate the production of a Regional Assessment Report (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 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 Research Assistant. 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 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. Organize and manage the databases that contain the information collected by the RAR coordinating team and associated researchers, ensuring an adequate thematic and geographical classification. Support and aid in the process of data and information collection and analysis. b. Coordinate the logistics for conducting interviews with key people, individually or in discussion groups. c. Organize in a database the interviews carried out with key people, including recordings, transcripts, and summaries. d. Keep the digital record of the “call for contributions” updated. e. Prepare memoires of workshops and virtual and face-to-face meetings and coordinate the logistics for their realization. f. Maintain an updated record of communications, correspondence, and other documents. g. Prepare, update, and monitor a virtual schedule that includes the main milestones of the process and integrates the work plans of the coordinator and associated researchers. h. Ensure that RAR23 drafts have adequate digital formats for the inclusion of images, graphs, tables, and boxes, among others, as well as the uniform use of citations, references, bibliography, and acronyms/abbreviations. i. Prepare PPT, progress reports and other inputs that are requested by the RAR Coordinator 23.
Qualifications/special skillsMaster’s degree university degree in Social Sciences, Economic Sciences, Disaster Risk Management, or related areas is required. A first-level university degree in combination with an additional 2 years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. At least 3 years of work experience as a technical and/or research assistant in DRR/DRM and in database management in the Americas and the Caribbean or other countries is required. Experience of support provided to research in the Americas and the Caribbean like the RAR, with national and international, governmental, intergovernmental, academic, or civil society organizations is required. Experience in managing digital tools for databases is desirable Experience to work in contexts of stress and meeting deadlines is desirable. .Experience of working in multicultural contexts is desirable.
LanguagesFluency in Spanish and English is required. Knowledge of another UN language is an asset.
Additional Information*FEMALE CANDIDATES ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO APPLY. UNDRR values diversity among its staff. We welcome applications from qualified women, men, and people with disabilities.
No FeeTHE 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.