UN Volunteer — Urban Risk Management Specialist with UNDP in Ethiopia

Country: Ethiopia
Organization: UN Volunteers
Closing date: 15 Mar 2021

Full Description of Assignment: https://bit.ly/3tI2rKE

Eligibility criteria

Minimum age: 35 years old. Nationals of the country of assignment are not eligible, except the assignments in Headquarters duty stations.

Description of task

Within the delegated authority and under the supervision of UNDP Resilience Project Manager and the the overall guidance of the Head of Division for Environment, Climate Change, Water and Land Management and the day-to-day direction of the Technical Coordinator of the Disaster Risk Reduction Unit, the Urban Risk Management Specialist will provide high quality technical support in areas such as urban risk assessment, early warning systems, preparedness for response and recovery as well as integration of disaster and climate risks in urban planning, infrastructure development and recovery, through coherent policy, strategic and programme advisory services, at the regional and national level, as per the requirements of the AUC.

The UNV will support the AUC in establishing an interdepartmental taskforce on Disaster Risk Reduction with focus on urban resilience and mainstreaming of DRR in relevant AUC Departments, developing an African roadmap on urban risk management, developing and rolling out guidelines for Regional Economic Commissions (RECs) and Member States on urban risk management.

The UNV Urban Risk Management Specialist will be responsible but not limited to the following:

  • Substantive delivery of urban risk management related technical assistance, and policy and programme support

  • Provide technical support to the development of the AUC guidelines for Urban Risk Management.

  • Provide technical inputs for the design, development, and implementation of urban risk management and resilience building programmes at regional and national levels through the RECs as required.

  • Develop an African roadmap on urban risk management and guidelines, and support rolling out of the guidelines in RECs and Member States with initial piloting in the Sahel;

  • Support AUC to implement the project “strengthening capacities for disaster risk reduction and adaptation for Resilience in the Sahel Region: fostering risk-informed solutions for sustainable development”.

  • Support mainstreaming of Disaster Risk Reduction in general and Urban Risk Management in particular into AUC Departments.

  • Support integration of risk reduction in sustainable urban development and urban risk management at sub-regional and national level.

  • Assist in policy development, including the review and analysis of issues and trends, prepare evaluations or other research activities and studies related to urban risk management.

  • Ensure the integration of cross-cutting issues, such as gender, peace building, rights of persons with disabilities, human rights, and resilience into all urban risk management-related activities, monitoring, and reporting.

  • Assist DRR Unit with the delivery of policy and technical support in the area of urban risk management and resilience building, in contribution to the implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR and the Africa Programme of Action.

  • Participate in field missions, when required, including in post-disaster situations and provide technical and coordination support for the conduct of Post-Disaster Needs Assessments (PDNA) and the development of Recovery Frameworks (RF) as it relates to urban risk reduction and recovery.

  • Appraise country requests for support in case of disasters and contribute to the preparation of project proposals and funding requests related to urban recovery and resilience building in post-disaster situations, in consultation with national and regional partners, ensuring that the needs of the vulnerable populations are adequately reflected.

  • Collaborate with AUC, RECs, specialized agencies as well as other thematic teams on programmes related to urban risk management and resilience building, including linkages to climate change, livelihoods, displacement, fragility and gender issues.

  • Contribute to the development of strategy and approaches to increase regional and national capacities for urban risk management and risk-informed urban development, including its integration in national and regional disaster risk reduction and recovery strategies, policies and legislative system, or developing standalone urban risk management strategies.

  • Support the implementation of regional urban risk management, resilience building and recovery programmes and projects.

  • Serve as AUC’s resource person for the project “strengthening capacities for disaster risk reduction and adaptation for Resilience in the Sahel Region: fostering risk-informed solutions for sustainable development”.

  • Substantive development of urban risk management related tools and resources

  • Develop a continental framework that offers systematic and pragmatic approaches and tools for assessing urban resilience and for developing urban risk management plans in Africa.

  • Support the development and delivery of urban risk management related training modules/guidance/tools for regional entities and Member States to facilitate the practice of urban risk analyses/assessments, early warning systems, preparedness in response and recovery, integration of risks in urban planning/infrastructure development, and post-disaster recovery in urban areas.

  • Provide technical expertise in developing tools, methodologies and producing knowledge management products on urban risk management, with linkages to disaster risk reduction, resilience, climate change and other relevant themes.

  • Provide technical expertise, as required, on the content development for regional/country-level knowledge products through the analysis of data, case evidence, and research findings on urban risk management.

  • Promote and enhance urban risk management approaches that link climate change adaptation with disaster risk reduction and risk-informed programming.

  • Knowledge management and community of practice for urban resilience and risk management

  • Build the knowledge base and documented experience to further substantiate the link between urban disasters, urbanization processes, urban governance, development planning, infrastructure development and basic services in Africa.

  • Compile, analyze, report and codify urban risk management and recovery experiences and lessons learned in Africa.

  • Support the development and effective application of knowledge products and policy documents.

  • Provide relevant substantive inputs to build and strengthen a regional Community of Practice on urban resilience in Africa, including with the UN system, the EU, the World Bank, other Regional Intergovernmental Organizations, Regional Development Banks, bilateral partners, external experts, etc.

  • Advocate and enable facilitation of exchanges and experiences sharing related to urban risk management and resilience between institutions and specialized agencies, among Member States, between RECs within Africa as well as through South-South cooperation, where valuable.

  • Support capacity building of AUC DRR Unit and other departments and Specialised Agencies, Member States (including national disaster management institutions, urban local bodies), and other governmental and non-governmental stakeholders such as the academia/research institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector in urban risk management, including in the application of urban risk management tools and practices.

  • Strengthen linkages with DRR and climate change communities of practice, both inside the AUC, with relevant entities within the RECs and Member States.

  • Support the DRR Unit and the AUC in responding to RECs and Member State requests for information on global/regional/national best practices and experiences on urban risk management together with partners and expert institutions.

  • Advocacy and partner engagement for effective policy positioning on urban risk management**

  • Work in close collaboration with members of the DRR Unit, DREA and other relevant Departments of the AUC to promote urban risk management at the Regional, National and sub-national/local levels.

  • Support AUC in leveraging its policy leadership and convening power in advocating for and ensuring that the Member States take into account the multi-dimensional risks (disaster, climate and conflict) in urban planning, infrastructure development and urban risk management processes.

  • Contribute to the development and nurturing of partnerships between RECs and between Member States (especially on cross-border processes related to urbanization, migration, risk reduction and recovery), different organs of the AUC, and with the EU, World Bank, UN agencies and regional intergovernmental organizations, bilateral partners, think tanks, academic institutions and non-governmental organizations to foster and strengthen the practice of urban risk management and sustainable urban development.

  • Participate in consultations and drafting of joint agreement and MOUs and statements of intent on urban risk management and resilience building.

  • Foster partnership through attendance in regular meetings, contributions to joint knowledge products and joint conferences and workshops on urban risk management and resilience building/recovery or relevant areas.

  • Support AUC in its engagement in partnerships on urban risk management and resilience building through reporting and developing briefing notes and background information when required.

  • Support resource mobilization efforts for urban risk management and resilience building through development of project concept notes and proposals.

  • Support establishment of interdepartmental task force at AUC to facilitate mainstreaming DRR, including urban resilience in AUC department.

  • Carry out any other relevant tasks assigned by the supervisor.


Required degree level: Master degree or equivalent

Education - Additional Comments:

  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent), preferably in urban planning, civil engineering, disaster management, geography, development studies, social sciences, public policy or related field is required
  • Working knowledge of any other African Union official language is an additional advantage

Required experience: 180 Months

Experience remark:

  • A minimum of 15 years of professional work experience of which minimum 7 years’ experience in urban risk management/related aspects; experience in providing technical advice in the development and implementation of policies and programmes, including the review of policy documents and programmes in the area of disaster risk reduction, climate change, recovery and/or closely related fields is required.
  • Experience in the application of global and regional frameworks for disaster risk reduction and climate change to the urban context, including the domestication of the Sendai Framework, is preferred.
  • Experience in providing regional policy advice, regional technical assistance, and capacity development to support to multi stakeholder institutions in establishing and coordinating multi-partner interventions is highly desirable.
  • Experience working in West Africa on urban risk reduction, climate change adaptation and/or recovery is highly desirable.
  • Previous experience working with an international or regional organization or multilateral, including UN is preferred.
  • Coordination experience working directly with governments, development partners, and international organizations would be an asset.
  • Knowledge of and experience within the AU system would be an asset

Language skills:

  • English(Mandatory), Level - Fluent
  • French(Optional), Level - Working Knowledge

Area of expertise: Disaster risk reduction, Climate change mitigation and mechanisms for technology transfer

Area of expertise details:

  • Minimum 7 years of work experience in urban risk reduction and resilience building, including in urban risk analysis/assessments, early warning systems/preparedness initiatives, capacity building of urban local governments and other key stakeholders in urban risk management, mainstreaming risk reduction in urban planning and development strategies/policies/plans, development of urban recovery and risk reduction plans and programmes in crisis contexts is required.
  • Urban Risk Management: Knowledge of urbanization processes, urban development and management, and urban risk reduction concepts, frameworks and principles and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.

Technical Competencies:

  • Disaster Risk Reduction: Knowledge of DRR concepts, frameworks and principles and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.
  • Recovery: Knowledge of core recovery principles and frameworks, and ability to guide delivery at regional, national and community levels.
  • Resilience: Knowledge of how multiple risks and impact on development, and the delivery of resilience to communities and countries through reducing vulnerability and reducing risk.
  • Representation: Ability to productively share AU knowledge, experience and activities at international, regional and national platforms.
  • Partnerships: Ability to engage with, mobilize support from and forge productive working relationships with a wide range of partners at the regional, national and local levels (public, private, academic, civil society, business community leaders).

Other Functional Competencies:

  • Innovation: Ability to make new and useful ideas work, including stakeholder-centered approaches for office/division
  • People Management: Ability to improve performance and satisfaction by:
    • involving team members in different stages of work and decision making;
    • promoting independent thinking and action; and
    • following high professional standards and motivating excellence in others.
  • Delivery: Ability to get things done by:
    • meeting goals, timelines and quality requirements;
    • accepting accountability for the outcomes of programme delivery; and
    • facilitating improvement and innovation in the delivery of products and services.
  • Advocacy: Ability to advocate a point of view and influence others.
  • Resource Mobilization: Ability to identify and organize programmes and projects to implement solutions and generate resources.
  • Trends and emerging areas analytics: Ability to scan the horizon and identify approaches and initiatives to bring into policy and programme design.

Driving license: No

Competencies values:

Communication, Leadership

How to apply:

* Not yet registered in the UNV Talent Pool?

Please first register your profile at https://vmam.unv.org/candidate/signup. Important: After creating your account, complete all sections of your profile and submit it. Then go to ‘My Page’ at https://vmam.unv.org/candidate/mypage and click on the ‘Special Calls’ hyperlink. Lastly, select the special call to which you would like to apply.

* Already registered in the UNV Talent Pool?

Please first update your profile at https://vmam.unv.org/candidate/profile. Then go to ‘My Page’ at https://vmam.unv.org/candidate/mypage and click on the ‘Special Calls’ hyperlink to select the special call to which you would like to apply.


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