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Disaster Risk Reduction Consultant, Ecowas

Date Posted: 30/Jun/2014
Deadline: 01/Jul/2014


Disasters are increasing in number, frequency and severity in Africa, largely due to increasing exposure to climate related hazards such as drought and floods as well as rising levels of vulnerability. Disasters cause enormous losses of lives and livelihoods as well as reversals in development gains. These hazards are predicted to increase with climate change. Climate variability in combination with other trends such as urbanization, ecosystem degradation, unplanned and unregulated land use, and demographic growth – will generate substantial new risks to human development in coming decades. The West Africa region is particularly vulnerable to meteorological and hydrological hazards and climate extremes. Drought and floods account for 80 per cent of loss of life and 70 per cent of economic losses linked to natural hazards.

The Africa Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Programme of Action (POA) 2008-2015 provide the policy framework in Africa to implement the Hyogo Framework of Action. Disaster Risk Reduction is also one of the main pillars for Africa’s Framework for Adapting to Climate Change. The Regional Economic Communities (REC), as the sub-regional building blocks of the Africa Union Commission (AUC), are at various stages of developing their institutional frameworks and require further strengthening to provide advice and services to member states to ensure that Disaster Risk Reduction priorities are firmly entrenched in national strategies. In this respect, UNDP Regional Program on Crisis Prevention and Recovery provides capacity development support to REC in crisis prevention and recovery (conflict and natural disasters). In 2007 the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has approved a regional policy on disaster risk management that has translated into a five-year Programme of Action (2010-2015) focusing on advocacy; mainstreaming; capacity development and emergency preparedness and recovery. More recently in 2012 a regional humanitarian policy and action plan was approved with a strong focus on disaster preparedness and response.

The responsibility to coordinate and monitor the implementation of both the DRM policy and the humanitarian policy falls under the Humanitarian and Social Affairs Directorate. Since the adoption of the policy, ECOWAS has established a Division for Disaster Risk Reduction and has multiplied by three its budget allocation to DRR. ECOWAS has successfully advocated with a number of countries to develop progressive DRR policies. It developed a guideline for strengthening national DRR platforms and another guideline for establishing national disaster management institutions. ECOWAS conducted a study on the impact of transnational floods and drafted a hydro-climatic data sharing protocol agreement. It convened thematic sub-regional platforms on issues such as the use of climate services and the strengthening of early warning systems. The capacity assessment supported by the UN inter-agency CADRI program in 2013 has highlighted a number of areas that require further strengthening to enable ECOWAS to fulfill its role in DRR:
• Advocacy tools;
• DRR mainstreaming into ECOWAS regional policies and sensitization of ECOWAS directorates;
• Trans-boundary cooperation on trans-boundary risks;
• Information managemen engagement with private sector and civil society.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall guidance of the Director of the Humanitarian and Social Affairs Directorate and the direct supervision of the Head of the Disaster Risk Reduction, the consultant shall provide technical support to the implementation of the ECOWAS DRR Action Plan:
• Facilitate the preparation of the induction course on DRR mainstreaming for relevant ECOWAS di-rectorates and technical experts with the support of CADRI Inter-Agency Capacity Development initiative;
• Conduct technical review and provide technical inputs to two ECOWAS thematic/sectoral policies or programmes to mainstream disaster risk including climate risks;
• Develop an advocacy and sensitization strategy on DRR concepts and support ECOWAS in the devel-opment of advocacy tools to support outreach and advocacy efforts towards Member States;
• Support the design of a regional framework for floods risk management;
• Support a participative review of the DRR Action Plan 2009-2014 and the preparation of the new Action Plan (2015-2020); Support the development of an engagement strategy with private sector on the basis of the recommendation of the private sector consultation Provide technical inputs to the set up of the database on disaster risk reduction in French and English for Western and Central Africa Submit regular monthly progress reports to UNDP & ECOWAS.


• Strong background, knowledge and understanding of the concepts, principles and approaches to disaster risk reduction;
• Project management skills and ability to lead a project to completion.
Client Orientation:
• Ability to identify and analyze clients’ needs and develop appropriate services to meet business requirements.
•  Strong communication (spoken and written).
Skills Planning and Organizing:
• Ability to organize, plan and implement work assignments, juggle competing demands and work under pressure of frequent and tight deadlines.
• Strong interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and working relations with people in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.

Required Skills and Experience

• Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in disaster risk management, geography, natural resources management, development, public policy or related fields;
• A first level university degree in combination of qualifying experience maybe accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
Work experience:
• A minimum of seven years of professional experience in disaster risk management, climate change adaptation, early warning systems, multi-hazard risk mapping, environmental management, eco-system management or related fields;
• Proven experience in the development of policies and contributions to the review of policy documents and programs in the areas of disaster risk reduction or climate change adaptation;
• Previous experience working in West Africa desirable. Previous experience working with an international or regional organization an asset.
• Fluency in French and English (Oral and written) is required.

Method of Application

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