Vacancy Details

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Vacancy code VA/2015/B5006/8583
Position title Disaster Risk Information Specialist
Level ICS-11
Department/office AR, BKK, Bangkok
Duty station Bangkok, Thailand
Contract type International ICA
Contract level IICA-3
Duration 2 months
Application period 09-Oct-2015 to 11-Dec-2015
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
This vacancy is closed.
Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.

Within these three core areas of expertise, UNOPS provides its partners with advisory, implementation and transactional services, with projects ranging from building schools and hospitals, to procuring goods and services and training local personnel. UNOPS works closely with governments and communities to ensure increased economic, social and environmental sustainability for the projects we support, with a focus on developing national capacity.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices in development, humanitarian and peacebuilding contexts, always satisfying or surpassing partner expectations.

With over 7,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, wherever they need it. A flexible structure and global reach means we can quickly respond to our partners' needs, while offering the benefits of economies of scale.

Background Information - Job-specific

The UNISDR is the focal point in the UN System to promote links and synergies between, and the coordination of, disaster reduction activities in the socio-economic, humanitarian and development fields, as well as to support policy integration. It serves as an international information clearinghouse on disaster reduction, developing awareness campaigns and producing articles, journals, and other publications and promotional materials related to disaster reduction.  Its core areas of work includes ensuring disaster risk reduction (DRR) is applied to climate change adaptation, increasing investments for DRR, building disaster-resilient cities, schools and hospitals, and strengthening the international system for DRR.

UNISDR’s vision is anchored on the four priorities for action set out in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction adopted by the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction on 18 March 2015 in Sendai, Japan. The four priorities are composed of
1) understanding disaster risk, 2) strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk,
3) investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience, and 4) enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

Disasters from natural hazards continue to cause significant loss of life and property in the region. However, in spite of increasing disaster losses, investments to strengthen disaster resilience remain a low priority. This is partly due to the limited understanding of the socio-economic ramifications of disasters as the damage and losses caused by historical disasters are often not widely known; and the limited understanding of the opportunities available to reduce disaster risk through development investments.

Traditionally, disaster risks have been addressed by governments through improvements in disaster

preparedness and emergency response. However, as losses soar to record amounts, governments are now exploring new strategies and approaches to ensure the sustainability of public investment and the protection and stability of budgets.

One of the main reasons why countries find it hard to justify increasing investment in disaster risk management is the fact that they have difficulties in assessing not just current risks and actual losses, but also in specifying the types and amounts of resources required to strengthen risk governance capacities.

In addition to challenges in using risk information to inform disaster resilient investments, there are further challenges in securing financing for tracking disaster risk management (DRM)-related investments. DRM-related investment needs are often scattered across a number of sector budgets and, in some cases, may form just one component (e.g., seismically-strengthened design) or even an indirect benefit of a wider development project (e.g., irrigation of land reduces the effects of drought) rather than standalone projects. The extent of public investment on DRM may not be explicitly reflected in records on the allocation and use of public funds, and the issue of DRM possibly even fully considered in national budgetary processes.

In order to contribute to an increased level of social, economic and environmental development, UNISDR with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) implementing an initiative for strengthening capacity in integrating disaster risk information in public investment planning processes in three countries namely Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Myanmar.

This initiative is part of a broader programme that involves multiple agencies and primarily focuses on risk sensitive investment planning in the identified countries. This specific output will take stock of existing disaster risk information in the country, and provide guidance on how such information can be used for the public investment planning process. In Cambodia, the output will require working with the National Committee for Disaster Management, Ministry of Planning, and the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology. In the Lao PDR, the output will require working with the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Department of Disaster Management and Climate Change. In Myanmar, the output will require working with the Relief and Resettlement Department and the Department of Planning. The output will also include sharing experiences among other Southeast Asian DMCs.

Functional Responsibilities

The component will take stock of past and ongoing disaster risk assessments - purpose, scale, stakeholder involved, and format of the final product - and identify the available scope for using such information in decision making for public investment in specific sectors or geographical areas. The outputs will include 3 country-specific reports on the scope for integrating disaster risk information in the public investment planning process, including recommendations for improvement. The component will also include sharing experiences and disseminating the outputs among other Southeast Asia countries.  

Under the overall supervision of the Programme Officer in UNISDR Asia Pacific office the Disaster Risk Specialist will lead the stocktaking of available disaster risk information in the participating countries (Lao, Cambodia and Myanmar).

The specialist will:

  • take stock of past and ongoing initiatives on disaster risk assessment and analyze their scope, purpose, coverage, and usage;
  • write specific section on disaster risk information of the final output;
  • work closely with the international and national public investment planning specialists to provide guidance on the scope of use of current data and recommendations on future data requirements;
  • work closely with other national and international specialists part of the project
  • carry out any other tasks assigned by UNISDR AP office

Deliverable: The specialist will be responsible for preparing the stocktaking report of available disaster risk information in Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Myanmar and the developing the final output on disaster risk information in specific section

The Disaster Risk Specialist will work under the overall guidance of the Program officer in UNISDR Asia Pacific office. The specialist will prepare a comprehensive report on above described lines for each country.


  •  Professionalism: Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches of disaster risk reduction, in particular with respect to risk identification, loss accounting and public investment in risk management. Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Ability to conduct data collection using various methods. Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis, including  familiarity with and experience in the use of various research sources, including electronic sources on the internet, intranet and other databases.  Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities.  Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
  •  Planning & Organizing:  Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
  • Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honors commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.
Education/Experience/Language requirements

  • A Master's Degree in disaster risk management, public finance, business administration, public administration, statistics, or an equivalent field is required. 
  • A Bachelor's Degree with an additional 2 years of relevant professional experience may be accepted in lieu of a Master’s Degree.


  • The position requires 7 years of working experience in the field of disaster risk management. 
  • Relevant knowledge on the following is highly desirable: the hazard data in the participating Developing Member Countries,  the identification and analysis of disaster risk, the disaster risk situation in each participating Developing Member Country, and the disaster risk data-related institutional setup in each participating Developing Member Country of progressively responsible professional experience in disaster risk management, climate change adaptation, public administration or business management or related fields.


The specialist shall have a good command of English in writing, speaking and listening.
Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: International- Specialist ICA 
Contract level: IICA-3
Contract duration: 2 months

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: 
Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time (CET)
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.
Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

This vacancy is closed.