Back Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery Officer

  • Added Date: Friday, 12 January 2018
  • Deadline Date: Wednesday, 17 January 2018

In Sri Lanka, an island country where over 75% of the population lives in rural areas with agriculture as the primary source of livelihood, the impacts of climate change are significant amongst the marginalized groups, including women who are among those most affected as they traditionally manage household water, family gardens and livestock and are therefore in the frontline of managing impacts of hazards.

Since 2005, there have been significant improvements in the country’s capacity to manage disasters through the development of the “Road Map Towards a Safer Sri Lanka”, the set-up of a number of DM programmes, institutional and legal frameworks, and the development of the Sri Lanka Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (SLCDMP). Nevertheless, latent challenges still remain in terms of the preparedness, response, awareness, risk-based decision making and fostering of an enabling environment for risk reduction.

Building on UNDP and UNV’s strengths and expertise, the project will respond to the challenges, through harnessing the potential of volunteerism to increase communities’ and individuals’ resilience and adaptation to hazards and climate change. The overall goal is to promote community resilience for environmental management and DRR by mobilizing volunteers and integrating the critical force of volunteerism as a substantive resource.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN's global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. The UNDP operates in 166 countries, working with people on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and its wide range of partners.

UNDP’s focus is helping countries build and share solutions to the challenges of:

• Democratic Governance;

• Poverty Reduction;

• Crisis Prevention and Recovery;

• Environment and Energy;


UNDP helps developing countries attract and use aid effectively. In all its activities, it encourages the protection of human rights and the empowerment of women. UNDP focuses on key development issues, providing measurement tools, innovative analysis and often controversial policy proposals. In all its operations, UNDP well-coordinated and inclusive approach seeks to ensure the most effective use of UN and international resources.

The United Nations Volunteers programme is the UN organization that promotes volunteerism to support peace and development worldwide. Volunteerism can transform the pace and nature of development and it benefits both societies at large and the individual volunteer. UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for volunteerism globally, encouraging partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing volunteers.


Task descriptions

Under the direct supervision of the Project Coordinator, the UN Volunteer will undertake the following tasks:

·         Coordinate and liaise with the Ministry of Disaster Management, Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs, and other government and non-governmental stakeholders to successfully implement the project.

·         Develop, strengthen, and maintain cooperative working relationships with government officers and other partners identified in the Theory of Change to effectively execute and manage recovery efforts at national and district levels.

·         Provide technical support to the National Planning Department to develop an institutional framework for recovery; the Ministry of Disaster Management to develop sector-based guidelines for rebuilding with disaster-resilient standards; and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce to develop business continuity plans for small and micro enterprises.  

·         Coordinate a team of trained UN Volunteers at district-level to support district-level recovery efforts and mobilize community volunteers

·         Facilitate the organization of consultative workshops, stakeholder meetings, and trainings at national and district level.

·         Capture best practices and lessons learned through the support of the project team.

·         Support the project team with administrative duties, including report and speech writing, developing concept notes, and organizing pre-bids.


Furthermore, UN Volunteers are required to:

·             Strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the concept of volunteerism by reading relevant UNV and external publications and take active part in UNV activities (for instance in events that mark International Volunteer Day);

·             Be acquainted with and build on traditional and/or local forms of volunteerism in the host country;

·             Reflect on the type and quality of voluntary action that they are undertaking, including participation in ongoing reflection activities;

·             Contribute articles/write-ups on field experiences and submit them for UNV publications/websites, newsletters, press releases, etc.;

·             Assist with the UNV Buddy Programme for newly-arrived UN Volunteers;

·             Promote or advise local groups in the use of online volunteering, or encourage relevant local individuals and organizations to use the UNV Online Volunteering service whenever technically possible.


15. Results/Expected Outputs

·         Linkages established with project stakeholders, including government counterparts at the ministries, consultants, and the project team

·         Well-maintained documentation on the implementation of recovery policy and framework at national level.  

·         District-level volunteers are supported and community volunteers mobilized.

·         Knowledge products capturing ‘success stories’ and ‘lessons learnt’ are developed.

·         Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD) perspective is systematically applied, integrated and documented in all activities throughout the assignment

·         A final statement of achievements towards volunteerism for peace and development during the assignment, such as reporting on the number of volunteers mobilized, activities participated in and capacities developed


Competencies and Values:

·         Integrity and professionalism: demonstrated expertise in area of specialty and ability to apply good judgment; high degree of autonomy, personal initiative and ability to take ownership; willingness to accept wide responsibilities and ability to work independently under established procedures in a politically sensitive environment, while exercising discretion, impartiality and neutrality; ability to manage information objectively, accurately and confidentially; responsive and client-oriented.

·         Accountability: mature and responsible; ability to operate in compliance with organizational rules and regulations.

·         Commitment to continuous learning: initiative and willingness to learn new skills and stay abreast of new developments in area of expertise; ability to adapt to changes in work environment.

·         Planning and organizing: effective organizational and problem-solving skills and ability to manage a large volume of work in an efficient and timely manner; ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor (own) work; ability to work under pressure, with conflicting deadlines, and to handle multiple concurrent projects/activities.

·         Teamwork and respect for diversity: ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries; ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and harmonious working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity and gender;

·         Communication: proven interpersonal skills; good spoken and written communication skills, including ability to prepare clear and concise reports; ability to conduct presentations, articulate options and positions concisely; ability to make and defend recommendations; ability to communicate and empathize with staff (including national staff), military personnel, volunteers, counterparts and local interlocutors coming from very diverse backgrounds; ability to maintain composure and remain helpful towards the staff, but objective, without showing personal interest; capacity to transfer information and knowledge to a wide range of different target groups;

·         Flexibility, adaptability, and ability and willingness to operate independently in austere, remote and potentially hazardous environments for protracted periods, involving physical hardship and little comfort, and including possible extensive travel within the area of operations; willingness to transfer to other duty stations within area of operations as may be necessary;

Genuine commitment towards the principles of voluntary engagement, which includes solidarity, compassion, reciprocity and self-reliance; and commitment towards the UN core values.


EducationRequired Degree Level:                                                                       Bachelor's degree

Type of degree: Disaster management, environmental sciences or management, or relevant social sciences

Required Experience: minimum 2 years of experience

Experience Description:

•      Proven experience working in the field of disaster management and community mobilization.

•      Previous experience liaising with government officers and agencies at national level, organizing training and consultative workshops, and conducting training programmes is an advantage.

•      Excellent skills in interpersonal relations, networking, and communication

•      Willingness to contribute and work as part of a team

•      Organizing skills and ability to conduct training to large diverse groups

•      Proactive attitude with capacity to propose new initiatives and think “outside the box” High attention to detail

•      Flexible and open to learning and new experiences;

•      Proven competency and proficient knowledge and experience in social media, as well as full ability to use standard computer applications (i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Internet)

Language Skills: Strong spoken and written English skills is essential; Sinhala and/or Tamil would be an added advantage.


Areas of Expertise: Development programmes, technical assistance and volunteer management 


Conditions of Service: A six-month contract; with subsequent contract extensions subject to availability of funding, operational necessity and satisfactory performance. However, there is no expectation of renewal of the assignment.

Travel to duty station (if applicable) and a Settling-In-Grant will be provided in the event duty station is not within commuting distance from the place of recruitment. A Volunteer Living Allowance (VLA) of LKR 77, 366 is provided monthly to cover housing, utilities and normal cost of living expenses. Life, health and permanent disability insurance are included (health insurance for up to 3 dependents), as well as final repatriation (if applicable) and a resettlement allowance. 

The United Nations Volunteers programme (UNV) is an equal opportunity programme which welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture.  

Contract Duration: 6 months

This vacancy is archived.

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