International Expert on Biological Hazards Risk Assessment


Location : Home Based with 2 missions in Tirana, ALBANIA
Application Deadline :12-Oct-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Expected Duration of Assignment :40 working days within the period of October 2021-April 2022

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Background

Biological hazards are a major source of risk that may result in emergencies and disasters. They cause significant loss of life, affect many thousands of people, have the potential for major economic losses through loss of livestock and crops, and may also cause damage and loss to the natural heritage, including to endangered fauna and flora. The management of risks due to biological hazards is a national and community priority. It has been recognized as part of the Sendai Framework, and is globally addressed under the International Health Regulations (IHR). Biological hazards are of organic origin or conveyed by biological vectors, including pathogenic microorganisms, toxins and bioactive substances. Examples are bacteria, viruses or parasites, as well as venomous wildlife and insects, poisonous plants, and mosquitoes carrying disease-causing agents. These hazards are usually the result of a natural occurrence but can also result from deliberate or accidental release.

 

Biological hazards also pose a risk to animals, including livestock, and to plants. The consequences of a biological hazardous event may include severe economic and environmental losses. Some examples of recent large outbreaks, epidemics or pandemics due to biological hazards either on their own or following a disaster are the Ebola Virus Disease (2013-2016), the ongoing outbreak of Zika virus infection, outbreaks of yellow fever (2016), and the ongoing Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic (2020-present).

 

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic situation has resulted in severe global social and economic disruption, including the largest global recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It has led to widespread supply shortages exacerbated by panic buying, agriculture disruption, food shortages, and decreased emissions of pollutants.

 

In Albania, the total number of affected by coronaviruses is 136.000 people, and 2463 deaths. In the second quarter of 2020, Albania had an economic contraction of 10.2%. This recession was first driven by a contraction in investments, private and public consumption, as well as a large fall in exports of 35%. Trade, transport and hospitality services contributed to the recession with a 27% decrease. As for the employment rates, there was a loss of 34000 jobs and an increase of the unemployment rate by 12.5%, showing a deterioration of the labor market in Albania.

 

UNDP response on the pandemic situation was immediate and together with the UN family and other partners started to work on three priorities: supporting the health response including the procurement and supply of essential health products, under WHO’s leadership, strengthening crisis management and response, and addressing critical social and economic impacts.

 

The occurrence of different types of hazards impacts the society, economy and environment in the country, deteriorating country risk profile. Increased vulnerability follows increased physical exposure of people and assets. Higher levels of exposure are a result of many factors including a lack of integration of disaster risk criteria into development planning generally and at all levels, and a lack of compliance with existent safety norms and standards.

 

Assessing the risk of biological hazards can be challenging owing to their unique characteristics as agent diversity, routes of transmission, pathogenicity and virulence, hazard identification, endemic diseases with potential for epidemic transmission, sensitivity to climate, environmental or land use changes. Approaches in assessing the risks of biological hazards differ according to the purpose of the assessment and includes Strategic Risk Assessment, Rapid risk assessment and Post Event Assessment.[1]

 

RESEAL project, intends to support the efforts of the Government of Albania for improving the disaster risk management (DRM) system in the country. The overall objective of the project is to strengthen Albania’s DRM system and support country’s efforts in becoming a fully-fledged member of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The project is also in line with promoting the implementation of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) and is developed based on the Albania’s earthquake PDNA recommendations. Also, in light of the severe and acute public health emergency due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, measures related to risk preparedness and risk mitigation of biological hazards will be provided.  

 

The project is built upon the results of an ongoing two-tier UNDP pilots i) National DRR Capacity Assessment and ii) pilot intervention in Lezha Municipality.

 

At central level, the findings of the DRR Capacity Assessment would facilitate the process of strengthening DRM policy framework through drafting of the National DRR Platform for DRR and the National DRR Strategy and its Action Plan. During the capacity assessment a parallel process focused on preparedness and response capacities related to management of biological hazards as a national and community priority. It has been recognized as part of the Sendai Framework and is globally addressed under the International Health Regulations. Civil Emergency Plans will be developed based on disaster risk reduction strategies, disaster risk assessment documents, civil protection capacities, new expert findings, as well as experiences gained in disaster management. At the institutional level, the project supports institutional strengthening of the new Civil Protection Agency (NCPA), whereas for creating an enabling framework for DRR, the project will further support membership to EUCPM.

 

Therefore, UNDP is seeking for qualified expertise to continue and expand its work in the area of DRR at national level and ensure the continuity and coherence through building upon the results and progress made in 2021. In this respect, the services of an International Expert on Biological Hazards Risk Assessment to assist and work closely with national expertise are highly demanded contributing to the update of the Albania National Risk Assessment. 

 

[1] Words into Action Guidelines: National Disaster Risk Assessment Biological Hazards Risk Assessment -UNISDR 2017


Duties and Responsibilities

The International Expert on Biological Hazards Risk Assessment will work closely with the national Expert under the direct supervision of RESEAL Project Manager and in close coordination with UNDP Programme Officer for Environment and Climate Change to perform the following duties: 

 

 

General duties of the Consultant

  • Leads the analysis of current status of biological hazards risk assessment in close cooperation with the national expert and the interinstitutional working subgroup
  • In coordination with national expert support the interinstitutional working subgroup to undertake similar assessments in the future.
  • Based on his/her experience and in line with international best practices provides specific recommendations on how to improve the biological hazards resilience.

 

More specifically the Consultant will:

  • Work with project team, National Agency on Civil Protection and other key national authorities as well as other relevant stakeholders in the field of DRR and Civil Protection.
  • Provide necessary assistance in organization and management of overall assessment process based on existing studies and assessments including analysis of biological hazard and risk assessment practices including quality and availability of input data to be provided by the national expert. Provide key findings and best practices on biological hazards risk assessment including methodology and lesson learned on related studies.
  • Conduct a workshop with representatives of the working subgroup, as well as other relevant stakeholders within the subgroup, to present and get feedback on the evaluation methodology and schedule of work;
  • Ensure support to the documentation of lessons learned and assist the development of guideline on implementation of biological hazards risk assessment participatory module for further replication and provide related recommendations.
  • Revising and assuring technical support to the project office and national expert in preparing reports, presentations, brochures, guidance notes related to biological hazards risk assessment for meeting, seminars, forums, trainings, etc.;
  • Review and validate the biological hazards risk assessment report, assist endorsement with the working subgroup, and providing technical support to present it to the Government for adoption.
  • Provide direct advise to project manager on biological hazards risk profile
  • Other activities and functions in line with the main responsibilities and processes.

 

 

If unforeseen travel outside the Duty Station not required by the Terms of Reference is requested by UNDP, and upon prior written agreement, such travel shall be at UNDP’s expense and the Individual Contractor shall receive a per diem not to exceed United Nations daily subsistence allowance rate in such other location(s).

 

 

3 - Deliverables

Although almost all below listed deliverables are part of teamwork, the International Consultant should directly contribute and be instrumental in ensuring the following deliverables are completed.

 

 

Deliverable 1 (D1)

  1. Validate the Inception report outlining:
    1. information on past biological hazards to understand the mechanisms, causes and damages;
    2. data availability for biological hazards risk mapping;
    3. proposed methodology for assessing risk based on an analysis of hazards, exposure, vulnerability and capacity;
    4. work plan, detailed timeline, milestones, site visits including proposed national and international staffing.

 

Deliverable 2 (D2)

  1. Provide inputs and validate the synthesis report on Biologic Hazard Assessment and Risk Mapping

 

Technical recommendations for transfer of knowledge and data to local stakeholders and for ensuring continuing hazard assessments;

 

Deliverable 3 (D3)

  1. Detailed technical report on the process, calculations and models used for development of the hazard scenarios, as well as for the biological hazard prone areas;
  2. Risk assessment and use in national DRR measures ;

 

Deliverable 4 (D4)

  1. A well-structured documentation of all the methodologies used in the study including regional and European references.
  2. Affirm guidelines compliance and training manual developed for the whole assessment process accordingly as regional and international best practices;
  3. Final Report on biological hazards risk assessment that would feed into the National Risk Assessment Document for Albania.


Competencies

Core competencies and values:

  • Demonstrates integrity and fairness by modelling UN values and ethical standards;
  • Demonstrates professional competence and is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results;
  • Display cultural, gender, nationality, religion and age sensitivity and adaptability.

 

Functional competencies:

  • Demonstrated analytical skills to identify obtain and synthesize information from various sources and formulate objectives and conclusions.
  • Understanding of public information management and financial tools in disaster risk management;
  • Demonstrated technical skills and work experience on Disaster Risk Management with a special focus on biological hazards risk assessment;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to liaise effectively with government officials, community partners, as well as representatives of international organizations;
  • Advanced computer skills (especially Microsoft office applications) and the ability to use information technologies as a tool and resource.


Required Skills and Experience

Education

Advanced degree on biology, microbiology, biological engineering, and/or any related relevant field of study

 

Professional Experience

  • A minimum of 7 years in the area of public;
  • Demonstrated outstanding technical expertise as relevant for the respective assignments;
  • Direct experiences working with biological hazards disaster management activities would be preferred;
  • Country specific knowledge is an asset;
  • Experience in working with academia, government agencies, development partners and or UN agencies would be an added value.

 

Language Requirements:

Fluency in English, with excellent drafting, writing and presentation skills is required. Knowledge of Albanian language would be an asset.

 

Evaluation Procedure

UNDP applies a fair and transparent selection process that would consider both the technical qualification of Individual Consultants as well as their financial proposals. The contract will be awarded to the candidate whose offer:

  • Is deemed technically responsive / compliant / acceptable (only technically responsive applications / candidates will be considered for the financial evaluation)
  • And has obtained the highest combined technical and financial scores.

Technical Criteria - 70% of total evaluation – max points: 70

Criteria A: Education Background – max points: 20

Criteria B: Relevance of work experience – max points: 30

Criteria C: Expertise in conducting UNDAF evaluations/and or other programme reviews - max points 20

Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation – max points: 30

 

Application Procedure 

Interested applicants are advised to carefully study all sections of this ToRs and ensure that they meet the general requirements as well as specific qualifications described. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials. 

The application should contain: 

  • Cover letter explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for the advertised position. Please paste the letter into the "Resume and Motivation" section of the electronic application. 
  • Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability & Financial Proposal Form - please fill in the attached form. Download Here (kindly use FireFox Browser)
  • Filled P11 form including past experience in similar projects and contact details of referees, please upload the P11 instead of your CV. Download Here (kindly use FireFox Browser)
  • Financial Proposal in USD* - Specify Lump Sum in the United States Dollar for each of the tasks and at the bottom the Total Lump Sum for the Entire Job specified in this announcement. Please note that the financial proposal is all-inclusive and shall consider various expenses incurred by the consultant during the contract period (e.g. fee and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services). 
  • Copy of Diplomas and copy of Passport. 
  • Technical proposal – specifying the methodology which the consultant will employ to conduct this assignment.

*Kindly note that Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability and Financial Proposal are two separate documents and should be both part of your application. 

How to Submit the Application

To submit your application online, please follow the steps below: 

  • Download and complete the UN Personal History Form (P11) for Service Contracts (SCs) and Individual Contracts (ICs); In the P11 Form make sure to include Email Addresses of the Persons who are willing to provide References on your past experience in working with them.
  • Merge your UN Personal History Form (P11) for Service Contracts (SCs) and Individual Contracts (ICs), Financial Proposal Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability and cover letter into a single file. The system does not allow for more than one attachment to be uploaded; 
  • Click on the Job Title (job vacancy announcement); 
  • Click “Apply Now” button, fill in necessary information on the first page, and then click “Submit Application;” 
  • Upload your application/single file as indicated above with the merged documents (underlined above); 
  • You will receive an automatic response to your email confirming receipt of your application by the system. 

Due to large number of applications we receive, we are able to inform only the successful candidates about the outcome or status of the selection process. 

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence. 

 



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