Climate Risk and Early Warning Expert - IPSA12 - part-time (70%)

Location : Home-based
Application Deadline :28-Jun-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left :2d 11h 4m
Type of Contract :IPSA (Regular)
Post Level :IPSA-12
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :12 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :12 months

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.


Instructions to Applicants: Click on the "Apply now" button. Input your information in the appropriate Sections: personal information, language proficiency, education, resume and motivation. Upon completion of the first page, please hit "submit application" tab at the end of the page. Please ensure that CV or P11 and the Cover letter are combined in one file.

The following documents shall be required from the applicants:

Personal CV or P11, indicating all past positions held and their main underlying functions, their durations (month/year), the qualifications, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate, and at least three (3) the most recent professional references of previous supervisors. References may also include peers.

A cover letter (maximum length: 1 page) indicating why the candidate considers him-/herself to be suitable for the position.

Managers may ask (ad hoc) for any other materials relevant to pre-assessing the relevance of their experience, such as reports, presentations, publications, campaigns or other materials.


Office/Unit/Project Description 

UNDP’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan emphasizes the critical links between environmental sustainability, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and broader efforts to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement. As part of the Global Policy Network in the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP’s Nature, Climate Change, and Energy (NCE) Team promotes and scales up integrated whole-of-governance approaches and nature-based solutions that reduce poverty and inequalities, strengthen livelihoods and inclusive growth, mitigate conflict, forced migration and displacement, and promote more resilient governance systems that advance linked peace and security agendas.

The NCE Team works with governments, civil society, and private sector partners to integrate natural capital, environment and climate concerns into national and sector planning and inclusive growth policies; support country obligations under Multilateral Environmental Agreements; and implement the UN’s largest portfolio of in-country programming on environment, climate change, and energy. This multi-billion dollar portfolio encompasses: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services including forests; Sustainable Land Management and Desertification including food and commodity systems; Water and Ocean Governance including SIDS; Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation; Renewable and Modern Energy; Extractive Industries; Chemicals and Waste Management; Environmental Governance and Green/Circular Economy and SCP approaches. This work advances crosscutting themes on innovative finance, digital transformation, capacity development, human rights, gender equality, health, technology, and South-South learning. UNDP's Nature, Climate and Energy practice spans 137 countries, with a portfolio directly benefiting 86 million people. Our support to Governments focusses on enabling an inclusive, resilient, green recovery by: building competency to accelerate access to sustainable energy and climate and nature-positive policies and finance; scaling capacity to ensure No One is Left Behind; catalyzing SDG and Paris-aligned investments (public and private); delivering client-focused solutions that respond to countries' immediate, mid- and long-term recovery and socio-economic development priorities; and leveraging our on-the-ground presence and networks to unlock bottom-up solutions that deliver lasting impacts at country level.

In addition to UNDP’s bilateral partnerships on nature climate and energy, UNDP is an accredited multilateral implementing agency of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Multilateral Fund (MLF), and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) which  includes the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund (GEF Trust Fund); the Nagoya Protocol Implementation Fund (NPIF); the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF); and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF). As part of UNDP’s partnership with these vertical funds, UNDP provides countries specialized integrated technical services for eligibility assessment, programme formulation, capacity development, policy advice, technical assistance, training and technology transfer, mobilization of co-financing, implementation oversight, results management and evaluation, performance-based payments and knowledge management services.  The Nature, Climate and Energy Team focuses on managing the oversight of climate and environmental financial resources from global trust funds to catalyze and unlock other types of public and private financing for sustainable development. This includes oversight of the design as well as implementation phase of projects (together with Country Offices and Regional Bureaus), as well as portfolio level oversight and management.

Under UNDP NCE, the Climate Change Adaptation Programme seeks the services of a qualified individual to provide technical expertise in: i) developing regional, country and locally-specific climate-related risk and vulnerability scenarios; ii) modelling changes in climate-related hazards (e.g. floods, drought, heatwaves, mudflows, coastal sea level rise and storm surges, rainfall-induced landslides etc); iii) assessing trends and changes in water resources, crop and species yields and distributions; iv) assessing trends and changes in EO and hydrometeorological surface observations; v) developing project-specific environmental indicators for regular monitoring, evaluation and learning related to project activities; and vi) providing scientific evidence to develop climate rationales as a basis for climate-change adaptation policies and projects. Climate rationales, their associated analyses, data and tools may be used to support Least Developed Country (LDC) governments formulate policies e.g. under the National Adaptation Plans (NAP) of action, or the development of proposals to access resources from a wide range of global environment- and climate-related funds.

Under the overall supervision of the Head and Principle Technical Advisor (PTA) of Climate Change Adaptation, the incumbent will assist national and sub-national governments to develop and implement programmes and projects that combine and sequence resources from GEF vertical funds such as the Special Climate Change Fund and the Least Developed Countries Fund, the Adaptation Fund, the Green Climate Fund as well as several other multilateral, bilateral, national, sub-national and private sector sources.


Institutional Arrangement

  • The Climate Risk and Early Warning Expert will report to the CCA PTA/Head under BPPS/ NCE, based in New York.
  • The Climate Risk and Early Warning Expert  will be given access to relevant information necessary for the execution of the tasks under this assignment.
  • The Climate Risk and Early Warning Expert will be responsible for providing her/his own workstation (i.e. laptop, internet, phone, scanner/printer, etc.) and must have access to reliable internet connection.
  • Given the global consultations to be undertaken during this assignment, the Climate Risk and Early Warning Expert is expected to be reasonably flexible with his/her availability for such consultations taking into consideration different time zones.

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work

The scope of work for the Climate Risk and Early Warning Expertwill vary depending on the specific assignment but would include working with international and country partners (consultants, governments, NGOs and multilateral stakeholders) on one or more tasks related to the key areas of technical expertise below:

  • Assessing existing country and government capabilities to use climate-related information, undertake hazard/risk analyses, and help identify suitable tools and scientific approaches to cover existing gaps; and to generate climate scenarios for decision-making at local, sub-national and national levels
  • Take a lead role in developing and supporting appropriate methods for modelling climate-related hazards (e.g. droughts, floods, landslides/mudflows, thunderstorms/squalls, sea level rise, coastal inundation, storm surge and waves), impacts (e.g. flooded/inundated areas, crop yields, disease vectors/suitability, pest distributions), exposed assets/populations and resulting risks to infrastructure and socially vulnerable populations. In each case the approach will depend on available data, models and country/project specific technical/human capacities;
  • Analysing and detecting trends in relevant impact related indices from historical hydroclimate and environmental observations, as well as expected future changes in such indices under a range of emission scenarios simulated by GCMs (where available RCMs/statistical downscaling);
  • Providing tailored climate observations and projections to support risk assessments: surface temperatures (daily/monthly/seasonal averages and extremes), precipitation (daily/monthly/seasonal averages and extremes), heatwaves, atmospheric moisture deficit, drought indices (SPI, SPEI, PDSI), evapotranspiration, soil moisture, crop and irrigation water requirements, snow depth and other variables required to define climate related hazards; providing multi-GCM (CMIP 5/6) projections for different future time slices (2030s, 2050s, 2080s and 2100) and multiple emissions scenarios (RCP 2.6, RCP4.5, RCP8.5); providing downscaled estimates of climate change using both regional climate models (RCMs) and statistical techniques e.g. from CORDEX, NEX-GDDP, SDSM, BCSD etc;
  • Developing country/locally relevant hazard models for complex phenomena e.g. statistical/dynamical models for riverine and flash flooding, streamflow, mudflows, landslides, sea level rise (including wave climates and storm surge), sea surface and ocean temperatures, acidification. Model their potential change, uncertainty ranges, probabilistic distributions, and given quantitative estimates of changes in climate define levels of risk for different future periods and emission scenarios; assessing the changes in losses, damages and the costs associated with changing risks under observed and modelled changes in climate;
  • Evaluating the physical reasons for the observed (using atmospheric model reanalyses, MERRA2, NCEP2, ERA etc) and simulated changes in climate and the extent to which the different GCMs and downscaled models are consistent in simulating the physical changes;
  • Supporting countries to be able to combine hazard and vulnerability/exposure information using GIS and geospatial technologies. Conduct workshops and training events on climate change risk assessments and hazard/vulnerability mapping using open source or freely available/subsidized software, and tailored to each country context (data availability, technical capacities to utilize software/models etc); developing storylines and narratives to explain complex inter-relationships between climate, social systems, economics and governance structures;
  • Integrating climate risk information, impact modeling (e.g. crops, flooding, health and economic models) and local/traditional knowledge to understand key mechanisms and test the effectiveness of potential adaptation strategies. Identify key thresholds beyond which existing systems are significantly affected and function less efficiently or effectively. Identify metrics for measuring/monitoring the decline of these functions and the success of adaptation initiatives;
  • Transferring datasets, computer code, analytic procedures and methods by conducting workshops and online tutorials with relevant national and in-country staff to assist in using them and building upon them for project baselines, monitoring and evaluation procedures;
  • Sharing knowledge on climate science and impacts, and guiding stakeholders on how to incorporate science and risk information into planning;
  • Conduct technical analyses to flesh out project components, technical sections, and project log frames with well-defined indicators, targets and outputs/activities.



Achieve Results:

LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact

Think Innovatively:

LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems

Learn Continuously:

LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences

Adapt with Agility:

LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands

Act with Determination:

LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results

Engage and Partner:

LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration

Enable Diversity and Inclusion:

LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity


Cross-Functional & Technical competencies


Thematic Area



Business Direction & Strategy

Effective Decision Making

Ability to take decisions in a timel and efficient manner in line with one’s authority, area of expertise and resources

Business Development

UNDP Representation

Ability to represent UNDP and productively share UNDP knowledge and activities;advocate for UNDP, its values, mission and work with various constituencies

Digital & Innovation

Data analysis

Ability to extract, analyse and visualize data (including

Real-Time Data) to form meaningful insights and aid

effective decision making

Partnership Management

Relationship management

Ability to engage with a wide range of public and

private partners, build, sustain and/or strengthen

working relations, trust and mutual understanding 

Programme and Policy

Nature, Climate and Energy

Climate change adaptation; Climate modelling;

Climate data and information

Programme and Policy

Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery

Early Warning Systems

Required Skills and Experience

Min. Education requirements

  • Master’s degree or higher in physical/climate sciences, environmental/Geographical/geospatial sciences, environmental economics, climate change adaptation/mitigation, international development with a specialization in climate change adaptation or other closely related fields.

Min. years of relevant work experience

  • 10 years’ experience in the use of modeling tools and techniques to guide decision making in one or more of the following: climate change modeling and downscaling, agricultural and water resource-related impacts modelling, sea-level rise and coastal impacts, climate change decision making under uncertainty, risk and vulnerability assessments, environmental monitoring/remote sensing, geospatial technologies, adaptation planning.

Required  skills

  • Demonstrated technical and scientific knowledge (through peer reviewed publications etc.) in the area of climate and impact modeling, risk/vulnerability assessments and adaptation to climate change;
  • Demonstrated capacity to work globally and interact with global and regional networks of partners, including multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors, CSOs, academic institutions and government institutions, e.g. meteorological/hydrological (NHMS) and disaster management institutions;
  • Demonstrable experience in providing technical support to developing countries in the area of climate information, impact modeling, early warning systems and related fields.

Desired skills in addition to the competencies covered in the Competencies section

  • Demonstrable understanding of environmental and local development issues in Latin America, Africa, Europe, and/or Asia and the Pacific, including isolated and vulnerable regions;
  • 10 years’ experience as technical advisors to UN, governments and development organisations is a strong asset;
  • Demonstrable experience developing operationally viable adaptation projects with financing from the Green Climate Fund, Adaptation Fund, Least Developed Country Fund and/or Special Climate Change Fund;
  • Demonstrable experience designing projects that focus on the strengthening of functional and operational capacities of climate-related Early Warning Systems;
  • Demonstrable experience in networking among government and civil society institutions, including research and academic institutions;
  • Experience and knowledge of UN system is desirable;
  • Experience in establishing and managing partnerships with private sector is desirable.

Required Language(s)

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English language;
  • Good command of oral and written French, Portuguese or Spanish is highly desirable.

Professional Certificates

  • N/A

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