Review of Operational Guidelines for Disaster Risk Management in Malawi

Location : Lilongwe, with limited travel to selected districts, MALAWI
Application Deadline :23-May-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :40 working days


Malawi is exposed to various types of hazards such as floods, drought, stormy rains, accidents, hailstorms, disease epidemics, earthquakes and pest infestations. Severe floods regularly result into disasters, overflowing river systems, displacing hundreds of people and impoverishing them, with failed assets and livelihoods. The impacts of disasters are enormous and have hindered the country’s socio-economic development. Disaster Risk Management is very critical for Malawi to safeguard the economic gains that the country has achieved this far. To effectively coordinate implementation of disaster risk management programmes in the country, the government, through the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA), in 2013 started the review of the Disaster Preparedness and Relief Act of 1991. The review of the Act has been aligned to the National Disaster Risk Management Policy which was approved by Cabinet in February 2015. A draft Disaster Risk Management Bill has been developed which, when passed, will replace the Disaster Preparedness and Relief Act of 1991.

To guide implementation of the disaster risk management agenda in Malawi as outlined in the DRM policy and DRM bill, DoDMA developed the Operational Guidelines for Disaster Risk Management and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Disaster Response. The Operational Guidelines (OGs) provides for a detailed institutional arrangement for disaster risk management (DRM) in the country and assign roles and responsibilities to different actors on all aspects of DRM, covering disaster risk reduction, preparedness, response and recovery. The OGs have also been aligned to the National Disaster Risk Management Policy, providing guidance on how each of the policy priority areas would be realized, focusing on the coordination and implementation aspects. The SoPs are part of the OGs and focus on the disaster response phase, providing for standard operating procedures for different aspects of disaster response. The OGs and SoPs will form national regulations on DRM to support the anticipated new DRM legislation.

In 2017, Malawi Government engaged a Consultant to align the OGs and SoPs to the DRM Bill but there is scope for improvement.   Malawi Government would like to further review the OGs and SoPs to ensure that they meet national and international standards. The review process would also consider critical issues within disaster response and those leading to early and long-term recovery, including the institutionalization of post-disaster needs assessment as an element of disaster response and recovery.

With support from UNDP, DoDMA would like to engage the services of an international individual consultant to review the OGs and SoPs to align them to local and international standards, while ensuring consistent alignment to the DRM Bill and the DRM Policy.

Duties and Responsibilities

The main purpose of the assignment is to undertake a comprehensive review of the drafted Operational Guidelines for Disaster Risk Management and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The consultant is also expected to propose thresholds, or minimum requirements, for declaring disasters at different scales. Such standards should also include guidance as to when a post disaster needs assessment (PDNA) may be required and the procedures for requesting and conducting such a PDNA.

To undertake this exercise, DoDMA would like to engage the services of a competent, well qualified and experienced international consultant who is fully committed and available for the duration of the task, to carry out the assignment. The consultant is expected to undertake the following specific duties:

  • Review key literature on disaster risk management that would be relevant to the assignment. The literature review should inform the current status and identify issues to be considered in the strengthening the drafted OGs and SoPs.  The key documents to be consulted should include but not limited to, the draft DRM Bill; the Disaster Preparedness and Relief Act of 1991; the National Disaster Risk Management Policy; the National Disaster Recovery Framework; report on the review of the International Disaster Response Law in Malawi; the Management Guidelines on Devolution of Disaster Risk Management Functions; the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 and drought and floods post disaster needs assessment reports and other international literature relevant to the assignment;
  • Within one week of signing the contract, produce an inception report that will be presented to the client and to a national taskforce that should detail out:
  1. The consultant(s) understanding of the assignment with focus on the scope and deliverables of the assignment;
  2. Methodology to be used;
  3. Initial list of stakeholders to be consulted;
  4. An annotated list of literature to be consulted;
  5. Timeframe;
  6. Proposed outline of the revised operational guidelines and standard operating procedures.
  • Consult stakeholders at both national and district levels. With input from a taskforce, the consultant is expected to draw up a list of stakeholders to be consulted in the review process, both at the national and district levels. The list will be an improvement on what was presented in the inception report. While the taskforce might accompany the consultant during consultations, it is the sole responsibility of the consultant to plan and carry out the consultations;
  • Review the standard operating procedures for disaster response for Malawi to determine if they are of international standards. In addition to the revised Operational Guidelines, the consultant will be expected to review and strengthen the drafted SOPs for disaster response that detail out, among others, the processes and institutional arrangements to be followed in times of a disaster, including specific roles and responsibilities.
  • Propose, as part of the OGs, thresholds for declaration of disaster at different levels as well as thresholds for instituting and conducting post disaster needs assessment;
  • Produce revised Operational Guidelines for Disaster Risk Management and SoPs aligned to the DRM Bill. With support from the client and the taskforce, the consultant will further carry out consultations with key stakeholders at national and district levels and produce a revised draft Operational Guidelines. It is the responsibility of the consultant(s) to prepare and keep records of all reports for all consultations conducted and the stakeholders consulted;
  • Facilitate national stakeholder consultation and validation workshops. After presenting the draft OG and SOPs to the client and taskforce, the consultant is expected to present the revised documents to national level stakeholders for validation. The validation process also requires presenting the documents, including a report of the process, to the National Disaster Preparedness and Relief Committee.


Corporate Competencies:

  • Promotes the vision, mission and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Demonstrate integrity by modelling the UN's values and ethical standards;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race and age sensitivity and adaptability.

Functional Competencies

  • Excellent command of written and spoken English;
  • Proven ability to meet deadlines and work with minimum supervision;
  • Excellent presentation and report writing skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal and teamwork skills..

Required Skills and Experience


  • A minimum of a Master’s Degree in Law, Disaster Risk Management, Environment, Climate Change Adaptation, or any related field.  Those with combined qualifications in law and disaster risk management will have an added advantage.

General Professional Experience

  • Experience in working with national governments and other stakeholders within Africa
  • Experience in stakeholder analysis and engagement, particularly in the context of developing countries

Specific Professional Experience

  • A minimum of 5 years of professional experience in drafting bills, regulation, OGs, SoPs or policies, with those having undertaken such work in disaster risk management or areas related to disaster risk management having a distinct advantage.

Language Requirement: 

  • Fluency in written and spoken English is essential.

How to Apply

Interested individual consultants who meet the above specifications should submit  technical and financial proposals to demonstrate their comparative advantage and competencies as follows:

Technical Proposal, which:

  • Explains why the consultant is the most suitable candidate for the work.
  • Provides a brief indication on consultant’s initial understanding of the task.
  • Provides the methodology on how they will approach and conduct the work, including timeframe; and
  • Provides personal curriculum vitae including past experience in similar projects, and names of at least 3 referees.

Financial proposal detailing out the consultant fees, travel and related costs and all other expenses. All costs related to the consultant’s work should be factored in the budget.

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.

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