Senior International Individual Consultant for the GC-RED Programme

Location : Home Based with mission travels
Application Deadline :03-Feb-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Climate & Disaster Resilience
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English   French  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :180 days over 23 months (or up to 31 December 2021)
Expected Duration of Assignment :180 days over 23 months (or up to 31 December 2021)


The Nairobi-based Global Policy Centre on Resilient Ecosystems and Desertification (GC-RED) is one of five UNDP Global Policy Centres. It was constituted in October 2014, building on the achievements of the former Drylands Development Centre. GC-RED’s substantive focus is on the following areas of work: sustainable management of renewable natural capital for optimal livelihoods and jobs creation, with a focus on the poorest communities; and ensuring social and ecological resilience in drylands and other fragile ecosystems.

The Centre’s Programme for 2015-2020 is designed to achieve the following results:

  • Global thinking and knowledge sharing on inclusive and sustainable development in drylands and other fragile ecosystems advanced;
  • Capacities to address science-policy issues related to biodiversity and ecosystem services management and utilization developed.

The first result covers the Centre’s core activities in support of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), with primary focus on land degradation neutrality and drought resilience. The second result was added in July 2016, following a substantive revision of the initial Programme document signed in February 2015. The objective of this revision was to incorporate the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Network (BES-Net) initiative in the Programme. 

The mid-term review of the Programme, conducted in November-December 2018, concluded that it was on track to achieve its intended results and implemented in an effective manner to the satisfaction of its partners. The review did not recommend significant adjustments to the strategy, activities and budget of the Programme for the remaining period in 2019-2020. Rather, it proposed to extend the Programme till December 2021 to: a) coincide with the current UNDP Strategic Plan (2018-2021); b) contribute to the fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNCCD in the fall of 2021; and c) provide sufficient time to develop the new programme of the Centre.   

In this context, a senior international consultant will be recruited to support the implementation of the Programme in 2020-2021.  

Application process.

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Duties and Responsibilities

The objective of this assignment is to support the implementation of the Programme through the provision of technical expertise to successfully complete the activities of the 2020 and 2021 workplans. More specifically, the support will cover the following activities:-

Land Degradation: (Home-based with missions to Nairobi, Bonn and Addis)  

  • Providing strategic guidance to the Centre on Land Degradation Neutrality including on target setting and implementation in-line with the UNCCD 2018-2030 Strategic Framework ;
  • Supporting the preparation of the second edition of the Global Land Outlook through the review of  technical papers and draft chapters, and participation in relevant meetings;      
  • Supporting the implementation of the initiative “Future Perspectives on Land for Eastern Africa”, in partnership with the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, through the participation in two technical workshops (in Nairobi and Addis Ababa respectively) and the review of the final report and summary for policy makers;
  • Delivering the Programme’s support to the UNCCD Gender Action Plan, including the activities on “Gender Mainstreaming in LDN” and the “Gender Caucus”, in partnership with UNCCD, UN Women and IUCN; 
  • Supporting the Centre’s engagement in LDN-related initiatives including the “UN Coalition on Sand and Dust Storms”, follow up on the “Economics of Land Degradation” and “UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration”, through the provision of technical advice, review of documents and contribution to relevant meetings;
  • Assisting the Centre in responding to UNDP/corporate requests related to land degradation neutrality, sustainable land management and restoration (e.g. review of technical documents, preparation of briefing notes, etc.).   

Drought Resilience: (Home-based)

  • Providing technical support to the UNCCD Drought Initiative, including the completion of drought action plans in Programme countries (2) and contribution to joint activities/events with the UNCCD;
  • Compiling the Programme’s input to the Integrated Drought Management Programme, including feedback to the Advisory Committee and comments on technical guidelines and reports;                                         

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: (Home-based with a mission to Trialogue country)

  • Participating in the Trialogue for Francophone Africa, organized by BES-Net, as a resource person on land degradation and restoration (The Trialogue provides a constructive place for dialogue between scientists, policy-makers and practitioners). This includes the review of the background document prepared for the Trialogue as well as the action document prepared by Trialogue participants;

UNCCD Processes: (Home-based with missions to COP15 host-county, Bonn, 2 others TBC)

  • Backstopping the Centre in its role as UNDP’s focal point for the UNCCD. This includes the provision of technical/policy advice and the preparation of notes, talking points and presentations for UNCCD-related events and activities (e.g. Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention [CRIC]; capacity building, thematic and/or regional meetings);
  • Supporting UNDP’ preparation for and participation in the Fifteenth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNCCD (COP15, fall 2021) including drafting UNDP’s position paper and engagement strategy (along with other units supporting UNCCD implementation), backstopping the UNDP delegation to COP15, and preparing concept notes for and organizing side events.

Programme Reporting: (Home-based with 2 missions to Nairobi and 1 to Bonn)

  • Contributing to the annual report of the Programme by providing the relevant inputs regarding the above-mentioned activities. This includes the submission of quarterly progress reports to the Centre’s Policy and Programme Team and the preparation for the annual meeting of the Programme Board; 
  • Supporting the Centre in undertaking the final evaluation of the Programme (fall 2021) including the preparation of the terms of reference, the provision of inputs to the evaluation team and review of the evaluation report.

Expected Deliverables and Payment Schedule

  • Satisfactory submission of quarterly progress reports, highlighting progress towards the delivery of the above activities, challenges and opportunities;
  • Satisfactory compilation of the substantive input for the annual report of the Programme;
  • Satisfactory preparation of technical notes, briefs, talking points, presentations and minutes for  the above activities;
  • Satisfactory preparation for and participation in COP15 including the position paper, engagement strategy, concept notes for side events and COP15 mission report;
  • Satisfactory contribution to the final evaluation of the Programme including preparation of terms of reference, provision of inputs to the evaluation team and review of the evaluation report.


Corporate competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN values and ethical standards;
  • Respects the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability; and
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism.

Functional Competencies:

  • Planning and Organizing: Allocates the appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; Uses time efficiently; Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary;
  • Client orientation: Identifies clients’ needs and match them with appropriate solutions; Keeps a client informed on progress and setbacks in projects; Meets timeline for delivery of product or service to the client;
  • Communication: Ability to write clear reports; Ability to engage with diplomacy with various stakeholders; Proven networking and outreach skills in multi-stakeholder environments.

Required Skills and Experience


  • An advanced degree (Masters’ degree or equivalent) in environment, development or other relevant fields.


  • Minimum of ten (10) years of relevant practical experience in UNCCD implementation;
  • Proven expertise in sustainable land management and land degradation neutrality;
  • Proven experience in sustainable development in drylands, including gender mainstreaming;
  •  Work experience in programme development and implementation;
  • Demonstrated experience in writing good quality reports;
  •  Previous work experience with the UN System and familiarity with UNDP’s general programming work are desirable.

Language skills:

  • Excellent demonstrated verbal communication and writing skills in both English and French. Knowledge of another UN language is an advantage.



  • Individual consultants will be evaluated based on a cumulative analysis taking into consideration the combination of the applicant's qualifications and financial proposal. The contract will be awarded to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:
  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical,oral interview and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

Only those candidates who obtained at least 70% of points, or a minimum of 49 points, in both the technical evaluation and oral interview would be considered for financial evaluation.

Technical Evaluation (60% of total evaluation; maximum 60 points):

  • Minimum educational requirement (Mandatory);
  • Demonstrated practical work experience in UNCCD implementation (Max. 20);
  • Proven expertise in sustainable land management and land degradation neutrality (Max 10);
  • Proven experience in inclusive sustainable development in drylands (Max. 10);
  • Work experience in programme development and implementation (Max. 10);
  •  Previous UN experience/familiarity with UNDP’s programmatic work (Max. 5);
  • Excellent verbal communication and writing skills in both English and French (Max. 5).

Oral Interview (10% of total evaluation; maximum 10 points):

  • Online oral interviews will be conducted to candidates to confirm their understanding of the assignment.

Financial Evaluation (30% of total evaluation; maximum 30 points)

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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