Consultant - National Specialist on Environmental and Social Safeguards - Sri Lankans only

Location : Colombo with travel to field sites as necessary, SRI LANKA
Application Deadline :12-Aug-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :25 days within 6 months


UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. UNDP Sri Lanka has been working as the key development partner of choice since 1967, to achieve sustainable human development on economic, social and environmental fronts. UNDP Sri Lanka has a portfolio of projects that focus on environmental sustainability and climate resilience. These projects support the government to implement climate smart solutions in critical sectors, mainstream biodiversity into landscape management approaches and production sectors and produce quality and time sensitive reports to global environmental treaties/ conventions.


In this backdrop, Government of Sri Lanka, with the assistance of UNDP, has secured funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for the Project “Partnerships and Innovative Financing to Mainstream Biodiversity and Sustainable Land Management in the Wet and Intermediate Climatic Zones”.  The objective of the project is to conserve globally significant biodiversity by improving land management practices in tea and rubber production areas in the Wet and Intermediate Climatic Zones through innovative Private-Public-Community Partnerships. As per the project’s theory of change, this objective will be achieved through three components:


  • Component 1: Conservation and Restoration of High Conservation Value Forests (HCVFs) in the Wet and Intermediate Climatic Zones
  • Component 2: Innovative Public-Private-Community Partnerships for Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Land Management in Plantation Sector
  • Component 3: Knowledge Management, Gender Mainstreaming, Learning, and Monitoring and Evaluation.


To facilitate the Project and its objectives, UNDP Sri Lanka has obtained a project preparation grant (PPG) from the GEF to develop a full project document with supporting documentation for submission to the GEF for Chief Executive Officer’s endorsement with the ultimate objective of developing the project concept into a full project. UNDP Sri Lanka will be assembling a Project Development Team comprising of a highly competent team of experts from various disciplines, including a highly skilled international consultant who will head the team. The Specialist will support the Team Lead to conduct the necessary assessments to identify potential environmental and social risks, and ways to avoid negative environmental and social impacts where possible, and where risk avoidance is not possible, to identify appropriate mitigation and management measures, in line with the UNDP Social and Environmental Standards.


The National Environmental and Social Safeguards Specialist will report to the Programme Quality & Design Analyst of the Climate and Environment Team. The Specialist will work under the overall guidance and supervision of the PPG Team Leader and in close collaboration with the Lead National Consultant for Project Development. The intended IC should support the project formulation team to support the environmental and social safeguards related needs arising during the project formulation as required.



The primary scope of the consultancy is conducting the necessary assessments to identify potential environmental and social risks, and ways to avoid negative environmental and social impacts where possible, and where risk avoidance is not possible, to identify appropriate mitigation and management measures, in line with the UNDP Social and Environmental Standards.


Duties and Responsibilities

1) Preparatory Technical Studies and Reviews (Component A): Prepare inputs and support the required analyses/studies, as agreed with the PPG Team Leader, including:

     1. Assist the gender specialist to design participatory consultations with marginalized communities in the project landscape and conduct joint consultations.


2)  Formulation of the ProDoc, CEO Endorsement Request and Mandatory and Project Specific Annexes (Component B): Prepare inputs and support the development of final PPG deliverables, as agreed with the PPG Team Leader.

  1. Review the pre-screening (SESP) of the concept and update the SESP;
  2. Agree to the project-specific safeguard approach, work plan and field visits;
  3. Assess presence of Indigenous Peoples/ethnic minorities within project landscapes and their interests. If present, assess potential impacts of the project on rights and interests, lands, territories, resources, and traditional livelihoods and determine when FPIC applies in accordance with national contexts and preferences. Carry out consultations with communities at demonstration landscape to assess level of understanding and capacity to give consent, and identify community preferences for FPIC process. Based on these assessments, and if relevant, integrate relevant matters as needed including FPIC into project design and into the Indigenous People Plan and the comprehensive Stakeholder Engagement Plan. If IPs present in project area develop an Indigenous Peoples Plan and FPIC consultations and support the development of the Gender Action Plan;
  4. Identify the extent to which child labour is a problem in the estate sector, and if necessary, develop mitigation measures to address child labour issues, building on any available national guidelines or legislation to ensure avoidance of use of child labour;
  5. Update the pre-SESP in line with UNDP’s Guidance Note on Assessment and management,
  6. Finalize the SESP based on inputs from the PPG Team and UNDP safeguard team;
  7. Support on updating the Risk table for the project to address the environmental and social specific risk; and
  8. Prepare an Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) and ensure to undertake the following assessments to inform the ESMF preparation during the PPG stage:
  • Consultations with the potentially affected individuals (including estate labour, smallholders, etc.) and local communities (vegetable growers) to assess impacts on current levels of accessibility and use, in particular for fuel wood and forest resources.  Document the consultations,
  • An assessment of the potential for any RE projects, including new and existing micro-hydro schemes. The EMSF will include specific measures to address potential impacts on downstream water availability, risks to biodiversity, etc., if the potential for micro-hydro exists,
  • An assessment will be undertaken on the effectiveness of current progress made by the Private Plantation Companies to reduce chemical usage and improve the storage, transport, handling application and disposal of chemicals so as to reduce health related impacts. Based on the assessment, the ESMF will include measures, if necessary, to further reduce the health and ecological hazards associated with chemical use. Additional measures will be introduced in the plantation lands to restrict use of chemicals in areas close to streams and human habitations, as is currently practiced in some of the estate plantations,
  • A similar assessment will be undertaken in relation to chemical use in small vegetable growers and the ESMF will include specific measures to address this.
  • Include additional measures to be introduced in the plantation lands to restrict use of chemicals in areas close to streams and human habitations, as is currently practiced in some of the estate plantations,
  • Assess the extent to which estate labour will be affected by any measures to protect forests in terms on their dependency on fire wood and the extent to which this need can be met from forest plantation within the estates and alternative energy sources and the associated social impacts,
  • Based on the assessments, and as part of the ESMF prepare a matrix of potential environmental and social impacts of various potential project interventions and options for their mitigation and management to serve as tool for addressing impacts during project implementation,
  • identify roles and responsibilities for identification, oversight and monitoring the implementation of environmental and social mitigation and management measures and procedures for addressing these issues.  Identify any specific training needs for management of safeguards during project implementation.


3)  Validation Workshop (Component C):

  1. Contribute to the validation workshop; and
  2. Support all necessary revisions that arise during the workshop, as appropriate.


The above deliverables are subject to adjustments depending upon partner needs and emerging priorities. Any changes will be discussed and agreed to, with the consultant. Consultant’s duty station during the contract will be Colombo (home based) with travel to outstations as required.


Expected Outputs/Deliverables

The following results are expected from the work of the consultant:


  1. Updated SESP screening report and Environmental and Social Management Framework outlining the steps that will be followed during the Project Inception Phase, namely the completion of an Environmental Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), an Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP), and standalone plans as required including budgets / 14 days / 30th November 2020;
  2. Indigenous People Plan with documented FPIC consultations, if required, and;
  3. Project risk log / 09 days / 25th December 2020;
  4. Appropriate inputs to the final UNDP-GEF project document based on guidance from the PPG Team Leader / 02 days / 30th April 2021;
  5. Any other emerging priorities which may be adjusted from the days above/ Until 30th April 2021.



25 days of work within a 6-month period is estimated for the above described deliverables/tasks. The envisaged time frame of the consultancy is November 2020 – April 2021.



Consultant Profile

The prospective consultant should, as a minimum, have the following competencies and qualifications;


1) Technical

  • Proven ability to undertake development work in programme/ project management;
  • Solid experience in working on the national or international level in setting up and maintaining information management systems;
  • Ability to engage effectively with other implementing agencies supporting the respective UN agencies, development partners, the private sector, etc.;
  • Good understanding of the governance structure and systems in Sri Lanka, including the current political economy context;
  • Proven analytical skills: ability to conduct independent research and analysis, identify issues, and recommend appropriate solutions.


2)  Partnerships

  • Maturity and confidence in dealing with senior members of national and private sector institutions;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Excellent written communication skills, with analytic capacity and ability to synthesize relevant collected data and findings for the preparation of quality analysis for the development of the report;
  • Excellent coordination skills and result oriented collaboration with personnel with different subject expertise.
  • Excellent communication (both oral and written) and partnership building skills with multi-dimension partners.


3)  Results

  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
  • Good team player who has ability to maintain good relationships.

Required Skills and Experience

1)  Education

Master’s or higher degree in Environmental Science, Natural Resources Management or a closely related field;


2)  Experience

  • At least 5 years of relevant experience in Environment and Social Safeguards, Environmental Management, and Policy Development and Implementation;
  • Proven track record of supporting, advising and collaborating with government institutions on environmental and social safeguards, climate change and sustainable development;
  • Proven experience working with estate labour, Indigenous People in the region is highly desirable;
  • Proven experience and knowledge of safeguard principles, climate change, environmental and social impact assessment including environmental management of land and ecosystems;
  • Knowledge of UNDP, GEF or similar internationally funded projects and Social and Environmental Polices and Guidelines is an asset.


3)  Languages/ Other

Excellent analytical, writing, advocacy, presentation, and communication skills in English.




The application should contain:

  • Cover letter explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for the advertised position and a brief methodology on how you will approach and conduct the work.
  • Updated CV to include qualifications/competencies and relevant experience in similar projects and contact details of 3 professional referees who can certify your competencies, professionalism, quality of writing, presentation and overall suitability to this TOR
  • Individual consultants will be evaluated based on a combination of factors including cover letter, the credentials on offer and brief interview (optional) and the offer which gives the best value for money for the UNDP.
  • Please send the Financial Proposal separately to the following e-mail address:  stating the vacancy number/position  in the subject line.



All Inclusive Lump Sum Fee: LKR (_______________________________________)


All Inclusive Daily Fee: LKR (_____________________________________)

Amount in words:



Note: Payments will be based on invoices on achievement of agreed milestones i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR and certification of acceptance by the UNDP. The applicant must factor in all possible costs in his/her “All Inclusive Lump Sum Fee” including his/her consultancy and professional fee, travel (economy class flights is required to and from the Duty Station) honorarium, board and lodging, and any other foreseeable costs in this exercise. No costs other than what has been indicated in the financial proposal will be paid or reimbursed to the consultant. UNDP will only pay for any unplanned travel outside of this TOR and Duty Station on actual basis and on submission of original bills/invoices and on prior agreement with UNDP officials. Daily per diem and costs for accommodation/meals/incidental expenses for such travel shall not exceed established local UNDP DSA rates.


For an Individual Contractor who is 65 years of age or older, and on an assignment requiring travel, be it for the purpose of arriving at the duty station or as an integral duty required travel under the TOR, a full medical examination and statement of fitness to work must be provided.  Such medical examination costs must be factored into the financial proposal above. Medical examination is not a requirement for individuals on RLA contracts. 



Payments will be based on the completion of deliverables and submission of written reports specifying the achievement of the deliverables outlined above. The payments will be verified by the Lead National Consultant for Project Development.


  1. 30th November 2020 – 30% of the total payment on submitting the Deliverable 1
  2. 31st December 2020 – 40% of total payment on submitting the Deliverable 2 & 3
  3. 30th April 2021 – 30% of total payment on submitting Deliverable 4 & 5


UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workplace, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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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