National Consultant - Capacity Building of Indigenous Communities

Location : Dhaka, BANGLADESH
Application Deadline :22-Oct-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Climate & Disaster Resilience
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 :20 days
Expected Duration of Assignment :Over a period of two months from October to December 2020

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.


UNDP Bangladesh’s Country Programme Document (2017-2020) seeks to assist the Government of Bangladesh and its development partners to implement Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. In the context of the Bangladesh 7th Five Year Plan (7FYP) and the government’s vision to graduate from Least Developed Country status, UNDP will aim to ensure a more resilient and inclusive society that shares its increasing prosperity with all. UNDP will leverage its unique position and experience to deliver tactical policy and programme expertise that supports implementation of the 7FYP and cements UNDP as a strategic partner of the government on the sustainable development agenda.

Within UNDP, the Resilience and Inclusive Growth Portfolio leads its programme and policy advisory support in climate change mitigation and adaptation; urban poverty and urbanization; social protection; disaster management and environmental sustainability, with a key focus on gender. We support the country by providing high quality policy advice, mobilizing resources, developing capacity; knowledge management and innovation, and fostering south-south cooperation. The Resilience and Inclusive Growth cluster encourages new ideas and innovation through idea generation, design thinking and bringing in various expertise. The climate change programme hosts and implements a number of projects lined up for intervention in various vulnerable locations of Bangladesh that addresses the needs and demands of the most marginalized, of which ethnic minority communities is coined as one. The programme is aware of selective disadvantages of such discriminated communities, to which the project ‘Strengthening drought-resilience of ethnic minority communities in north-western Bangladesh’ brings in approaches, interventions and opportunities for the plainland ethnic minority communities in barind region.

The ethnic minority communities living in the north and north-western highland Barind areas of Bangladesh are extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate-induced temperature increased droughts. The Resilience and Inclusive Growth Cluster through its project ‘Strengthening drought-resilience of ethnic minority communities in north-western Bangladesh’ seeks to enhance the adaptive capacity of 315,178 ethnic minority people through enhanced access to cultural-sensitive risk information, climate resilient livelihoods, educational opportunities, and climate responsive health services. Further, the project intends to promote the representation of ethnic minorities in decision making processes and mainstream adaptation of ethnic minorities into national planning and budgeting processes on climate change. The 6 years project will be executed by HEKS/EPER, EdM as a responsible party, UNDP as an Accredited Entity, as well as national NGOs. The fund level impacts of the project are increased resilience and enhanced livelihoods of the most vulnerable communities and increased resilience of health and well-being, and food-security of the north-western ethnic minorities in Bangladesh. Recognizing the layered socio-economic marginalization of ethnic minorities that leads to their disproportionally increased vulnerability to the effects of climate change, the proposed solutions of the project are meant to be developed with the full consent and verification of the targeted communities to ensure their cultural-responsiveness and, ultimately, enable the communities to take ownership of their adaptation strategies to sustain shifts in livelihoods.

The paradigm shift is to move away from a focus on majority-driven action and technology-led interventions towards culturally-responsive solutions. Such solutions are meant to enable the minorities to have access to and use climate change information to build ownership and empower them to design, implement, and manage adaptive responses to safeguard their livelihoods and support their youth to break through an iterative cycle of socio-economic marginalisation. The targeting is anchored in identifying districts and upazilas most exposed to observed and projected drought impacts and with a high density of ethnic minorities.

A total of five districts (namely Naogaon, Rajshahi, Joypurhat, and Dinajpur, ChapaiNaabganj) in Northwest Bangladesh were identified as priority areas due to their high exposure to climate induced droughts The main objective of the proposal is to enhance the adaptive capacity of plainland ethnic minority communities to pursue suitable and applicable climate change adaptation strategies and, ultimately, to strengthen their resilience against current and future climate risks. The goal is related to the adaptive capacity and enhancing resilience of the plainland ethnic minority communities which are defined through outputs, which include: 

  • Output 1: Ethnic minority communities capacitated to uptake climate resilient livelihoods and career pathways
  • Output 2: Enhanced access of communities to climate change informed health education sessions and services to secure a sustainable shift towards climate resilient livelihoods.
  • Output 3: Strengthened institutional technical capacity and ethnic minority representation to enable climate-risk informed, culturally-sensitive planning and management of livelihoods.

Duties and Responsibilities

Objective of the assignment:

A pre-feasibility study to scope the project’s idea was conducted in 2018 while a community consultation exercise (2020) allowed for furthering the information in line with the social, cultural, economic, gendered and traditional viewpoints to outline the concept note.  The objective of the assignment is to:

  1. Conduct a review of the existing reports and studies to revise the concept note and pre-feasibility study report of the project for final submission to the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
  2. Develop capacity building strategies for the indigenous communities in line with their socio-economic and geographical set-up, in order to develop best practices for them against natural, cultural, social barrier and other barriers like language, proximity to services or access to information etc.


The community consultation report developed in line with HEKS/EPER focused on the adaptation needs of plainland ethnic minority communities living in 22 Upzilas (sub-district) from 5 High-Barind Districts in the North-western part of Bangladesh. Based on the vulnerable plainland ethnic minority communities who are experiencing climate-induced drought, the community consultation report will be the base document for further revising of the concept note. Alongside, the consultant is expected to review all other project related documents including the pre-feasibility study, inception report, IP engagement reporting framework etc.

Expectation from the concept note:

The concept note should fully reflect the adaptation needs, problems, gaps of the plainland ethnic minority communities in Barind region which will narrate ways towards culturally, acceptable adaptive strategies to tackle climate induced drought conditions. Reflecting native understanding of the term ‘climate change induced drought’, the impacts of climate induced drought on health and education, livelihood, water resources, cropping patterns, food habits and cultural practices etc. would help designing the concept note and the full proposal to comply with the GCF Indigenous People Policy overall. The concept note, focusing on impact of climate change induced drought on plain land ethnic minorities, should: 

  • Reflect experience based evidence from the community people from the grassroot levels.
  • Demonstrate the attribution of droughts in barind region in Bangladesh to climate change, showing context with temperature rise and assessing vulnerability of life and livelihood with changing climate.
  • Be able to reflect upon potential climate resilient or adaptive livelihood (once attribution to climate change has been recognized) to scope opportunities with water, food security, health and education etc. for the plainland ethnic minority communities.
  • Assess the barriers and align proven solutions in line with the problems and gaps.

The concept note should also help scope the robustness of the solutions which are delineated within the theory of change with confidence of it as an economic case; environmental and social sustainability case of the proposed interventions; gender equality case of the solutions; indigenous people’s human rights, cultural heritage and sovereignty case of the solution. As such, demonstrating high level of adaptation benefits with environmental and other co-benefits for the plainland ethnic minority communities. Future projections critical to understand climate change attribution to drought scenarios may be defined through hazard modelling, exposure mapping, sensitivity analysis to examine whether the indigenous people’s life and livelihood is likely to be exposed to climate change induced drought.

The concept note should substantially reflect the traditional and cultural values of the plainland ethnic minority communities. Designing of the concept must keept various factors into consideration, for instance, antagonistic views from inter-generational communities outlined in the community consultation document, barriers of the Adivasis to cling on to their traditional livelihood practices/nature-centric livelihood, gendered perspectives, natural and cultural push and pull factors. Therefore, upholding the case of the plainland ethnic minority communities regarding the impacts of climate change on their lives along with the barriers and ways to culturally acceptable adaptive strategies with the changing scenario.

Roles and responsibilities:

  • Review the concept note to reflect upon the attribution of climate change with drought in Barind region in Bangladesh with respect to scenario indicators, life and livelihoods and overall vulnerability. The community consultation report and other base documents on adaptation needs of plainland ethnic minority communities should be consulted 
  • Review the possible challenges and scope capacity building opportunities for the indigenous communities, keeping their sovereignty and cultural norms at forefront, to best cope with the existing socio-cultural and other forms of barriers  
  • Include the context and baseline of the concept note in relation with perception-based climate attribution with drought along with science-based evidence) 
  • Review of the theory of change in line with the community consultation further to the stimulus, exposure, means, conditions and other critical factors that eventually determines the change narratives towards the goal of the intervention, by elaborating:
  • Stimulus and reflecting community perception with regard to climate induced drought
  • Exposure unit and the effects of precipitation and change of temperature on livelihood choices, education, health, cropping pattern, food habit, daily life, education, religious and cultural practice and health
  • Operator to locate the individual or collective actors (a private household, CBOs, a firm or a governmental actor) who initiate/may initiate different responses with regard to climate adaptation.
  • Receptor to locate possible receptors as both biophysical entities (e.g. the outputs of a livelihood options/ crops of a famer) and social systems (e.g. the farmer household, share-cropping).
  • Means to explore available means to implement the adaptation strategy with regard to access to financial or other material resources, legal power, social networks, knowledge, or availability of information
  • Reflect the climate change specific barriers with proven solutions which are both cost effective and culturally acceptable; further assess the root gaps and problems addressed by the project including lack of data, risk information, adaptive capacity, access and awareness on climate change coupled with cultural constraints to interpret risk information
  • Revise and update the latest data within the concept note, e.g. reference of country geography details, mean elevation, population etc. 
  • Represent the case of plainland ethnic minorities and their cases of social and cultural exclusion, insecurity, and discrimination, which are exacerbating their vulnerability to climate change
  • Posing further clarify in the use of terms 'ethnic minority' and its resemblance to 'indigenous people' and how the project falls under the GCF Indigenous People's Policy.
  • Bring social, economic, and cultural impacts of intensified droughts in the Barind areas with agriculture, livestock, freshwater availability, health-related impacts,
  • Include and update with recent adaptation measures implemented in the project area and how the project itself will build upon them, for furthering this with more potential opportunities; cross-checking with the vulnerability of the plainland ethnic minority communities
  • Further assess the operational risks and corresponding mitigation measures of the project with logical assessment of ongoing and potential circumstances
  • Define the sustainability and replicability of the project with further clarity
  • Address previously obtained remarks for improvement of the existing project document for submission to the GCF, e.g. use of higher resolution maps preferably one demonstrating situation during the hot season and the other with projected drought affected areas by 2050.
  • Defining project approach through environmental, economic, social, human and technological dimensions of the problem, defining alignment with climate change national level policies in Bangladesh
  • Prioritize innovation towards the long-term set-up and sustainability, while also assess and reflect implementation arrangements, governance, quality assurance, financing structures, GCF instruments, rationale and co-financing towards a comprehensive financing model for adaptive livelihoods in the drought prone areas impacted by climate change


The consultant will directly report to Climate Change Specialist of the UNDP.


The Consultant will prepare and submit the above-mentioned documents during the assignment period. All deliverables of the consultant will be submitted in English. The deliverable’s outline should be agreed on at the beginning of the assignment and cleared by the task force. Further work or revision of the documents may be required if it is considered that the documents do not meet the ToR, errors of fact or the documents are incomplete or not of an acceptable standard.

Financial proposal

Contract based on Lump Sum. The consultants will be paid in lump sum contract in delivery-basis based on the report of the supervisor if following documents are delivered and accepted:


Serial no.


No. of working days


Percentage of payment


Scoping report on capacity building opportunities for the indigenous communities 


15 November 2020



Revised concept note and pre-feasibility study report


14 December 2020



Travel and Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA)

No DSA will be paid at the duty station. If unforeseen travel outside the duty station not required by the Terms of Reference is requested by UNDP, and upon prior agreement/approval, such travel shall be UNDP’s expenses and the individual contractor shall receive a per-diem not to exceed United Nations daily subsistence allowance (DSA) rate in such other location(s).


Individual Consultant will be evaluated based on the following methodologies:

Cumulative analysis

When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract should be made to the individual Consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  1. responsive/compliant/acceptable, and
  2. Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

* Technical Criteria weight; 70%

* Financial Criteria weight; 30%

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49% point in technical criteria would be considered for the Financial Evaluation



Max. Point




Criteria A: Postgraduate degree in Environment, Climate Change, Economics, Development Studies or relevant subjects or related field



Criteria B : At least 5 years of work experience on climate change policies and strategies, practices with countries in the region, preferably with experience in Bangladesh context and has experience understanding indigenous communities socio-economic setting



Criteria C : Critical writing skills in English by provision of 1-2 writing reports, concept notes etc.  and understanding of global, regional and national processes



Criteria D: Experience of working with GCF/GEF programme development practices will be an advantage








100 points




  • Good interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to take initiative and promotes a knowledge sharing and learning culture in the office;
  • Ability to establish and maintain good working relationships to facilitate work goals;
  • Demonstrable capacity to build knowledge through using various sources;
  • Ability to plan, organize, implement and report on work;
  • Positive, constructive attitude to work, effective problem solving, self-improvement, analysis and synthesis;
  • Openness to change and ability to responds positively to feedback and differing points of view and integrates & updates accordingly; adaptability, creativity;
  • Excellent presentation and facilitation skills;
  • Demonstrates integrity and ethical standards;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality, age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Exhibit strong teamwork skills in a complex environment.
  • Confident in demonstration of work;
  • Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure.

Required Skills and Experience


Academic qualification: Postgraduate degree in Environment, Climate Change, Economics, Development Studies, or relevant subjects or related field to the discipline of social science

Language requirement: Fluent over communicating in both English and Bangla, both written and verbal.


The qualification requirements for the consultant is as follows:

  • At least 5 years of work experience on climate change policies and strategies, practices with countries in the region, preferably with experience in Bangladesh context
  • Proven experience and understanding of global, regional and national process
  • Experience of working with GCF/GEF programme development  practices will be an advantage
  • Proven experience  as team leader in project development and project management
  • Excellent writing skills in English by provision of 1-2 writing reports, concept notes etc.

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