GIS Specialist (International Consultant)

Location : Dili, Timor Leste
Application Deadline :01-Apr-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :10 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.


Timor-Leste is highly vulnerable to climate changes, particularly increasing variability of rainfall and extreme weather events. Lives and livelihoods in the remote interior of the country and coastal regions are both highly exposed. Impacts of intensified extreme events include damage and degradation of decentralized small-scale critical infrastructure, particularly water supply and drainage structures, embankments, and feeder roads and bridges. Damages leave rural populations isolated, lacking basic services. In response to this challenge, in 2019, the Government of Timor-Leste (GoTL) with the support of UNDP received funding from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to implement the “Safeguarding rural communities and their physical assets from climate-induced disasters in Timor-Leste” project from 2020 to 2026.   The project is represented by the Secretariat of State of Environment (SEA), under the Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs, as the Implementing Partner with the main responsible parties/ministries being the Ministry of State Administration, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Ministry of Public Works and the Secretary of State for Civil Protection.

The objective of the project is to safeguard vulnerable communities and their physical assets from climate change-induced disasters. It aims to address existing institutional, financial and legislative barriers, increasing the climate resilience of vulnerable small-scale rural infrastructure. The project targets 175,840 direct beneficiaries, an estimated 15% of the total population. Benefits include increased climate resilience for small-scale infrastructure as well as 300 ha of reforested and rehabilitated land to buffer against climate-induced disasters.

This will be achieved by delivering the following results:

  1. Strengthening the capacity of mandated institutions to assess and manage climate risks in order to maintain local infrastructure services. GCF-funded activities will embed new skills, technologies, and innovative methods in climate risk identification and mitigation processes. Monitoring and recording of climate risk information will be enhanced, and these data will be integrated into policies, standards, guidelines, and long-term investment planning for small-scale rural infrastructure.
  2. Implementing climate-resilient building measures to improve small-scale rural infrastructure in vulnerable areas. GCF funds will assist in the development and implementation of catchment management strategies, supporting long-term resilience and climate risk reduction via landscape restoration and enhanced land stability, particularly in vulnerable catchments where small-scale infrastructure is present. 

The project is supporting the ongoing decentralized investment frameworks which is administered through the Municipality Development Investment Program (PDIM) and National Suco Development Plan (PNDS) processes, by embedding the knowledge of climate risks and skills of climate-proofing design, construction, operation, and maintenance of rural infrastructure.  Through the project, local authorities’ capacity for climate-risk informed development of long-term investment plans will be enhanced, thereby strengthening de-centralized decision-making.

The project will support the development of the spatial data infrastructure (SDI)/ establishment of the GIS laboratory in collaboration with the Secretary of State for Civil Protection (SSCP).  In terms of the components of the SDI, these include the policies and institutional arrangements (governance, data privacy, and security, data sharing arrangements), people (training, capacity development, and cooperation), data (digital base map, place names, etc.) and the technology (hardware, software, networks, databases, technical implementation plans). The project will collaborate closely with the SSCP and relevant partners to provide the technical assistance and support related to the establishment of the SDI and its key components.  This will be complemented with the relevant training to selected participants at both the national and municipality levels that will be conducted on data management and analysis and data management standards and protocols will be introduced. Data sharing protocols are expected to be established among relevant Directorates and Ministries holding relevant data resources.

Duties and Responsibilities

The international consultant (GIS Specialist) will work under the overall supervision and guidance of the CTA and collaborate closely with the National Project Manager and engaged national and international experts and relevant national institutions to spearhead the establishment of the spatial data infrastructure (SDI)/GIS system within the Secretary of State for Civil Protection (SSCP) in coordination and collaboration with the Secretary of State for the Environment and the other Responsible Parties to the project, relevant government institutions, UN Agencies, the project team, UNDP CO and academia. 

Specific responsibilities will include:

  • Preparation of the Inception report summarizing the objectives, scope, and outputs of the assignment, organization, and methodology for the achievement of the outputs/deliverables, documentation review, proposed tentative meetings and consultations to be held, highlighting initial findings from desk/document review, outline key components and aspects of the SDI that will be established in SSCP, and presenting a detailed work plan with indicative timelines for the assignment.
  • Establish the project Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI)/ GIS system in Secretary of State for Civil Protection. The aim of the task is to develop a comprehensive data management system based on appropriate spatial data infrastructure which will lay the spatial foundation for monitoring, recording, and accounting for climate-induced damages in order to inform climate risk reduction planning and budgeting. Additionally, such an established GIS database will enable linkage with floods` and other climate-induced impacts (socioeconomic, the vulnerability of marginalized communities, etc.) and produce various GIS-based tools to produce hazard and vulnerability maps, estimates of damages, and loss of life, and other necessary analyzes.
  • Develop mobile GIS-based asset condition inspection methods and tools. This includes the mobile application/data collection form to record the data and transmit to the central server, testing of the tools, and provide training for relevant staff in the line ministries, project staff, and municipalities. Develop and codify methods and tools for undertaking socio-economic surveys to collect the necessary information to fully map the socio-economic conditions within the basin. Methods and tools will be revised and updated based on feedback received during the testing phase and any additional feedback or input arising during the training and data collection stage.
  • Develop manual, digital templates and related tools to support counterparts, field staff (national and sub-national levels), project team to conduct routine monitoring and mapping exercises, data collection and how to record loss and damages, data review and data modeling inputs, design and facilitate appropriate trainings and capacity development on its application, testing and revision accordingly. Facilitate the involvement and transfer of knowledge to technical staff in the respective line ministries such as SSCP, SEA, MoPW, MSA, and MAF through a learning by doing approach.
  • Technical support and input to the development of the GIS-based risk and vulnerability modeling tool based on hazard data, physical data (receptor data), socio-economic data from the new survey method. This activity will introduce the GIS-based socio-economic risk model as a tool for risk assessment (including potential physical damage and economic losses modeling), cost-benefit analysis, and the identification and appraisal of climate-resilient intervention measures for strategic planning in the future.  Provide support to the relevant Directorate in SSCP on the DesInventar database for the systematic recording of damage and loss.
  • Training and capacity development support to technical staff in the relevant line Ministries, Municipalities, and PMU/project team which include the preparation of training outlines, materials, development of training modules, and training facilitation for technical staff at national and sub-national levels and project staff.
  1. Training of field coordinators, and technical staff from local authorities, administrative posts, sucos youth leaders and representatives including the use of global positioning systems (GPS), drones to undertake topographic surveys which will be required for the production and updating of flood risk maps and other community-based mappings for development, calibration, and validation of the hazard maps. GPS will also be effectively used to record the coordinates of the infrastructure (as part of the asset mapping and asset management).
  2. Training on the GIS-based asset condition inspection methods and tools for relevant staff in the line ministries, including testing and updating the tools.
  3. Facilitate technical staff trainings (both national and sub-national levels) on climate risk modeling, mapping and vulnerability, and project appraisal techniques, specifically in relation to climate-informed infrastructure planning and development and climate-induced disaster risk management.
  4. Training on hazard modeling for technical staff in the SSCP and relevant counterparts in line ministries, municipal levels, and project staff. This includes the introduction of UAV technology/drones to map out current hazard risk conditions effectively at the catchment scale, DEM, etc.
  5. Training on the method and tools developed to support the catchment management measures and reforestation/agroforestry monitoring in targeted watersheds with linkages to the GIS system established with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (General Directorate for Forestry, Coffee and Industrial Plants) in targeted sucos.
  6. Training and capacity development provided on the use of the hazard and risk models developed to enable the up-dating and maintenance of the models. Municipality engineers will also be trained in the use of the models for appraisal-led infrastructure planning. 
  • Produce printable high-resolution maps, suitable for use in land use planning, development zoning, flood risk mitigation design, the establishment of flood insurance criteria, raising public awareness, emergency planning, etc. The maps production shall utilize the anticipated LiDAR produced Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and various available high-resolution topographic maps. Flood modeling and mapping will cover all relevant flooding mechanisms within the catchment under consideration. Baseline condition for infrastructure will be provided from data collected during the asset mapping in the respective municipalities and the forest natural resources mapping done through the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (General Directorate for Forestry, Coffee and Industrial Plants) in targeted sucos.
  • Update the spatial data management system with new data from the developed model and prepared Final Report (in English) on the GIS-based approach and summarizing the activities undertaken under the assignment relating to the establishment of the GIS System including the resources used, findings, lessons learned as well as recommendations.


Knowledge Management and Learning:

  • Demonstrated capacity in knowledge sharing and knowledge management and ability to generate innovative and new ideas and promote learning through leadership and personal example.
  • In-depth practical knowledge of inter-disciplinary development issues.

Communication and Networking:

  • Excellent interpersonal and networking skills, including the ability to liaise effectively at all levels.
  • Ability to communicate and function effectively in an international, multicultural environment.
  • Ability to work effectively in a team.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced/ MSc. Degree in Geography, Geodesy, Forestry, Natural Resources Management, Hydrology, Urban Planning or in a related field relevant to climate change adaptation and/or disaster risk management coupled with a combination of professional training, certification, and experience in GIS mapping/remote sensing.

Professional Experience:

  • Minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience in the field of GIS, which includes digitizing, mapping, and data analysis, preferably in hazard mapping, watershed management, forestry, or a related field, including at least two years, working experience with government agencies and/or international organizations.
  • Demonstrated experience related to setting-up of project SDI/GIS system and developing mobile data collection tools, practical expertise in designing field testing surveys and other data collection instruments supported with experience in managing data collection, entry, and maintenance.
  • Previous experience as a consultant with a government agency or development partner with specific experience in developing training manuals and conducting/facilitating at least two related trainings.
  • Experience in climate change adaptation, agroforestry, watershed and catchment management, SLM activities in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), specifically in Asia and the Pacific, is a strong asset.
  • Experience undertaking similar projects and assignments in Timor-Leste. Previous expertise with the UN system or Government in Timor-Leste is an advantage.

Language requirements:

  • English language – excellent written and oral communication skills. In addition to excellent command of English, the ability to communicate in Bahasa Indonesia, Portuguese, or Tetum will be an advantage.

Interested applicants are mandatory to apply online through Supporting documents/filled templates to be submitted along with the applications are following, and those templates can be download from

  • UN P11 Form
  • Individual Contract Offerors Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability
  • Individual Contract Reference Check (at least from two referees)
  • CV

Any request for clarification must be sent in writing to

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