Social and environmental safeguard specialist (National Consultant)

Location : Dili, Timor Leste
Application Deadline :12-Apr-21 (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 :8 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, with the support of UNDP, received funding from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to undertake the project. 

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 are 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.

As part of the approved project, the Government and UNDP to prepare an Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP).  ESMP is an integral part of the project implementation process and will determine the effective delivery of the project results and their sustainability in the long term.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall supervision and guidance of the Project Manager and CTA, the Social and Environmental Safeguards Specialist will be tasked with the responsibility for updating and implementing the ESMP; undertaking audits to ensure compliance; and providing input and/or preparing reports as required for the implementation of the project. The Social and Environmental Safeguards Specialist will work closely with the Communication and M&E Officer under the PMU on related aspects of the project, including reporting, monitoring, evaluation, and communication.

The Social and Environmental Safeguards Specialist is required to provide specialized safeguards technical input to the Project Management Unit (PMU) prior to commencement of any groundworks on the target 6 municipalities. The Social and Environmental Safeguards Specialist will also provide necessary inputs throughout the project implementation to ensure all involved in the project (Governments at all levels, contractors, etc.) have a full understanding of the ESMPs and that there is a timely implementation of ESMP measures by the PMU. Moreover, Social and Environmental Safeguards Specialist will need to ensure full compliance in the updated ESMP; and where there is non-compliance, to work with the PMU and others to rectify the problems quickly. The Social and Environmental Safeguards Specialist will work with the PMU, Secretary of State for the Environment (SEA), Ministry of State Administration (MSA), Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF), Secretary of State for Civil Protection (SSCP), and Ministry of Public Works (MoPW))  and UNDP Country Office, under overall technical guidance from the CTA and CC&SE Unit, including UNDP-GEF Regional Technical Advisor (RTA) for climate change adaptation.

The Social and Environmental Safeguards Specialist will coordinate with PMU members, relevant government and non-government counterparts, and UNDP during the consultation, formulation, and implementation process of municipality-specific ESMPs to ensure that risks are identified, avoided, mitigated, and managed throughout project implementation.

Specific responsibilities will include:

  • Inception report summarizing the objectives, scope, and outputs of the assignment, organization  and methodology for the achievement of the outputs, documents review, meetings, findings, and setting out detailed planning of the assignment, including the schedule;
  • Review the current ESMP and make amendments as necessary (including but not limited to the inclusion of a grievance redress mechanism) based on the GCF and UNDP SES;
  • Review existing national Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) documents,  for all infrastructure units in the six target municipalities and ensure full compliance with the EIA national requirements and UNDP SES policy. Based on this review, incorporate relevant risk management measures into the ESMP;
  • Thoroughly review all design specifications for all infrastructure units and further identify risk avoidance, mitigation, and management measures to be embedded into the ESMP; Specifically, ensure FAA requirement for the sanitation installations in the sites where water supply systems are planned for climate-proofing; Particularly observe water source protection currently in place and propose measures to avoid any risks of contamination;
  • Plan and undertake necessary social and environmental assessments (site-specific or infrastructure category-specific, as relevant), including but not necessarily limited to those identified in the current ESMP, as well as reviews and consultations to update and detail ESMP for the project, based on the existing SESP and ESMP documents of the project;
  • Review the annual SESP and update and revise corresponding risk log; mitigation/management plans as necessary.
  • Ensure environmental and social risks are identified, avoided, mitigated, and managed throughout project implementation.
  • Oversee/develop/coordinate the implementation of all safeguard related plans such as Indigenous people plan, stakeholders engagement plan, Contingency and Emergency Response Plan (among those that apply);
  • Facilitate necessary contributions and feedback by all national and municipal level stakeholders, especially local community groups in the process of formulation of updated ESMP for the project;
  • Help organize and undertake due diligence for obtaining free, prior, and informed consent (FPICs) from all benefiting communities in the target municipalities;
  • Ensure full disclosure with concerned stakeholders and ensure full engagement of local beneficiaries;
  • Monitor progress in development/implementation of the project ESMP ensuring that UNDP’s SES policy is fully complied with and the reporting requirements are fulfilled;
  • Work with the Communication and M&E officer to ensure reporting, monitoring and evaluation fully address the safeguard issues of the project; provide well-documented, evidence-based compliance reports to be incorporated into the project annual performance reports (APRs);
  • Ensure social and environmental grievances are managed effectively and transparently through the grievance redress mechanism and support the establishment of grievance redress mechanism groups at the respective municipality and each project site (Suco Level);
  •    Participate in public consultations during project implementation;
  • Ensure regular updating (once every six months) and availability of environmental assessment tools to all project functionaries and community institution partners;
  • Ensure training of project staff and community institutions in environmental management and safeguard.


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
  • Ability to conduct research and analysis and strong synthesis skills

Management and Leadership

  • Highly developed interpersonal, negotiation, and teamwork skills, networking aptitude, ability to work in a multi-cultural environment
  • Excellent interpersonal and networking skills, including the ability to liaise effectively at corporate and project management levels.


  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality, and age sensitivity and adaptability.

Language requirements:

Tetum and English Language – excellent written and oral communication skills. In addition to excellent command of Tetun and English, the ability to communicate in Portuguese and/or Bahasa Indonesian will be considered beneficial to the assignment.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Must have a minimum of Bachelors degree, but preferably a Masters degree, in natural resource/water/environmental management, socio-economic development, or related field;
  • At least three years of relevant work experience, ideally involving international donors;
  • Previous experience in undertaking Environmental and Social Impact Assessments;
  • Previous experience in developing and/or implementing environmental and social safeguard strategies for organizations or projects;
  • Very good interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to engage and work with local communities;
  • Strong analytical skills;
  • Exceptional ability in communication and networking, negotiations, and mediation;
  • Proficiency in computer application and information technology.

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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