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Consultant: technical advisor and event sessions support, Regional Platform for the Americas RP14

Home based and Panama
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean

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Vacancy number: ISDR/C/04/14

United Nations Core Values: Integrity ● Professionalism ● Respect for diversity


Created in December 1999, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) is the designated focal point in the United Nations system for the coordination of disaster reduction and to ensure synergies among the disaster reduction activities of the United Nations and regional organizations and activities in socio-economic and humanitarian fields. Led by the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNISDR has around 100 staff located in its HQ in Geneva, Switzerland, and 5 regional offices and other field presences. Specifically, UNISDR coordinates international efforts in disaster risk reduction, and guides, monitors and reports on the progress of the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action; campaigns to create global awareness of disaster risk reduction benefits and empower people to reduce their vulnerability to hazards; advocates for greater investments in disaster risk reduction to protect people's lives and assets, and for increased and informed participation of men and women in reducing disaster risk; and informs and connects people by providing practical services and tools such as Prevention Web, publications on good practices, and by leading the preparation of the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction and the organisation of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in the Americas

The Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in the Americas is the main venue that brings together key stakeholders and actors involved in DRR from throughout North, South and Central America and the Caribbean. It is a multi-sectoral participatory forum which reflects the commitments and concerns of governments (national, subnational and local), intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), international organizations (IOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community organizations, scientific and academic institutions, the private sector, donors and the media. It offers the opportunity to exchange knowledge and information, while promoting processes aimed at planning, monitoring progress, collective and strategic decision-making, as well as actions to strengthen the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA); with a view towards linking efforts with the international and national level. Besides defining the trends and priority areas for advancing in the region, the results of the Regional Platform serve as inputs to the Global Platform for DRR1.

The Fourth Session of the Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas (RP14) is being co-organized by UNISDR’s Regional Office for the Americas (UNISDR Americas) and by the Government of Ecuador through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Risk Management Secretariat. The offer to host the RP14 reflects Ecuador’s continued support to the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) and its commitment to the objectives of DRR and the HFA.

The RP14 will therefore be held in Guayaquil, Ecuador from 27 to 29 May, 2014. Based on the experience of the previous session, the structure and contents of this fourth session are defined by the Advisory Council which is comprised of representatives of intergovernmental organizations from the region of the Americas - CAPRADE, CDEMA , CEPREDENAC , REHU and OAS; key ISDR system partners in the region - WB, IDB, IFRC, OCHA, WHO/PAHO, UNDP 2, Technical Donor Group, the Government of Ecuador as host country, the Government of Chile as host of the previous session held in Santiago, Chile, a representative of Civil Society through the Global Network of Civil Society Organizations represented by "ITDG3 Practical Action", a representative of the private sector represented by "Business Forum" , a representative of the technical-scientific community represented by the International Council for Science (ICSU) and by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Regional Office for the Americas.

Organizational Setting and Reporting Relationships

The selected person will provide the services on a home based basis (50%) with a period in Panama (50%), and will report to the Head of the UNISDR Regional Office for the Americas. He/she will also maintain a functional link with the Regional Officers supporting the coordination of the organization of the RP14, as well as with the focal point designated by the host country of the RP14.

Duties and Responsibilities

Support coordination of the activities and actions included in the UNISDR RP14 work-plan, in close collaboration with UNISDR and Ecuador´s Risk Management Secretariat.

The work of the Technical Advisor will be carried out in three stages:

Previous to the RP14:

  • Facilitate coordination, articulation, dialogue and communication with the designated regional partners in charge of the organization of the respective Plenary Sessions and Parallel Sessions of the Regional Platform.
  • Coordinate and follow up with the designated regional partners in charge of organizing the sessions, for the timely design of the agenda of the session and confirmation of panelists, providing support when necessary to overcome problems in the identification and confirmation of panelists.
  • The incumbent will elaborate, based on the results of the previous RP (2009,2011, 2012), a Plan of Action Matrix, describing the mains agreements , commitments and responsible institutions in order for UNISDR to establish a follow up mechanism.
  • The incumbent will support the UNISDR team in liaising with the government representatives of the High Level Panel and follow up participation of invitees.
  • The consultant will support in the implementation of the key preparatory activities identified as indicated by the Head of the UNISDR Regional Office for the Americas.

During the RP14:

  • The incumbent will coordinate the team for preparation and gathering of minutes during the respective sessions as well as any other relevant information presented during the plenary sessions and parallel sessions.
  • The advisor will provide note taking of the main high level sessions of the RP.
  • The consultant will contribute with the UNISDR team during the RP14 on the different needs both thematic and logistical arising during the RP14.

After the RP14:

  • The incumbent will prepare an executive report of the outcome of the Regional Platform.


  • Follow up reports on the status of the preparation of the sessions by regional partners.
  • Agenda and invitees confirmed of the sessions organized by UNISDR. · Matrix and plan of action of main commitments of RP in the Americas.
  • Final memory executive report summarizing the results of the consultations and processes related to sessions, and events related to the RP14.

All payments are based on deliverables and are subject to the approval of the Head of the UNISDR Regional Office for the Americas.


Professionalism: Strong background, knowledge and understanding of the concepts, principles and approaches to disaster risk reduction. Familiarity with disaster risk reduction programmes and activities at regional, sub-regional levels and ability to identify and analyze regional and national priorities, needs and capacities and develop appropriate strategies and actions

Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately

Planning and Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies and programmes; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required.

Teamwork: Strong interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and working relations with people in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment Prior work experience with recovery related papers will be an advantage


Education: Advanced university or equivalent experience in social sciences, national resource management, disaster risk management or related fields. A first-level university degree in combination with a minimum of 7 years qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Experience: Minimum of five years of progressively responsible professional experience in the following:

  • Functional knowledge and professional experience in the field of disaster risk reduction, climate change, and/or sustainable development
  • Knowledgeable of the work carried out by the UNISDR Americas office;
  • Excellent analytical and reporting skills;
  • Experience in organizing, leading and facilitating workshops and meetings;
  • Knowledge of intergovernmental mechanisms, DRR Platforms, tools and mechanisms related to DRR.

Language: Excellent Spanish speaking and writing skills; advance knowledge of English.

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