Consultant UNISDR (Africa)
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The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) is a multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder platform to enable societies to increase their resilience to natural, technological and environmental disasters and to reduce associated environmental, human, economic and social losses. A range of United Nations organizations and international partners participate in cooperation with Governments and civil society organizations.
The implementation of the ISDR is supported by a secretariat lead by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction. The secretariat main functions are policy coordination, advocacy and information management, at the international and regional levels, to ensure synergy between disaster reduction strategies and those in the socio-economic and humanitarian fields.
In January 2005, the World Conference on Disaster Reduction (WCDR, 18-22 January 2005, Kobe, Hyogo, Japan) adopted the Hyogo Declaration and the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters adopted at the WCDR. The Hyogo Framework constitutes the essential guide for implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and represents the key policy framework for reducing risk and to strengthen community resilience.
Since the mid 90’s African countries began developing multi-stakeholder national coordination mechanisms for disaster management and response, the first being Ethiopia (1995) and Mozambique (1999). Since the establishment of the UNISDR regional Office for Africa in 2002, another 23 African countries established multi-stakeholder national coordination mechanisms, focusing on disaster risk reduction rather than on disaster response and relief, which are often referred to as national platforms for disaster risk reduction.
Priority Three of the Hyogo Framework for Action emphasizes the need to “use knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture of safety and resilience at all levels”. It further stresses the importance of “community level learning on disaster risk reduction and public awareness” and suggests to “providing easily understandable information on disaster risks and protection options, especially for citizens in high risk areas, to encourage and enable people to take action to reduce risks and build resilience”.
Objectives 3 & 4 of the Africa Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction equally highlight the importance to “enhance knowledge management for disaster risk reduction” and “increase public awareness of disaster risk reduction”.
The corresponding Programme of Action for the implementation of the Africa Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction identifies under “advocacy and awareness” the need for national governments to take a leading role in raising public awareness on disaster risks and ways to reduce vulnerability and risks at a local level by generating understanding of basic concepts of hazard, vulnerability, risk and disaster, which will help to form a favorable environment for the development of a culture of disaster prevention and the implementation of national and regional policies, strategies and guidelines for mainstreaming disaster risk reduction.
National governments in Africa have established national coordination mechanisms, referred to as national platforms for disaster risk reduction to coordinate stakeholders’ initiatives in their goal to implement the Hyogo Framework for Action and the Africa regional Strategy for disaster risk reduction.
The UNISDR Regional Office for Africa is implementing a project to strengthen national platforms for disaster risk reduction in nine project countries in the region, namely Burundi, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Namibia, Tunisia, Tanzania, Senegal and Madagascar.
The project is designed to address needs and priorities identified by national governments as well as by the UN country teams in the respective countries.
UNISDR has been supporting the development of Kenya’s national platform which was launched in 2004 from its very beginning. UNISDR also supported the review of the Disaster Management Policy and Strategy in close cooperation with UNOCHA and is supporting the current UNDAF planning process 2009-2013 with the UNCT and UNOCHA Kenya, as well as providing technical support in other thematic areas such as drought policy review and integrated water resource management, the HFA on-line progress reporting etc.
As part of the implementation of the current UNDAF for Kenya and to strengthen the Kenya national platform for disaster risk reduction under the current regional project, the government of Kenya expressed a need for having user-friendly factsheets on natural hazards suggesting protection, mitigation and preparedness options, to enhance awareness and preparedness among communities, and complement existing early warning systems, which often disseminate warnings but without advise on actions to be taken.
UNISDR is therefore looking for a consultant to develop easy understandable fact sheets on the natural hazards common to Kenya and the African Region, which educate communities on existing risks, and suggest actions to be taken throughout the disaster risk management cycle, from prevention over preparedness and mitigation to protection and response. The fact sheets should enable communities to prepare for a disaster situation and react to early warning information.
Duties and responsibilities
Under the overall guidance of the UNISDR Regional Coordinator in Africa, and in close interaction with the Kenya national DRR focal point, the consultant will:
- Identify the most common natural hazards in Kenya and the Africa region, which have the strongest impact on communities and result in the highest losses
- Analyze the most common vulnerabilities of the population in hazard prone zones which need to be addressed in the fact sheets.
- Develop easily understandable fact sheets for each hazard which point out measures to be taken by communities to prepare and protect themselves and reduce risks as well as a profile of available early warning system in these disaster prone regions – what are the typical signs prior to disasters, who will issue early warning, what are the existing systems etc.
- Identify information on roles of schools and hospitals at the time of disasters and how to promote safe schools and hospitals.
- Include graphics and pictures into the fact sheets to ensure to reach illiterate parts of communities equally
To develop easily understandable fact sheets on natural hazards in Kenya (and the Africa region) which suggest protection and preparedness options, especially for citizens in high risk areas
Specific tasks and timeframe
- Work plan with a list of reference materials (such as 2009 ISDR Terminology, Kenya’s HFA national report, Africa Status Report, Kenya’s drought policy review report etc) – within 1 week after the starting date
- Outlines of the factsheet – within 2 weeks after the starting date
- First draft factsheets – within 1 month after the starting date
- Final draft factsheets – before completion of the consultancy
- The final factsheets have to be approved by both UNISDR Africa and the Kenya national DRR focal point, for the consultants task to be regarded as fulfilled
- Planning and organizing
- Client orientation
- Technological awareness
An advanced degree in one of the following fields: Social Science, Economics or International Studies. A first university degree with qualifying experience in Evaluation and Disaster Risk Reduction may be accepted in lieu of the advanced degree.
At least 5 years of experience working with disaster risk reduction or related fields, experience in developing publications and in the use of graphics, drawings and pictures to illustrate the same
Fluency in written and spoken English, knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.