Consultant for Strengthening Inclusive Early Warning Systems in Timor-Leste

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UNDRR - United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

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Application deadline 29 days ago: Friday 26 Apr 2024 at 03:59 UTC

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Result of Service

This consultancy will work closely with the National Designated Authority, National Directorate for Meteorology and Geophysics, the Civil Protection Authority, and Agricultural Land Uses Geographic Information System to improve the inclusive aspect of the currently drafted SOPs for MHEWS.

Work Location

Dili, Timor Leste

Expected duration

May-July 2024

Duties and Responsibilities

Created in December 1999, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) is the designated focal point in the United Nations system for the coordination of efforts to reduce disasters and to ensure synergies among the disaster reduction activities of the United Nations and regional organizations and activities in both developed and less developed countries. Led by the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction (SRSG/ASG), UNDRR has over 140 staff located in its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and in regional offices. UNDRR guides, monitors, analyses, and reports on progress in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. It supports regional and national implementation of the Framework and catalyzes action and increases global awareness to reduce disaster risk working with UN Member States and a broad range of partners and stakeholders, including civil society, the private sector, parliamentarians and the science and technology community. In November 2022, the UN Secretary General launched the Early Warnings for All (EW4ALL) initiative to advance the efforts to protect everyone in the world by the end-to-end MHEWS. UNDRR, together with World Meteorological Organization (WMO), leads the global coordination of the EW4ALL in close collaboration with International Telecommunication Union (ITU), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society (IFRC), and some regional entities such as Economic and Social Commissions for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) to support the country-level efforts to elevate the investment for early warning systems enhancement. Timor-Leste is one of the newest countries in Southeast Asia and categorized as Least Developed Country and Small Island developing State. The country has a young and growing population of 1.3 million (median age 20). About 42% of them are classified as living below the national poverty line, and 70% of them as living in multidimensional poverty. Timor-Leste regularly experiences drought, flooding, landslides that stem from meteorological hazards including the effect of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), as well as earthquakes. The recent flood in 2021 is said to be the most extensive in the last 50 years (13 municipalities and 30,000 people affected, 34 lives lost). The effect of climate change can only make this type of event more frequent, severe, and unpredictable, negatively impacting the population and economy, and hamper the efforts of sustainable development. Timor-Leste National Adaptation Plan 2021 prioritizes the enhancement of early warning systems as an approach to reduce potential impact of climate hazards and related disaster risk. Resources have been mobilized to strengthen the country’s capacity for observations, monitoring, analysis and forecasting and the governance aspect of climate services through Green Climate Fund executed through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) together with National Directorate for Meteorology and Geology. To supplement this work on observation network, the Systematic Observations Financing Facility is also mobilized to support upper air monitoring equipment. Much work has been done and is on-going to strengthen to better anticipate and prepare for drought in agriculture sector by UNEP and Food Agricultural Organization). There is an ongoing effort to support the communities to have better preparedness to act on warnings and standardizing broader early action protocols by Timor-Leste Red Cross and Australian Red Cross. On the front of policy and institutional framework, recently, the National Framework for Climate Service Strategic Action Plan (2023-2028) was drafted, setting the priorities for the enhancement of early warning systems in the country. One of the policy priorities is to establish standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the generation and application of weather, climate, and ocean services in agriculture, disaster risk management, health, and water/marine sectors. In line with this, the Government of Timor-Leste has started to develop SOPs for MHEWS, encompassing multiple ministries/departments, to guide the step-by-step process and flow of information for the warnings for cyclone/storms, drought, forest fire, flash flood, coastal flood, earthquake, tsunami, and landslide. The effectiveness of multi-hazard early warning systems is partly defined by the extent of the engagement of people who are the ultimate beneficiaries and end-users of early warnings. This means that the system considers the needs, perspective, priorities and meaningful participation of those who are most vulnerable (inclusive); the information reaches those populations (accessible); and that the populations can take an action upon warning (actionable). Current SOPs indicate an importance of inclusive communication and dissemination of forecasting and warnings to ensure the vulnerable population (geographically remote, women, elderlies, children, persons with disabilities). However, the SOPs lack practical guides on how exactly the inclusion is ensured in the command chain of MHEWS. The selected consultant will work closely with the National Designated Authority, National Directorate for Meteorology and Geophysics, the Civil Protection Authority, and Agricultural Land Uses Geographic Information System to support improving the inclusive aspect of the currently drafted SOPs for MHEWS. In doing so, the stakeholder groups of the vulnerable population will be engaged to ensure that their perspectives and the reality are reflected in the SOPs. The consultant will be based in Dili, Timor-Leste and work closely with UNDRR’s Climate and Disaster-Resilient Development Officer at the United Nations Office of Resident Coordinator (UNRCO) in Timor-Leste. Overall supervision of the quality of the work will be through the Programme Management Officer at UNDRR Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific based in Bangkok, Thailand. Specific Tasks: - Study the draft SOPs for MHEWS in Timor-Leste and the channels of early warning messages for the vulnerable population (women, persons with disabilities, children, older persons). - Undertake consultations with the key government entities, subject experts, and stakeholder groups of the above-mentioned vulnerable populations. - Develop a set of practical guidances as part of the existing SOPs for MHEWS.

Qualifications/special skills

Advanced university degree in social science disciplines, natural resources management, environmental science, disaster risk reduction, climate change, or related field is required. A first-level university degree with at least 2 additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. At least 5 years of experience in gender and social inclusion in the domain of disaster risk reduction/climate change adaptation is required. Experience in working with the government of Timor-Leste or international organizations/non-governmental organizations in the domain of policy design and development in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation is required. Knowledge or experience of multi-hazard early warning systems is desirable.


Fluency in English and Tetum is required. Knowledge of Portugese is desirable.

Additional Information

Due to the high volume of applications received, only successful candidates will be contacted.

No Fee


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