Head, Disaster Risk Reduction & Recovery (DRT) for Building Resilience


Organization Name: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Location: New York, United States
Apply email: Not Specified
Start Date: 25-April-2019
Closing Date: 19-May-2019

Job Description

Agency: UNDP

Title: Head, Disaster Risk Reduction & Recovery (DRT) for Building Resilience

Job ID: 22877

Practice Area - Job Family: Crisis Prevention and Recovery

Vacancy End Date: 19/05/2019 (Midnight New York, USA)

Time Left: 26d 21h 9m

Duty Station: New York, United States

Education & Work Experience: I-Master's Level Degree - 15 year(s) experience

Languages: Required: English

Grade: D1

Vacancy Type: FTA International

Posting Type: External

Bureau: Crisis Prevention & Recovery

Contract Duration: 1 Year with possibility for extension


UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy work is carried out at HQ, Regional and Country Office levels, and forms a contiguous spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains.

Within the GPN, the Crisis Bureau guides UNDP’s corporate crisis-related strategies and vision for crisis prevention, response and recovery. The Bureau has the responsibility for support to prevention, crisis response, resilience and recovery work under the auspices of UNDP’s Strategic Plan. Crisis Bureau staff provide global strategic advice to UNDP management and technical advice to regional hubs and Country Offices; advocate for UNDP corporate messages, represent UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora, and engage in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas. As part of the Global Policy Network (GPN), the Crisis Bureau works in an integrated manner with UNDP’s Development Policy Bureau (DPB) ensuring that issues are fully integrated into UNDP’s development programmes.

In addition to co-leading and contributing to other cross-cutting, substantive areas covered by the Crisis Bureau (CB) and the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS), the Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery for Building Resilience Team (DRT) provides integrated policy and programme support on disaster risk reduction and recovery in the context of UNDP’s broader approach to resilience building. The Team specifically fosters the integration of risk reduction as a key element in sustainable development and recovery at national, sub-national and sectoral level. Whilst working in close collaboration with related fields such as climate change, governance, conflict prevention and livelihoods, the Team focuses its support on the following thematic areas:
Disaster and Resilience;
Risk Governance for Reducing Disaster Risks;
Risk Information, Early Warning and Preparedness;
Urban and Community Risk Management and Resilience;
Recovery Preparedness, Assessments and Implementation;
In addition, the coordination of UNDP’s policy and programmatic engagement as it relates to resilience will be facilitated by the Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery Team.
The Team Leader for the Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery Team is a member of both the Crisis Bureau senior management team and the GPN management team. With authoritative technical knowledge of sustainable development, disaster risk reduction and recovery, s/he is responsible for providing leadership and substantive direction to team members located in HQ, the Regional Hubs and relevant Global Policy Centers, as well for the overall management of staff, including two global nodes on disaster risk reduction and recovery in Bangkok and Nairobi respectively. The Team Leader provides world-class authoritative contributions, advice and technical expertise, leading advocacy and speaking authoritatively on behalf of the Team and the organization, establishing guidelines and directing the work of staff within the team. S/he advises and guides the Community of Practice and fosters the creation of cross-team solutions to complex issues and ensures an integrated multi-disciplinary approach for delivery of policy services and programme support.

The DRT Team Leader will also facilitate collaboration, synergies and integrated solutions for the Geneva-based members of the Crisis Bureau, and ensure UNDP representation on crisis and fragility issues, in close collaboration with the Director of the UNDP Office in Geneva and other Geneva-based GPN/BPPS managers.   

S/he will lead the following functions:
Policy formulation and development;
Policy advice and programme support delivery;
Team management;
Partnerships, representation, advocacy and resource mobilisation;
Knowledge management.
Duties and Responsibilities

1. Policy Formulation and Development:
Ensure the timely provision of expertise which creates global recognition of the organization as an authority, source of innovation and thought leader in resilience, recovery and disaster risk reduction.
Direct and guide the team in resilience, recovery and disaster risk reduction on the integration of UNDP’s work into a coherent policy and programming framework in support of the implementation of the UNDP Strategic Plan.
Enhance policy coherence in support of the implementation of UNDP’s Strategic Plan outcome on resilience by fostering joint analysis, lessons learning and policy formulation with other GPN practices areas, notably climate change and conflict prevention.
Design high quality policy initiatives and research for different contexts on key emerging policy agendas, in collaboration with Regional Hubs, Policy Centers, Country Offices, UN entities and other partners.
Enhance UNDP’s corporate efforts to promote disaster and climate resilience building and ensure that development interventions are informed by a relevant assessment/analysis of underlying risks.
Lead the formulation of a corporate approach that brings about substantive integration across disaster risk reduction, recovery and other work streams engaged in resilience building, notably climate change adaptation, and develop systems to roll out this approach at the regional and country level.
Connect to and lead where appropriate broader resilience-related initiatives, such as for example in climate security, the humanitarian development nexus and multi-dimensional risk.
Oversee the quality assurance of policy services and foster policy innovation in the specific thematic area.
2. Policy Advice/ Programme Support Delivery:
Provide substantive leadership, quality control and guidance to the team in their provision of policy and programme advisory services to country offices, ensuring relevance of the services provided to country and regional context including in crisis and non-crisis situations;
Ensure the timely identification and provision of world renowned expertise which creates global recognition of the organization as the authority, source of innovation and effective hub of the global community on issues of resilience, disaster risk reduction and recovery;
Provide high level and effective coordination of delivery on technical assistance, policy development and programme support on knowledge domains that cut across the organization in particular resilience and disaster risk reduction;
Ensure coherence and alignment of Crisis Bureau’s resilience, disaster risk reduction and recovery work with relevant corporate policies and strategies, and maintain close contact with the others in Crisis Burau, Development Policy Bureau within the GPN, regional hubs, regional bureaux and other key central bureau units;
Provide programme support to UNDP country offices and to UN entities in crisis and post-crisis contexts, ensure conduct of PDNA when the tripartites agrerement is activated;
Guide the team in using integrated multi-disciplinary approaches to meet policy and programming needs in line with corporate guidance and standards, ensuring relevance of the services provided to country and regional contexts, including in crisis situations;
Liaise with the Country Support Management Team and Regional Bureaux teams to ensure a rapid and well-coordinated response to crisis situations and provide related contributions to UNDP SURGE for country offices;
Liaise with external partners and the SDG Integrator Team to provide support to SDG implementation; SDG Accelerator labs; and MAPS missions from the thematic perspective.
3. Team Management:
Set the direction for the team, including roles and responsibilities, accountability and reporting;
Promote a collaborative work culture in the team, in the spirit of the GPN, working in particular in full collaboration with the Climate team, to ensure a strong climate – disaster interface and integration, as well as with the Recovery Solutions and Human Mobility Team in relation to recovery;
Regularly coordinate and exchange with teams aligned with the GPN’s Planet area of work, i.e. Climate, Energy and Environment;
Lead and manage staff in the team in the formulation and implementation of the substantive work plan of the team and oversee staff accountability;
Ensure that the technical capacity of the policy advisors and specialists managed is optimally aligned with business needs and that team members are encouraged to seek new client opportunities and amplify the value and reputation of DPB in resilience and disaster risk reduction;
Encourage the team to critically assess itself against emerging trends and thinking in the profession;
Ensure that Performance Assessments are carried out according to UNDP procedures;
Establish and maintain an enabling environment for staff well-being, harmonious working relationships and team-building, by promoting consistent and constructive communication, open information sharing, and coordination among all staff;
Ensure that the work of the team is conducted in accordance with relevant business processes and that high-quality outputs are delivered on time.
4. Partnerships, Representation, Advocacy and Ressources Mobilisation:
Mobilize, foster and strengthen strategic key partnerships with key UN agencies and other relevant bodies, including amongst other UNISDR, UNOCHA, FAO, UNICEF, WHO, the World Bank, the EU, IFRC, governments, think-tanks, research institutions, academia, and other development partners;
Manage UNDP’s relations with relevant multilateral partners and partnerships (i.e. CADRI, GRP, GARD etc.) relevant to the team’s workstreams, and oversee their implementation, including related agreements as needed;
Represent the Crisis Bureau in UNDP’s corporate discussions, in interagency coordination, policy processes and in other fora to engage partners in advancing the Crisis Bureau’s, or as needed the GPN’s, strategic agenda;
Advocate for the importance of the Crisis Bureau’s thematic areas in relevant international fora;
In collaboration with BERA and under the coordination of the Deputy Director, lead resource mobilization to support the delivery of UNDP results;
Engage with member states and other partners to advocate for a coherent global strategy to support countries in developing disaster and climate resilience particularly in the context of the 2030 Agenda, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Climate Agreement, and other relevant global policy agendas.
5. Knowledge Management:
Oversee, influence and promote the advance of policy dialogue in the team’s thematic areas through cross-regional exchange of knowledge and collaboration, and synthesis of knowledge emerging from the development and implementation of programmes at regional country level;
Provide substantive leadership, guidance and oversight to UNDP Communities of Practice, in particular the CoP on Crisis prevention and increased resilience;
Deliver intellectual leadership on UNDP’s disaster risk reduction, recovery and disaster resilience work through the development of knowledge products and provision of services through, ensuring quality assurance, strategic guidance and oversight;
Stimulate the use of innovative approaches and social media to ensure wide dissemination of positions, events, debates on disaster risk reduction, recovery, and resilience with a focus in integrated solutions in support of sustainable development;
Lead the capacity development of UNDP staff in application of tools and practices on disaster risk reduction, recovery and resilience.
6. Integration, collaboration, and thematic representation at Geneva level:
Ensure close collaboration with the Director of UNDP Office in Geneva;
Ensure synergies and complementarity among all CB staff based in Geneva, and coordinate closely with the BPPS teams in Geneva;
Represent UNDP vis-à-vis partners on crisis and fragility related issues;
Represent UNDP, as requested, in relevant crisis and fragility-related conferences, events, launches;
Maintain close coordination and collaboration with the teams aligned to the planet area of work (i.e. climate, energy, and environment), and the Crises Prevention and Resilience Community of Practice.


Ability to make new and useful ideas work.
Ability to persuade others to follow.
People Management:
Ability to improve performance and satisfaction.
Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform.
Ability to get things done.


Disaster Risk Reduction
Knowledge of DRR concepts, frameworks and principles and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.
Knowledge of core recovery principles and frameworks, and ability to guide delivery at strategic and country levels.
Disaster Risk Assessment:
Ability to assess the risk level of a disaster.
Disaster Risk Governance:
Knowledge of disaster risk governance methodologies and concepts and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.
Knowledge of how multiple risks and impact on development, and the delivery of resilience to communities and countries through reducing vulnerability and reducing risk.
Risk Financing:
Knowledge of how the core principals of risk financing, and the ability to deliver initiatives to build resilience and underpin development.
Ability to productively share UNDP knowledge and activities (at UN and other venues).
Ability to engage with other agencies and forge productive working relationships.
Resource Mobilization:
Ability to identify and organize programmes and projects to implement solutions and generate resources.

Ability to advocate a point of view and influence others.
Knowledge Management:
Ability to efficiently handle and share information and knowledge.
Trends and emerging areas analytics:
Ability to scan the horizon and identify approaches and initiatives to bring into policy and programme design.
Required Skills and Experience

Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) Business Administration, Public Administration, Economics, Political Sciences, Social Sciences or related field.
15 years of professional work experience leading teams at country/regional/global levels, providing substantive policy and programming leadership and pioneering interdisciplinary approaches in disaster risk reduction, disaster recovery, and resilience;
Demonstrated track-record of excellence in delivering the work programme of complex, global organizational entities in the area of disaster risk reduction, disaster recovery and resilience;
Knowledge and understanding of international disaster risk reduction architecture (including humanitarian system; World Bank GFDRR; etc.); gender equality in the context of programming in risk reduction and recovery settings;
Proven ability to coordinate crisis response with UN entities, including knowledge of UN policies and procedures on crisis response and disaster recovery, as well as related management of information;
Proven experience working in different geographical areas, and development settings, including in post-disaster contexts.  
Language Requirements:
Excellent knowledge of English, as well as writing, presentation and communication skills;
Fluency in other UN languages highly desirable.

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