Individual Consultant: Coordinating Multisectoral Recovery and Disaster Risk Reduction Activities Linked to COVID-19

  • Senior-level, Short-term contract assignment
  • Posted on 19 April 2021

Job Description

ETH2253Re – Recruitment of International Consultant COVID-19 Disaster Risk Reduction & Recovery Coordination Specialist (West Africa)

Published on:19-Apr-2021
Deadline on:03-May-2021 05:58 (GMT 3.00) Baghdad, Riyadh, Moscow, St. Petersburg


The COVID-19 pandemic has had far reaching impacts on Africa. With the increasing number of confirmed cases, African countries have been moving from more readiness-oriented activities to health-centered response and other interventions to minimize the economic impacts of the pandemic. As of early September 2020, the Africa Center for Disease Control reported 1,267,656 confirmed cases across the continent, with 30,294 deaths. According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, between 300,000 and 3.3 million Africans could lose their lives as a direct result of COVID-19, depending on the intervention measures taken to stop the spread (UNECA, April 2020).

The impact of the pandemic goes beyond the immediate health effects to medium and long-term impacts on the socio-economic wellbeing of populations and fiscal health of economies in these countries. The World Bank’s bi-annual Africa’s Pulse report suggests that sub-Saharan African could experience its first collective recession in 25 years and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth estimates are being revised downwards. Supply disruptions could lead to shortages and price hikes for food, pharmaceuticals and fuel. African countries are expected to spend approximately an additional $10 billion on health care. Remittance flows to the continent will also reduce, at least in the short term. In addition, while the impact of social sectors that do not contribute to national accounts may not be determined by measurement of impact on economic growth at macro level, the impact at micro level and on human development may be much more than what macroeconomic indicators of economic growth may determine. The virus will affect lives and livelihoods across specific social groups that are impacted differently.

Governments across the continent have adopted a number of measures aimed at preventing further spread of the pandemic through stay-at-home orders, curfews, lock downs, border closures, restricted movement and controlled gatherings, closure of international airports, restricted cross-border trade, closure of schools, offices, factories, among others. The mitigation measures are likely unsustainable and impossible to enforce in many countries in the continent. Many people do not have the resources to survive for long in a lock-down scenario when they struggle in the best of times. The timeframe for containment of COVID-19 is unknown, the time to lifting of restrictions is also not known, governments and regional bodies will be required to make informed decisions around recovery at different time frames to safeguard economic growth and sustaining social protection programmes.

The pandemic has also been putting to test the strength and adaptability of existing disaster risk management systems while underscoring the need to address underlying factors governance, access to health and education, and livelihoods - that shape a society’s ability to cope with and recover from shocks. COVID-19 has raised questions on the role and capacities of traditional disaster risk governance mechanisms that many governments in the region had put in place for disaster response and recovery. In many countries, either new coordination mechanisms were established to manage COVID-19 response, without adequate coordination between disaster management agencies and public health institutions. Given the multiple risks that populations are exposed to, many countries in Africa are faced with the challenge of balancing COVID-19 related needs with other crises such as desert locust infestation, flooding, droughts, epidemics and conflict, which are currently posing serious threats to food security and sustainable development. The role of disaster risk management and recovery governance mechanisms to guide COVID-19 recovery (with a strong focus on disaster risk reduction across sectors) as well as ongoing and future concurrent disasters has also been called into question.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the African Union, ECOWAS and other regional institutions and UN WOMEN, is implementing a three-year regional project titled, “Strengthening capacities for disaster risk reduction and adaptation for Resilience in the Sahel Region: fostering risk-informed solutions for sustainable development.” with the funding support from the Swedish Enhanced recovery processes that address underlying disaster and climate change risks and restore pathways to sustainable development In line with this objective, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its wideranging impacts on populations and economies, the project has reallocated funds to support effective multisectoral coordination at the AU and ECOWAS levels to guide regional actors and Member States in COVID-19 response and recovery with a strong focus on disaster risk reduction.

At the ECOWAS, COVID-19 response efforts are coordinated by West African Health Organization, with a strong focus on health-related impacts. Beyond the health crisis, coping with the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic and supporting the long-term recovery of communities and economies based on the principle of “build back better” would require a multi-sectoral approach with a strong focus on disaster risk reduction. Through the Humanitarian Division, Department of Social Affairs and Gender, the ECOWAS is responsible for coordinating and giving policy guidance for the development and implementation of DRR frameworks across the region. In light of this responsibility, the ECOWAS seeks the services of a Coordination Specialist to support the Humanitarian Division in strengthening ECOWAS capacity to coordinate COVID-19 response and recovery activities at the regional level in collaboration with Member States. The coordination activities will also contribute to building capacities of the ECOWAS in developing policy recommendations and programmatic interventions that strengthen the role of Disaster Risk Reduction/Management stakeholders in the response and management of epidemics/pandemics in West Africa.


The Consultant will support coordination meetings that involve continental, regional and national stakeholders such as AU, various departments of the ECOWAS Commission and Member States at the strategic level and regular meetings at the technical level. Beyond the current focus on health-related aspects and the immediate response, the Consultant will help bring in a stronger multi-sectoral focus by supporting participation in meetings and regular exchange of information between the representatives of various sectors/departments, with a longer-term view of response and recovery. The expert will act as a link between the existing coordination mechanisms and the Humanitarian Division of the Commission. He/she It will also support discussions on how countries that are facing multiple crises (including COVID-19) are handling response/recovery, provide substantive advice/information on how to bring in a greater DRR/resilience building focus into decisions related to response and recovery (COVID-19 as well as other crises that the countries are facing).

Under the overall guidance of the Commissioner Social Affairs and Gender, direct supervision of the Director of the Humanitarian and Social Affairs Directorate and operational coordination of the Head of the Humanitarian Division, the DRR-Recovery Coordination Specialist will provide high quality technical support in areas such as multisectoral coordination for COVID-19 response and recovery, socio-economic assessment, early warning systems, preparedness for response and recovery as well as integration of disaster and climate risks in the COVID-19 response and recovery. Through coordination, policy and programme advice, at the regional and national level, as per the requirements of the ECOWAS, the Specialist will support the Humanitarian Division and the Humanitarian and Social Affairs Directorate in bringing a focus on Disaster Risk Reduction, long-term recovery and resilience in COVID-19 response and recovery efforts by ECOWAS Commission Departments and Member States.

Working in close collaboration with members of the Humanitarian Division of the Humanitarian and Social Affairs Directorate, ECOWAS, the DRR-Recovery Coordination Specialist will promote multi-sectoral and DRR-based approach in COVID-19 response and recovery efforts at the Regional, National and subnational/local levels. S/he will support the ECOWAS in 4 key result areas:

  • 1. Facilitate multi-sectoral coordination and a DRR-based approach to COVID-19 response and recovery.
  • 2. Provide technical support for the development, adaptation and use of institutional mechanisms, policies, programmes in support of the COVID-19 recovery and resilience building.
  • 3. Build capacities of key stakeholders in adopting a multi-sectoral and DRR-based approach to COVID19 response and recovery.
  • 4. Support advocacy and partner engagements and resource mobilization linked to the COVID-19 response and recovery.


The assignment will begin remotely, however when/if travel is deemed appropriate, presence will be required on the ECOWAS Commission premises in Abuja. The Coordination Specialist will be part of the Humanitarian Division of ECOWAS Humanitarian and Social Affairs Directorate.

The Consultant will be responsible for her/his own laptop and for all the equipment, communication devices that may be required to perform his/her duties related to the assignment. Humanitarian and Social Affairs Directorate of ECOWAS will be responsible for providing office space and any additional administrative and logistics support required to operate from its premises. activities in the agreed Work Plan or as required by UNDP and ECOWAS for achievement of the four results will be borne by ECOWAS through its own funds or the Project Funds (where relevant) in discussion with UNDP.


  • a. The expected duration of the assignment is four months, at an average of 20 days/ month.
  • b. The Consultant should be able to assume duties within one week of signing the contract.
  • c. The Consultant should provide an estimated lead time of 5 days to his/her supervisors before Monthly Payments can be processed.
  • d. Possible extension of the Contract, beyond the stipulated period will be determined based on an by UNDP and ECOWAS, and contingent on the availability of budget allocation for the project.


a. Education:

  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent), preferably in disaster management, development studies, social sciences, public policy or related field is required.
  • A first level university degree combined with extensive compensating experience in the development field and/or disaster recovery may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

b. Experience:

  • A minimum of 7 years of professional work experience in providing technical advice in the development and implementation of policies and programmes in the area of disaster risk reduction, disaster response and recovery, climate change adaptation or closely related fields is required.
  • Extensive experience in risk reduction and resilience building, including in risk analysis/assessments, early warning systems/preparedness initiatives, capacity building of national governments and other key stakeholders in risk management, mainstreaming risk reduction in planning and development strategies/policies/plans, development of recovery and risk reduction plans and programmes in crisis contexts is required.
  • Experience in the application of global and regional frameworks for disaster risk reduction and climate change to the context, including the domestication of the Sendai Framework, is preferred.
  • Experience working in West Africa on disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and/or recovery is required.
  • Previous experience working with an international or regional organization or multilateral, including UN and/or ECOWAS is preferred.
  • Experience in providing regional policy advice, regional technical assistance, and capacity development to support to multi stakeholder institutions in establishing and coordinating multi-partner interventions is highly desirable.
  • Coordination experience at the regional level, working directly with governments, development partners, and international organizations would be an asset.
  • Knowledge of and experience within the ECOWAS system is highly desirable.

c. Language:

  • Fluency in English, both spoken and written, including the ability to set out a coherent argument in presentations and group interactions, is required.
  • Fluency in any other ECOWAS official language is an added advantage.

This process is managed through the UNDP online eTendering system: .

Should you be interested and decide to submit an offer for this assignment, kindly send them no later than the date and time indicated in the system. Detailed user guide on how to register in the system and submit the proposal are attached to this notice. If you decide not to submit an offer, we would appreciate if you would advise us accordingly, preferably indicating the reasons for declining this invitation. Should you require further clarifications, kindly communicate with the contact person identified in the attached Data Sheet as the focal point for queries on this RFP by sending an e-mail: Attn:FT. In the meantime, we look forward to your favorable response, and thank you in advance for your interest in working with UNDP.

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