Disaster Risk Reduction Officer

UNDP - United Nations Development Programme

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Climate change is projected to increase the occurrence of intense rainfall events in Moldova with potential consequences for damaging flooding, given the country’s rolling topography and current land use patterns. The majority of Moldova’s rural population lives in small towns located in these watersheds, which are often found in low lying areas and other areas at risk of flooding as a result of heavy rains. 
On average, under climate change, rainfall will become (with 66% probability) more frequent, either in absolute terms or as a proportion of total precipitation, that is, less precipitation with a higher proportion of heavy rain events. Potentially damaging and life-threatening river floods are expected to intensify. 
Given that over 4,000 small and medium reservoirs and ponds have been constructed, the structural integrity of dams and weirs is therefore critically important in any long-term national climate change adaptation strategy. Most dams were designed in the former Soviet republic using empirical formulas based on the hydrological and climatological conditions of more than 30-40 years ago. As such, no climate change allowances were made during the design of these dams. As well, an unknown number of dams have been built ad hoc by individuals or communities without any proper design and/or permit.[1]
At the same time, the State Hydro-meteorological Service (SHS) monitoring capacities are insufficient to assess local-level hazards and vulnerabilities with sufficient precision, and the current early warning system for flooding is weak. SHS monitoring stations are unevenly distributed, with the vast majority found on the two largest border rivers (Prut and Dniester), leaving the interior under-served. The network of stations cannot adequately detect fluvial and flash flood risk, and hazard maps are out of date. The state institutions – the State Hydro-meteorological Service (SHS) and the Agency “Apele Moldovei”(AAM) – charged with hazard analysis and risk assessments currently lack the technical capacities to carry them out effectively, and they have no hydrological or hydraulic modelling capacities which is limiting the efficient flood forecasting. 
Compounding vulnerability from the threat of flooding, local governance institutions have insufficient capacities for effective flood risk and water resources planning and management at the sub-basin level. Local governance institutions and community stakeholders lack the organizational and technical capacities to carry out participatory integrated water resource management and flood risk assessment and management. Under the provisions of Water Law No. 272 of 2011, some elements of integrated water resources management at local level have been delegated to sub-basin committees. While sub-basin committees have been established, they meet irregularly, have no long-term strategy for engaging local land users in analysis and planning, and their links with local water users’ groups and other land use regulatory institutions are weak or non-existent. Water users’ groups lack the support they need to ensure adequate capacities for appropriate maintenance of private and public hydro-infrastructure.
Against this background, the project is proposing a set of measures aimed at strengthening the country’s adaptation to climate-driven flood risk through a two-pronged approach. The first will build the essential national hydro-meteorological monitoring and early warning systems, including the institutional capacities to manage and operate them countrywide. The second one, will apply an integrated water resources management (IWRM) approach to 5 key watersheds that will produce knowledge and institutional capacities for rehabilitation of high-risk hydrotechnical infrastructure, as well as increased participation by local stakeholders in water governance. 
With these measures the project will put in place knowledge, capacity, infrastructure, policy and regulatory frameworks to enable a long-term impact of country’s enhanced capabilities to manage the run-off from extreme climate-driven rainfall events to prevent flooding that causes loss of life and property damage.   The following are the project outcomes and outputs of the project: 

Outcome 1: Increased capacities of the relevant national and local authorities to respond effectively to extreme water-related events 

  • Output 1.1:  Strengthened hydro-meteorological monitoring network for effective river basin management
  • Output 1.2: Flash-flood/flood forecasting and early warning system established and operational 

Outcome 2:  Enhanced security of the vulnerable rural population in key watersheds from potential failure of flood control infrastructure

  • Output 2.1. Methodology, protocol and standards for safe operation of hydro-technical infrastructure developed
  • Output 2.2: High risk dams identified in 5 pilot sites, conditions analyzed, and remedial measures identified with priority high risk dams rehabilitated

Outcome 3: Enhanced capacity of the local authorities and empowered community stakeholders to participate actively in governance of integrated water resources management for flood control

  • Output 3.1:  Flood risk and water resources planning, and management instruments are available and put at use at the local level

The project will have several categories of target groups such as, firstly, the local population from the pilot areas who are directly exposed to the flood-related hazards, namely, those living in floodplain areas or having agricultural land and/or economic activities in these areas.   

Another target group is the Local Public Authorities from the selected pilot regions. As the custodians of the hydro-technical infrastructure, they bear the responsibility to ensure their proper operation and maintenance in order to mitigate the flood risks. 

The next target group of the project is the central public authorities such as the Ministry of Environment with its subordinated institutions, that is, the Agency “Apele Moldovei” and the State Hydro-meteorological Service who will benefit from instruments and knowledge to better understand the flood-related risks, prevent and prepare for these. 

The last target group of the project is the private sector who rent the hydra-technical infrastructure form the LPAs and who have the role of water users.

This is a 4-year project with an allocated budget from the Austrian Development Agency totaling 4 mln EUR. Additional funding would have to be mobilized from the LPAs for the rehabilitation of the identified hydro-infrastrucure in the 5 pilot areas.  

[1] The number of dams in Moldova is disputed. Based on some sources there are more than 7,000 dams (ongoing inventory of dams by national experts), while others estimate the number of dams at around 4,000 (General Inspectorate of Emergency Situations).

Duties and Responsibilities

The Disaster Risk Reduction Officer’s prime responsibility is to ensure that the Component 1&3 of the project produce the results specified in the detailed concept to the project document, to the required standard of quality and within the specified constraints of time and cost. 

Under the guidance and direct supervision of the Flood Management Project Manager and overall guidance of the UNDP Climate Change, Environment and Energy (EECC) Cluster Analyst, the incumbent provides effective and efficient support to the initiative through a range of actions contributing to the management and monitoring of initiative activities. The selected Component Officer applies and promotes the principles of results-based management (RBM), as well as a client-oriented approach consistent with UNDP rules and regulations. He/she is responsible and accountable to the Project Board for the project results.

The selected Disaster Risk Reduction Officer is expected to collaborate also with the Programme, Operations, Communications and other project teams in the Country Office (CO) for effective achievement of results, anticipating and contributing to resolving complex programme/project-related issues and information delivery. The incumbent is expected to exercise full compliance with UNDP programming, financial, procurement and administrative rules, regulations, policies and strategies, as well as implementation of the effective internal control systems. 

The Disaster Risk Reduction Officer, in close cooperation with the UNDP Country Office and all relevant stakeholders, incl. Ministry of Environment, Agency “Apele Moldovei”, State Hydro-meteorological Service, and LPAs, private sector and other relevant stakeholders, will ensure the provision of development services and products (commensurate with the scope of the initiative) of the highest quality and standards to national counterparts and clients through applying human rights-based (HRBA) and gender equality (GE) approaches. Specifically: 

  • Ensuring effective content and operational management of the Components 1&3 of the project; 
  • Oversee day-to-day operations and implementation of project activities;
  • Exercise close monitoring of project activities and produce monitoring reports; 
  • Ensure the timely and efficient delivery of Project outputs and products, as per the Project Document, leading to the achievement of expected results;
  • Develop Work Plan, periodic narrative progress and final reports and expenditures status reports and submit to the supervisor; 
  • Ensure the implementation of the activities under the Project work plan according to indicators for achieving planned results, as well as the overall management of the Project in line with UNDP rules, regulations and procedures;
  • Support UNDP CO in effectively managing human resources pertaining to the Project, including staff, consultants and short-term experts; conduct periodic performance appraisals; build, lead and motivate a solid team of professionals; 
  • Support the efficient management of the Project financial resources, including budgeting and budget revisions, as well as expenditure tracking and reporting;
  • Continuously record and maintain Project issues and risks and suggest mitigation measures.
  • Lead and coordinate the organization of meetings, workshops, conferences, trainings, study visits and related activities relevant to the implementation of the Project;
  • Maintain a continuous effective dialogue with the key stakeholders, central and local government authorities, other UN agencies and actors active in the sector, CSOs, partner organizations, international and national experts in the areas of the Project intervention in view of identifying synergies and avoiding overlapping of assistance; 
  • Maintain a close collaboration with other related UNDP projects to ensure synergies and complementarities; 
  • Ensure high quality information and visibility of the project activities to the mass media and stakeholders and support mechanisms for exchange of information, experience and lessons learned at the local, national, and as required at international levels;
  • Perform any other duties connected directly with the implementation and evaluation of the Project as required. 

Key Results

The key results have a direct impact on the overall successful achievement of the Flood Management Project in Moldova. Accurate analysis and presentation of information enhances UNDP’s position as a strong development partner. The information provided facilitates decision-making of the Project Board, the Beneficiary and UNDP management. 

Institutional Arrangement: 

The Disaster Risk Reduction Officer will work under the supervision of the Project Manager/Flood Management Project and the Climate Change, Environment and Energy Analyst and will ensure the provision of development services and products commensurate with the scope of the Programme and assigned area of responsibility of the highest quality and standards to national and local counterparts and clients through applying HRBA and GE approaches. He/she will coordinate the part time consultants, as envisaged in programme’s organizational chart.

The Disaster Risk Reduction Officer will work in close cooperation with the team in the Country Office (CO) for effective achievement of results, anticipating and contributing to resolving complex project/project-related issues and information delivery. The incumbent is expected to exercise full compliance with UNDP programming, financial, procurement and administrative rules, regulations, policies and strategies, as well as implementation of the effective internal control systems.

Core competencies:
  • Achieve Results: LEVEL 1: Plans and monitors own work, pays attention to details, delivers quality work by deadline.
  • Think Innovatively: LEVEL 1: Open to creative ideas/known risks, is pragmatic problem solver, makes improvements.
  • Learn Continuously: LEVEL 1: Open minded and curious, shares knowledge, learns from mistakes, asks for feedback.
  • Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 1: Adapts to change, constructively handles ambiguity/uncertainty, is flexible.
  • Act with Determination: LEVEL 1: Shows drive and motivation, able to deliver calmly in face of adversity, confident.
  • Engage and Partner: LEVEL 1: Demonstrates compassion/understanding towards others, forms positive relationships.
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 1: Appreciate/respect differences, aware of unconscious bias, confront discrimination.

Cross functional and Technical competencies:

  • Business Management- Results-based Management      

    • Ability to manage projects and projects with a focus at improved performance and demonstrable results.
  • Business Management- Project Management    

    • Ability to plan, organize, prioritize, and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals.
  • Business Direction & Strategy- System Thinking 

    • Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system.
  • Business Management- Monitoring        

    • Ability to provide managers and key stakeholders with regular feedback on the consistency or discrepancy between planned and actual activities and project performance and results.
  • Digital & Innovation- Agile’ methodologies and practices             

    • Ability to manage projects and processes through continuous iteration, learning and improvement. Ability to manage a self-organising cross-functional teams, foster a team culture of curiosity and learning. Being nimble and being able to improvise and quickly adjust to unforeseen events or changes in conditions or context.
  • Digital & Innovation- Futures & foresight            

    • Ability to look at information from the past and present, identify patterns and trends and use them to inform decision making with a long-term view. Being sensitive and able to scan horizons and pick up weak signals of change, explore their potential implications and assess their impact and urgency. Using creativity and imagination to communicate insights in compelling and engaging ways to challenge current mental models; ability to develop scenarios, speculative designs to present future visions or by making it experiential. Being able to facilitate debate and discussion about possible futures; help people to feel comfortable with the discomfort of uncertainty.
  • Partnership Management- CSO Engagement      

    • Knowledge and understanding of CSOs and the ability to engage with CSOs
Required Skills and Experience

  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in environmental engineering, economics, business administration, public administration and other closely related fields is required. 
  • Bachelor’s degree in the areas mentioned above in combination with additional 2 years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of Master`s degree.
  • Minimum 2 years (with Master’s degree) or 4 years (with Bachelor’s degree) of progressive experience in the development, coordination and implementation of the programmes and projects.


  • Fluency in English, Romanian and Russian is required.
  • Working knowledge of one or more additional languages relevant for Moldova, including Bulgarian, Gagauzian, Romani, Ukrainian or sign language will be an asset.

Required skills and experience:

  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc) and advance knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages, experience in handling of web based management systems.

Required skills and experience:

  • Previous experience in development assistance or related work for a donor organization, development partners, NGOs,UN Agencies will be an asset.
  • Prior experience with UNDP and/or project implementation will be an asset.
  • Relevant professional experience of engagement with a large variety of stakeholders (public, private, LPAs, central public authorities, mass-media etc will be an asset.
  • Familiarity and prior experience with the donors requirements and procedures will be an asset.
  • Additional training and certification in project management and/or business administration would be an advantage.

The following documents shall be required from the applicants:

  • Personal CV or P11, indicating all past positions held and their main underlying functions, their durations (month/year), the qualifications, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate, and at least three (3) the most recent professional references of previous supervisors. References may also include peers.
  • A cover letter (maximum length: 1 page) indicating why the candidate considers him-/herself to be suitable for the position.
  • Managers may ask (ad hoc) for any other materials relevant to pre-assessing the relevance of their experience, such as  reports, presentations, publications, campaigns or other materials.


Applicant information about UNDP rosters
Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.  
UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status. 

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