View all jobs

UNHCR-Global Focal Point for Environment-Home Based with travel

Home Based (with travel), Home Based
Terms of Reference
GSC Global Focal Point for Environment
Operational Context
In the current dramatic global context of environmental degradation and climate change, all sectors of society, including humanitarian action, need to reduce their environmental impact and adapt responses to the effects of climate change. Shelter and settlements assistance is live-saving and foundational for other sectoral support. It is essential for survival and recovery, and it is often among the first priorities of people affected by humanitarian crises. Much of the emergency shelter and non-food-items (NFI) assistance currently relies heavily on interventions that have an environmental impact, high-carbon emission and plastic content. The GSC Strategy 2018-2022 has four strategic areas: coordination, advocacy, evidence-based response, and capacity.

Against this background, the Global Shelter Cluster (GSC) has the ambition to green the humanitarian response and make it climate smarter. This will be done in a two-pronged approach. 

Firstly, the GSC brings together the shelter advisors of the main humanitarian organizations under the Environmental Community of Practice (ECoP). These shelter advisors have the responsibility within their organisations of defining the specifications of the most common humanitarian items delivered in-kind which are widely used by the shelter sector, as well as several other sectors such as WASH, Education, and Health. In collaboration with these sectors, the GSC will green the specifications of these items. The following is implied with greening: undertake actions, collaborate with partners, private sector and specialists to thoroughly review the material specifications, manufacturing and supply processes so that significant improvements in environmental considerations and material content can be identified. The goal is to radically improve the specifications of critical shelter and non-food items, reducing their carbon footprint and environmental impact without reducing the performance of the items and activities. 

Secondly, the GSC will support country-level shelter clusters to plan and implement operations that are as climate smart as possible. Localized and effective coordination teams, supported by surge capacity and global helpdesks, will promote the use of sustainable local solutions and materials that can help avoid international procurement, find options for reducing, repurposing, reusing, and recycling these solutions, promote an informed use of cash, and increased participation of affected population.  

Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG-ECHO) funded GSC to green the humanitarian response. This funding will enable GSC to hire a global focal point (GFP) for Environment for 18 months. GSC will continue looking for sustainable options to maintain this capacity.  

Mission location
The GFP for Environment will be home-based with a possibility to travel to support Country Clusters. They will report to the UNHCR’s Senior Shelter Cluster Coordinator.  The dedication of this function will be 100% to the Global Shelter Cluster Environment Priorities and workplan.

In case of need for deployment to a country, the GFP for Environment will be seconded full time to UNHCR to work for the GSC at country level. The GFP will work from home with deployments to the field and other locations as required. The deployments to the field will be determined based on needs and requests, possibly at short notice. The GFP may be deployed to emergencies which usually require very long working hours in stressful situations and may be in difficult and sensitive security environments, and will take part on regional fora, country level learning events and workshops, etc.

The GFP for environment is expected to use their own laptop, mobile phone, and other electronic equipment when home-based. When deployed to support a country cluster, under UNHCR secondment they will be provided a local mobile phone soon after their arrival to the country.

From November 2021 to May 2023 (tentatively).
Aim of the Mission
Reducing the carbon footprint of the shelter and settlement response and promoting climate smart shelter solutions.

The main objectives of the GFP for Environment is to support GSC at global and country-level, to lead efforts for greening the shelter and settlement response. The activities aim at reducing carbon footprint of the response, including mitigation of weather-related risks into country shelter cluster strategies, designing and harmonising processes and tools to assess and design environmental friendlier responses and designing climate-smart shelter solutions.
The GFP for Environment function will work under the supervision of the UNHCR’s Senior Shelter Cluster Coordinator of UNHCR. Their tasks are:
  1. Support GSC’s Environmental Community of Practice (ECoP) including its Helpdesk function.
  2. Desk review of existing ECoP tools on environmental approaches for shelter cluster partners.
  3. Support country clusters to calculate emissions aligned with ECHO project goals.
  4. Support greening activities of country clusters and implementing partners of the ECHO and BHA grants.
  5. Develop dedicated global guidance to country-level clusters on how to green the response and mainstream environmental considerations in country-level shelter cluster strategies.
  6. Ensure that the scaling-up lens is applied to the proposed green solutions and process.
  7. Ensure that the gender, age, diversity and equity lens is considered in all greening activities.
  8. Ensure cash for shelter strategies are informed by local resources and local markets analysis.
  9. Collect, analyse and update data and information concerning the environmental status of cluster strategies.
  10. Ensure environmental considerations are systematically included in shelter response strategies for affected population.
  11. Support mobilization of resources for the implementation of environment and climate change interventions.
  12. Develop and coordinate training and capacity building activities to address the identified skills and knowledge gaps and promote cross-countries learning.
  13. Provide inputs on GSC strategy revision.
  14. Monitor and keep the team abreast of the climate related policies of donors and contribute to the climate-related advocacy messages.
  15. Support the programme officer to monitor and report on grant activities.
  16. Advise country cluster on environmental issues remotely and through in-country missions
  17. Perform other related duties as required.
  1. Education
  • University degree in one or more of the following: Environmental Studies, Management of Natural Resources, Architecture, Urban planning, Civil Engineering or other comparable academic fields such as social sciences, with clear expertise in environmental issues.
  1. Experience required
  • Minimum 5 years’ experience on a similar position.
  • Knowledge of Cluster mechanisms, UN coordination systems and Humanitarian Reform process.
  • Excellent analytical skills.
  • Excellent communication, reporting and capacity building skills.
  1. Desirable
  • Good knowledge and experience of shelter and settlements related programmes in both climate affected and conflict-related emergencies and contexts would be an asset.
  • Very good knowledge of the Shelter and Settlement sector would be an asset, with significant field experience.
  • Understanding of linkages to longer-term outcomes of humanitarian action and development approaches.
  • Familiarity with Markets Systems Development would be an asset.
  • Familiarity with the environmental impact of shelter and NFI activities
  • Familiarity with humanitarian protection issues as well as other cross-cutting issues like age, gender, and diversity, disability and housing-land-property is an asset.
  • Good and proven knowledge in Humanitarian Shelter and Settlements operations and management.
  1. Competencies
  • Good negotiation, coordination, inter-personal, communication and work management skills.
  • Analytical thinking, planning skills, political awareness.
  • Ability to work independently in a result oriented multi-tasking and multi-cultural environment and set priorities.
  • Excellent knowledge of English (spoken, written), other UN languages would be an asset particularly French, Arabic and Spanish.
Powered by