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Anticipatory Finance Consultant


  • Organization: UNDRR - United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: Consultancy - Consultant - Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Banking and Finance
  • Closing Date: Closed

Result of Service

National governments are capacitated to estimate an anticipatory finance envelope for prioritized hazards, and are better able to co-ordinate streams of anticipatory finance, including initiate thinking around re-shaping existing approaches and funding instruments to make them more conducive for anticipatory action and risk reduction.

Work Location

Home based

Expected duration

7.5 months

Duties and Responsibilities


UNDRR was established in 1999 as a dedicated secretariat to facilitate the implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR). It is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution (56/195) to serve as the focal point in the United Nations system for the coordination of disaster reduction and to ensure synergies among the disaster reduction activities of the United Nations system and regional organizations and activities in socio-economic and humanitarian fields. Upon the adoption of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 by all UN member states in March 2015, UNDRR was tasked by the UN General Assembly to support the implementation, follow-up and review of the Framework. As a part of its normative mandate, UNDRR is supporting countries, in particular least developed and small island countries, in the development, implementation and monitoring of progress of national and local disaster risk reduction strategies. UNDRR thereby focuses particularly on ensuring a comprehensive and inclusive approach to disaster risk reduction, in raising awareness and engaging representatives of all relevant stakeholder groups in the strategy discussions.

Background and Context

Anticipatory action (AA) has increasingly gained traction in recent years given its potential to greatly reduce the multifaceted impacts of disasters, alleviate pressures on humanitarian response needs, and build resilience of communities and systems. By using forecasted parametric triggers and ex ante financing in early action windows, AA can provide more predictable funding compared to traditional, risk-averse humanitarian funding as well as reduce the lag between fully manifested impacts of disasters and release of funds. Anticipatory finance can enable the humanitarian system to act earlier, at scale, either before the shock has occurred to enable households to reduce risks, prepare and manage the consequences (“early action”), or very soon after the shock (“early” or “timely response”) to limit disaster impacts address humanitarian needs, and enhance recovery.

While anticipatory action initiatives are currently active in more than 60 countries in the world, most of them are limited to the pilot and testing stages. Additionally, current AA initiatives focus on managing residual risks rather than supplementing them to address political, economic, and institutional factors that limit preventative action or considering how anticipatory finance can be pre-positioned and triggered for other stages of disaster management cycle – recovery, reconstruction, and rehabilitation. Addressing these as well as expanding flexible and coordinated financing, investing in predictive risk analytics, building evidence frameworks, and investing in local capacity, ownership and sustainability will be critical to scale up AA significantly and systematically.

Tasks and Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the Programme Management Officer leading the work on Anticipatory Finance, the consultant will be responsible for developing and prototype testing an anticipatory finance diagnostic toolkit at country level for governments and humanitarian actors to assess historical financial needs for disaster-induced humanitarian actions, current landscape of humanitarian financing streams in the country, and which of these streams, including national, bilateral, and multilateral, can be coordinated for anticipatory finance. The tool will aim to support national governments to estimate an anticipatory finance envelope for prioritized hazards, provide a basis for co-ordination of existing anticipatory finance, support identification of new streams for anticipatory action, and more importantly, initiate thinking around re-shaping existing approaches and funding instruments to make them more conducive for anticipatory action and risk reduction. Key responsibilities of the consultant include:

Develop a detailed work plan to carry out the assignment which should include a contextual overview and background, the proposed approach and methodology to develop and test the tool in one country, activities and timelines, and a stakeholder analysis to define and convene an expert reference group1.

Conduct an in-dept review of studies, methodologies, and tools on humanitarian financing, pre-arranged finance, and disaster risk finance to assess critical gaps, opportunities and requirements which can inform the diagnostic tool design.

Conduct technical consultations with the expert reference group, UNDRR regional offices, and government officials (if feasible) to inform design features of the diagnostic tool – databases, components, input and output parameters, underlying software, etc.

Based on literature review and stakeholder feedback, develop a prototype diagnostic tool which at the minimum will include three components: assessment of historical financial needs for disaster-induced humanitarian actions; current landscape of humanitarian financing streams in the country; and which of these streams, including national, bilateral, and multilateral, can be coordinated for anticipatory finance.

Present the prototype tool to UNDRR and the expert reference group, and refine the tool based on feedback received.

Provide technical support to test the diagnostic tool in one country in Asia/Africa. This activity will be combined with a planned workshop or consultation at the country level to scale up disaster risk reduction in humanitarian action. Support expected from the consultant include: identification of government and humanitarian stakeholders at country level for testing; preparing resources for consultation and testing; presentation, brief training, and testing of tool with identified stakeholders during an in-person workshop; and synthesising feedback on user challenges and recommendations in a documented report.

Update the diagnostic tool based on feedback received from the in-country testing workshop, and finalise the diagnostic tool.

Develop a ‘How to use guide’ for programme and technical officers from relevant stakeholders to support uptake of tool.

Support knowledge exchange and dissemination of the diagnostic tool and testing workshop findings, including through meetings/webinars.

Management and Supervision

The consultant will report to the Programme Management Officer leading the work on Anticipatory Finance in UNDRR, and collaborate with key partners, regional offices and other units with experiences in anticipatory finance.

Qualifications/special skills

An advanced university degree in economics, finance, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, business management, international economic development, or a related field, together with relevant qualifying experience is required. A first-level university degree in combination with a minimum of 2 years additional qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
A minimum of 5 years of demonstrated experience in the area of disaster risk finance, anticipatory finance, disaster risk reduction, climate change, or a related field is required.
Demonstrated expertise in conducting qualitative research for disaster risk finance, anticipatory finance, or financing prevention is required.
Experience in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders, including national governments, UN agencies, and other humanitarian/development agencies is desirable.
Experience within the UN system would be an asset.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English is required.

No Fee


This vacancy is now closed.
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