Consultant - Drought Vulnerability and Impact Assessment for Jordan

Location: 
International Center for Biosaline Agriculture, Dubai, UAE
Report To: 
Principal Scientist - Water Governance & Policy
Job Number: 
(ICBAID -2017-002)
Posting Date: 
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Closing Date: 
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Grade: 
NA
Job Summary: 

Drought is a worldwide threat to food and water security and is a constant presence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Current droughts reveal the gaps and limitations in drought management in the region. Drought conditions in the southern Levant in January and February 2014 once again emphasized the urgent need to support the governments and people in these countries in developing efforts to manage the impacts of these extreme events. This need is further heightened by any analysis of future climate conditions in the region. There is rare convergence in agreement in the data from the major Global Climate Models, which highlights the likely future increases in temperatures, decreases in rainfall and increases in extreme events, particularly drought.

This project will combine the expertise of the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute, the School of Natural Resources, and the Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies (CALMIT) at the University of Nebraska and international and regional partner organizations to deliver new insights, management plans and drought resilience strategies at the national and local levels that will reduce drought impacts on the food supply and on the quantity and safety of the water supply in vulnerable communities.

The Regional Drought Management System (RDMS) for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA RDMS) will focus on drought risk management through the development of monitoring and early warning systems, and preparedness and mitigation measures. It will serve the region by:

  • Establishing a regional drought monitoring and early warning system and associated information delivery systems
  • Providing assessment of drought vulnerabilities and impacts
  • Developing actions and measures to mitigate and respond to drought impacts

The RDMS will monitor regional drought conditions, assist with drought planning and coordination activities, and assist officials who are charged with relief efforts by providing “value-added” information during drought events. A critical part of its mission is to provide training and capacity building throughout the region in the operation of monitoring and early warning systems, developing communications and delivery technology, and conducting stakeholder engagement activities.

This project will partner with, and build on, previous and on-going efforts in Jordan including USAID’s many programs and international efforts in drought management by FAO, WMO, UN-Water, in particular the on going initiative of UNDP and GoAl WaSH Program to strengthen the drought governance in Jordan. The outcome will be a unique capability for regional drought management, providing effective, collaborative, science- and society-based programs for developing a unified regional platform for drought monitoring, policy and preparedness. It will serve as a model for other regions in preparing for drought and managing its impacts.

The Drought Context in Jordan

Jordan is a drought-prone country, the annual precipitation trends over the past fifteen years were fluctuating, contributed to exacerbate strain on freshwater availability for domestic uses. The latest national report on climate change (TNC, 2014), drought events were predicted to be extremely likely. The maximum number of consecutive dry days would likely increase in the reference model of more than 30 days for the 2070-2100 period. The predictions indicate more frequent droughts with 3 to 4 years’ lag. Potential evaporation would also likely increase.

The existing governance structure of drought management in Jordan is very primitive, and lacks for clear institutional and legal arrangements. Although the Ministry of Water is mandated to handle drought issues in the country, yet drought management is multi-disciplinary approach and should engage wide spectrum of stakeholders.

As far as capacities are concerned, Jordan also lacks for key institutional and individual capacities to manage the recurring drought episodes, for instance, no early warning system is currently in place aiming at predicting drought events at early stages and to inform decision making processes, no proper monitoring regime for drought at the national level, and may training needs are highly needed at individual level.

Job Responsibilities: 

The purpose of this assignment is to improve the drought management preparedness and response in Jordan through carrying out a vulnerability and impact assessment using a mixed/ combined methods approach in which a multi-disciplinary approach is adopted.

Envisioned Tasks under this assignment include:

Milestone 1: Past droughts – their characteristics and impacts

  1. Assemble/share previous project reports on drought/climate change in the country using climatological and other primary data and update where possible to include recent events.
  2. Undertake literature review on drought history (occurrence, severity, duration, extent) at the National and Governorate/river basin/water utility levels (Departments).
  3. Work with ICBA/UNL and national parties on identifying a method(s) for validating the Composite Drought Indicator maps across the country for drought. Where possible begin to establish an evaluator network with participants helping to review the drought maps and begin the validation process.
  4. Assemble/share primary and secondary data on the impacts of past droughts on water supply systems at the national and/or river basin/water utility level including details of the effects on people and the economy. Write synthesis report on the impacts and give where appropriate case study details to support the findings.
  5. Assemble/share primary and secondary data on the impacts of past droughts on rainfed agricultural systems and agro-pastoralism systems at the national and/or more local level including details of the effects on people and the economy. Write synthesis report on the impacts on agriculture and give where appropriate case study details and data to support the findings.
  6. Assemble/share primary and secondary data on the impacts of past droughts on other sectors of the economy and/or society such as tourism or health at the national and/or more local level including details of the effects on people and the economy. Write synthesis report on the impacts on society/economy and give where appropriate case study details and data to support the findings.

Milestone 2: Underlying drought vulnerability

  1. Assemble/share previous project reports on drought vulnerability assessment information and synthesize findings and update where possible with data to reflect recent events. Complete literature review of previous drought work and reflect the objectives and developments of all ongoing drought projects in Jordan.
  2. Work with UNDP and other partners to organize and facilitate a national stakeholder meeting where the vulnerability assessment will be discussed and priorities and gaps identified so that the resulting workshop report sets out the scope and focus areas for the ongoing work.
  3. Undertake stakeholder interviews and consult closely with all key partners, for example but not limited to: The Ministry of Water & Irrigation, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Health, Civil Defence and the National Center for Security and Crisis Management
  4. Undertake multivariate analysis of relationships between social, economic, environmental (degradation, land use, water use) and politics indicators.
  5. Working with ICBA/UNL, form focus groups to recall and document past drought impacts on various sectors. Develop sectorally-based impact checklists,discuss response mechanisms, map vulnerabilities using GIS, qualitative ranking, scenario building, or develop a logic framework of drought impact causes.
  6. Write synthesis report on the finding of the focus group meetings to capture the various insights given.

Milestone 3: Adaptive capacity

  1. Assemble/share existing drought risk management policies/strategies and adaptive capacity of societies, regions and sectors.
  2. Write synthesis report on mechanisms of drought response.

Consultancy deliverables related to project fieldwork will be spread over the contract period. Milestones 1 and 2 should be delivered and reports approved by ICBA/UNL by 31st December 2017 at the latest, and Milestone 3 by 30th March 2018.

Deliverable 1: Project inception report – (20% of set project fees payment)

a. Project initiation report describing the methodological approach, data sources and key contacts to be used.

Deliverable 2: Drought History and Impact Assessment Reports (40% of set project fees payment)

a. Synthesis report on the drought history of the country building on previous work and providing updated information.

b. Summary workshop report on the findings and directions identified in the national stakeholder meeting

c. Develop a synthesis report on processes to correlate CDI values with other indicators or impact data.

d. Synthesis report on the drought impacts of previous events on the different sectors and regions of the country.

e. Bibliography of sources used.

f. Update on difficulties faced in the assessment.

Deliverable 3: Drought Vulnerability Report (20% of set project fees payment)

a. Synthesis report on the drought vulnerabilities using previously published findings and including logic trees, vulnerability mapping data and other outputs.

b. Bibliography of sources used.

c. Update on difficulties faced in the assessment.

Deliverable 4: Adaptive Capacity Report (20% of set project fees payments)

a. Synthesis report on the drought adaptive capacity of key sectors, societies and regions.

b. Bibliography of sources used.

c. Update on difficulties faced in the assessment.

Qualifications and Experience: 

Masters Degree or PhD with 7 - 10 years of experience.

Applicants are kindly requested to complete their response to the RFC as outlined in the attached document and send this with their C.V along with two names as references to:

Human Resources
ICBA
P.O. Box 14660
Dubai- UAE
Fax: +9714 3361149
Email: hr@biosaline.org.ae