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Home Based Consultant: To Develop Practice Note on How Volunteerism Contributes to Environment and Climate Change Focussed on Food Security Through Sustainable Livelihoods

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Hydrology, Hydrogeology, Water Resources
Location England (London & Greater) - UK
Town/City Home Based Anywhere
Type Temporary / Contract / Seasonal
Status Full Time
Level Mid Level
Deadline 13/07/2009
Company Name United Nations Development Program
Contact Name Human Resources
Website Further Details / Applications
United Nations Development Program logo
Directory Entry : UNDP is the UN's global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. For environmental jobs with UNDP visit their website. Or for more environmental jobs search environmentjobs.com
Also Listing:

The United Nations Volunteers programme (UNV) is the United Nations programme that supports sustainable human development globally through the promotion of volunteerism and the mobilization of volunteers. It operates against a background of growing recognition that volunteerism brings benefits to both society at large and the individual volunteer; that it makes important contributions, economically as well as socially; and that it contributes to more cohesive societies by building trust and reciprocity among citizens. Universal and inclusive, UNV embraces all types of volunteer action while holding to the values of free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity, which are the foundations of volunteerism.

UNV engaged 7,521 UNV volunteers in 2007, on a total of 7,766 assignments. With an average of 39 years and the requisite professional skills and qualifications of some 5 to 10 years relevant experience, UNV volunteers served in 139 countries in 2007 and came themselves from 162. The majority – 77 per cent – come from developing countries themselves. One third of UNV volunteers served in their own countries, with the others carrying out international assignments. The financial equivalent of programme activities exceeds US$150 million annually. 

UNV is headquartered in Bonn, Germany and has approximately 150 staff positions – the majority in Bonn with some dozen positions in different UN peacekeeping missions, and other Headquarters locations (e.g. New York and Tokyo). The major organizational groups within UNV are:

  • The Office of the Executive Coordinator, comprising also Special Operations, and units for Evaluation and Management Support;
  • The Programme Development and Operations Group (PDOG) comprising three geographical sections, as well a Volunteer Resources Unit and a Research and Development Section;
  • The Support Services Group (SSG) comprising sections for Information Support Services, Finance, Human Resources, as well as Units for Common Services and Administration; and
  • The Partnerships, Communications and Resource Mobilization Group (PCRG) comprising units for Donors Relations and for Communications. 

Organizational setting

The Programme Development and Operations Group (PDOG) of UNV has primary responsibility for programming in the organization and includes three geographic sections (Africa; ARLAC - covering Latin America, the Caribbean and Arab States, and APEC – covering Asia, Pacific, Europe and CIS).
The Executive Board in June 2006 approved the Business Model (BM) as the main planning and programming framework for UNV. This is the basis and provided the framework for the UNV Corporate Plan 2009 – 2011 that presents high-level corporate outcomes and outputs for both programme and management processes, thus capturing all of UNV’s work. Under the goal of UNV, which is to contribute to peace and development through volunteerism, there are four outcomes: (1) Contribution of volunteerism to development is recognized globally; (2) Volunteerism is integrated into development policies, strategies and programming; (3) Volunteer engagement in development is strengthened and diversified, and (4) UNV is recognised as a relevant, results-based and efficient organization.
It is in this context that the PDOG has formulated a programme strategy for the period of 2009 – 2011. In integrating volunteerism into development programming, specific focus and sub-focus areas have been identified for special targeting: 

Delivery of Basic Services

  • Strengthening local governance
  • Primary health care and HIV & AIDS
  • Functional literacy

Crisis Prevention and Recovery

  • Disaster risk reduction
  • Early recovery including livelihoods
  • Local conflict resolution / reconciliation / peace-building / human rights

Environment and Climate Change

  • Community-based natural resource management and sustainable biodiversity conservation
  • Community-based adaptation to climate change
  • Food security through sustainable livelihoods

The strategy also has three crosscutting social inclusion pillars i.e. youths, gender, and marginalised groups. In addition, partnership must be an integral aspect of any UNV intervention.
The focus of this consultancy will be the Practice Note on integrating volunteerism into food security through sustainable livelihoods. UNV intervention in this focus area is driven by a number of factors including global recognition of the role of volunteerism in environmental protection as well as General Assembly resolutions and the UNDP Executive Board calling on UNV to contribute to the global environmental and climate change agenda.  

The global environmental movement has been based on volunteerism. It is driven by individual volunteers and volunteer-involving organisations from all focus areas and levels of society carrying out initiatives in the field of environment and climate change, as well as promoting environmental social action and volunteerism. The Johannesburg 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (Rio + 10), in its call for major groups to participate in implementation, specifically singles out volunteer groups.  An internal review of projects financed by UNV-administered funds between 2006 and 2009 revealed that almost 40% of said projects integrated volunteerism in the context of activities addressing environmental issues and concerns .

963 million people do not have enough to eat and the number of undernourished people in the world increased by 75 million in 2007 and 40 million in 2008, largely due to higher food prices . Climate change is likely to further impact the four dimensions of food security: food availability, food accessibility, food utilisation and stability of food systems. At the community level, sustainable food production depends on agricultural practices that respect local ecosystems. Community volunteerism can play a crucial role in promoting ecologically sustainable agricultural development.
In partnership with other UN agencies, funds and programmes, UNV volunteers can support development efforts in this area by:

  • Promoting volunteer collaboration and self-help among small-scale farmers and community members on agricultural planning, production, storage, processing, transport and marketing;
  • Connecting communities with agricultural extension workers, services and Farmer Field Schools;
  • Promoting the introduction and use of fuel efficient cooking stoves and new agricultural practices; 
  • Promoting the use of renewable energy, sustainable lifestyles and building environmental awareness;
  • Promoting community collaborations on solid waste management including their contributions/fees to sustain these efforts; and 
  • Helping to integrate community volunteerism into learning at Farmer Field Schools so that local farmers, trained in the ecological principles of  sustainable agricultural practices, can multiply the results by volunteering to train other farmers and mobilizing community volunteers.

UNV will actively pursue partnerships with UN agencies, funds and programmes such as FAO, WFP and UNDP which are directly responding to the food crisis. UNV will also work closely with the UN working group on the Food Crisis established by the Secretary General as a coordination mechanism.

 In its Decision 2008/22 from 26 June 2008, the EB states: “Notes that the United Nations Volunteers programme can effectively contribute, at the community level, to addressing environmental sustainability, including climate change, and encourages the United Nations Volunteers programme to engage in community-level natural resources management and climate mitigation and adaptation activities, upon request by programme countries”.
The UN General Assembly resolution  responding to the triennial report on IYV follow up, states: Recognises that greater efforts are needed to ensure that climate change and the environment feature on the volunteerism agenda of Governments and the United Nations;”
 See UNV internal review report “Review of UNV-funded projects by UNDP/UNV focus areas,” UNV R&D unit, April 2009.
  FAO news release, 9 Dec 2008, available at: 


Duties and Responsibilities

The consultation will be under the overall supervision of the Chief of the Research and Development (R&D) Unit, who may delegate to colleagues within R&D as appropriate. Interim deliverables are defined for steps of the consultation for monitoring and quality assurance purposes.

The expect output is a Practice Note knowledge document with: 

  • Case studies  analysing the role and contributions of volunteerism to food security though sustainable livelihoods. A minimum of 6 case studies from at least 4 developing regions of the world are to be included. Each of the social inclusion pillars of youth, gender and marginalised persons will also be featured in at least one of the case studies.  The focus of the case studies are on the contribution of volunteerism in general, not limited to the contribution of UNV or UNV volunteers. 
  • From analysis of the case studies will be drawn lessons learned and practice recommendations for integrating volunteerism into this focus area, through partnerships, especially at the local, meso and national levels.

Key Areas/Issues to be addressed

UNV recognises that there is a wide range of expressing and promoting volunteerism and it varies among different people, contexts, and cultures. Based on the objectives of the programme or project and reviewing the volunteerism-related activities undertaken, the research will consider the following key questions: 

  • What are the key results? How are they achieved?
  • What factors help or hinder the volunteering contribution?
  • What is the added value of volunteering? Is there any specific added value of volunteering in terms of this focus area? 
  • Who were the partners involved? What value did the different partners bring? What were the key factors contributing to building good partnerships? 
  • How is volunteering perceived by other stakeholders and partner organizations?
  • Are there any actions that demonstrate that volunteerism can support the inclusion of youth, gender, or other marginalised persons? Is there any evidence of changes in practices relating to inclusion because of the volunteerism aspect of the project? 
  • To what extent did the volunteerism in the project influence capacity development? 
  • Is it possible to establish a link between volunteering actions promoted by the project and stimulating national/local volunteerism and/or stakeholder participation more generally or in other areas?  
  • How can these lessons be used to enhance future planning and partnering in integrating volunteerism to programming into this focus area?

Methods and Approaches

The consultancy will be home-based and done in part based on UNV sources, but will also require the consultant to identify and pursue additional primary and secondary information sources, in developing the case studies. Methods and tools can be combined at various stages in the process: 

  • Desk review: Most of the relevant UNV documents will be compiled beforehand to expedite the review by the consultant. The consultant will be responsible for designing and implementing additional research and exploratory consultations to identify case study topics. 
  • Based on the desk reviews and exploratory consultations, a detailed outline of the proposed case study topics will be drafted and submitted to UNV for approval
  • Direct informant research: The consultant should in most cases also need to conduct interviews or online exchanges in order to obtain the necessary data for fully developing the case studies.
  • Analysis and report writing
  • Presentation of the draft note for UNV comments will be followed by a final version incorporating comments as appropriate.

Steps in the review process and estimated number of working days and deadline for completion 

  • UNV and volunteerism orientation. Preparatory work, desk reviews and exploratory consultations, including detailed outline of case study and research plan  8 days, deadline - 27 July 2009
  • Direct informant research plus initial analysis   - 5 days  
  • Analysis and practice note drafting. Submit draft to UNV. 5 days,  deadline  -  21 Aug 2009
  • Incorporation of UNV comments into practice note. Produce final document of approximately 15 pages.  2 days  
  • Total: 20 days  deadline  - 18 Sept 2009

The case studies will include not only UNV programme examples, but also examples led by civil society entities, NGOs, government, private sector, etc.



  • At least 5 years relevant work experience in the focus area of food security through sustainable livelihoods, especially in developing countries
  • Knowledge and experience of volunteerism with its diverse manifestations and cultural settings
  • Proven experience in developing practice guidance notes or similar knowledge products
  • Excellent analytical and writing skills
  • Good people and communication skills
  • Experience with UNV would be an advantage


Required Skills and Experience


  • University degree at the post-graduate level in a relevant field of study

Language Requirements

  • Fluency in written and spoken English as well as a working knowledge of French and/or Spanish is preferred.

Evaluation Criteria

The contract shall be awarded to the consultant who is the most technically qualified and provides the best value for money who acheives the highest combined score (technical and financial). Only those who pass the 80% technical evaluation score will be considered. Interviews will be used to determine the technical competencies of the candidates. Only companies/consultants with relevant experience in supplying similar services will be considered qualified.

Evaluation criteria and weights for Cumulative Analysis

  • Knowledge of food security through sustainable livelihoods 25
  • Professional qualification 20
  • Experience in volunteerism for food security through sustainable livelihoods 15
  • Relevant work experience 15
  • Writing ability 5
  • Sub-Total 80
  • Financial* 20
  • Grand Total 100

*The financial score is calculated as follows:

The lowest offer is awarded 20 points. The highest priced offer will receive 5 points. All other offers would be awarded a relative score between 5 and 20. The equation for this calculation is as follows: p = y (μ/z)

  • p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated
  • y = maximum number of points for the financial proposal
  • μ = price of the lowest priced proposal
  • z = price of the proposal being evaluated

The candidate obtaining the overall highest score after adding the technical score and the financial score will be awarded the contract.

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