The Government of Lao (GOL) led the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) in 2018 following the flood disasters in the south. This provided the impetus for a stronger government determination for policy responses to ensure that the recovery process in the affected regions introduces resilience measures to mitigate impacts from recurring disasters and climate risks. This contributed to the finalization approval of a new Disaster Management (DM) Law in 2019 which, along with the DRR Roadmap developed with UNDP support, called for a paradigm shift towards disaster risk reduction and assigned accountability for the Prevention, Control and Recovery across government agencies and at multiple administrative levels.
The new DM law provides many opportunities and identifies significant challenges with regards to institutional, legislative and the policy context related to disaster risk management. Better clarity on roles and accountability of national agencies and stakeholders requires confirmation. Horizontal and vertical coordination requires considerable strengthening and systems and procedures for implementation of Disaster Risk Reduction/Management (DRR/DRM) activities remain limited and vague. UNDP is currently implementing 2 DRR projects with the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare’s (MoLSW) National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) to address these immediate needs and gaps while catalysing other policy and programmatic action across administrative levels and sectors to reduce, mitigate, prepare for and respond to disasters in a holistic manner, support new mandated roles of national and provincial agencies and stakeholders as per the new DM Law and the DRR Roadmap and move towards achievement of the SDGs.
The outcome of UNDP’s initiatives and projects are to strengthen disaster/climate risk management systems through institutional focus, built capacities, fostered horizontal and vertical administrative coordination and enhanced data analysis for evidence-based risk-informed national and urban development planning. Three major outputs are:
• Implementation of the new DM law supported for sustainable development and urban risk management.
• Capacity at the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), relevant national agencies, and UNDP CO strengthened to advance climate and disaster risk-informed urban resilience portfolio for upscaling.
• Lao Disaster Information Platform (LaoDi) updated and institutionalized at NDMO to strengthen gender-responsive disaster preparedness, recovery, and urban resilience.
The existing project activities will directly address gender and Leave No One Behind (LNOB) considerations through enhanced focus on vulnerable groups, including women, and empowering them to play a pro-active role in managing and recovering from disasters such as floods, droughts and pandemics. Projects will advance the objective of LNOB by underscoring the need to reflect specific
requirements and priorities of at-risk and vulnerable communities at both the national as well as provincial and/or municipal administrative level.
The catalytic nature of existing interventions is aligned with a long-term risk-informed development approach adopted by the Government and the upscaling of UNDPs position in the sector; which includes informing the preparation of the next (9th) National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP) from both sustainability and resilience perspectives.
In line with these efforts, UNDP is seeking an experienced Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Specialist with a strong background in CBDRR, institutional capacity development, project design and implementation.
The DRR Specialist will work with relevant government and development partner officials to ensure excellent project management skills are applied to all aspects of funded initiatives that includes, but not limited to, applying best practices in program design; monitoring of project implementation; ensuring financial compliance with good budget management; ensuring effective monitoring and evaluation; and timely reporting and relevant analysis. This position is based at the Lao PDR NDMO office within MoLSW. Some travel is expected.