1. Situational Background
Following the violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar, which began on 25 August 2017, more than 800,000 refugees fled across the border into Ukhiya and Teknaf Upazila, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. The arrival of the refugees and the establishment of refugee camps put a large strain on the local environment.
During the initial phase of the emergency, hundreds of thousands of refugees struggled to build emergency shelters with the materials they could find and used firewood from nearby forest areas to cook. This led to forest areas being cleared and trees being cut extensively. Important national forestry areas which were already under significant pressure before the influx degraded further, impacting livelihood opportunities for local communities. Critical biodiversity areas, such as the Teknaf Wildlife Sanctuary (11,615 ha), Himchari National Park (1,729 ha) and Inani Protected Area (7,700 ha) suffered degradation and over-exploitation of wood and other forest products.
Cox’s Bazar’ refugee camps intersect with one of the busiest corridors of Asian elephants and of several other highly threatened species, causing refugees to frequently be faced with human-elephant conflicts and other wildlife risks such as snakes. Alteration of landscapes due to deforestation and construction has increased risks related to landslides and other natural hazards (flooding, lightning) that became worst during monsoon and cyclone seasons.
Studies from various UN agencies have shown that upstream vegetation clearance and further degradation of stream networks are associated with changes in the hydrology of the area, soil erosion, downstream sedimentation and water shortages for communities living within the watershed. This environmental degradation results in diminished livelihoods and creates significant protection risks through natural resource-based conflict with the host community.
Denudation of once forested hills, movements of personnel, products and services also caused particulate matter pollution in the dry season (as well as solid waste hazards) which interplay with vector-borne diseases triggered by water-logged swamps.
The Energy and Environment Technical Working Group (EETWG)
The incumbent Energy and Environment Technical Working Group (EETWG) Coordination Officer will coordinate the EETWG. The EETWG is a cross-cutting, multi-sectoral, action-orientated group promoting climate action and environmental sustainability in Cox’s Bazar. It acts as a think tank to generate innovative solutions and provides technical advice, documentation and recommendations to partners and sectors. The EETWG ensures that partners working across different sectors coordinate on technical issues in a holistic way and that environmental mainstreaming is promoted. The EETWG was formed in 2018 largely in response to the pressures on the socio-ecological system and natural resources in Cox’s Bazar following the 2017 refugee influx.
From 2023, the EETWG will act as a technical advisory group to ensure interventions within the response are environmentally sensitive, contribute to climate action where possible and there is coordination between the sectors when needed. The EETWG Coordination Officer ensures that partners are aligned with the sector in which their activities have been grouped and that coordination is done through the TWG on specific cross-sectoral issues.
The EETWG Coordination Officer will sit in the operation’s Inter-Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) – with colleagues from several agencies – and is responsible for following up on the objectives of the EETWG. The focal is also responsible for facilitating topic specific technical level coordination meetings with all the partners which implement energy and environmental programming in the response.
The EETWG has worked on innovative environmental, energy and fuel efficiency to meet the needs people and the environment in and outside the camps. Key achievements include the regular distribution of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) to all Rohingya refugee households since 2018 and over 44,000 host community households from 2018 to 2021. Such efforts combined with the plantation of over 600 hectares of land in the camps and the rehabilitation of over 2,600 hectares in host communities, have enabled the land to mitigate the initial negative impacts of 2017.
As the refugee camps are not connected to the national power grid, the EETWG has coordinated the installation of solar systems to ensure the safety and protection of refugees. It is the first time that such renewable energy solutions have been used at mass scale in a humanitarian context. Since mid-2021, the EETWG has also worked closely with the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sector in implementing their Solid Waste Management (SWM) Strategy at an inter-sectoral level.
The technical lead agencies of the EETWG include the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the World Food Programme (WFP). Through the lead agencies, the EETWG will continue to connect to, and support, relevant government-led structures, notably the Bangladesh Forest Department; the Department of Environment, under the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief; the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commissioner.
2.Objective of the position
The objective of the incumbent’s position is to ensure inter-agency coordination efforts in the cross-cutting sectors of Energy and Environment in the Rohingya Refugee response in Cox’s Bazar and to maximize beneficial outcomes and climate resilience for refugees and host communities through the promotion of collaboration and complementarity between and across sectors.
Tasks and responsibilities
– Develop and ensure that common technical standards of activities are implemented by partners in the Energy and Environment Technical Working Group (EETWG).
– Coordinate partners’ work as so it is in line with the EETWG Strategy for Climate Action in Cox’s Bazar (2023-2025).
– Provide advice on environment and energy to UN operations, NGOs and other stakeholders in Cox’s Bazar, if requested.
– Ensure coordination of and coherence between assessments and analysis including efforts to mainstream energy and environmental activities in other relevant sector assessments.
– Ensure that adequate monitoring, reporting and information sharing mechanisms are in place to review the impact of activities and progress against plans.
3. Scope of Assignment and Reporting Lines
The Energy and Environment Coordination Officer will act as the coordinator of the EETWG and report to UNHCR’s Head of Operations/ Principal Situation Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar.
The Energy and Environment Coordination Officer will at regular intervals update the Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) Senior Coordinator and work closely with the SAFE+2 coordinator.
There will be a functional reporting line to the Food Security, Shelter/NFI, Site Management and Site Development and WASH Sector Coordinators to update on activities and ensure that TWG activities adhere to the Joint Response Plan (JRP) and are accurately reported through the ISCG reporting function.
The coordinator will support FAO, IOM, UNHCR and WFP and other EETWG members in the following areas:
– Chair EETWG meetings, promoting interactive dialogue on potential projects and the resolving of possible bottle neck issues. Update the ISCG, relevant sectors, stakeholders on ongoing work and ensure complementary programming between actors.
– Support agencies working in the areas of energy and environment with the appropriate ‘best practice’ and direction to improve synergies, communication and partnerships between actors for increased coordination and impact if requested.
– Advise all TWG member at all levels on joint activity implementation and potential opportunities and impacts, especially linked to other agency programmes by ensuring the interlink with different organizations, programmes and partners, ensuring they all work on the same page.
– Provide technical guidance and field support on technologies, planning, planting, feasibility, implementation, and partnerships when requested.
– While each agency is responsible for their own specific activities, under their organizational mandate, the EETWG Coordination Officer will work to ensure effective communication and collaboration across agencies, government representatives and partners to achieve overall programme objectives.
– Support Safe Access to Fuel and Energy Plus (SAFE+2) programme activities and ensure sector linkages where appropriate.
– Develop regular presentations for key stakeholders for sharing relevant activities.
– Lead and coordinate the implementation of the EETWG Strategy for Climate Action in Cox’s Bazar (2023-2025).
– Update agreed response strategies and action plans according to the context evolution.
– Promote synergies with other actors active in complementary sectors.
– Draw lessons from activities and beneficiary feedback to revise strategies/plans accordingly.
– Ensure the EETWG response is guided by relevant policies, technical standards and commitments that the Government has undertaken under international human rights law.
– Ensure liaison and buy-in with relevant national and regional authorities through the lead agencies/ISCG on strategic documents produced in the EETWG context. Submit strategic documents for approval with the relevant national and regional authorities.
– Provide timely technical assistance and support research on environment and energy to UN operations and other partners operating in and around the Rohingya refugee camps, if requested.
– Identify appropriate regional technical partners on Climate Action to support operations in the Asia region; support country operations in identifying appropriate technical partners in the sector.
– Identify technologies and approaches suitable for the regional refugee contexts and host communities, through testing and piloting as necessary, allowing for the possibility of scaling-up and replication.
– Review and provide technical input on reports and proposals from the field with the aim of verifying compliance with UN policy priorities on refugee women and children, gender, adolescents and related areas. This includes considering the cross-sectoral impact of energy and environment on other sectors such as education, livelihoods and protection.
– Document and draw from good practices and lessons learned for dissemination in collaboration with relevant communities of practice through online platforms and other fora.
Assessment and analysis
– Collect and analyze available data related to energy and environmental activities.
– Participate in joint sectoral needs assessment and analysis.
– Ensure that national and/or internationally accepted and relevant standards and policies are applied and adapted in close coordination with the host country and relevant UN agencies and partners. Promote the integration of agreed cross-cutting issues (human rights, age, gender, diversity, and the environment) within the TWG using participatory approaches.
– Secure commitments from participants in responding to needs and filling gaps, ensuring an appropriate distribution of responsibilities, with defined focal points where necessary.
– Undertake technical needs assessments with partners to prioritize needs and services.
Monitoring, reporting and information sharing
– Ensure that adequate monitoring mechanisms are in place to review the impact of activities and progress against plans.
– Ensure that information and content is disseminated through relevant sectors and relevant websites.
– Regularly exchange information and best practices with relevant stakeholders.
– Manage and moderate the EETWG forum, email and file storage. Respond to queries and requests for advice. Through direct communication with relevant sectors, monitor relevant activities and collect data on implementation and progress, collating into multi-agency reporting format or additional format reporting and obtain consensus for publication of multi-agency reporting.
– Develop technical updates/bulletins/presentations on relevant activities to raise the profile of energy and environmental activities.
– Engage in advocacy and resource mobilization.
– Support donor advocacy on energy and environment activities, while at the same time encouraging partners to mobilize resources through their usual channels.
– Support discussions with main stakeholders on resource mobilization, funding prioritization and advocacy on energy and environmental issues.
– Participate in relevant meetings and technical conferences.
– Promote and support relevant technical training and capacity building of partners and beneficiaries to enable them to acquire the needed knowledge, skills, and sense of responsibility and ownership of programmes.
– Support efforts to strengthen the capacity of national authorities and civil society.
– Share relevant guidelines and information materials on energy and environmental activities.
4. Qualifications and Experience
– Advanced University degree in Social Sciences or a related (energy or environment) science or engineering field of study.
– Minimum five years of professional working experience in humanitarian or development affairs, preferably in inter-agency coordination and with experience in developing countries related to environmental protection; alternative sources of energy; ecosystem restoration and natural resource management in humanitarian settings.
– Experience working in humanitarian situations with proven knowledge of sustainable energy and technical skills in set-up related to the design and monitoring of energy programmes from a multi-sectoral and protection perspective.
– Proven skills in programme management, coordination and the compilation of strategies and reports.
– A track record in adopting innovative approaches to energy and/ or environmental challenges.
– Proven ability to solve problems, demonstrate initiative, and manage work under limited supervision.
– Knowledge of UN standards, including of cross sectorial issues related to settlement planning, protection, WASH, energy and the environment.
– Previous exposure to the UN Cluster approach, preferably both at the global policy level and at field implementation level.
– Experience in capacity building, project design, concept note development and implementation.
– Proven skills in diplomacy, negotiation, and facilitation of capacity building processes.
– Ability to work, live and travel in a challenging environment.
– Fluency in spoken and written English.
– Knowledge of Bengali or Burmese is an advantage.
– Organizational Awareness
– Teamwork & Collaboration
– Commitment to Continuous Learning
– Client & Result Orientation
– Managing Performance
– Judgement and Decision Making
– Managing Resources
– Analytical Thinking
– Technological Awareness
– Stakeholder Management
Standard Job Description
BA: Social Science, BS: Energy, BS: Environmental Science
Cluster Coordination and Inter-Agency, Energy, Humanitarian Coordinator
This position doesn’t require a functional clearance
How to apply
How to apply
For a full job description and to apply, interested candidates are requested to visit
The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.
Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).
Closing date of receipt of applications: 18 January 2023
This is an edited version to meet LinkedIn standards. For the official job description, please visit unhcr.org/careers.