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Request for expert in peer review processes for major global assessments

Standard Format for Terms of Reference (ToR)

Request for: Expert in peer review processes for major global assessments

Organizational Unit - GRID-Arendal and UN Environment, Science Division, Global Assessment Unit

1. Purpose (justification for request)

Assessing and reporting on the state of the world’s environment is a fundamental mandate of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The Global Environment Outlook (GEO) process emerged out of this mandate. It is a consultative, participatory process with a strong element of capacity building for global environmental assessments aimed at the interaction between science and policy decision-making. The GEO process has many elements. It supports multi-stakeholder networking, provides a platform for the exchange of knowledge, promotes intra and interregional cooperation in identifying and addressing key environmental issues and concerns and builds capacity at many levels. Meeting user needs cuts across all elements of GEO outputs.

The future of the Global Environment Outlook has been determined at the fifth UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) and the preparation of the seventh edition of Global Environment Outlook (GEO-7) has been launched. In implementing the decisions in resolution (EA.5/L.20) UNEP must create a new governance structure and organize the logistics and provide substantive guidance to Member States for two meetings in 2022. The first meeting is to develop and approve the procedures for producing future GEOs and the second meeting will scope the theme and annotated outline of the seventh GEO.

Ensuring sufficient expert input into the procedures and scoping of the seventh edition of the Global Environment Outlook will increase the impact and scientific rigour of future GEOs and the major advocacy products. These functions require expert staff support to coordinate and facilitate these meetings. Further, with the plans on digitizing the GEO process as much as possible under the foundational subprogramme of Digital Transformation, substantive support is needed to recruit and guide experts in drafting the chapters and managing processes such as peer reviews as per UNEP guidelines, coordinating expert meeting and outreach events amongst others. UN Environment will work with GRID-Arendal to support the logistics and substantive contributions necessary for the two meetings in 2022.

1.2 Qualifications / special skills or knowledge:

  • The applicant must have a master’s degree in a science, environmental or development related field, natural science or a similar related field. A bachelor’s degree with accompanying two additional years of experience can be taken in lieu of a master’s degree
  • At least 5 years of progressively responsible experience at an international level in project or programme management and implementation, administration or related areas is required
  • Experience in inter-agency coordination, organization of high-level events, as well as interacting with and presenting to high-level officials, are desirable.
  • Experience in conducting environmental assessments, scientific and technical review management and communication is highly desirable.
  • Experience in network development and management, including expert institutions, government agencies and donors is required.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with the UN system, its rules and regulations is required.
  • Knowledge of global and regional environmental issues is an asset.
  • Experience in coordinating, editing and writing scientific publications as well as strategy papers related to the environment and sustainable development would be an asset.
  • Experience in coordinating small teams to achieve specific outcomes is required
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to handle multiple tasks under tight deadlines is essential;
  • Experience coordinating external expert authors towards achieving planned outcomes and outputs is desired;
  • Have a demonstrated ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs, which includes the willingness to try and understand and be tolerant of differing opinion and views is desirable;
  • Must be able to work with minimum supervision, while being an integral part of a team involving members of staff from a wide range of disciplines.

1.3 Ultimate result of services:

1. Support GEO technical meetings, workshops and stakeholders’ consultations

2. Successfully guide and support the development of a fully functional and effective online peer review system and review editing portal; Review Editors Analytical Database (READ) that supports digitisation of the GEO process in collaboration with an external collaborating centre and other partner

3. Contribute to outreach of the GEO process, key messages and outcomes to African countries and stakeholders in the region.

4. Guide and support the Arabic translation of the main GEO report.

5. Manage online collaboration platform that is actively used by experts involved in the preparation process for GEO and related products

6. Successfully coordinate the development of GEO-7 through specific chapter coordination

1.4 Duration

Within the period of 11 Months starting from 27 June 2022 – 30 April 2023

2. Funding

Indicative level of remuneration:

Due to budgetary constraints total remuneration is US$ 48,000 over 12 Months

3. Travel involved

Travel will be organized by the substantive Office

4. Workplan

4.1 Objectives, output expectations and performance indicators

Output 1

Contributions to the recruitment and selection of the Intergovernmental and Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (IMAG) for GEO-7 that responds to the options selected at UNEA-5.2.

Output 2

Successful delivery of a procedure and support services meeting for GEO-7 that responds to the options selected at UNEA-5.2.

Output 3

Contributions to the recruitment and selection of the Multidisciplinary Expert Scientific Advisory Group (MESAG)for GEO-7 that responds to the options selected at UNEA-5.2.

Output 4

Successful delivery of a scoping meeting for GEO-7 that responds to the options selected at UNEA-5.2.

Output 5

Contributions to the recruitment and selection of GEO-7 author teams that responds to the options selected at UNEA-5.2 and the scoping outcome.

Output 6

Contributions to the initial planning of a first authors meeting for GEO-7 that responds to the options selected at UNEA-5.2 and scoping outcome.

Output 7

Successful delivery of the first author’s writer’s sprint for GEO-7 that responds to the procedures and scoping outcomes.

Output 8

A coherent narrative of the respective GEO-7-chapter drafts which supports the outcomes and messages of the available and relevant reports and leads to actions and improved policies by the targeted audience.

Output 9

Professionally peer reviewed GEO-7-chapter drafts which support the GEO principals for review processes and leads to actions and improved policies by the target audience

Output 10

Contributions to a work plan and budget for GEO-7 that will respond to the options that are selected for the Future of GEO at UNEA-5.2.

Output 11

Contributions to the successful translation of relevant documents for GEO-7 report

Output 12

Contributions to the development of an enhanced Review Editor Analytical Database (READ) that supports future GEOs and responds to the options selected at UNEA-5.

4.2 Specific tasks and responsibilities

  • Contribute to the selection of GEO experts and advisory groups
  • Support organization and facilitation of GEO-7 meeting to develop procedures, scope the assessment process and orient experts at the start of the GEO-7 process
  • Contribute to the development of new analytical tools that support the GEO process.
  • Coordinate the intergovernmental and technical review of various GEO-7 chapters and sections
  • Liaise with groups of experts in development of the various GEO products
  • Perform outreach assignments for the African region issues, in collaboration with various stakeholders, by planning and facilitating workshops as well as through other interactive sessions in Africa to ensure outreach of the GEO process and key messages
  • Develop presentations on the GEO process and findings and present to governments and other stakeholders on these as appropriate
  • Research analyze and present information on environmental issues gathered from diverse sources.
  • Prepare various written outputs, e.g. draft background papers, analysis, sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications on the GEO process and report
  • Guide and support the translation of various GEO products.
  • Coordinate the specific author teams for various GEO products.
  • Provide advice on the visual elements for various GEO products and suggest appropriate/relevant graphics, videos and illustrations for use together with the approved text for GEO-7;
  • Ensure the accuracy and consistency of the peer review of various GEO products;
  • Develop and update reviewers’ guidelines and review platforms to adapt to the nature/dynamics of various GEO-7 chapters and sections
  • Create templates, terms of references and letters for the review and editing process of various GEO products
  • Manage the databases of all reviewers and advise the Secretariat on the nomination of other players in the review process;
  • Coordinate review-editing processes for various GEO products
  • Manage the GEO community of practice portal or similar collaboration platform and ensure access to all the relevant groups as well as update the details of all communities;
  • Participate in field missions, including provision of guidance to external teams, government officials and other parties and drafting mission summaries, etc., as applicable.
  • Assist in the production of other environmental assessment reports and summaries in the unit as directed by the supervisor

4.3 Reporting lines

Mr. Ignacio Sanchez Diaz (Programme management Officer, Global Assessment Unit, Scientific Assessment Branch, Science division-UN Environment programme).

Award criteria

Criteria below

Peer review experience / Weighting: 30

Experience working with UNEP / Weighting: 20

Knowledge of major assessments / Weighting: 20

Meeting facilitation and arrangement / Weighting: 20

Price - Weighting: 10

Consultants will be selected based on demonstrated expertise and cost.

Please send your application by email to procurements@grida.no and mark in the subject: Expert in peer review processes.

Deadline for application: 26th June, 2022

For more information, please contact the Head of Production and Communication, Lorna Little, by email: lorna.little@grida.no

Position type: Permanent

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