Project Associate – Adaptive Social Protection (PSA)

Application procedure
    Personnel Service Agreement
    Bonn, Germany
    UTC +1

    United Nations University Objectives:


    The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars, engaged in research, postgraduate teaching and capacity development and dissemination of knowledge in furthering the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The mission of UNU is to contribute, through research and capacity building, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems that are the concern of the United Nations and its Member States. For more information, please visit


    United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) established in December 2003, is part of the UNU system, a worldwide network of research and training institutes. Its mission is to advance human security through knowledge-based approaches to reducing vulnerability and environmental risks. For more information, please visit


    Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII): The MCII was initiated as a non-for-profit organization by insurers, research institutes and NGOs in April 2005 in response to the growing realization that insurance solutions can play a role in adaptation to climate change, as suggested in the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. This initiative is hosted at the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS). It is focused to bring solutions for the risks posed by climate change with a view to protect the most poor and vulnerable people. MCII provides a forum and gathering place for insurance-related expertise applied to climate change issues.


    For more information visit:
    Vulnerability Assessment, Risk Management and Adaptive Planning (VARMAP) section of UNU-EHS: VARMAP has a history in developing and applying conceptual frameworks and scientific methods to assess the drivers, patterns, and dynamics of vulnerability and risk in the context of natural hazards, environmental and societal change, and sustainability transformations. The section explores opportunities for risk reduction and examines diverse adaptation options and potential pathways towards sustainability and resilient societies. In doing so, VARMAP seeks to deliver policy-relevant knowledge that can help implement the UN’s 2030 Development Agenda, the Sendai Framework, and other sustainability oriented international initiatives. It draws on a mixed methods approach, integrating qualitative and quantitative tools for the analysis.

    For detailed information please visit

    Responsibilities: Under the authority of the Director of UNU-EHS and the guidance of the Executive Director of MCII and Head of VARMAP section, the successful candidate will be entrusted with the following tasks related to the work of MCII and VARMAP, including but not limited to MCII’s engagement in the context of adaptive social protection.


    • Undertake desk reviews and analyses to support Indonesia’s adaptive social protection approach.
    • Maintain project communication with experts in coordination with the project manager.
    • Undertake draft stakeholder mapping for disaster risk management and climate change adaptation across Indonesia in support for technical inputs from the project core expert team. Support expert team with further technical analysis as required.
    • Prepare workshop reports and contribute to technical report writing.
    • Support preparation of research missions, data collection and analysis.
    • Assist in organization of workshops and events.
    • Develop linkage scenarios for climate risk insurance and adaptive social protection.
    • Support development of MCII strategic approach to adaptive social protection.
    • Prepare input and participate in relevant events and workshops, as required.
    • Prepare research reports, policy briefs, factsheets, and presentations.
    • Develop research frameworks to link social protection with disaster risk management and climate change adaptation.
    • Contribute to project proposals, develop research programs, and (co-)author scientific articles as needed.
    • Further tasks as agreed to reduce the work-load of the MCII Executive Director and VARMAP senior scientist.


    Required Qualifications and Experience:

    We are looking for an early career candidate fulfilling the following attributes

    • Completed Master’s degree with high academic standing in Social Sciences, Political Science, Public or Development Economics, Geography or other relevant fields with an emphasis on social protection approaches.
    • Represents experience and know-how to analyze:
      • The design and reorganization of social protection systems;
      • The institutional set-up and mechanisms of social protection systems;
      • The financing approaches to social protection systems;
      • Monitoring and Evaluation approaches to social protection schemes;
      • Public-private partnerships in the context of social protection objectives.
    • Understanding of the role of social protection approaches in the aftermath of disasters, and excellent overview about relevant strategic approaches to limit shock vulnerability of people including adaptive social protection, climate risk insurance and others.
    • Familiarity with concepts and methods in disaster risk management and climate change adaptation.
    • Field experience from developing countries especially in developing cooperation or international organizations is highly desired. Regional experience from Indonesia/ South East Asia would be beneficial.
    • Strong methodological skillset for quantitative and qualitative empirical research, GIS knowledge is an asset.
    • Excellent communication and writing skills (academic and non-academic) with fluency in spoken and written English; an additional UN language is desired; ability to communicate in Bahasa Indonesia is an asset.
    • Demonstrated ability to synthesize complex information, regulations and policies and to translate into impactful communications and publications/reports/presentations.
    • Initiative seeker; strong ability to carry out work independently; curious personality preferred.
    • Reflected team player with strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multi-cultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.

    UNU is an inclusive employer and endeavors to create culture of inclusiveness. Applications from suitably qualified female candidates or underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged



    Remuneration will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.


    Duration of Contract:

    The successful candidate shall work under a Personal Service Agreement (PSA) for a fixed period of twelve (12) months. Further continuation of contract is desired. The combined duration of appointments under a PSA shall not exceed six (6) years.


    This is a locally recruited post and no relocation allowances apply. The successful candidate will be employed under a local contract and will not hold international civil servant status nor is he/she a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.


    Starting Date:

    As soon as possible (preferably 1st of October)

  • Interested applicants should submit their applications by e-mail (to, and must include the following:


    • a cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position;
    • a curriculum vitae and a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form downloadable from the UNU website. Please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organizations;
    • a sample of academic writing, e.g. published article, blog post, or chapter of Master’s thesis;
    • an indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2019/UNU/EHS/PSA/PA/65).
  • By Email: