Call for experts: intergovernmental working group on drought


The Conference of Parties at its fourteenth session (UNCCD COP 14) decided to establish an Intergovernmental Working Group (IWG) on effective policy and implementation measures for addressing drought under the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), with a view to presenting its findings and recommendations to Parties for their consideration at the fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties.

The IWG will consist of a maximum of three Party representatives nominated by the respective regional group on the basis of nominations by national governments and 15 additional participants from key stakeholders including United Nations organizations, the Science-Policy Interface, and other scientific organizations, regional organizations and civil society organizations. This call applies only to the 15 additional experts that will work together with the experts appointed by the Parties. The secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is herewith inviting experts to apply to become members of the Intergovernmental Working Group (IWG). The call is open to experts from all regions and organizations.

Mandate of the IWG

  • To take stock of and review the existing policy, implementation and institutional coordination frameworks, including partnerships, on drought preparedness and response
  • To consider options for appropriate policy, advocacy and implementation measures at all levels for addressing drought effectively under the Convention
  • To carry out the task in the context of a wider holistic and integrated approach to disaster risk reduction and enhancing the resilience of communities and ecosystems


Members of the IWG have the responsibility to:

Contribute directly to delivering the outputs of the IWG as agreed by UNCCD COP 14 and described in the opening paragraph above, drawing from a range of resources including but not limited to, inter alia, UNCCD background documents and the resource materials and work of other entities referenced within them, such as

Maintain the highest standards of scientific and technical excellence, professionalism and collegiality; and

Draw in expertise from their network and all relevant domains in the context of the IWG.

Criteria for selection

Experts applying to become members of the IWG should:

  • Have an advanced university degree in natural resource management, meteorology, environmental policy, hydrology, development economics or other related/relevant discipline
  • Have a minimum of five years (not including university/graduate studies) wide-range working experience with the international landscape on drought, and an  understanding of the various policy and/or technical aspects of drought management including monitoring and early warning systems, the assessment of vulnerabilities and impacts, drought risk mitigation policies and measures as well as water scarcity, desertification, land degradation and related disciplines relevant to the UNCCD process, and an in-depth knowledge of at least one of these topics
  • Excellent writing skills and fluency in English is required (the working language of the IWG is English)
  • Be willing to work in a multicultural and multidisciplinary team and be accepting of other views and comments from different perspectives in order to reach consensus; and
  • Be willing to commit the time and effort necessary to contribute to the work of the IWG   

Additional desirable qualities:

  • Solid knowledge of the UNCCD process, related UN and intergovernmental processes, and/or environment-conventions
  • Extensive experience on drought related policy making process including technical, financing and legal options, particularly in the international context
  • Demonstrated significant, peer-reviewed publications in international journals in the last 5-10 years
  • Experience in incorporating, promoting, communicating and mainstreaming gender issues into relevant science and policy development processes 

Selection process

The selection process, using the above requirements as criteria, will be conducted by the Bureau of the UNCCD Conference of Parties (COP Bureau) with the support of the UNCCD secretariat based on a review of applications received before the deadline in response to this public call. The COP Bureau will make a final decision on the experts to reflect a wide range of areas of expertise. Selected experts will be contacted individually by the Secretariat to confirm their availability and interest in becoming a member of the IWG as well as their agreement with the Terms of Reference of the IWG. The final composition of the IWG will be posted on the UNCCD website

Terms of appointment

The terms of appointment of expert members of the IWG is two years. Thus, the term of appointment of those selected to serve in response to this call is from early 2020 up to the end of the fifteenth session of the COP, which is envisioned to take place in autumn 2021.

IWG members are not financially remunerated by the UNCCD secretariat. However, as required, travel costs and the daily subsistence allowances (DSAs) will be covered for all eligible members in accordance with United Nations rules and regulations.

Applications, which include a cover letter and a CV specifying relevant experience and including reference, should be submitted by e-mail to The deadline for applications is 31 December 2019. Only applications submitted by the deadline will be considered. Click here for more info.