Expert Research Consultant – Climate, Conflict, Displacement Nexus Study

from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Closing date: 25 Sep 2017


UNHCR is deeply concerned about the protection challenges potentially arising from forced displacement in the context of overlapping climate change impacts and conflict. Knowledge gaps remain about the complex pathways by which displacement, climate change, and conflict are interlinked, and the implications of this for the rights and needs of those affected. The consultancy outlined in these TORs will support the preparation of a study on the nexus between displacement, climate change, and conflict that will contribute to strengthening the evidence base and to addressing these gaps.


The expert research consultant (hereafter ‘consultant’), under the supervision of the Climate Change and Disaster Displacement (CCDD) unit in the Protection Policy and Legal Advice (PPLA) Section in the Division of International Protection (DIP), working in collaboration with Innovation Service in UNHCR, will undertake a desk review, conduct research on defined case studies, and prepare a report with recommendations to UNHCR, States and other relevant stakeholders on gaps and potential solutions to address the nexus. The study will also provide tailored insights as to how the nexus between climate change, displacement and conflict might be reflected in ongoing policy processes, such as the Global Compact on Refugees.

The consultant will work in the following three phases:

Phase 1: Desk Review and preparations for case studies

  • Develop comprehensive research methodology, including research questions and questionnaires for field case studies
  • Conduct a desk review comprising of a synthesis of existing information and evidence that will provide a conceptual framework for several case studies, focusing on displacement situations in different regions of the world (to be specified)
  • Support with logistics and planning for phase 2, including contact with UNHCR and partner field operations

Phase 2: Case studies

  • Carry out research methodology developed in phase 1, including travel to case study locations for the purposes of research and data-gathering
  • For this purpose, conduct interviews and participatory assessments with and gather information otherwise, including from state officials, UNHCR and other international and national organizations, IDPs, refugees, experts and others
  • Draft an analysis of displacement dynamics and the nature and implications of the nexus with conflict and climate change in the case study countries/situations.Phase 3: Synthesis of evidence base and recommendations

  • Draft synthesis report of evidence based recommendations. This final report will include a synthesis of evidence with the aim of enhancing understanding about the climate change-displacement-conflict nexus, including illustrative examples from the relevant situations. The report will also identify needs and challenges and identify concrete preliminary recommendations for addressing these complex phenomena in the work of international fora and actors.

Monitoring and Progress Controls

  • Timely and accurate delivery of research outputs
  • Timely and high-quality reporting to donors and partners on project progress
  • Timely administration of project agreements including budget adjustments, amendments and official correspondence with donors and partners

Qualifications and Experience

Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience

  • University postgraduate degree (Masters or PHD) in related field, such as Law, International Relations, Refugee or Forced Migration Studies, Geography, Environmental Studies or related social science discipline
  • Excellent command of English; command of additional languages relevant for case studies is an advantage (French, Spanish, Somali, other)
  • Publications in the field of climate change or disaster displacement
  • Excellent research, analytical and conceptual abilities
  • Strong drafting and writing skills
  • Experience conducting field research and key informant interviews
  • Experience conducting desk reviews and background documents on related issues
  • Experience working with UNHCR’s key partners on climate change and disaster displacement issues, including within the UN system, NGOs, and/or academia


The consultant should be available for the full implementing period, from mid-October to mid-April 2018. Salary commensurate with experience.

How to apply: