Disaster Risk Reduction Programme Development EU Aid Volunteer in Mongolia

Leveraging Technology and Tradition for Resilience A rural DRR project based on LEGS manual and principles. Goal is to improve the ability of rural herder communities to prepare for drought and “Dzud”, extreme winter conditions leading to high domestic animal mortality. As this project is ending mid 2019, the work will focus on developing the lessons learned, as well as facilitating the transfer and adoption of the recommended strategies and activities developed through this program to national partners. Climate Change Impacts Mongolia is one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change (USAID, 2017). A significant portion of Mongolia’s population is dependent on animal husbandry and agriculture, but in recent years’ climate change has heavily affected the viability of this livelihood. Extended droughts, desertification and an increased incidence of dzud (an extreme winter phenomenon in Mongolia) have had a severe impact on livestock and the pastoralist population, triggering mass rural-urban migration and migration in search of more viable land or livelihoods as an adaptation strategy. This internal project looks to identify climate related research and social migration data to design and develop potential pilot projects and proposals.


Operational details & security context

Mongolia, with a land area of about 1.6 million sq. km. and a population of about 3.2 million is the world’s most sparsely populated country. The land ranges from desert to semi-desert to grassy steppe, with mountains in the west and south-west. Arable land is estimated to constitute only 0.8 percent of this vast country. Landlocked between Russia and China, Mongolia has shown steady growth in the recent years. This has led to a gross national income per capita of $10,103, with the average family income being about $1,000 per month.

The current HDI ranking is 90, with recent studies showing that nearly 22% of the population live in poverty. Factor in that 68% of the population live in urban centres, with 1.7 million people living in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar a city designed for 450,000 people, this has led to a dramatic growth in the “Ger” districts, unorganized neighbourhoods populated mostly by rural migrants living in traditional tent houses or self-designed rough brick homes. The urban centres are have high air pollution levels, especially in winter months due to coal burning being the primary fuel for heating and cooking. The rural economy is predominantly based on herding sheep, goats, cows/yaks, horses and camels used for meat, milk, hides, wool and cashmere. Herding life is hard and has high risk due to extreme winter weather leading to high animal mortality and a high level of animal diseases such as Hoof and Mouth disease. Loss of herds often leads to urban migration.
(http://hdr.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/MNG )

Mongolia is a parliamentary democracy with three main political parties vying for control. Elections are held every 4 years, but due to political infighting, no government has held power for more than 2.5 years, with a nearly regular annual turnover of the Prime Minister and cabinet.The crime rating for Mongolia is low, with theft and fraud being the highest risks.


People in Need Mongolia has drafted the guidelines on security measures along with the security and evacuation plan and the local operational manual for all local offices, in accordance with the local political situation. The local operational manual for Mongolia was drafted with the support of the PIN Mongolia staff, taking into account the specific risks in order to develop a plan and procedures for safety, health and evacuation appropriate for the staff and for the EU Aid Volunteers.

Regarding the political and social context, Mongolia can be globally qualified as a safe country without any risks for expatriate staff and local staff, including EU Aid Volunteers. Throughout the year 2018 the security situation in Mongolia has been calm and currently is not particularly critical. The head office of PIN Mongolia is located in the capital Ulaanbaatar and the living conditions of the staff are good and appropriate. The security situation is constantly monitored by the Country Director.

Mongolia is considered a safe place to walk, day or night, with a low terrorism and social unrest rating. Travel across the country is safe, the main risk being poorly developed roads and vehicle breakdown in rural areas, especially during the cold season.
(https://www.osac.gov/pages/ContentReportDetails.aspx?cid=19823 )

The country has little health risks for travellers, regular vaccinations are required with the addition of Hepatitis A, B, Typhoid and Rabies recommended. Medical system in Ulaanbaatar is at modern standards, rural medical care is more limited. It is recommended that a 3 month supply of prescription medicine be brought as the local prescription drug supply may be inconsistent or need to be special ordered.
(https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/mongolia )


Disaster Risk Management

  • Assist in the Development of methodological tools for analysing risk conditions that can be used in urban and rural context
  • Identify, analyse, evaluate and map the risk factors and critical spots (threats and vulnerabilities) at rural and urban levels
  • Suggest specific risk management measures for the community, and establish action plans for the implementation of the identified measures
  • Review and assess the early warning systems and propose alternative mechanisms for communication
  • Support the development of new project proposals related to disaster risk management
  • Participate in the team´s coordination meetings and prepare his/her monthly planning with the Area and /or Regional Coordinators.

Disaster Risk Advocacy

  • Participate in meetings with the National Emergency Management Agency, Humanitarian Country Team and other emergency preparedness organizations
  • Assist in the development of stakeholder advocacy strategies based on current and ongoing project findings
  • Identify links between climate change, pasture degradation, urban migration and urban DRR issues
  • The EU Aid Volunteer shall perform other duties, as required


Tailor-made apprenticeship will be held in Prague in April 2019.

Required competencies

  • Good interpersonal skills and stress management
  • Strong initiative and autonomy
  • Organizational and project coordination skills
  • Reports drafting
  • Good interpersonal, team working skills and ability to work independently
  • Good ability to adapt to the situation of instability
  • Intercultural awareness and respectful attitude towards other customs and traditions

Eligibility and exception criteria

The candidate for EU Aid Volunteers must be a citizen of the EU or a third country national who is a long-term resident in an EU Member State and must have a minimum age of 18 years.

As a former Soviet State locate in Northeastern Asia, Mongolia presents some unique opportunities and challenges. Many of its bureaucratic and educational structures are still modelled after a 25 year old soviet style, which can make working with officials challenging, especially in Rural Mongolia. The PIN HQ is located in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar (UB), where life is very similar to that of other middle income countries, all basic amenities such as mobile phones and internet,shopping, modern restaurants and most international foods can be easily found. The biggest challenge of living in UB is the winter air pollution levels and the traffic congestion. Mongolian is the national language, with the over 40 generation speaking varying levels of Russian, and the under 40 generation being more fluent in English. In UB, you can usually find someone who speaks some English. As for medical and other services, they are adequate and have improved over the last 10 years, but are not at the same level as Europe or places like Thailand or South Korea.

This changes significantly once you’re more than an hour’s drive out the capital. Rural Mongolia is predominantly Mongolian speaking, with some Russian and a little English. Services and amenities are much more limited. with medical services in rural hospitals being as the basic care level. The rural diet is very meat dominated and can present some challenges to those with special dietary restrictions.

The climate varies significantly from season to season. Overall the Mongolia has one of the lowest precipitation levels in the world, making the landscape very dry and arid. Summer’s tend to be dry and warm with temperatures averaging in the high 20’s during the day. Winter tempetures in Ulaanbaatar average near –250 Celcius, while rural winter temperatures may go as low as –45 in some regions. Therefore, wearing seasonably appropriate clothing is important and staying hydrated is important.

Mongolia is considered a safe place to travel and urban centers are safe to walk, day or night, with a low terrorism and social unrest rating. Travel across the country is safe, the main risk being poorly developed roads and vehicle breakdown in rural areas, especially during the cold season.

The country has little health risks for travellers, only regular vaccinations are required with Hepatitis A, B, Typhoid and Rabies recommended. It is recommended that a 3 month supply of prescription medicine be brought as the local prescription drug supply may be inconsistent or need to be special ordered.

Minimum Requirements

  • Studies in Engineering, Environmental Science or related specialization in DRM
  • Abreast of current development and best practices in Humanitarian Principles and in DRM programming
  • Experience in emergency and/or developmental WASH/DRR program management and technical support
  • Prior volunteer experience is an asset

Learning Opportunities

A structured learning and development plan will be developed for each EU Aid Volunteer. This will include: self-assessment, structured learning and development plan reviews, on-line learning, peer-to-peer support, a two-week EU-run training, followed by PIN induction/apprenticeship. EU Aid Volunteers will also have an assigned Mentor for the entirety of their volunteer placement with PIN.

This is combined with line management in country from an experienced humanitarian professional. The EU Aid Volunteer will have access to relevant local training and professional development opportunities, participate in mission team development activities. The Volunteer will be assigned and coached through the development and delivery of a personal work-related project.

Working and Living Conditions

Contract; EU Aid Volunteer Agreement

Volunteer Allowance; In line with EU Aid Volunteer subsistence allowances;
Whilst in Mongolia €320.62 per month
Whilst in the Czech Republic €401.64 per month

Work Conditions;
Volunteers will be provided with a desk, a computer and a mobile phone, to establish a fluid communication, the offices have a high-speed internet connection. The daily working hours are from Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Mongolian National holidays are observed.

Accommodation when deployed in Mongolia will be provided by PIN.
At the end of volunteer placement an allowance of €100/per each month deployed will be provided as a resettlement allowance.

A return flight will be provided to Mongolia from the EU Aid Volunteers home country or from the Czech Republic upon apprenticeship completion.
The cost of pre-departure preparations; insurance, medical clearance and vaccinations will be provided.

Line Management and Mentoring;
Line Manager whilst deployed – Head of Programs

Mentor – Mentor based in Prague assigned for the entirety of the volunteer placement with PIN.


Shortlisting and Interviews

Shortlisting and interviews will be conducted between January 5, 2019 and February 8, 2019

Interview Process

Pre-selected candidates will be contacted and requested to record a video-questionnaire. If successful, two rounds of interviews will be carried out (by Sending and Hosting organisations).

Expected date decision on outcome 15/02/2019

How to apply:

Please send us your CV in EuroPass format and Self assessment form till 15th January, 2019 by clicking on following link. The EuroPass CV template, as well as the Self-assessment form, can be found here.

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