ITU is the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technologies, with the mission to connect the world. To achieve this, ITU manages the radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits at the international level, works to improve communication infrastructure in the developing world, and establishes global standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communication systems. 


Disaster Preparedness Consultant - National Emergency Telecom Plans and Mobile Early Warning 


Vacancy notice no: 1152 
Sector: BDT
Department: DNS
Country of contract: Remote
Duty station: Home Based


Position number: [[positionNumber]] 
Grade: [[PositionGrade]] 
Type of contract: Roster
Duration of contract: Varies from 15 to 80 working days
Recruitment open to: External
Application deadline (Midnight Geneva Time): 31 December 2024




The Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) is responsible for the organization and coordination of the work of the Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D) of the Union which deals mainly with ICT-focused development policies, strategies and programmes, as well as technical cooperation activities, to promote digital inclusion and drive digital transformation at community, country and regional levels. To effectively and efficiently serve the needs of ITU members, BDT is organized into four functional areas:

  • Office of the Deputy to the Director and Field Operations Coordination Department
  • Partnerships for Digital Development Department
  • Digital Networks & Society Department
  • Digital Knowledge Hub Department

The Digital Networks & Society Department is responsible for BDT activities in the areas of spectrum management, network development, cybersecurity and emergency telecommunications. This department is also responsible for supporting ITU Member States in their transition to digital societies by providing tools and guidelines to address environmental challenges (in particular, climate change and e-waste), and for promoting innovation, ICT applications/services, digital inclusion and ecosystems, with the ultimate goal to 'leave no one behind'.


Disasters have devastating effects on people’s lives and livelihoods, and in terms of economic losses. The least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS) are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and natural hazards.

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) play an important role in increasing resilience of countries facilitating the flow of vital information in a timely manner before, during and after disasters strike. Information is critical for decision-making processes, as well as for rapid response during emergencies. The incredible growth in ICT networks and services, including radio, satellite and mobile services, means that the opportunity is there for more people to be reached in a timely manner. However, resilience in these systems need also be considered to ensure such systems survive catastrophic events.

ITU plays an important role in highlighting the role of ICTs for disaster risk reduction and management, including through the design of National Emergency Telecommunication Plans (NETP), the setting up of early warning and monitoring systems and the provision of emergency telecommunications equipment when disasters strike. 

The World Telecommunication Development Conference which was held in Kigali in 2022 (WTDC-2022), identified disasters as a major threat to socio-economic development and revised resolution 34 (Rev. Kigali, 2022) highlighting the need to support countries in the preparation of national disaster response in the areas of regulation, policy, to facilitate the use of ICTs for early warning systems, and to develop national emergency telecommunication plans and standard operating procedures. A growing number of Member States and regional communities have requested ITU’s support in identifying the opportunities of ICTs for disaster management, and in helping them develop their national emergency telecommunication plans.

In March 2023, the UN’s launched Early Warnings for All (EW4All) Initiative, which stipulates that every person in the world should be protected by an early warning system by 2027. The initiative’s Action Plan puts the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in the leading role on ‘Warning Dissemination and Communication’ – a critical component of early warning systems that ensures alerts reach the people at risk in time to take action. The action plan also specifically references GSMA and MNOs and calls for the promotion of the implementation of geo-located mobile early warning services using cell broadcast and/or location-based SMS. As part of the EW4All Initiative, ITU is working to support countries to implement mobile early warning systems to reach more people at risk.

On this regard, the Development Sector of the ITU (BDT), through its Environment and Emergency Telecommunications Division (EET) provide support to countries on NETP development, public warning assessment, and implement of early warning system. To address this activity, ITU is seeking international consultants to support ITU’s work on developing NETP, conduct national assessment on early warning systems, and providing technical assistance for countries on implementing mobile-based early warning systems, particularly for cell-broadcast and location-based SMS (LB-SMS).


The consultant will work under the direction of the Head of Environment and Emergency Telecommunications Division (EET), within the Digital Network Society Department of the Telecommunication Development Bureau, and in close coordination with the Emergency Telecommunications (ET) thematic priority focal point in the region. 
The consultant will also work with identified Focal Points in the administrations who will provide guidance and required information needed to develop the NETP and support the country in developing their mobile early warning system. He will help setting up interviews with relevant stakeholders within the country during the virtual meetings. He will agree on the time and lengths of the virtual meetings with the Focal Points in the Administrations. 

In particular, the consultant will: 

• Develop and organize a national consultation meeting, with the main stakeholders in all countries in charge of disaster management and emergency response, as well as set up individual virtual meetings with different stakeholders if necessary, to address key challenges and opportunities and gather all the information required to start the development of the NETPs, and to develop mobile early warning systems. 

• Identify stand-alone plans from other organizations, such as regional disaster management entities or UN organizations, and its linkage with other contingency plans including the telecommunications sector emergency plan. This information will provide key elements for the development of the National Emergency Telecommunication Plan (NETPs). 

• Based on the ITU’s NETP Guidelines, design and develop the NETP for countries including a regulatory framework that will support the implementation of the NETP at the national level. 

• Conduct situational assessment of country’s early warning systems, including the coverage of different alerting channels, mapping of current infrastructure, and community needs, to identify the channels for the early warning systems and provide substantive advice.

• Support countries in implementing a mobile Early Warning System (EWS) on cell-broadcast (CB) and/or location-based SMS (LB-SMS), by providing technical advice on technical specifications for a bidding document.

• Conduct legal analysis of the policies, regulatory frameworks and laws associated with the implementation and use of the mobile EWS. Support country in creating the enabling legal environment for the implementation, with focus especially on cooperation and coordination with the Mobile Operators. This will be inspired by the European 110 article of the EECC and by the use of the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP). This work will help Member States to accelerate the Call to Action “Early Warning Systems for all”.


1.    Develop a first national consultation meeting on NETP and early warning system.
2.    Conduct review of existing regulations, politics, and laws in countries.
3.    Develop the first draft of country early warning system assessment.
4.    Develop the first draft of the NETP to be shared with the country.
5.    Develop situational assessment and alerting channels mapping.
6.    Draft/review the bidding proposals and technical specifications.
7.    Develop the final NETPs to be delivered.


In-depth knowledge and hands-on experience on national emergency telecommunications, mobile-based early warning system and technology on cell-broadcast, emergency communication, disaster recovery, emergency response, and crisis management.



Education: University degree in telecommunication, computer science, information technology or other related field.  An advanced degree would be an advantage.

Experience: A minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience in the field relevant to the Special Service Agreement.

Languages: Depending on the country that the consultant will be supporting, knowledge of English, French, or any of the other UN languages at advanced level, may be required. 


Daily rates salary to be defined according to the minimum requirements and the work experience of the consultant in the field of expertise.


Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application and provide complete and accurate information. To apply, please visit the ITU Careers website. The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview. ITU uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates. Please note that only selected candidates will be further contacted and candidates in the final selection step will be subject to reference checks based on the information provided. Messages originating from a non ITU e-mail account - - should be disregarded. ITU does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.

ITU applies a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of harassment. ITU is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization. Achieving gender balance is a high priority for ITU.