Laos nationals: Project Coordinator

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Vientiane, Laos 🇱🇦

Background

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

Guided by the global UNDP Strategic Plan (2022 – 2025) and UNDP Country Programme for Lao PDR (2022 – 2026), UNDP in Lao PDR works closely with the line Ministries, mass organizations, civil society, development partners, and the private sector at both national and sub-national levels in pursuit of the national socio-economic development priorities defined in Lao PDR’s five-year National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UNDP’s work is strongly focused on the provision of policy advice and technical support to the Government of Lao PDR in the design and implementation of national legislation and strategies across four broad Priority Pillars – (1) inclusive growth and reduced inequalities, (2) UXO clearance and risk education, (3) natural resources, climate change and disaster risk reduction, as well as (4) effective, responsive, and accountable governance.

UNDP has a long history working in Lao PDR. UNDP’s comparative advantage has been its ability to work closely with a very broad range of government and local-level institutions at all levels. The new UNDP country programme is aligned with the 9th NSEDP and is anchored in UNDP’s long-term partnership with the Government of more than three decades. The new programme builds on the achievements of the previous CPD that saw the incorporation of the SDGs into the national planning architecture. It will aim to support Lao PDR recover from the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue its transition from LDC status, with a particular emphasis on supporting inclusive growth and reducing inequality.

Project Description:

As part of the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit in 2019, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) pledged to support at least 100 countries to enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) ahead of COP26. This pledge turned into UNDP’s Climate Promise, which is now the world’s largest offer of support to developing countries on NDC enhancement, supporting 120 countries and contributing to an increase of climate mitigation and adaptation ambition. This success has led to an overwhelming demand from countries to receive UNDP’s continued support in the implementation phase, turning the countries pledges into action.

In response, at COP26, the UNDP Administrator launched the next chapter of the Climate Promise “From Pledge to Impact” with an overall objective to support at least 100 countries turning their pledges into action toward net-zero, climate resilient and sustainable development pathways. Building on the results, experience and momentum of the first phase, and as a major contribution to the NDC Partnership, the initiative aims to scale-up support in three core areas: Scale and Speed – Leverage the NDC as a gateway to deliver and track ambitious climate action across sectors and thematic areas to achieve the bold targets set forth in revised and enhanced NDCs. This includes strengthening policy, institutional, regulatory and financial frameworks, creating incentives to attract private sector funding, linking to sectoral approaches and measures, employing innovative technology, business models and skills enhancement. Amplifying Ambition – Connecting strong and integrated NDCs to long-term net zero and climate resilient pathways, and to the next NDC, in order to chart the path to climate neutrality.

UNDP is preparing several other policy and project initiatives in the Natural Resources Management, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction portfolio, which are expected to be launched in 2022-2023. The Project Coordinator will be assigned several projects from this pool to lead and bear responsibility for their implementation.

Summary of key functions

  • Ensuring effective project management of the assigned projects by maintaining the delivery of appropriate technical, operational, financial and administrative outputs, while tracking the project progress by monitoring, evaluation and reporting;
  • Building strategic partnerships needed to achieve results and maintaining collaborative working relationships among key project partners, through effective communication, consultation and reporting;
  • Ensuring gender mainstreaming within the project.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Project Coordinator will work under the supervision of the Team Leader for Natural Resource Management, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Unit, UNDP CO Lao PDR  and also work closely Programme Analyst for Natural Resource Management, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction and the Project management Unit (PMU) as well as the key government counterparts.

This position will be located at the Department of Climate Change, MONRE, Vientiane Capital, with occasionally travel to pilot project site in Savannakhet Province.

Expected results: Ensuring effective project management of the assigned projects by maintaining the delivery of appropriate technical, operational, financial and administrative outputs, while tracking the project progress by monitoring, evaluation and reporting

  • Managing and coordinating the implementation of the respective activities based on the relevant project documents, including, as needed, supervision and guidance of other project staff, consultants and experts with a view to achieving project results;
  •  Developing comprehensive/detailed project work-plans that include all project activities and roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders and setting-out corresponding milestones;
  • Monitoring the progress of implementation of project activities and key event schedules observing the work-plans and set deadlines including monitoring of the financial resources and accounting to ensure accuracy and reliability of financial reports; 
  • Mobilizing goods and services to support project activities, including drafting TORs and works/product requirements and specifications; 
  • Managing and monitoring project risks initially identified, submitting information on the new risks and possible mitigating measures to the Project Board for consideration and updating the status of these risks by maintaining a Project Risk Log;
  • Assuming responsibilities in line with the office Internal Control Framework and act as a `first authority` for Project transactions; 
  • Ensuring adherence of project activities to the existing financial, procurement and administrative processes that are in line with prevailing UNDP rules and regulations and, at the same time, observing the project timelines; 
  • Preparing project progress reports (progress against planned activities, update on risks issues, expenditures…) and ensuring timely submission of the reports to the relevant instances, such as the project boards and relevant donors; 
  • Managing project tracking in ATLAS (QUANTUM) in accordance with UNDP procedures; 
  • Managing the transfer of project deliverables to national beneficiaries and other project stakeholders.

Expected results: Building strategic partnerships needed to achieve results and maintaining collaborative working relationships among key project partners, through effective communication, consultation and reporting 

  • Cultivating relationships with the central and local authorities, academia, NGOs and other Project stakeholders, ensuring full understanding, cooperation and an appropriate fit of the project activities with the main needs of the beneficiaries; 
  • Establishing effective linkages with other relevant projects and initiatives in the sector with a view to developing substantive partnerships and generating synergies; 
  • Disseminating project reports and respond to queries from concerned stakeholders. 
  • Maintaining strong relationships with the implementing partners, the Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment, Department of Water Resource, target provinces (Savannakhet and Luang Prabang), and other relevant partners; 
  • Maintaining regular coordination and quality assurance of expert inputs and products as well as among project partners to ensure coherence and complementarity of project activities; 
  • Identifying opportunities for deepening the cooperation and recommending adequate approaches to dealing with different stakeholders based on information on all relevant stakeholders gathered during project implementation; 
  • Maintaining regular communication on relevant project issues with the local counterparties, consultants and experts with an aim to ensure quality and timely delivery of all agreed outputs; 
  • Engaging groups and communities in project activities that affect them; 
  • Communicating project goals, activities and results clearly to both stakeholders and the wider public 
  • Submitting reports to UNDP, partners and donors in a quality and timely manner.

Expected result: Ensuring Gender mainstreaming within the project 

  • Ensuring gender is effectively mainstreamed throughout the project activities, work plans, budgets, reports, researches, analyses and, where specifically relevant, analyzed in detail; 
  • Ensuring gender equality is mainstreamed throughout team, consultant and staff management activities; 
  • Ensuring knowledge on gender equality is incorporated in Project Knowledge management activities and products. 
  • Ensuring collection of gender disaggregated data

Performance Indicators for evaluation of results 

  • Project activities executed in line with UNDP corporate rules and procedures; 
  • Project funds delivered in accordance with the endorsed Annual Work Plans; 
  • Project staff/ team(s) effectively and efficiently guided and backstopped, as needed 
  • Links with other relevant projects/initiatives established and joint objectives effectuated; 
  • High quality reports prepared and submitted on time

Competencies

 Core competencies: 

  • Achieve Results: LEVEL 2: Scale up solutions and simplifies processes, balances speed and accuracy in doing work
  • Think Innovatively: LEVEL 2: Offer new ideas/open to new approaches, demonstrate systemic/integrated thinking
  • Learn Continuously: LEVEL 2: Go outside comfort zone, learn from others and support their learning
  • Adapt with Agility:  LEVEL 2: Adapt processes/approaches to new situations, involve others in change process
  • Act with Determination: LEVEL 2: Able to persevere and deal with multiple sources of pressure simultaneously
  • Engage and Partner: LEVEL 2: Is facilitator/integrator, bring people together, build/maintain coalitions/partnerships
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 2: Facilitate conversations to bridge differences, considers in decision making 

People Management competencies: 

  • UNDP People Management Competencies can be found in the dedicated site

Cross-functional & Technical Competencies:

Engagement and Effectiveness

  • Effectiveness: Performance analysis on programming; Performance and data analysis and sharing lessons; Programmatic Risk Management and Analysis; Project Quality Assurance
  • Systems and tools for managing risk

People

  • Gender: UNDP’s Gender Equality Seal Initiative; Climate Change and Risk Management of Disasters with a Gender Perspective, Integrated Water Resource Management 

Planet

  • Nature, Climate and Energy: Integrated Water Resource Management; Climate Change Adaptation, Disaster Risks Management 

Communications:     

  • Advocacy strategy and implementation: Ability to create and implement advocacy strategies which lead to impactful change

Partnership:

  • Relationship Management/ Strategic engagement: Ability to engage with a wide range of public and private partners, build, sustain and/or strengthen working relations, trust and mutual understanding; Ability to capture and sustain attention, interest and agreement of high-level, influential policy and decision makers and secure their buy-in of high-level vision and objectives.

Ethics   

  • UN policy knowledge – ethics: Knowledge and understanding of the UN Staff Regulations and Rules and other policies relating to ethics and integrity

Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Masters or Bachelor’s degree in natural resources management, environment, water resources, forestry, sustainable development, Climate change or a closely related field.

Experience:

  • 2 years of relevant experience (with Masters) or 4 years of relevant experience (with Bachelors) of relevant experience in project implementation/management of projects within the disciplines of environmental science, integrated ecosystem-based adaptation, integrated water resources management, natural resource management or other related field at national or international level.
  • Technical experience related to integrated water resources management, ecosystem-based adaptation, land use planning, environmental management, results-based management and planning, gender inclusion and/or similar specializations.
  • Proven track record of managing projects and teams, including project design, activity/budget planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting.
  • Experience working with Government departments, UN agencies, NGOs, international development agencies in Lao PDR
  • Excellent knowledge of MS software packages and ability to learn and adopt to new systems
  • Excellent inter-personal, communication and negotiating skills
  • Knowledge of UN regulations, rules, and procedures      
  • Excellent coordination skills, with ability to work under pressure and handle multiple activities and tasks concurrently.
  • Ability to lead a team and to work in the team effectively.

Required Languages:

  • Fluent in English and Lao is required

Travel:

  • Occasionally travel to target provinces

Disclaimer

Important information for US Permanent Residents (‘Green Card’ holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment. 

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

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POSITION TYPE

ORGANIZATION TYPE

EXPERIENCE-LEVEL

DEGREE REQUIRED

LANGUAGE REQUIRED

IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development