The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 27 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our organisation works across more than 25 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
The Geoscience Energy and Maritime Division provides advice, technical assistance, research and training support to Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs). There are three (3) areas of scientific programming and two areas of focus within this division:
1. Oceans and Maritime Programme (OMP) – assists member countries with services that provide applied ocean science and knowledge for evidence-based policy-making and technical solutions for improved ocean and maritime governance, management and capacity development.
2. Georesources and Energy Programme (GEP) – assists member countries by applying technical knowledge in the areas of geoscience and sustainable energy use.
3. Disaster and Community Resilience Programme (DCRP) – assists member countries to demonstrate strengthened resilience through integrated action on disaster risk management, climate change adaptation, natural resource management and increased access to water and sanitation.
The role – Project Implementation Officer will be responsible for working closely with beneficiary country project counterparts, collaborating under various country and SPC water projects to plan, budget, implement, report, undertake procurement and contract management, support quality monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning (MERL), prepare for, hold National Steering Committee meetings and roll out local stakeholder communications, engagement and visibility activities. This role also includes supporting the strengthening of local project management systems and pulling in technical expertise from across the Disaster and Community Resilience Programme and SPC, as necessary.
The key responsibilities of the role include:
Supporting countries by guiding, coaching, and building capacity to plan, budget, implement and report on in country activities
• Guide and coach the country lead implementation agencies and National Project coordinators in the development of workplans and tracking of critical paths for project implementation aligned to the project results framework targets. Facilitate stakeholder engagements and ensure project activity plans align with project outcomes.
• Ensure social and environmental considerations in accordance with SPC and donor requirements are addressed across all activities; wide stakeholder participation and inclusivity; plans align with country sectoral strategies and receive executive-level endorsement; risks are identified and managed.
Supporting countries by guiding, coaching, and building capacity on financial, procurement, contract, and grant management for in-country activities including acquittals
• Coach and support country teams to ensure in-country financial management is sound and in accordance with SPC, donor and audit requirements. This includes regularly updating budget forecasts, and validating, tracking, reconciling, and analysing costs with the country teams to deliver on the project budget and results.
• Guide and support all direct procurement and contract/grant management requirements for project-funded services, supplies and equipment in the project countries (and regional activities where necessary). This includes working with SPC Legal and Procurement team on major procurements and grants, including the DCRP Procurement and Grants Officer.
Ensuring quality stakeholder engagement and MERL for in-country activities
• Support the Chief Technical Adviser to convene the National project steering group, regional steering committee meetings, and other regional events for the project as relevant.
• Guide and support project countries to implement agreed MERL recommendations.
Supporting and advising on project coordination, management and reporting
• Advise and support the country teams, inclusive of National Project Coordinators, administration staff, and project specialists in the coordination of project activities, progress of activity narration, and financial reporting.
• Support the Chief Technical Adviser to draft high quality and timely progress and completion reports and workplans for UNDP and SPC management.
For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the online job description.
Key selection criteria
• A graduate degree from a recognised institution, or qualifications in project management.
Knowledge and experience
• Work experience in a relevant field such as international development, community engagement, strategic communications, disaster risk reduction, community resilience, water resources management, water, sanitation and hygiene, governance and policy development.
• At least 8 years of relevant supervisory and project management experience.
• Strong understanding and experience in project management, including with project cycles, log-frame, financial forecasting and reporting, grant and contract management, MERL and risk management.
• Knowledge of procurement and financial management systems, and implementing projects across multiple currencies
• Demonstrated experience and understanding of water security challenges and responses at both the national and community levels and including considerations such as the role of gender in water management.
• A demonstrated proficiency in meeting the monitoring, evaluation, reporting and learning (MERL) requirements of development partners such as UNDP.
• Liaison, negotiation, networking, and relationship building skills.
• Ability to work under pressure and to deadlines with attention to detail.
• Skills in project design, management and implementation, including skills in financial management for projects.
• Procurement, grants and contract management skills.
• Capacity building and mentoring skills.
• Computer skills, including with the Microsoft Office Suite and with project management software, information management and decision support software/tools.
• Analytical skills to support prioritising, problem solving and managing risks.
• Excellent English communication skills (oral and written) with ability to write for and report to a variety of stakeholder hierarchies to a high standard.
Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness
• Interpersonal skills and ability to work in a multicultural, inclusive and equitable environment.
• Active listening skills.
Salary, terms and conditions
Contract Duration – This vacant position is budgeted until 31 December 2024 and is subject to renewal depending on funding and performance.
Remuneration – The Project Implementation Officer is a band 9 position in SPC’s 2023 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 2,284‒2,856 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately FJD 6,739–8,424 (USD 3,061–3,826; EUR 2,900–3,625). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale will be based on annual performance reviews. Remuneration of expatriate SPC staff members is not subject to income tax in Fiji; Fiji nationals employed by SPC in Fiji will be subject to income tax.
Benefits for international employees based in Fiji – SPC provides a housing allowance of FJD 1,350–3,000 per month. Establishment and repatriation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave travel, health and life and disability insurances and education allowances are available for eligible employees and their eligible dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 working days of annual leave per annum and other types of leave, and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).
Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.
Closing Date: 24 April 2023 at 11:59pm (Fiji time)
Job Reference: CB000320
Applicants must apply online at http://careers.spc.int/
Hard copies of applications will not be accepted.
For your application to be considered, you must provide us with:
• an updated resume with contact details for three professional referees
• a cover letter detailing your skills, experience and interest in this position
• responses to all screening questions
Your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage if all the above documents are not provided. Applicants should not attach copies of qualifications or letters of reference. Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.
For international staff in Fiji, only one foreign national per family can be employed with an entity operating in Fiji at any one given time. SPC may assist on a case-by-case basis with submissions to Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their consideration and final approval. SPC cannot and does not make any guarantee whatsoever of approval for such applications to Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs and where an application is approved, the spouse or partner will subject to such terms and conditions as may be set from time to time by the Ministry.
SPC does not charge a fee to consider your application and will never ask for your banking or financial information during the recruitment process.
Screening Questions (maximum of 2,000 characters per question):
1. Describe three personal characteristics that you feel make you an ideal candidate for this position.
2. Provide a recent example of how you managed the successful implementation of a project, and the most important factors you considered in your monitoring of its success.
3. Briefly describe your understanding of the key water security challenges facing atoll communities, and how you came to gain this understanding.