Local or Expat, Environmental Political Economist

Social Impact

, , XH


Local or Expat, Environmental Political Economist, USAID/RDMA FAA 118/119 Analysis, Southeast Asia

Social Impact is a global development management consulting firm. We provide monitoring, evaluation, strategic planning, and capacity building services to advance development effectiveness. We work across all development sectors including democracy and governance, health and education, the environment, and economic growth. Since 1997 we have worked in over 100 countries for clients such as US government agencies, bilateral donors, multilateral development banks, foundations, and nonprofits.

Project Background and Objective:

USAID programs by law cannot contribute toward or exacerbate direct threats to conservation, whether intentionally or not. Preventing unintended degradation is one of the primary reasons for Sections 118 and 119 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, and for requiring an analysis of tropical forests and biodiversity (FAA 118/119 Analysis) as part of each USAID Mission’s strategy.

As part of the documentation for the 2021-2025 Regional Development Cooperation Strategy (RDCS), USAID/RDMA is required to prepare the FAA 118/119 Analysis in the Asia region and each of its constituent countries.

The purpose of this project is to conduct an analysis of tropical forest and biodiversity in alignment with FAA 118/119 and in compliance with ADS 201 guidelines.

The Analysis will examine the region-level forest and biodiversity conservation needs and the extent to which USAID/RDMA Activities addressed the identified needs for forest and biodiversity conservation. The Analysis will inform the simultaneous development of the upcoming USAID/RDMA RDCS and implementation by providing recommendations on ways to strengthen regional commitment and capacity to biodiversity conservation. In addition, the Analysis will help define opportunities to integrate tropical forest and biodiversity conservation into priority development sectors to support the Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS) and the Journey to Self-reliance (J2SR), that will be considered in mission strategic approaches to improve development outcomes. The Analysis will also consider the unique, coordinating/convening role played by USAID/RDMA, as well as the role of regional institutions and partners in environmental protection and natural resource management.

Under Task Order 46 of the Asia Learning Monitoring and Evaluation (ALME) program, the USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia (RDMA), has requested Social Impact to complete a high-level analysis on relevant transboundary and regional biodiversity and forestry issues and adequately responds to the questions for FAA 118 and FAA 119, also known as “actions necessary” and “extent to which.”

Position Description:

SI is seeking an Environmental Political Economist to provide environmental and geopolitical subject matter expertise, as well as facilitate connections with environmental NGOs, government agencies and international organizations local to Southeast Asia for the duration of the FAA 118/119 analysis. The Political Economist must be willing to provide consulting services for the project between March and August 2020 and will be expected to deliver technical inputs for the final report. Travel to Southeast Asia may be required in May or June depending on the outcome of the initial desk review.

**Citizens and residents of countries of Southeast Asia are strongly encouraged to apply.**


  • Provide subject matter expertise in the areas of ecology, geopolitics, political economy and transboundary environmental issues in Southeast Asia.
  • Assist the Team Lead and other team members in navigating the institutional framework of the environmental sector in SE Asian countries and the region more broadly.
  • Conduct a desk review of the political economy and institutional framework of the environmental sector for RDMA countries.
  • Propose site visit locations and support the drafting of the work plan.
  • Undertake fieldwork as required.
  • Support the drafting of the FAA 118/119 desk review and final report.
  • Contribute to research and the development of the desk review report and the full 118/119 analysis as needed.


  • Master’s degree and six years of related experience, or PhD and four years of related experience.
  • Deep knowledge of the human dimensions of conservation and natural resources management as well as diverse conservation and management problems, including, but not limited to, water, governance, fisheries management, wildlife management, agriculture, economic growth, extractive industries, protected areas, and the scale of the issue, from local, to regional to global. 
  • Understanding of USAID’s strategic planning process, both broadly and as related to tropical forests and biodiversity.
  • Expertise in assessing environmental threats.
  • Work experience in Southeast Asia, especially with USAID/RDMA or other country missions.
  • Exceptional organizational, analytical, writing, and presentation skills.
  • Fluency in English required. Knowledge of a regional language spoken in Southeast Asia will be considered an asset.

Come join our energetic and innovative team!  We offer you the opportunity to play a leading role in the growth of our company, work as part of a creative and committed team, and make a difference in the well-being of our world.

To learn more about Social Impact, please visit our website: http://www.socialimpact.com

SI is an EEO/AA/ADA Veterans Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.

Only selected candidates will be contacted for an interview. Please, no phone calls.