Vietnam nationals: Program Management Specialist

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Hanoi, , VN


Viet Nam is particularly vulnerable to climate change and already impacted by more irregular and intense climate variability and change. Two of the regions most vulnerable to droughts-exacerbated by climate change affecting smallholder farmers are the Central Highlands and South-Central Coast. Changes in precipitation are leading to increasing deficits in surface and ground water availability for agricultural production with longer periods of severe water scarcity during the dry season and increased frequency and intensity of droughts. Overall agricultural productivity is falling, with corresponding declines in yields and incomes particularly harmful to small-scale farmers vulnerable to reduced water availability on rain fed lands and within this group, poor and near-poor, ethnic minority and women farmers.

UNDP is collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI, as the GCF National Designated Authority), and the five participating provinces of Dak Lak, Dak, Nong, Binh Thuan, Ninh Thuan, and Khanh Hoa to implement the project “Strengthening the resilience of smallholder agriculture to climate change-induced water insecurity in the Central Highlands and South-Central Coast regions of Vietnam” (herein after referred to as “the Project”),  financed by the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

The objective of this project is to empower vulnerable smallholders in five provinces of the Central Highlands and South-Central Coast regions of Vietnam – particularly women and ethnic minority farmers – to manage increasing climate risks to agricultural production. To achieve its objective, the project will enable smallholder farmers to adapt to climate-driven rainfall variability and drought through implementation of two linked Outputs integrating GCF and co-financing resources from the Asian Development Bank and the Government of Vietnam:

  1. improved access to water for vulnerable smallholder farmers for climate-resilient agricultural production in the face of climate-induced rainfall variability and droughts, and
  2. strengthened capacities of smallholder farmers to apply climate and market information, technologies, and practices for climate-resilient water and agricultural management.

The project was developed as part of an integrated programme funded through multiple sources, as envisaged by the Government of Vietnam (GoV), that was aimed at enhancing water security and building the climate change resilience of the agriculture sector focusing on Vietnam’s Central Highland and South-Central Coastal Regions. In alignment with this programme, the project will enable the GoV to adopt a paradigm shift in the way smallholder agricultural development is envisioned and supported through an integrated approach to agricultural resilience starting with planning for climate risks based on identification and analysis of agroecosystem vulnerabilities; enhancing water security and guaranteeing access; scaling up adoption and application of climate-resilient agricultural practices and cropping systems; and creating partnerships among value chain stakeholders to ensure access to market and credit. This approach directly addresses climate risks while also establishing or strengthening institutional capacities for long-term multi-stakeholder support to vulnerable smallholders.

Under the supervision of the Assistant Resident Representative (ARR) /Head of the Climate Change and Environment Unit, the Programme Management Specialist (PMS) is responsible for the management and implementation of the Project. The PMS will work closely with the International Climate Change/Agriculture Technical Advisor, the National Analysts and Officers in Climate Change, Agriculture, Water Resources, Private Sector of UNDP Viet Nam and Regional Technical Advisors in Bangkok Regional Hub, the Project Manager and Coordinators and other project staff in the central Project Management Unit (CPMU), PMU, and provincial PPMUs.

The PMS supervises the Programme Procurement Executive, Finance and Executive, and exercises the functions of administrative management of National Technical Specialist(s), including target setting and performance review, and approval of travel and leave.


Duties and Responsibilities

The Project Management Specialist has three functions:

1. Effective oversight of the implementation of the Project, aiming to achieve the following results (80% of time):

  • Proper guidance, supervision, and follow-up for effective planning, organization, management, implementation, and M&E to ensure timely achievement of quality results of the Project;
  • Effective application of result-based management (RBM) tools in management; establishment of management targets and monitoring the achievement of results, including establishment of performance indicators/success criteria, and regular update of baselines, targets, and milestones in the Project’s results resources frameworks;
  • Coordination of inputs from participating partners and advisory services to PMU for timely preparation and approval of the Project work-plans; 
  • Analysis of the situation in programme, financial and substantive monitoring and evaluation of the Project, identification of operational and financial problems, development of solutions, in full compliance with Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfer (HACT) guidelines;
  • Participation in the recruitment and procurement processes and coordination of the mandatory and budget re-phasing exercise, mid-year and mid-term reviews, and closure of the Project;
  • Exercise risk management, including timely implementation of mitigation measures, and updating risk log and integrated work plan (IWP) in the Atlas system;
  • Participation in and facilitation of project audits, spot-checks, and follow-up on the recommendations; exceptions are timely reported to the supervisor;
  • Preparation of regular aggregate reports on activities, outputs and outcomes, including technical progress to GCF as required;
  • Quality documentation of the Project’s lessons learnt and best practices; quality publication of technical reports, policy briefs, and results;
  • Ensuring synergies and coherence between the Project and other related projects and activities to bring about larger benefits and impacts of the UNDP’s Climate Change and Environment Programme in Viet Nam. 
  • Regular briefings and timely report to supervisor on any exceptions to facilitate timely actions and informed decisions.
2. Strong partnership with government partners, development partners, NGOs, and civil society organizations, aiming at creation of synergies, leveraging support, and ensuring sustainability of the Project interventions and results (10% of time):
  • Enhancement and development of strong partnerships and effective cooperation with government counterparts (MARD, 5 Provinces), co-implementing partners, participating agencies and relevant stakeholders, including CSOs and ethnic groups;
  • Effective cooperation with relevant programmes and projects on the same technical subject and the same geographical areas to ensure synergies and avoid overlap of interventions;
  • Monitoring and analysis of the environment for timely adaptive management of the project and new opportunities for interventions and cooperation.
  • Contribution to the development of government policies/regulations that will address the country problems/development needs.
  • Support to the project counterparts for active participation and contribution to relevant networks and forums on climate resilience and climate change adaptation.
3. Advocacy and development of UNDP’s Climate Change and Environment Programme, and contribution to the UN work in Viet Nam (10% of time):
  • Identification of opportunities for policy dialogues and advocacy on climate change, resilience and climate change adaptation and related agenda, and facilitate UNDP participation and intervention in such events;
  • Facilitation and contribution to the preparation of UNDP policy briefings, advocacy messages, and speeches for policy dialogues and high-level events;
  • Active and quality contribution to the UNDP researches and development of new project concept notes and project documents for resource mobilization and future interventions;
  • Active participation and contribution to the UN/ UNDP’s regular reports on outputs and outcomes as well as outcome evaluations, under the framework of the UN One Strategic Plan;
  • Professional growth through active learning.
Required Skills and Experience

Education: Master’s degree in Agriculture, Water Resources, Environment, Economics, Business Administration or related fields.


  • At least five (5) years of progressively relevant professional experience in project management, and building partnership and advocacy;
  • Hands-on experience in planning, in management, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development projects;
  • Extensive knowledge of disaster risk reduction, climate change, agriculture, water security, etc.; 
  • Proven networking skills and ability to interact with senior officials and teamwork;
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills; 
  • Good knowledge of gender equality and civil society participation are advantageous.
Language requirements: Full fluency in English and Vietnamese
IT requirements: Excellent knowledge of office IT equipment and social media applications.