Samoa nationals: Chief Technical Advisor

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Apia, , WS

As a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) in the Pacific, Samoa has been heavily impacted by increasingly severe tropical storms. Given the topography of the country, these extreme events have caused significant river discharge that results in flooding of lowland areas. Recent tropical storms like Cyclone Evan have caused floods resulting in serious health impacts and significant damage to both public and private assets. The resulting damages have been estimated at US $200 million. Urban infrastructure has suffered considerably and is expected to further degrade as extreme weather events become more frequent.

The objective of this project is to strengthen the adaptive capacity, and reduce exposure to extreme weather events, of vulnerable communities, infrastructure, and the built environment in the Vaisigano River Catchment area. This is the river that flows through the Apia Urban Area (AUA).

The project represents the Government of Samoa’s (GoS) initial steps in operationalizing a comprehensive flood management solution. It has three major outputs:

  1. Capacities and information base strengthened for GoS to pursue an integrated approach to reduce vulnerability towards flood-related risks;
  2. Key infrastructure in the Vaisigano River Catchment are flood-proofed to increase resilience to negative effects of excessive water; and
  3. Upgraded drainage in downstream areas to increase capacity and allow for more rapid outflow of flood waters.

In conjunction with GoS co-financing leveraged for this project, GCF resources will be used to address a number of key technical issues including infrastructure; capacity and information based barriers to enhancing the effectiveness of flood management systems. The primary direct beneficiaries include approximately 26,528 people in the Vaisigano river catchment area and 37,000 people indirect beneficiaries.

On behalf of the Government of Samoa, UNDP is recruiting the Chief Technical Adviser for the GCF Samoa project to provide technical and operational support to the project management unit and the government of Samoa in the implementation of the project.

The Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) will be responsible for providing strategic direction and overall technical backstopping to the project and to support the PMU in the implementation of activities as defined in the project document and develop the inception report. He/She will render technical support to the National Project Manager  (NPM) under MOF, and to the Project Board. He/She will work under the guidance of the Project Board and report to UNDP to provide advice to the project management team and other consultants hired within the project and will also report to UNDP.

The CTA will coordinate the provision of the required technical inputs, including assisting in executing the implementation strategy, recruiting and supervising experts and technical advisors inputs, and ensuring coordination and leveraging resources from other initiatives. The CTA will provide guidance and support on both strategic project matters, quality control of technical expertise and aspects of day-to-day management as required.

The project will be implemented over the course of 6 years, beginning in 2017. UNDP is the GCF Executing Agency and the Ministry of Finance (MOF), is the project’s lead Implementing Partner.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Provide technical advice and support for effective project implementation
  2. Provide technical assistance for effective monitoring and evaluation
  3. Responsible for relationship building through identification of strategic opportunities for the project to achieve greater development through partnerships
  4. Facilitates the establishment of a high-quality knowledge building and management information system focusing on achievement of the following results:


Required Skills and Experience

  • Bachelor‘s or Master’s  degree in Water Engineering and Management, Environmental Science  or related field is a requirement, with a strong emphasis on climate change:
  • In lieu of a Post graduate degree an additional two years experience.


  • Master’s degree with at least 5 years of relevant experience, or, a Bachelor’s degree with at least 7 years experience at the national or international level in water resources management and infrastructure;
  • Proven knowledge and experience in the area implementation of development initiatives, policies and programmes relating to coastal and riparian management;
  • Substantial knowledge of climate change adaptation measures and climate proofing of infrastructure in coastal/riparian zones, including impacts on environment related to human development and poverty reduction.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English and Samoan both verbal  and written;
  • Sound written and presentation skills using plain English.

Other Requirements:

  • Experience in working with communities, including community-based management and co-management initiatives, NGOs and multiple sectors of government, using mechanisms to develop common visions among stakeholders and including consulting with senior executives and civil servants;
  • Experience of working in the Pacific Islands or comparable island nations is advantageous;
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills, writing ability and administrative skills;
  • Ability to work in multidisciplinary teams;
  • Ability to engage and negotiate with high level personnel in governmental institutions, external agencies, etc.;
  • Proven analytical skills and ability to conceptualize strategic intervention;
  • Excellent computer skills (key MS applications) and ability to use information technology as a tool and resource.