Turkmenistan nationals: Project Manager

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Ashkhabad, Turkmenistan 🇹🇲


Turkmenistan has the harshest climate in Central Asia with the highest air temperatures and lowest levels of precipitation. In recent years, a sustained rise in air temperatures has been observed. Maximum temperatures are increasing, while minimum temperatures are decreasing. Furthermore, the variability of monthly precipitation levels has been increasing. Overall, the climate is trending towards more drought-like conditions with increasing occurrences of shock events such as flash flood runoffs, mud flows, intense rainfall events and intense heat waves. 80% of Turkmenistan’s surface is comprised of the flat Karakum Desert with the remaining 20% mostly consisting of mountainous zones. Summers are long, hot, and dry, and winters are mild and dry. Annual precipitation ranges from only 80 mm in the northwest to 300 mm in the Kopet-Dag mountain range along the border with Iran. Along the Caspian coast, elevations are at or below sea level for as much as 150 kilometers inland. The northern part of the country, located in the Siberian anticyclone area, is characterized by severe and long winters with continuous snow cover and average annual temperatures fluctuating between 13°C – 16°C. The southern part of the country is characterized by mild winters with occasional snow cover and average yearly temperatures ranging between 18°C – 22°C.

Over the last 60 years, increasing temperatures have been observed and documented in the desert country of Turkmenistan as occurring at a faster pace than in many other parts of the world. Already extremely hot and dry, the country is projected to experience an increase in average annual air temperature by 2.21°С by 2040. The increase in temperature add additional pressure on surface water availability which is a primary source of irrigation and drinking water. All water basins in Turkmenistan are transboundary and originate from outside of the country. Amudarya river, the biggest water source, starts in the Pamir mountains in Tajikistan, crosses northern Afghanistan and enters Turkmenistan. This illustrates that besides the growing water deficit concern, the country has limited control over the water volumes it receives through transboundary sources. Furthermore, Dashoguz province is part of the “Aral Sea Basin Crisis Area”, with highly salinized lands and poor-quality water. This subsequently impacts the socio-economic development of the area, in particular the agricultural activities and human health.

Increases in temperatures will contribute to increased evaporation rates of the Amu-Darya River, the nation’s main source of water. Furthermore, hydro-meteorological modeling suggests there will be a steady decline in precipitation nationwide. In the next 30 years, the amount of precipitation will slightly decrease, however by 2050 precipitation is expected to fall dramatically, reducing by as much as 22% by 2100 from current rates. Expected precipitation decrease in the central Asia region will contribute to a reduction of the flow of the Amu-Darya River by 10-15% by 2050. These two climate trends of reduced precipitation and increasing temperatures will be accompanied by an increase in the frequency and severity of disaster events caused by climate change (droughts, floods, and windstorms).

Project strategy

The overall objective of the project is to strengthen Turkmenistan’s adaptive and resiliency capacities by developing a national adaptation process (NAP). The objective will be achieved through the implementation of the following proposed outcomes and sub-outcomes.

Outcome 1: The institutional framework to implement the Paris Agreement is established.

  • A coordination mechanism to implement the adaptation components of the Paris Agreement established and operationalized.
  • Updating of the adaptation components of Turkmenistan’s NDC 2020 supported.

Outcome 2: The evidence base for adaptation planning in the water sector strengthened.

  • Climate risks identified, assessed and prioritized.
  • Entry points for incorporating climate risks into policies and plans related to water resources identified.
  • Adaptation options identified, budgeted, prioritized and supported by concept notes.

Outcome 3: Capacity for adaptation planning strengthened.

  • The capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection (MAEP) enhanced.
  • The capacity of water planners strengthened (National, Ashgabat and Dashoguz).
  • Private Sector Informed about adaptation challenges, options and opportunities in the water resources sector.

The project will establish an institutional coordination mechanism capable of multi-sector adaptation planning. However, initially adaptation planning will focus on the water sector. The work of building the information base for adaptation planning is largely focused on hydrology and meteorology as well as adaptation themes and actions. Capacity building will take a similar approach in that it builds the capacity of those involved in national adaptation planning to do the work effectively regardless of sector. However, there will also be capacity training specific to the water sector for national and sectoral officials who are responsible for water resources.

Considerations of vulnerability and gender inequalities will be key principles of the NAP process. Specifically, representation of women and relevant gender focused entities will be ensured throughout the implementation of this proposal including workshops and seminars. A gender analysis in the formulation of activities will be a key focus area, while gender mainstreaming tools will be applied in the development of technical guidelines for the integration of climate change adaptation into planning processes.

Duties and Responsibilities

Project Management Arrangements

The project will be implemented over a period of three years. The Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of Turkmenistan (MAEP) is the Senior Beneficiary of the Project and Government Institution responsible for the implementation of the project. UNDP is the Executing Entity (EE) and Delivering Partner (DP) for the project. A Project Board (PB) will be established and serves as the project’s coordination and decision-making body. The Project Board is comprised of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment Protection, UNDP and other relevant ministry representatives. The Project Board is responsible for management decisions, approval of project work-plans, project revisions and addressing any project level grievances.

UNDP Programme Specialist of Resilience, Climate Change and Energy is assigned with the responsibility for the day-to-day quality assurance of the project implementation.

The day-to-day administration of the project is to be carried out by a Project Manager (PM), assisted by the Project Support Assistant (PSA) and UNDP Project Implementation Unit (PIU) when necessary. The PM is responsible for regular monitoring of project results and risks, including social and environmental risks. The PM will ensure that all project personnel maintain a high level of transparency, responsibility and accountability in M&E and reporting of project results. The Project Manager will inform the Project Board, the UNDP Country Office and the UNDP-GCF Regional Technical Advisor of any delays or difficulties as they arise during implementation so that appropriate support and corrective measures can be adopted. The Project Manager will also develop annual work plans to support the efficient implementation of the project.

Key tasks and responsibilities

Overall responsibilities: The Project Manager has the authority to run the project on a day-to-day basis on behalf of the Project Board within the constraints laid down by the Board. The Project Manager is responsible for day-to-day management and decision-making for the project. The Project Manager’s prime responsibility is to ensure that the project produces the results specified in the project document, to the required standard of quality and within the specified constraints of time and cost.

Working under the supervision of the UNDP Programme Specialist of Resilience, Climate Change and Energy to whom he/she will report, and in partnership with the project staff, the PM will be responsible for leading the Project Team in the day-to-day implementation of the Project and managing Project resources effectively and efficiently so as to achieve the Project Objective and Outcomes within the set timescale and available budget. More specifically, the PM will perform the following duties:

PM responsibilities would include:

Overall project management:

  • Management and supervision of project implementation and evaluation across all components. Assurance of successful completion of the project in accordance with the stated outcomes, targets and deliverables summarized in the Project Results Framework;
  • Regular communication and coordination with the National Implementing Partner, the Project Board, and all other partners and interested stakeholders, with regard to all project activity. Organization of Project Board meetings at least once, or ideally twice, per year;
  • Regular communication with senior UNDP management with regard to all project activity. Assurance of coordination with other UNDP projects and broad strategic initiatives;
  • Preparation of Annual Work Plans, including monthly targets and deliverables as well as annual spending targets in accordance with the Project Document. Tracking of work outputs throughout the year in light of these Annual Work Plans;
  • Tracking and managing of project spending in accordance with the project budget, as well as UNDP rules and procedures, to ensure transparency, responsibility, and timely fulfilment of both program targets and budget targets;
  • Preparation and submittal of bi-annual Project progress reports to the Project Board, UNDP, and GCF in accordance with applicable requirements, in all required languages (English, Russian, and/or Turkmen, using outside translation as needed);
  • Supervision of the experts working for the project, including both Project Specialists as well as international and national consultants;
  • Supervision of regular data collection and analysis, as well as reporting and public outreach via the mass media, events, and other means, to disseminate the results of the project and to promote climate change related issues, climate change adaptation and mitigation, sustainable water and land management in Turkmenistan.
  • Oversight of the overall administration of the project office;
  • Regular travel to project sites within Turkmenistan to organize and monitor project activity; possible travel outside the country for participation in directly relevant international meetings;
  • Support to independent Terminal Evaluation of the project.

Running a project

  • Plan the detailed actions according to annual work plans of the project approved by the Project Board and monitor progress against the initial quality criteria;
  • Mobilize goods and services to initiative activities, including drafting TORs and work specifications;
  • Manage requests for the provision of financial resources by UNDP, using advance of funds, direct payments, or reimbursement;
  • Monitor financial resources and accounting to ensure accuracy and reliability of financial reports;
  • Manage and monitor the project risks as initially identified in the Project Document and Inception Report, submit new risks to the Project Board for consideration and decision on possible actions if required; update the status of these risks by maintaining the Project Risks Log;
  • Be responsible for managing issues and requests for change by maintaining an Issues Log.
  • Prepare the Project Interim Progress Reports (progress against planned activities, update on Risks and Issues, expenditures) and submit the report to the Project Board and Project Assurance;
  • Prepare the Annual review Report, and submit the report to the Project Board;
  • Based on the review, prepare the AWP for the following year, as well as semi-Annual Plans if required.

Closing a Project

  • Prepare Final Project Review Reports to be submitted to the Project Board;
  • Identify follow-on actions and submit them for consideration to the Project Board;
  • Manage the transfer of project deliverables, documents, files, equipment and materials to national beneficiaries;

More specifically, PM will be in charge of the following:

A) Project personnel management

A.1) Assume responsibility for all professional staff directly, and for all support staff indirectly (project team); this includes all Consultants and Contractors;

A.2) Endeavour to create a strong team spirit, cohesive and mutually supportive; encourage collaboration between individuals, the sharing of experiences and the solving of problems as a group; organize regular (weekly or fortnightly) staff meetings for this purpose;

A.3) Mentor and guide project team to increase their understanding and capacities on project issues;

A.4) Assign specific duties and tasks to specific individuals according to their Job Descriptions or Terms of Reference; ensure their full understanding of what is expected through agreement on deliverables and timescales; and agree on the resources and support that will be provided by the Project;

A.5) Undertake individual performance assessments on an annual basis (or other period for Consultants/Contractors), acknowledging achievements and providing analysis and advice on problem aspects;

A.6) While giving all professional personnel the “space” to carry out their professional duties, ensure that guidance and support are available whenever needed;

A.7) Ensure that Project staff enjoy the conditions of employment as stipulated by UNDP, together with the responsibilities of their positions;

A.8) Require regular (as agreed), formal and informal reporting on progress with the achievement of assigned tasks.

B) Financial resources management

B.1) Act as financial manager and retain the ultimate responsibility for financial resources for accountability purposes;

B.2) Ensure total accuracy and the highest level of transparency in the management of the Project financial resources in accordance with UNDP and national regulations and procedures;

B.3) Work with the project team and PIU to prepare all necessary financial reports to accompany Project quarterly and annual work plans and reports;

C) Project outreach

C.1) Serve as the Project’s ambassador and advocate within the broader Central and Local Government systems and with local communities;

C.2) Create and foster a good working relationship with the media (print, radio and television);

C.3) Represent and promote the Project at national and international meetings;

C.4) Contribute to the production and publication of public information material;

C.5) Establish and maintain good working relationships and cooperation with peer project managers from other related projects within Turkmenistan and the Central Asia region.

D) Project planning and implementation

D.1) Lead the process of quarterly and annual planning of project activities, with the participation of all Project personnel; retain the ultimate responsibility for the finished plans and submit them to the UNDP for their concurrence;

D.2) As noted under A.6 above, professional staff should be given the “space” to carry out their assigned tasks; but be alert to needs for support and advice; require progress reporting and accountability for resources used;

D.3) In cooperation with relevant Project personnel build effective working relationships with the Project’s key partners at the local level (Local Government, village leaders, communities, locals NGOs, the private sector, etc.);

D.4) Work closely with co-funding partners to ensure that their activities/programmes are integrated and complementary with those of the GCF NAP project.

E) Monitoring and adaptive management

E.1) Lead the implementation of the Project M&E Plan;

E.2) Carry out monitoring visits to Project sites on a regular basis; survey (informally) the intended beneficiaries and other stakeholders;

E.3) Collate the results of monitoring, analyze them, and formulate proposals for adaptive management measures for consideration by the PB;

E.4) Implement the decisions and advice of the PB.

F) Reporting and accountability

F.1) Provide a report to each PB meeting noting progress and achievements, acknowledging difficulties and proposing possible solutions for consideration and guidance by the PB;

F.2) Assume the lead responsibility for the preparation and content of the annual Project Progress Report, with the full participation of relevant Project personnel;

F.3) Delegate to the Project Support Assistant and PIU the task of preparation of implementation reports for UNDP (such as Atlas reports) but retain a supportive role;

F.4) Jointly with the project team, prepare quarterly and annual project plans and reports and present them to the PB;

F.5) Respond to request for reports on Project management and performance from any key stakeholders, through the NDA;

F.6) Report to the NDA and the UNDP/GCF on any aspect of Project management whenever required.


  • Technical expertise to appreciate project aims, ability to speak the “language” with experts;
  • Good analytical and planning skills; ability to set forecasts and refine/review them in the light of experience and further analysis;
  • Excellent inter-personal skills; good communicator at all levels from political decision-makers to grassroots communities;
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with a broad range of stakeholders;
  • Strong managerial skills, results-orientation, team-building and leadership skills
  • Decisiveness, independence, good judgement, ability to work under pressure;
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively under close supervision, as well as under minimal supervision.

Required Skills and Experience

  • University degree in climate, environment, development, agriculture, water management, science, technology, engineering or another related field. Masters degree in relevant field would be an advantage;
  • At least 5 years of relevant or associated experience in the area of climate or environment or agriculture and water management or development project management and the like;
  • Familiarity with the roles, activities, and priorities of the Government of Turkmenistan, with regard to environment protection, climate related issues, sustainable management of land and water resources;
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with a broad range of stakeholders;
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively under close supervision, as well as under minimal supervision;
  • Superior skills in organization and management, including past experience with planning, tracking, evaluation, and supervision of consultants and/or employees;
  • Skills and experience in financial tracking and budget management; training/ certification in finance is an asset;
  • Fluency in Russian, English and Turkmen in reading, writing, and speaking;
  • Ability to use information technology as a tool and resource;
  • Demonstrable skills in office computer use – word processing, spread sheets, etc.


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