Project Coordination Officer, Vientiane, Laos
Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
Closing date: Wednesday, 17 February 2021
Job ID: 35122
Practice Area - Job Family: Crisis Prevention and Recovery - PROJECT COORDINATION OFFICER
Vacancy End Date: (Midnight New York, USA) 17/02/2021
Duty Station: Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Rep
Education & Work Experience: G-Bachelor’s Level Degree - 7 year(s) experience, I-Master’s Level Degree - 5 year(s) experience
Vacancy Type: Service Contract (SC)
Posting Type: External
Bureau: Asia & the Pacific
Contract Duration: 9months
For Lao national only
Lao PDR is among the most heavily bombed countries per capita in the world, with over two million tons of munitions dropped on it during the Indochina War (1964-1973). This includes 270 million sub-munitions from cluster bombs, up to 30% of which failed to detonate.
While the number of accidents has dropped markedly from 302 in 2008 to 42 in 2015, Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) contamination remains a threat for rural populations in poor and remote areas. It reduces safe access to their agricultural land and increases the amount of time, in many cases, that farmers have to spend on cultivating their land, as they are required to move more carefully and cautiously in light of the risk of accidents. Accidents often affect the main breadwinners in families and communities, which damages their families‘ economic security and independence. In addition, UXO contamination impedes the safe use of land for socio-economic development activities, and where these activities can take place, it increases their costs. Around 80% of people in Lao PDR live in rural areas, where livelihood opportunities are often uncertain and food and nutrition security indicators are particularly poor. Many of the poorest districts in the country are also the most-contaminated, UXO contamination can lead to loss of livestock, restricted access to land, food insecurity, insufficient basic infrastructure, reduce crop production, increased transport costs, disability, employment shortages, and other negative socio-economic outcomes.
The exact total extent and location of contamination in the country is currently unknown. Although Lao PDR’s ratification of the Convention of Cluster Munitions (CCM) obliges the country to clear known UXO contamination by 2020, without a clear baseline it is difficult to plan properly and to indicate timeframes for clearance throughout the country. Survey activities are underway to establish the extent of known contamination for clearance and to establish a national baseline.
The national baseline of contamination will allow the prioritisation and management of all remaining clearance tasks. The 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP) includes targets for addressing the UXO issue by 2020 and the 9th NSEDP is currently in the process of being drafted. The National Regulatory Authority for the UXO/Mine Action Sector (NRA) has also approved a UXO Sector Five Year Work Plan, with targets relating to UXO survey and clearance, reduced casualties and victim assistance. These goals align with Lao PDR’s Sustainable Development Goal 18 (SDG18) to remove the UXO obstacle to national development, as well as obligations contained under the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
The UXO sector in Lao PDR consists of the National Regulatory Authority (NRA), UXO Lao, humanitarian NGOs, several accredited commercial companies providing UXO services, and humanitarian clearance teams within the Lao People’s Army. The overall coordination / lead from the Government side is mandated to rest with Ministry of Labour & Social Welfare (MLSW) and the Minister is also the Chairperson of the NRA Board.
The NRA has been successful in regulating and coordinating a transition of the humanitarian operators from request-based to evidence-based land clearance, UXO Lao remains the largest clearance operator in Lao PDR and currently operates in 9 of the most heavily contaminated provinces. With the transition to evidence-based land clearance, UXO Lao has shown their ability to adapt to the change in methodology and have highlighted the need for a comprehensive review of all historical data when conducting non-technical survey. A Capacity Self-Assessment undertaken in June 2014 with the support of UNDP indicated that the NRA and UXO Lao still face capacity gaps. These include establishing adequate policy frameworks; managing information to maximise development impact and support; monitoring and communicating progress at the sector level; addressing the needs of UXO survivors; and assuring the quality of outputs in the sector. This obstructs evidence-based sector-level planning, reducing the sector’s effectiveness in supporting the objectives of the 8th NSEDP. Addressing these challenges will mean that planning can be based on development criteria for maximum effectiveness. This can benefit from improved linkage across the Sector Working Groups under the Round Table Process, which can enhance the linkage of UXO action with poverty reduction and livelihoods development. This will increase the linkage between the Sector Working group level to the Round Table Process.
UNDP has been one of the leading development partners supporting the UXO sector in Lao PDR since mid-1990s. UNDP with other partners have helped create the two key state institutions in UXO sector - UXO Lao and the NRA and have been supporting the capacity development of these institutions from the beginning. UNDP serves as Co-Chair of the UXO Sector Working Group, together with the MLSW and the United States. The Government of Lao PDR and UNDP are in the process of developing and finalizing new long-term sector strategies, including the next 10-Year Sector Strategy (2021-2030) and associated implementation/work plan (two 5-year plans) and the 5-Year Victim Assistance Strategy (2021-2025).
Under the supervision of the CTA, the Project Coordination Officer will be working to directly support the CTA in the provision of policy support, technical guidance and project/programme management support necessary to ensure that the implementation of the 2017-2021 Project is a success and that a new phase of the project is developed in 2021. The Project Coordination Officer will be heavily engaged in the finalisation of the above strategies and work plans, as well as ensuring their alignment with national strategies (9th NSEDP) and Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) obligations and ensuring their effective implementation.
As a member of the project team, the Project Coordination Officer will be based within the project offices, providing support as needed to the National Programme Directors of both UXO Lao and the NRA. The Project Coordination Officer will also provide support as needed to the Country Office UXO team in areas of programmatic planning, monitoring and implementation.
Duties and Responsibilities
Summary of Key Functions:
The Project Coordination Officer will work under the guidance and supervision of the CTA under the overall direction of the UXO Portfolio Team Leader. The key responsibility of the Project Coordination Officer will be to provide support to the CTA in developing the capacity and strengthening the national ownership of both Implementing Partners (IPs), NRA and UXO Lao. The Project Coordination Officer will also play a strong coordination function, ensuring that all stakeholders within the UXO sector are engaged in the strategy and policy drafting processes, as well as ensuring continued coordination between both IPs and between the IPs and UNDP. As a core member of the technical advisory team to the IPs, the Project Coordination Officer will support the Directors to ensure effective implementation of the projects and enhance national ownership and results.
The Project Coordination Officer will provide advice and guidance and support development of the capacity of NRA and UXO Lao in the following areas:
Working closely with the CTA to provide strategic direction and guidance to the IPs
Institutional strengthening and capacity development
International cooperation and assistance
Resource Mobilization and Partnership development, including development of concept notes
Information management, analysis and information sharing
Support to effective monitoring and evaluation
Other support to the NRA and UXO Lao as requested
Specific to the NRA:
UXO sector coordination
Support to the Director General and senior management of the NRA
Support in the development of sector strategies and work plans
Improving the National Standards
Provide advice on CCM-related issues including conferences, submission of annual reports and legislation development
National Implementation Measures and domestic legislation
This work will be undertaken with a strong emphasis on developing the overall capacity of the NRA and UXO Lao to deliver an effective UXO programme:
Strengthen UXO Sector coordination
The Project Coordination Officer will play an important role of ensuring continued and increased cooperation within the UXO sector.
The Project Coordination Officer will provide assistance to the NRA in improving their overall coordination and direction of the UXO sector,
Support the NRA to undertake the secretariat function to the UXO sector working group in close coordination with the co-chairs (NRA, UNDP and the U.S. Ambassador), and technical working groups (TWG); the implementation of monitoring mechanisms; data collection and analysis; task prioritization procedure, etc.
Ensuring close coordination between the NRA and UNDP, including the coordination of all work between the international advisors deployed within the NRA and UXO Lao.
Ensure the inputs of the UNDP technical advisory team are in harmony with the policy and aims of the overall programme and UXO project.
Support on the development of sector strategies and work plans
Provide support to the CTA on the development, implementation and monitoring of the National Strategic Plan (Safe Path Forward III) for UXO/mine action and ensuring that the plan is in line with national development objectives and priorities.
Assist the CTA and the NRA in the preparation of the Victim Assistance long-term strategy and its successful implementation
Provide research and advisory support to the CTA in the development of all other sector strategies and annual and long-term work plans.
Legal advisory support for all CCM related issues
Provide support and research on the implementation and adherence to International Treaties, especially the CCM, the Anti-personnel Mine Ban Treaty (MBT) as well as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
Assist the NRA in preparation for their attendance at national CCM meetings of state parties and review conferences.
Work closely with the NRA and relevant line Ministries to ensure that national legislation is adopted as required under Article 9 of the CCM.
Liaise with the Implementation Support Unit of the CCM in Geneva to ensure that the legislation meets both international standards and the requirements of CCM Article 9.
Support the NRA in their submission of annual reports, as required under the CCM and the Convention on Chemical Weapons.
Institutional strengthening and Capacity Development
Identify areas requiring additional strengthening and capacity development support
Timely provide updates to the CTA and UNDP team on needs of the NRA and UXO Lao.
Tags access to land agricultural land capacity development chemical weapons cluster bombs continuous improvement data collection demining development planning disarmament donor relations economic security food and nutrition food insecurity gender mainstreaming information management international cooperation international relations livestock mine action monitoring and evaluation nutrition security poverty eradication poverty reduction project implementation project management quality management resource mobilization results based management rural areas rural population sdg1 social welfare sustainable development transport costs
Support the NRA in undertaking a capacity assessment and developing a detailed capacity development plan across the key operational areas of NRA.
Support the CTA in the establishment of a multi-year institutional development plan, including advising on resources required to achieve goals.
Support the continued dialogue and planning on establishing a financial sustainability plan.
Provide regular guidance to the IPs on the improvement of Regulations and National Standards.
Work closely with the CTA to ensure that the policies and procedures developed in the context of the programme are consistent with international standards for mine action (IMAS), national standards of Lao PDR and all other relevant policy statement of the United Nations.
Other Support to the CTA, as needed
Support the CTA in resource mobilization efforts for the UXO/mine action sector in Lao PDR, including the development of concept notes and detailed project proposals and maintaining a database of potential and interested donors/development partners.
Assisting the CTA in strengthening the capacities of the Quality Management team of both the NRA and UXO Lao and reviewing and updating the National Standards as necessary.
Support the overall monitoring and evaluation of the project based on the approved project document, national strategy and AWP and provide advisory support for improved gender mainstreaming efforts.
Other such support as is required by the CTA to ensure successful project implementation.
Other support to NRA, UXO Lao and UNDP CO, as requested
Support the IPs in the preparation of their annual work plans and quarterly work plans. Support the NRA in the development of the annual sector work plan, including the budget.
Provide guidance to ensure all the funds and resources for UXO Lao through UNDP are utilized in accordance with the UXO Lao Management and national staff.
Provide relevant advice and support on the further development of the NRA and UXO Lao institutional capacities, regulations and rules and procedures for the UXO sector; clarification of role and responsibilities, etc.
Provide technical guidance and capacity development support to UNDP CO on the preparation of strategic plan, results-based management work plans budgets, monitoring, proposals, task allocations progress reports publications and procedures.
Other such report as is required to ensure successful project implementation.
Impact of Results:
The Project Coordination Officer will have an impact on the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the UXO sector in Lao PDR. NRA and UXO Lao will be strengthened as national institutions and impacts of UXO in Lao PDR will be reduced through efficient and effective UXO coordination and clearance operations, community awareness activities and assistance to victims/survivors. The UXO sector will have clearer direction and future expectations. The sector strategies will closely align with national development goals and priorities and will be more effectively integrated into cross-sector strategies and associated work plans. The UXO sector will be effectively structured and the NRA will ultimately be able to take on full responsibilities as a regulator and coordination body, which will ensure greater long-term sustainability for the sector and will enhance national ownership. The efficiency and effectiveness of the UXO/Mine Action sector in Lao PDR will be increased, as all UXO/Mine Action operators will be monitored, evaluated and coordinated by the NRA in accordance with the National Strategic Plan. UXO issues will be further mainstreamed into development planning, programming and budgeting so that UXO action is addressed as an integral part of development programme and will support the development and integration of resilience building and poverty eradication into the broader agenda of the government of the Lao PDR. In addition, the UXO sector will be better placed to strengthen linkages to national and international research institutions, relevant civil society organizations and development organs in order to ensure a clear linkage with poverty and National development goals, including livelihood enhancement.
Description of Competency at Level Required
Ability to make new and useful ideas work
Level 4: Adept with complex concepts and challenges convention purposefully
Ability to persuade others to follow
Level 4: Generates commitment, excitement and excellence in others
Ability to improve performance and satisfaction
Level 4: Models independent thinking and action
Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform
Level 4: Synthesizes information to communicate independent analysis
Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement
Level 4: Meets goals and quality criteria for delivery of products or services
Work to achieve the strategic goals of UNDP and promotes the vision, mission and value of UNDP
Focus on results and client satisfaction
Recognize and respond appropriately to the ideas, interests and concerns of others; contribute creative solutions to address challenging situations.
Seek, apply and share knowledge and information
Demonstrate strong analytical and communication (written, verbal, and interpersonal) skills
Demonstrate strong ability to work in harmony with staff members of different cultural backgrounds in a professional manner, especially in a mutually-supportive team environment.
Consistently approaches work with energy and positive, constructive attitude.
Technical/Functional are at level 4: Apply & Adapt: Contributes skills and knowledge with demonstrated ability to advance innovation and continuous improvement, in professional area of expertise
Required Skills and Experience
Education: Master’s Degree or equivalent in International Relations, Development Studies, Law or related field.
At least 5 years ( or a bachelor’s degree with 7 years of experience) of demonstrable project management or capacity building and development expertise, preferably in the field of UXO/Mine Action.
Experience in stakeholder engagement and coordination, donor relations and resource mobilization is required.
Understanding of strategy development and drafting processes with experience of working with national institutions to develop sector strategies preferred.
Understanding of UXO/Mine Action issues preferred, with emphasis on the policy, regulatory and treaty issues, including IMAS national standards and SOP.
Familiarity with international demining and disarmament treaty obligations, and in particular the CCM preferred.
Knowledge of legislation drafting preferable or experience working on the implementation of international legal treaties and texts preferred.
Experience within the UN and knowledge of UNDP and UN system policies, programming and operational issues, as well as UN/UNDP experience is desirable.
Demonstrates strong ability to work closely with staff members of different cultural backgrounds in a professional manner, especially in a mutually-supportive team environment.
Language Requirements: Excellent to fluent command of English and Native Lao are required. A certificate or degree proving completion of English studies at post-secondary level preferable.
Important applicant information
All posts in the SC categories are subject to local recruitment.
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