Chief Technical Advisor, UN-REDD Viet Nam Phase II Programme, UNDP – Hanoi

Published 14:00 on September 11, 2017  /  Last updated at 14:00 on September 11, 2017  /  Job Postings  /  No Comments

An International Chief Technical Advisor is required to lead to conduct analysis and provide the GoV and three UN organizations with policy advice and alternative policy options related to REDD+ under UNFCCC, and optimally coordinate UN efforts/ technical assistance.

Job Description

Agency: UNDP
Title: Chief Technical Advisor (CTA)
Job ID: 11886
Practice Area – Job Family: Environment&Disaster Reduction
Vacancy End Date: (Midnight New York, USA) 14/09/2017
Duty Station: Hanoi, Viet Nam
Education & Work Experience: I-Master’s Level Degree – 10 year(s) experience
Languages Required: English
Grade: P5
Vacancy Type: FTA International
Posting Type: External
Bureau: Asia & the Pacific
Contract Duration: 1 Year with possibility for extension


Viet Nam is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change. Although Viet Nam’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are still relatively low, emissions per capita were just 1.46 metric tons CO2 equivalent in 2008, they are growing at a faster pace than many other countries and will continue to rise rapidly due to rapid economic growth and industrial expansion. The Government has made significant efforts in responding to climate change, including adoption of a National Climate Change Strategy and National Target Programme to Respond to Climate Change. Viet Nam also takes an active approach to climate change mitigation through approval of the national Green Growth Strategy which sets clear targets to reduce the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions by 8-10% in 2020 as compared to the 2010 level. The agriculture and rural development sector, including forestry, pioneered to adopt a plan to reduce emissions by 20% from forecasted levels by 2020.

Viet Nam’s forest cover has increased from 27% in 1990 to 39.7% (13.39 million ha) in 2011 mainly due to new plantations, which account for 2.92 million ha. Despite this increase, the quality of natural forests continues to decrease, suffering from fragmentation and degradation. Over two-thirds of Viet Nam’s natural forests are considered poor or regenerating, while rich and closed-canopy forests constitute only 4.6% of the total. The area of natural forest classified as rich decreased by 10.2% between 1999 and 2005, and the amount of medium quality forest declined by 13.4%. The Government of Viet Nam (GoV) has launched a range of initiatives and reforms in the forestry sector, especially the Viet Nam Forestry Development Strategy (VFDS) 2006-2020 placing considerable attention on land allocation and community forestry. GoV also adopted a National REDD Action Programme in 2012, providing the context for developing REDD+ in Viet Nam. Viet Nam has been supported by international partners in the forestry and REDD+, notably the UN-REDD Viet Nam Phase I Programme (“Phase I Programme”) with support from the Government of Norway. Other important international partners include: the World Bank (FCPF), the Governments of Australia, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands and the United States, and various NGOs.

Under the programme cycle 2012-2016, UN/UNDP provide substantial support to the Government of Viet Nam to respond to climate change, disaster risk reduction and environmental management, including Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). The support is provided through a range of activities and implementation of six inter-linked and complementary portfolio of projects/joint programmes, including the UN-REDD Viet Nam Phase II Programme with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, technically supported by FAO, UNDP and UNEP. The Programme will build necessary capacity for Viet Nam to benefit from future results-based payments for REDD+ and undertake transformational changes in the forestry sector. This is the largest and most complex joint programme of the UN in Viet Nam with a total budget of US$30 million and management arrangement at three levels (global, national, and provincial).

An International Chief Technical Advisor is required to lead to conduct analysis and provide the GoV and three UN organizations with policy advice and alternative policy options related to REDD+ under UNFCCC, and optimally coordinate UN efforts/ technical assistance.

As UN Technical Focal point, the CTA leads and coordinates a Technical Team consisting of Hanoi-based international technical specialists, Bangkok based technical advisors and Hanoi-based technical staff of FAO, UNDP, and UNEP, and some national technical specialists at NOB level.

Since the CTA is part of the UN Organizations Capacity Building Assistance to Viet Nam, s/he will work with all three Participating UN Organizations, particularly:

  • UNDP Country Office: Country Director, Deputy Country Director, Head of Sustainable Development Cluster, National Technical Advisor for REDD+, a Programme Officer and a Support Officer in charge of the Programme;
  • FAO: Country Representative for Viet Nam and Forestry Officer (REDD+);
  • UNEP: Regional Coordinator located within the UNEP Regional Office, and the national officer in Ha Noi;
  • Relevant units of the three organizations located at the Regional Centre or Regional Offices in Bangkok and at HQs.

Based in the Programme Management Unit, the CTA will report to the UNDP Deputy Country Director and agree with the Programme’s National Project Director (NPD) on specific tasks. In line with UNDP rules and regulations, the CTA’s annual performance will be subject to the Performance and Management Development (PMD) process. The PMD will be done by the immediate supervisor, with self-assessment of the CTA and based on inputs from the NPD, the FAO Representative in Viet Nam, and the UNEP UN-REDD regional coordinator for the Asia and the Pacific.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions

The CTA will lead the strategic and technical advisory services to the GoV and participating UN organizations FAO, UNDP and UNEP on REDD+, focusing on the implementation of the UN-REDD Viet Nam Phase II Programme. The CTA has five main functions as follows:

  • Lead and provide technical supervision and advice, and quality assurance;
  • Strategic policy advice and knowledge management;
  • Programme planning, implementation, M&E and reporting;
  • Capacity building and knowledge transfer;
  • Partnerships and advocacy on REDD+ and Human development work.

S/he will be based in the Programme Management Unit (PMU), work closely with a National Programme Coordinator, International and National Technical Specialist and other Programme staff at PMU, and national counterparts (national implementing partners and co-implementing partners. As part of the PMU team, the CTA will agree with the National Programme Director on her/his specific tasks and contributions.

1. Technical Leadership, Supervision and Advice, and Technical Quality Assurance

  • Lead and provide technical coordination and support to the Technical Team consisting international technical specialists, international and national technical advisors/staff of FAO, UNDP and UNEP, and national technical specialists to ensure quality planning and services; and supervise Hanoi-based international and national technical specialists;
  • Lead and provide necessary technical support to the Technical Team in developing all technical terms of references and tendering packages for project activities; be responsible for final products before submission to the NPD/Government and UNDP for approval;
  • Lead the technical team to provide technical guidance to the Programme contracted technical services providers/ consultants aiming to ensure quality implementation and quality results, meeting the objectives/requirements of the TOR.
  • Lead to design and put in place quality control/peer review mechanisms, including coordination of technical reviews/contributions from FAO, UNDP, and UNEP to ensure highest quality of Programme outputs/products, publications, and policy discussion papers and briefs before review and approval by the NPD and UNDP;
  • Support the implementation of the Internal Agreement between BDP/RBAP and UNDP Viet Nam Country Office. Through the UNDP Country Office, coordinating and working with UNDP Regional Technical Advisor for UN-REDD (Bangkok) to ensure the UNREDD Viet Nam Phase II Programme benefits from regional expertise;
  • Support the alignment and synergies of the UN-REDD Viet Nam Phase II and other related projects/activities in order to materialize benefits and impacts of the UNDP’s Sustainable Development Programme in Viet Nam as part of the UNDP’s programme and the UN’s One Plan 2012-2016 in Viet Nam. Actively contribute to the development and implementation of the UNDP Viet Nam’s Sustainable Development Programme;

2. Strategic Policy Advisory Services and Knowledge Management

  • Support VNFOREST/MARD review and analyze institutional, economic, social, cultural and legal landscape and international best practices for design of appropriate approaches and policy options and strategy for the implementation of the Viet Nam’s National REDD+ Action Programme to the GoV and development partners;
  • Lead analytical work and intellectual work to identify key policy issues/ gaps for alternative or additional policies and programme formulation;
  • Lead to provide high level substantive contributions to the formulation of REDD+ legislative frameworks, strategies, and policies, and to mainstreaming REDD+ into national development policies and plans, suitable with local context;
  • Provide technical and substantial inputs to the UN Country Team’s climate change and REDD+ initiatives and activities, including the overall implementation and coordination of the Focal Area 1 on Inclusive, Equitable and Sustainable Growth and the UN Joint Coordination Group on Climate Change and Environment.
  • Lead to ensure synergies and quality technical contributions from FAO, UNDP, and UNEP to the regional and national high-level forums/ events related to REDD+ and forestry;
  • Lead the process of knowledge capture of national and international know-how in the area of REDD+ and the production of knowledge; Based on policy analysis and research results by the Programme, and experiences and practices elsewhere, take lead in producing policy briefs and policy discussion papers, focusing on policy recommendations, advocacy messages/ statements, and media information. Document lessons, experiences, best practices, and human interest stories from the implementation of the Programme activities; Ensure quality publication of Programme products, including research results/ products, and proceedings of policy dialogues;

3. Programme planning, implementation, M&E, reporting

  • Provide advice and assist the NPD, Deputy National Programme Director, Senior National Programme Coordinator, and Programme Officer/staff of FAO, UNDP and UNEP in charge of the Programme to ensure quality and timely preparation and submission of annual and quarterly Programme work-plans. Identify potential risks and emerging issues that may affect Programme outputs and outcomes, propose mitigation measures, and initiate revision and update of Programme plans and Programme’s Resource and Results Framework (RFF) as required for effective management and implementation;
  • Update and revise indicators, baselines, targets, and means of verification for Programme outcomes, outputs, and activities (in the RRF) as required for effective implementation and M&E. Design necessary tools for regular and ad-hoc Programme progress reviews/ meetings, evaluations, and ensure proper implementation and follow-up of recommendations/actions from such reviews/evaluations;
  • Provide advice and inputs to the preparation of progress Programme reports, including reports to Programme Executive Board (PEB), Programme Executive Group (EG) and UNDP-Multi Partners Trust Fund (MPTF) as required, focusing on capturing results, lessons, and follow up actions; Undertake reviews, obtain inputs from FAO, UNDP and UNEP, and make necessary revision to ensure quality reports before submission.
  • Work closely with the Government counterpart (VNFOREST/MARD), the three UN organizations, and liaise with the UN-REDD Secretariat (based in Switzerland) to make necessary preparation for meetings of PEB and EG. This includes (i) review of Programme reports, plans, presentations; (ii) preparation of agenda and discussion points; (iii) production of the meeting minutes, focusing on conclusions and follow-up actions; (iv) and take lead the implementation of the follow-up action;

4. Capacity building and knowledge transfer

  • Provide advice in assessing capacity building needs and knowledge gaps on REDD+ that exist in the related government partners and stakeholders at national and local levels, who will be participating and contributing to the implementation of REDD+ in Viet Nam, including Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST), and Management Board of Forestry Projects (MBFP), Programme Co-Implementing Partners, Provincial authorities, ethnic groups and communities, and Programme staff (PMU, PPMUs).
  • Lead the development and oversight the implementation of capacity building programme, including development of curricula of trainings, training of trainers at provincial levels and train of trainees at community level, and support in identifying appropriate training partners/organizations;
  • Mainstream lessons and best practices learned elsewhere into capacity building activities for the Programme Management Unit and staff of VNFOREST and MBFP. Provide coaching and on-the-job training on Programme planning and management, research methodology, and writing and publication of Programme results as appropriate. The CTA is expected to transfer and dynamically apply technical knowledge and experiences from his/her academic background and professional experiences to enhance technical knowledge on REDD+ to relevant staff of the Programme, VNFOREST and MBFP.

5. Partnership and Advocacy

  • Develop and maintain strategic partnerships with relevant donors and development partners working on forestry, REDD+, and climate change;
  • Assist the Viet Nam REDD+ Office and National Programme Director in coordinating donors’ support and government initiatives related to REDD+ under the framework of the National REDD+ Action Programme (NRAP)
  • Analysis and search on information and activities relating to climate change and REDD+, identify possible aspects/themes of cooperation, advise on strategically linking the UN’s Programme with REDD+ and climate change initiatives by other development partners, the private sector, and communities, such as the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (the WB), and projects administered by SNV, GIZ, AusAid, USAID, FFI and JICA.
  • Assist the Viet Nam REDD+ Office and National Programme liaise with and enhance partnerships with stakeholders, especially the Forest Sector Support Partnership (FSSP), and through the National REDD+ Network in Viet Nam;
  • Identify opportunities for advocacy, policy dialogues, and technical discussions with the Government, development partners and all relevant stakeholders;
  • Prepare professional articles and advocacy messages/policy statements, and UN/UNDP’s policy positions on REDD+ and Human Development issues for important events and policy dialogues; and proactively engage in relevant policy discussions;

The CTA will be a crucial element of this large and complex Joint Programme of the UN in Viet Nam with a total budget of US$30 million and management arrangement at three levels (global, national, and provincial). He/she needs to ensure quick start-up of activities and delivery of results, as agreed with the donor, within a short timeframe until the end of 2015. He/she would play a critical role in providing technical supervision and guidance to the technical team consisting two long-term international technical specialists (2x at P4 level), six national technical specialists at NOB level, and a number of other short-term international and national technical consultants.

The key results of the post are formulation of new/additional REDD+ policies and programme for Viet Nam and the UN, enhancement the implementation of the national strategies and programme related to REDD+, and identification of opportunities for building partnerships. This high-level position will help the UN in Viet Nam is strategically position as leading agent to provide support to the Government, as well as a key hub for REDD+ excellence within the context of wider global UN/UNDP system.

Overall performance of the CTA will be assessed based on the following specific criteria:

  • Effective leadership, supervision and guidance to technical team;
  • High quality policy discussion papers and policy dialogues related to REDD+;
  • Quality inputs to the development and implementation of national policies, strategies, and programme related to REDD+;
  • Strategic advice to the development of forward-looking programme on REDD+ and climate change for UN and UNDP in Viet Nam;
  • Effective management and implementation of the UN-REDD Viet Nam Phase II Programme, including quality work-plans (annual and quarterly), M&E tools, quality technical assurance/review mechanisms, and quality reports;
  • High quality capacity building needs assessment and development of the capacity building plan, and successful implementation of the plan;
  • Strong partnership with donors, development partners, and other initiatives within Viet Nam;
  • Enhanced South-South cooperation among REDD+ countries in the Region;
  • Quality FEB and EG’s meetings and timely implementation of recommendations and follow-up actions;
  • Quality communications strategy/action plan and successful implementation of the plan;
  • Quality Programme’s lesson learnt, human-interest stories, and publications;
  • Effective coordination and synergies among supports provided by the three UN organizations;


Advocacy/Advancing A Policy-Oriented Agenda

Level 3: Influencing the public policy agenda

  • Builds consensus concerning UNDP’s strategic agenda with partners on joint initiatives
  • Dialogues with national counterparts and other stakeholders to strengthen advocacy efforts, incorporating country, regional and global perspectives

Results-Based Programme Development and Management

Level 3: Achieving results through programme design and innovative resourcing strategies

  • Identifies country needs and strategies using a fact-based approach
  • Makes use of a variety of resources within UNDP to achieve results, such as cross-functional teams, secondments and developmental assignments, and collaborative funding approaches
  • Ensures the full implementation of country programme and Financial Resources to obtain results

Building Strategic Partnerships

Level 3: Building strategic alliances

  • Makes effective use of UNDP’s resources and comparative advantage to strengthen partnerships
  • Creates networks and promotes initiatives with partner organizations

Innovation and Marketing New Approaches

Level 3: Fostering innovation in others

  • Creates an environment that fosters innovation and innovative thinking
  • Conceptualizes more effective approaches to programme development and implementation and to mobilizing and using resources

Resource Mobilization (Field Duty Stations)

Level 3: Developing resource mobilization strategies at country level

  • Contributes to the development of resource mobilization strategies at CO level
  • Actively develops partnerships with potential donors and government counterparts in all sectors at country level
  • Strengthens the capacity of the country office to mobilize resources

Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing

Level 3: Participating in the development of policies and innovative approaches and promoting their application throughout the organization

  • Promotes UNDP as a learning/knowledge sharing organization

Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise

Level 3: Expert knowledge of own discipline

  • Possesses expert knowledge of advanced concepts in primary discipline, a broad knowledge of related disciplines, as well as an in-depth knowledge of relevant organizational policies and procedures
  • For advisors: applies a broad knowledge of best management practices; defines objectives and work flows, positions reporting relationships in such a way as to obtain optimum effectiveness for the unit/branch
  • Keeps abreast of new developments in area of professional discipline and job knowledge and seeks to develop him/herself personally
  • Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments
  • Demonstrates expert knowledge of the current programme guidelines and project management tools and manages the use of these regularly in work assignments

Global Leadership and Advocacy for UNDP’s Goals

Level 3: Influencing global and national initiatives

  • Advocates for increased priority given to human development issues internationally and in national planning frameworks
  • Advocates for increased resources at international and national level

Client Orientation

Level 3: Meeting long-term client needs

  • Anticipates constraints in the delivery of services and identifies solutions or alternatives
  • Proactively identifies, develops and discusses solutions for internal and external clients, and persuades management to undertake new projects or services
  • Advises and develops strategic and operational solutions with clients that add value to UNDP programmes and operations

Core Competencies:

  • Promoting ethics and integrity, creating organizational precedents
  • Building support and political acumen
  • Building staff competence, creating an environment of creativity and innovation
  • Building and promoting effective teams
  • Creating and promoting enabling environment for open communication
  • Creating an emotionally intelligent organization
  • Leveraging conflict in the interests of UNDP & setting standards
  • Sharing knowledge across the organization and building a culture of knowledge sharing and learning
  • Fair and transparent decision making; calculated risk-taking

Required Skills and Experience

  • Postgraduate degree (MSc. or Ph.D.) in economics, social development, natural resource management or related fields;
  • At least ten (10) years of working experience on natural resources sector development, preferably related to forest management;
  • Proven project management skills, including experience with managing or coordinating complex development projects;
  • Solid experience in providing policy advice to the government agencies to enhance national and sectoral policies;
  • Good knowledge of REDD+;
  • Substantial experience in leading teams of national and international experts, and working in a multi-cultural environment;
  • Experience on gender mainstreaming in policies and programmes is an asset;
  • Strong inter-personal skills, especially oral communication skills; and able to take a forward looking strategic views;
  • Relevant experience in Viet Nam or South East Asia countries is an advantage.
  • Good skills in standard software (Word processing, spreadsheets) are expected
  • Experience with the use of databases is an important asset
  • Strong written and spoken skill of English is a must. Knowledge of Vietnamese is an asset.


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Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment. For more information please click here and here.

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

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Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

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