International Technical Specialist

Location : Hanoi, VIET NAM
Application Deadline :22-Sep-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :IPSA (Regular)
Post Level :IPSA-11
Languages Required :
Expected Duration of Assignment :One year with possible extension

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Instructions to Applicants: Click on the "Apply now" button. Input your information in the appropriate Sections: personal information, language proficiency, education, resume and motivation. Upon completion of the first page, please hit "submit application" tab at the end of the page. Please ensure that CV or P11 and the Cover letter are combined in one file.

The following documents shall be required from the applicants:

Personal CV or P11, indicating all past positions held and their main underlying functions, their durations (month/year), the qualifications, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate, and at least three (3) the most recent professional references of previous supervisors. References may also include peers.

A cover letter (maximum length: 1 page) indicating why the candidate considers him-/herself to be suitable for the position.

Managers may ask (ad hoc) for any other materials relevant to pre-assessing the relevance of their experience, such as  reports, presentations, publications, campaigns or other materials


UNDP will cover the cost of travel of the individual to the duty station, as well as their return to their home upon completion of their services. Travel costs are covered only in the event that the function will be undertaken physically in the duty station and excludes working from home arrangements.

Include any official travel expected to be associated with performing the functions inside Viet Nam

Office/Unit/Project Description: 

Viet Nam is particularly vulnerable to climate change and already impacted by more irregular and intense climate variability and change, and is among the top ten countries in the world most affected by natural disasters and extreme weather events. The increasingly exposure of people and economic assets has been and will continue to be the major cause of long-term increases in economic losses from weather- and climate-related disasters. At the same time, globally, Viet Nam ranks 25th  (2018) in terms of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) and without changes to its carbon-intensive growth trajectory, Viet Nam will continue to be a major regional GHG emitter. The rapid increase of GHG emissions is attributable to the large portion of fossil fuel-based energy in the country’s energy mix, increased industrialization, and urbanization.  The primary driver limiting green growth is the country’s high reliance on fossil fuel energy, high energy intensity industries, and high per capita carbon emissions.

To address climate change, the Government of Viet Nam has put in place a series of national policies, strategies, and action plans, included the National Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (2011-2020), National Green Growth Strategy and Action Plan (2011-2020). Furthermore, in 2020, Viet Nam submitted its updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC 2020) to the UNFCCC, in which Viet Nam committed unconditionally to reduce GHG emissions by 9% as compared to the Business-As-Usual (BAU) and  which could be increased to 27%  conditional with international support.  Additionally, Viet Nam approved its National Adaptation Plan (NAP) in 2020. 

Currently,  the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) is updating the National Strategy on Climate Change for 2021-2050, with a vision to 2100 and the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI)  is updating the National  Green Growth Strategy 2021-2030 with vision to 2050. The two strategies will frame the key roadmap and action plans for all key sectors and local economies of the country, including agriculture and its agriculture eco-systems, in moving rapidly toward a low-carbon and resilient development pathway.

UNDP has been providing technical support to developing countries to increase their ambitions and make contribution to addressing the global climate change challenge. In Viet Nam, UNDP has been providing technical support to the Government in the development of the 1st NDC in 2015 and the updated NDC 2020 and in the development of the updated National Climate Change Strategy. To support the Government in the achievement of the NDC targets, UNDP is deploying resources and technical assistance to enhance deforestation free cash crops and green agriculture supply chains, demonstrate scalable solutions for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, develop and implement green business models to enable climate investment and actions, incentivize and de-risk low carbon investments for the private sector, especially for cooperatives and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and increase energy efficiency in sectors and sustainable energy. UNDP is working in close partnership with the Government to promote private sector investments in these sectors.

In this connection, UNDP is implementing the two following projects:  

First, with the support from the EU, UNDP is implementing the “Integrated sustainable landscape management through deforestation-free jurisdiction project in Lam Dong and Dak Nong Viet Nam” project, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Dak Nong and Lam Dong provinces and international organizations including CIAT, EFI, IDH and UNEP. The project aims to improve environmental sustainability and social inclusion and resilience of food production models and supply chains in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam. Specific objectives include:

  1. Enhance ecosystems, including reducing loss and degradation of natural forests, protecting biodiversity, restoring priority ecosystems, reducing GHG emissions
  2. Improve livelihoods, through inclusion of vulnerable groups including ethnic minorities and women in agriculture, forest-farming, and ecotourism value chains
  3. Sustain food production and improve quality, through improved farming practices, better organization of producers, and transparent and shortened supply chains

Second, as part of the NDC global support programme of UNDP, the BMU-EU funded project “Accelerating Private Sector Engagement in Climate Resilient and Low Emission Investment Opportunities in Viet Nam’s NDC” has been in implementation since late 2019. The project aims  to advance the private sector engagement to finance, support and implement technically sound and financially viable risk-informed mitigation and adaptation actions in Viet Nam NDC. Specifically, the change is made via the project through delivering of the four expected outcomes

  1. Productivity and Competitiveness of Agriculture Sectors and its supply chains are advanced with sustainable resilient low emission innovations. The outcome particularly focuses on dragon fruit and shrimp chains in Binh Thuan and Bac Lieu Provinces;
  2. Strengthening Platform for Private Sector Innovation and Investments to support technology transfer and track contributions of NDC targets;
  3. Sustainable finance mechanisms established to scale up NDC mitigation and adaptation actions;
  4. Policies and Incentives created to advance private sector engagement in investment opportunities in national plans.

UNDP is looking for an International Technical Specialist (ITS) to provide strategic, technical  and advisory services to UNDP and the Government counterparts in the areas of climate change mitigation, with a focus on agriculture, forestry, aquaculture value chains, and to provide technical and quality assurance for the effective implementation of the two above-mentioned projects.

More information on the project can be found here Annex I Description of the Action - Google Docs.

Institutional Arrangement

The ITS will work in partnership with the Programme Officers in charge of the two projects, namely the  Integrated Sustainable Landscape Project and the Private Sector for NDC project at  UNDP Viet Nam, National Technical Specialist(s), UNDP regional technical advisors, project technical officers and advisors, government officials, technical experts, development partners and civil society.

The ITS is part of the Climate Change and Environment Unit  of  UNDP Viet Nam. S/he will report to and work under overall supervision of the Assistant Resident Representative/Head of the Climate Change and Environment Unit, in close collaboration with the Programme Officers in charge of the two projects on daily basis.

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work

The ITS has three main functions as below:

  1. Lead in technical provision and quality assurance for the implementation of the two projects, including planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) and reporting;.
  2. Strategic policy advice, advocacy, and knowledge management.
  3. Promotion public private partnership (PPP) and private engagement in green recovery and low carbon, resilient agriculture value chains.

Technical Lead and Quality Assurance for project implementation, M&E and reporting:

  • Lead and provide technical guidance, inputs and support to the project team consisting national technical specialist(s), provincial technical officers, and technical experts/consultants from relevant government agencies (MARD-ICD, MPI-SMEDF, MONRE-DCC, MARD-VNFOREST, MARD-DCP, Dak Nong PPC, Lam Dong PPC) and responsible parties (including provincial DARDs, CIAT, EFI, IDH, UNEP) and stakeholders to ensure quality planning and services;
  • Lead and provide necessary technical support to the technical team in developing terms of references and tendering packages for project activities, monitor progress and perform quality assurance prior to submission to and UNDP and the Government partners (if needed) for approval;
  • Lead and provide guidance to the technical team and the project contracted technical services providers/ consultants aiming to ensure quality implementation and quality results, meeting the objectives/requirements of the TOR;
  • Lead the  design and put in place quality control/peer review mechanisms, including coordination of technical reviews/contributions from relevant responsible parties to ensure highest quality of project outputs/products, publications, and policy discussion papers and briefs before review and approval by UNDP and the government partners (if needed);
  • Update and revise project indicators, baselines, targets, and means of verification for project outcomes, outputs, and activities (in the log frame) as required for effective planning, implementation, M&E, and reporting;
  • Prepare and consolidate information and data on the achievements of the projects according the indicators and targets in the log frame;
  • Support the alignment and synergies of the project and other related projects/activities in order to materialize benefits and impacts of the UNDP’s projects in Viet Nam as part of the UNDP’s CPD and the UN’s Cooperation Framework  in Viet Nam.
  • Prepare reports for UNDP review and clearance for submission to donors/financiers.

Strategic Policy Advisory , Advocacy and Knowledge Management:

  • Lead analytical work to identify key policy issues/ gaps for alternative or additional policies and programme/project formulation including:
    • 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 environmental sustainability and social inclusion and resilience of food production models and supply chains to the Government and development partners;
    • Map out opportunities to improve policies for green sustainable production practices, e.g. green certified products, ecosystem maintenance services, green financing instruments (taxes, fees, tax breaks and subsidies) to promote low carbon commodity and access to global green market.
    • Provide high level substantive contributions to the formulation and establishment of the effective governance systems including (i) integrated land use planning and zoning for green sustainable agriculture commodity development, (ii) transparent agriculture supply chain traceability for green and sustainable products, and (ii) establishment of open-source platforms, management tools and processes at national and local levels;
    • Promote improvement of climate, environmental and social performance of agricultural commodity supply chains as the key principle for building business competitive advantages of access to green markets and higher productivity from good agricultural practices (GAP)
  • Develop and maintain strategic partnerships with relevant donors and development partners working on forestry, natural resources, agriculture, and climate change;
  • Identify opportunities for advocacy, policy dialogues, and technical discussions with the Government, development partners and all relevant stakeholders; prepare policy briefs and papers, advocacy messages
  • Lead in convene and coordinate the public and private sector to promote sustainable production practices and to define the sectoral sustainability priorities and policies for the selected commodity with the private sectors and local communities.
  • Lead to ensure synergies and quality technical contributions from relevant partners to related regional and national high-level forums/ events;
  • Lead the process of knowledge capture of national and international know-how in relevant thematic areas and document project lessons, experiences, best practices, and human interest stories sharing at relevant forums

Promote public private partnership (PPP) and private engagement in green recovery and low carbon, resilient agriculture value chains

  • Support the design and operationalization of  an innovative platform and promote regular NDC Public Private Partnership dialogues and  private sector investment forum to facilitate access to green and sustainable and transparent business information and  cooperation in green technology transfers and awareness raising on green agriculture value chains, innovation for green productions, etc.
  • Work with MONRE and MPI  to define roles and incentives for private sector participation and contribution in greening value chains and provide  support to the ministries in review of barriers and  solutions to support private sector engagement in the implementation of Viet Nam NDC, developing relevant mechanism for private sector engagement
  • Work with (inter)national development banks, commercial banks and public/private financial funds/entities and MPI SMEDF to strengthen their credit lending capacities to private sectors, particularly in agriculture businesses for greening their supply chains as well as enable de-risk investment support, and to provide additional financial resources to sustainable business models
  • Support MARD and provinces in promoting innovative platform for trade promotions of green sustainable agriculture products, application of green standards, carbon footprint calculation or certification of  environmental sustainability, resilient to climate change and basic business management in their certification eco-system including  Global Gap/VietGap,  Organic, ISO, SQF, HACCP, geographical indication (GI), Fairtrade, etc.
  • Work with national/international companies to promote sustainable business models and deforestation-free.



Professionalism: Shows pride in work and achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; Asks questions to clarify and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience; Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be "clients " and seeks to see things from clients' point of view; Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; Identifies clients' needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients' environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.

Required Skills and Experience

Min. Academic Education

  • Masters/Ph.D in economics, social development, natural resources management, agriculture, forestry or related fields

Min. years of relevant Work experience

  • At least seven (7) years of working experience on natural resources sector development, preferably related to forest and agriculture management

Required skills and competencies

  • Solid experience in providing policy advice and advocacy to the government agencies to enhance national and sectoral policies.
  • Solid experience in public private partnership and private sector engagement, including financial entities.
  • Good knowledge of deforestation-free jurisdiction, environmental sustainability and social inclusion and resilience of food production models and supply chains, green agriculture value chains and innovation for green productions.
  • Solid experience in conducting policy analysis and providing policy advice to the government agencies to enhance national and sectoral policies in relevant topics preferably with experience in the Asia region.
  • Good advocacy and communications skills and demonstrated report writing skills.

Desired additional skills and competencies

  • 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.
  • Relevant experience in Viet Nam or South-East Asia countries is an advantage.

Required Language(s) (at working level)

Fluency in written and spoken English.

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