Human Development Report Specialist

Location : Hanoi, VIET NAM
Application Deadline :28-Nov-09 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :TA International
Post Level :P-4
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :10 MONTHS

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.


The Country Economist Unit (CEU) was established in 2004 as a focal point for UNDP socioeconomic policy research, advice and advocacy and other related programmatic activities. Policy research produced by the CEU informs the identification of opportunities for projects and programmes in the CEU and other clusters in the UNDP Country Office, as well as the formulation of UNDP policy positions and documents. CEU programmatic activities include policy dialogue and capacity development projects with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Viet Nam Academy of Social Sciences and other key government agencies.  In addition, the CEU provides policy support to the UN Country Team (UNCT), having in the past actively participated in the preparation of a number of strategic documents, such as the Country Common Assessment or the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).

The CEU is currently staffed by a team of seven international and national staff. The CEU is the focal point for the coordination of activities aimed at promoting the human development paradigm in Viet Nam. At present, it does this in close collaboration with the Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) through a number programmatic interventions aimed at building capacity within national policy and research institutions to undertake evidence-based policy research in this area. Under this collaborative framework, the CEU has been assigned the responsibility of coordinating the preparation of the next Viet Nam National Human Development Report (NHDR), which is expected to be completed and published in 2010.

The 2010 Viet Nam NHDR will focus on the role that social service delivery in health, education and other social sectors, plays in promoting human development in Viet Nam. In particular, it will examine the new challenges that Viet Nam faces in this area as it enters the second decade of the 2000s. The overall aim of this exercise is to inform national policy debates on ways of ensuring that social service delivery systems in Viet Nam continue supporting broad-based and inclusive socioeconomic development in coming decades.

To help with the preparation of the 2010 NHDR, the CEU is seeking to recruit a Human Development Report (HDR) Specialist to coordinate UNDP’s activities leading to the publication of this report in 2010. The HDR Specialist will be responsible for overseeing the successful completion of the 2010 NHDR, according to the work plan approved by UNDP for the preparation of this report. In doing so, the person recruited for this position will ensure that the 2010 NHDR meets the quality standards set by UNDP for its Human Development Report series, and that the report is completed in a timely manner. To this effect, the HDR Specialist will coordinate all inputs required to see the successful completion of the 2010 NHDR, including the procurement of relevant data and background papers. He/she will also be responsible for producing a draft of the 2010 National Human Development Report, and for undertaking any subsequent revisions required for the completion of this report, according to the standards defined by the UNDP’s Human Development Report Office. Finally, in addition to these tasks, the HDR Specialist will be responsible for managing relations with all relevant stakeholders, both national and international, and for organising stakeholder meetings and other dissemination activities.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions:

  • Manage the preparation of the 2010 Viet Nam National Human Development Report.
  • Coordinate all inputs necessary for the completion of the NHDR in 2010.
  • Lead the process of drafting the 2010 Viet Nam NHDR.
  • Organise activities and events that help disseminate and discuss with the wider policy community and the Vietnamese public the work undertaken in preparation of the 2010 NHDR, as well as its results.
  1. The HDR Specialist will be responsible for managing the preparation and completion of the 2010 NHDR, including:
  • Completing a concept note and outline for the 2010 NHDR. This is to be done on the basis of existing work on the topic chosen for the 2010 NHDR, and in close consultation with relevant stakeholders.
  • Preparing a detailed work plan for the full implementation period of the 2010 NHDR, indentifying all financial and technical requirements necessary for the successful completion of the report by the deadline agreed with UNDP’s senior management.
  • Presenting regular updates to the CEU Economic Programme Coordinator and UNDP’s senior management team on progress made with the 2010 NHDR.

     2.    The HDR Specialist will coordinate the preparation of all inputs necessary for the successful completion of the NHDR in 2010, including all data analysis inputs, HDR training and background papers commissioned to national and/or international researchers. In particular, the HDR Specialist will be responsible for:

  • Managing the procurement of these inputs following UNDP Contract, Asset and Procurement management policies and procedures.
  • Overseeing the timely completion and delivery of these inputs.
  • Providing first-hand quality assurance, to ensure that these inputs meet the standards and requirements defined in UNDPs’ HDR guidelines.

     3.    On the basis of data inputs, background papers and other relevant material obtained during earlier stages of the NHDR preparation process, the incumbent will lead the drafting of the 2010 National Human Development Report. This will include the following tasks:

  • Contributing with written pieces, such as short summaries, literature reviews, case studies, boxes or chapters, to the 2010 NHDR report.
  • Collating, edit and consolidate all necessary drafting inputs into a first full draft of the 2010 NHDR.
  • Revising initial drafts of the NHDR to incorporate all relevant comments, and produce a final draft of the 2010 NHDR report.

     4.    The HDR Specialist will also organise activities and events that help disseminate and discuss with the wider policy community and the Vietnamese public the work undertaken in preparation of the 2010 NHDR, as well as its main findings. This will include the following:

  • In coordination with the UNDP communication team, formulating a communication strategy that contributes to the consultation of relevant stakeholders and the dissemination of the 2010 NHDR preparation process and its results.
  • With the assistance of the CEU and the UNDP communications team, assisting in the organisation of relevant consultation and dissemination events within the UNDP, and the UN system in Viet Nam, during the preparation of the 2010 NHDR and after its completion.

Impact of Results:

The main objective of the work undertaken by the Human Development Report Specialist recruited for this position is to produce the 2010 Viet Nam National Human Development Report and to inform current policy debates in Viet Nam on the role that social service delivery plays in promoting human development in contexts of socioeconomic transformation, such as the one that Viet Nam is currently undergoing.

In addition, the person recruited for this post is expected to contribute to the promotion of the human development paradigm and human development analysis in Viet Nam.


Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards.
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP.
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Treats all people fairly without favouritism.

Functional Competencies:

Knowledge Management and Learning

  • Shares knowledge and experience and contributes to UNDP Practice Areas, actively working towards continuing personal learning and development.
  • Practical knowledge of inter-disciplinary development issues, especially those relating to the human development paradigm.

Development and Operational Effectiveness

  • Ability to lead policy research project planning, results-based management, implementation and reporting.
  • Ability to lead the formulation and evaluation of research projects.

Management and Leadership

  • Focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to critical feedback.
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude.
  • Demonstrates strong communication skills.
  • Builds and maintains strong relationships with clients and other external actors.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced university degree in social sciences (Masters level or higher); a research degree (MPhil or PhD) would be preferable.


  • At least 7 years of work experience in the field of international development, with a focus on social policy and development.
  • Practical experience in managing development projects of a similar nature, such as policy research studies or consultancy reports.
  • A strong understanding of the human development paradigm and familiarity with its practical application, preferably in areas relevant to the Viet Nam 2010 NHDR.
  • Demonstrated skills in formulation, planning and budgeting of research and /or consultancy projects.
  • Work experience in Viet Nam and familiarity with the Vietnamese political, government and research systems would be an asset.
  • Familiarity with UNDP policies and procedures would be an advantage.
  • Strong proven qualitative and quantitative analytical skills.
  • Advanced computer skills in quantitative and qualitative analysis would be an asset.

Language Requirements:

  • Ability to communicate effectively in English.
  • Good writing and presentation skills are essential.
  • Knowledge of Vietnamese would be an asset.

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