Technical Specialist (Dioxin Hotspot Remediation)

Location : HANOI, VIET NAM
Application Deadline :10-May-10 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-4
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :One Year


Post Category: Development Project Funded (DPF) post

The Technical Specialist (TS) will implement his/her main functions under the supervision of the Head of Sustainable Development  Cluster. The TS will be based in the project Environmental Remediation of Dioxin Contaminated Hotspots in Viet Nam. Specific tasks will be agreed with the National Project Director (NPD) in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) (Office 33).

In line with UNDP staff rules, the TS’ annual performance will be measured by a full Results and Competency Assessment (RCA). The RCA by the Supervisor, with self-assessment of the TS, will be based on inputs from the NPD and will be reviewed by UNDP’s Competency Review Group set up by the UNDP Resident Representative. As such, the TS is fully accountable to UNDP.

The TS builds capacities of MONRE, Ministry of Defense (MOD) as well as local affiliates, together with consultants recruited under the project, especially based on international experience and (national and international) research; plays a central role in supporting /advising project management; is central to maintaining and developing international and national partnerships; actively supports formulation of assessment, design, and implementation of remediation pilots at field scale and other activities under the project; and is central to monitoring and evaluation. The TS is a key advisor to the project partner (MONRE, MOD and local authorities) as well as the UNDP on technical and policy aspects of dioxin remediation.

In exercising his/her role, the incumbent supports the detailed planning, management and monitoring of the project actively but the national Implementing Partner retains the final accountability for that. He/she works in close collaboration with national counterparts as well as with the programme and policy staff in the UNDP Country Office and relevant UNDP-HQs units for ensuring knowledge sharing and the highest possible quality of project outputs. He/she also contributes to capacity building for the UNDP Country Office staff in the area of dioxin/Agent Orange.  He/she ensures the alignment of the project outputs with intended outcomes, benefits and impacts of UNDP’s sustainable development programme and in to that end will liaise closely with Programme Associates, other TSs in the UNDP, UNDP Policy Advisors, as well as technical staff in other UN organisations / projects.

Duties and Responsibilities

Key Functions

  1. Provide advice on strengthening capacities for dioxin remediation and elimination of health and environmental risks, and provide inputs for capacity building of MONRE, MOD, and personnel of local (provincial) departments on a range of project management and dioxin-remediation aspects. Share remediation and project management experience / good practices that have been acquired elsewhere with relevant stakeholders.
  2. Actively support project management, notably project planning; advice on formulation of relevant assessments, tender documents and Terms of Reference (TOR) of remediation, related capacity building and awareness raising efforts, and implementation procedures under the project; monitor the substance and quality of project activities and actively ensure high quality outputs; and support evaluation of the project.
  3. Provide advice and active support to MONRE, MOD and UNDP on coordination of dioxin remediation efforts; liaise with international and national partners to avoid overlaps and ensure efficiency, and that lessons are shared
  4. Actively support national partners and the UNDP with the formulation of policy positions, responses to media interest, and formulation and dissemination of public messages on dioxin contamination and remediation to the highest possible scientific standards and by fully taking into account political, social and economic sensitivities.
1. Advice on and inputs into capacity building:
  • Capacity assessment and training: Provide advice in assessing capacity and knowledge gaps that exist in MONRE and MOD, especially with regards to implementation of remediation and land development plans as well as public education; suggest measures for addressing such gaps; mainstream lessons and best practices learned elsewhere into capacity building activities under the project; and give guidance in organizing such capacity building activities. Review TORs for study tours/fellowships and plans / curricula of trainings and workshops as well as formulation of public communication materials; assist in identifying appropriate training partners/organisations; lead, deliver and provide on-the-job training on dioxin-remediation relevant aspects including project management and activity implementation.
  • Knowledge sharing: Advise the national partners and UNDP in strategically linking project activities with support on POPs remediation by other donors in Viet Nam and internationally. Participate in UNDP and UNEP global knowledge networks and other international networks, accumulate and share relevant international experience and knowledge on project management and dioxin remediation with national partners and networks.
2. Advice on and inputs into project management and project quality assurance:
  • Project management, monitoring and evaluation: Provide advice to the MONRE and MOD, the NPD and PMU (Project Management Unit) on preparation of high quality quarterly and annual project work plans and budgets, and provide comments on the substantive aspects before approval of work plans by the NPD and UNDP. Provide guidance in developing a project M&E framework, including indicators and baseline as well as inputs in preparing (quarterly and annual progress) project reports focusing on results, learning lessons and documenting best practices in order to improve project performance. Provide comments on the substantive aspects of those reports before approval by the NPD and UNDP. Prepare an end-of-assignment report which focuses on key lessons learned and best practices drawn from project management and capacity building processes as well as major substantive issues that have emerged and that would require further assistance from UNDP in the future.
  • Activity implementation and reporting:  Support formulation of relevant assessments, tender documents and TORs of remediation demonstrations, related capacity building, and awareness raising efforts, including formulation of activity implementation and quality assurance procedures; actively monitor their implementation; assure quality of outputs by project partners and consultants through critical analysis, discussion, and also editing of reports and written outputs.
3. Advice on and inputs into coordination
  • Provide advice and active support to MONRE, MOD and UNDP on coordination of dioxin remediation efforts, as per the overall national plan to deal with dioxin contamination; actively liaise with international and national partners to ensure the formulation and implementation of assessment of contamination, detailed remediation design, and implementation of remediation efforts without overlap and with the highest possible efficiency. Ensure that information and lessons from different partners are continuously shared. To this end liaise closely with UNDP Programme Associates, other UNDP TSs, UNDP Policy Advisors, and technical staff in other UN organizations/projects.
4. Advice on formulation and dissemination of public messages
  • Policy and technical advice to national partners: Provide substantive inputs to MONRE and MOD whenever requested in order to prepare policy or technical statements for important events (e.g. conferences, workshops). Provide substantive technical inputs into the formulation and dissemination of public education messages on dioxin contamination and remediation to the highest possible scientific standards and by fully taking into account political, social and economic sensitivities. Provide inputs into dioxin-relevant strategy documents and plans; TORs for technical activities; technical reports; and public events involving external inputs.
  • Advise UNDP: Support UNDP to provide policy advice to the Government; help prepare statements for important events (e.g. donor forums) and in responding to media enquiries, and help formulate UNDP’s position on particular dioxin remediation issues. Serve as an advocate for UNDP’s policy on sustainable human development with a focus on elimination environmental health risks from dioxin. To this end liaise closely with UNDP Programme Associates, other UN TSs, and UNDP Policy Advisors.
Impact of Results:

Overall performance/impact of the TS will be assessed based on the following criteria:
  • Provided high quality advice on capacity building needs and plans
  • Provided effective training, with excellent facilitation skills and appropriate delivery skills and styles
  • High quality inputs into project progress reports and work plans, and review-comments of high quality and relevance 
  • Project management advice (planning, monitoring, evaluation) of high quality and relevance
  • Appropriate international and national consultants recruited based on appropriate and high quality activity designs, TORs and tender documents; implemented with high quality; and with appropriate results
  • Appropriate partnerships established and reinforced, and effectively coordinated
  • Provided effective communication, with appropriate styles in different situations
  • Policy and technical advice of high quality and relevance
  • Effective and active (knowledge, coordination relevant) networking


  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in working on capacity building;
  • Strong knowledge / experience in results based management and results oriented approach to project implementation;
  • Strong inter-personal skills, communication, networking and team-building skills; competent in leading teams and creating team spirit, management of inter-group dynamics and conflicting interests of various actors, stimulating team members to produce quality outputs in a timely and transparent fashion;
  • Excellent oral communication skills and excellent written communication skills, with analytical capacity and ability to synthesize project outputs and relevant findings for the preparation of quality papers and reports;
  • Maturity and confidence in dealing with senior members of national and international institutions, government and non-government; ability to deal with politically sensitive issues;
  • Results driven, ability to work under pressure and to meet strict deadlines; remains calm and in control under pressure;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Shares knowledge and experience actively, mentors project staff;
  • Focuses on result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
  • Demonstrates commitment to UNDP’s mission, vision and values;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
Whether the TS will be successful depends partly on external factors, such as the progress with overall implementation of the project by the national partners including recruitment of project personnel and procurement of equipment as per the project document. It is also important that the project and its potential results continue to be fully supported by the national leadership on dealing with the aftermath of the war. Success factors that depend directly on the TS include whether the incumbent manages to fully use his/her skills and competencies as per the above, including appropriate self management and effective daily work planning as well as the effective use of practical tools including IT.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Postgraduate degree (MSc. or Ph.D.) in environmental sciences, project management or communication / public education.
Experience and skills:
  • At least seven years working experience in development, especially in project management with a focus environmental subjects, donor coordination and / or public communication;
  • Excellent project management skills are essential;
  • Knowledge of donor policies and funding modalities is essential;
  • Experience with gender mainstreaming in programmes and projects is an asset;
  • Knowledge of UNDP programming practices is an asset;
  • Previous work experience in Viet Nam, especially within the Government system, is an important asset;
  • Excellent skills in standard software (Word processing, spreadsheets) are expected;
  • Experience with GIS / relational databases is an important asset;
Language Requirements:
  • Proficiency in both spoken and written English is a must, including excellent writing skills;
  • Basic knowledge of Vietnamese is an asset;

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