Technical Specialist (Parliamentary Development)

Location : HANOI, VIET NAM
Application Deadline :15-Aug-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

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.


[Post Category: Development Project Funded (DPF)]

UNDP and bilateral donors have been supporting Vietnam’s governance reforms since the mid-1990. For UNDP this has included working with the Office of the National Assembly (ONA), the National Assembly (NA) and Provincial People’s Councils (PPCs/local assemblies) to strengthen their technical and organizational functions for a more effective delivery of their mandates.   In early 2000, the scope of UNDP’s Parliamentary Development Portfolio was enlarged through a project called “Strengthening the Capacity of People’s Elected Bodies in Vietnam, Phase II” which began in 2003 and run through end of 2007.  The project’s main objectives consisted of enhancing parliamentary outreach, strengthening parliamentary debate on issues of national importance such as Gender Equality, the Millennium Development Goals and Anti-Corruption, and of improving the Representative function of Deputies (including those of the Peoples Council Representatives).
In January 2008, UNDP began the third phase of support through the project “Strengthening the Capacities of Representative Bodies in Vietnam”.  This is a five-year, larger, multifaceted project executed by the Office of the National Assembly under the following main inter-related components: 
Component A: Policy Development and Aid Coordination
Component B: Capacity Development for the National Assembly
Component C: Capacity Development for Provincial People’s Councils
Component D: Learning and Training for Deputies and Staff.
Under component A, the project has facilitated dialogues amongst the NA and the international community on key deliberations and activities of the NA as well as on policy and parliamentary development issues. Also, a donor co-ordination mechanism has been established. Under components B and C, work has focused in the areas of constituency relations (especially at PPCs); introduction of systematic public consultations and particularly public hearings (at both NA and PC levels). With regard to component D, the project has assisted the National Assembly Training Centre for Elected Representatives in developing a training curriculum for deputies covering substantive areas of parliamentary work and developing a network of associated trainers among other related interventions.
UNDP is also engaged, through separate support projects, with the Committee on Finance and Budget and the Committee on Economy of the NA. In addition, it is exploring support to the assembly’s Institute for Legislative Studies –ILS- (research and information facility) which was established in 2008. Other UN agencies have sectoral interventions with relevant committees.
In this context, the Technical Specialist is expected to provide policy, technical and managerial advice to the ONA (and the ILS should support be confirmed) in pursuance of project objectives. In addition, the Technical Specialist will facilitate the coordination between UN/DP-funded projects with the NA through the establishment of a UNDP internal coordination mechanism. The Technical Specialist will work under the guidance and supervision of UNDP’s Deputy Country Director (Programme) / Head of the UNDP Governance Cluster and the National Project Director (NPD) and/or the Deputy; S/he will also work in close cooperation with the Project Manager and UNDP’s Programme Officer.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions:
  • Provide and coordinate substantive technical advice on institutional capacity strengthening of the elected bodies in Vietnam at both national and local levels through the various stages of the project management and implementation (planning, quality assurance, monitoring and evaluation).
  • Advocate sustainable parliamentary development strategies, share parliamentary development experiences/good practices that have been acquired elsewhere and make use of similar experiences and practices in Vietnam and share them with relevant stakeholders elsewhere. 
  • Provide advice to the UN’s Programme Coordination Group on Democratic Governance – PCG Governance- and UNDP on a consistent approach to parliamentary development in Vietnam as well as to the NA on aid coordination mechanisms.
Function/expected result:
1. Provide and coordinate substantive technical advice on institutional capacity strengthening of the elected bodies in Vietnam at both national and local levels through the various stages of the project management and implementation (planning, quality assurance, monitoring and evaluation) focusing on achievement of the following results:
  • Effective adoption and implementation of a capacity development strategy that responds to the Vietnamese socio-cultural and institutional context;
  • Compilation, analysis and interpretation of data, thorough research on capacity development in parliaments and production of relevant analysis reports and other written materials that contribute to the adoption or revision of suitable capacity development strategies;
  • Management of project technical advisers and consultants in a manner that ensures achievement of project capacity development goals and priorities;
  • Effective annual and quarterly work planning and reporting, and application of a suitable monitoring and evaluation framework;
  • High quality of project technical works;
  • Assessment of National Assembly’s progress in achieving institutional development objectives and production of relevant reports to counterparts and donors as well as facilitation of discussions on project evolution;
  • 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 merged and that would require further assistance from UNDP in the future.

2. Advocate sustainable parliamentary development strategies, share parliamentary development experiences/good practices that have been acquired elsewhere and make use of similar experiences and practices in Vietnam and share them with relevant stakeholders elsewhere focusing on achievement of the following results: 

  • Policy advise for the National Assembly and UNDP in the areas of substantive activity that are being addressed by the project;
  • Top quality analysis and substantive inputs to project documents, reports, concept notes and other strategic documents, considering national and global trends on policies and development issues related to democratization in transition countries, as well as international best practices of democratic governance assistance and parliamentary support;
  • Facilitation of policy dialogue on parliamentary issues with the National Assembly, Government, donors, civil society; contributions to development of policies as relevant;
  • Provision of policy options, particularly in the role of the parliament in poverty reduction, fight against corruption, achievement of the MDGs among other relevant thematic areas;
  • Sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice through identification of best practices and lessons learned.

3. Provide advice to the UN’s Programme Coordination Group on Democratic Governance – PCG Governance- and UNDP on a harmonised approach to Parliamentary Development in Vietnam as well as to the NA on aid coordination mechanisms focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Consistent UN/DP approach to capacity development of elected bodies ensuring synergies and coherence among projects;
  • Maintenance of NA donor coordination forum.

Impact of Results:

The results should contribute to the long-term objective for a system of governance based on the key principles of accountability, transparency, participation and equity, and consistent with the rule of law and democracy; as well as the medium-term objective for enhanced capacities of the National Assembly and Provincial People’s Councils to perform representative, legislative and oversight functions entrusted to them. Results should also increase UNDP’s visibility in the various discussions about democratic governance reform in Vietnam.

Overall performance/impact of the Technical Specialist  will be assessed based on the following criteria:
  • Provided high quality advice on capacity building needs and plans
  • 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 and research-partnerships established by the project, and effectively coordinated and used in project implementation
  • Appropriate and high quality inputs to policy/programme development and implementation, and advocacy works at appropriate events/forums.
  • 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

Reporting Lines, Performance Review, and Working Arrangement

Reporting lines:

The Technical Specialist will report to the UNDP Deputy Country Director (Programme) and Head of the UNDP Governance Cluster and will implement his/her main functions and undertake specific duties at project(s) level in close collaboration and under the guidance of the National Project Director through the National Project Manager.  The Technical Specialist will work in collaboration and coordination with other project(s) technical and managerial staff and relevant stakeholders.
Performance review:

In line with UN/UNDP’s staff rules, the Technical Specialist’s annual performance will be measured by a full Results and Competency Assessment (RCA). The RCA exercise, with self-assessment of the incumbent based on the JD, will be assessed by the UNDP Deputy Country Director (Programme) using the inputs made by the NPD and reviewed by UNDP’s Competency Review Group set up by the UNDP Resident Representative. As such, the Technical Specialist is accountable to UNDP as the funding agency for the project.
Working Arrangement:

The allocation of time devoted to the ONA and tentatively ILS projects as well as to the coordination between UNDP-funded projects with the NA will be agreed in consultation with UNDP and projects’ leadership. The Technical Specialist will be based in Hanoi with regular travel to the provinces.


Corporate Competencies:

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

Communications and Networking

  • Has excellent oral communication skills and conflict resolution competency to manage inter-group dynamics and mediate conflicting interests of varied actors.
  • Has excellent written communication skills with analytic capacity and ability to synthesize project outputs and relevant findings for the preparation of quality project reports.
  • Has demonstrated knowledge and experience in working on improving effectiveness of parliamentary work and existing networks of experts and policy makers.
  • Maturity and confidence in dealing with senior and high ranking members of national and international institutions, government and non-government

Knowledge Management and Learning

  • Ability to provide top quality policy advice services on parliamentary issues;
  • In-depth practical knowledge of inter-disciplinary governance and development issues;
  • Promotes knowledge management/sharing in UNDP and a learning environment in the office through leadership and personal example;
  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills

Leadership and Self-Management

  • Focuses on results for the client and responds positively to feedback
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude
  • Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure
  • Competent in leading team and creating team spirit, stimulating team members to produce quality outputs in a timely and transparent fashion
Development and Operational Effectiveness
  • Ability to conduct strategic planning, results-based management and reporting;
  • Ability to go beyond established procedures and models, propose new approaches which expand the range of programmes;
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision;
  • Ability to lead formulation, implementation and evaluation of parliamentary development programmes and projects;

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree in law, political science, public administration, or related field;


  • Minimum 7 years of experience in programme and project development specialized in governance and legislative development;
  • Sound technical knowledge in the field of parliamentary development including in legislation, representation and political/budgetary oversight, as well as a general knowledge of cross-cutting democratic governance issues;
  • Monitoring and evaluation certificate in project management (especially in technical assistance projects) is an asset.
  • Strong knowledge of and experience with externally-supported project planning and management skills. 
  • Knowledge and experience from working with countries in transition. Previous work experience in Viet Nam is an asset.
  • Excellent knowledge of donor policies and funding modalities. Knowledge of UNDP programming practices is an asset.
  • Proven familiarity with gender analysis and concepts.
  • Strong inter-personal skills; results driven, ability to work under pressure and to meet strict deadlines. Ability to deal with politically sensitive and complex issues; Strong communication, networking and team-building skills.

Language Requirements:

  • Excellent spoken, report writing and presentation skills in the English language. Knowledge of Vietnamese is an asset.

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