Project Assistant (CATSPA/BIOFIN)


Location : Bangkok, THAILAND
Application Deadline :06-Jul-14 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Service Contract
Post Level :SB-3
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
01-Sep-2014
Duration of Initial Contract :1 year (Renewable subject to good performance and availability of funds)

Background

Project Background: Catalyzing Sustainability of Thailand’s Protected Area System (CATSPA was developed by the Department of National Parks, Plants and Wildlife Conservation (DNP)
 
In line with the UN Partnership Assistance Framework with the Royal Thai Government (2012-2016), the project document of ‘Catalyzing Sustainability of Thailand’s Protected Area System (CATSPA” was developed by the Department of National Parks, Plants and Wildlife Conservation (DNP), under the Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment (MONRE) in close collaboration with UNDP, for the funding support from the Global Environment Facilities (GEF). 
 
The four-year, 3.36 M project aims to overcome barriers to sustainability of Thailand’s protected area (PA) system, by looking into effective management and sustainable financing of protected areas. 
 
The project will also build the confidence and capacities of the PA management authorities and provide them with resources to test innovative PA management and financing schemes. In addition, it will support development of appropriate incentives, establishment of an effective monitoring system, and community participation in conservation efforts. 
 
Systemic barriers will be addressed at the national level, while demonstrations of strengthened PA management on the ground through sustainable financing will be done at demonstration sites. These demonstrations will include, for example, developing novel models of PA management, increased participation by local communities and other stakeholders, and mobilization of diversified revenue sources, supported by improved knowledge-based planning and accounting systems.
 
Financial management capacity weaknesses and systemic barriers to effective management and budgeting will be addressed at the national level, while demonstrations of strengthened PA management, design of new financing mechanisms, and the increased use of improved models of PA management and co-management will be pursued at the four pilot cases: (1) Doi Inthanon National Park, (2) Kao Chamao National Park, (3)Tarutao Marine National Park, and (4) Klong Lan National Park + Huay Kha Kaeng Wildlife Sanctuary as part of the Western Forest Complex.
 
The project administration and coordination between central and field divisions / offices within DNP and relevant organizations will be carried out by a PMU under the overall guidance of the Project Board. The PMU will be composed of an overall Project Director, from within DNP, who will be the focal point to provide overall guidance to the Project Management Unit members who are hired on the project budget.
 
The PMU members include (1) a project manager, (2) a project assistant/ financial Officer; (3) project field coordinators and facilitators; (4) a project technical team.
 
Project Background (The Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN)
 
Available evidence and the decisions adopted by Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) indicate that a significant gap remains in finance for biodiversity management, for countries to drastically scale up their efforts and achieve the 20 Aichi Targets defined in the CBD’s Strategic Plan for 2011-2020. A preliminary assessment recently conducted under the auspices of the High-level Panel on Global Assessment of Resources for Implementing the CBD Strategic Plan estimated that the global investment required ranges between 130 and 440 billion US$ annually. While useful, this and similar other global estimates are based on extrapolations sensitive to the underlying assumptions. To define biodiversity finance needs and gaps with greater precision and determine related challenges and opportunities for resource mobilisation, detailed national-level (bottom-up) assessments are therefore required.
 
In this context, UNDP in October 2012 launched the Biodiversity Finance Initiative – BIOFIN, as a new global partnership seeking to address the biodiversity finance challenge in a comprehensive manner – building a sound business case for increased investment in the management of ecosystems and biodiversity, with a particular focus on the needs and transformational opportunities at the national level.
 
BIOFIN is managed by the UNDP Ecosystems and Biodiversity Programme, in partnership with the European Union and the Governments of Germany and Switzerland, who support the initiative with a total of USD 15 million (as of January 2014 – further support is being sought). The Global Environment Facility is a further partner financing parallel in-country projects in support of the revision of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs).
 
Guided by a steering committee representing the partners, BIOFIN works along two main axes:
 
1.      Globally-led development of a new methodological framework
 
An entirely new methodological framework is being developed for undertaking national-level “bottom-up” analyses of the finance-relevant enabling context; for determining the current / baseline investment in biodiversity; for quantifying the full cost of meeting national biodiversity conservation targets and the resulting finance gap; and for assessing the suitability of financial mechanisms and developing national resource mobilisation strategies. The methodologies applied in the project will be refined through regional and global learning, and made available more widely.
 
2.      Adaptation and implementation of this new methodological framework at national level
 
To help countries increase the importance attributed to biodiversity and in consequence bridge the financing gap, the work at national level will be led by Ministries of Finance, Planning or Economics and the Ministry of Environment, and is articulated through the following components:
  1. Analyse the integration of biodiversity and ecosystem services in sectoral and development policy, planning and budgeting
Participating countries will analyse the current policy and institutional frameworks affecting biodiversity and ecosystem services both positively and negatively, and quantify related investments through comprehensive reviews of past and current (baseline) public and private expenditures. Analyses of impact, effectiveness and coherence will provide key opportunities for mainstreaming, aimed at reducing the cost of biodiversity management, such as through the removal of perverse incentives.
  1. Assess future financing flows, needs and gaps for managing and conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services
Participating countries will project anticipated future investment in biodiversity, and determine the financing needed to meet agreed national priorities reflecting the CBD Aichi Targets, building on and interacting with the NBSAP process, and taking into account cost-effectiveness and the effects of an improved enabling environment. The difference between the projected future investment and the required investment will enable the quantification of the finance gap.
  1. Develop comprehensive national Resource Mobilisation Strategies to meet the biodiversity finance gap
Following an assessment of the full range of potential financing mechanisms (traditional and innovative, national and international), each participating country will develop a strategy to address the finance gap, combining suitable and nationally-adapted mechanisms. The strategy will analyse opportunities, risks and barriers related to the implementation of these mechanisms and provide solutions and recommendations, including on the enabling environment and safeguards.
  1. Initiate implementation of the Resource Mobilisation Strategy at national level
Countries will begin implementing recommendations pertaining to a priority subset of the identified financing mechanisms – regarding aspects such as institutional requirements, laws and regulations, taxes and fees, identification of legal thresholds, removal of perverse incentives, further feasibility studies and implementation plans, certification processes, public-private-partnerships, voluntary agreements, etc.

As of January 2014, the countries participating in BIOFIN are Botswana, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Peru, Philippines, Seychelles, South Africa and Uganda; seven additional countries are in the process of being selected, and further countries can be supported as additional resources are leveraged.


Duties and Responsibilities

The Project Assistant willsupport the project management unittoprovide logistic support and administrative functions to ensure smooth implementation of the CATSPA and BIOFIN projects. He/she will be responsible especially for payments, financial reporting on a quarterly and annual basis, and in case of needs, according to the government and UNDP requirements, for both CATSPA and BIOFIN projects.
 
1) Support for Planning Process through the following tasks and duties:
  • Collection, analysis and presentation of information for joint planning meeting, quarterly work plans, and budget work plans to support project implementation;
  • Prepare information for Project Manager for his/her advice to donor, implementing partners and UNDP;
  • Creating project in Atlas, prepare budget revisions, revision of project status, determination of unutilized funds;
  • Prepare and regularly update the Annual Workplan and the project budget; and
  • Undertake project operational and financial closure formalities including submission of terminal reports, transfer and disposal of equipment, processing of semi-final and final revision and support project manager in preparing the terminal assessment reports.
2) Supports to Implementing and Managing Projects through the following tasks and duties:
  • Providing administrative, operational and logistical supports for the achievement of the outcomes of both CATSPA and BIOFIN projects in a timely manner;
  • Support DIM and NIM project implementation activities according to UNDP workflows (including IC process, organization of forums, workshops, travel, etc);
  • Taking all necessary steps for the contractual procedures for the procurement of the goods and services as well as Individual Contracts are taken place in line with UNDP’s rules and regulations;
  • Proving input on the terms of references for the services and goods that will be required for the smooth implementation of the project when required;
  • Controlling the expenditures of the projects and ensure adequate management of the financial resources provided;
  • Creation of requisitions in ATLAS for development projects, register of goods receipts in ATLAS;
  • Issuing the project-related payments and ensuring that all payments are proceeded in a timely manner in line with the UNDP’s financial rules and regulations;
  • Preparing financial reports to be submitted to project management and donor when required;
  • Participating workshops, meeting, missions in the projects’ field when needed;
  • Preparing correspondences relating to the implementation of the projects;
  • Making logistical arrangements for the missions of the project team, consultants and any other relevant actors to the projects’ field; and
  • Making project-related translations when needed.
3) Support to Monitoring and Evaluation of the projects through the following tasks and duties:
  • Prepare information for Project Manager in finalizing project progress reports (quarterly and annual/financial and substantive) and final project reports; and
  • Support to the organisation of project mid-term reviews and final evaluation meetings.
4) Reporting and Audit:
  • Establish and maintain a systematic filing system of key documents (in hard copy and soft copy) in line with audit requirements;
  • Assist Project Manager in closing projects operationally and financially in accordance of rules and regulations of UNDP and in close coordination with Implementing agencies;
  • Liaise with UNDP on the conduct of project audit and ensure access by auditors to project documentation, personnel and institutions involved in the project; and presentation of information for project audit.


Competencies

Functional Competencies:  
 
Level 1.1: Support the preparation of information for advocacy
  • Identifies relevant information for advocacy for a variety of audiences
Results-Based Programme Development and Management
 
Level 1.1: Contributing to results through provision of information
  • Provides information and documentation on specific stages of projects/programme implementation
Building Strategic Partnerships
 
Level 1.1: Maintaining information and databases
  • Analyzes general information and selects materials in support of partnership building initiatives
Innovation and Marketing New Approaches
 
Level 1.1: Implementing processes and uses products
  • Documents and tracks innovative strategies/best practices/new approaches
Resource Mobilization (Field Duty Stations)
 
Level 1.1: Providing information for resource mobilization strategies
  • Maintains information/databases on potential and actual donors
  • Maintains database of project files
  • Provides data and information needed for preparation of project documents 
Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing
 
Level 1.1: Basic research and analysis
  • Researches best practices and poses new, more effective ways of doing things
Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise
 
Level 1.1: Fundamental knowledge of processes, methods and procedures
  • Understands the main processes and methods of work regarding to the position
  • Possesses basic knowledge of organizational policies and procedures relating to the position and applies them consistently in work tasks
  • Demonstrates good knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments
Global Leadership and Advocacy for UNDP’s Goals
 
Level 1.1: Research and analysis
  • Identifies relevant information for advocacy for UNDP’s goals for a variety of audiences
Client Orientation
 
Level 1.1: Maintains effective client relationships
  • Reports to internal and external clients in a timely and appropriate fashion
  • Organizes and prioritizes work schedule to meet client needs and deadlines
  • Establishes, builds and sustains effective relationships within the work unit and with internal and external clients
  • Responds to client needs promptly
Core Competencies:
  • Demonstrating/safeguarding ethics and integrity  
  • Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment
  • Self-development, initiative-taking
  • Acting as a team player and facilitating team work
  • Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively
  • Creating synergies through self-control
  • Managing conflict
  • Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others. Promoting learning and knowledge management/sharing is the responsibility of each staff member.
  • Informed and transparent decision making


Required Skills and Experience

Education:
  • Thai national with Bachelor’s Degree in Science, Social Science, Arts, or related professional qualifications
Work experience:
  • Minimum 3 years of progressively responsible experience in administrative, financial, or office support functions in an organization;
  • Some specific experiences in programme, project management and/or government institutions is ad advantage;
  • Experience in climate change related projects is an advantage;
  • Experience in organizing events involving international participants (i.e. workshops, meetings, etc) would be an added advantage;
  • Proficiency in MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, database packages and web browsers. Knowledge of UNDP ATLAS financial system would be an advantage;
  • Familiarity of UNDP system, rules and procedures is an advantage.
Language requirements:
  • Excellent command of writing and speaking Thai and English;
  • Fluency in local language for day-to-day business contacts both within and outside organization;
  • Good knowledge of English for daily contact and dialogue with the supervisor and/or other foreign professional staff in the office in the course of performing official duties, including response to queries, and to possess sound comprehension in English language drafts and documents.


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.


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