National Consultant to Support the National SDG Secretariat in Lao PDR: VNR process, stakeholder engagement, advocacy and outreach


Location : Vientiane, LAO PDR
Application Deadline :12-Feb-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
26-Feb-2018
Duration of Initial Contract :Up to 150 days
Expected Duration of Assignment :26 Feb to 31 Dec 2018

Background

In September 2015, the General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This global “plan of action for people, planet and prosperity” is anchored on 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the agenda’s results framework that captures universal aspirations across three dimensions of sustainable development: economic development, social development and environmental protection. The 2030 Agenda is an integrated, indivisible agenda, which balances the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainability, the success of which will depend on the extent to which coherent, evidence-based plans and policies are formulated and implemented at country, regional and global levels. 

Lao PDR has achieved significant progress in terms of integrating the SDGs into the national planning framework, including the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan. Complementary national indicators are under consideration by the Government, reflecting the holistic, integrated and indivisible nature of the Agenda 2030. The integration into the sectors and to the local level is ongoing.

The Government has established a national SDG Steering Committee chaired by the Prime Minister and a National SDG Secretariat, led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with support of the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Lao Statistics Bureau. 

The national SDG Steering Committee has decided to develop a national SDG Roadmap, which outlines key actions and sets timelines for the mainstreaming, implementation and reporting of the Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals in Lao PDR. The SDG Roadmap covers among other elements awareness-raising; multi-stakeholder consultations and dialogue; tailoring the SDGs to the local context; Creating horizontal and vertical policy coherence; budgeting for the future; and monitoring, reporting and accountability.

In terms of reporting, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as part of its follow-up and review mechanisms, encourages member states to conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels. These are country-led and -driven, and expected to serve as a basis for the regular reviews by the high-level political forum, meeting under the auspices of ECOSOC. Regular reviews by the High-Level Political Forum are to be voluntary, state-led, undertaken by both developed and developing countries, and involve multiple stakeholders. The Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with a view to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNRs also seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the SDGs. Lao PDR intends to present its VNR to the High-Level Political Forum in July 2018.

Building public awareness and engaging national, sub-national and local stakeholders in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and SDGs is a critical initial and ongoing step in successful implementation. Beyond awareness, achieving a similar level of understanding among governmental and nongovernmental stakeholders is critical. This means reaching out to all levels and sectors with information that is tailored to their specific functions, roles, and responsibilities.

A clear understanding of the benefits of aligning national and sub-national plans and policy-making processes with the 2030 Agenda and SDGs as well as building ownership for it among people, including the marginalised, provides the foundation for its real and lasting delivery. Building public awareness should be understood as a first step towards a participatory process in implementing the 2030 Agenda


Duties and Responsibilities

Principal objective of the Assignment

The assignment has the principal objective to support the national SDG Secretariat in its functions, promoting the mainstreaming and implementation of the Agenda 2030 in Lao PDR. This consultancy has a strong focus on outreach and advocacy, in addition to VNR process and stakeholder engagement.

Deliverables and Outputs

- Produce advocacy and communications products, support outreach via various channels to raise awareness on the SDGs

- Support the development and maintenance of online channels of communication, including the national round table website as it relates to the SDGs.-

- Serve as liaison between the SDG Secretariat and different stakeholders, in particular external stakeholders such as development partners, private sector and civil society

  • Support collection of necessary information and data for the development of Voluntary National Review and quality assurance of data

  • Monitor integration of SDGs into development partner’s work

  • Support regular update on SDG progress, including outcomes of SDG Steering Committee meetings to external partners

  • Support SDG-related aspects of the Round Table Process

- Provide coordination support to the development of the Voluntory National Review on SDGs through drafting of inputs, including based on stakeholder engagement activities

- Draft policy briefs, speeches, presentations and other documents.

- Support the organization of workshops and other events related to the Agenda 2030, including preparation of inputs

- Provide technical advice and act as resource person to the SDG Secretariat and to the SDG Steering Committee

Provision of Monitoring and Progress Control

The consultant will report directly to MoFA Management to support the implementation of the UNDP supported programme Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Planning and Investment.  In addition, when needed, she/he will be required to provide update to UNDP management on progresses of various programme activities


Competencies

- Good facilitation and coordination skills

- Strong diplomatic, interpersonal and networking skills

- Strong research, analytical and written skills

- Strong communication skills (written and oral)

- Results-oriented, patient, and hands-on with good team work skills

- Knowledge of Lao PDR’s development situation and key related issues

- Excellent computer skills (word, excel, power-point, internet and related)

- Strong data collection and analytical skills

- Experience working in mixed cultural teams


Required Skills and Experience

Education

At minimum, Master’s Degree in Economics, Development, Social or Political Science or related fields.

Experience

- Minimum 5 years’ experience in the field of development cooperation and governance, including project/programme management, communications and/or policy advocacy.

- Experience in carrying out research and preparing policy briefs

- Experience in outreach and communications, including online.

- Prior experience with government, UNDP/UN agencies and other international organisations is desirable

- Knowledge and experience related to national planning, in particular the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan, including Agenda 2030 and LDC graduation is desirable

Language requirement

Lao national with excellent verbal and written English skills and demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in a multi-cultural environment.


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.


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