International Technical Adviser (Part-time, 50%), Home-based
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The drying up of the Aral Sea is one of the ecological disasters for the Central Asian (CA) region. Most of the water basin has already evaporated, and intense wind erosion from the drying sea bed is affecting the adjacent irrigated areas, leading to huge economic losses in agriculture, public health and environmental stability. The project area (Dashoguz velayat and Darganata etrap in Lebap velayat) is most affected by the negative effects of the Aral Sea, while the area also has been devastated over the past few decades by poor water management and agricultural practices. As a result, currently the project area is one of the most degraded landscapes in the country. Truly addressing sustainable land and water management, conservation of biodiversity and high-value ecosystems across the Aral Sea basin landscape requires regional cooperation, effective coordination, and the cultivation of synergies among all stakeholders.
The overall objective of the proposed project is to promote land degradation neutrality, restore and improve the use of land and water resources in Turkmenistan’s Amudarya watershed in Lebap and Dashoguz provinces to enhance the sustainability and resilience of livelihoods and globally significant ecosystems. The project will attempt to achieve this objective through a multifocal strategy that includes the following four interrelated outcomes:
- Outcome 1: Integrated land use planning that will contribute to land degradation neutrality and improved integration of key biodiversity habitats into surrounding geographies, thus securing critical ecosystem services in Dashoguz and Lebap provinces;
- Outcome 2: Addressed direct drivers of biodiversity degradation, to protect globally important biodiversity, habitats, and species, through PAs system expansion and targeted support in strengthening the management effectiveness of some of the key existing PAs in the project area;
- Outcome 3: Strengthened national capacity and better informed engagement of Turkmenistan in implementation of regional cooperation for improved management and restoration of Aral Sea Basin land and water resources; and
- Outcome 4: Project results properly monitored and evaluated.
In order to support the implementation of the project, UNDP Turkmenistan envisions to hire a long-term International Technical Adviser (ITA) who will be responsible for providing overall strategic guidance and support during the implementation of the project, ensuring that project activities are in line with agreed benchmarks and indicators of success, as well as international best practices and lessons learned from similar strategic reviews.
Under the direct supervision of the Project Manager (PM) and overall supervision of UNDP Programme Specialist (PS) on Environment, the specific responsibilities of the ITA include providing overall strategic guidance to the PMU in support of the successful delivery of the planned project activities under the four project components, as well as providing technical guidance and support to the PM in risk monitoring and development of the SESA/ESMF and other related documents, the development of project progress reports (PIR and others), annual work plans, and the drafting of Terms of References (TORs) for national and international experts and other sub-contractors
Lead the Project team and provide advisory support to the PM and the project specialists with relevant technical knowledge during the planning and first year implementation of the project, to ensure the timely and quality preparation of technical reports, knowledge products and recommendations, as well as an overview of all results obtained within the project to ensure the quality, coordination and consistency of the project outputs, and provide comment on key issues (if any) and ways to address them. Relevant reports and other deliverables include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- Advisory support to the Project specialists and technical inputs in developing a clear concept for achieving the final results of the project in accordance with the indicators stated in the project document in synergy with the SDGs, the National Program of Turkmenistan for the Aral Sea for 2021-2025 and the National Program for Socio-Economic Development;
- Technical inputs and quality control in drafting TORs, to ensure these include specific and relevant provisions to conduct mandatory research and achieve project objectives, and in reviewing of applications received, for the international and national experts in project focal areas;
- Technical assistance to the Project team in reviewing and revising the final reports/outputs of international and national consultants for overall quality assurance and to ensure that the authors have produced detailed and comprehensive final reports considering the relevant standards for documenting results (i.e. reports document accurately all topics as agreed in the Terms of References, authors use clear language that is understandable to users and stakeholders, an audit trail with responses to comments received from reviewers, users and stakeholders is included, etc.), and making the final report publicly available;
- Support to Project specialists and technical inputs in the preparation of materials for trainings, workshops and meetings;
- Participation with presentations and/or attendance during project events at the national and/or international levels;
- Take a leading role and provide technical support to the formulation of a concept to establish "consultation centers" (based on the work conducted in the framework of the Sustainable Climate Resilient Livelihoods (SCRL) project) on the basis of the main partner – the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection (MAEP), in order to disseminate successful practices and knowledge of the project, as well as to serve as a tool for promoting sustainable land use;
- Inputs to the formulation of the Project Communication Plan and Knowledge Management Plan;
- Support the preparation and/or review of press-releases and/or progress reports on project events, if needed;
- Based on the successful experience of other countries/projects, provide a mechanism for the monitoring and evaluation of planned activities, including justification of their effectiveness;
- Lead and provide the Project Team with the step-by-step guide to project monitoring and evaluation on key activities to measure a project’s progress by collecting and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data, or using reasonable assumptions and methodologies, in accordance with the indicators of the Project document;
- Contributions to and quality assurance of the GEF PIR reports, Annual Progress Reporting (2023), ROAR, Risk Management, etc.
- Participate, as feasible, in Project Board Meetings and other relevant project meetings;
- Support the revision, as relevant, of the overall Project Work Plan for the remaining project lifetime, propose possible adjustments and necessary amendments;
- Work with the PM in support of the timely preparation of quality project management reports and other deliverables;
- Assistance to achieving and reporting on key management actions in response to UNDP and Project Partners’ recommendations;
- Technical guidance in monitoring of the project indicators and targets in line with the suggested concept on M&E;
- Assist the PM in detailed monitoring and evaluation, specifically monitoring of objective and outcome indicators and their targets as specified in the Strategic Results Framework;
- Following guidance from the PM and/or UNDP PS - provide technical inputs in support of further resource mobilization and policy advice on relevant donor activities;
- Advisory services will be provided through direct remote communication with the PMU, the provision of written commentary to project deliverables, as well as through online participation in relevant workshops and stakeholder meetings.
- Achieve Results: LEVEL 2: Scale up solutions and simplifies processes, balances speed and accuracy in doing work
- Think Innovatively: LEVEL 2: Offer new ideas/open to new approaches, demonstrate systemic/integrated thinking
- Learn Continuously: LEVEL 2: Go outside comfort zone, learn from others and support their learning
- Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 2: Adapt processes/approaches to new situations, involve others in change process
- Act with Determination: LEVEL 2: Able to persevere and deal with multiple sources of pressure simultaneously
- Engage and Partner: LEVEL 2: Is facilitator/integrator, bring people together, build/maintain coalitions/partnerships
- Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 2: Facilitate conversations to bridge differences, considers in decision making
People Management Competencies
UNDP People Management Competencies can be found in the dedicated site.
Negotiation and Influence
- Ability to reach an understanding, persuade others, resolve points of difference, gain advantage in the outcome of dialogue, negotiate mutually acceptable solutions through compromise and create ‘win-win’ situations
- Ability to manage programmes and projects with a focus on improved performance and demonstrable results
- Ability to build and maintain partnerships with wide networks of stakeholders from Governments, private sector partners, experts, and others in line with UNDP strategy and policies.
- Ability to identify and organize action around mitigating and proactively managing risks
Nature, Climate and Energy
- Climate Change Adaptation: livelihoods
- Climate Change Adaptation: water management
- Ecosystems and Biodiversity
- Master’s degree or equivalent in agriculture, biodiversity, water or/and land resources management.
- Bachelor’s degree in combination with additional 2 years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of Master's degree.
- Up to 2 years (with Master’s degree) or minimum 2 years (with Bachelor’s degree) of relevant professional experience in coordinating, designing, implementing and/or advising technical assistance projects in the field of climate change adaptation, rural livelihood, biodiversity, water efficiency or related field, preferably with focus on international management of sustainable land and water management, rural development, agriculture extension services, environment management.
- Track record of effectively communicating and working with multi-stakeholders, including high-level government officials, development partners, academics, private sector and communities;
- Good knowledge of international best practices in the project related fields, innovative approaches in the specific areas the project and its subcomponents.
- Experience with project management, including the provision of substantive leadership and guidance, oversight, monitoring and reporting for the Vertical Fund projects (GEF, AF, GCF, etc.) is an asset;
- Experience in supporting similar projects (or their sub-components) is an asset;
- Experience and good knowledge of transition economies, in particular in CIS countries, is an asset;
- Prior experience and knowledge of UNDP and GEF project’s procedures and reporting is an asset.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills in English;
- Good communication skills in Russian.
The ITA carries out his/her activities under the overall direction of the UNDP Environment & Energy Program Analyst and the direct supervision of the Project Manager, in collaboration and by reviewing inputs from other international and national consultants, project analytics and organizations.
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