Technical Program Head, Greater Mekong Subregion Environment Operations Center – Asia Development Bank

Position Title: Technical Program Head

Duty Station: GMS Environment Operations Center, Bangkok

Contract Terms: Twelve (12) months with possibility of extension, full time

Email Contact: sompongse@gms-eoc.org or jirapar@gms-eoc.org

Deadline for Application: 4th May 2012

 

Background

The Core Environment Program and Biodiversity Conservation Initiative in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS CEP-BCI), is an initiative under the GMS regional Economic Cooperation Program (ECP). It is implemented with regional technical assistance (RETA) funds of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and co-financed by several development partners. Phase I (RETA 6289) commenced in 2006 and was scheduled to end in December 2011. Phase II (RETA 7987) was approved by the ADB Board in December 2011.

The aim of the CEP-BCI II is to improve biodiversity conservation and climate resilience across the GMS. The RETA will integrate sound environmental management, biodiversity conservation, and climate resilience measures into the GMS ECP. The outcome will be an environment friendly and climate-resilient GMS ECP. This outcome will be achieved through a programmatic approach by supporting activities in priority economic corridors targeted by the ECP and in priority transboundary biodiversity conservation corridors and landscapes.

The RETA is aligned with the Strategic Framework for the GMS ECP (2012–2022) and will complement several regional and country-specific programs dealing with different aspects of the environment and climate change. In particular, the RETA will complement: (i) the proposed regional investment framework for GMS corridor development; (ii) the Core Agriculture Support Program II; (iii) promoting renewable energy, clean fuels, and energy efficiency in the GMS; (iv) harnessing climate change mitigation initiatives to benefit women; and (v) the GMS Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Project.

The TA comprises four outputs.

  • Output 1: Environmental planning systems, methods, and safeguards improved will involve the application of planning tools such as strategic environmental assessments (SEAs), spatial multicriteria analysis, and extended economic analysis to development strategies and plans for selected sectors and economic corridors. The capacity to address environmental safeguards in key sectors will also be strengthened under this output.
  • Output 2: Management of transboundary biodiversity conservation landscapes and local livelihoods improved will support biodiversity conservation measures in critical transboundary landscapes in the GMS. It will support sustainable livelihoods for local communities and also enhance the performance of investments in the economic corridors by maintaining and improving the flow of ecosystem goods and services.
  • Output 3: Climate-resilient and low-carbon strategies developed will promote climate-friendly development within the GMS through the integration of climate-change mitigation and adaptation considerations for key development sectors.
  • Output 4: Institutions and financing for sustainable environmental management improved will support capacity development to strengthen institutional arrangements and enabling policies for effective regional cooperation on environmental management within the overall framework of the GMS ECP.  

The TA will be implemented by the respective Working Group on Environment (WGE) focal agency of each GMS country. Following a programmatic approach, the WGE focal agencies will prepare annual work plans and budgets (AWPBs) in coordination with relevant national and provincial sector agencies (i.e., in the agriculture, energy, tourism, and transport sectors), the Economic Corridor Forum, and the Phnom Penh Plan Secretariat. They will also liaise with development partners (including nongovernment organizations) and ADB resident missions to ensure complementarity between respective environmental and climate-related programs and projects. The AWPB will be adopted at the WGE annual meetings and progress will be reviewed at the semiannual meetings.

The Environment Operations Center (EOC) based in Bangkok will be responsible for timely and effective delivery of the TA. The EOC will continue its role as the technical secretariat to the WGE, specifically as a subregional knowledge hub and resource and referral center on environmental management tools and practices, socioeconomic and biophysical information, and expertise in environmental and climate-related fields. National Support Units (NSU) established in each country will be further strengthened to support the respective WGE focal agency with TA implementation. NSU staff will facilitate coordination of activities and meetings, monitor progress of AWPBs, update geographic information systems (GISs) and environmental information systems, and assist with reporting to the WGE.

The Technical Program Head (TPH) will be overall responsible for technical content of the CEP-BCI and for effective and efficient delivery of the Program by guiding the technical specialists to achieve the Program’s outcome and output targets. The TPH will report to the Chief of Operations (COO) at EOC and serve in this capacity in the absence of a COO. Through the COO the TPH will be accountable to the WGE on technical content of the Program.

Since the CEP-BCI is implemented as an ADB TA, the TPH will relate to the responsible ADB Project Officer (PO) in the capacity of the Team Leader of the technical consultant team. In this capacity, the TPH will work with and be guided by the ADB PO to broaden and deepen CEP-BCI’s engagement with ADB country programs in the GMS countries and to implement and monitor the TA as per ADB guidelines.     

Specific responsibilities will include:

  • (i) In coordination with the COO, the WGE and the ADB, chart strategic and operational directives to achieve the Program’s impacts, outcomes and outputs and guide their implementation through the implementing agencies (i.e. WGE focal agencies and other line agencies at national and subnational levels), EOC and NSU based consultant teams and in institutional partnerships (i.e. academic and research institutes, civil society groups and private sector entities).
  • (ii) Assume overall responsibility for developing and implementing the CEP-BCI Work Plan; regular monitoring of the Program’s physical and financial progress; and routine reporting to the WGE, ADB and co-financiers.
  • (iii) Continuously track related development programs with potential to complement the CEP-BCI; act as the primary point of contact between the CEP-BCI technical team and other partners (i.e., multi-lateral and bi-lateral development organizations, academia and research institutes, civil society groups, and the private sector) to identify and operationalize synergies and complementary activities between CEP-BCI and their respective programs.
  • (iv) In coordination with the Finance and Administrative Head of EOC, guide and facilitate the recruitment, management and evaluation of EOC and NSU based consultants and guide them on upgrading their knowledge and operational competencies and skills.
  • (v) In coordination with the EOC-based Capacity Development Specialist, identify long- medium- and short-term strategies to create enabling conditions for the implementing agencies to absorb and institutionalize the Program’s technical content and support the development and delivery of related training activities.
  • (vi) Deepen the Program’s engagement with private sector by identifying and operationalizing strategies to expand sustainable financing options for activities initiated under the Program.
  • (vii) In consultation with the ADB Project Officer, liaise with relevant ADB staff at Head Quarters and Resident Missions to broaden and deepen links between the Program and relevant ADB operations including the GMS Economic Cooperation Program, the Core Agriculture Support Program, other GMS regional cooperation programs and country operations (associated with agriculture, energy, transport and tourism sectors).
  • (viii) In coordination with the EOC based Outreach Specialist develop and implement an information and communication strategy for the Program and support the development of knowledge products on the Program’s technical content. Qualifications and Experience

Advanced degree (preferably PhD) in development economic/planning, environmental/natural resource management.

At least 15 years experience in the Asia region, applying environmental and economic policy and planning at different scales (i.e. regional, national, and sub-national). Experience working in GMS countries will be considered a strong advantage.

At least 10 years experience designing and implementing development programs with a proven track record for designing concepts, writing proposals, results-based monitoring and reporting, financial management and monitoring. Knowledge of ADB operations and experience with multi-sector, multi-national and multi-stakeholder programs will be considered a strong advantage.

At least 7 years experience leading and managing projects and programs with a proven track record managing and mentoring staff and achieving results.

Excellent communication skills and ability to convey technical information to broad audiences.

High fluency in written and spoken English; a working knowledge of a language(s) of GMS region will be an added bonus.

Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

 

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