Agriculture Specialist

Job Description

Agency: UNDP

Title: Agriculture Specialist

Job ID: 38430

Practice Area - Job Family: Environment and Energy

Vacancy End Date: (Midnight New York, USA)15/07/2021

Time Left: 7d 22h 21m

Duty Station: Hanoi, Viet Nam

Education & Work Experience: I-Master's Level Degree - 10 year(s) experience

Languages

Required:

Desired: English

Grade: NB5

Vacancy Type: Service Contract (SC)

Posting Type: External

Burea: Asia & the Pacific

Contract Duration: One year, NPSA

Background

Viet Nam is particularly vulnerable to climate change and already impacted by more irregular and intense climate variability and change. Two of the regions most vulnerable to droughts-exacerbated by climate change affecting smallholder farmers are the Central Highlands and South-Central Coast. Changes in precipitation are leading to increasing deficits in surface and ground water availability for agricultural production with longer periods of severe water scarcity during the dry season and increased frequency and intensity of droughts. Overall agricultural productivity is falling, with corresponding declines in yields and incomes particularly harmful to small-scale farmers vulnerable to reduced water availability on rain fed lands and within this group, poor and near-poor, ethnic minority and women farmers.

UNDP is collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI, as the GCF National Designated Authority), and the five participating provinces of Dak Lak, Dak, Nong, Binh Thuan, Ninh Thuan, and Khanh Hoa to implement the GCF-financed project “Strengthening the resilience of smallholder agriculture to climate change-induced water insecurity in the Central Highlands and South-Central Coast regions of Vietnam” (herein after referred to as “the GFC2 Project”).

The objective of this project is to empower vulnerable smallholders in five provinces of the Central Highlands and South-Central Coast regions of Vietnam – particularly women and ethnic minority farmers – to manage increasing climate risks to agricultural production. To achieve its objective, the project will enable smallholder farmers to adapt to climate-driven rainfall variability and drought through implementation of two linked Outputs integrating GCF and co-financing resources from the Asian Development Bank and the Government of Vietnam:

  1. improved access to water for vulnerable smallholder farmers for climate-resilient agricultural production in the face of climate-induced rainfall variability and droughts, and
  2. strengthened capacities of smallholder farmers to apply climate and market information, technologies, and practices for climate-resilient water and agricultural management.

The project was developed as part of an integrated programme funded through multiple sources, as envisaged by the Government of Vietnam (GoV), that was aimed at enhancing water security and building the climate change resilience of the agriculture sector focusing on Vietnam’s Central Highland and South-Central Coastal Regions. In alignment with this programme, the project will enable the GoV to adopt a paradigm shift in the way smallholder agricultural development is envisioned and supported through an integrated approach to agricultural resilience starting with planning for climate risks based on identification and analysis of agroecosystem vulnerabilities; enhancing water security and guaranteeing access; scaling up adoption and application of climate-resilient agricultural practices and cropping systems; and creating partnerships among value chain stakeholders to ensure access to market and credit. This approach directly addresses climate risks while also establishing or strengthening institutional capacities for long-term multi-stakeholder support to vulnerable smallholders.

Under the supervision of the GCF2 Programme Management Specialist, the Agriculture Specialist is responsible for the technical lead role on agriculture-related interventions of the project, particularly in Component 2, but also Component 1).  The Agriculture Specialist will provide support to CPO and provinces/project staff in the central Project Management Unit (CPMU),  provincial PPMU, Technical Advisors and support staff for successful  implementation of the  project, As a core member of GCF2 team, the Agriculture Specialist will work closely with the Senior International Technical Advisor, Project Officers at  the Climate Change and Environment unit at UNDP Viet Nam and Regional Technical Advisors in Bangkok Regional Hub to ensure and enhance the project’s multiplied impacts, performance and compliance.

Under overall guidance of Assistant Resident Representative (ARR) / Head of Climate Change and Environment, the Agriculture Specialist will contribute technically to development, implementation and innovation of the Climate responsive Agribusiness portfolio of CCE/UNDP Viet Nam, including technical advisory provision on low carbon and resilient agriculture, inclusive value chain, food security etc; enhancement of partnership with stakeholders and resource mobilization.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Agriculture Specialist has two main functions:

1. Lead, foster development and provide technical advisory support on agriculture-related interventions under the project (both outputs 1 and 2),  including climate resilient agricultural practices, water efficient practices, crops, cultivation,  community engagement, as well as agribusiness (value chain development, market and private sector linkages)

2. Contribute to UNDP’s climate change and environment portfolio on climate resilient agriculture and agribusiness

Key functions description

1. Effective technical advisory support on agriculture-related interventions including climate resilient agricultural practices, water efficient practices, crops, cultivation, as well as community engagement and agribusiness (value chain development, market and private sector linkages (under  Outputs 1 and 2)

  • Lead the technical support to the implementation of project interventions on climate-resilient agriculture techniques and practices, water efficiency practices, climate and related agro information, finance, and markets.
  • Provide technical and ground support to CPO and provinces in the development of interventions relating (and ensuring inclusiveness (EM, gender) in the following aspects:
  • Climate resilient crop production (climate smart farming techniques, soil, watering and cultivation, adaptation initiatives),
  • Market and value chain (Primary producers/FFS, cooperative, value chain development, market and private sector linkages)
  • Innovation (Vouchers/Credit, Climate Information and finance, climate and business platform etc.)
  • Lead the design of smallholders crop packages, including the design for capacity building of farmers to scale up climate-resilient cropping systems and practices Farmer Field Schools and organizing production (e.g. thru farmers groups, cooperatives).
  • Coordinate for a coherent approach among key stakeholders, including smallholder farmers, cooperatives, local agriculture extension and irrigation actors in supporting smallholders farmers to increase smallholders capacities to apply on-farm water efficient and climate resilient cultivation practices and technologies.
  • Provide technical assistance to smallholders farmers, cooperatives and local actors on value chain, markets and credit for sustained climate-resilient agricultural investments
  • Provide support to facilitate formulation and operational of Climate Innovation Platforms and promotion of localized agro-climate advisories to enhance smallholders’ climate-resilient agricultural production.
  • Provide proper guidance to the project counterparts for effective planning, management and implementation of projects activities associated with technical designs to ensure achievement of quality results, timely implementation and overall targets of the project.
  • Ensure effective partnership CPO and MARD’s core agencies, e.g. Cultivation Department, Water resources administration, ICD, institutes etc. and other relevant ministries, institutions and organizations to promote the project values, to exchange lessons learned , and jointly contribute to develop and adopt a comprehensive set of policies and regulations climate  resilient agriculture.
  • Ensure that project interventions comply with social and environmental safeguards frameworks, including on gender and ethnic minorities, as well as achieve specific gender action plan results.
  • Promote synergies and coherence among the project components and activities (construction and non-construction).
  • Actively participate and contribute to the Project coordination meetings and discussions with implementing partners, responsible partners and the donors on UNDP’s regular reports on outputs and outcomes as well as outcome evaluations;
  • Provide support to project coordination, reporting and cross-cutting activities, including baseline assessments, workplans, annual reports.
  • Active participation and contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice, including MARD thematic group on Cultivation, Irrigation, Food security; Climate Change Working Group (CCWG), and other appropriate networks;

2. Effective contribution to UNDP’s climate change and environment portfolio on climate resilient agriculture and agribusiness

  • Providing technical advisory support to enhance the agriculture portfolio of CCE Unit, specifically on low carbon and resilient agriculture, inclusive value chain and agribusiness, food security etc;
  • Ensure synergies and coherence between GCF2 project and on-going/future climate change adaptation, climate resilient agriculture and agribusiness initiatives to bring about larger benefits and impacts
  • Advise and provide substantive inputs to the UNDP Viet Nam’s participation and contributions to national, regional and international and forums on climate change adaptation, climate resilient agriculture and agribusiness.
  • Promote and experiment innovative approaches on sustainable agriculture development, in collaboration with global and national think tanks and with other team members and colleagues within UNDP in general, and CCE unit in particular
  • Actively participate and contribute of technical inputs to the relevant projects on the topics of climate change and value chain/agribusiness project

The key expected results include:

  • Substantive technical lead role associated with quality advice and technical support to the Government counterparts, staff at project management units, project consultants, and contractors/ service providers etc. in the thematic areas;
  • Effective facilitation and contribution to the development of project Outputs implementation
  • Quality technical components to project’s and activity’s work-plans (annual and quarterly), results resources framework/log-frame, M&E tools, gender and safeguards frameworks/plans, technical assurance/review mechanisms, and reports of the project;
  • Quality knowledge products, including technical design, researches, analysis papers and thematic reports, , and substantive recommendations;
  • Regular reports/ briefs and active communications with the supervisors and team members.
  • Quality technical inputs, new ideas, concept notes, initiatives for resource mobilization and planned interventions to climate resilient agriculture and agribusiness portfolio of CCEU.
  • Identification of opportunities for partnerships and fund raising; ensure the synergies and partnerships with UNDP global and regional initiativeships with UNDP global and regional initiatives
  • Enhanced strategic partnership with government counterparts, institutions, financial entities, businesses, NGOs, CSOs and relevant stakeholders;

Competencies

Innovation

Ability to make new and useful ideas work

Level 4: Adept with complex concepts and challenges convention purposefully

Leadership

Ability to persuade others to follow

Level 4: Generates commitment, excitement and excellence in others

People Management

Ability to improve performance and satisfaction

Level 4: Models independent thinking and action

Communication

Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform

Level 4: Synthesizes information to communicate independent analysis

Delivery

Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement

Level 4: Meets goals and quality criteria for delivery of products or services

In this section list all core competencies as well as the most relevant technical/functional competencies the role will require along with the appropriate level.  A Detailed list of competencies can be accessed through the following link: https://intranet.undp.org/unit/ohr/competency-framework/SitePages/Home.aspx

Required Skills and Experience

  • Master’s Degree or advanced study in agriculture, irrigation, natural resources, and/or related subjects.
  • Minimum 10 years of relevant working experience at in agriculture services, preferably in climate resilient crop production (climate smart farming techniques, soil, watering and cultivation, adaptation initiatives, including technical advisory provision, research, and project management irrigation management, agribusinesses, value chain and market development, livelihoods, disaster/climate responsiveness, rural development
  • Extensive working experience in MARD/associated institutes.
  • Working experiences with UN Agencies is preferred.
  • Hands-on experience in design, monitoring and evaluation and management of development projects in climate resilient crop production (climate smart farming techniques, soil, watering and cultivation, adaptation initiatives, agribusinesses, , climate change response in agriculture sector). Sound knowledge and experiences in soil and water management, farmer field school, primary producer, cooperative and private sector linkages, capacity building for partners and stakeholders.
  • Strong knowledge and experience of inclusiveness, ethnic minorities and gender equality.
  • Good analytical, conceptualization and communication skills; ability to work as team member in a multicultural environment.
  • Relevant experience with private sector and in innovation is an asset.
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages, experience in handling of web-based management systems.
  • Excellent command of both spoken and written English and Vietnamese.

Disclaimer

Important applicant information

All posts in the SC categories are subject to local recruitment.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

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