Forest Sector Monitoring and Data Specialist

AO seeks gender, geographical and linguistic diversity in order to best serve FAO Members in all regions.   Qualified female applicants are encouraged to apply. People with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.   Organizational Setting In 2019 the Government of Viet Nam and the European Union (EU) have begun implementation of a Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (VPA-FLEGT).  After several years of negotiations, which began in 2010, the parties signed this Agreement in October 2018, ratified by the Government of Viet Nam and by the European Parliament in April 2019, and came into effect in June 2019. Viet Nam is one of 15 countries globally, and 5 in Asia, that are negotiating or implementing a VPA with the EU. The objective of the VPA-FLEGT, consistent with the parties’ joint commitment to the sustainable management of all types of forests, is to provide a legal framework aimed at ensuring that all timber products imported into the EU from Viet Nam are legally produced and come from legal timber sources. This objective will be achieved through the establishment of a Viet Nam Timber Legality Assurance System (VNTLAS), together with a FLEGT licensing scheme which will cover exports of timber and timber products from Viet Nam to the EU market. While the FLEGT licensing scheme will only apply to exports to the EU, the scope of regulation of the VNTLAS is broader, covering the domestic market in Viet Nam and all export markets. In terms of timber sources, the VNTLAS also regulates domestically produced timber and timber imports. In so doing, the VPA is intended to make an important contribution to the fight against illegal logging and promote trade in timber products that are from sustainably managed forests and are harvested in accordance with the domestic legislation in the country of harvest. The VPA-FLEGT includes important commitments to monitoring and evaluation. In Article 18 of the Agreement – on the Joint Implementation Committee (JIC), it is stated that Viet Nam and the EU will jointly monitor implementation of the VPA through the JIC. The specific monitoring functions of the JIC in this regard are set out in VPA Annex IX. In Article 15 of the Agreement – on Stakeholder Involvement, it is stated that: “Viet Nam shall ensure that a mechanism is in place to monitor implementation of this Agreement, made up of representatives of relevant Government agencies and other relevant stakeholders”; and that “Viet Nam shall ensure that implementation and monitoring of this agreement are done in a transparent manner together with relevant stakeholders including NGOs, forest associations, enterprises, trade unions, local communities and people living in the forest areas”. In Article 16 of the Agreement – on Social Safeguards, it is stated that: “In order to minimize possible adverse effects of this Agreement, the Parties agree to assess the impacts on ethnic minorities and local communities concerned and on their way of life, as well as on the households and the timber industry. And VPA Annex IX describes the functions of the JIC in this regard: “To assess the social, economic and environmental impacts of the Agreement and decide on appropriate measures to mitigate any potential negative impacts.” In Article 10 of the Agreement – on Independent Evaluation, it is stated that Viet Nam, in consultation with the EU, will engage the services of an Independent Evaluator to assess the implementation, effectiveness and credibility of the VNTLAS. The Independent Evaluator will report to the JIC, and will also design and operate a complaints mechanism. The Terms of Reference for the Independent Evaluation are set out in VPA Annex VI.  In Article 12 of the Agreement – on the date of operation of the FLEGT licensing scheme, it is stated that the parties shall, through the JIC, commission an independent assessment of the readiness of the VNTLAS before the FLEGT licensing scheme commences. On the basis of this assessment and recommendations of the JIC, the parties shall agree on the date on which the FLEGT licensing scheme will start operating. The criteria for the assessment of readiness of the VNTLAS and the FLEGT licensing scheme are set out in VPA Annex VII. To implement the Agreement, the parties are also committed to ensuring that forestry-related information, and information about implementation of the VPA, is made available to the public. These provisions on public disclosure of information are set out in VPA Annex VIII, including information to be disclosed by Viet Nam, by the EU, and by the JIC respectively. The Government of Viet Nam has approved a VPA-FLEGT Implementation Plan through PM Decision. Under this plan, the Viet Nam Administration of Forestry has been assigned to take the lead and cooperate with other Ministries, sectors and agencies on the VPA implementation process. The VPA-FLEGT Implementation Plan includes the following actions on monitoring and evaluation:
  • Prepare and submit to the JIC for endorsement and implement a framework for monitoring and evaluation of VPA-FLEGT implementation;
  • Strengthen activities of the VPA-FLEGT Multi Stakeholder Core Group to advise the JIC and to undertake monitoring and evaluation of the VPA/FLEGT implementation;
  • Organise assessment of readiness of the VNTLAS prior to commencement of FLEGT licensing according to the commitment made in Annex VII of the VPA-FLEGT;
  • Organise periodic independent evaluation of the VNTLAS according to the commitment made in Annex VI of the VPA-FLEGT;
  • Conduct impact monitoring of the VPA-FLEGT implementation in economic, social and environmental aspects and identify and apply remedial measures for any unintended impacts.
The overall objective of this assignment is support a team of consultants to prepare a Framework for VPA-FLEGT Monitoring and Evaluation (“Framework”) which can be used by the Joint Implementation Committee, and by stakeholders (as identified according to Article 15 of the Agreement), to guide the process of monitoring and evaluation during VPA implementation. The specific objectives are:
  • To propose and describe the overall mechanisms for VPA monitoring and evaluation (as per Article 15 of the Agreement); and
  • To develop an umbrella Terms of Reference for the VPA Impact Monitoring which can be used by different agencies and stakeholders to guide their involvement in impact monitoring work.
The Framework will be prepared in a Team together with a team leader and an additional National Consultants through a process of consultation in order to help ensure that it meets the expectations of both parties, Viet Nam and the EU, and of other stakeholder groups that will be involved in different aspects of VPA-FLEGT monitoring and evaluation.  The Consultant (and Team) will also be guided through the Joint Expert Meeting (JEM) and the Multi-Stakeholder Core Group. The JEM and Core Group members will be consulted at different stages in the assignment to make inputs to the Framework, to ensure there is consensus around what is proposed, and to validate the outputs of the consultants. The Framework to be developed by the Consultant will be divided into two main Parts:
  • Part 1: Overall mechanism for VPA-FLEGT monitoring and evaluation
  • Part 2: Umbrella Terms of Reference for VPA impact monitoring.
  Reporting Lines The NPP will be under the overall guidance of the FAO Representative of Viet Nam, and day-to-day supervision of the Regional Coordinator for the FAO-EU FLEGT Programme who will consult a nominated representative of the Viet Nam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST).   Technical Focus
  • Strong knowledge of VPA FLEGT issues in Viet Nam;
  • Experience in Monitoring and Evaluation;
  • Experience in collecting and analysing quantitative and qualitative data
  • Experience of coordination with multi-agencies and/or stakeholders;
  Tasks and responsibilities NPP (Forest sector monitoring and data specialist) will be working under the guidance of a Team Leader, to design and deliver the outputs of the assignment according to schedule specified in his/her Terms of Reference.
  • Contribute to preparation of the Inception Report and methodology, and to preparation of draft and final reports including all sections of Part 1 and Part 2 of the Framework.
  • Together with the other Consultant Team members, to conduct interviews and focus group discussions with key informants and stakeholders.
  • Help conduct consultations on the Framework with concerned partners and stakeholders during the process of implementing the assignment, and to help ensure that their interests and positions are adequately reflected in the Framework.
  • Ensure that the Framework is adequately adapted and suited to the particular requirements of the Viet Nam VPA and to the institutional context in Viet Nam.
  • Conduct the inventory and analysis of existing relevant forest sector monitoring systems in Viet Nam, and to identify existing sources of statistical data and information, which may connect to and contribute to VPA monitoring and evaluation
    • Identify existing sources of data and information for VPA monitoring, and to the extent possible, VPA monitoring and evaluation should draw on already available data and information, and should not duplicate existing monitoring systems.
    • Make recommendations on the potential ways in which these existing systems can contribute to overall VPA monitoring and evaluation.
  • Post-graduate qualification in a relevant socio-economic or environmental discipline
  • At least 10 to 15 years professional experience in forestry and/or other relevant sectors.
  • Strong understanding of the country context and forestry sector in Viet Nam.
  • National of Viet Nam.
  FAO Core Competencies
  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement
  Technical/Functional Skills
  • Demonstrated in-depth understanding and prior experience in statistical data and information sources in forestry and other relevant FLEGT sectors, and in forest sector monitoring, information management and reporting systems in Viet Nam.
  • Good understanding of forest industries in Viet Nam and of the objectives and contents of the Viet Nam VPA.
  • Proven skills, experience and sensitivity in working in multi-stakeholder contexts with both government, non-government and international partners.
  • Excellent inter-personal and written communication skills.
  • FAO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing)
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered. If you need help please contact:
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be accepted
  • Only language proficiency certificates from UN accredited external providers and/or FAO language official examinations (LPE, ILE, LRT) will be accepted as proof of the level of knowledge of languages indicated in the online applications
  • For additional employment opportunities visit the FAO employment website:
FAO seeks gender, geographical and linguistic diversity in its staff and international consultants in order to best serve FAO Members in all regions.    HOW TO APPLY Candidates are requested to attach a letter of motivation to the online profile. We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline date. If you need help, or have queries, please contact: FAO IS A NON-SMOKING ENVIRONMENT Candidates have to confirm having received the recruitment information through the recruiting channel NGO Recruitment in the application letter for this position

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