Senior Policy Advisor (GREAT)


Location   Hanoi, Lao Cai and Son La
Project duration   12 months (with the potential for a multi-year extension)
Starting date:     April 2024
Deadline to apply   22nd February 2024


With more than 35 years of experience, Cowater International is Canada’s global leader in management consulting services specialising in international development. We have managed the implementation of over 2500 projects in more than 95 countries around the globe for clients such as DFID, DFAT Australia, the European Union, the World Bank and Global Affairs Canada. We work with governments, partner organisations, communities and civil society to design and implement sustainable solutions that generate lasting social, economic and environmental impacts. Our adaptive approach to management has led to our award-winning work and recognition as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies from 2017 to 2021.


GREAT is a flagship initiative of the Australian aid program.  The program promotes women’s economic empowerment (WEE) in the ethnically diverse north-west region of Vietnam, through the integration of a market systems development (MSD) approach.
The primary beneficiaries are women living in the provinces of Son La and Lao Cai, while an overarching emphasis is placed on the inclusion of women from ethnic minority communities as these provinces are home to twelve and twenty-six ethnic groups respectively.
The objectives of the Aus4Equality|GREAT Program are:
  • Objective 1 – Women, particularly ethnic minority women living in Son La and Lao Cai, have improved economic benefits.
  • Objective 2 – Women, particularly ethnic minority women living in Son La and Lao Cai, have increased confidence and social status, including more balanced workloads and greater decision making within the home, workplace, and community.      
  • Objective 3 – Women, particularly ethnic minority women and household members living in Son La and Lao Cai benefit from more gender responsive, inclusive, and effective provincial and national policies, plans, strategies, and programs.
Under GREAT, inclusive market development is identified as the primary vehicle for achieving women’s economic empowerment with its focus on:
  • Reach: Engaging women in all project activities and addressing barriers to participation.
  • Benefit: Improve women’s access to assets, financial services and support services.
  • Empower: Strengthen the ability of women to make strategic life choices and put these into action.
The program is about to implement phase two and continue focus on agriculture and tourism, identifying specific sectors that lend themselves to opportunities for women’s economic empowerment and work with multiple stakeholders to address constraints, generate opportunities, drive market growth and increase productive value of the sector. Cross-sector strategies of women’s leadership and entrepreneurship, financial inclusion, digital inclusion, policy improvement will complement the sector strategies.
In phase 2 GREAT will support selected government partners as they implement a number of policy initiatives to ensure that “Government policies, including National Target Programs (NTPs) for period 2021 - 2025 and its implementation at central and provincial levels (particularly in Lao Cai and Son La) created a more conducive enabling environment for women’s economic empowerment”, including:
  1. Inclusive and Gender-Responsive Production Support under NTPs 2021-2025 and new Programing for 2026-2030 at national and provincial level in Son La and Lao Cai
  2. Strategic Supervision of the NTPs implementation
  3. TA support to build capacity for the local economic governance and inclusion of private sector and gender in Son La and Lao Cai
Cowater is recruiting a Senior Policy Advisor as outlined in this TOR to lead and implement these initiatives.


Reporting to the Deputy Team Leader and working closely with other GREAT staff, the Senior Policy Advisor will oversee a team of policy advisors and technical partners, provide strategic steering and technical support to partners to maximise outcome and document and share best practices on policy support at national and provincial level, updating of GREAT policy strategy and contribute to organisation-wide objectives as a member of the Strategy Team.


Program Development:
  • Update the GREAT Policy Dialogue Strategy and annual policy dialogue plans, together with the GREAT management team, DFAT and selected partners.
  • Support partners in co-designing proposals in line with GREAT policy support strategy or emerging areas of interest for approval by GREAT/Investment Committee.
  • Identify opportunities to upscale GREAT successful approaches and models through government plans and policies at the province and national levels.
  • Develop partnerships with relevant stakeholders for policy support
  • Support the program’s broader Monitoring Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) objectives including the implementation of GREAT’s policy longitudinal study and other assessments to identify policy changes and impacts on women, their families and local communities, in conjunction with the Monitoring Evaluation Research and Learning (MERL) Manager.
  • Prepare/review policy briefs as required.
  • Provide ongoing advice to the Team Leader, Deputy Team Leader and other program staff as needed.
Project Management
  • Lead policy support work under GREAT 2, including any staff assigned to policy support activities and administration.
  • Deliver technical assistance and quality control for selected assignments with national partners.
  • Manage assigned implementing national policy partners:
  1. Oversee partner project implementation and progress, providing quality guidance and support to achieve policy support objectives and to ensure projects are compliant with GREAT project management requirements.
  2. Support partners to quality assure technical assistance received.
  3. Support partners in preparing and updating annual workplans, quarterly progress reports
  4. To conduct quarterly and annual partner performance assessments.
  5. Facilitate partner capacity development: Identify capacity gaps and facilitate capacity building for partners to improve their inclusivity and gender responsiveness in policy implementation and formulation.
  6. Work closely with the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MERL) team in implementing and embedding the M&E approach and utilising learnings to support partners to adapt.
  • Develop relationships and coordinate with other relevant partners for policy engagement and enhancement.
Capacity Building
  • Provide broad expertise to the GREAT team, Project Management Units (PMUs) and partners to build capacity on policy support.
Stakeholder Communication and Reporting
  • Participate in the Reflect/Refocus workshops to inform the program’s and partner’s workplan development and provide expert knowledge and guide/facilitate partner discussion on policy (gender and women’s economic empowerment) issues.
  • Provide input into GREAT program-level reporting, planning and communications.
  • Maintain a strong communication flow on policy support with national policy partners, the Project Management Units, target district governments and other stakeholders.
  • Build and maintain effective communications and information flows on the policy environment, support activities and lessons learned with DFAT.
  • Sharing GREAT-related experiences at relevant external events to promote learning and upscaling
  • Represent/support GREAT and DFAT at relevant policy dialogue meetings.


  • Master’s Degree in business, economics, agriculture, international development or another relevant field;
  • A minimum 5 years’ work experience in policy advocacy with a proven track record of successful policy engagement and support;
  • Strong program management skills and analytical skills;
  • An excellent understanding of the Vietnamese government context at national level;
  • Good understanding or experience in providing technical assistance for design and implementation of National Target Programs is an advantage;
  • A strong network with departments, ministries;
  • Critical thinking skills and conceptualisation;
  • Good teamwork, mentoring and facilitation skills;
  • Strong written and spoken communication skills in Vietnamese and English;
  • Familiarity with international donor-funded projects, systems and requirements;
  • An understanding of the tourism and agricultural sectors and women’s economic empowerment;
  • Experience working with ethnic minority communities is an advantage.


Candidates are encouraged to apply no later than 5pm Hanoi Time (GMT+7), Friday 22nd February 2024. Applications will be assessed as they are received. We thank all applicants, however, only those making the shortlist will be contacted.
Interested candidates are invited to send an application to Please indicate in the subject “Application for Senior Policy Advisor”.
Applications should include:
  • A cover letter responding to the selection criteria.
  • A Curriculum Vitae.
  • Contact details of three referees.
Cowater is an equal opportunity employer. Women, people with a disability, and people from minority groups are strongly encouraged to apply. We thank you for your interest in building a better tomorrow with Cowater International.
For more opportunities, please visit our website at Kênh kiến thức kỹ năng, phát triển bản thân, hướng nghiệp, blog nhân sự

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