Trade Facilitation Specialist for Mid-term Evaluation

Trade Facilitation Specialist for Mid-term Evaluation 

USAID Trade Facilitation Program

Location: Hanoi, Vietnam

About Social Impact  

Social Impact (SI) is a global development management consulting firm which provides monitoring, evaluation, strategic planning, and capacity building services to advance development effectiveness. In Vietnam, SI is implementing the USAID Learns program to support USAID staff and partners to implement more efficient, effective, and transparent programs. Today, SI seeks a qualified consultant to support an evaluation of the Trade Facilitation Program.

Project Objectives 

Social Impact (SI) is implementing the USAID/Vietnam Learns Contract. The scope of the five-year project is to support USAID/Vietnam staff and partners to implement more efficient, effective, and transparent programs by improving: (1) USAID and Implementing Partners (IP) capacity to achieve expected results; (2) USAID’s understanding and tracking of project performance; and (3) collaboration, learning, and adapting (CLA).

**Please Note: This is a local position. Only Vietnamese citizens will be eligible to apply. ** 

Evaluation Background

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Trade Facilitation Program (TFP) is a five-year program that aims to support the adoption and implementation of a risk-based approach to customs and “specialized inspection” institutions in Vietnam. Attaining this objective will facilitate the implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The primary Government of Vietnam (GVN) counterpart for the TFP is the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC), which also acts as the focal point of the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) for Vietnam.  

Within this context, TFP supports national and provincial stakeholders in promoting the benefits of a risk management approach to specialized inspections mandated by line ministries to protect food safety, public health, and the environment. Specialized inspections are considered a major impediment to trade, causing major delays in border clearance. The program specifically aims to strengthen the role and capacity of the NTFC to effectively implement and coordinate trade facilitation (TF) policies and procedures, and to promote more proactive public-private dialogue. 

The TFP activities are organized into four different components: 
  • Component 1: Harmonization and simplification of key risk management and specialized inspections-related policies at the central level and strengthening the role of the NTFC 
  • Component 2: Strengthening National-Provincial (vertical) coordination of trade facilitation strategies and facilitating import and export of goods 
  • Component 3: Strengthening the provincial level implementation and inter-provincial coordination in at least five targeted provinces 
  • Component 4: Enhancing the partnership between customs and the private sector 

In addition to providing targeted assistance at the central level, TFP has secured provincial buy-in by localizing technical assistance and operations in the six selected provinces (Hanoi, Hai Phong, Quang Tri, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City and Dong Nai). When implementing activities, TFP will look specifically to engage the private sector, the ultimate beneficiaries of trade facilitation, as advocates to customs procedures and trade facilitation reforms. Achieving the USAID Trade Facilitation Program objectives will help improve the trade and investment environment for Vietnamese and United States (U.S.) companies and help Vietnamese small and medium enterprises (SMEs) further integrate into global value chains. 

The program was approved by the Ministry of Finance in July 2019 and is expected to operate through May 2023. 

Evaluation Objectives  

This mid-term performance evaluation will be used to review TFP’s progress toward the achievement of its objectives and well as its the effectiveness and relevance.  

The purpose for undertaking the evaluation includes: 
  • Relevance of the activity to answer whether or not the activity is doing the right things 
  • Readiness of the activity (to answer a particular interest from the USAID team about work in the provinces and inter-agency coordination 
  • Progress and performance of the activity’s interventions 
For these purposes, the evaluation will seek to answer the following tentative questions:  
  • How well does the activity align with government (national and provincial) and private sector needs to expedite cross-border trade 
  • To what extent has the activity improved inter-agency, central-provincial, and inter-provincial coordination to expedite trade 
  • To what extent has the capacity of customs and specialized inspection officers to implement trade facilitation policies and risk-based procedures improved
  • To what extent has the activity been gender-responsive in its design and implementation 
  • What are the overall lessons learned and the characteristics of the more successful activities that could be replicated in other sectors/programs  

The evaluation questions are still being finalized with USAID.  

Position Description

SI is seeking a Trade Facilitation Specialist to support the team in conducting the mid-term performance evaluation with following main tasks: 

Responsibilities: 
  • Perform desk review and identify additional information required for analysis 
  • Provide technical expertise and support the Team Lead’s efforts in evaluation design, methodology, and data collection instruments. 
  • Schedule and interview key stakeholders and beneficiaries; conduct data collection as needed 
  • Provide ongoing analysis of qualitative and quantitative data  
  • Support the preparation and presentation of the key findings and recommendations to USAID 
  • Write assigned section of the draft evaluation report in coordination with the team members, taking into consideration feedback from the preliminary finding presentation 
  • Work collaboratively with team members throughout design, implementation, analysis, and report writing to complement each other's areas of expertise 
Qualifications: 
  • Master’s degree in a discipline related to trade, customs, public policy, international development, or other relevant fields 
  • Having knowledge on risk-based management approach and custom is a plus 
  • At least 5 years of experience working with trade, trade facilitation, or customs modernization programs 
  • Preferred expertise in risk-based management approaches for customs; experience supporting GVN capacity in this area a plus 
  • Ability to navigate and advise on inter-agency, central-provincial, and inter-provincial coordination to expedite trade 
  • Must be able to conduct interviews and focus group discussions and analyze the resulting data
  • Ability to work independently to meet deadlines and adhere to high quality standards? 
  • Evaluation experience related to trade preferred? 
  • Fluency in Vietnamese and in-depth knowledge of the operating environment in Vietnam required? 
  • The candidate must be Vietnamese and reside in Vietnam 

Level of Effort (LOE): Up to 50 days. 

Expected timeline: May – October 30, 2021

The closing date for application: May 02, 2021. Selection and interview will be performed on a rolling basis, and interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

To apply, please merge both your CV into one word/pdf file and submit it through the online portal. 

To learn more about Social Impact, please visit our website: http://www.socialimpact.com

SI is an EEO/AA/ADA Veterans Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.?

Only selected candidates will be contacted for an interview. Please, no phone calls.

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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