Chief Technical Advisor

United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)
Vientiane, Laos
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
5-7 Years
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.


UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.


Background Information - Job-specific

The United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) is the leading global environmental authoritythat sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.
The project “Building resilience of urban populations with ecosystem-based solutions in Lao PDR” was approved by the Green Climate Fund Board on November 2019 with a GCF grant of US$ 10 million. United Nations Environment Programme serves as the Accredited Entity for the project. Activities will be executed by the State of Lao, PDR through the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and UNEP. The project will be implemented across five years covering four provincial capitals in the country: Vientiane, Paksan, Savannakhet, and Pakse.

The project aims to shift the paradigm of urban flood management in Laos from a limited, hard infrastructure approach towards an integrated approach that enhances climate resilience. This will be achieved by mainstreaming integrated flood management strategies into planning frameworks and implementing urban ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) to decrease climate-induced flooding. The project will be implemented in four cities that have been shown to be the most vulnerable to climate change through climate risk modelling and consultations with relevant planning institutions in Laos. Project interventions will directly benefit 74,600 people and restore 1,500 ha of urban wetland and stream ecosystems. The project focuses on:

Component 1. Technical and institutional capacity building to plan, design, implement and maintain integrated urban Ecosystems-based Adaptation (EbA) interventions for the reduction of climate change induced flooding

Output 1.1 Strengthening of institutional capacity for integrated flood risk management and implementation of urban ecosystems-based adaptation and males and females with increased awareness of climate threats

Output 1.2 Integrated Climate-resilient Flood Management Strategies and urban EbA guidelines developed for Vientiane, Paksan, Savannakhet and Pakse, and effective Flood Risk Management Committees as coordination mechanisms

Component 2. Rehabilitation and protection of ecosystem in response to climate variability and change

Output 2.1 Area of wetland restored contributing to flood reduction and sustainable management of the Nong Peung wetland in Paksan

Output 2.2 Area of urban streams restored contributing to flood reduction and sustainable management of urban streams in Savannakhet and Pakse

Output 2.3 Area of permeable paving solutions installed in public areas contributing to flood reduction in Vientiane, Paksan, Savannakhet and Pakse

Functional competencies


Reporting to the UNEP Task Manager and Project Director in MONRE, the consultant will be embedded in the Project Management Unit in MONRE and perform the following role:


  • Lead in implementing the best approaches and methodologies for timely achievement of project targets and objectives;
  • Develop monitoring system for tracking ecosystem benefits and responses from restoration and rehabilitation activities using specific indicators and methodologies (e.g. measuring reduced erosion, improved soil quality, increased infiltration and overall flood reduction) in collaboration with the National University of Laos;
  • Provide strategic guidance to the implementation of the project in relation to government policies, guidelines, institutions, with a view to facilitate uptake of project results;
  • Provide oversight of the work of the Project Management Unit to ensure high technical quality of delivery;
  • Develop terms of references for consultancies and procurement activities and participate in the identification and selection of consultants and service providers;
  • Oversee the work of consultants, such as the development of management plans, modeling exercises, participatory activities, surveys, etc. and review outputs;
  • Undertake technical review of project materials and outputs such as inception reports, studies, assessments, training materials, and knowledge products;
  • Support oversee the work of the Environment and Social Safeguards Officer in ensuring standards are upheld and that the project is compliant with its Environmental and Social Action Plan and the policies of Lao PDR, UNEP, and GCF;

Implementation and Outreach

  • Develop work plans with detailed budgets and procurement plans based on the Funding Proposal Package to be approved by the Project Steering Committee;
  • Coordinate the project work with other activities in the country and region that relate to ecosystem-based adaptation, wetland restoration, and related activities with a view to facilitate synergy and share project experiences and lessons learned;
  • Ensure beneficiaries and stakeholders are aware of project activities and progress;
  • Participate in Project Steering Committee meetings as part of the Project Management Unit;
  • Ensure that the project is being implemented in accordance with the Project Cooperation Agreement (PCA) and the Funded Activity Agreement (FAA);
  • Comply with national policies on anti-corruption, Anti-fraud and Corruption Framework of the UN and GCF Prohibited Practices;
  • Comply with UN and GCF policies on sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment at all times;

Monitoring and Reporting

  • Oversee and support project results monitoring based on the project results framework;
  • Oversee the work of the Monitoring and Gender Officer;
  • Conduct technical supervision missions in project sites;
  • Support the development of management responses to findings of the mid-term and terminal evaluations;
  • Monitor project progress and propose corrective actions, risk mitigation options, and practice adaptive management in the event of delays and implementation challenges in coordination with the Project Management Unit, UNEP Task Manager and Project Steering Committee;
  • Ensure high quality preparation of all required technical and financial reports and documents (Annual Performance Reports, Half-yearly Progress Reports, Financial Information, Quarterly Expenditure Reports, Budget Revisions, Cash Advance Requests, Co-financing Reports, etc.);
  • Undertake any other tasks as may be assigned by, and mutually agreed with the line manager;

Functional competencies


  • Shows pride in work and in achievements
  • Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter
  • Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results
  • Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns
  • Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges
  • Remains calm in stressful situations


  • Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments
  • Delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards
  • Operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules
  • Supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments
  • Takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.

Planning and Organizing

  • Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies
  • Identifies priority activities and assignments; Adjusts priorities as required
  • Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work
  • Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning
  • Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary
  • Uses time efficiently

Judgement and Decision-Making

  • Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly
  • Gathers relevant information before making a decision
  • Considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them
  • Takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization
  • Proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information
  • Checks assumptions against facts
  • Determines that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision
  • Makes tough decisions when necessary


  • Knowledge of methodologies related to environmental assessment and monitoring
  • Experience in working and collaborating with different stakeholders;
  • Ability to detect and escalate project risk and propose effective mitigation measures;
  • Responsiveness to changing project circumstances and adaptability;
  • Effective communication skills in both written and oral English. Report writing skills, moderation and facilitation skills are essential; and
  • Experience managing for results and supporting development of budgets, work plans, and procurement plans.
  • Excellent report writing and facilitation skills.


Education/Experience/Language requirements


  • Master’s degree in water resources management, hydrology, ecology, environmental science, or related fields (PhD will be an added advantage).
  • Bachelor’s degree in the above mentioned areas in combination with an additional 2 years of relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  • Minimum of 7 years’ relevant work experience with 5 years specific experience in climate change or natural resources management is required.
  • Experience working in Southeast Asian region is desirable
  • Experience as a Chief Technical Advisor on other projects is desirable
  • Demonstrated project or programme experience in water resources management, ecology, hydrology, environmental science, or related fields;
  • Demonstrated experience in projects in developing country settings;
  • Demonstrated working experience with Green Climate Fund, Global Environment Facility, or similar donor-funded projects desirable.


  • Fluency in English is required.