This Joint Programme (UNJP) will work to strengthen the national architecture for managing and allocating development finance to support more efficient and effective use of available resources at this critical moment. This will be done by drawing on the strengths of UN agencies to: support development of a practical financing strategy to support implementation of the Plan in light of shocks; develop a context appropriate methodology to cost commitments made under the plan to support improved prioritization; develop an evidence-based approach to supporting budget allocations through a pilot in the health sector; and implement an innovative budget tagging methodology that will allow actual spending to be tracked against priorities. This UNJP will take place at a critical moment in the implementation of ongoing national reforms and policy actions that will have a substantial impact on Lao PDR’s ability to meet its SDG objectives over the next ten years. During 2020, the Government is: (i) developing the 9th NSEDP, that sets out a five-year development plan and (ii) undertaking a far-reaching reform of the public financial management system that includes upgrading and modernizing the financial system to comply with international standards and optimizing budget management through the introduction of a country wide Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS). These two key national processes are the anchor points for the joint programme, and offer a unique set of opportunities that the programme will use to support the Government in the development of a more efficient, effective, and robust national architecture for the management of development finance, supporting continued development progress in spite of the
challenging funding environment and repeated shocks. This has become a heightened imperative in light of COVID-19 to help increase the Government’s means to respond. Practically, the programme will bring new resources and a global network of knowledge to take concrete steps forward toward developing an Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) in line with the Government’s objectives and the UN’s commitments. UNDP, UNCDF and UNFPA will jointly implement the UNJP, with UNDP being the Lead Agency. The UN Resident Coordinator will be responsible for strategic planning and oversight of the UNJP. As the Convening/Lead Agency of the UNJP, UNDP will co-chair the Steering Committee with the Ministry of Planning and Investment. The UNJP duration is between July 2020 to June 2022.
The Outputs are:
- SDG-aligned financing strategy for the NSEDP strengthened.
- Greater optimization of budget expenditure to achieve the SDGs.
Duties and Responsibilities
Together, these two outputs contribute to the broader development outcome of a more efficient and optimized national development financing architecture in Lao PDR, supporting the continued evolution of the NSEDP from an aspirational blueprint to a comprehensive strategic plan inclusive of the financing of priority areas that place particular emphasis on lagging SDGs. To deliver these outputs, the UNJP will implement the following four key activities:
- Supporting the development of a Financing Strategy for the 9th NSEDP. This will include data collection and analysis to identify financing trends and opportunities using the well-defined Development Finance Assessment methodology. It will include an analysis of the tools being used by the Government to attract private investment, how to make that investment more sustainable and gender sensitive, and how to enhance the attraction of private finance opportunities to help realise the SDGs through the 9th NSEDP. This will be led by the MPI, with support from UNDP;
- Developing a context-appropriate methodology and building capacity to cost NSEDP plans. This responds to a specific expectation for the 9th NSEDP, and will be led by MPI, with technical support from UNDP. This will include reviewing available approaches to costing national plans, available data, and working with national counterparts to develop an approach that meets the need to bring in costing approaches and capacities to government processes, but remains practically feasible;
- Integrating SDG Budget Tagging into the revised national Chart of Accounts (CoA). This will include developing an IPSAS compliant SDG-aligned CoA and an SDG expenditure and revenue tagging methodology – disaggregated by sector, geography and gender – for the customization of the Integrated Financial management Information System (IFMIS) that is under procurement. This work will be led by the Ministry of Finance, with technical support from UNCDF; and,
- Developing a model investment case for the health sector, which can demonstrate an evidence-based approach to making budget prioritization decisions in the context of ongoing Public Finance Management reforms. This work will be led by UNFPA, working closely with MPI and the Ministry of Health. UNICEF and WHO will also partner in this component to ensure alignment with existing initiatives and to share technical expertise. UNDP is now seeking a full time National Project Coordinator to support the implementation of the UN Joint Programme “Efficiency and optimization of Lao PDR’s public budget to finance the SDGs through the National Plan”. The National Project Coordinator will be responsible for coordinating activities under the UNDP portfolio of the UNJP. He/she will contribute to developing, providing direct technical support to and monitoring the delivery of the activities envisaged in the UNJP work plan. The Coordinator will promote UNDP policies and principles in the related technical areas of the UNJP.
- The position is to be located within the UNDP Country Office Vientiane, Lao PDR. The National Project Coordinator will work under the direct supervision of the Programme Manager of the UN Joint Programme . He/she will work in close collaboration with the UNJP team at the country office and regional level. He/she will also closely collaborate with related programmes/projects of the UNDP Country Office in Lao PDR. The Coordinator is also expected to liaise very closely with government partners from Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Health. Tasks and Responsibilities Under the direct supervision of the Programme Manager, the National Coordinator will be responsible for the following work streams to:
- Support directly the overall implementation of the UNJP to ensure the planned activities and targets are achievable within the designated timeframe;
- Monitor the progress of the UNJP activities to ensure their timely and successful completion by leading the preparation of quarterly and annual reports;
- Consolidate, verify and analyse progress and final reports and related information from the participating agencies and their counterparts for clarity, consistency and completeness;
- Work in close collaboration with UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, UNCDF, UNFPA and other relevant government organizations, as necessary, to review and update the UNJP work plan (according to evolving needs and priorities) and support the implementation of the planned activities;
- Assist in the preparation of related documents such as background information, technical reports and periodic progress reports and statistical data on the overall activities of the UNJP on behalf of the UNDP;
- Coordinate and organise meetings and events with government officials, including high-level officials, as needed for the implementation of UNJP activities with the Project Steering Committee as required;
- Follow-up with counterparts in the government, development agencies and other organizations to expedite implementation, meet targets and maintain project momentum;
- Provide direct support to international experts/specialists on UNDP’s activities (no. 1 and 2 above) in:
- Data collection from government agencies, research organisations and development partners to support the preparation of Development Finance Assessment and the development of costing and financing strategy of the 9th NSEDP.
- Ensuring close collaboration and communication between international specialists and government partners/focal points.
- Assist, where possible, drafting and other inputs required by specialist.
- Perform any other ad-hoc duties as assigned by the supervisor.
- Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
- Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
- Treats all people fairly without favoritism.
Required Skills and Experience
- A master’s degree (with two years of relevant experience) or a bachelor’s degree (with five years of experience) in social sciences, business, economics, public finance, public policy, public administration, development studies or a relevant field.
- Minimum two years of professional experience at the national level in the area of direct project/programme coordination, implementation, monitoring and evaluationExperience with international organizations is desirable;
- Past experience in working with government partners and development partners to implement similar types of projects will be highly advantageous;
- Familiarity with UN system and procedures and experience working with officials of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Health;
- Relevant experience working to support project planning and budgeting, development of sectoral financing strategy, SDG implementation, development of the sectoral and national development strategies;
- Sound knowledge and understanding of Lao social, cultural and political context
- Excellent command of English and Lao