The global COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity for Samoa to test and strengthen social, economic and environmental resilience in safeguarding and accelerating progress against the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA Pathway). While reversing rising unemployment trends will require continued macroeconomic stability, targeted labour support to the unemployed, particularly women and youth, is critical to build back better by creating more sustainable, resilient and inclusive industries, capable of buffering the long-term socio-economic impact of COVID-19 and risks of future crises, whilst ensuring strengthened local and nation-wide preparedness mechanisms. The COVID-19 Preparedness and Recovery: Diversification of the Economic Sector in Samoa project aims to strengthen COVID-19 preparedness and accelerate socio-economic recovery through the revitalisation, diversification and expansion of the agriculture and fisheries sector to unlock the potential of Samoa’s green and blue economy, adopting a Human Security approach to create sustainable employment opportunities for the vulnerable, particularly women and youth. The project envisions a single, overarching output: COVID-19 preparedness and socio-economic recovery is strengthened in Samoa, particularly for unemployed women and youth. Key results expected to be achieved include the exploration and testing of niche market opportunities for sustained and sustainable local value chain development that benefit women and youth through the creation of decent employment and economic empowerment, and contribute to strengthening health preparedness, environmental sustainability and community resilience. The project has a twofold objective to: i) improve livelihoods through local value-chain development of environmentally-friendly alternatives for COVID-19 prevention and preparedness, and ii) support a transition from subsistence to sustained and sustainable market-oriented production through enhanced market access and knowledge amongst the agriculture and fisheries sector and beneficiaries of the project that drives increased productivity, production capacity and supply-chain quality.
Under the direct supervision of the UNDP ARR for the Governance and Poverty Reduction Unit (GPRU), the Project Coordinator has the overall responsibility for achieving the project results (outputs) as defined in the approved project document and annual workplans through timely and quality implementation and monitoring. Additionally, the Project Coordinator will be responsible for all Youth Employment Programme Phase 2 (YEP-2) activities across the GPRU programme portfolio. S/he is responsible for coordinating the partners involved in the project, aiming to secure broad ownership and the commitment and support of other parties to the successful delivery of the outputs. S/he will work closely with Responsible Parties, technology providers, donors and contractors in the coordinating and managing planning, implementation and reporting, as well as organizational and administrative/logistical responsibilities and financial management of the project. S/he will draw on the support of existing staff in the UNDP Samoa Multi-Country Office (MCO) Staff (e.g., Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Analyst, Communications Analyst, Procurement Associate, Programme Finance Analyst, Programme Associate) to ensure timely implementation of day-to-day project activities. The Project Coordinator will ensure that project activities are aligned with sustainable development principles, coordinated with other projects across the UNDP MCO, and drawing on the new UNDP Accelerator Lab in Samoa.
To be considered for the position, applicants need to demonstrate prior experience in project management and substantive expertise in rural development and/or sustainable livelihoods, particularly within the agriculture and fisheries sectors.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Managing the implementation of project activities by mobilizing inputs in accordance with the UNDP Programme and Operations Policies and Procedures and UNDP Samoa Standard Operating Procedures:
- Develop detailed annual project workplans that include all activities and roles and responsibilities of project partners; with milestones, as well as corresponding procurement plans, and manage revisions as needed;
- Monitor the progress of implementation of project activities and key event schedules observing the workplans and due dates, including monitoring of the financial resources and accounting to ensure accuracy and reliability of financial reports;
- Mobilize goods and services to support project activities, including drafting terms of reference and services/goods specifications, overseeing contractors’ work and certifying deliverables, and organizing workshops, trainings and events;
- Advise and build the capacity of Responsible Parties on complying with UNDP’s requirements on the efficient and transparent use of project financial resources, and conduct checks;
- Manage requests for the provision of financial resources by UNDP to Responsible Parties, through direct cash transfers, direct payments or reimbursement using the FACE (Fund Authorization and Certificate of Expenditures) form and in line with the UN Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfers (HACT) framework;
- Ensure proper filing of all project information;
- Prepare internal and external correspondence for the project;
- Ensure that gender and disability are mainstreamed throughout all outputs and activities in the project cycle, and progress monitored through disaggregated data;
- Coordinate an exit strategy at least 3 months ahead of the project closure date; ensure closure of the project is done according to the established procedures.
Monitoring of progress and risks, ensuring adaptive management and addressing issues and managing risks in a timely manner:
- Develop detailed Monitoring and Evaluation plan for the project in close collaboration with project partners;
- Monitor events as determined in the project monitoring plan, and update the plan as required;
- Ensure that the project information required in the Atlas Project Management module and Intranet Project Portal (annual targets and results, risks, issues, monitoring, progress, key project information) is kept up to date;
- Manage and monitor the project risks initially identified and submit information on new risks and possible mitigating measures to the Project Board for consideration and decision on possible actions if required, and update the status of these risks by maintaining the Project Risk Log;
- Ensure that Project Quality Assurance is conducted in a timely manner; and
- Prepare, organize, and minute regular Project Board meetings.
Reporting on progress:
- Prepare timely regular project progress reports (on progress against planned activities, update on risks, project finances, etc.) to the Project Board as per the Project Document and two weeks ahead of the meeting;
- Ensure that donor reports are prepared in a timely manner and with quality;
- Support the preparation of reviews and evaluations as defined in the Project Document;
- Prepare final project report and supporting documents; and
- Contribute to UNDP corporate reporting obligations (ROAR, COVID-19 reporting, etc.).
Establishing and maintaining partnerships in the project and relevant area of work:
- Be aware and keep abreast of activities of other partners in agriculture, fisheries, community development, women and youth employment spaces, and ensure coordination and regular exchanges of information to ensure the coherence and complementarity of project activities;
- Establish and maintain close partnerships and regular communication with Responsible Parties, project partners, beneficiaries and current as well as potential donors; and
- Identify opportunities for widening/deepening the cooperation and recommending adequate approaches to approaching and managing different stakeholders based on information arising from project implementation.
Implementing communications/advocacy activities and ensuring knowledge management:
- Coordinate the implementation of the project Communications and Visibility Strategy;
- Lead the development of communication, advocacy and awareness raising materials, including briefing materials and press releases;
- Undertake project regular communications through social media;
- Identify and use suitable information management tools for data collection, analysis and visualization to facilitate monitoring, reporting and decision-making in line with the project needs;
- Identify and document results/impact, lessons learned and good practices, and prepare knowledge and advocacy products/materials for internal and external audiences;
- Exchange information/experience with other UNDP projects regularly to spur cross-learning; and
- Participation in UNDP and external Communities of Practice and Knowledge Networks.
REQUIRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
- Advanced university degree (Master's degree) in Agriculture, Development Studies, Economics, Environmental Studies, Project Management or related field; or,
- a first-level university degree (Bachelor’s degree) in one of the above disciplines in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience.
- Master's degree with minimum of 2 years of working experience in the area of programme and project management required;
- Bachelor's degree with minimum of 4 years of working experience in above areas;
- Substantive expertise in substantive expertise in rural development and/or sustainable livelihoods, particularly within the agriculture and fisheries sectors, is required;
- Demonstrated ability in managing resources and budgets, and financial reporting required;
- Previous experience working with Government, international organizations, bilateral agencies or NGOs/CSOs required;
- Experience in the using computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.) and excellent knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages, as well as experience in handling of web- based management systems required. Experience with ERP systems, preferably PeopleSoft, is desirable; and
- Strong time-management, organizational and inter-personal skills.
- Fluency in English and Samoan both written and verbal;
- Knowledge of written and oral Japanese would be an advantage.