Project Coordinator

United Nations Development Programme

Colombo, Sri Lanka

The Ministry of Environment is in the process of commencing a full-sized Project under the GEF-7 cycle: Partnerships and Innovative Financing to Mainstream Biodiversity and Sustainable Land Management in the Wet Climatic Zone of Sri Lanka project aims to conserve globally significant biodiversity by improving land management practices in tea and rubber production areas in the Wet Climatic Zone through innovative Private-Public-Community partnerships. The project’s intervention is to support a set of targeted outputs that will support biological and land degradation assessments and provide technical guidance to promote alternate business models for tea and rubber plantations through partnerships between the public sector, private sector (mainly the plantation sector), smallholder groups and local communities including estate labour. To promote this approach, the project also seeks to harness innovative financing options. This project will be implemented from 2024 to 2029.

 In this context, a Project Coordinator, guided by the Programme and Policy Specialist and Team Lead (CET), is required to support the Project Directors (based at the Ministry of Environment), providing leadership and operational project management expertise, project monitoring and reporting in line with GEF and the UNDP guidelines and procedures for implementation of project activities and achieve stated outcomes and outputs in coordinating with the relevant government counterparts and other stakeholders.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • The Project Coordinator is expected to provide their time towards the GEF-7 project   and their scope of work includes:
  • Manage overall project implementation across all components & assurance of successful completion of the project in accordance with the Project Results Framework. 
  • Provide overall leadership and guidance to the staff of the Project Management Unit (PMU) and Third-Party entities; and supervise consultants. 
  • Serve as secretary of the Project Steering Board (PSB) and recommend agenda for PSB.
  • Lead the process of planning for implementation strategy, annual work-planning, reporting to PSB and UNDP, and in the preparation of implementation guidelines; 
  • Based on agreed upon strategies and plan targets set by Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs), direct and facilitate the preparation of work packages and TORs, identify and facilitate agreements with responsible partners for their implementation. 
  • Oversee the development and execution of a monitoring and evaluation system (M&E) and facilitate the mid-term and terminal reviews. 
  • Track and manage project spending in accordance with the project budgets, as well as UNDP regulations and procedures to ensure transparency, responsibility, and timely fulfillment of both program targets and budget targets.
  • Oversee the preparation and submission of annual Project Implementation Reviews (PIRs) and other required progress reports to the Project Board, UNDP, and GEF in accordance with applicable requirements, in English languages.
  • Oversee the design and full execution and implementation of the knowledge management, training and SESP, ESMF and Gender mainstreaming plans.
  • Ensure communication of project issues, innovations, and learning among key officials of the MOE and member agencies of the PSB.
  • Provide overall guidance and support for monitoring the implementation of the gender action plan, Stakeholder Engagement Plan (SEP), Environmental & Social Management Plan (ESMP), Social & Environmental Screening Procedure (SESP) updates and Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) and ensuring that these are regularly updated, adjusted, monitored and enforced.
  • Report to UNDP and GEF on the status of implementation of the gender action plan, SEP, ESMP, SESP updates and GRM and ensure adaptive management of these instruments, if and when required.
  • Represent UNDP in relevant forums and stakeholder meetings, coordinate with the regional office, produce communication products, provide inputs to UNDP’s overall results reporting, SDG & etc. 
  • Perform any other tasks assigned by the Supervisor to support overall CET portfolio tasks related to operations and administration implemented with the Ministry of Environment as assigned by the supervisor.

Institutional Arrangement

  • Reports to the Programme and Policy Specialist and Team Lead, CET, UNDP, and the Project Director of the Ministry of Environment with possible travel to project sites.

Required Skills and Experience

Min. Education requirements:

  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) related to Environmental Management, Natural Resource Management, Environment Science, Agriculture, Public Administration, Project Management, Development Studies or relevant related field is required.    OR  
  •  first-level university degree (bachelor’s degree) in combination with an additional two years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the advanced university degree.>

Min. years of relevant work experience:

  • Up to two (2) years with Master´s degree or minimum 2 years with Bachelor´s degree of progressively responsible work experience in managing large-scale donor funded projects, especially GEF, UN projects & etc. is required. 
  • Experience related to GEF, UN projects, International Development projects on natural resource management, biodiversity conservation or integrated area development.
  • Desired skills in addition to the competencies covered in the Competencies section:
  • Proven familiarity with the roles, activities, and priorities of the Sri Lanka regarding natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, agriculture, sustainable land management.
  • Basic technical understanding and/or experience of natural resources management and biodiversity conservation.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with a broad range of stakeholders, including private sector.
  • Superior skills in organization and management, including experience with planning, tracking, evaluation, and supervision of consultants and/or employees.
  • Demonstrated strong skills in project budget management.
  • Previous experience with GEF Full Size (FSP) project implementation would be an added advantage.
  • Demonstrated experience in gender mainstreaming and safeguards into project implementation will be an asset.

Required Language(s):

  • Fluency in Sinhala and/or Tamil and English communication skills in writing, reading and speaking is required.