Project Officer Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Website United Nations Development Programme

Job Description


UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

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The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), acting as an implementing agency of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), is providing assistance to the Government of Tajikistan’s National Biodiversity and Biosafety Center, Committee of Environmental Protection under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and an Agency of Forestry under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan in the implementation of the GEF Full Size Project (FSP) “Conservation and Sustainable Use of Pamir Alay and Tien Shan Ecosystems for Snow Leopard (SL) Protection and Sustainable Community Livelihoods”. The project is coordinated with the global UNDP-GEF project Transboundary Cooperation for SL and Ecosystem Conservation. The project is closely related to the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan of Tajikistan (2014-2020) since it develops improved policies for use of natural resources, forest conservation, expands protected areas and raises the engagement of communities in their management, all of which are the NBSAP priorities.

The total habitat of the snow leopard in Tajikistan is reported to be about 85,700 km². Tajikistan forms an important link between the southern, northern and eastern range populations of snow leopards, and serves as a vital corridor for the genetic interchange between these populations. Although no precise population estimate is available for the country, the current population estimates for snow leopards is around 220 individuals. The project will directly support the implementation of the priority actions contained in the National State Leopard Ecosystem Protection Plan (NSLEP) for Tajikistan. It seeks to: (i) prevent the further fragmentation of snow leopard and prey ecosystems in Tajikistan; (ii) maintain and/or restore the quality of key snow leopard and prey habitats within these ecosystems; (iii) improve the conservation status of, and sustainability of pasture and forest use in, these key snow leopard and prey habitats; and (iv) reduce the direct threats to the survival of snow leopards and prey populations living in these key habitats.

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The project strategy is focused around four strategic areas of intervention as follows:

Conservation areas – improving the conservation tenure and conservation security of protected areas and community-based conservancies by building the institutional and individual capacities to implement a smart patrol system;

Livestock pasture areas – improving sustainable management of pasture lands across the snow leopard range by incentivising changes to unsustainable practices and reducing the extent and intensity of conflicts between pastoralists and snow leopard and their prey by enhancing the survival rate of livestock;

Forest areas – improving the ecological integrity of forests in the snow leopard range by: (i) rehabilitating degraded forests; and (ii) reducing the extent and intensity of harvesting of wood from these forests by encouraging the adoption of other fuel sources; and

Knowledge – expanding the reach of research, monitoring and planning efforts about snow leopard, snow leopard prey and their habitats by building institutional capacities, resources and partnerships.

The project is structured into three components, with each component comprising a complementary suite of two to four outputs which will collectively contribute to realizing the targeted outcome for the component:

The first component – “Conservation and sustainable management of key biodiversity areas”– will support the development and implementation of a smart patrol system in two sections of the Tajik NP, a World Heritage Site. Work under this component will be focused around four key areas of project support: (i) Secure the conservation status and boundaries of protected areas (Output 1.1); (ii) Develop the capacity to implement a smart patrolling system in protected areas (Output 1.2); (iii) Improve the equipment and infrastructure to support the implementation of a smart patrolling system in protected areas (Output 1.3); and (iv) Enhance community involvement in, and beneficiation from, protected areas (Output 1.4).

The second component – “Ecosystem resilience and habitat connectivity in wider landscape outside protected areas”– will assist in improving the planning and management of the high altitude livestock pastures and indigenous forests located along, or immediately adjacent to, the key snow leopard migration routes within the Hissar-Alay and Vakhsh-Darvaz areas. Work under this component will be focused around three key areas of project support: (i) Reduce impacts on, and improve the management of, livestock pastures (Output 2.1); (ii) Reduce impacts on, and improve the management of, forests (Output 2.2); and (iii) Strengthen wildlife monitoring and enforcement capacities (Output 2.3).

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The third component – “Support to international cooperation”– will strengthen the state of knowledge of, and collaboration in, the conservation of snow leopard and their ecosystems. Work under this component will be focused around two key areas of project support: (i) Enhance the state of knowledge on snow leopard and prey populations (Output 3.1); and (ii) Improve the coordination of, and cooperation in, snow leopard conservation and monitoring (Output 3.2).

The project is nationally implemented (NIM) by the Committee for Environmental Protection under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan with support from the UNDP, in line with the Standard Basic Assistance Agreement (SBAA, 1993), the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2016-2021 signed between the UN and the Government of Tajikistan, and the UNDP Country Programme Document 2016-2021 signed between UNDP and the Government of Tajikistan.

Duties and Responsibilities

 Organization and Management:

  • Develop annual work plans and execute project activities in consultation with the UNDP CO and Committee for Environmental Protection under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, and present to “Conservation and Sustainable Use of Pamir Alay and Tien Shan Ecosystems for Snow Leopard (SL) Protection and Sustainable Community Livelihoods” Project Steering Committee;
  • Ensure adherence of the project work plan to the Project Document, prepare revisions if required, and ensure synergies with other donor funded initiatives focused on conservation;
  • Prepare regular progress reports in line with reporting schedules, as well as any other reports requested by UNDP, donor, Government and or other stakeholders;
  • Prepare final project report and process all other requirements for the project auditing, midterm and final evaluation and closure of the project as per UNDP standard procedures;
  • Ensure timely recruitment and procurement of quality services and equipment and implementation of project activities in line with applicable UNDP rules, regulation and standards;
  • Manage the human and financial resources for achieving results in line with the outputs and activities outlined in the project document and annual work plan;
  • Lead, manage and oversee the project staff and consultants to ensure timely implementation of project activities and achievement of expected results;

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  • Ensure the project team members have clear set goals and targets as per which performance assessment is conducted;
  • Undertake timely actions to respond to any project deviation or delays informing donor and partners;
  • Review and ensure technical soundness and cost effectiveness of project activities;
  • Support the establishment of monitoring frameworks and provide on-going feedback and technical backstopping and regularly monitor progress towards the identified indicators;
  • Organize meetings of the Project Board (Project Steering Committee);
  • Represent the project at the Project Steering Committee meetings, technical meetings and other appropriate fora in coordination with UNDP Country Office;
  • Ensure timely planning and implementation of the envisaged baseline surveys, annual action research and project evaluations to inform project level planning and decision making;
  • Ensure that project outputs have been achieved as appropriate, the project is successfully closed and that project outputs are revisited during the project evaluation process to assess the impact of project outputs on expected outcomes;
  • Ensure security of the staff and assets belonging to the projects.

 Delivery of Project Results:

  • Oversee and monitor implementation of work plans and budgets for all project activities. Ensure that the project produces the results (outputs) specified in the project documents to the required standard of quality and within the specified constraints of time and cost;
  • Monitor the project expenditures, commitments and balance of funds under the project budget lines, and draft project budget revisions in accordance and cooperation with UNDP’s ATLAS system including the reporting on project funds and related record keeping;

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  • Ensure conformity of results with the Project Document and UNDP rules and procedures through budget preparation and management, planning and general monitoring of the project;
  • Manage delivery of results by using up-to-date best practices and know-how in the subject area and accordingly plan delivery of resources for the performance year;
  • Ensure that all project deliverables and documents are noted and stored, that the project is both operationally and financially closed in Atlas, that all tasks have been completed, that all assets have been transferred, that all issues are resolved and that the project is “done”;
  • Review professional performance and document implementation processes and results through a project-based professional reports.
  • Monitor project expenditure, commitments and balance of funds under the project budget lines for cost-efficiency and consistency with the Project Document and corresponding Annual Work Plan. Prepare results framework for each output and establish performance and impact assessment indicators and system.

 Policy and Technical Advice:

The incumbent must arrange through different means the provision of policy advice to the Government as well as to the partners of the project, in the following areas:

  • Prepare plan of action for policy support services;
  • Provide intellectual or substantive leadership in the subject area through identification of key policy issues and formulation of best possible and alternative policy and programme options at local and national levels;
  • Stimulate strategic thinking in the subject area, taking into account the needs of Government, local authorities, non-government and development partners as well as opportunities to develop national public goods;

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  • Map on a consistent basis the conservation, ecosystem management and natural resource management issues, covering the situation and strategic opportunities in the form of reports;
  • Identify opportunities to enhance teamwork within the project and with other UNDP projects to capitalize on the specific advantages of multi-disciplinary support within the framework of the project;
  • Provide policy advice on the on-going policy development on conservation, ecosystem management and natural resource management, and ensuring the optimal design and sequencing necessary for enhancing the existing legal framework and institutional strengthening;
  • Provide technical support to the development and implementation of catchment management strategies, including sustainable finance strategies.
  • Contribute to policy briefs, strategic notes, discussion papers on emerging conservation, ecosystem management and natural resource management related issues, for consideration by the Government and other stakeholders;
  • Review and contribute to all outputs and deliverables produced under the project;
  • Analysis and aggregation of project results/outputs, and reporting of project progress at the objective and outcome level;
  • Development and implementation of capacity building activities aimed at government counterparts, civil society groups, media and relevant stakeholders.

Knowledge Management:

  • Contribute to building the corporate body of knowledge in the area of biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management, by systematically (1) sharing knowledge with colleagues, and (2) ensuring that relevant experiences and lessons;
  • Contribute written inputs to UNDP flagship products/newsletter/policy briefs, based on project results, data and information, lessons learned and best practices.
  • Formulate a framework for data sharing among stakeholders, for project implementation.
  • Support the Government with analysis and substantive research into national conservation planning, and other major national and local development issues;

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  • Sharing international best practices on implementation of conservation and ecosystem management policies and practices through participatory processes and techniques involving civil society, women and minority groups.
  • Ensure systemic capturing of key lessons learnt generated by the project through feasibility studies, research, surveys as well as other primary and secondary sources to produce knowledge-based products;
  • Constantly monitor, and ensure highest UNDP standards in the provision of technical and advisory inputs, organization of workshops, seminars, training and delivery of outputs (products);
  • Serve as peer reviewer, as and when required.

Partnership and Resource Mobilization:

  • Identify stakeholders and partners for the undertaking of various project outputs and activities;
  • Prepare and implement a stakeholder mapping and stakeholder engagement/partnership strategy including civil society/non-government organizations and indigenous & local communities with activities, targets and expected results;
  • Develop new partnerships with civil society and/or non-governmental/ community-based organizations; local communities and private sector to deliver the project outputs and activities, as required;
  • Establish and maintain sound partnerships with the Government, namely Committee for Environmental Protection under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, donors and other strategic partners;
  • Ensure that project activities are closely coordinated with stakeholders and that a high level of collaboration and cooperation is in place at the national, regional, provincial and district level;

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  • Liaise with project partners to ensure their co-financing contributions are identified, secured and provided within the agreed terms;
  • Liaise with other relevant government and relevant partners/stakeholders, UNDP Country Office regarding the project, including to share information about trends, issues and results, to coordinate and utilize resources effectively and efficiently.
  • Ensure adequate information flow, discussions and feedback among the various stakeholders of the project according to the agreed management arrangements;
  • Proactively identify potential sources of funding and assist in resource mobilization for the project through development of concept notes and funding proposals to the potential donors and promoting project deliverables at the relevant development platforms;
  • Prepare proposals for mobilization of human, technical or financial resources from international development organizations, non-government organizations and the private sector;
  • Mobilize resources to support the achievement of project outputs and outcomes;