Aus4EqualityPolicy Advisor


Policy Advisor


Terms of Reference

Position Title:

Policy Advisor (locally engaged national or international)


Hanoi, Son La and Lao Cai

Period of Assignment:

November 2020 – September 2021


50 days (estimated)

Reporting To:

Deputy Team Leader


With more than 30 years experience, Cowater International is Canada’s global leader in management consulting services, specializing in international development. We have managed the implementation of over 800 projects in more than 80 countries around the globe for clients such as DFID, DFAT Australia, the World Bank and Global Affairs Canada. We work with governments, partner organizations, communities and civil society to design and implement sustainable solutions that generate lasting social, economic and environmental impacts. Our adaptive approach to management has led to our award-winning work and recognition as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies in 2017 and 2018.

The Aus4Equality|Gender Responsive Equitable Agriculture and Tourism (GREAT) Program is a flagship initiative of the Australian aid program in Vietnam. The Program, which seeks to promote women’s economic empowerment in the ethnically diverse north-west region of Vietnam through market systems development (MSD) in the agriculture and tourism sectors, commenced in November 2017 and will run until December 2021. Under GREAT there are approximately fifty separate projects, each implemented by a lead partner.

Given the current stage of the Program, policy and advocacy is an increasing priority for GREAT. The National Assembly’s approval of the National Target Program for Socio-Economic Development in Ethnic Minority and Mountainous Areas (NTP-SEDEMA) is a natural entry point for GREAT to influence national government policy. GREAT is working with CARE to advocate to the Vietnamese Government to help shape the design of the new National Target Program for Sustainable Poverty Reduction and SEDEMA. A new partnership with UNDP is supporting demand-driven NTP policy implementation at both the provincial and national level.

At the provincial level, the District and Department Competitiveness Index (DDCI) projects being implemented by the Department of Planning and Investment in Son La and Lao Cai provinces aim to improve local economic governance for a more conducive and inclusive business environment.

GREAT is now seeking to engage a Policy Advisor to support the Program and further strengthen our advocacy agenda.

Statement of Duty:

The Policy Advisor will support the Program by identifying and responding to opportunities to influence policy, engage more effectively in dialogues at a national level and prepare highly relevant policy briefs. 

Specific Duties:

  • Work with the GREAT Senior Management Team and relevant partners to develop a Policy Action Plan for the remainder of the Program that covers:

o    High level review of GREAT’s current policy activities.

o    Identifying priority policy advocacy topics.

o    Assessment of the Program’s ability to influence outcomes.

o    Identifying additional stakeholders that should be engaged.

o    Follow up actions including evidence required and clear responsibilities.

  • Provide regular updates on the national policy context and proactively identify opportunities for GREAT and DFAT to connect to national level initiatives.
  • Review and provide feedback to GREAT on relevant policy documents in line with GREAT objectives including at a national, provincial or sector level.
  • Prepare high-level and Program wide policy briefs.
  • Provide inputs into GREAT’s communications activities by articulating the Program policy objectives and achievements.
  • Participate in GREAT’s reflect and refocus workshops and input into GREAT progress reporting.
  • Provide ongoing advice to the Team Leader, Deputy Team Leader and other Program staff as needed.

Key Deliverables:

  • A policy action plan for GREAT.
  • Preparation of high-level policy briefs.
  • Support connections of GREAT and DFAT into decision making bodies.
  • Quality and timely feedback on government policy documents.
  • Presentations and other inputs into GREAT learning events and communications activities.

Required Qualifications:

  • University qualification in a relevant field, Masters level preferred.
  • A large network and strong relationships with decision making bodies.
  • A proven track record of successful policy advocacy.
  • An excellent understanding of the Vietnamese government context. 
  • Excellent communications and reporting writing skills in English.  Vietnamese language knowledge is an advantage.
  • Strong critical thinking.
  • An understanding of the tourism and agricultural sectors and women’s economic empowerment.
  • Experience working with ethnic minority communities is an advantage.

Application requirements

Please submit your application to by 5 pm (Hanoi time) 18 November 2020 specifying the position you are applying for in the email title. The application should include:

  • A detailed CV (maximum 4 pages)
  • A cover letter including a response to each of the selection criteria
  • A daily rate that complies with DFAT’s Aid Advisor Renumeration Framework for international staff (applied for international applicants), or complies with EU/UN cost norms for national staff (applied for national applicants). The budget for travel costs will be negotiated with the successful consultant.

Please note that an agreement will be entered into with the successful consultant that should be compliant with CowaterSogema’s head contract with DFAT including DFAT ownership of final deliverables.

For more opportunities, please visit our website at or facebook page at




Job Details
Organisation Name: 
Aus4Equality|GREAT Program
Hanoi, Son La and Lao Cai
Application Deadline: 
Wed, 2020-11-18