|Hanoi, Lao Cai and Son La|
|November 22, 2022|
With more than 35 years of experience, Cowater International is Canada’s global leader in management consulting services specialising in international development. We have managed the implementation of over 2500 projects in more than 95 countries around the globe for clients such as DFID, DFAT Australia, the European Union, the World Bank and Global Affairs Canada. We work with governments, partner organisations, 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 from 2017 to 2021.
GREAT is a flagship initiative of the Australian aid program. The program promotes women’s economic empowerment (WEE) in the ethnically diverse north-west region of Vietnam, through the integration of a market systems development (MSD) approach.
The primary beneficiaries are women living in the provinces of Son La and Lao Cai, while an overarching emphasis is placed on the inclusion of women from ethnic minority communities as these provinces are home to twelve and twenty-six ethnic groups respectively.
The objectives of the Aus4Equality|GREAT Program are:
Objective 1 – Women, particularly ethnic minority women living in Son La and Lao Cai, have improved economic benefits.
Objective 2 – Women, particularly ethnic minority women living in Son La and Lao Cai, have increased confidence and social status, including more balanced workloads and greater decision making within the home, workplace, and community.
Objective 3 – Women, particularly ethnic minority women and household members living in Son La and Lao Cai benefit from more gender responsive, inclusive, and effective provincial and national policies, plans, strategies, and programs.
Under GREAT, inclusive market development is identified as the primary vehicle for achieving women’s economic empowerment with its focus on:
- Reach: Engaging women in all project activities and addressing barriers to participation.
- Benefit: Improve women’s access to assets, financial services and support services.
- Empower: Strengthen the ability of women to make strategic life choices and put these into action.
The program is entering its second five-year phase and GREAT 2 will continue its focus on agriculture and tourism, identifying specific sectors that lend themselves to opportunities for women’s economic empowerment and work with multiple stakeholders to address constraints, generate opportunities, drive market growth and increase productive value of the sector. Cross-sector strategies of women’s leadership and entrepreneurship, financial inclusion, digital inclusion, policy advocacy and behaviour change will complement the sector strategies.
The GREAT Policy Dialogue Strategy aims at ensuring that “Government policies, including National Target Programs (NTPs) for period 2021 – 2025 and its implementation at multiple levels (central level and in Lao Cai and Son La) created a more conducive enabling environment for women’s economic empowerment”. Policy Dialogue Strategy is to be updated in the first six months of GREAT 2.
The Policy Dialogue Strategy defined 6 Policy Priority areas covering:
- Inclusive and Gender-Responsive Production Support under NTPs
- Inclusive and Gender-Responsive Rural Tourism
- Inclusive Finance for Ethnic Minority Women
- Behaviour Change Communication and Capacity Development for WEE
- Incentivizing the Private Sector in Adoption of MSD and WEE Approaches
- Strategic Supervision of the NTPs and New NTP Programming
Policy Priority Areas 1, 2, 5 and 6 will be implemented through national and provincial government partners as well as development partners
Cowater is recruiting a Policy Advocacy Advisor (as outlined in this TOR) to implement selected Policy Priorities Areas.
SUMMARY OF THE ASSIGNMENT
Reporting to the Deputy Team Leader and working closely with other GREAT staff, the Policy Advocacy Advisor will:
- Strategically steer and support GREAT’s policy partners to maximise outcomes and document and share best practise on policy influencing at the national and provincial levels.
- Update the GREAT Policy Dialogue Strategy and annual policy dialogue action plans, together with the GREAT management team, DFAT and selected partners.
- Support partners in co-designing proposals in line with GREAT policy advocacy strategy or emerging areas of interest for approval by GREAT/Investment Committee.
- Identify opportunities to upscale GREAT successful approaches and models through government plans and policies at the province and national levels.
- Support the program’s broader Monitoring Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) objectives including the implementation of GREAT’s policy longitudinal study and other assessments to identify policy changes and impacts on women, their families and local communities, in conjunction with the Monitoring Evaluation Research and Learning (MERL) Manager.
- Prepare/review policy briefs as required.
- Provide ongoing advice to the Team Leader, Deputy Team Leader and other program staff as needed.
- Deliver technical assistance and quality control for selected assignments with national partners
- Manage specific policy initiatives at national and provincial levels, including:
- oversight and technical support to partners to deliver results on policy influencing
- work with partners to prepare and update annual work plans and quarterly progress reports
- monitor and report on expenditure
- conduct partner performance assessments
Quality Assurance and Capacity Building
- Provide broad expertise to the GREAT team, Project Management Units (PMUs) and partners to build capacity on policy advocacy
- Actively monitor and steer partner progress in achieving policy advocacy and influencing
- Collaborate with the team to ensure the quality of partner reporting and communications addresses the multidimensional nature of women’s economic empowerment.
Stakeholder Communication and Reporting
- Provide monthly policy portfolio implementation progress updates.
- Participate in the Reflect/Refocus workshops to inform the program’s and partner’s workplan development and provide expert knowledge and guide/facilitate partner discussion on policy (gender and women’s economic empowerment) issues.
- Provide input into GREAT program-level reporting, planning and communications.
- Be responsible for maintaining a strong communication flow on policy influencing partners with the Project Management Units, target district governments and other stakeholders.
- Sharing GREAT-related experiences at relevant external events to promote learning and upscaling
- Represent/support GREAT and DFAT at relevant policy dialogue meetings
- University qualification in a relevant field, Masters level preferred.
- At least 5 yeas of working experience in policy advocacy with a proven track record of successful policy advocacy.
- An excellent understanding of the Vietnamese government context.
- Experience in project management including workplan, monitoring and reporting
- Excellent communications and reporting writing skills in English. Vietnamese language knowledge is an advantage.
- Strong critical thinking.
- A large network and strong relationships with departments, ministries
- An understanding of the tourism and agricultural sectors and women’s economic empowerment.
- Experience working with ethnic minority communities is an advantage.