National Project Coordinator (Albania)
Post Level: SB5 - Local Professional (Mid-Level & Senior)
TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT OF PROJECT PERSONNEL
Only nationals and/or permanent residents of the country of the duty station are eligible to apply. Female candidates are particularly encouraged to apply.
16 May 2022
Individual Service Agreement
26 May 2022
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability. The mission of UNIDO, as described in the Lima Declaration adopted at the fifteenth session of the UNIDO General Conference in 2013 as well as the Abu Dhabi Declaration adopted at the eighteenth session of UNIDO General Conference in 2019, is to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) in Member States. The relevance of ISID as an integrated approach to all three pillars of sustainable development is recognized by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will frame United Nations and country efforts towards sustainable development. UNIDO’s mandate is fully recognized in SDG-9, which calls to “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”. The relevance of ISID, however, applies in greater or lesser extent to all SDGs. Accordingly, the Organization’s programmatic focus is structured in four strategic priorities: Creating shared prosperity; Advancing economic competitiveness; Safeguarding the environment; and Strengthening knowledge and institutions.
Each of these programmatic fields of activity contains a number of individual programmes, which are implemented in a holistic manner to achieve effective outcomes and impacts through UNIDO’s four enabling functions: (i) technical cooperation; (ii) analytical and research functions and policy advisory services; (iii) normative functions and standards and quality-related activities; and (iv) convening and partnerships for knowledge transfer, networking and industrial cooperation. Such core functions are carried out in Departments/Offices in its Headquarters, Regional Offices and Hubs and Country Offices.
The Directorate of Digitalization, Technology and Agri-Business (DTA), headed by a Managing Director, coordinates and mainstreams the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in its technical cooperation, strategic, normative activities aiming at fostering the inclusive and sustainable development in the era of 4IR. The Directorate creates new and innovative technical cooperation deliverables in the areas of trade, investment, technology innovation and agro-industry and agri-business. The Directorate comprises the Department of Digitalization, Technology and Innovation (DTI) and the Department of Agri-Business (AGR).
Responding to the growing demand for supporting inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) in the era of the new industrial revolution, the Department of Digitalization, Technology and Innovation (DTA/DTI) leads the way in addressing opportunities, challenges and risks stemming from the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) and its contribution to sustainable socio-economic progress. The Department is responsible for the strategic coordination of 4IR-related matters with designated focal pointsin other technical Departments and organizational entities of UNIDO, as appropriate. In consultation with public and private partners, DTI designs and implements holistic interventions that are tailored to specific country needs. The Department’s interventions actively identify and combine complementary services from across three Divisions, namely:
- Innovation and Digitalization Division (DTA/DTI/IDD)
- Investment and Technology Promotion Division (DTA/DTI/ITP)
- Quality Infrastructure and Smart Production Division (DTA/DTI/QIS)
This position is located under the Quality Infrastructure and Smart Production Division (DTA/DTI/QIS), which seeks to build national and regional quality infrastructure systems needed to provide internationally recognized services, including strengthening institutional capacities (i.e. metrology, standardization and accreditation); building conformity assessment capacities (testing, inspection, certification, calibration, etc.); supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to take advantage of new technologies and standards for smart production and thus participate in global value chains; trade facilitation and promoting quality awareness with the public sector, economic operators and consumers.
The position is located in the DTI and is co-funded with 10 % share by the project ID 150452, Country Programme (CP) for ISID in Albania 2020-2024 implemented by the Regional Coordination Division for Europe and Central Asia (PFC/RFC/EUR).
Despite the opportunities for a stronger integration of developing countries and economies in transition in world trade that trade liberalisation has afforded, many developing countries and economies in transition have not been able to substantially increase their access to global markets. A major reason is that the reduction of tariff levels coincided with an increased use of international standards, technical regulations and market requirements resulting in non-tariff barriers to trade. Exporters from developing countries and economies in transition, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), face substantial challenges to meet and prove conformity with these international standards.
Hence, standards compliance and proof of conformity is increasingly essential for gaining and maintaining access to global markets. In order to ensure standards compliance, countries need to establish an effective and efficient National Quality Infrastructure System (NQIS) so that firms can verify and assess the conformity and compliance of their products. Furthermore, strengthening the compliance capacity on firm-level as well as policies promoting awareness and a general culture for quality is needed for a country to take full benefit of a stronger NQIS.
Many developing countries and economies in transition, however, suffer from weak quality infrastructure systems due to a lack of know-how and awareness of the role of quality infrastructure and services for international trade. Limited human and financial capital means that they require assistance to devise sound policy recommendations to improve a country’s quality capacity. In addition, companies, and in particular SMEs, generally feature a low compliance capacity. They often have insufficient technical know-how and limited access to affordable and competent quality infrastructure services, as well as they lack awareness of the far-reaching importance of product quality and safety.
UNIDO and the Swiss Confederation, through its State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), have been successfully cooperating in providing technical assistance for over 15 years, supporting partner countries to increase their international competitiveness through stronger national quality infrastructure system and compliance with international standards, resulting in a very active partnership. An effective and efficient quality infrastructure system is vital to build productive capacity in line with market needs and requirements, facilitating the integration of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) into global markets and increased prosperity.
As a result, the Global Quality and Standards Programme (GQSP) is a truly global initiative developed to assist more than 12 countries worldwide to boost their competitiveness sectors. Through an innovative approach developed by UNIDO and SECO, GQSP identifies quality-related challenges and makes targeted interventions at every single stage of the value chain, thereby increasing compliance with international market requirements and ultimately helping countries to engage in global trade.
Global Quality and Standards Programme (GQSP) Albania: Strengthening quality and standards compliance capacity for selected value chains
Albania’s economy is steadily growing with high potential for exports in selected sectors. Rich biodiversity in Albania represents an important potential for economic development resulting in Albania becoming one of Europe’s top producers of medicinal and aromatic plants in recent years. Although, related activities have until recently focused on wild plants such as sage, lavender and cornflowers that are harvested in the foothills, commercial cultivation is increasing. In addition, the fruit and vegetable sector benefits from the favourable climatic conditions, enabling early production for several types of fruits and vegetables, which provides for an important export opportunity.
Despite positive developments in recent years and scattered initiatives resulting in export, both these sectors face Quality Infrastructure-related challenges when it comes to demonstrating compliance with international market requirements, which hinders their ability to engage in cross border trade. More specifically, Albania’s agro-food sector faces constraints related to limited traceability, lack of quality standards and safety schemes, inadequate infrastructure and lack of recognized testing capacities in the country. In addition, poor education levels and little or no culture for quality among the rural population ultimately impedes farming entrepreneurs from engaging in trade.
Within the mandate of the GQSP, the overall objective of the project in Albania is to sustainably enhance market access for SMEs in the medicinal and aromatic plants and fruits and vegetable sectors through stronger quality and standards compliance. The project will address challenges faced by both sectors - primarily in terms of pesticide use and bacterial contamination - in order to reduce border rejections in key markets, and to improve both quality and productivity in these value chains. This includes the need for improving the capabilities of Albania’s Quality Infrastructure including its standardization, metrology and accreditation capacities, promoting SMEs’ competency in compliance and promoting a culture for quality in the value chains, thereby improving the quality of produce/products.
The project pursues three outcomes, thus responding to the main compliance challenges identified:
Outcome 1: The technical competence and sustainability of the National Quality Infrastructure System and the conformity assessment services that serve both the MAP and F&V value chains is enhanced. Key quality infrastructure institutions relevant for MAP and F&V value chains will be strengthened through capacity building, use of best practices, skills development, equipment purchase and implementation of management systems to ensure quality and international recognition of their services.
Outcome 2: SME compliance with international standards and technical regulations is enhanced, with a focus on the MAP value chain. This outcome is aimed at strengthening the technical competence of the conformity assessment service providers in Albania, but at the same time ensuring that any such services are consistent with market demand to ensure their ongoing financial viability and sustainability.
Outcome 3: A culture for quality is promoted focusing on both the MAP and F&V value chains.
The technical assistance to be delivered is intended to help the beneficiary organizations, their employees and all other value chain actors (particularly SMEs) to understand and embrace the need to effect changes in their day-to-day work in order to improve productivity and quality along each stage of the value chain.
Country Programme (CP) for ISID in Albania 2020-2024
The Country Programme (CP) for inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) in Albania 2020-2024, signed on 13 March 2020 in Vienna, sets up the programmatic vision and strategy for engagement and partnership for inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) between the Government of Albania and UNIDO.
The CP was formulated as a result of a consultative and inclusive process, involving a wide range of national stakeholders as well as international development partners and donors following a programming and fact-finding missions to Tirana.
The CP aims to strengthen the government’s efforts towards sustainable and inclusive growth through focused technical assistance interventions in the following three thematic areas:
- Industrial competitiveness and market access;
- Productive employment and entrepreneurship development; and
- Sustainable energy for productive use and environmental management
Each CP component includes 20 prospective project proposals that could be supported by development partners/donors. The CP’s total estimated budget is €18,284,190.
The overall programme development and coordination is conducted by the Programme Coordination Body (PCB). It provides strategic guidance to the CP’s execution and fund-raising, as well as exercise overall programme’s oversight. The PCB is composed of:
- Unit for National Development Programmes and Cooperation at the DDGG (Prime Minister’s Office), which will steer the PCB at the country level;
- UNIDO PMU;
- Steering Committee Chair representative and/ or Ministry of Finance and Economy.
The PCB coordinates administrative arrangements at the country level necessary to implement the CP and its projects, and supports the Programme Steering Committee.
DUTY STATION: Tirana, Albania
DURATION: 6 months, with possibility of extension
The National Project Coordinator (NPC), with a good understanding of Standards, Quality Assurance, Accreditation and Metrology (SQAM), shall, under the overall guidance of the UNIDO Project Manager and in close cooperation with the National Counterpart(s) and National Project Assistant (NPA), provide guidance on all project related issues and support the implementation of technical and administrative activities. The NPC is responsible for the overall technical and policy direction of the project and is accountable for the achievement of outputs.
The NPC shall provide specialist technical advice to the national implementation partners and stakeholders with regard to the implementation of the project by ensuring that all activities are technically sound, properly planned and conducted, assisting in the design and implementation of all activities required to achieve the Projects’ objectives.
The NPC should ensure efficiency and effectiveness of the financial, administrative, and technical management of the project and ensure permanent support and general follow-up of project activities, in accordance with UNIDO rules and regulations.
The NPC shall support coordination and implementation of the UNIDO Country Programme (CP) in Albania 2020-2024 in line with the CP work plans 2022 and 2023 under the overall guidance and supervision of the Programme Officer of PFC/RFC/EUR.
With the objective of assuring technically sound and smooth implementation of the Project, the NPC will be providing advisory services to the project counterpart(s). Specifically the NPC will perform the following duties:
1. Provide technical leadership in all project related issues falling under the project, incl.:
a) Assist in the design and implementation of all activities required to achieve the projects’ objectives;
b) Provide technical assistance on all activities under various components of the project such as business planning, surveys, databases, training sessions, etc.;
c) Advise on the elaboration of guidelines, methodologies, manuals and supporting documentation relevant to Standards and the project outcome;
d) Provide technical guidance on the procurement of goods and services related to the project, through:
- formulation of specifications for the intended goods and services;
- formulation of appropriate procurement documents, including bids and contracts;
- evaluation of procurement documents submitted by prospective suppliers;
- assessment of compliance of delivered goods and services against specified requirements and international standards;
- ensure adherence to the UNIDO procurement rules and procedures.
e) Liaise with the lead Ministry and other counterparts for all related project activities;
f) Elaborate ToRs for national and international experts and the supervision of their work/missions;
g) Evaluate and make us of the global GQSP tools wherever possible.
2. Ensure effective implementation and monitoring, incl.:
a) Provide strategic advice in the revision of the operational planning and budgeting system for the project;
b) Assist in the design and implementation of all activities required to achieve the projects’ objectives;
c) Constant monitoring and analysis of the project environment, and guidance to Government in undertaking timely adjustments for the project;
d) Develop and maintain harmonious relationships with government colleagues, donor, as well as with other stakeholders involved in the project;
e) Coordinate the monitoring and evaluation for the activities of the project using appropriate tools with output verifiable indicators (in line with the logical framework of the project);
f) Maintain close links with other relevant initiatives to ensure a consistent and integrated approach and the exploitation of synergies, where possible;
g) Prepare budget, work plans and reports as required by the Project and the Donor (monthly, quarterly semi-annual and annual);
h) Take an active role in the coordination and preparation of governance meetings (SCs) for the project and provides relevant documentation, incl. reports, agenda, meeting minutes;
i) Ensure alignment with the overall templates and requirements of the programme (GQSP).
3. Undertake advocacy, communication and knowledge management focusing on:
a) Facilitate the process of creating and raising the level of awareness on issues emerging in the fields of quality and standards;
b) Contribution to learning in the area of competence to the beneficiary institutions, and contribution to the knowledge management under the project;
c) Successes and best practices generated and communicated, with the aim of informing the national-level policy and political dialogue in the fields of quality and standards;
d) Create high-level advocacy on relevant developments in quality and standards and across the representatives of the country’s stakeholders;
e) Determine appropriate media for reaching out to the public and design strategies for reaching target;
f) Develop knowledge management products and communication plans;
g) Ensure alignment with the advocacy of the global programme (GQSP).
4. UNIDO Country Programme (CP) Coordination:
a) Support all ongoing activities of the UNIDO CP Project Management Unit (PMU) focusing on implementation of the CP work plans for 2022 and 2023 and CP fund mobilization strategy.
b) Secure close and regular liaison with the CP Focal Point (FP) at the Office of the Prime Minister, as well as other relevant government institutions, as well as business associations and others.
c) Provide information and guidance to the Government institutions on UNIDO services and secure necessary support for projects
d) Act as UNIDO focal point and member of the UN Country Team and engage in the work of the UN development system; regularly liaise with the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office (RCO) in Tirana, EU Delegation Office and offices of donors in the country on UNIDO matters.
e) Complete other CP related tasks as deemed necessary
5. 3. Ad-hoc requests
a) Any other assignments related to a timely and effective implementation of the project as requested by the Project Manager.
WE LIVE AND ACT WITH INTEGRITY: work honestly, openly and impartially.
WE SHOW PROFESSIONALISM: work hard and competently in a committed and responsible manner.
WE RESPECT DIVERSITY: work together effectively, respectfully and inclusively regardless of our differences in culture and perspective.
WE FOCUS ON PEOPLE: cooperate to fully reach our potential – and this is true for our colleagues as well as for our clients. Emotional intelligence and receptiveness are vital parts of our UNIDO identity.
WE FOCUS ON RESULTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES: focus on planning, organizing and managing our work effectively and efficiently. We are responsible and accountable for achieving our results and meeting our performance standards. This accountability does not end with our colleagues and supervisors, but we also owe it to those we serve and who have trusted us to contribute to a better, safer and healthier world.
WE COMMUNICATE AND EARN TRUST: communicate effectively with one another and build an environment of trust where we can all excel in our work
WE THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX AND INNOVATE: to stay relevant, we continuously improve, support innovation share our knowledge and skills, and learn from one another.
Advanced university degree in science/engineering, economics, business administration, or any related field.
Fluency in written and spoken English and Albanian is required. Fluency and/or working knowledge of another official UN language, is desirable.
Field of Expertise
A minimum of 7 years practical experience in the field of technical cooperation, project management, preferably including experience in the field of Quality Infrastructure (i.e. standards development, metrology, upgrading of testing and calibration laboratories and certification capabilities). Specific experience in the sector of medicinal and aromatic plant, fruits and vegetables would be an asset.
Analytical thinking; planning, organizing and problem solving abilities; proven ability to work under pressure and to meet tight deadlines; proven experience in overcoming deadlocks and difficulties in the implementation of complex projects and in bringing them back on track; proven ability to lead and coordinate multidisciplinary teams; demonstrated diplomatic and negotiating skills. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Sensitivity to cultural, socio-economic and political differences. Knowledge and experience of work with UN constituents and knowledge of UN procedures would be an asset. Proven communication and drafting skills, both written and verbal.