Senior International Technical Specialist

Post Level: ISA-Principal Specialist

Vacancy Announcement



Female candidates from all Member States are particularly encouraged to apply.


Sri Lanka

24 November 2021

Individual Service Agreement


09 December 2021

Organizational Context

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 points in 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). This Division 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.


In view of the challenges and substantial benefits of modernizing the food control and quality infrastructure systems and capacitating institutional and unit-level actors operating in this landscape, the EU is funding a programmatic framework titled “Support to Food Safety & Quality in Sri Lanka”. The overall objective of this programmatic framework is to contribute to a more productive, sustainable, diversified, climate-resilient, market-oriented and inclusive agri-food sector in Sri Lanka. Its two interrelated specific objectives (SO) aim at:

1) Increasing food safety and quality compliance through adoption of best practices by food producers and processors and an updated risk-based and well-coordinated food control system;
2) Increasing the organic market share through better standards, higher investments and increased consumer demand. Under SO 1, the project titled “Mainstreaming standards-based best practices for agri-food sector development” is to be co-implemented by UNIDO and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), with UNIDO as the lead agency; SO 2 is to be implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

UNIDO and FAO joined hands as “One UN” to upgrade the food safety and quality control system in Sri Lanka, strengthen the compliance capacity and production processes of producers, processors, and food business operators, and promote linkages along the agri-food value chain through a market-driven approach. This will have benefits for Sri Lanka’s agri-food sector in terms of increased trade competitiveness and long-term benefits for Sri Lankan citizens, residents, and visitors in terms of improved consumer safety and better access to higher quality food. It will support Sri Lanka’s efforts to sustainably grow its agrarian economy for economic development.

The project aims to support target beneficiaries in modernizing the food control system (regulatory and institutional frameworks for food safety and quality compliance) in line with international benchmarks and best practices, upgrading the quality infrastructure system to provide adequate services to the agri-food sector, strengthening food safety and quality-related compliance capacity of the private sector, and raising stakeholder awareness and adherence to best practices end-to-end along the agri-food value chain, including that of producers and consumers.

OVERALL OBJECTIVE: To contribute to a more productive, diversified, climate-resilient, market-oriented, sustainable and inclusive agriculture in Sri Lanka.

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE: To increase food safety and quality profiles of agri-food products through development, adoption, and compliance with enhanced food safety, hygienic practices, and quality requirements by food producers and processors and an updated risk-based and well-coordinated food control system.
The implementation by UNIDO shall entail Expected Result (ER) 2, ER 3, and Sub-ER (S-ER) 4.2. The implementation by FAO shall entail ER 1 and S-ER 4.1.

ER 1: Food competent authorities operate an effective food control system in line with international best practices for consumer protection.
- S-ER1.1: Inclusively formulated national food safety policy with recommendations for performance enhancements of food competent authorities for enhanced regulatory oversight of the food control system proposed with a reviewed food safety policy direction – developed in an inclusive manner – and recommended enhancements of the performance of food competent authorities, including institutional adjustment.
- S-ER 1.2: Key food regulatory protocols and pilot programs developed or enhanced and deployed for strengthened food regulatory operations.

ER 2: Quality infrastructure (QI) institutions and service providers meet conformity assessment demand of selected agri-food value chains.
- S-ER 2.1: QI institutions achieve technical competence towards international recognition.
- S-ER 2.2: QI service providers demonstrate strengthened proficiency and technical capabilities.

ER 3: Targeted value chain actors are responsive to food safety reform measures and better comply with food safety and quality requirements.
- S-ER 3.1: Food standards, codes of practice, protocols, guidelines and procedures are proposed in accordance with international best practices.
- S-ER 3.2: Private sector engagement, through industry / sector associations, supported for a more effective and inclusive public-private partnership on food safety.
- S-ER 3.3: Food safety performance of targeted value chains enhanced through strengthened compliance with food safety control solutions and access to related services.
- S-ER 3.4: Enterprise productivity enhanced through quality management system compliance, value addition, and technology upgrading.
- S-ER 3.5: Networks/clusters and buyer-supplier linkages piloted for target value chains for enhanced market access.

ER 4: Consumers, enterprises, institutions and other stakeholders are more aware, informed and demanding of food safety and quality.
- S-ER 4.1: Consumer-driven communication campaign implemented to change the social behaviour of consumers towards improved food safety.
- S-ER 4.2: Producer-driven communication campaign implemented to strengthen awareness of commercial and public health benefits of compliance with technical regulations, voluntary standards, and market requirements for greater access to high-value markets.

DUTY STATION: Colombo, Sri Lanka
DURATION: 1 year (with possibility of extension)

Main Functions

Under the guidance of the Project Manager and in collaboration with the project team, the Senior International Technical Specialist shall manage the outcomes of the project to ensure that deliverables are met while providing substantive innovation during the project implementation. S/he shall act as the principal project lead in Sri Lanka and shall provide oversight to the project team:


1.1 Formulate the inception and implementation strategy to ensure efficient, coordinated and goal oriented based on project objectives;
1.2 Draft the terms of reference for national project staff and contribute to their identification, selection and recruitment process in line with UNIDO’s established procedures;
1.3 Advise UNIDO’s Project Manager (PM), the donor and counterparts on policy, development strategy and technical matters;
1.4 Prepare and monitor detailed work plans and budgets of the different interventions including a time plan for fielding experts, training, fellowships, sub-contracts, equipment purchases etc.;
1.5 Coordinate and preside project office meetings ensuring and motivating active participation of project team members;
1.6 Any other task related to project management, administration, etc.


2.1 Review and recommend annual work-plans and prepare related action plans at the project and institutional level and follow-up on their implementation;
2.2 In consultation with the UNIDO PM, and with the support of the project staff, prepare TORs and identify in detail the nature of international and national expertise required; in consultation with relevant national counterparts prepare draft job descriptions.
2.3 Supervise the team members activities, and ensure the appropriate execution of work plans as well as of consultants’ inputs;
2.4 Review and recommend TOR, technical specifications, coordinate and verify equipment specifications with the support of international expertise.
2.5 Define institutional development objectives and plans of action that can be reasonably achieved within the project funding and time frame. Identify any pre-conditions that need to be fulfilled by the Institutions to achieve these objectives;
2. 6 Provide technical support to project staff and technical experts in appropriate domains of competence, mainly in QI, entrepreneurship/enterprise creation, SME creation/development and technical cooperation;
2.7 Supervise the analytical work related to strategy formulation, and project implementation including needs assessments in the country, collect information, technical studies, good practice cases, publications and policy briefs on ISID in the context of the Government priorities and within UNIDO’s mandate;
2.8 Coordinate the preparation of promotional material on the project in consultation with PM and key stakeholders and ensure that sufficient exposure is made about project objectives in the media;
2.9 Direct the organization of trainings, seminars and workshops to create awareness and publicize programme results, and
ensuring sustainability. Report on participants’ evaluation of training activities.


3.1 Based on the Key Performances Indicators (KPIs) & as per the project’s logical frameworks and Inception Reports, develop a monitoring framework, to be used to assess effectiveness of project deliverables and quality of implementation until project completion;
3.2 Prepare activity reports, results-based reporting for the project according to donor specifications and UNIDO requirements. Prepare a mid-term and final report comprising all relevant information compiled from the interim reports, conclusions and recommendations;
3.3 In coordination with the PM, key counterparts regularly on
implementation progress;
3.4 Prepare the documentation for the Project Steering Committee meetings. Participate in the meetings, keep the minutes and be
responsible for follow up actions.
3.5 Provide day-to-day operational and results-based management orientation to the project in line with the work plan including project planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, defining resource requirements, review/oversight of project’s implementation;

4. PROJECT OPERATION (non-technical)

4.1 Be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Project Management Unit (PMU) [UNIDO Team] and the
disbursement of local expenditures, based on standard UNIDO field disbursement procedures.
4.2 Monitor the implementation of the project communication strategy, in close cooperation with the communication experts, the PM and donors;
4.3 Ensure the necessary coordination with the HQs based Project Manager, for procurement and financial management, and when required with the donor, i.e. EUD;


5.1 Present the project to national partners (involved Ministries, government institutions, banks, higher educational institutions etc.) and donors;
5.2 Represent the Organization at various meetings and events of relevance to UNIDO;
5.3 Promote UNIDO’s mandate to potential new partners in close coordination and consultation with the PM and UNIDO regional representation in India;
5.4 Coordinate and participate in study tours relevant to the project objectives;
5.5 Establish and maintain relations and exchange of information with the local authorities, private sector institutions, enterprises, support institutions and other development partners;
5.6 Coordinate to reply to requests for information on project implementation to Government officials, donors, representatives of multilateral/ bilateral agencies, and key national stakeholders;
5.7 Develop a rapport with the donor community to publicize the project results and seek cooperation and funding for additional areas;
5.8 Ad-hoc requests: Any other assignments related to a timely and effective implementation of the project as requested by the PM.

Core Competencies

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 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.

Minimum Requirements


Advanced university degree in area of industrial engineering, management, economics or other relevant disciplines is required.


Fluency in written and spoken English is required. Fluency and/or working knowledge of another official UN language is an asset.

Field of Expertise

- A minimum of 10 years of relevant experience in Industrial Development related field, including some at international level.
- Experience in the field of quality infrastructure (standards, metrology, accreditation, and conformity assessment) socio-economic development, and/or agricultural policy & development is required.
- Related functional experience implementing technical cooperation projects in developing countries is required.
- Previous experience in Sri Lanka or the region through an international assistance community-led project desirable.
- Familiarity with the private sector, particularly with relation of trade capacity building, export development and PPPs models is required. Prior experience under UN-implemented programmes is be considered as an asset.

This appointment is limited to the specified project(s) only and does not carry any expectation of renewal.

Employees of UNIDO are expected at all times to uphold the highest standards of integrity, professionalism and respect for diversity, both at work and outside. Only persons who fully and unconditionally commit to these values should consider applying for jobs at UNIDO.

All applications must be submitted online through the Online Recruitment System Correspondence will be undertaken only with candidates who are being considered at an advanced phase of the selection process. Selected candidate(s) may be required to disclose to the Director General the nature and scope of financial and other personal interests and assets in respect of themselves, their spouses and dependants, under the procedures established by the Director General.

NOTE: The Director General retains the discretion to make an appointment to this post at a lower level.

Senior International Technical Specialist

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