Australian Embassy
Lao People's Democratic Republic
Embassy address: Km 4, Thadeua Road, Watnak (P.O. Box 292) Vientiane, Lao P.D.R. Telephone: 856-21-353800, Facsimile: 856-21-353801

AusAID Vientiane Post

PROGRAM MANAGER – RURAL DEVELOPMENT

(OB Level 6)
Job Description and Selection Documentation

We are looking for people to join our Agency. We aim to get the right person into the right role. For more information, please visit our website www.ausaid.gov.au

About AusAID

AusAID (Australian Agency for International Development) advises the Government on international development policy and manages Australia’s overseas aid program.

The core principles of Australia's aid program are:

• accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals;
• a recognition that while economic growth is the most powerful long term solution to poverty, economic growth will not, by itself, deliver fair and stable societies;
• a strong emphasis on the Asia-Pacific, while also increasing our efforts in Africa and South Asia;
• an emphasis on the power of education to promote development; and
• a commitment to continue to improve effectiveness.

These principles will guide the aid program in delivering sustainable development gains.

AusAID’s People

People who work in AusAID implement government policy and formulate strategies aimed at assisting countries achieve their Millennium Development Goals. By working in partnership with Australian and foreign government officials, international bodies, the private sector, community organisations and civil society, people in AusAID may help to improve the quality of people’s lives in developing countries now and for generations to come.
About AusAID Vientiane

AusAID Vientiane is responsible for the delivery of the Australian aid program to Laos. The aid program aims to assist the Government of Laos to reduce poverty and achieve its sustainable development goals, with a focus on education, trade and rural development. The Post has a particular responsibility to ensure that knowledge and understanding of Lao government policies and directions, local circumstances, and local stakeholders underpin aid program strategies and delivery. Vientiane staff program, manage, and monitor Australia funded activities that contribute to the achievement of high quality development outcomes in Laos. AusAID Vientiane is also responsible for managing some regional aid cooperation activities relating to water resources, HIV/AIDS and anti-people trafficking.

AusAID Vientiane is headed by a Counsellor and comprises a mix of twenty Australian based and locally engaged staff, working in a close team environment. The AusAID office is located at the Australia Embassy.

Job Description

The Program Manager Rural Development, with management oversight from the Senior Program Manager Rural Development, will have the following specific responsibilities:

1. Manage the design, mobilisation and implementation of AusAID’s Rural Livelihoods Program, which include components relating to social protection and sustainable livelihoods, access to markets and financial services for the poor.
2. Manage a small team, including a Senior Program Officer Financial Inclusion and UXO Action (OB5) and a Senior Program Officer Social Protection (OB5).
3. Liaise closely with the Program Manager Rural Infrastructure, particularly on issues relating to social safeguards.

In managing this program the Program Manager may be required to carry out the following tasks:

1. Manage and monitor the performance of complex project(s) providing advice and expertise to deliver key developmental outcomes.
2. Participate in monitoring and review activities.
3. Managing AusAID’s relationship with counterparts and key stakeholders including detailed consultation and liaison with both internal and external stakeholders. Participate in forums and high level meetings developing strong formal and informal relationships with partner government officials, other donors and stakeholders for bilateral and regional activities.
4. Manage complex contracts and monitor contractor performance. Undertake contract administration, the resolution of problems, the management of contract variations and amendments, the maintenance of contract-related records and ensure that AusAID meets its contractual obligations.
5. Manage the finances of activities and related human resources. Prepare financial estimates, coordinate budgets, maintain financial records and analyse / monitor expenditure.
6. Determine workflow priorities, assume responsibility for delivery and the development, provide coaching, mentoring and guidance of staff being supervised.
7. Maintain accurate and up-to-date activity data on AusAID systems including the Aidworks database.
8. Report on activity progress and program outcomes and draft country and/or regional papers, policy papers, complex correspondence, briefs and submissions on a wide range of matters relevant to program management.
9. Contribute to briefings for the Minister, Parliamentary Secretary, AusAID Executive and Senior Officers and Australian delegations. Prepare background information, talking points for speeches and other briefing documents for relevant activities.
10. Assist in the development of policy.

Capabilities

Supports shared purpose and direction
• Communicates with others regarding the purpose of their work; identifies the relationship between organisational goals and operational tasks and clarifies this for their team.
• Understands, supports and promotes the organisation’s vision, mission and business objectives; sets appropriate direction for the team in line with broader objectives.
• Supports and communicates the reasons for decisions and recommendations to others; clarifies expectations regarding key deliverables.

Harnesses information and opportunities
• Sources information on best practice approaches adopted in both the public and private sectors.
• Scans the organizational environment; monitors the corporate priorities, and business context of the organisation; keeps self and others well informed on work issues.
• Gathers and investigates information from a variety of sources; uses experience and judgment to analyse what information is important; works within agreed guidelines to make decisions about the use and dissemination of information; explores new ideas with an open mind.

Shows judgment, intelligence and commonsense
• Researches and analyses information to identify relationships between factors; draws accurate conclusions based on evidence; analyses and interprets information to inform decision makers.
• Identifies issues and problems and works to resolve them; identifies risks and uncertainties and takes account of these in planning, decision-making and priority setting.
• Actively participates in decision making and incorporates outcomes of decision-making into work plans; encourages participation in decision-making.
• Thinks laterally; is innovative; identifies, implements and promotes improved work practices.
• Selects the best option from a range of potential solutions for key problems.

Takes responsibility for managing work projects to achieve results
• Regularly seeks feedback from supervisor to gauge their satisfaction; ensures work is delivered to a high standard.
• Maintains focus on quality to achieve outcomes; adheres to documentation procedures; uses, and encourages others to use appropriate information management systems to keep information up to date; sees projects through to completion.
• Monitors projects against plans; manages priorities and agrees adjustments to milestones as required.

Nurtures internal and external relationships
• Develops and maintains a network with others internally and externally.
• Builds and sustains relationships; liaises with a range of stakeholders including team members, other teams, colleagues and clients.
• Offers reciprocal assistance in achieving mutually beneficial outcomes.
• Anticipates and is responsive to changes in client and stakeholder needs; provides courteous, prompt and professional service to clients.

Shares learning and supports others
• Makes time for people despite competing priorities; provides guidance and offers full support when required.
• Works with staff to identify areas for development; encourages staff to engage in development opportunities; proactively requests coaching from supervisor or peers; identifies development opportunities for self and shares learning with others.
• Delegates tasks effectively; balances workloads amongst team members and provides appropriate guidance to team.
• Congratulates people on achievements and gives timely recognition for good performance.
• Provides constructive and regular feedback.
• Agrees on performance standards with staff and conducts regular reviews; addresses under-performance promptly, identifies causes and agrees on improvement targets.

Reporting

The position reports to the Senior Program Manager Rural Development.

Eligibility/Other Requirements

The position is required to obtain a satisfactory police check and medical check. It is essential that occupants to these roles have advanced computer literacy with proficiency in Microsoft Office applications, possess a driver’s license and are willing to work non-routine hours and to travel regularly.

Duration of the Position

The Program Manager will be engaged on a fixed term contract for up to three years, with possibility of extension.

Selection Criteria

Important: The Selection Criteria are used to assess an applicant’s suitability for a position. Applicants must provide a statement of claims, not exceeding two pages, addressing each the selection criteria below.

Statements should detail suitability to perform the duties of the position including personal qualities, experience, skills and knowledge relative to the selection criteria.

Essential

1. Tertiary qualifications in international development, rural development or a related field, and at least five years of experience managing rural development programs in Laos and/or SE Asia.
2. Demonstrated expertise and achievement in management and review of complex aid programs/activities, including in the area of rural development.
3. Program management skills with supporting skills in finance management, contract management, communication, negotiation and representation.
4. Research and analytical skills with a practical focus.
5. Knowledge of AusAID and Lao government policy with understanding of related economic, political, social and cultural issues in development.
6. Strong interpersonal skills, sound leadership and people management skills in a multicultural environment.

NB: All AusAID employees demonstrate a commitment to the APS Code of Conduct and Values, as well as to workplace diversity, occupational health and safety and employee participation principles and have appropriate cross-cultural sensitivities.