Lao CSO Platform

Project Coordinator (NPSA9)

Job Description


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core principles at UNDP:  we value diversity as an expression of the multiplicity of nations and cultures where we operate, we foster inclusion as a way of ensuring all personnel are empowered to contribute to our mission, and we ensure equity and fairness in all our actions. Taking a ‘leave no one behind’ approach to our diversity efforts means increasing representation of underserved populations. People who identify as belonging to marginalized or excluded populations are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about working at UNDP including our values and inspiring stories.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

UNDP Country Office (CO)  in Lao PDR: Guided by the global UNDP Strategic Plan (2022 – 2025) and UNDP Country Programme for Lao PDR (2022 – 2026), the UNDP CO in Lao PDR works closely with the line Ministries, mass organizations, civil society, development partners, and the private sector at both national and sub-national levels in pursuit of the national socio-economic development priorities defined in Lao PDR’s five-year National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP) and localized Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UNDP CO’s work is strongly focused on the provision of policy advice and technical support to the Government in the design and implementation of national legislation and strategies across four broad Priority Pillars – (1) inclusive growth and reduced inequalities, (2) UXO clearance and risk education, (3) natural resources, climate change, and disaster risk reduction, as well as (4) effective, responsive and accountable governance.

UNDP Lao PDR, Governance Unit: The UNDP CO’s programming on effective, responsive, and accountable governance, inter alia, focuses on the provision of policy advice and technical support to the Government to (1) enhance the rule of law and access to justice, (2) strengthen the role and capacities of the National Assembly and People’s Provincial Assemblies, (3) streamline the public administration reform and national initiative on decentralization (Sam Sang Directive), as well as to (4) expand public participation in the national policy and decision-making.

The UNDP’s programming on effective, responsive and accountable governance, inter alia, focuses on the provision of policy advice and technical support to the Government of Lao PDR to (1) enhance the rule of law, access to justice, and protection of human rights, (2) strengthen people’s participation in decision-making through increased access to information and political representation, (3) enhance public administration reform through institutional capacity-development and implementation of the Government’s decentralization policy (Sam Sang Directive).

Being the largest global development knowledge network with particular institutional expertise on governance, UNDP in Lao PDR co-chairs the Governance Sector Working Group (along with co-chairing the Public Sector Improvement Sub-Sector Working Group and Legal and Institutional Oversight Sub-Sector Working Group) of the Round Table Process, a national mechanism to coordinate the implementation of the NSEDPs and SDGs across the governmental institutions, development partners, CSOs and the private sector.

Thanaikhoum/Lawyer Project:

The Strengthening the Role of Lawyers in Advancing Rule of Law and Access to Justice in Lao PDR (‘Thanaikoum’, or ‘Lawyer’ project) is a three-year initiative (2022-2025) that is implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the National Bar Association of Lao PDR, or the Lao Bar Association (LBA). The project is designed and implemented in accordance with the national socio-economic development priorities defined in Lao PDR’s five-year National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP) the Strategic Development Plan for the Justice Sector in Lao PDR (2021-2025,) the (Draft) National Action Plan for Legal Aid Service Provision and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The project will support LBA to strengthen the role and contribution of lawyers to the effective functioning of the legal system in Lao PDR. The project will also invest in developing the capacity and linkages of lawyers who have demonstrated a strong commitment to improving the integrity and performance of lawyers, enabling them to pass on those skills to other lawyers. A range of tools and products including a Practical Handbook for practicing lawyers that provides guidance for lawyers dealing with cases involving the poor and marginalized will be produced and a range of training and capacity building initiatives for lawyers will be implemented. These initiatives will be based on a series of initial processes designed to ensure that there is a high degree of ownership of lawyers who will be involved in the project and the vision they collectively develop for the future of their own profession.

UNDP will coordinate with the Ministry of Justice, LBA, Provincial and National Legal Aid Offices and other key stakeholders in the implementation of the project. The programme will be based on principles of inclusiveness, complementarity with other initiatives and adaptation to changing circumstances. The implementation will be guided by the following:

  • Programming that is complementary to other relevant efforts in the justice sector;
  • International good practice and common principles for strengthening the role of lawyers, fair trials and access to justice
  • Capacity development programs that are carefully planned, sustainable and inclusive;
  • In alignment with and contributing to the SDGs and ‘Leaving No One Behind’;
  • Promotion of gender equality and sensitive to the special needs of women and girls, youth, the vulnerable and marginalized in relation to their rights and interaction with the legal system;

The Coordinator works closely with and supports the Head of the Governance Unit and Programme Analyst project coordinator in the rule of law and access to justice portfolio will be responsible for the coordination of project activities and will manage the project budget, work planning and organisation of activities across all results of the project. The Coordinatorwill liaise directly with key project partners, government, and development partners, and support the LBA and lawyer network in ensuring the planned outputs and activities of the project are successfully implemented.

The position will be based in the UNDP Lao PDR Country Office in Vientiane.

UNDP Lao PDR is committed to achieving gender balance in recruitment processes. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position. Persons with disabilities, persons from ethnic groups and people from other diverse groups are also encouraged to apply.

Summary of key functions:

  • Ensure coordination of key project activities
  • Ensure effective project planning and implementation
  • Develop and maintain effective partnerships with Lao Bar Association and networks of lawyers, and the Ministry of Justice
  • Monitor and report on progress in implementing project activities and achieving the targets set
  • Provide relevant, timely, and integrated technical and advisory support on matters related to the law profession, access to justice, or the rule of law

Duties and Responsibilities
The Project Coordinator will work under direct supervision of the Head of Governance Unit and Programme Analyst.

Ensure coordination of project activities and budget

  • Coordinate between Project Partners and LBA’s management team, staff and members of the Bar on planning and implementation in line with the Lawyer Project’s workplan, project document and results framework
  • Support coordination of activities as requested by the LBA and lawyer network
  • Supervise project staff and international and national consultants for quality assurance and timely completion of tasks.
  • Review and monitor project budget and expenditure

Ensure effective project planning and implementation.

  • Coordinate, and supervise project implementation to ensure the effective realization and quality of outputs within the specified constraints of time and cost as outlined in the project document, and adherence to applicable UNDP policy and programme management procedures and Government standards, rules, and regulations
  • Lead revisions of the project’s annual work plan (AWP) and lead development of detailed implementation plans. Support the Head of Governance Unit and Programme Analyst to identify key policy/programmatic gaps and opportunities

Develop and maintain strategic partnerships.

  • Maintain and strengthening partnerships with Lao Bar Association (LBA) the Ministry of Justice, and other key project partners
  • Cultivate and maintain strong relationships with implementing and development partners, government officials, NGOs, other national and regional stakeholders, and beneficiaries to support implementation and quality programming
  • Contribute to project communications and visibility efforts. Make recommendations to the management team on activities with potential for scale-up, replicability and synergies

Monitor and report on progress in implementing project activities and achieving the targets set.

  • In accordance with the Project Document and in close coordination with the Responsible Parties, support implementation of Annual Workplans and M&E framework targets and indicators
  • Coordinate the preparation of donor and government reports in line with the reporting schedule and UNDP and donor requirements

Provide relevant and timely technical and advisory support on matters related to the law profession, access to justice, or the rule of law

  • Identify key issues for national and sub-national policy support and assistance regarding lawyer and Bar development
  • Provide technical support to implementing partners on the rule of law, lawyer and bar development, and access to justice


Core competencies:

  • Achieve Results: LEVEL 2: Scale up solutions and simplifies processes, balances speed and accuracy in doing work
  • Think Innovatively: LEVEL 2: Offer new ideas/open to new approaches, demonstrate systemic/integrated thinking
  • Learn Continuously: LEVEL 2: Go outside comfort zone, learn from others and support their learning
  • Adapt with Agility:  LEVEL 2: Adapt processes/approaches to new situations, involve others in change process
  • Act with Determination: LEVEL 2: Able to persevere and deal with multiple sources of pressure simultaneously
  • Engage and Partner: LEVEL 2: Is facilitator/integrator, bring people together, build/maintain coalitions/partnerships
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 2: Facilitate conversations to bridge differences, considers in decision making

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies:
Business Management

  • Partnerships Management: Ability to build and maintain partnerships with wide networks of stakeholders, Governments, civil society and private sector partners, experts and others in line with UNDP strategy and policies
  • Project Management: Ability to plan, organize, prioritize and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals
  • Monitoring: Ability to provide managers and key stakeholders with regular feedback on the consistency or discrepancy between planned and actual activities and programme performance and results

Partnership Management

  • Strategic Engagement: Ability to capture and sustain attention, interest and agreement of high-level, influential policy and decision makers and secure their buy-in of high-level vision and objectives

Business Direction & Strategy

  • System thinking: Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system

2030 Agenda: Peace

  • Governance: Inclusion & Participation
  • Governance:Core Government Functions

Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in political science, public policy, law, development studies or other relevant discipline is required.
  • First-level university degree (Bachelor’s degree) in political science, public policy, law, development studies or other relevant discipline in combination with an additional 2 years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of Master´s degree.


  • Minimum 2 years (with Master´s degree) or 4 years (with Bachelor´s degree) of relevant experience in project management and coordination, including developing budgets and work plans
  • Thorough understanding of the political, administrative and institutional set up of the government in Lao PDR
  • Experience working the area of rule of law or access to justice in Lao PDR is an asset
  • Experience designing and delivering effective institutional strengthening programs or providing advisory services to public officials is an asset
  • Technical knowledge in lawyer and legal system strengthening is preferred

Required Languages:

  • Fluency in English and Lao is required.


Important information for US Permanent Residents (‘Green Card’ holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment.

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.


UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.

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